Meet the All-Star Team of St. Paul Pet Hospital
Our veterinarians and staff are passionate about the health of our community’s pets. As a young, enthusiastic team, we stay abreast of the latest trends in the industry and aren’t afraid to go beyond convention to find the best solution for your individual pet. Find out more about our stellar team, and make an appointment soon to meet us in person.
Dr. Eric Ruhland
Dr. Ruhland was raised on a small dairy farm in central Minnesota near Watkins where his curious mind for science and his love for animals was allowed to flourish. After high school, he attended North Dakota State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a minor in chemistry. Dr. Ruhland left the United States after college and worked in New Zealand before returning in the fall of 2004 to attend the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
While in veterinary school, Dr. Ruhland’s studies emphasized small animal internal medicine and surgeries along with traditional veterinary disciplines. Outside of general veterinary practice, Dr. Ruhland has special interests in teeth cleaning, treating allergies, orthopedic disease, anesthesia, and senior patient care.
In his free time, Dr. Ruhland loves to cook and work in the garden. He also likes to run marathons/relays, practice yoga, fly fish, and listen to live music. Dr. Ruhland loves the outdoors and is often out on various camping/fishing adventures with his son.
Chief Operating Officer
Liz is the Chief Operating Officer at St. Paul Pet Hospital. Liz graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. Liz started working at our Cathedral Hill location in 2013 as an assistant during her time as a student at the U of M. After graduation from college, Liz continued her career at SPPH and accepted the opportunity of Practice Manager at our Highland Park location in 2018 and later the COO position in 2021. Liz has a strong background in veterinary medicine along with a progressive business acumen. With her background, she is able to serve our clients with a well-rounded approach.
When asked what her favorite part of working at SPPH is she replied, “St. Paul Pet has always stood on a firm foundation of being a client-centered practice. Our sole purpose when we walk through the door every day is to serve pets and their people. We are lucky to have some of the most amazing clients that we get to collaborate with when caring for their pets. It has been amazing to witness the growth that St. Paul Pet has seen since starting here in 2013. Our team is second to none. The care and compassion we have for our patients is paralleled in how much we care for our fellow team members."
Liz lives in Burnsville with her husband, Michael and their 2 Labrador Retrievers, Aida and Beau, and sassy tabby cat named Nello (if you are an OG St. Paul Pet’er, you might remember him from the “Nello Thoughts of the Day” series on our Facebook when he lived at our hospital back in 2015). In her free time, she enjoys swimming, going to country music concerts (especially Kip Moore), spending time with family, and exploring new dog parks with Aida and Beau!
Lindsey has called Minnesota home for her entire life. Her love for animals started at a young age and she knew a life working with animals was right for her. Lindsey worked as a veterinary assistant in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities while attending the University of Minnesota. After graduating with her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, Lindsey continued to work as a veterinary assistant in small animal practice.
Lindsey joined the St. Paul Pet Hospital team in February 2017 as a veterinary assistant. In January 2019, with almost 20 years of veterinary experience, she accepted the opportunity of Practice Manager at our Cathedral Hill location. As Practice Manager, Lindsey leads a team of people with her same goals of practicing high-quality veterinary medicine, providing exceptional patient care and thorough client education, all while enriching the human-animal bond. Lindsey is passionate about veterinary medicine and has a special place in her heart for all bulldog breeds! Lindsey just cannot resist all the wiggly love and snorting sounds they make!
When asked what the best thing about working at St. Paul Pet Hospital is, Lindsey replied,
“Every day I get to come work in one of the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods of St. Paul and do what I love most. The neighbors around St. Paul Pet Hospital know us and our team and that is a great feeling to have. I truly feel we have one of the BEST teams around, not only for the medicine we practice, but for the culture we uphold in the hospital. Our team is made up of hard-working, positive, and supportive team members who aim to be their best every day and make sure to help other team members be their best too!”
Lindsey currently lives in St. Paul with her husband, two kids and a French Bulldog /Boston Terrier mix named Scooter (who is the cutest, naughtiest bulldog around!) In her free time, Lindsey stays busy with her kids, and enjoys the outdoors, specifically hiking with her family, gardening and spending time with close family and friends.
Kayla is a practice manager and has been with the St. Paul Pet Hospital team since October 2019. She has loved all types of animals her entire life, and would often find herself “saving” baby rabbits or building fortresses in the sandbox for salamanders- all the while guarding these helpless animals from her hungry childhood miniature dachshund, Hank.
She started her veterinary career at a small animal hospital as a veterinary assistant, and then graduated from Argosy University with her Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology in 2017 and became a Certified Veterinary Technician. In January 2020, she started her degree in Business Administration at Metropolitan State University and graduated with honors in December 2022, becoming a member of the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business.
Kayla's favorite part of veterinary medicine is emergency medicine and anesthesia, and she also loves interacting with all of the amazing clients and patients she meets at St. Paul Pet Hospital. At home, she has a beloved Australian Shepherd mix named Francis and a cat, Sully. In her free time, she loves being with her family, skiing (winter and water), reading, or spending time exploring new places with friends.
Kayla lives most of her waking life listening to all types of music, but her favorite artist will always be Taylor Swift!
Dr. Sarah Smith
Dr. Sarah Smith grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. Her family moved to the Twin Cities when she was 6 and she has called it home ever since! She attended the University of Minnesota Twin Cities for her undergraduate degree in Animal Science with a pre-vet emphasis. She went to vet school at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and obtained her DVM in 2015.
Dr. Sarah grew up participating in Civil War reenactments with her family, and interacting with the veterinarians caring for the horses on site for those events. This first inspired her to pursue a career working with animals. She worked at a clinic in high school and undergrad that furthered her exposure to veterinary medicine, particularly in small animals, and piqued her interest in soft tissue surgery and dentistry. Her passion is fostering the human animal bond, and empowering owner's by directly involving them in their pet's care. Dr. Sarah's medical areas of interest include dentistry, soft tissue surgery, and pain management.
In January 2021, Dr. Sarah joined St. Paul Pet Hospital. She is excited to work at a diverse practice that focuses on a team-based approach to providing high quality medicine.
Dr. Sarah lives in northeast Minneapolis with her two rambunctious cats, Ana and Maggie, and her bearded dragon, Zeus. Zeus is a bit of a loner and primarily enjoys basking and watching the foot traffic on the streets below. Ana loves getting to new heights on the cabinets, and knocking things to the floor, so Maggie, who only has 3 legs, can play with them and feel like a part of the fun.
When she's not at work, Dr. Sarah loves to play card and video games with friends, read fiction novels, and knit cat sweaters and scarves, much to the dismay of Ana and Maggie. She also enjoys spending relaxing evenings with her family and their two miniature dachshunds over bonfires and cider.
Dr. Sarah practiced Indonesian music and dance for 8 years while in middle and high school!
Dr. Bryce Holm
Dr. Bryce Holm is from Fairmont, a small town in southern Minnesota. This is where Bryce first discovered his love for science and the natural world. After high school, he attended Bethel University in the Twin Cities, where he completed his degree in Biology, a minor in Chemistry, competed on the football team, and most importantly, decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
Bryce’s inspiration for becoming a veterinarian belongs to his last family dog, Angus (aka Gus Bus). He was a majestic black English Labrador Retriever, with the kindest soul and a wonderfully weird personality. Each night in middle and high school, Gus slept in Bryce’s bed. Despite leaving for college, Gus continued to sleep in his bed each night, eagerly awaiting his long-time friend’s return. The unconditional loyalty, love, and friendship from a family dog are what drove and continues to drive Bryce into the career of veterinary medicine. This is Dr. Bryce’s way of paying it forward - to honor the memory of a forever “Good Boy”.
After interning at multiple hospitals and clinics during his senior year of veterinary school, Dr. Bryce was recommended for a veterinary associate position at St. Paul Pet Hospital. After spending a few afternoons with the characters at St. Paul Pet, Dr. Bryce immediately knew this was where he wanted to work. The team’s caring, passionate, lighthearted, and goofy environment was too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. Dr. Bryce started at St. Paul Pet in June after graduating from veterinary school in May of 2021. Dr. Bryce’s professional areas of interest include ophthalmology, surgery, dermatology, cytology, and of course, any and all Labrador retrievers.
Outside of the clinic, Dr. Bryce can be found exploring and fishing many of the Twin Cities lakes via kayak or a comical fishing innertube (feel free to ask for a picture). He is often spending his evenings meeting friends at local breweries or sporting events. However, food remains the key to Dr. Bryce’s heart. Having recently moved to the Summit Hill neighborhood, he is frequently out trying the local restaurants with the same excitement as a child who just discovered ice cream.
Dr. Bryce lives with an adorable tuxedo cat, named Squanchy.
Dr. Bryce’s cat is a Manx – a breed known for a very short, stubby tail. In addition to this, he was born missing his two back paws and a portion of his calves. What he’s missing in legs and tail, he makes up for in personality!
Dr. Bryce can mimic a baby bird call perfectly – Just ask for a demonstration!
Our Support Staff
Michaela’s love of Minnesota originated in the four summers spent on staff at Lake Beauty Bible Camp in Long Prairie. Having done the majority of growing up in Seattle, Washington, she knew after that first summer in Minnesota, that this was going to be home. Late September 2018, she finally made the drive from Seattle to Arden Hills, MN. Animals have always been Michaela’s passion. From training the family’s chocolate Lab (who learned to sneeze on command) to different opportunities in the equine world as both a working student at a dressage barn and as a wrangler at camp, her passion for animals continuously grows. Michaela is so excited about the opportunity that working at St Paul Pet Hospital has given her.
On days off, one can find Michaela in a coffee shop with her significant other, reading a book while hammocking, baking, or on game days, cheering on the Green Bay Packers.
What does Michaela love best about Minnesota? How much there is to do outdoors! From exploring parks, or walking the Stone Arch Bridge, there never seems to be a shortage of places to explore. Michaela’s favorite parks to hammock in include: Lake Johanna, Hidden Falls Regional Park, and the Sand Dunes Natural History Area in Fridley.
Amanda currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO with her husband, Ben; her daughter, Sophia; and her cat, Kiki. She has enjoyed working in the veterinary field since 2016 as a clientele specialist. Amanda was born and raised in Wisconsin. After graduation, Amanda lived in Lakeside, MT, and later Taiwan studying discipleship. She then decided to attend the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, studying Women and Children Ministry. After spending
time in the Twin Cities, Amanda and her husband made the choice to move to Colorado where Amanda continued to work in the veterinary field. Amanda is very excited to rejoin the St. Paul Pet Hospital Community remotely.
In Amanda's free time she enjoys acrylic art, wood burning, wildlife, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.
Christine is a Twin Cities kid through and through. She grew up in Saint Paul and attended college in Minneapolis. Christine has had a passion for animals big and small, that started when she'd spend weekends with her mom at the stables. When she wasn't horseback riding she was in the fields looking for newts and toads! As she grew older her love of animals blended with her love of art. In her free time Christine would draw portraits of the animals around her, make displays and shadow boxes of the exotic and unusual animals found in her National Geographics, and filming actualities of her pets on her Bolex.
As an adult Christine continues to draw and connect with animals. She has a very loving (and vocal) cat Pepper, who is always eager to play when Christine gets home...and is trying to sleep. On her days off Christine can often be found at the movies, trying new recipes, hiking with friends and drawing quietly at home with Pepper.
Brittney is from St. Paul and I has lived there her whole life. Brittney loves animals (especially cats & dogs). As a young girl, she wanted to either work with animals or be an Egyptologist & go digging for treasure by the pyramids.
Brittney currently lives at home with her 2 cats, Nigel & Oliver. In her free time she loves to go for walks down by the Mississippi River! And you can always catch her watching Netflix in her room with her kitties, who are really her children.
Brittney can’t wait to be a part of this team & get a chance to help out with all of the clients and their animals!
One day Brittney's dream is to visit Greece: Mykonos or Santorini. And while she's at it, she'll head on over to London because she's a Harry Potter fanatic.
Kathryn was born and raised in Saint Paul and has worked in childcare for the last 10+ years!
She has done her share of babysitting with her former kids and she also owns her own business as a Certified Child Sleep Consultant.
In her spare time, Kathryn loves going to listen to live music, reading, going to breweries and is inseparable from her miniature dachshund, Frankie!
She is looking forward to this change of environment and to help the people and pets of our community!
Gina was born in Iowa, but has been a proud Minnesotan since she was one year old! She grew up in Maple Grove, where she graduated high school in 2008. Then, she moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology. After graduation, she was an intern at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center where she discovered her love for veterinary medicine! She then went back to school and got her degree in veterinary technology.
Gina has been a CVT at St. Paul Pet Hospital since 2016; she started out as an intern during school, and then simply couldn’t imagine working elsewhere! Her favorite part about working at St. Paul Pet Hospital is the strong sense of community and friendship among the staff members, who she really feels are more like family.
She lives in Northeast Minneapolis with her partner, Patrick, a multitude of houseplants, and two cats: Roux, a 5-pound “perma-kitten” who is full of mischief and makes friends wherever she goes, and her larger kitty, Goose, who enjoys judging Roux, and tolerating the company of his human roommates. In her spare time, Gina loves visiting breweries (she has too many favorites to choose just one!), going on hikes and birdwatching, keeping her plants happy, and bopping around the city with Patrick, always on a quest to find the best tacos around!
Gina has a soft spot in her heart for retired racing Greyhounds, and you will find her bee-lining it to any Greyhound she sees so she can “boop” his nose!
Merina knew she wanted to work with animals her whole life. Merina spent the early years of her undergrad pursuing engineering, graphics, and design before switching to her true passion, animal care. In 2017, Merina graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky with her bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Merina spent her senior year interning at a small animal general practice, where she was later hired on as a veterinary assistant and kennel attendant.
In February 2018, Merina moved from Kentucky to Minnesota to join the St. Paul Pet Hospital team. In April 2018, Merina passed her board exam and became a Certified Veterinary Technician. As a part of the SPPH team, meeting the clients and their pets is what Merina enjoys the most!
Merina lives just outside of St. Paul with her fiancé, Coty, and Beagle/Border Collie mix, Zoe. In her spare time, she loves exploring the city with her family. Merina also practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and loves making homemade soaps.
Sarena absolutely loves all long haired cats. Anytime a maine coon, Siberian forest cat or any domestic long haired cat enters our hospital, she will be the first one there to give them all the snuggles. She also has a huge soft spot for Golden Retrievers and added a Golden to her family in March 2022. Sarena was born in Canada and will go and visit her family as often as she can.
Jen grew up in California but has lived over half her life in Minnesota and considers herself a Minnesotan. She has always loved animals and has never not had beloved furry family members in her life.
After the loss of a dear friend in animal rescue (and some serious soul searching) she decided to walk away from her original career to pursue her passion in caring for animals. She went back to school and recently graduated with a degree in Veterinary Technology from Dakota County Technical College.
She has 2 kitty kiddos that let her live with them. Lucy Bean, a sassy, blue-eyed fluffy ragdoll/Siamese mix who likes to open closets and drawers and Marley Bear, a sweet and cuddly brown striped tabby who likes nothing better than face scratches and lap naps.
In her free time, Jen loves to read, play board games, cook, bake, drink coffee, watch shows (she is a PBS addict), see live music, go to breweries, see & make art, and spend time with her friend-family. She is passionate about learning new things, loves history, and has a dry sense of humor.
She is excited to get to know you and your pets!
Michelle grew up in Roseville, MN. She went to college to get her degree in Veterinary Technology at Rochester Community and Technical College and graduated in 2009 and has been working as CVT ever since. In her free time Michelle loves spending time outside, and watching horror movies. She has 2 children (Valerie and Griffin), husband, rabbit (Podrick) and 2 pug mixes (Khaleesi and Benelli)
Jolene has been in the veterinary field for almost 5 years now and she believes that she has found where she's supposed to be. Jolene has worked in many different fields but has never felt so at home. All animals bring her so much joy, and she feels lucky to get to spend her time with them during her work days. Jolene has a Russian Tortoise; his name is Dimochka and she has had him for 11 years, he is her forever buddy.
Jolene spends her free time enjoying Photography, Pokémon hunting, camping, cooking, hanging with friends and family and soaking in the scenery that this beautiful world has to offer.
Zack is from the West 7th neighborhood of St. Paul. He currently resides on Cathedral Hill in a cozy lil’ apartment with his girlfriend, cat (Mittens), and two bearded dragons (Piña and Carmela).
Zack graduated from the University of Minnesota with his Bachelors in Animal Science and he’s currently in the Vet Tech program through Penn Foster. His career in Vet Med includes working for the Animal Humane Society, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, and most recently, St. Francis Animal Hospital. He expresses a particular interest in animal behavior and dentistry.
When Zack has free time, he enjoys drawing, running, and playing flag football in the Minnesota Gay Flag Football League. Zack also plays for the Minnesota Lumberjocks and competes in National Tournaments through the NGFFL.
Kayla was born and raised in Wisconsin and has been in Minnesota since the age of 10. She grew up with a blended family and many siblings, but was always most attached to her canid sisters. She had never been without a furry companion since. Kayla graduated from Minnesota State University of Mankato with a Bachelor's degree in Biology and has worked in two other clinics prior to St. Paul Pet. From starting as a kennel assistant and now a veterinary assistant, she loves to continue to grow her knowledge in caring for peoples' pets. Knowing how special a person’s connection with their companion animals can be is what drives her passion to help them today.
Kayla now lives with her high school sweetheart RJ, (no, really, they've been together since 2009!) and enjoy the companionship of their two dingo-like mixes, Rin and Kana, and the one and only cow cat Tink. She devotes her time to her pups by taking them to the dog park, on walks around the neighborhood, and pet stores to pick out their favorite bones and toys. Whereas Tink the Cat is happy to have some quiet time to herself away from the dogs. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, watching anime, and doing many forms of art!
Kayla is an artist! She has enjoyed sewing, crochet and knitting, painting, and drawing, both traditionally and digitally. She even sells some of her pieces and takes commissions!
Originally from Red Wing, MN, Brandon moved back to the cities a few years ago and is currently living in Saint Paul with his 2 dogs, Bear and Luna and 3 cats, Finlee, Bubbi, and Abby, along with a few snakes/geckos.
Brandon likes to spend his free time outside hiking, spending time with his family, and other outdoor activities!
Brandon is finishing his CVT schooling and scheduled to take his certification exam in the Spring of 2024, with the intention of Vet school in the coming year or two.
Drew was born and raised in St. Paul, MN. She recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with her degree in Animal Science!
Growing up, she always loved animals (especially the family’s cats) and is excited about working with animals in the future. She has plans of returning to school to earn her DVM in the future.
Currently, she has one cat, Simon, who is 19 and loves cuddling up with people at every possible chance. In the future, she would love to get more animals, especially another cat or a couple guinea pigs or possibly foster!
In her free time, Drew enjoys relaxing on the couch and watching a good show (Psych has always
been a favorite) with Simon, or spending time reading in the sun. In the winter, she often spends time knitting hats or gloves.
Drew used to be a dancer and would love to get back into taking classes once she has more time on her plate.
Kristina grew up in Edina, but has lived in South Carolina and Colorado for the last couple years, but St. Paul has always been home for her so she is excited to be back.
Kristina entered the animal field during COVID working at doggy daycares. She has a huge passion for animals and loves helping them, and she is currently in school to become a CVT.
Kristina owns two American Staffordshire Terriers, a 2-year-old named Xena and a 4-year-old named Kodak. They have her whole heart. Kristina has a soft spot for pitbulls and bully breeds and will always be there to greet them and give them all the love.
Alana is from Chanhassen, Minnesota where she grew up playing hockey and camping with her family. She recently earned a degree in Animal Science with a minor in Wildlife Care and Handling from the University of Minnesota. She hopes to go to veterinary school in the near future to study small animal or conservation/wildlife medicine.
During her free time, Alana loves to spend time with her dogs (Bauer and Rupert), read, go hiking, or find new restaurants to try!
Nate grew up in the Halloween capital of the world – Anoka, MN, with his family and dog, Zero. He currently lives in St. Paul with his fiancée and their two cats, Eloise and Toby.
Nate is currently a senior at University of Wisconsin – River Falls majoring in Animal Science, with a Chemistry minor. He hopes to continue his education to earn his DVM in the future!
In his free time, Nate enjoys visiting coffee shops, listening to true crime podcasts, weightlifting, and exploring the area with his fiancée.