SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– It’s the end of an era for animal care in Sioux Falls.

Dr. Dayton Williams has been a vet in town for more than three decades, treating any and all kinds of animals.

“We’ve been coming to Dr. Dayton since 1995,” long time patient Michele Ensz said.

It’s a similar story for the many people who came out to his office Thursday night to celebrate his incredible career of serving animals in Sioux Falls.

“He’s famous, he’s really the vet here,” Sioux Falls veterinarian Lisa Coder said.

But Dr. Dayton Williams is known for treating far more than just dogs and cats.

“He does amphibians, the gecos, the snakes, really whatever, the rabbits, hedgehogs,” Ensz said.

For decades Michele Ensz has brought her nine birds in for regular care with Dr. Williams.

“You’ve got to have someone with that knowledge, who took the extra time to learn in vet school because it’s over and above,” Ensz said.

His knowledge goes far beyond text books. Dr. Williams has years of experience treating all kinds of animals thanks to his 23 years at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls.

“I got to take care of everything,” Williams said. “You name it, I’ve seen it.”

It’s a specialty Dr. Williams has loved all of his life; experience he was happy to provide to exotic pet owners in Sioux Falls.

“I was the only one that would take care of them, they’d try talking to other offices and they wouldn’t do it at the time, so I got to treat them all,” Williams said.

But after getting diagnosed with ALS in 2022…

“It was going real good for quite a while, then the beginning of the year, it started going faster,” Williams said.

…Williams decided it was time to pass the baton at his long time vet clinic.

“As his health has not been doing great, he came to me and was like I’d really like to continue caring for my patients and continue caring for my staff,” Coder said.

Dr. Lisa Coder will be taking over the practice, still caring for some specialized animals while also adding her holistic animal care options for patients to try.

“I know Dr. Lisa is going to do wonderful,” Ensz said. “I think doc can have some comfort in that his practice will keep going.”

The All Animal Pet Hospital near 37th Street and Spring Avenue will now continue operations under Dr. Lisa Coder’s care.