Meet the Staff of the Grand Rapids Veterinary Clinic
|Dr. Hans Kaldahl
Hans Kaldahl, DVM, spent most of his life growing up in Bismarck, North Dakota. The rural nature of North Dakota attracted him into pursing a career in veterinary medicine and specifically, he intended to practice mixed animal medicine. After graduating from Iowa State University - College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998, he worked in a small animal practice in Brewer, Maine for one year before joining the Grand Rapids Veterinary Clinic in 1999. The job in Grand Rapids was supposed to be a "stop" on their back to North Dakota, but they fell in love with the community and decided to make it their home. Hans and his wife Kristin have two children, Anika and Jens. The family's pets include a Deutsch Drahthaar named "Parker", and a Yorkie named "Kalliope". In his free time he enjoys spending time with his kids, helping coach the kid's activities, spending time outdoors and most sporting events including shooting sports and upland bird hunting. Dr. Kaldahl has served on the board of directors for the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Therese Schneider
Therese Schneider, DVM, joined the Grand Rapids Veterinary Clinic in 1993. She was happy to return to her hometown after living in the Twin Cities area for 10 years. Her father, Jack Bonner, is a retired local opthalmologist who inspired her interest in medicine and animals. Dr. Schneider graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. She worked at the Delano Veterinary Clinic for three years; then worked for three years at Northwest Animal Hospital in Plymouth, MN, before moving back to Grand Rapids. Therese and her husband, Bud, have three children, Becky, Chuck and Jessica, and an English Setter named Sunny. In her free time Therese enjoys many outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, mountain biking and skiing (any activity to get Sunny more exercise). She also attends her daughters' swim meets and has recently become a YMCA swim official. Therese's most recent passion is to spend time hiking, bird watching and exploring the Arizona desert with family and friends.
Dr. Leah Gustafson-Towers
Leah Gustafson-Towers, DVM, was born and raised in the twin cities. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 and started her career here at the Grand Rapids Vet Clinic shortly thereafter. Leah met her husband Joel Towers at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University and married in 2008. They enjoy living on their hobby farm and continue to expand its occupants every year. Some of the long time residents are Leah's horses, dogs and cats. Dr. Leah and Joel had their son, Gabe, in 2012 and are excited he gets to grow up in a thriving small town community. Dr. Leah's favorite past times include horseback riding, upland bird hunting and NAVHDA training with her German shorthair, and spending time with her family and friends.
Dr. Heather Krueger
Heather Krueger, DVM, graduated from Deer River and then attended the U of MN as both an undergraduate and at the College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1995. Despite early career intentions to pursue a practice in equine surgery, life ultimately led her to small animal care. Immediately prior to moving to Grand Rapids in 2002, Dr. Krueger handled relief services for several small animal clinics in the Rochester, MN area. Heather, her husband, and two girls take full advantage of our wonderful Northern MN outdoor opportunities, camping and fishing as much as a busy schedule allows. Their current pets include Tinkerbelle (an elderly bunny), Kiska (a naughty kitty), and Rio (a Flatcoated Retreiver, aka "Silver Spoon"-not that he's spoiled or anything). Fun time for Heather includes cross training, golfing, skiing, reading, quilting, and traveling.
Dr. Erika Butler
Erika Butler, DVM grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota where her passion for animals, wildlife, and the outdoors became apparent at an early age. She graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2002, with a bachelor's of science in wildlife and fisheries management. Following her advisor’s encouragement, she applied and was accepted to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Erika took a non-traditional path in her schooling and early career. She focused her veterinary education on wildlife population health and disease detection, surveillance, and management. Following graduation in 2006, Erika worked as the state wildlife veterinarian for both the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR), which provided amazing opportunities to handle a wide array of free-ranging wildlife and participate in ground breaking wildlife disease research. Some of her favorite experiences included collaring moose, caribou, bighorn sheep, deer, and wolves and serving as the primary investigator for the MN DNR’s Moose Mortality Project. In 2014 Erika accepted a veterinarian position at Nor-West Animal Clinic in Fort Frances, Ontario, which is her husband’s, Pete, hometown. There she treated both large and small animals. She also worked with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to help translocate a Lake Superior island population of endangered woodland caribou and assisted them with various wildlife rehabilitation cases. In 2020 Erika and Pete began considering a move back to Minnesota. The lakes and forests surrounding Grand Rapids, coupled with its proximity to their families, sealed the deal for them and Erika joined the Grand Rapids Veterinary Hospital in June of 2020. Erika’s professional interests include infectious diseases and promoting ethical and responsible breeding practices (such as breed appropriate health testing) and she is currently in the process of becoming certified to do PennHip testing. She and Pete are passionate fishermen (both hard and open water) and enjoy bird hunting. They spend much of their free time chasing fins and feathers and can often be found camping on islands on Rainy Lake and lakes north of Grand Rapids. Erika is also a “rock hound” and it is not unusual for her to have a pocket (or trunk) full of rocks or fossils. Their three dogs, Lindy, Lota, and Keeper, join them on nearly every adventure (they even sleep in their own tent!), while their two cats, Winnie and Piglet, patrol the house.
- Pam Ketola, CVT
- Brianna Klennert, CVT
- Jessica Kutschat, CVT
- Marissa McKinney, CVT
- Becky Stangler, CVT
- Susie Schumacher, VT
- Carrie White, CVT
A vet tech is to the veterinarian what the nurse is to the doctor -- indispensable. They are responsible for the care of in-hospital patients. They are client educators, surgical nurses, phlebotomists, X-ray and dental technicians. They maintain the surgery and treatment rooms, the laboratory and pharmacy, and supervise veterinary assistants and kennel staff. A certified veterinary technician (CVT) has completed a two-year program from an accredited college and has successfully passed a state and national exam.
- Brenda Luoma, VA, Office Manager
- Stephanie Roberts
The clinic assistants are typically non-licensed technicians who assist both the doctor and the technicians. She/he may monitor hospitalized patients and track inventory. Clinic assistants are client educators and phlebotomists. They assist in X-ray, dental, laboratory and pharmacy duties.
- Dee Lovdahl, Human Resources Manager
- Kelli Weimer, VT
- Tiffany Gesme
- Maggie Motyl (Longville Office)
Veterinary receptionists, also known as the gatekeepers, are the windows to the world of veterinary practice. They are the warm and caring voice on the phone and the smile that greets in-coming clients. This position requires multi-tasking, salesmanship, problem-solving, fielding technical calls, performing simple bookkeeping, clerical functions, and of course love for animals AND people.
- Tami Wiltgen
- Mariah Hill
- Alexis Polister
The kennel staff is responsible for the physical appearance of the clinic, making sure that the place looks, smells, and feels clean and comfortable. Their duties include housekeeping, laundry, caring for in-hospital patients and boarders. Kennel assistants also run errands, assist the doctors, techs and assistants. Although their work is mostly “behind the scenes”, they are the key to your pet's comfort and our peace of mind.