Airport Animal Hospital was founded and opened by Dr. Tom Hohl in 1979. Dr. Hohl worked long and hard to build a quality veterinary practice and was effective in earning the trust of a loyal client base. Dr. Paul Fitzgerald joined Dr. Hohl as an associate in July, 2000. The practice grew quickly and in June, 2002, Dr. Christine Wickenheiser joined our team. In July, 2003, an ownership transition was made and Dr. Fitzgerald took over operations of the practice. Dr. Leslie Clapper-Rentz joined in August, 2005 as the fourth veterinarian on our staff. Together, this group of capable and knowledgable veterinarians, along with our wonderful staff, have helped Airport Animal Hospital grow into the busy and reputable veterinary practice that it is today.
Dr. Paul Fitzgerald grew up in Rochester, Minnesota. He attended St. Cloud State University for his undergraduate work and University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine for his veterinary training. Upon completion of veterinary school in 2000, Paul accepted a position as an associate at Airport Animal Hospital and moved to Duluth. In July, 2003, Dr. Fitzgerald became owner of the practice.
Dr. Fitzgerald and his wife stay very busy raising their family of five children. He enjoys many outdoor activities including fishing and hunting, camping, and golf. He is very involved in the community currently serving on the Animal Allies Humane Society board of directors and St. John's School finance committee. He also has served time on Dravet.org board of directors,Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota northern regional advisory committee, and the St. John's School Commission.
1996-B.A. Biomedical Science, St. Cloud State University
2000-Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota CVM
Areas of Interest
Dr. Fitzgerald has strong interest in the areas of canine & feline internal medicine, dentistry, oncology, soft tissue surgery and some orthopedic surgery. He believes in the importance of client education and strives for each pet owner to understand the rationale and value of the veterinary care their pet is receiveing, whether discussing illness or wellness care issues. Common topics include effective body condition and weight managment, dental health & home care, and arthritis & pain management.
Dr. Christine Wickenheiser (coming soon)
Dr. Leslie Clapper-Rentz
Dr. Leslie Clapper-Rentz spent her early childhood in a variety of locations across the country, but has been proud to call Minnesota her home for the majority of her years since middle school. She married her husband while in college and spent a year after graduation as a field biologist for a Native American tribe in South Dakota. There, she began volunteering for a wildlife rehabilitation organization, adopted a “hard luck” rescue dog, and decided that veterinary medicine was the career for her. After moving back to Minnesota, she spent several years working for a non-profit environmental and social justice organization (MPIRG), a small animal veterinary practice in the Twin Cities, and volunteering for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota while starting her family. Upon graduation from veterinary school, she and her family moved to Duluth to accept a position as an Associate with Airport Animal Hospital. She has been here ever since.
Dr. Clapper-Renz, her husband and their three active children love to spend time hiking, canoeing and exploring the Northwoods. She is a co-leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She continues to be involved in wildlife rehabilitation and is a consulting veterinarian for Wildwoods Rehabilitation, based in Duluth. She is also the consulting veterinarian for theGreat Lakes Aquarium. Dr. Clapper-Rentz serves on the board of directors for the Arrowhead Veterinary Medical Association.
1994--BA (Biology), University of Minnesota, Morris
2005—DVM, University of Minnesota
Areas of Interest
Dr. Clapper-Rentz has a special interest in exotic and wildlife veterinary medicine. Other strong interests include canine and feline internal medicine, nutrition and weight management, and multi-modal pain management.
The Clapper-Rentz family currently share their home with a Malamute-mix, two senior cats, three dwarf hamsters, and a house rabbit.
Dr. Mary Wictor
Dr. Mary Wictor grew up in Southern California. She attended California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. She moved to St Paul, MN with her husband in the Fall of 1989 to attend the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation from Veterinary School in 1993, she stayed at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Teaching Hospital for a year-long internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. Dr Wictor moved to the Duluth area in 1994 for a position at a small animal private practice. Always having had a passion for the treatment of exotic animals, she spent 10 years as the Veterinarian for the Lake Superior Zoo, and 8 years as the Veterinarian for the Great Lakes Aquarium. In the Fall of 2008, she began to work for Animal Allies Humane Society and stayed there as the full-time Veterinarian for 5 years. Having developed a strong working relationship with Airport Animal Hospital while at the shelter, when Dr Wictor decided to move back to private practice this year she was hired as an associate when a position became available at the clinic.
Dr Wictor and her husband have one child, and numerous pets. In her free time, she enjoys reading and stained glass.
1989 – BS Animal Science – PreVet , California State Polytechnic University Pomona
1993 – DVM University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine
Areas of Interest
Dr Wictor enjoys numerous aspects of Canine and Feline Practice. Surgery, internal medicine, dentistry and ophthalmology are of particular interest. Having worked with many species of exotics, the challenge of treating these special patients is always fascinating. She believes strongly in the human-animal bond and enjoys working with each owner to ensure a long and healthy life for their pet.
The Wictor family currently enjoys the company of a Dobie/Corgi mix dog, 3 cats, an Eclectus parrot and a Green Wing Macaw.