Robert H. Shipman, DVM
Dr. Shipman attended veterinary school at Kansas State University to combine his love of animals and science. Practicing veterinary medicine was a natural next step, after obtaining a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Kansas and an M.S. from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Kansas State University.
Immediately upon receiving his DVM from Kansas State University in 1977, he began practicing small animal medicine at Gage Animal Hospital. Since 1986, he has been Medical Director and owner of GAH. Dr. Shipman’s professional interests lie in soft tissue and orthopedic surgery and internal medicine. He is certified in stem cell treatment. In addition to your pet’s physical wellbeing, Dr. Shipman is dedicated to your pet’s psychological health. He is committed to reducing your pet’s anxiety, fear and stress through Fear Free practice.
Dr. Shipman has an abiding love of wildlife. He serves as volunteer Medical Director of Prairie Park Nature Center in Lawrence, KS. GAH, with Dr. Shipman’s guidance and funding, provides the treatment and care for injured and ill wildlife throughout Northeast Kansas. His skilled treatment ranges from setting the wings of bald eagles and other raptors, to administering IV fluids to baby squirrels.
Dr. Shipman and his wife, Kate, continue to reside in their home in rural southern Johnson County, where they raised their six children. Although their children are grown, their home is not an empty nest. They now share their home with two dogs: a thirteen year old Lab-Sharpei mix, Davey Crocket (aka, Baby Dave), and a seven year old Husky-German Shepherd mix, Rin-Tin-Tin (aka, Rinty), and four formerly feral felines (Pestifer, Cecil, Irma, and Nick), who willingly relinquished their wildness to become pampered housecats.
Leslie Blackwell, DVM
Dr. Blackwell received her DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in 2009. She received a B.S. in Biology from Kansas State University in 2005. She is a graduate of Washburn Rural High School in Topeka.
Her veterinary career began at Little Apple Veterinary Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas, where she practiced for four years. She joined Gage Animal Hospital in the summer of 2013. Dr. Blackwell’s interests lie in soft tissue surgery, internal medicine and diagnostic ultrasonography. She is certified in stem cell treatment. Like Dr. Shipman, she is committed to the physical and psychological health of the animals she treats. She is Fear Free certified. Dr. Blackwell is President of the Topeka Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Blackwell resides in rural southern Shawnee County with her husband, Joey, and their three young children. The Blackwell family share their home with three German Shorthair Pointers: Cooper, Duke, and Jack; an Australian Shepherd, Sunni; and five cats: Jasmine, Mr. White, Spitfire, Tiger, and Chazie. Her extended family also reside in rural southern Shawnee County.
Supervisor of Daily Operations
Heather is Supervisor of Daily Operations here at Gage Animal Hospital. Her experience is extensive. She can be seen at the front desk, answering phones, training administrative staff, preparing schedules, and performing daily inspections of the facility. Occasionally, you might see her assisting in the training of Veterinary Assistants. She is a certified dog trainer as well.
Lead Veterinary Assistant
Skyler is our Lead Veterinary Assistant, and much more. In addition to her Veterinary Assistant duties, she also trains incoming Student Veterinary Assistants, supervises the Fear Free program at Gage Animal Hospital, and monitors all veterinary procedures. Skyler holds a BS degree in Psychology from Emporia State University, and is currently working to complete her Veterinary Technician degree.
Mika holds a BS degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Central Missouri. While her emphasis at Gage Animal Hospital is the care and treatment of wildlife, she also enjoys caring for dogs and cats.
Gage Animal Hospital provides paid internships, on the job training, and mentorships for undergraduate students, new graduates, and graduate students from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Washburn University, and Emporia State University.
Currently, clients are greeted at the front desk by Janea, a recent graduate of Washburn University with a BA in Business/Hospital Administration, and Audrey, a sophomore at Washburn University pursuing a degree in Business Administration.
Student Veterinary Assistants include Angela, a junior at Washburn University studying Environmental Biology; MacKenna, a junior studying Biology at Washburn University; Ashley, a sophomore at Emporia State University pursuing a degree in Psychology; and Kaitlyn, a recent graduate from Kansas State University with a BS in Life Sciences.
All of us here at Gage Animal Hospital appreciate the level of compassion, intelligence, and enthusiasm provided by our student staff members.
Clearly wise beyond his years, Tripod joined the Gage Animal Hospital team when he was just a kitten. He was brought to the hospital after having been found with an injured paw that had been mangled by either a trap or another animal. After Dr. Shipman amputated the affected paw, he put “Pod” to work. In his 13 years of service, Pod’s responsibilities have included greeting clients, rifling through open purses searching for items he deems contraband, such as gum and cat treats, providing crucial oversight of all operations, and keeping the chairs of our receptionists and veterinarians warm when unoccupied. Although Pod enjoys working with dogs and cats, he is most interested in wildlife, particularly birds and baby bunnies.
There’s more to Scarlotti than his sleek, svelte physique, extraordinarily long legs, and glistening golden fur. Once a feral cat, he willfully entered into a life of servitude to Gage Animal Hospital after our veterinarians saved one of his legs from amputation that had been mangled by a commercial lawnmower. Having now spent the majority of his seven years of life here, he is dedicated to staying on top of everything at GAH, which he manages effortlessly thanks to his extreme leaping abilities. He is most often found at the front desk, or perched atop the highest cabinet in exam rooms, silently observing. Like Pod, Scarlotti has a passion for wildlife, particularly birdwatching.