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.

Our Veterinarians

dr. eric ruhland: our team in st. paul, mn

Dr. Eric Ruhland

Owner

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 surgery 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.

liz nulty

Liz Nulty

Practice Manager

Liz Nulty is the Practice Manager at St. Paul Pet Hospital – Highland. 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. 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. We are truly a “co-family” – we support each other just like a family does.”

Liz lives in Highland Park with her goofy black Labrador named Aida 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). Her house is a short walk from the Mississippi River Trail where she loves to take Aida on runs with her. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, going to country music concerts (especially Kip Moore), spending time with family, and exploring St. Paul with Aida!

One of Liz’s favorite places to eat in St. Paul is at Red Cow! She recommends trying their Mushroom Swiss Burger with Sweet Potato fries; it is amazing!

lindsey hudalla

Lindsey Hudalla

Practice Manager

Lindsey grew up in Andover, MN and has called Minnesota home for her entire life. Lindsey’s love for animals started at a young age when she was known to bring to the house any animals in need of a home, including cats, dogs, and even wildlife! She knew a life working with animals was right for her. After graduating from Anoka High School, Lindsey started working as a kennel/veterinary assistant while attending the University of Minnesota.

After graduating with a Bachelor 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, she became the Practice Manager at our Cathedral Hill location. With over 15 years of veterinary experience, Lindsey is excited to step into her new leadership role! As Practice Manager, Lindsey leads a team of people with similar goals of practicing high-quality patient care, client compassion, and education, all while enriching the human-animal bond.

Lindsey has a special place in her heart for any and all Bulldog breeds. She’ll step into her old veterinary assistant role just to be the one to hug, love, and smooch on any Bulldog friend that comes in! Lindsey just can’t 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 to one of the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods of St. Paul and do what I love the most. I can walk to Nina’s Coffee Café just on the next block and run into a client walking their pet, say hi and have a quick conversation. I love that! 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 for the quality of medicine we practice and the patient care we provide, but also for the family-like relationships we have with each other. We love to laugh and have fun while we work!”

Lindsey currently lives in St. Paul with her husband, two kids, a French Bulldog/Boston Terrier mix named Scooter (who is the cutest, naughtiest Bulldog around!) and a cat named Roxy. In her free time, Lindsey stays busy with her kids and enjoys the outdoors, specifically hiking with her family, gardening, and spending time at local restaurant and brewery patios.

Lindsey’s favorite drink is an Iced Coconut Chai Latte from Nina’s Coffee Café, just down the block from SPPH Cathedral Hill!

dr. melinda lecheler

Dr. Melinda Lecheler

Medical Director

Dr. Melinda is a South Saint Paul native and now resides with her husband and their senior Sheltie named Romeo in Eagan. She knew from an early age that becoming a veterinarian was in her future. After high school, she attended the University of Minnesota where she completed her undergraduate degree in animal science with a minor in biology. Prior to attending veterinary school, Dr. Melinda spent several years in veterinary medical sales.

 Dr. Melinda joined St. Paul Pet Hospital in 2014 as an associate veterinarian. Her clinical areas of interest are dermatology, wound management, and dentistry, but she loves seeing the wide variety of clinical cases that general practice offers. Dr. Melinda really cherishes the bond she shares with clients and patients alike!  

 

When asked what the best thing about working at St. Paul Pet Hospital is, she replied, “The amazing team of doctors, practice managers, technicians, and support staff. They come to work each and every day to make the lives of animals and humans better. They are my second family and I am proud to call them my friends. The teamwork approach and advanced medical care we provide along with the amazing clients make this workplace truly unique and special. I am so proud to be a part of it.”  

 

In 2020, Dr. Melinda started in her new role as St. Paul Pet Hospital’s Medical Director. In addition to seeing clinical cases, she provides leadership for the hospital by coordinating training and creating hospital protocols and learning opportunities for the team.

 

When she is not at the clinic, Dr. Melinda enjoys traveling to warm weather destinations (especially Jamaica), gardening, going to concerts, and cheering on the Minnesota Vikings and Wild. Her guilty pleasure is SHOES!

Dr. Melinda has an extra-special soft spot in her heart for Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties). When in the hospital, it is not uncommon to hear her squeal with delight over the cuteness of a patient.

courtney porter

Courtney Porter

Hiring and Training Director

Courtney grew up in the northern ‘burbs and now calls the city of Farmington home with her husband, their twins, and two yellow labs (Jax and Posie). She has called Minnesota home for her entire life and wouldn’t change it (it makes traveling way more fun).

Courtney had many family pets growing up, and she was raised spending weekends at their family farm where her love for animals and the outdoors really began. From the stray dogs that would wander onto the property and take up residence and the barn cats and their kittens (always fun to try and find them all), to the many sheep raised, her love for animals flourished.

After completing college for Medical Administration, she decided to head to the animal world and started out as a receptionist with St. Paul Pet. That is where her foundation of veterinary knowledge was built, and over time allowed her to move throughout various positions offering her the ability to really understand the needs of a clinic and its awesome people.

In her free time, Courtney enjoys spending it with family and friends, running/barre, going to concerts, crafting & house projects and traveling. While she doesn’t reside in St. Paul, that makes it all the more fun to visit the awesome shops, restaurants (Cossettas, Red Rabbit, Ninas for coffee, Bread and Chocolate for their delicious chocolate croissants and cookies…the possibilities are endless) and boutiques.

Courtney loves goats (yes, loves!) and BRAVO TV. She also has a fear of grasshoppers (and basically all bugs).

dr. kari strohmaier

Dr. Käri Strohmaier

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Käri Strohmaier is a Minnesota native and grew up in Chanhassen, attending Minnetonka Public Schools. She went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for undergraduate studies with a focus on animal science. She applied and gained entry to vet school a year early, graduating with her DVM from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2016.

Growing up, Dr. Käri had several household pets and developed a keen interest in biology, anatomy, and animal behavior at a young age, which ultimately led to a passion for veterinary medicine. While her love for animals and the sciences is what drove her to pursue a veterinary degree, she thoroughly enjoys the interpersonal aspect of her job; some of the highlights of her workday are meeting new people, building relationships with clients, and fostering the human-animal bond. Dr. Käri’s areas of medical interest are endocrinology, urology, dermatology, and soft tissue surgery.

Dr. Käri joined the St. Paul Pet Hospital team in August of 2018. She was thrilled to join a young, progressive, high-quality practice in the lovely neighborhood of Cathedral Hill. She adores her clients and coworkers, who truly feel like family now.

Dr. Käri lives in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul with her husband, Max. She and Max welcomed their first daughter, Nora Jean, in May of 2020. Nora has stolen their hearts (and all of their time!) but they still love their four furry children too! They share their home with two rescue mutts, Boone and Banjo, and two mischievous cats, Lluna and Cal. Dr. Käri is known to be particularly fond of furry shepherd-y mutts, but she considers herself to be a true cat lady at heart. In truth, she adores all her canine and feline patients, regardless of shape, size, or breed! Outside the workplace, Dr. Käri enjoys singing and performing, exploring local restaurants, reading, and spending time at her family's cabin in Northern Minnesota.

Dr. Käri’s favorite neighborhood spot is the cozy basement of WA Frost in the winter and the gorgeous patio in the summer!

dr. katy baker

Dr. Katy Baker

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Baker’s veterinary background began over 15 years ago as a kennel assistant and with each year, her passion for animals has grown into a lifelong commitment. Originally from California, she graduated from Cal Poly State University located in coastal San Luis Obispo. After graduating with an animal science degree, she worked for many years as a senior veterinary technician prior to making the leap over to Scotland for vet school at the University of Glasgow. Within veterinary medicine, Dr. Baker has a special interest in geriatric medicine, internal medicine, and dermatology.

Dr. Baker currently lives in Northeast Minneapolis with her partner, Gus, and their 11-year-old rescue Pitty, Sweet Pea. Outside of the vet world, she and Gus spend most of their time rock climbing, mountain biking, walking their old lady at Minnehaha Falls dog park and attending Surdyk’s wine tastings!

dr jonathon logas-lindstrom

Dr. Jonathan Logas-Lindstrom

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Jonathan Logas-Lindstrom, a lifelong Twin Cities resident, has always held a deep appreciation for animals, nature, and medicine. This fascination with animal life led Dr. Jonathan to complete his B.A. in Biology, magna cum laude, from Gustavus Adolphus College. Throughout college, Dr. Jonathan explored various biology fields, but his love of animals and medicine always pulled him back to veterinary science. In 2018, Dr. Jonathan graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Jonathan’s passion for science paired with his love of animals makes caring for the human-animal bond through veterinary medicine a natural fit. It is something he looks forward to doing for decades to come. His professional areas of interest include internal medicine, dermatology, and senior pet care.

Having interned at St. Paul Pet Hospital prior to graduation, Dr. Jonathan knew the clinic’s collaborative environment and genuine passion to serve animals and their pet parents were exactly what he wanted in a workplace. In 2019, a position opened up at St. Paul Pet Hospital, and Dr. Jonathan was honored to join the team. Dr. Jonathan is committed to practicing veterinary medicine with integrity, transparency, and respect. He puts his patients and their family’s needs first, which means providing honest answers and a willingness to find solutions that work for both you and your pet.

When he’s not in the clinic, Dr. Jonathan can likely be found outdoors. Every summer, he and his wife spend at least a week canoe camping in the BWCA. He has also enjoyed backcountry camping everywhere from the coasts of Costa Rica to the tundra in Alaska. Closer to home, Dr. Jonathan hones his birding and botany skills at local parks such as Crosby Farm Regional Park.

Dr. Jonathan lives with his wife and two of the world’s friendliest cats, Rawls and Zeno, here in St. Paul. With the cats in their adventure harnesses, the four of them spend many hours working on their vegetable and native wildflower gardens. He also enjoys weekly volleyball games, cooking delicious vegetarian food for friends and family, and spending time with his niece, nephew, and godchildren. Dr. Jonathan dabbles in homebrewing (mostly IPAs) and frequents many breweries.

In his birding adventures last year, Dr. Jonathan documented 126 bird species!

Dr. Jonathan is also a beer aficionado—he dabbles in homebrews and frequents breweries around the city. His favorites are Urban Growler Brewing Co. and Fair State Brewing Cooperative.

dr. abigail maynard

Dr. Abigail Maynard

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Abigail Maynard hails from the beautiful island of Barbados. She has lived in Minnesota off and on over the years and considers it home. She attended St. George’s University in Grenada where she attained her BSc and DVM, completing her final year of vet school at the U of M and graduating in 2017. After graduation, Dr. Abi moved to Tennessee where she spent 2.5 years working with a wide variety of species at a mixed animal practice. With Minnesota ever on her mind, Dr. Abi chose to leave Tennessee and join the SPPH team! Her professional interests include surgery, poultry medicine, and expanding her dentistry knowledge.

Dr. Abi currently lives in St. Paul with her dog, Orion.

Outside of work, she enjoys powerlifting, animated films from across the globe, and snorkeling in the Caribbean any chance she gets!

Our Support Staff

Maegan Peirce

CVT

Maegen graduated in December 2013 from Globe University. She completed a nine-week externship with St. Paul Pet Hospital, becoming extremely familiar with our hospital and staff. In April 2014, she officially joined our team as a certified veterinary technician. At the early age of 6, Maegan knew she wanted to work with and care for animals. She has a passion for all animals large and small, and a love for cats in particular. She enjoys forming a trusting relationship with clients and their beloved pets. She is aware of how special the human-animal bond is and demonstrates this awareness in her work.

Maegan currently lives in the northern suburbs with her fiancé, Sam, their retriever-mix, Gordy, and two cats, Mikko and Lily. Aside from her love of animals, Maegan appreciates the beauty of nature and enjoys spending her free time outdoors. Maegan is excited to be a part of the St. Paul Pet Hospital team and looks forward to working with you to give your pet the happiest and healthiest of lives!

Maegan loves the adventures of traveling and only has seven more states in the U.S. to visit until she has been to all 50!

maegan peirce

Amie Jo (AJ) Youngs

CVT

AJ (Amie Jo) graduated from Argosy University in 2008 with her Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. She is also qualified in dentistry and worked with a boarded dentist for 2 ½ years. AJ has experience working in three other general practice hospitals, and also an animal specialty dermatology practice where she remained for 9 ½ years before coming to work at St. Paul Pet Hospital in April 2015.

AJ would tell everyone that her longevity at St. Paul Pet Hospital is due to the staff being a pretty close-knit group, with each other and also with their community.

AJ grew up a total tomboy, not afraid of getting dirty, climbing trees, riding bikes, enjoying farm animals, baiting her own fish hooks, and catching bugs, frogs, and crayfish. Throughout her teen years, AJ’s parents did not limit the different kinds of pets she and her brothers could keep! AJ had dogs and cats, of course, but they also owned snakes, lizards, geckos, turtles, exotic frogs, birds, guinea pigs, and rabbits!

AJ is in love with the city life of St. Paul and lives just a few miles from our hospital. AJ has two cats, Onyx and Willow, and two rabbits, Maple and Obsidian. AJ loves the outdoors and is an avid road/mountain biker and runner. During the summer, she is always outside! She loves adventure, attending local events, visiting breweries, and being with her friends and family.

AJ went to graphic design school after high school, but then transitioned into a career of working with animals. She has always especially loved working with pocket pets and exotics.

aj youngs

Jennifer Gustafson

CVT

Jennifer graduated from Argosy University in December 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. She originally went to school to work in human medicine, but soon realized that her long-standing love for animals was the best path. She has worked in both general practice and emergency care before coming to work for St. Paul Pet Hospital in December of 2015. She enjoys working with emergent cases and surgery, as well as long-term cases with clients.

Jennifer lives in St. Paul with her five cats (Chester, Stewie, Charlie, Ava, and Bennet). Yep, you read that right, five cats. In her spare time, Jennifer loves reading, writing, painting, going to breweries, exploring all the fun things that St. Paul and Minneapolis have to offer, and spending time with family and friends.

Jennifer loves living in St. Paul and the ‘small-town’ atmosphere while living in a big city. She feels that there is nothing better than walking around the city and running into clients — and getting the opportunity to visit with our patients outside of the clinic setting.

jennifer gustafson

Gina Milne

CVT

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!

gina milne

Merina Brown

CVT

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.

merina brown

Kayla Leistikow

CVT

Kayla is a Certified Veterinary Technician and started at St. Paul Pet Hospital – Highland in October 2019. She is a Minnesota native who has loved animals her entire life. She graduated from Argosy University with her Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology in 2017. She started her veterinary career at a small animal hospital as a veterinary assistant and did her internship at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center until returning to general practice after obtaining her degree. Kayla's favorite part of veterinary medicine is surgery 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 Italian Greyhound/Dalmatian mix named Peyton and a cat, Sully. In the summertime, she loves taking Peyton on his evening walks and they can even be found at popular breweries around St. Paul (Waldmanns is a German favorite!) with friends on the weekends. In her other free time, she loves being with her family, cooking, reading, or spending time exploring St. Paul with friends.

One of Kayla’s favorite places to eat in St. Paul is Salut on Grand Avenue, and she recommends the calamari as an appetizer every visit and sitting on the patio for the best ambiance.

Kayla also loves doing anything that keeps her active and healthy, and she is one of those crazy morning workout people (we're talking 4:00am), which is when she trains in Olympic Weightlifting.

kayla leistikow

Aubry Woksonsommers

CVT

Coming Soon

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Alex Barber-Verdick

Veterinary Assistant

Alex grew up in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities near large and small animals. During her younger years, Alex had weekly camping trips with her grandparents (and their horses!) at various state parks that helped her grow in love for animals. After graduating from high school, Alex moved down to Tucson, AZ where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Science at the University of Arizona in August 2018. While there, she worked with animals of all sizes including horses, goats, pigs, donkeys, cats, and dogs.

Alex joined our team in September 2018 as a veterinary assistant with an eagerness to learn more about small animals and gain clinical experience. Within the near future, Alex plans to expand her knowledge as a technician by attending classes to obtain her Certified Veterinary Technician degree. You’ll often see Alex loving on any German Shepherd that comes to the clinic, as they have a special place in her heart. Alex enjoys enriching the human-animal bond clients have with their furry family members, while also practicing high-quality patient care.

Alex currently lives just across the border in Minneapolis with her significant other and their German Shepherd, Thor. In her free time, Alex enjoys visiting local breweries (dog-friendly, of course!), checking out local restaurants and their patios, traveling to various states and countries when the opportunity arises, hiking throughout Minnesota, and studying the Spanish language so she can speak more fluently.

Looking for the best lasagna this side of the Atlantic? Alex recommends Cosetta’s by the Xcel Energy Center. Plus, they have a great patio!

alex barber-verdick

Kayli Schneider

Veterinary Assistant

Kayli grew up in the suburbs of South St. Paul where her passion for animal care started. At a young age, Kayli helped her parents nurse their sick kitten back to health. This experience pointed her in the direction of animal care and shortly after, she knew her passion was working with animals. Kayli is currently studying to become a Certified Veterinary Technician at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in New Richmond, WI.

Kayli joined our team in May 2019 as a veterinary assistant, while continuing to attend classes for her Certified Veterinary Technician degree. As an extreme cat-lover, you will often hear her squeals of delight when she interacts with her cat patients. As a veterinary assistant, Kayli looks forward to getting to know the clients and furry friends of the St. Paul community.

Kayli currently lives in St. Paul with her significant other and three cats: Winston, Edgar, and Wilbur. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, and studying history.

kayli schneider

Katie Atkins

Veterinary Assistant

A Saint Paul native, Katie's involvement with animals began at a young age. As a child, Katie enjoyed spending hours at Como Zoo on the other side of the glass from lions, gorillas, and polar bears. By the age of five, she was pet-sitting and dog-walking around her neighborhood. Katie has always had a strong bond with animals. Katie continues to spend time pet-sitting, dog-walking and volunteering at the Minnesota Zoo as a day camp counselor. In the summer of 2019, Katie stepped into the role of Farm Volunteer Day Captain.

Currently, Katie is attending the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities majoring in animal science and pre-veterinary medicine. Katie has big plans for her future in veterinary medicine and hopes to apply to vet school for fall 2021. She would love to stay in her home state of Minnesota to practice as a mixed animal veterinarian. Katie says one of her favorite large animals is cows!

Katie joined the St. Paul Pet Hospital team in June 2019 as a veterinary assistant. When asked what the best thing about working at St. Paul Pet Hospital is, she replied, “I have an opportunity every day to learn new skills and advance my medical knowledge, while working with such an amazing and loving crew!” Katie looks forward to learning more about the veterinary field and connecting with the community.

In her downtime, Katie enjoys hiking around the St. Paul area's many parks and trails. When she isn’t hiking, other outdoor activities like biking and camping make Katie’s list of fun things to do. Katie tries to spend as much time as possible outside of work staying active and spending time with close friends and family.

Some of Katie's favorite places to hike include Lebanon Hills, Cherokee Park, Willow Falls State Park, Minnehaha Falls, and Taylors Falls.

photo coming soon

Chet Vaughn

Veterinary Assistant

Coming Soon

photo coming soon

Grace Miller

Veterinary Assistant

Grace grew up in a western suburb of Chicago and moved to the Twin Cities in 2016 to complete her undergraduate education. In 2018, she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology with a pre-veterinary emphasis. She has worked as a veterinary assistant in small animal practice for over three years now and thoroughly enjoys her time spent in the hospital. Grace is currently pursuing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health at the University of Minnesota with a focus on health and research. Upon graduation, Grace hopes to use her DVM/MPH training in the area of conservation medicine and issues of sustainability.

Outside of school and work, Grace enjoys spending time with her dog, Ruby, as well as any and all outdoor activities! Grace started with us in January 2019 and loves being a part of the SPPH team.

grace mill

Paige Plass

Veterinary Assistant

Paige grew up on a farm outside of Hector, MN, where her love for animals blossomed. Her hobby farm consists of horses, goats, and pigs along with cats and dogs. She enjoyed showing her horses and goats for many years in 4-H. Paige then pursued an animal science degree in the pre-veterinary program at South Dakota State University for two years, before transferring and finishing her undergrad at the University of Minnesota. She graduated in May of 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. While attending the U of M, Paige was an active member of the MN Equestrian Team and Lambda Delta Phi sorority.

For fun, she enjoys taking her two English Setters, Tyke and Rhett, to the lake for swimming and paddleboarding. Paige would like to thank her loving family, friends, and significant other for supporting her in finding her dream job here at St. Paul Pet Hospital – Highland.

Paige remains active in the horse showing community, where she coaches her younger brother and gives riding lessons to youth.

 

paige plass

Ana Sifferle

Reception

Ana is from St. Paul and has been based in the Twin Cities her whole life. Ana has had a lifelong passion for animals large and small, spending much of her childhood learning and caring for horses at the barn where she grew up riding. Ana officially entered the animal field in 2016 working as a technician alongside the equine veterinarians at Canterbury Park.

Ana currently lives in St. Paul with her roommate and her two kitties, Meak and Mia. Ana is a student at Saint Paul College and has an interest in biology, specifically environmentalism and genetics. Ana joined the SPPH team in October of 2018 and looks forward to many more years of helping you and your animals!

Outside of St. Paul Pet Hospital, her passions include music (violin, guitar, and piano) LGBT+ advocacy, painting and drawing, camping/nature, and yoga.

ana sifferle

Charlie Kristo

Reception

Charlie was born and raised just minutes from the clinic in the Crocus Hill neighborhood in St. Paul. His family moved to Pittsburgh when he was 13, but he returned to Minnesota to study at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Charlie graduated in May of 2020 with his Bachelor of Arts in Physiology. After graduating, he hopes to take some time off from school before applying to veterinary school abroad, preferably in Australia, New Zealand, or Ireland.

Charlie spends a good part of his time away from work and school dog-sitting in Minneapolis with his girlfriend Tiedra, a fellow animal lover. They are considering getting a cat! Back in Pittsburgh, Charlie has three pets: a Corgi named Lucy, a kitty named Georgio Armani, and a hamster named Louie.

Charlie’s favorite free time activity is skiing, but he also likes fishing, breweries (especially dog-friendly breweries!), and running for fun.

charlie kristo

Megan Morgan

Reception

Megan always had a love for animals while growing up in the suburbs of Houston, TX. In 2012, Megan moved to New Zealand to pursue her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While in New Zealand, Megan met her husband who is a veterinarian and who introduced her to the veterinary world. Megan, her husband, and their Pug named Arnie are new to Minnesota. They are now back in the northern hemisphere while her husband completes his residency in veterinary cardiology at the University of Minnesota Veterinary School. Megan started with us in the summer of 2019 and has enjoyed the interactions with both the pets and pet owners, assisting them in whatever way possible.

In her free time, Megan enjoys cooking, finding a quiet place to read, taking care of her family, and traveling when the opportunity arises.

megan morgan

Michaela Lane

Reception

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.

michaela lane

PaCHoua Vang-Yang

Reception

Pa was born in Minnesota to parents who immigrated to the United States during the Vietnam War. Ever since she was a child, Pa always loved the company of animals. Once she graduated from Henry Sibley High School, she attended Inver Hills Community College. Shortly after, Pa began working as a kennel assistant for a local veterinary clinic. She enjoyed cuddling pets during their vaccines and regular check-ups, as well as talking to them during their daily walks.

It was a welcomed transition then, from kennel assistant to receptionist. Interacting with pets was always fun and exciting, but there was something very special about connecting with their families. Pa is specifically interested in assisting pet owners in finding transparent and affordable care for their animal companions. Since joining us in June of 2020, Pa is excited to share her love for animals and the people who own them with an authentic and compassionate team.

After living in Woodbury for some time, Pa took up residency in West St. Paul with her partner, Cristi, and their two dogs, Nova, the Boxer/Chow Chow/Lab who really just looks like a sheepdog, and Kepler, the Chihuahua-Dachshund mix. When she is not working, Pa enjoys watching anime, playing video games (Slime Rancher is a must-recommend for parents with children), and learning how to cross-stitch.

Pa has a history of owning fancy rats — with a total of seven during one wonderfully hectic time! — and she is understandably their avid champion. “They have huge personalities and so much love to give,” Pa said, “They are great first companions for children, as they are easy to train and very affectionate. With some patience and a parent’s kind, guiding hand, you can help children learn great animal care and instill a fondness for animals who don’t usually have a spotlight to shine.”

photo coming soon