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Mrs. Suzanne "Chief" Saueressig Riegel, D.V.M.

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Memories & Candles

“My husband and I are saddened to hear of Dr. Saueressig's death. She was my husband's family's Vet when he was a child in the 1960s. After my...Read More »
1 of 20 | Posted by: Linda and John Amad - St. Louis

“I love you very much and I am misssing you!! I always looked up to as a little girl. I Also wanted to be a Vet but ... well.. my grades were not...Read More »
2 of 20 | Posted by: maria shank - O'Fallon, MO

“Dr. Saueressig was truly an outstanding veterinarian and person. She treated three family generations of our pets. My grandfather, mother and my own...Read More »
3 of 20 | Posted by: Michelle Vogt - St. Louis, MO

“I first met Dr. Saueressig in 1964 when I was 24. Mr. Donald Anthony was General Manager of the Humane Society. I worked in the clinic and later...Read More »
4 of 20 | Posted by: Sharron Heigert, RVT - Imperial, MO

“"Chief" served three generations of the Hoffmann family, my in-laws, Bill and Frances Hoffmann, my husband Bill and I and our daughter Trish Hurd. I...Read More »
5 of 20 | Posted by: Bill and Deb Hoffmann - Ferguson , MO

“So much good; so many years. Rest now, Chief. ”
6 of 20 | Posted by: Cecily Westermann

“Chief, Now you will get to rest! A true example of compassion and an incredible work ethic has left us, but in all of the human lives you touched,...Read More »
7 of 20 | Posted by: Angie Westermann Vorholt Wilsey

“Dr. Suzanne was our family vet before I was born....I am now almost 51. Dr. Suzanne would look at us, name all of the pets we had been blessed...Read More »
8 of 20 | Posted by: Laura Dilthey Richardson - MO

“Suzanne was an great neighbor. As soon as it was warm enough to put on a bathing suit, Suzanne was out by the pool in their backyard. She loved her...Read More »
9 of 20 | Posted by: Janine - St. Louis, MO

“I have known the chief since the age of 9.She was always a big inspiration to my mom, Sandy Maune- Augustine. I remember when we were little my...Read More »
10 of 20 | Posted by: Debbie Augustine - Jefferson City, MO

“Chief was a mentor to all of us, ALL of the staff at HSM. She chided us when necessary, but also went to bat for us and supported us. I remember...Read More »
11 of 20 | Posted by: Marsha Anderson Harvey - Dillon, CO

“Leave a condolence or a memory. ”
12 of 20 | Posted by: Sondra Maune

“The profession has lost one of the best. ”
13 of 20 | Posted by: John DeGarmo D.V.M. - Monroe City, MO

“I shall be by to see you Dr. R. May God hold you close during this time. You are in my prayers. Sandy ”
14 of 20 | Posted by: Sandy Maune - employee & friend

“How do you say farewell to someone so entangled in your life. We met Dr. Suzanne in 1960 with our first pet Suzie, a "Humane Society Special". Our...Read More »
15 of 20 | Posted by: Betty Dilthey - St. Louis, MO

“We were both employees of the Humane Society of Missouri at the veterinary clinic, with Dr. Saueressig as our "chief." For me, John, these were some...Read More »
16 of 20 | Posted by: John and Chris Warmbrodt - MO

“Dear Dick, we were so sorry to hear of the passing of Suzanne. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of sorrow. The Kollias Family ”
17 of 20 | Posted by: George, Heidi, Van and Allie Kollias - NY

“No children!!?? "Chief" had many children. Me being one of them. Wide eyed in the 1970's with hopes of being a veterinarian, I volunteered at the...Read More »
18 of 20 | Posted by: Gwen Schlueter,DVM - Fenton, MO

“Dr. Saueressig was the first vet we ever had, from the time I was a small child . . .until I was an adult with my own pets. She was the most upbeat,...Read More »
19 of 20 | Posted by: Alexs Mom - St. Louis , MO

“I met Dr. Saueressig when I was 6 years old. I have known her for 47 years. I looked up to her from the day I met her and everyday since. Everyday...Read More »
20 of 20 | Posted by: Pamelia Ridley RVT - St. Louis, MO


The first practicing female veterinarian in Missouri and a tireless advocate for the humane treatment of animals, died Friday, February 08, 2013 at age 88. She joined the Humane Society of Missouri in 1955 and served as chief of Veterinary Services from 1965 until 1997 and continued her veterinary practice at HSMO until 2010.

Born in Germany in 1925, Dr. Saueressig graduated from the University of Munich Veterinary College in 1953 and completed her doctoral dissertation magna cum laude in 1954. In 1955, she traveled to America to gain hands-on animal experience, intending to study for one year. Instead, she remained at the Humane Society of Missouri for the next 55 years.

When she joined the clinic, it was understaffed and underequipped. Two veterinarians – one part-time, one full-time – worked in two hot rooms attached to the animal shelter. Soon after joining the Humane Society, she was put in charge of the fledgling facility and its rotating staff of interns. One of the interns was Richard Riegel, DVM. They married in 1956 and resided in Richmond Heights. Dr. Riegel survives.

When Dr. Saueressig was named Chief of Staff in 1965, she began a crusade to update the clinic and add surgical facilities. Her first surgeries were spays and neuters of dogs belonging to Humane Society staff members. From the beginning of her career, Dr. Saueressig was an advocate for the need to spay and neuter pets as the means to end animal suffering caused by overpopulation. Unlike today, there was neither awareness of the need, nor inclination to limit pet reproduction. At the clinic, and in her weekly "Ask the Pet Doctor" column for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (1979-1985), she unceasingly campaigned for the need to spay and neuter.

In 1972, she was honored as national "Woman Veterinarian of the Year" by the Women's Veterinary Medical Association not only for her work on behalf of the profession but also for inspiring dozens of young people to become veterinarians. In 1983, she was honored as a leader of distinction and inducted into the YWCA Metro St. Louis Academy of Leaders. Dr. Saueressig also served on many veterinary and community organizations.

Dr. Saueressig is credited with developing the Humane Society of Missouri's City Headquarters clinic into the vibrant animal hospital it is today. Together with the Westport Area and Chesterfield Valley Centers, the Humane Society of Missouri operates one of the largest veterinary practices in the Midwest.

Although Dr. Saueressig and Dr. Riegel never had children, they had many beloved pets including three cats: Ninny, a one-eyed, black, male domestic shorthair; Sambo, a male black domestic shorthair and Cappuccino, a female long-hair Calico; and Cindy Sue, a female, tri-color rat terrier dog, who are still living.

Services: the family will recieve friends in the Great Hall of Ambruster Chapel Thursday, February 14, 2013 from 3pm to 8pm. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at Little Flower Catholic Church begininng at 10am Friday, February 15, 2013. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humane Society of Missouri for the Cinderella/Chief Fund.