We had the good fortune of connecting with Tammy Schmitt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tammy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always wanted to own my own animal hospital. My first dream was becoming a veterinarian. After practicing for several years, I realized that having my own practice would allow me to accomplish my goal of making a difference in the community. As a veterinarian I was introduced to the animal rescue world. I took quite a path working with shelters and animal rescues. I realized that I could do more with an animal hospital of my own. I would still get to practice high quality medicine but would be able to serve the animal rescue community.
What should our readers know about your business?
I worked as a veterinarian in Chicago for almost 20 years, I realized I would not be limited in my rescue work if I owned my own practice. Medicine is expensive. Owning an animal hospital in Chicago is more expensive, Luckily I found a practice in McHenry that I could afford and with a lot of potential. I bought the practice about 7 years ago, It has been a learning opportunity and a ton of work. I am able to help families and their pets with quality animal care. I also have the freedom to help animal rescues in the area. I currently work weekly with three animal rescues and help several other rescues as needed. It is difficult keeping the costs down for rescues but I have dedicated employees that share my vision. We work hard and I do take a pay cut to allow me to support these rescues. That is a choice I have the freedom to make.
As I learn how to be successful, I find people will support you if you are doing great work.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I hate to say it, but I am a diehard Cubs fan. We would end up near Wrigley and peruse the neighborhood. Check out the shops, get a new T-shirt or hat. Try a drink at Mordecai or lunch at a local restaurant. We would hang out at my house, BBQ, and just catch up.
A favorite thing is going to Young at Heart and visit their catio, Sit with old cats and chill.
If it is Hockey season, we would go to a Wolves or Blackhawks game.
I don’t go out as much since I moved into the suburbs out of Chicago. My plans tend to revolve around sporting events, Since the pandemic, I am a huge fan of sitting outside at a restaurant patio, rooftop bar, or just my back yard,
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It is so hard to pick one thing. I really love the support my family gave me in accomplishing my goal of becoming a veterinarian. My husband, John has been very supportive of the animal hospital and the rescue work we do. However it was my work at Chicago Animal Care and Control and the organization, Safe Humane Chicago.
They help the neediest and most forgotten animals in our society. They are advocates for dogs that were taken to animal control and locked away for no fault of their own. They also care for people that have been impacted by violence. They bring people and these court case dogs together and enrich both their lives, The Co-founder and CEO of the organization is Cynthia Bathurst.
Santa photo- Jerry Cassidy at Animal Hospital of McHenry open house