R.R. Leali D.V.M.

Thornwood Staff

Thornwood Veterinary Clinic is located on 23-acres off Buttrick Avenue in Cascade Township. The property was originally part of 80 acres homesteaded to Oliver Johnson on April 25th, 1836 by the United States government. It was operated as a dairy farm during the early 1900’s and converted to a dog boarding facility by the Buttrick family in the 1950’s.

History of the Practice

Dr. Gary Knapp began practicing veterinary medicine here in the late 1960’s and Thornwood Veterinary Clinic & Kennel was established September 21st, 1972 by Dr. Raymond R. and Marilyn K. Leali.

The Clinic is still owned and operated by the Leali family, with Dr. Leali seeing patients on a part time basis and Keith Leali (Dr. Leali’s son) managing the day to day operations.

Our Vet Clinic Staff

Vet Dr. Kyle Grusling with Family

Dr. Kyle Grusling, DVM


Dr. Kyle Grusling graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Animal Science in 2007 and went on to the College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2011. After graduation, Dr. Grusling pursued a rotating internship in small animal clinical medicine at Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles, California. Upon completion of her internship, she accepted a surgical internship at Veterinary Surgical Centers in Vienna, Virginia.

Dr. Grusling then moved home to Michigan and worked in emergency medicine for three years before deciding to pursue a career in general practice. Dr. Grusling has a special interest in surgery, as well as preventative care. She enjoys building relationships with clients that last from puppy or kittenhood through a pet’s twilight years. When she’s not at work, Dr. Grusling enjoys spending time with her husband, Joe, two sons, Mason and Beckett, as well as their two cats, Fiona and Isabel and their Golden Retriever, Agnes.

Vet Tech Samantha Minnema

Samantha J. Minnema

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Samantha has been working in veterinary clinics for most of her life. She is a 2007 graduate of Baker College where she earned her Associates Degree in Applied Sciences. She has a special interest in exotic animal medicine (especially reptiles & big cats!), and after graduation she completed a three-month internship at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing. In the same year, she passed her National and State board examinations to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. Roughly two years after receiving her license, Samantha joined the staff at Thornwood Veterinary Clinic to continue her career as our full time Veterinary Technician. Most importantly, she shares her home with four furry friends who she loves so much: Pocket, Rupert, Alan, and Monroe!

Karyn Sjaarda

Groomer/Pet Stylist

Karyn graduated from Paragon School of Pet Grooming in 2004, and has been a professional groomer for 16 years. She shares her life with a husband and three fur kids. They have two Chinese Cresteds, Kreacher and Drogon, and a Devon Rex kitty named Morla. She enjoys family time, friendships, creating art, and making puppies feel beautiful.

Keith Leali

Keith Leali

Vice President and Operations Manager

Keith is the son of business founders, Dr. Raymond R. and Marilyn K. Leali. After 18 years living outside of Michigan, he is back at Thornwood since April 2007. Keith holds a BS Chemistry degree from Michigan State University, 1992, and an MBA from the University of Findlay, 2000. He grew up at Thornwood and worked in the kennels until High School graduation in 1987. Following college he spent 15-years working in R&D and Production Management with Cooper Tire Company.

Keith and his wife Chris have 5 children. There pets include several cats, a flock of backyard chickens and a herd (fold) of Scottish Highland cattle.

Vet Raymond Leali

Dr. Raymond R. Leali, DVM

President and Veterinarian

Dr. Leali is the original founder of Thornwood Veterinary Clinic, having opened the clinic in September of 1972. He has an honorable discharge from the USMC and is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he graduated Phi Zeta from the college of Veterinary Medicine in 1968. He began his first year in a mixed animal practice in southern Indiana. Dr. Leali then moved to northern Indiana where he spent the next 3 1/2 years in the equivalent of a small animal surgical residency. He enjoys many aspects of Veterinary Medicine but has special interests in small animal surgery, cardiology, orthopedics, neurology and dermatology.

Dr. Leali is now fully retired and no longer has regularly scheduled hours.