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.

Management Team

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

Dr. Eric Ruhland

Practice 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 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.

liz nulty

Liz Nulty

Practice Manager and Chief Operating Officer

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!

Hospital Leadership

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).

maegan peirce

Maegan Peirce

Lead 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!

Our Veterinarians

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!

ann marie bork

Dr. Ann Marie Bork

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Ann Marie Bork grew up in small-town Minnesota surrounded by farm animals and pets of all sorts. Her love of animals was evident from a very young age. After receiving a degree in Animal Science from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Ann Marie moved to Grenada to attend St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine. She moved back to St. Paul to attend her final year of vet school at the University of Minnesota. She hasn't left St. Paul since and enjoys raising her family in the beautiful city with her husband, Andrew.

Dr. Ann Marie has a special interest in Feline Medicine. While in Grenada, she was president of the Feral Cat Project, and worked diligently to improve the health and wellbeing of the island feline residents. She even brought one special needs kitty back home with her, Olaf. She currently spoils him along with another beautiful cat, Sydney.

When not at work, Dr. Ann Marie can be found enjoying the outdoors fishing and spending time with her big family. She also enjoys music and is involved in the local marching arts community.

sarah smith

Dr. Sarah Smith

Associate Veterinarian

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 elisabeth alexander

Dr. Elisabeth Alexander

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Elisabeth Alexander is another native Minnesotan on the St. Paul Pet Hospital team. She grew up on a hobby farm north of Moorhead, MN and knew she wanted to be a veterinarian from a young age (or a princess, which she later learned is a competitive market to tap into). After giving up her dream of becoming royalty, Dr. Alexander graduated from St. Olaf College with a degree in Biology. She then completed veterinary medical school at the University of Minnesota in May 2021 and joined the team at St. Paul Pet Hospital in June of 2021.

No one in Dr. Alexander’s family is surprised at her choice of career. In her preschool evaluation, she was noted to be “overly preoccupied” with the farm animal toys and strong suggestions were made that she “branch out into other play areas.” That well-meaning feedback never stuck. Dr. Alexander went on to ride horses in 4H, raise abandoned farm kittens for adoption, and beg to adopt a dog on more than one occasion.

Now that she can be overly preoccupied with animals as a day job, Dr. Alexander is excited to start sharing her knowledge with other pet owners! She loves to help strengthen the bond between pets and their people through preventative medicine, Fear Free techniques, and quality of life management. Her professional areas of interest include behavior and anxiety, dentistry, geriatrics and end of life care, and internal medicine.

In her life away from the hospital, Dr. Alexander enjoys exploring new restaurants, getting frustrated at jigsaw puzzles, playing board games with friends, and working out (if only so she can eat an extra stack of Oreos – her one true love). She lives in Northeast Minneapolis with her partner AJ, who is also a veterinarian, and their two dogs and two cats.

dr bryce holm

Dr. Bryce Holm

Associate Veterinarian

Coming Soon

Our Support Staff

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

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

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

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.”

Amanda Cunliffe

Reception

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.

photo coming soon

Christine Hackney

Reception

Coming Soon

photo coming soon

Amie Jo (AJ) Youngs

CVT

Amie Jo (AJ) joined the team at St. Paul Pet Hospital in April 2014 when she moved to St. Paul from the western suburbs. She has been a MN native her entire life.

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 & crayfish. And throughout her teen years her parents did not limit the different kinds of pets she and her brothers could keep! She’s had dogs and cats of course - but has also owned snakes, lizards, geckos, turtles, exotic frogs, birds, guinea pigs, and rabbits!

AJ went to graphic design school for a bit after high school, but then transitioned into a career  to work with animals and graduated from Argosy University Twin Cities in 2006. She has always especially loved working with pocket pets and exotic pets.

AJ has worked in a few general practice hospitals throughout her career, but has also branched out and worked with a dental specialist, and a dermatology specialist. 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 lives here in Saint Paul with her significant other and their catahoula/lab mix Kota, and 2 cats Willow and Onyx. In her spare time, AJ can always be found outside!! Whether it’s running or biking, or visiting State and National parks.

In AJ's free time, she loves enjoying the outdoors.

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

Sarena Ward

CVT

Coming Soon

sarena ward

Paige Rosengarten

CVT

Paige graduated in 2013 from Globe University with a degree in Veterinary Technology. After working as a certified veterinary technician for over seven years, she decided to get back to where she originally started her training in the veterinary field at St. Paul Pet Hospital! Paige enjoys working with all animals; however, she is particularly fond of working with our feline friends.

While growing up in northern Wisconsin, Paige was surrounded by the Chequamegon Forest and Lake Superior where she was constantly exposed to both wild and domesticated animals. As a child, she had a multitude of pets including dogs, rabbits, squirrels, rats, birds, lizards, snakes, and frogs. Paige has always known that she has wanted to care for animals as they have consistently been an important part of her life.

She currently lives in South Minneapolis with her significant other and her three adorably naughty cats, Sushi, Conker, and Aesop who spend most of their time bird watching, wrestling, and successfully attempting to eat most of the (non-toxic) plants in the house. In her free time, Paige enjoys being with her cats, spending time in nature hiking and camping, going to breweries, and traveling to her next adventure.

Paige has traveled to 10 different countries within South America, Central America, and the Middle East. Her favorite part about traveling is submerging herself into the culture as much as possible which often times has involved getting lost.

paige rosengarten

Angela Haedt

CVT

Angela was born in South Korea and was adopted as an infant to a family in Minnesota where she grew up in the eastern suburbs of Saint Paul.  As a child, she was endlessly fascinated by animals and she read about them as much as possible.  When it came to choosing a career, the world of veterinary medicine was a natural fit.

As a graduate of Argosy University’s veterinary technology program, Angela has worked in companion animal medicine for almost 15 years. Her professional interests include surgery and anesthesia.  Angela is passionate about the human-pet bond and figuring out what makes an owner and pet click is a privilege and a delight.

Angela is obsessed with her four cats - Wednesday, Dexter, Harold, and Roberto.  The young duo of Harold and Roberto keep the two older cats on their toes!  Their personalities couldn’t be more different, but they all share a remarkable aversion to mint Chapstick!  While they’ve been showered with gifts and toys, the true treasure is always a cardboard box.

In her free time, Angela enjoys playing video games, reading, knitting, and learning about food.  She is currently teaching herself how to sew.  Angela also enjoys hanging out with friends, and attending movies and concerts.

If resources were no object, Angela would love to spend her time eating and exploring all over the world.  Her favorite local restaurants include The Mirror of Korea, Chimborazo, and Fasika.

angela haedt

Cassandra Leopard

CVT

Cassandra graduated from Globe University in 2014. Ever since she was little, she always wanted to be a vet. Her family always had animals growing up, and like a lot of families she knew, they did scarce veterinary care. When she grew up, she learned that scarce care is not ideal, so she knew she wanted to be a technician. Client education is her favorite part of veterinary medicine, informing clients of the importance of veterinary care and helping them understand, because she was once there too. Being a voice for those who don’t have one and advocating for their care is her life’s fulfillment. She has a special interest in behavior and working with behavior cases - understanding a patient and their needs and trying to build a trusting relationship between patients, clients and veterinary staff is really important to her.

Cassandra has always lived in Minnesota and has lived in several areas around the cities. She currently resides in South St. Paul with her 4 cats (Layla, Naomi, Lorccan and Roseflower) and her son Damien.

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 miller

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.

katie

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

Hayley Butterfield

Veterinary Assistant

Hayley grew up with a fascination of animals with her earliest role model being Dr. Jane Goodall. She has always been drawn to animal care, husbandry, and behavior. This interest is what led her to pursue a bachelor's degree in biology.

She has recently moved back to Minnesota after finishing her degree at Washington State University in 2018. When Hayley is not working at St. Paul Pet Hospital you can find her spending time with her family, working with her dog ‘May’, training with her horse ‘Urby’, or hiking!

Although we are quite far from the mountains here in the Twin Cities, Hayley is happy to have found some great outdoor spaces such as the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge!

hayley butterfield

Kyler Yang

Veterinary Assistant

Coming Soon

kyler yang

Jolene Struss

Veterinary Assistant

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.

photo coming soon

Allison Dwinnell

Veterinary Assistant

Allison is a Colorado native who has always had a passion for the outdoors and animals.  Her love for the Rocky Mountains, travel, learning, exercise and relationship with her parents put her on a path towards a career in veterinary medicine. Allison’s heroes are her mom and dad who are both physicians. Their passion for helping people inspire her every day to give back to her community.

She grew up near Denver, where she played multiple sports and spent any of her extra time playing with her dog, reading about and drawing different animals. Her love for animals started when she watched “Free Willy” and “Black Beauty” on VCR in elementary school, and has evolved into watching documentaries, reading research, and becoming involved in different conservation efforts. Her love for dogs, horses, and exotic species is unparalleled and she hopes to one day work with big animals and in conservation.

She recently graduated from Macalester College in December 2020 where she played soccer and basketball and majored in psychology with a minor in environmental studies. She is currently attending the University of Minnesota to finish prerequisites for veterinary school. In her free time, she loves her volunteer work at a horse shelter in Hastings, MN and exploring Minnesota.

Although Allison is enjoying the Twin Cities, she hopes to return back to Colorado someday to be close to her family and near the Rocky Mountains.

photo coming soon

Kayla Van Beck

Veterinary Assistant

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!

photo coming soon

Danielle LaPoint

Veterinary Assistant

Growing up, Danielle lived in both Alabama and Minnesota with her family and their cat, Rocky. She and her family always valued helping others through volunteering. Once in college, Danielle started volunteering at cat shelters in Alabama and found so much joy from helping and playing with cats. That joy led her to start her career helping animals.

Danielle is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Animal Science. She hopes to go back to school to work in Public Health.

In her downtime, she volunteers at animal clinics, plays with her Great Pyrenees, and spends time with her sister and her cat and dog. If she is spending a day inside, you can find her watching her favorite TV show, The Big Bang Theory.

photo coming soon

Kody Kubat

Veterinary Assistant

Kody grew up in Southern Minnesota and has now settled in Roseville MN. Living with his girlfriend, 2 large dogs (Zelda and Sonny), and 3 needy cats (Floyd, Chester, and Henry).

Growing up connected to nature gave Kody the desire to care for all animals as if they were his own and protect their native habitats, while collecting as many domestic animals as the house will hold.

After a contract in the US military, Kody is now pursuing an education through Dakota County Technical College in Veterinary Technology and Nursing. His love for animals was confirmed after volunteering at Blue Earth and Nicollet County Humane Society, where he met every member of his household.

Kody’s favorite activities include fishing, camping, hiking, and largely any activity (Outside of sports) that will get him outdoors and connected with nature. While in the military, Kody explored many foreign ecosystems including marshlands of Georgia and coral reefs of Hawaii and Okinawa, Japan where he developed a passion for protecting the many critters of the world who do not have a voice.

photo coming soon

Harrison Lindbloom

Veterinary Assistant

Harrison grew up in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. Growing up, Harrison always had a love for animals, especially the gardener snakes outside his house, much to his mom's horror. Harrison grew up knowing he wanted to do something hands-on, and it wasn’t until after high school he made up his mind to pursue a career in animal care.

Currently, Harrison is studying Animal Science at the University of Minnesota with a pre-veterinary medicine emphasis. His goal is to attend veterinary school in Minnesota in the future.

In his free time, he likes to hang out with his friends and family as much as possible! He always tries to get outside as much as possible. He, of course, loves to spend time with his three dogs!

photo coming soon

Brandon Malesky

Veterinary Assistant

Brandon grew up in Red Wing, Minnesota and always had a strong interest in animal medicine. Brandon currently lives with his fiancé in Rosemount, MN where they have a dog, Luna, five cats, seven geckos and four snakes (ball pythons, rosy tail boas & hognose). In the past, he has owned other species like tegus, iguana and tortoises!

Brandon is currently working on completing a CVT program while working as an Assistant at St. Paul Pet Hospital. Brandon attended Saint Cloud State University working towards a degree in wildlife biology prior to Covid. He plans to finish his degree once he completes his CVT program.

photo coming soon