Veterinarian without borders

Everett veterinarian Stephanie Garlichs is one of those people who can’t simply enjoy life. She has to change it – for the better.

“Life has meaning if you serve others,” she said. “It just works for me.”

When she and her husband, Jeffrey, travel to Mexico each year, Garlichs does more than chase away winter blues by basking on a beach. While most folks vacation to unshoulder the burdens of work, she puts her profession to use.

Before leaving the States, the 48-year-old veterinarian makes contact with agencies that help animals.

“I find that life and travel are more interesting when you engage with people,” said Garlichs, whose trip to Mexico’s Pacific coast last winter found her volunteering at a spay-neuter clinic.

“Dr. Garlichs is truly an inspiration,” said Debbie Young, a client assistant at Northwest Animal Care Hospital, where Garlichs is one of five veterinarians.

This weekend, Young and other staff members at the Everett animal hospital will hold a fundraising event to support Garlichs’ latest good-hearted effort, the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk.

A bazaar, with handcrafted items, baked goods and gently used merchandise, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday outside the clinic.

“As many of us do, she has a sadly personal connection to this cause. She lost her beloved mother-in-law to this disease a year ago,” Young said.

Garlichs will lead a team walking 60 miles Sept. 7-9 in the Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day. They’re stepping out in memory of Marie Ried of Gig Harbor, who was 82 when she died on Mother’s Day in 2006.

“She’d had the disease about 10 years ago, had a lump removed, and everything was great. But at 82, it came back extensively,” said Garlichs, who must raise $2,200 to participate in the walk that benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust.

“She was all about goals and positive thinking,” Garlichs said of her late mother-in-law. “She was still doing aerobics three days a week.”

Her team will include her sister, Mary Michael Garlichs; her sister-in-law, Kathleen Ried-Stowe; and Kathleen’s 20-year-old daughter, Rochelle.

“It’s kind of a big event for us. None of us had ever walked 20 miles in a day, much less 20 miles a day for three days,” Garlichs said. “It’s amazing, though. Almost everyone I talk to has been affected by breast cancer.”

Garlichs spends weekends taking 15-mile walks to get in shape for the event that starts at Bellevue Community College and ends at Seattle Center. After all that, she’ll need a vacation. It won’t be too leisurely.

“Annually, I go to Puerto Vallarta. I go to small towns north of there and work with one group or another based in Mexico,” she said. With Friends of the Animals Inc., or Amigos de los Animales, Garlichs conducted a two-day cat sterilization clinic, treating 24 cats.

On her last trip, Garlichs took along Amberly Amero, a veterinary assistant from the Everett animal hospital.

“I started going as vacation, but I wanted to actually do something and not just take from the environment,” Garlichs said. “Spaying and neutering happens to be something I can do.”

Garlichs spent two years as a volunteer at a human health center in Ethiopia. She’s been to Uzbekistan, Egypt, India and Bolivia for consulting work involving animals. She worked with Winrock International, a nonprofit program, teaching animal husbandry to women who raise cattle.

“Everywhere I go, people have animals,” Garlichs said. In poor places, there aren’t the means to pamper pets.

“They may treat them a little differently, depending on income,” she said. “But the world over, you see little kids holding puppies and kittens.”

Columnist Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460 or

Breast cancer walk

Everett’s Northwest Animal Care Hospital is playing host to a bazaar to raise money for one of its veterinarians walking in the Breast Cancer 3-Day fundraiser.

The bazaar, with handcrafted items, baked goods and gently used merchandise, is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday outside the clinic at 10105 19th Ave. SE.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Crews will reduce lanes and eventually close northbound Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville this week to work on a bridge overpass girder. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Overnight lane closures, I-5 detour set between Everett, Marysville

Crews need to replace a girder on the 12th Street NE bridge that was damaged by an overheight load in September 2021.

Mike Rosen
Businessman Mike Rosen announces campaign for mayor of Edmonds

Rosen, a city planning board member, is backed by five former Edmonds mayors. It’s unclear if incumbent Mike Nelson will run again.

FILE - A Boeing 747-8, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. After more than half a century, Boeing is rolling its last 747 out of a Washington state factory on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Boeing’s last 747 to roll off the Everett assembly line

The Queen of the Skies was dethroned by smaller, more fuel-efficient jets. The last 747s were built for a cargo carrier.

PUD workers install new transformers along 132nd Street on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Electric vehicles spur big forecast jump for PUD demand

Not long ago, the Snohomish County PUD projected 50,000 electric cars registered in the county by 2040. Now it expects up to 660,000.

Traffic moves northbound on I-5 through Everett on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Grinding work still needed for I-5 through Everett

Construction crews need warmer temps for the work to remove what a reader described as “mini raised speed bumps.”

After a day of learning to fight fires, Snohomish firefighter recruit Chau Nguyen flakes a hose as other recruits load the hoses onto a fire truck April 19, 2018, at the training facility on S. Machias Rd. in Snohomish. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)
Lawsuit: Everett firefighter sexually harassed numerous recruits

Chau Nguyen resigned earlier this year, long after the first complaint about his behavior at the county’s fire training academy.

People work on the roof of the Stilly Valley Senior Center on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Seniors evacuated from Stilly Valley Center housing due to roof damage

Residents said water damage issues began years ago. Mid-winter repairs forced them into hotels.

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Trade in an unloaded gun for a loaded gift card in Mukilteo, Everett

Mukiteo’s Gun Buyback is Saturday. Everett has $25,000 to give out at its exchange Dec. 17.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Sauk-Suiattle Tribe alleges state unfairly charges online sales tax

Tribal members on the reservation are charged state taxes despite a federal exemption. The tribe says it’s a sovereignty issue.

Most Read