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

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Providence nurse’s tearful plea shines light on short-staffed ER

The nurse described an overwhelmed emergency department, as staff have pleaded with the Everett City Council for hazard pay.

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. A leading doctor who chairs a World Health Organization expert group described the unprecedented outbreak of the rare disease monkeypox in developed countries as "a random event" that might be explained by risky sexual behavior at two recent mass events in Europe. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)
Snohomish Health District hiring full-time monkeypox task force

The county is gearing up for more cases. The outbreak will be evaluated weekly to decide if a four-person team is merited.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Body found in impounded car in Lake Stevens

In June, Bothell police impounded the vehicle. Last week, a Lake Stevens business found a body inside.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
California woman dies after motorcycle crash west of Lake Stevens

Kimberly Moore was the passenger on a motorcycle Friday morning. She died the next night. She was 53.

A view of the proposed alternative station location to Everett Station located east of the current BNSF rail tracks in downtown. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could light rail station under Pacific Avenue and over railroad work?

A group representing people around Everett Station wants Sound Transit to study the idea.

State Representative Robert Sutherland, left, gives a thumbs-up to passing drivers as he and a few volunteers wave flags and campaign signs along the side of State Route 9 on July 22, in Lake Stevens. Sam Low, right, talks with seniors on July 20 in Lake Stevens. (Sutherland photo by Ryan Berry / The Herald, Low photo by Kevin Clark / The Herald)
In GOP battle of Sutherland vs. Low, Democrats may tip the scale

The state lawmaker and Snohomish County council member are vying for a House seat. Democrats make up roughly 40% of the vote.

Food forum
Chocolate peanut butter Incredibles

These chocolate peanut butter bars are, as the name suggests, incredible.

SnoTown Brewing’s Frank Sandoval in 2019. (Aaron Swaney)
SnoTown Brewery owner charged with child molestation

Frank Sandoval conceded his conduct with a girl at his brewery was inappropriate, but he denied touching her sexually, charges say.

Head-on crash in Everett leaves man with life-threatening injuries

A two-vehicle collision in the 11600 block of Evergreen Way shut down southbound traffic Monday morning.

Most Read