Family - Dr. Bios
Dr. John Schaaf
Dr. Schaaf is a member of the Inaugural Class of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, 1984.
Before founding NMAH, he worked for six years at Pender Veterinary Clinic in Virginia, and an additional five years at another practice in North Carolina.
Dr. Schaaf was born into a large, military family and has enjoyed pets his whole life. His parents always maintained a menagerie of horses, ponies, chickens, dogs, cats and pet birds. He has fond memories of his family being guarded by a series of German Shepherd Dogs while his father served for three extensive tours of duty in the Viet Nam War.
Dr. Schaaf’s exposure to Veterinary Medicine dates back to his very earliest childhood memories. To this day he has a passion for sharing his expertise and love of animals with children of all ages. His first formal job was working for a group of veterinarians in Virginia starting at age fourteen, and he has worked in Veterinary Medicine continually through to the present (some 36 years at present!).
Dr. Schaaf has been married to his teenage sweetheart, Amy, for 28 years. They met as teenagers working for a veterinarian, and enjoy each others' love of animals. In addition to their 4 children, they love their 3 cats, 5 horses, 1 pony, 2 llamas, 2 chickens, 1 donkey and 9 dogs.
Professionally, Dr. Schaaf considers himself a generalist with special interest in surgery, internal medicine, cardiology and oncology.
In his spare time Dr. Schaaf enjoys hanging out with his family including riding and training his rescued horse, Skeeter. He jokes that “when he grows up” he would like to be a farmer. Currently Dr. Schaaf is extensively involved with the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources in Forestry Management, reforestation, and wildlife habitat management projects in Iredell and Alexander County.
His hobbies include equestrian activities, motorcycling and farming.
Dr. David James
Dr James was born and lived in South Africa till the age of 24. He grew up in a mixed animal veterinary practice and his father is still a practicing veterinarian in South Africa today. Much of his childhood was spent on the farms near his home town where his father traveled to treat sick animals. It was during these formative years that he developed a love of the outdoors and for animals both domestic and wild. He has a passion for African wildlife and has been able to share this world with his wife and two daughters during their annual trips to catch up with their family and the African bushveld. Encounters with lion, elephant, hyena, zebra and giraffe are always possible.
Dr James completed his Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Onderstepoort in Pretoria, South Africa in 1992. He then moved to the UK where his first job was in Scotland caring for cattle, sheep, horses, dogs and cats. His love of small animals then caused him to move to London and concentrate only on dogs and cats. During this time he met his future wife, who is American by birth, and they traveled extensively in Europe.
They moved to Charlotte in 1998 and found North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital (and John Schaaf the senior partner) which has been a great place to grow as veterinarian.
Dr James and his family live in Huntersville and share their home with a dog Tally and two black and white cats, Mafuta and Zoza ( Zulu names meaning “Fat Boy” and “ She struts about”).
In his spare time he likes to fly fish, play golf, mountain bike, kayak and go hiking and camping with his family.
Dr James enjoys challenging medical cases as well as general surgery ( soft tissue, oral and orthopedic). Advanced Imaging and minimally invasive surgeries are also strong and developing interests of his. (ultrasonography, laparoscopy, arthroscopy & cystoscopy)
Dr. Paul Kritzinger
Dr. Paul Kritzinger was born in Namibia in Southern Africa and spent his youth growing up in Africa wilderness. A family of outdoor & wildlife enthusiasts, they spent every opportunity they had exploring the continent and visiting game reserves and wildlife refuges. This resulted in an initial desire to follow a career in wildlife veterinary services which was shortly curtailed after too many close encounters with wild animals. He was once seen sprinting across the veldt wearing only his shoes, with an enraged bull elephant hot on his heels!!!
He attended high school at the prestigious Diocesan College in Cape Town, South Africa. Afterwards, Dr. Kritzinger attended the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where he received his Veterinary Degree in 1993. On completion of his studies, he traveled to England and began practicing in the quaint town of Ashford, in the English countryside. Dr. Kritzinger spent six years in England, honing his surgical and medical skills. While living in London, he was privileged at times, to treat some of the Queen’s horses and the musician Sting’s dogs. He has traveled extensively in Europe as well as the Himalayas, and on returning from one of his adventures, he met Sandy, whom he later married in South Africa. After meeting Dr. Schaaf through his long time friend Dr. James, they emigrated to North Carolina in 1999 and Dr. Kritzinger began working at NMAH.
Dr. Kritzinger and Sandy now live in Cornelius, on Lake Norman, with their son Felix and daughter Jordan. Their rescued pets are a Golden Retriever Maya, and two unusual cats Ribeye & Utah. Their passion for outdoor activities takes up their recreational time and they can often be found camping in the North Carolina mountains (in the rain) or fly fishing in various parts of the country. Former competitive triathletes, they also enjoy a lot of trail running, although they haven’t figured out mountain biking with an infant yet!!
Dr. Kritzinger is a keen surgeon and has a passion for excellence in client care. For all of your troubles big or small – you just talk with Dr. Paul !!
Dr. Valerie Lydolph
Dr. Valerie Lydolph is a native of Jefferson City, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri–Columbia where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Biology in 2002. After completing her undergraduate studies, Dr. Lydolph attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating Cum Laude in Veterinary Medicine in 2006.
Dr. Lydolph began her veterinary career in her hometown of Jefferson City, MO in 2006, where she worked for 6 years as a general/emergency practitioner. She joined the NMAH family in the summer of 2012. Her professional interests include emergency/critical cases and just about any type of surgery. In 2013 Dr. Lydolph received her PennHIP certification.
Outside of her work life, Valerie enjoys biking, bird watching, and spending outdoor time with her family. She and her husband have one child, 3 adopted dogs, and 1 adopted cat. Their pets include: Millie (Pointer mix), Violet (Blue-Tick Coonhound), Penny (Black & Tan Coonhound), and Sully (Tabby cat).
Dr. Brent Crutchfield
Originally from North Carolina, Dr. Crutchfield obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry at North Carolina State University in 2003. Brent then went on to follow her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. She attended the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario, close to her mother, also a Brent. Upon graduation in 2008, she moved to Vancouver Island, on the west coast of Canada, where she worked as an associate veterinarian at the Island Veterinary Hospital in Nanaimo, British Columbia. During her years of practice on the west coast, she developed her skills by working with cats, dogs, exotics, and wildlife, including many Bald Eagles. While she loves many aspects of veterinary medicine, she has special interests in ultrasonography, soft tissue surgery, and cardiology.
In her spare time, Dr. Crutchfield enjoys spending time with her dogs Woodi and Dandy, as well as running, kayaking, surfing and snowboarding. Dr. Crutchfield has a large, close family, most of them living in NC. She is excited about coming back home to North Carolina and joining the North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital family.
Dr. Sarah Franz
Dr. Sarah Franz was born and raised in sunny Florida. As the youngest of four children and parents with full time jobs, she was still allowed to pursue many interests such as classical dance, sports and theater. Sarah and her family spent many summers and falls camping in the Smoky Mountains, and visiting aunts/uncles/cousins in North Carolina. She decided at a rather young age that she would move to North Carolina one day.
She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa for her undergraduate degree in biomedical science, during which time she obtained a position as a veterinary technician in a small animal practice. She had always loved animals, but working as a technician, she also fell in love with the medicine and the profession. After college, she moved to Gainesville and began working in a bone disease research laboratory studying a variety of disorders such as osteoporosis, bone fracture repair, and cystic fibrosis.
Sarah was accepted to the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine for her degree in veterinary medicine and her master's in public health. She has been able to travel to many amazing places through the program such as Mongolia and Ecuador, offering veterinary medicine to the underserved. In her spare time she enjoys being active outside (running, fishing, hiking), baking and painting. She is excited to move to Charlotte and join the North Mecklenburg team.
(Also in picture: her 10 year old dachshund, Jack and 2 year old Doberman, Ruger)
Floyd Schaaf - Director of Security & Patient Relations
Floyd, who is becoming famous for his preference to wear "bow" ties, can usually be found watching patients, and observing other staff members in our lobby. His favorite location is in the pharmacy where he can see all the activities during the day. His attitude towards work tends to be one of slight indifference, in that he knows he runs the hospital, and that all who enter will eventually answer to him. Check out Floyd's new Facebook page to see what all he is up to....
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