Our Care Team

Annette
Receptionist
Annette is an Iowa native and joined the team here at Animal Care Hospital in the fall of 2000. Her favorite part of the job is seeing clients reunited with their happy, healthy animal companions after an extended hospital stay.

Annette and her husband have two daughters and three beautiful grandchildren. They live on a farm passed down to Annette through multiple generations with cattle, four horses, and a dog named Zeta.
Autumn
Veterinary Assistant
Autumn can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to help animals in whatever way she could. After having the opportunity to shadow a Veterinary Technician at another animal clinic, her mind was made up: Autumn knew right away that she wanted to use the power of medicine to better the lives of pets! She’s now a Veterinary Assistant here at Animal Care Hospital.

Autumn grew up in Waverly, Iowa, and spent a lot of time as a child helping out on her grandparents’ farm. She moved to Cedar Rapids in 2016, starting as a Kennel Assistant that same year, before being promoted to Senior Kennel Assistant in 2017. Upon joining the Animal Care Hospital family, Autumn became a Veterinary Assistant and is thrilled to continue caring for pets in a hands-on way. Currently, she’s studying Veterinary Technology in school and plans on becoming a Veterinary Technician in the near future.
Between her work and school commitments, Autumn likes walking her dog and spending her free time with friends, family, and her pets. She and her family have two animal companions: a dog, Maverick, and Bitsy the cat.
Brenda
Veterinary Technician
Brenda has fond memories of time spent on her grandparents’ farm while she was growing up—she bottle-fed calves with her grandmother and helped her grandfather tend to the barn cats. Her early experiences left a permanent impression, and her passion for animal care never wavered. Brenda is proud to have served the Cedar Rapids area for more than 11 years as one of Animal Care Hospital’s veterinary technicians.

Brenda is originally from Anamosa, Iowa and attended Kirkwood Community College to study veterinary technology. She completed a summer internship for her schooling right here at Animal Care Hospital, and was happy to accept a job offer in 2005. Brenda says there hasn’t had a dull moment here at the clinic since!

In her time away from work, Brenda likes to read, study history, and crochet. She and her husband now share their home with a kitten and hope to find it a playmate sometime soon.
Chris
Head Veterinary Technician
Chris was raised on a farm west of Springville, Iowa, where a love of nature and science blossomed early on. His involvement in the 4-H program and the Future Farmers of America organization only deepened his passion for animals—veterinary medicine was the obvious career choice.

Chris began working for Animal Care Hospital as kennel worker and assistant in 1996, completing his veterinary technology degree in 2000. That same year, he also took over inventory-management duties, and in 2006, he accepted a promotion to Head Veterinary Technician.

Chris excels in pet dental cleaning—there are few things more satisfying for him than seeing a clean, happy mouth heading out the door after an appointment. He also has a special affinity for senior pet care.

Outside of work, Chris enjoys spending quality time in nature hiking, hunting, biking, and kayaking. He has one pet of his own at home: Ink Blot, a senior cat who is always at the front door to meet him when he arrives home.
Courtney
Veterinary Technician, Kennel Assistant
Courtney grew up here in Cedar Rapids, and she can’t remember a time when her family didn’t have pets around the house. Her mother always had a huge heart for animals, and Courtney inherited that trait—for her, getting to help pets live the best lives possible is a dream come true!

Courtney launched her pet-care journey by signing on as an Assistant Manager at a local pet store. It wasn’t long before she realized that she wanted to help the area’s animals in a more hands-on way. That’s when she decided to dive headfirst into the world of veterinary medicine! Courtney joined the Animal Care Hospital family in October of 2018, and hasn’t looked back since. She’s especially fond of running blood samples in the lab, examining tests under the microscope to find things she can’t see with the naked eye, and performing X-ray scans. Most of all, Courtney loves interacting one-on-one with the pets and animal parents of Cedar Rapids.

Away from the office, Courtney can be found playing sand volleyball, going on nature hikes, or relaxing at home with her menagerie of pets. She shares her life with Max, a laid-back English Bulldog; Lucky the standoffish cat; a black cat named Mamba; two Leopard Geckos who go by Leonard and Little Foot; and a four-and-a-half-foot long ball python.
Emily
Veterinary Technician
Emily shared her family home with a variety of pets growing up. She had dogs and cats, gerbils, mice, a hamster, and even sugar gliders and a green anole. For her, it wasn’t difficult to fall in love with the world of animal care early on—that passion hasn’t changed since. Now, after a few years spent away raising her children, Emily is thrilled to return to the veterinary world as a member of the Animal Care Hospital team!

Emily grew up here in Cedar Rapids after a few years spent living with her family in Montana. She launched her pet-care career by working in kennels, and was then trained on-the-job to become a Veterinary Technician. Emily helped pets and their owners at another animal clinic for nearly eight years, then became a stay-at-home mother for a number of years. When her kids got a bit older, Emily decided to rejoin the workforce—why not return to the wonderful interactions with clients and pets, she thought, by coming back to the veterinary profession?

Most of Emily’s time away from the office is spent caring for her two young boys. She and her family also share their home with a pair of lovable rabbits who love to forage for their treats. When she isn’t spending time with family or tending to pets and their owners here at the clinic, Emily enjoys reading, painting, and practicing her photography skills. She even took headshots for a professional musician in Orchestra Iowa, and one of her paintings has been displayed in a museum!
Gabrielle
Veterinary Assistant
Gabrielle dreamed of helping animals of all shapes and sizes ever since she was a little girl. When she came across an opportunity to care for pets professionally as a member of the Animal Care Hospital family, she decided to go out on a limb and apply. The rest is history—now, Gabrielle gets to help not only pets, but their loving owners as well!

Gabrielle hails from the small town of Shellsburg, Iowa and joined the team here at Animal Care Hospital in the spring of 2019. She finds that she especially likes doing blood draws and filling medications, but her favorite part of every shift is getting to see happy pet parents reunited with their healthy, happy animal companions.

In her free time, Gabrielle likes sewing, drawing, and spending quality time with her family and pets. She is married and has a menagerie of animal companions at home. Gabrielle has seven wonderful cats—Rocky, Odis, Cartman, Bartholomew, Zeus, Athena, and Corlanna—as well as two adorable puppies: Timothy, a Blue Heeler/Rat Terrier mix who loves cuddling and jumping, and a German Shepherd/Fox Terrier mix named Dallas who never fails to give slobbery kisses. Gabrielle is also the proud owner of a beta fish who goes by Spongebob.
Kim
Receptionist
When it came time for a career change, Kim had a thought: how could you have a bad day when you’re surrounded by adorable animals at work? For her, joining the veterinary profession simply made sense. She’s proud to meet and greet pets and their loving owners here at Animal Care Hospital’s front desk!

Kim was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. It was there that she met her husband, an Iowa native. Upon visiting the Midwest to meet her husband’s family, Kim fell in love with the region and the pair decided to relocate. That was 18 years ago—Kim has lived in the area ever since.

Outside of animal care, Kim’s interests include golfing, playing bingo, and traveling. She looks forward to adding a few pets of her own to her family in the near future!
Mercedi
Receptionist
Mercedi has enjoyed spending time around animals for as long as she can remember. Watching her grandmother’s dog give birth to a litter of puppies made a special impression—Mercedi knew that she wanted to help pets in whatever way she could. For her, working as a member of Animal Care Hospital’s front-desk team allows her to use her people skills to better the lives of both animal owners and their adorable pets!

Mercedi is a Cedar Rapids native and became a member of the clinic family in June of 2018. She’s thrilled to help the pets and owners of her hometown, and especially loves meeting new pet parents and keeping up with the fast-paced nature of the hospital.

When she’s not here at the clinic, Mercedi enjoys hiking, traveling, meeting new people, and doting on her own pets at home. She has a sassy Min-Pin named Chica and a laid-back cat who goes by Maya.
Shawnee
Groomer
Although she was born in Cedar Rapids, Shawnee spent a lot of time at her family farm between Vinton and Van Horne during her childhood years. There, she fell in love with the earth’s creatures—especially horses. Shawnee knew ever since that she wanted to work hands-on with animals someday!

Shawnee first started helping out a friend’s parents at their grooming salon, and quickly realized she would love to continue helping pets to look their absolute best. She’s been a professional groomer ever since! Shawnee particularly likes building relationships with the area’s pet owners and their beloved companions, and she makes it her mission every day to make sure that each and every client has a positive grooming experience.

When she isn’t sprucing up pets here at the clinic, Shawnee can be found creating unique dog bows at home, spending quality time with her family, and training her dog. She and her family share their lives with Amara, a Belgian Malinois who is the youngest dog in Iowa to be trained in narcotics recovery; a rescued Husky named Sadie; and a loveable cat named Izzi.
Tiffany
Veterinary Technician
Tiffany has always had a way with animals, so when the time came for her to search for a new and exciting career, veterinary medicine seemed to be a perfect fit. She’s now a veterinary technician with the Animal Care Hospital team.

Tiffany is originally from California, where she and her family had a variety of pets and often took in stray or injured animals as well. Her family moved to Iowa when she was 19 years old, and after working as a nanny for a short time, Tiffany decided to pursue her passion for animal care.

Tiffany joined the Animal Care Hospital team to gain real-world experience and complete her internship before receiving her certification as a veterinary technician in 2014. Her favorite parts of the job are performing dental cleanings and having the opportunity to learn something new every day in the clinic’s busy environment.

Aside from her interests in the world of veterinary medicine, Tiffany’s primary focus is her new baby boy! She also enjoys practicing her photography skills and traveling across America—she’s already been to more than half of the states and plans to eventually visit them all.
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