Meet Sara Fleissner

Dignified Pet Services presents 'People in the Neighborhood'

Sara Fleissner has the cat from hell.

"She is truly the worst," says the practice development director of Frontier Veterinary Hospital in Hillsboro of her Calico, Lula. "Even the staff at DoveLewis, where she had to go for endoscopy once, was like, ‘this is epic!’" 

Sara finds it hilarious that she works in a vet office and her own pet, while quite loving at home, becomes a Tasmanian Devil when at the vet for even routine exams.

"If I tried to bring another cat home, it would be welcome to the Thunderdome," she laughs. "Two cats go in, one comes out."

Which is why this self-described "crazy cat lady" has only one of her own. Luckily, she's spent the last 10-plus years at a great veterinary hospital, where she gets to interact with plenty of other pets all day long. It's one of the favorite perks of the job this Buffalo, New York native originally took as an antidote to working in retail.

"I came here looking for a job I would like getting up and doing in the morning," she says. "We kind of developed my position as time went on to help grow our practice and provide that super-high level of customer service that [Frontier] is known for."

Frontier is also known for is the often witty, sometimes groan-worthy, but always popular messages on the signboard outside the hospital. Spoiler Alert: the person responsible for such gems as “What do you call a canine magician? A Labracadabrador!” and “Why don't cats play poker in the jungle? Too many cheetahs!” is none other than Sara.

"I keep waiting for the Hillsboro Argus to do an expose on 'who is this human being who inflicts the area with their terrible corny jokes?'," she chuckles.

Sara is serious, though, about feline welfare. In addition to Frontier's work and fundraising events for Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter, Sara serves as a task force volunteer with the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), which works to raise standards for feline care and administers the program that certifies veterinary hospitals with the Cat Friendly Practice Award.

When not busy with the AAFP or thinking up pithy pet puns for Frontier, athletic Sara enjoys cycling and hiking with her husband, and also roller derby. But she's no beer-swigging fan in the stands—she's on wheels.

"I'm with the Air Raid Rollergirls on the west side," Sara says proudly. "We're very close to the Rose City Rollers — our coach actually plays for the Breakneck Betties."

You can catch Sara and her team in action May 9 at Indoor Goals in Beaverton. She'll be battling on the flat track in the footwear she says represent her best: a pair of black skates.

 "Everything is just more fun in roller skates, right?" she bubbles with enthusiasm. "They're fun, they're fast, and a little bit dangerous."

So maybe it's not such a surprise that Sara — she of the cheeky billboards and wheels of fire — ended up with a cat who, while sweet, is occasionally a hurricane with claws.

"She's my furry spirit animal," Sara smiles.

About our Sponsor

Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years.  In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare.  Proprietors Michael, Randy and Avani live in Sherwood. 

Michele Coppola is a veteran Portland radio personality and copywriter for Entercom Radio as well as the new Managing Editor for Spot Magazine. She shares a home and couch space with her three rescue pooches Lucy, Bailey, and Ginny--as well as Bryon, the stray man she married six years ago.