Dr. David E. Graeff
Dr. David Graeff grew up on a farm in a small Missouri community where he developed a fascination with animal care early in life. Shadowing his family’s veterinarian only deepened his passion. Now, he’s able to make a difference in the lives of the area’s families every day as the Owner and Chief Veterinarian here at Animal Care Hospital.
Dr. Graeff studied biochemistry and animal nutrition at the University of Missouri at Columbia before receiving his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the university in 1983. He moved to Iowa shortly after graduation, and has been caring for area pets for more than 25 years! Owner of Animal Care Hospital since 1986, Dr. Graeff is particularly passionate about diagnostic work and problem-solving. For him, the greatest reward of his work is getting to see healthy pets reunited with their happy owners.
Dr. Sarah Hickey
Dr. Sarah Hickey developed a passion for animals during her early years growing up in Dubuque, Iowa, where she spent countless hours on horseback. It didn’t take her long to decide that her purpose in life was to help animals in any way possible, and to strengthen the special bonds between people and their pets. She’s proud to continue pursuing that goal as an Associate Veterinarian here at Animal Care Hospital.
As an undergraduate student, Dr. Hickey had the opportunity to study abroad in Central America and spent time in underdeveloped and overpopulated areas that were littered with trash, starving livestock, and stray dogs and cats.
Dr. Tyler Zylstra
For many people, there comes a time in their lives when they realize the career paths they chose weren’t meant for them. Such was the case for Dr. Tyler Zylstra. Born and reared in northwest Iowa, Dr. Zylstra initially pursued a career in engineering. He quickly discovered, however, that sitting behind a desk staring at a computer all day simply wasn’t going to work for him. It was at that moment that he decided to follow his heart and work with animals and their owners.
In pursuit of that goal, Dr. Zylstra attended Iowa State University where he completed his undergraduate studies and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. After graduation he relocated to Cedar Rapids where he began working in emergency as well general veterinary medicine. Over time, Dr. Zylstra realized his primary interest was general practice where he can see cases through from start to finish. He also prefers it because he believes that staying a step ahead of illness is the key to helping pets enjoy long, happy, and healthy lives.
Dr. Allison Culver
A Cedar Rapids native, Dr. Culver has always had a passion for animals and science. As an inquisitive 4-year-old, they demanded to learn the water cycle because “it dried up” was not a satisfactory answer to the question of what happened to puddles, and they would go out of their way to learn about any new critter that crossed their path. Dr. Culver soon realized veterinary medicine provided the perfect opportunity to combine both interests.
Dr. Culver attended Iowa State University where they completed their undergraduate studies and received their DVM in 2022. It was there that they developed a passion for internal medicine, particularly cardiology. Ultimately, a love of problem-solving pushed Dr. Culver to pursue general practice, and they greatly enjoy personalizing veterinary care to best meet the needs of each client and their pet.