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Shelter bids adieu to Dr. Z

Dr. Karl Zaunbrecher, standing and holding a kitten at right, joins workers at the Tri-Lakes Humane Society Animal Shelter Monday afternoon. Sitting in front are Kendal Gallo, left, and Carla Stroud. Also on hand are shelter manager Lena Bombard, standing at left, and Robin Wright. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — The Tri-Lakes Humane Society said thanks and bid a fond farewell on Monday to Dr. Karl Zaunbrecher, who retired from his veterinary practice in Saranac Lake this week.

With smiles and utterances of “We’ll miss you,” workers and some friends at the Saranac Lake-based animal shelter presented Zaunbrecher a plaque bearing his name.

The plaque will adorn the shelter’s exam room. Etched in it are the words “Tri-Lakes Humane Society Exam Room, Dedicated to Dr. Karl Zaunbrecher — for his unwavering support and expertise. May his compassion inspire others.”

A native of Louisiana, Zaunbrecher began practicing veterinary medicine in the area more than 30 years ago, and house calls were included in his service. He provided the animal shelter with invaluable assistance and care during those years.

An avid cyclist, paddler, martial artist and lover of the outdoors, Zaunbrecher, along with his partner Veronica Byers will soon be moving to Boulder, Colorado, where two of his children live.

When asked if he was coming back to visit, Zaunbrecher smiled and shrugged, saying it would be tough to leave his new home in the Rocky Mountains.

“It’s Paradise,” he said.

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