Sean Douglas Sawyer, VMD, has worked with animals his entire life, both as a child on the family farm in Maine as well as an adult in the woods of New Hampshire and the biotechnology-pharmaceutical companies of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Dr. Sawyer graduated from Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and then worked for a short time in the field of avian ecology before settling in Massachusetts and developing an interest in veterinary medicine. During veterinary school, he worked as veterinary assistant in the university's small animal hospital, as well as other facilities, where he improved his animal care skills and discovered a passion for companion animal medicine and surgery.
Dr. Sawyer graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. After graduation, he completed a highly selective one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Sawyer spent several years working as an Associate Veterinarian at other Massachusetts veterinary hospitals prior to opening PawSteps Veterinary Center in 2008. He also worked as a part time as the Veterinary Surgeon for the Massachusetts Animal Coalition Spay/Neuter Program at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Luke and Lily Lerner Spay/Neuter Clinic where he provided low-cost, high-quality spays and neuters to shelter and rescue animals with the assistance of selected Tufts veterinary students.
Dr. Sawyer has been a proud supporter of Northbridge and the Blackstone Valley communities for many years, taking time away from his practice to participate at local high school career fairs as well as collaborating on other veterinary and small business educational opportunities. In addition to helping the people of the Blackstone Valley, Dr. Sawyer and his staff have provided significant support to several of the area animal rescues, including Dog Orphans and their annual Walk for Paws dog walk. Dr. Sawyer is most importantly the proud father to Alison and Kevin, his occasionally enthusiastic observers of veterinary medicine and hesitant scoopers of dog poo, but always infinite source of inspiration and devotion. His 4-legged family includes Hazelnut, the mutt of questionable beagle ancestry from Animal Aid Foundation and Rowan McCoy, the Redbone coonhound also known affectionately as “Clifford the Big Red Dog's crazy cousin”. Unfortunately, Dr. Sawyer's long-term companion and first patient at PawSteps Veterinary Center, Jasmine, passed away in 2014 at the too early age of 14 – she will always be missed.
When not at the veterinary center, Dr. Sawyer likes to work in the yard, attend soccer games, and ride his mountain bike – ideally without crashing. Dr. Sawyer's greatest desire is to use his excellent medical experience to provide each of his patients with quality, personalized veterinary care. Therefore, he is thrilled to own PawSteps Veterinary Center and looks forward to being your family veterinarian.
Dr. Sawyer considers membership in the veterinary profession and continuing education critical to providing superb care to his patients. He maintains memberships with:
AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association)
MVMA (Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association)
VIN (Veterinary Information Network)
...and regularly seeks Continuing Education at the North American Veterinary Conference as well as other programs.
VMD | Practice Owner, Veterinarian, Chief Everything Officer
Dr. Catherine Claunch
I am one of those lucky (and sometimes annoying) people who actually likes going to work. I love my job because I am doing what I have always wanted to do – helping animals and their people. When I was a very young child I told my mom I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. She looked at me and very honestly said “Animals are cooler – you should be a veterinarian instead.” I immediately agreed and have embraced that career path ever since. In my younger years I was going to be a veterinarian that specialized in large carnivores and other dangerous creatures (elephants, rhinos, hippos, etc). If it was exciting and would probably kill you given the chance, I was all over it. Living in Jacksonville, FL was perfect for trips to the beach and the zoo during the week and camping on the weekend. My passion for animals started with wildlife and exotic animals and I wanted to help care for and protect them when I grew up.
My quest to become a wildlife/zoo animal veterinarian continued during undergrad at Boston University. Studying White Nose Syndrome in bats gave me a renewed appreciation for the animals in our environment and the challenges they can face. It wasn't until after multiple knee surgeries that I toned down my need for an adrenaline fix, and during vet school I shifted my focus from dangerous exotics, to our cuddly companions. I gained a shelter medicine certificate from the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine and then moved into general practice in Orlando when I graduated.
When my husband finished medical school we were very happy he got a residency up here in the land of seasons and good beer. Florida was too warm for us and we happily traded in the hot, humid, sweaty summers for cool, snowy, cuddly winters. I also could not have found a better place to practice veterinary medicine than PawSteps. As a veterinarian and the Clinical Services Manager I am constantly finding ways we can better care for our patients and clients. I treat each of my patients as I would my own pets and I am proud to offer (in my opinion) the best care possible.
When I am not working you can most often find me curled up on the couch with my fur kids Isabella, Penney, and Tipsy. On more active days Penney, Izzie, and I enjoy long walks and hiking. When residency lets my husband have some time off we work in the garden and, when lucky, explore local wineries and breweries.
DVM | Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Caroline Barr
Dr. Caroline Barr was born and raised in Needham, MA. She comes from a family of human doctors, but knew from a young age that working with animals was her true passion! Dr. Barr received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. After graduating from college she worked at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, where she developed an interest in shelter medicine and animal behavior.
Dr. Barr attended the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and was an active member of on-campus organizations and community outreach programs. After graduating with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Barr completed a one year rotating internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the VCA South Shore Weymouth Animal Hospital. After a busy year honing her skills with emergency cases, internal medicine, and surgery, Dr. Barr is very excited to be joining PawSteps Veterinary Center!
Dr. Barr lives in Grafton with her boyfriend and their four-legged family members, dachshund-chihuahua mix Nutmeg, chihuahua-rat terrier mix Benny, and Himalayan mix Little Cat. In her free time, she loves to bake cookies, go for hikes, and do yoga.