July 19, 2012

Meet the Pol Team


Dr. Jan Pol was born in the Netherlands on September 4, 1942, and raised on a family dairy farm. He graduated from Utrecht University in 1970 and has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 35 years. After marrying his wife Diane in 1967, the couple relocated to Harbor Beach, Michigan, where Dr. Pol worked for another veterinarian. Eager to work for himself, Dr. Pol and his wife started their own practice out of their home in 1981. The business continued to grow and they, along with their ten employees, have serviced over 19,000 clients since their doors opened.

Specializing in large farm animals, Dr. Pol treats horses, pigs, cows, sheep, alpacas, goats, chickens and even an occasional reindeer. A true friend of the farmer, Dr. Pol works tirelessly to ensure that the diminishing population of family farmers remains in business. Many farmers consider Dr. Pol a part of their family as he plays an integral role in keeping their livestock healthy and their business profitable. With his thick Dutch accent, signature mustache and vintage 1985 “Back to the Future” DeLorean, Dr. Pol is nothing short of a local legend.


Born and raised in Central Michigan’s farm country, Charles Pol was his father’s constant sidekick as a child. Starting at the age of 5, Charles began assisting his father at the clinic, helping out on farm calls and was also in charge of caring for the Pol family’s vast array of pets and farm animals. Though Charles enjoyed working with animals, he knew from an early age he didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps, and his parents encouraged him to pursue a career he would love. In 2003, Charles graduated from University of Miami. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he works in the entertainment industry.


Diane Pol was born in Mayville, Michigan, and met Jan Pol when he was a foreign exchange student at Mayville High School in 1961 during her senior year. Though they were only friends at first, their relationship evolved after they spent years writing to each other after Dr. Pol returned to the Netherlands. Dr. Pol invited Diane to visit him and meet his family, and the couple’s relationship became more serious. Though Diane had to return to Michigan while Dr. Pol finished his studies, they eventually married in1967. After living in Dr. Pol’s native country for a few years, the two immigrated back to United States and moved to Harbor Beach, Michigan. Diane received her master’s degree in Special Reading and taught in Lapeer and Harbor Beach Elementary Schools. In 1981, Diane and Jan moved from Harbor Beach to Weidman, Michigan, and started Pol Veterinary Services from their garage. Diane gave up teaching to help run the veterinary office and take care of their son and two daughters. Today, Diane works at Pol Veterinary Services as the office manager and bookkeeper, and she also enjoys teaching Sunday School at her church.


Dr. Brenda Grettenberger was born in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, in 1967. She grew up on a dairy farm and always had an interest in large animals. After graduating from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992, Dr. Brenda began working at Pol Veterinary Services. At the time, the majority of the business at Pol Veterinary Services was large animal medicine, and Dr. Brenda says it took time for some of the older farmers to adjust to having a female veterinarian. Though she did win the farmers over, the number of the dairy farms in the area began to decline, and Dr. Brenda began to treat more small animals. Like Dr. Pol, Dr. Brenda enjoys the mixed practice and plans to continue working at Pol Veterinarian Services for the unforeseeable future. When Dr. Brenda is not working, she enjoys dancing, reading and training her oxen to pull wagons.


Dr. Emily Thomas is the newest addition to Pol Veterinary Services. Born in 1984, she grew up in Warner Robins, Georgia where she enjoyed exploring the woods and countryside. She has always had a love for animals - especially horses - and knew from an early age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. Dr. Emily graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010, where she completed an internship in large animal field services and spent time studying equine reproduction. After graduation, she worked at a small private practice in Newberry, South Carolina before making the move to Pol Veterinary Services in Weidman, Michigan. Dr. Emily married her high school sweetheart Tony in 2007 – since then they’ve had two children. The Thomas’ have three dogs including a three-legged St. Bernard, one cat, and three horses – two of which are mini horses. Outside of being a mother and practicing veterinarian, Dr. Emily enjoys painting, concerts, and outdoor activities including backcountry camping.

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