North Dakota practice owner dies in crash

Dr. Gerard Dahl, 75, was “a mentor to children and adults alike.”

North Dakota practice owner dies in crash
Dr. Gerard Dahl with his Veterinarian of the Year plaque.

North Dakota’s 2015 Veterinarian of the Year was killed Nov. 23 when his pickup was broadsided by a tractor-trailer rig near the town of Park River, according to published reports.

Gerard Dahl, DVM, died at an intersection about four miles west of Park River Veterinary Clinic, the mixed animal practice he took over in 1996. He was 75.

Announcing his death on its Facebook page, the practice called Dr. Dahl a “great veterinarian” who “was a mentor to children and adults alike.”

“His true passion was livestock,” the announcement read. “He was held in high esteem for his care of large animals and achieved numerous awards and recognition. There is a saying, ‘Do what you love, and love what you do.’ Doc lived by that every day. To our clients, you were not considered ‘just clients’ to Doc, you were part of his family as well.”

Dozens of clients mourned his passing.

Park River Mayor Dan Stenvold said the city “not only lost a pillar of the community, we lost an institution.”

“There are no words to express what Doc’s loss will mean, but he lived life ‘his’ way to the very end!” Stenvold wrote on the practice’s Facebook page.

One client described Dr. Dahl’s do-everything attitude.

“Watched him do a C-section on one of our sows and give mouth to mouth on the baby piglets to save them,” she wrote. “He respected life in all aspects and knew those piglets were part of our livelihood. And then he came into the house for coffee and a snack before he went home —all after midnight. RIP.”

The Bismarck Tribune credited Dr. Dahl with finding the first suspected case of West Nile virus in a North Dakota animal, a horse, “treating the state’s famous albino buffalo shortly after birth,” and doing “extensive work on treating animals to prevent the spread of anthrax after breakouts in the 2000s.”

He was a 1966 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Protection Status