“If I can touch the souls of those that have no voice
I will have fulfilled all my hopes and dreams.”
He grew up in Hicksville, NY, that is right, Hicksville. If you have never heard of Hicksville it was a mecca for plastic drinking straw manufacturing and home to Gruman Aircraft Corporation, and the place where Dr. Spindel first developed his love for animals.
Dr. Spindel graduated from Cornell University, College of Agriculture, where he participated in research focused on the cause of white muscle disease in woodchucks. He was awarded his Bachelor of Science with honors in 1978. From there he moved on to Auburn University, Alabama, completing a Master of Science degree in 1980. He published his thesis on the morphology of the tongue of alligator snapping turtles, the largest fresh water turtle in the world. (Everyone has read this life altering paper at one time or another!). Dr. Spindel joined the Class of 1984 at the NYS College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. A special moment in his training occurred during his sophomore year, when he met and went on to assist Dr. David Graham, a preeminent pathologist in the Department of Avian and Aquatic Medicine. This relationship lit the fire that still burns today, an intense interest in the medical and surgical treatment of “other” species; birds, reptiles, elephants,
tigers….and the list goes on. His real education began upon graduating with his DVM, when Dr. Spindel moved to Syracuse to pursue his desire to become a veterinarian in private practice with an affiliation at the Burnet Park Zoo. For many years he assisted with the care of the zoo's collection, while developing a private practice comprised of domestic and exotic pets.
Dr. Spindel continues to log many hours of post graduate lectures and laboratory training. He maintains a close relationship with numerous leaders in the field of veterinary medicine. If you just look at his desk you will see he is a voracious reader, and subscribes to many veterinary journals. Dr. Spindel loves to learn, keeping up on the latest techniques that will benefit his patients. He was the first veterinarian to complete microsurgical training at the Eastern Virginia Medical College. He is affiliated with Contreras Veterinario, Aruba, assisting the medical staff with the care of “tropical” patients. He is a member of the AVMA, AAHA, AAV, ARV and NYSVMA. His expertise has been shared with groups ranging from kennel clubs to exotic animal veterinarians. He served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Burnet Park Zoo, culminating in the role of Board President for 3 years.
Thirty years practicing veterinary medicine and still going strong! He loves his work, the more challenging the better. He remains dedicated to caring for all creatures, be they winged, legged or finned. Dr. Spindel doesn’t just care for the exotic and out of the ordinary animals. Dogs and cats are wonderful companions to many. Dr. Spindel enjoys providing medical and surgical care for these members of our family. Some of his more interesting and diverse cases include; a Macaw with chronic corneal ulcers healed by fitting her with contact lenses, “Anwar” , a goldfish with a torn swim bladder, who lived for many years after it was surgically repaired, a first in veterinary medicine. Dr. Spindel successfully removed a several pound uterine tumor from a lioness at the zoo, and was part of the team that performed the C-section and subsequent aftercare for the Asian elephant, Babe, at Burnett Park Zoo.
Dr. Spindel enjoys fishing, hiking, mowing his lawn, travel and most importantly, the love of his family, especially “Dukie”, a shorthaired cat, and “Lola” a yellow lab.