Drs. Tom Thompson and Jean Heyt met on the first day of veterinary school. After graduating from the Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1976, Drs. Tom and Jean married in 1977.
They practiced for two years in Madison before moving to La Crosse after falling in love with the area. As Dr. Tom likes to say, it was love at first sight looking down on the area from I-90 near Tomah. "The coulees, the hills and the sun going down did this,” he said. “We knew right then that we wanted to make La Crosse our home.”
The Thompsons converted a 100-year-old house on Mormon Coulee Road into their first clinic. The kitchen doubled as a lab – or the lab doubled as a kitchen – where they cooked their meals. They also had a multiple purpose room and a porch that was converted into a kennel.
“We quickly realized how dedicated owners are to their pets. We spent time with clients building relationships, friendships,” Dr. Tom said. “They knew us and we knew them.”
By the second year of their five-year lease, their practice had taken off so much that they knew they needed a new clinic. When it opened in 1980, they were thrilled by the many, many people who attended their open house.
When Drs. Tom and Jean started Thompson Animal Medical Center, their family consisted of just the two of them, their black lab, Sara Jane, and their cat, Mouse. Drs. Tom and Jean have since welcomed two daughters, Lynsee and Chiyo into their lives, along with countless dogs, cats and other animal critters.
Thompson Animal Medical Center - Veterinary Clinic in La Crosse, WI
Dr. Gary Wiegel purchased the practice in 2014, after having worked with Drs Tom and Jean since 1997. He enjoys many aspects of his practice, especially the challenge of diagnosing and treating difficult problems. His practice is well-rounded, but includes behavioral issues and care of wildlife and reptiles as well as other animals.