SARANAC — The new owner of the Saranac veterinary clinic, Amanda Lutzy, knows she has big shoes to fill.
“I’m not even going to try to fill them,” Lutzy said in reference to longtime Saranac Veterinary Clinic owner Hannah McCormick.
“It’s funny, because one of her trademarks is that she doesn’t wear shoes. She walks around barefoot, everyone knows that.”
McCormick recently made the decision to retire from full-time veterinarian duties after four decades and sell the business to Lutzy, 34, who started working for her early last year.
On June 1, the business will officially move from 3900 State Route 3 to 4236 State Route 3, where the old Redford Diner was located.
Despite the change in ownership, the same staff will move into the new Saranac Veterinary Clinic space, including McCormick who will work there part-time.
“I can’t wait to continue to be involved, and I can’t wait to see how Amanda is doing. I think she’s going to do very well, and I want to help her in any way so that she’s succeeding there and trying to help people feel comfortable with the whole idea,” McCormick said.
“She’s an excellent vet, so I feel comfortable with her skills. I’m not worried that she won’t take good care of my clients. She doesn’t have quite the same philosophy as me. , but she is very caring, concerned and discreet enough for my clients to be comfortable with her.”
Lutzy said McCormick’s presence would help the company’s transition go more smoothly.
“She’s an amazing mentor, she really helps you slow down and really listen to the customers and the animals. It’s been tough, because even though I’ve been here for a year, since the pandemic, we don’t have the same kind of rapport with customers, so I still haven’t met a lot of people,” she said.
“So it will be fine in our new space. We’re going to let people come back inside and get to know all the customers a little better.
Clients can still expect an affordable clinic as it was under McCormick.
“I want to try to keep the spirit and the same idea of serving the community that it has and not being so professional, professional about the money that we can earn,” Lutzy said.
“It’s about being able to help people who may not be able to afford some of the other clinics.
The Redford Diner building they will move into sat vacant for nearly a decade until Lutzy and her husband began coordinating renovations.
Lutzy said moving the clinic to this location was important to her for several reasons.
“We wanted to stay close to the current clinic, so it wouldn’t be difficult for people to find the new location. It had been vacant for a while so the price was right for sure,” she said.
“And also just (me) being more of a nostalgic type person. I really loved the idea of a place I went to as a kid, to be able to revamp it and make something new out of it. Using a pre-existing building, instead of starting all over again, to give it new life, I thought was really cool.
As a longtime resident of Saranac, her connection to McCormick began long before she started working for her.
Lutzy said McCormick saved her dog’s life when she was just seven years old.
“My brother and I were waiting for the school bus on the first day of second grade. My dog was across the street, she ran home and got hit by a car right in front of us. We were devastated,” Lutzy said.
“My dad took the dog, took her to Hannah’s house and she survived – she was fine. I thought she was going to be gone forever. I just remember thinking, ‘wow that’s amazing that she was able to help my dog, I want to do that someday.’ That was (my) initial spark. She’s still a superhero to me.
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