About our clinic
Here at Thornwood, we are medicine the way it was meant to be –efficient, reliable, and with compassionate care as our first priority. We believe in the bond between animals and people and you will see that at every visit. Your pet is a member of our family. If we wouldn’t do it for our own pets, we won’t recommend it for your pet. We are a full-service hospital, so whether you are here for preventative care or because of an illness or injury, we can help. We know that money should not be the focus when caring for your animal and will do everything we can to consolidate your preventative care into one annual visit, take a step-wise approach to diagnostics and keep the lines of communication open. You are a part of your pet’s care, every step of the way.
Thornwood has been a shining example of what is good in veterinary medicine for fifty years and that is never going to change. When you come to our office, you and your pet will be welcomed by staff who knows you and truly cares about your family, both two-legged and four-legged. You are always welcome to take walks around our property and enjoy the farm and the quiet, both before and after your visit. We love seeing your pets when they aren’t here for a visit with the doctor, too! Swing by for a visit and we’ll be ready with healthy treats and lots of pats! Our hospital doesn’t feel like a hospital, and your pet will love that! The sights and smells at Thornwood make it a happy and interesting place for your pet, not a cold, sterile, scary clinic.
We are a “one-stop shop” for all of your pet’s needs –be it grooming, boarding, daycare or veterinary services, you can find it at Thornwood!
Thornwood Veterinary Clinic can be found on 23 acres of beautiful farmland in Cascade Township. Our Highland cattle and big red barn make us hard to miss when driving down Buttrick. The property has a rich history in Ada, going back almost 200 years. The original deed entry identifies the property as having been homesteaded in April 1836. At that time, legal ownership had to be granted by the United States government. That is because Michigan was not yet a state, that didn’t happen until January 1837. The original farm was 80-acres and included what is now Thornwood, as well as most of the Summerfield Airport to the North, the old horse farm on the corner of Buttrick and Grand River to the Northeast, and what is now the Loral Pines development to the East.
During the first half of the 1900s, Thornwood was operated as a dairy, Thornwood Farms, with the milking parlor being in the big barn and milk storage in the brick barn. While renovations have been completed throughout the years, these original structures still stand on the property. The Ada Historical Society has a photo of the Thornwood Farms delivery truck in downtown Ada making its rounds to all of the area homes. Their museum also displays an actual glass milk bottle bearing the name. A few of these bottles, as well as the original cardboard caps, have been found in the greater Ada area throughout the years.
In the 1950s, the Buttrick family converted the dairy barn into a dog boarding facility. By the late 1960s, the first veterinarian was practicing out of the facility.
In September of 1972, Dr. Raymond and Marilyn Leali purchased the facility and started Thornwood Veterinary Clinic & Kennel. 2022 will mark 50 years of operation. Although Dr. Leali is now retired, the Leali family is still involved with the daily operation of the business.
Dr. Leali built a thriving practice steeped in family values and quality care. He saw all types of animals and while we are currently limited to cats and dogs, the practice once treated horses, cows, pigs, and any other creature that came through the door. Dr. Leali was a local James Herriot, catching rogue pigs in trash cans as they ran down the street and even hosting a few boa constrictors for an overnight stay. The family grew up on the property and still maintain the home and farm with a small herd of Highland cows, a flock of chickens, and a large vegetable garden. The farm at one time hosted a large field of hops (you may have seen them growing on polls in the far field) and is now home to several bee hives for improved pollination of crops and local honey.
Our history is important to who we are today. Thornwood Farms and now Veterinary Clinic has been a part of Ada for centuries and we plan to stay long into the future, providing the same level of care and the same sense of community you’ve come to trust. While Dr. Leali may no longer actively practice at Thornwood, the wonderful legacy he built is unchanged and we are grateful each day to be a part of the Ada family.