On a sad note, Brian Silverlieb, veterinarian and human being extraordinaire, has died after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Aside from his monumental 35-plus-year career as a veterinarian at the Mount Pleasant Hospital for Animals, Brian’s focus was on his son, Darryl. His daily decisions for the past 14 years were always based on Darryl’s well-being and happiness.
Even with that enormous responsibility, Brian always found time for the animals. And, not just his patients at the hospital, but for all the strays that ended up at the dog pound.
His skill and enormous compassion for the homeless animals of Newtown gave life and hope to the endless stream of animal that made their way to the pound.
Never refusing a request from the pound, Brian was the first to offer his vet hospital as a sanctuary for those creatures that did not have places to stay until adopted.
As board members of Canine Advocates of Newtown, we will all miss his insightful comments on the health of the animals in our community and tremendous outreach on behalf of all the pets of our town.
Many of us remember the compassion and dedication he showed to the care of little Pompom, a tiny Pomeranian abandoned and so severely burned.
Brian and his staff spent weeks nursing this little guy back to health at no cost. And because I ultimately adopted “Po” -- he was my baby for three years -- Brian will always have a special place in my heart.
The animals that he cared for 35 years and who ultimately passed are now welcoming him as an angel of mercy over the rainbow bridge.
He will be sorely missed by us mortals.
Here is his obituary as published in the Connecticut Post:
Brian Joseph Silverlieb, VMD, died February 24, 2011 surrounded by his loving family and friends after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Dr. Silverlieb was born in Hartford and was predeceased by his parents, Samuel Silverlieb and Martha Gloria Sipala. He was also predeceased by his stepfather, Franklin Longo, Sr.
He is survived by his cherished son, Darryl of Newtown, brothers Franklin Longo, Jr. and wife Paula of Niskayuna, New York, Richard Silverlieb and wife Belle of Montville, New Jersey, Samuel Silverlieb of Vernon, Paul Silverlieb and wife Sandy of Irvine, Texas, Daniel Silverlieb of Woodbury and sister, Debra Silverlieb of Milford, Connecticut.
He also leaves behind several beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and longtime clients.
Dr. Silverlieb attended Colorado State University prior to a Junior acceptance to The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, where he was noted to be the youngest person to graduate from the school.
Dr. Silverlieb owned and operated the Mount Pleasant Hospital for Animals in Newtown where he practiced for 35 years. He was well known for his skill, compassion and dedication.
Dr. Silverlieb was an accomplished equestrian. In 2009, he and his horse, Iceman, placed first in the amateur Hunter Division in Wellington, Florida. He enjoyed traveling and participated in Horseback Safari in Ireland, Africa and Scotland.
He was active in the community and donated his time to free clinics and animal adoption. The Mount Pleasant Hospital also sponsored Newtown Little League Baseball. He loved the Arts and Theater and collected artifacts from around the world. He enjoyed the enrichment these possessions brought to his home Amberfield Farm, which he shared with his son and their many pets.
The family would like to extend their gratitude and thanks to the community for all their support. Brian was blessed with many good friends and neighbors and their many acts of kindness and generosity were greatly appreciated.
A special thanks to the Danbury Nursing Registry and Danbury Hospice for all their help and support. Finally a huge thank you to Dr. Rock Vali, Dr. Maria Lagana and the staff of The Mount Pleasant Hospital for their devotion.
A service in celebration of Dr. Silverlieb's life will be held at the Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main St., Newtown, Tuesday, March 1 at 11 a.m. Calling hours will be held Monday Feb. 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers all donations can be made to the Building Fund of the New Animal Shelter, c/o Canine Advocates of Newtown, PO Box 236, Newtown, CT 06470.