Our team

Our Veterinarians

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Meet the folks who make it all happen. We see big potential in every moment, & care deeply about what we do every day.

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Get To Know Our Veterinary Team

We are solely dedicated to your pet’s care! We look forward to getting to know you, and we hope you’ll take the time to scroll down and get to know us.

Veterinarians

Dr. Sarah Hickey

Dr. Sarah Hickey

Veterinarian / Surgical Director

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.

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Her experiences there made a permanent impression on her, and as a result, while attending Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, she became an ambassador for a non-profit veterinary service organization. Dr. Hickey soon traveled back to developing countries in both Central and South America to provide veterinary care and relief services. Today, she continues to visit developing countries and Native American reservations to provide veterinary care to those in need.

Dr. Hickey received her DVM from Iowa State University in 2015 where she developed a strong interest in integrative medicine and surgical work. Shortly after graduating, she became a certified veterinary acupuncturist through the Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine, and later, a certified veterinary chiropractitioner. In the years following, she worked diligently to complete surgical courses and mentorships to develop her skill sets in orthopedic and advanced soft-tissue surgery.

When she’s not busy helping animals, Dr. Hickey enjoys riding her fat-tire bicycle, renovating and woodworking, traveling, and spending time with her family, friends, and her dog Bentley. Bentley is a rescued, toothless Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that can often be seen riding in his special backpack while he and Dr. Hickey bike around town or snoozing in the front of her kayak on the lake.

Dr. Tyler Zylstra

Dr. Tyler Zylstra

Veterinarian / Medical Director

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 as general veterinary medicine.

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Over time, Dr. Zylstra realized his primary interest was being a Veterinarian where he could 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. Zylstra and his wife, Ashley, have three dogs: Maggie, a rescue shepherd mix and Dr. Zylstra’s first pet, Missy, a Border Collie mix who enjoys napping on the couch, and Mozzie (a.k.a. “Moose),” another shepherd mix who also loves napping as well as running around chasing his giant purple ball and playing in the snow. In his spare time, Dr. Zylstra enjoys woodworking, sporting clays, spending time outdoors, and playing golf. He is currently remodeling his basement to add a wet bar and media room.

Dr. Allison Culver

Dr. Allison Culver

Veterinarian

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.

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Outside of the hospital, Dr. Culver likes to kayak, hike, write fiction, and spend time with family and friends. They hope to eventually inspire their cat, Georgia, to love the outdoors as much as they do—only time will tell if she and Dr. Culver will ever be able to go hiking together.

Practice Manager

Tay
Heidi
Hospital Practice Manager.

Bio coming soon!

Technicians

Chris M.
Chris M.

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 a 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.

Brenda W
Brenda W.

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.

Hannah M.
Hannah M.

Registered Veterinary Technician

Hannah grew up in the small town of Oran, Iowa where agriculture was all around her. Growing up she had dogs, cats, and rabbits as part of her family. When she started 4-H and FFA, you could find her showing dairy cattle and her rabbits at the local county fairs. From this, she knew she wanted to find her way into the veterinary field.

She decided to go to Kirkwood to attend their Veterinary Technology program. After the move she saw a job opening at Animal Care Hospital and knew she had to apply. She started working at the clinic in September of 2020 and worked while attending college. She graduated from Kirkwood in May of 2022 and soon after passed her national and state boards becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician and even adopted her training dog from the program, a German Shepherd mix named River, and took in a stray cat she named Walter.

Now she is working full-time in the clinic and putting her school knowledge to use. She enjoys monitoring anesthesia for surgeries, performing dental cleanings and giving all the animals that come in lots of love. When not at work she enjoys going out on hikes with her dog or relaxing at home taking a nice nap with her pets.

Rachel M.
Rachel M.

Registered Veterinary Technician

As a child growing up in Davenport, IA, Rachel always knew she wanted to work with animals. And while her journey may have taken a few twists and turns along the way, she is thrilled to finally be in a career that she loves!

Following high school, Rachel earned her Applied Science degree from Kirkwood in 2012. After witnessing firsthand the incredible care her mother’s cat Scarlett received during a serious medical emergency, Rachel decided that animal health care was the path she was meant to complete. She returned to school in the summer of 2020 and became a Veterinary Technician.

In practice, Rachel particularly enjoys running blood work. She also has an interest in anesthesia for procedures and surgeries, because she understands how important it is for the safety and comfort of our patients.

At home, Rachel is a fur mom to three cats: Gerald, who is smart and loves attention; Gray, who is a world-class cuddler; and Bella, who has the cutest squeak of a meow and loves to have her belly and armpits scratched.

Rachel served in the National Guard for six years, during which time she completed lots of different training exercises before eventually being promoted to E5 Sergeant Team Leader. Her most memorable experience was completing the sidewinder competition, a 24-hour physical and mental competition with lots of different tasks and events competing against other military units in Iowa.

Kieri M.
Kieri M.

Veterinary Technician Assistant

Kieri grew up with the family pets and always wanted to do everything she could to help them live happier, healthier lives. That passion simply never left, so for Kieri, a career spent helping animals as a member of the veterinary profession made perfect sense. She’s proud to serve as a member of the veterinary assistant team here at Animal Care Hospital.

Originally from Marengo, Iowa, Kieri launched her animal-care journey in 2017 when she signed on at a grooming salon. She worked hard to perfect her craft and learned invaluable skills that continue to serve her well. Kieri remained at the salon for several years before deciding to take the leap into veterinary care—that’s when she joined Animal Care Hospital, and the rest is history.

Around the office, Kieri enjoys comforting animals and interacting one-on-one with their owners. For her, being able to make a difference for an entire family is what it’s all about.

Away from work, Kieri is an avid music fan (she’s seen Maroon 5 multiple times!) and dotes on her laid-back dog, Wendy.

Jordan
Jordan

Veterinary Technician Assistant

Jordan has had pets in her life for as long as she can remember. When she has the chance to make a difference in the life of an animal, she takes it—that’s why she decided to join the world of veterinary medicine. Jordan brings her own pets here to the hospital, so becoming a member of the clinic team simply made sense.

Jordan is originally from Austin, Texas, and moved to Iowa with her family when she was just a year old. As a client of Animal Care Hospital, Jordan was happy to join the team officially in August 2020 working as a veterinary assistant, and hopes to attend school in the future to become a licensed veterinary technician.

Outside work, Jordan enjoys painting, crocheting, and spending time with her friends, family, and pets. She and her family have two cats and four dogs—Frank, Honey the Black Lab, a terrier called Dottie, and Lady the Corgi.

Moriah T.
Moriah T.

Veterinary Technician Assistant

Moriah grew up in Cedar Rapids with her parents, two younger siblings, and plenty of family pets. She’s adored the company of the earth’s creatures ever since she was a little girl. Getting to give something back by working as a member of the veterinary world is very rewarding for her! Moriah is a proud member of Animal Care Hospital’s reception team.

Shortly after moving to Mason City for her collegiate studies, Moriah took a job at the local Humane Society, where she got her foot in the door of the animal-care world. It was such a great experience that she knew she wanted to do even more. Moriah signed on here at Animal Care Hospital a short time later and hasn’t looked back since.

Away from work, Moriah enjoys drawing, playing video games, and doting on her own pets at home. She has two dogs, a cat, a bird, and two guinea pigs who enjoy eating to their hearts’ content and then screaming at Moriah when the food bowl is empty.

Administrative Team

Holly K.
Holly K.
Team Coordinator

Holly grew up surrounded by pets and developed a passion for animals at a very young age. As she got older, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career that would let her share that passion with others. As one of our amazing receptionists, Holly helps our clients and patients feel welcome and comfortable during their visits!

At home, Holly has many pets of her own, including a dog named Bailey, who knows how to high-five, a mini pig named Wednesday, a hedgehog named Rose, a hairless guinea pig named Peaches, and several snakes and geckos. Holly was recently able to successfully breed her crested gecko and leopard gecko, which resulted in a few happy, healthy babies.

Tay
Tay
Receptionist/Kennel Assistant

As a kid growing up in Cedar Rapids, Tay didn’t have many personal interests other than helping animals. Now, as a Kennel Worker here at Animal Care Hospital Tay will have the opportunity to turn that lifelong interest into a truly fulfilling career.

Outside of work, Tay is pet-parent to a small zoo of animals, including seven dogs (Princess, Panda, Tyson, Loki, Thor, PJ, and Gremlin), one cat (Lily), and three snakes (Benny, BJ, and Sapphire). So far, Tay has taught all of the dogs how to shake hands.

When not tending to all the animals at home, Tay enjoys running and is proud to hold the family record!