Dr. Gale M. Flanagan is owner and director of Rt. 516 Animal Hospital. She is a native of New Jersey and grew up in Nutley, where she cared for fish, hamsters, and turtles!
While growing up, Dr. Flanagan thought she would become an architect, teacher, or journalist. That all changed following her junior year of high school when she took a summer job as a technician assistant for the town veterinarian. Following that job, it became clear to Dr. Flanagan that she had a passion for caring for animals and set her sights on veterinary medicine.
Dr. Flanagan earned her Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 1985 and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1989 from The Ohio State University – Columbus, OH. She has been a diehard Buckeye (and veterinarian) ever since!
Following graduation from OSU, Dr. Flanagan worked as a veterinarian in Columbus for one year and in NJ for four years. In 1994, Dr. Flanagan bought Rt. 516 Animal Hospital, which at the time was a small, one-doctor, part-time, practice located in a condominium complex in Old Bridge. Let the adventure begin! Through a whole lot of passion, discipline, and hard work and a little blood, sweat and tears, her clientele grew by leaps and bounds.
To accommodate a larger clientele and patient base, Dr. Flanagan built her own animal hospital, which opened its doors in August, 2002. With expanded space, Dr. Flanagan was able to incorporate state of the art equipment and comfortable accommodations for her patients and staff. Rt. 516 Animal Hospital now has a staff of 26 to 28 employees, including six doctors and two managers.
One of the things Dr. Flanagan loves most about being a veterinarian is forming bonds with her clients, many of whom have been clients for more than 20 years. Additionally, she enjoys learning about new advances in veterinary medicine and seeking out new and better ways to help her patients. Whether it’s attending conferences, reading journal articles, or networking with colleagues, she strives to do what is best for her patients. The life-long learning aspect of veterinary medicine keeps her job both challenging and rewarding.
One of Dr. Flanagan’s most recent endeavors to improve her practice occurred in 2012, when she attended the Chi Institute of Chinese Veterinary Medicine to study acupuncture. She received her CVA in January 2013 and, since that time, has been incorporating acupuncture therapy at Rt. 516 Animal Hospital with much success.
Currently Dr. Flanagan is studying Food Therapy, also thru the Chi Institute, and hopes to use her understanding of food to further enhance the health of her patients as well as to aid in treatment of different diseases.
When not at work, Dr. Flanagan can be found at home with her partner, Annie, her dogs, “Tucker,” a yellow lab, and “Collier,” a greyhound, as well as their four cats “Squeaky,” “Kitty,” “Brutus” (aka “Punky”), and “Inky”. Dr. Flanagan also loves to garden, decorate, and travel. What she doesn’t love is sitting still!!