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Picture courtesy of Michelle Trombetta (bombchellephotos.smugmug.com)

Christa Williams, DVM, DABVP (canine/feline)


I grew up in Michigan but came to call the Twin Cities home after graduating from Carleton College with a B.A. in Religious Studies in 1992. After a year or two of post-graduate soul-searching, I realized that I wanted to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. I spent the next several years fulfilling the pre-vet math and science requirements. In 1997 I was accepted to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota; I can still remember screaming as I ran all over my house waving the acceptance letter in the air!

I received my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2001 and have spent the last decade and a half deepening my passion for my profession and discovering what kind of veterinarian I want to be.

One of the best parts of my job is the fact that there is always something new to learn—the science of medicine is such a rapidly expanding field that your education must continue long after graduation.

In order to delve more deeply into the science of my practice, in 2010 I completed the rigorous certification process to become a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. This organization is authorized by the American Veterinary Medical Association to confer “Specialist” status on General Practitioners who successfully complete the certification process. Today I am one of a handful of veterinarians in Minnesota who have completed this process in the canine/feline category. (www.abvp.com)

As a clinician, I have a special passion for all aspects of veterinary dentistry—there are few things more satisfying than making an infected, painful mouth healthy and comfortable for a patient. I also take deep satisfaction from helping clients with geriatric pets manage chronic diseases to maximize quality of life. Dermatology, Gastroenterology and Behavior are additional areas of special interest for me. And then there is the joy that comes from watching a puppy or kitten become a member of the family….

My interactions with clients are really what bring me the most job satisfaction. I love being a part of the important relationships that people have with the animals in their lives. I started Caravan Vet in order to provide exceptional veterinary care in a way that would minimize stress for my patients and maximize my ability to connect with my clients. I love helping people take the best possible care of their beloved family members! In 2014 I was truly honored when one of my clients nominated me for the American Humane Association’s Hero Vet Award. Out of 700 nationwide entries, I was one of five finalists.

My own furry family consists of Fia, a Standard Poodle with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and separation anxiety and Frida, my eight year old cat who insists that she is perfectly fine and I so should stop trying to look in her mouth. In 2012 I lost my “soul mate” cat, Piggy to his battle with Lymphoma; he was one month shy of his eighteenth birthday. Fia and Frida have wondered who was in charge since then, but their concerns were laid to rest when Fia and I found Wander Lee on a sidewalk on a freezing November day in 2014. She was frostbitten, emaciated and in liver failure but after several weeks of intensive nursing care made a full recovery and now rules the roost. (Don’t get me started about Wander unless you have a few hours to spare and really enjoy home videos of cats drinking from the faucet!)

When I am not seeing patients I enjoy volunteering with a local non-profit, People and Pets Together (formerly The Pet Project), which provides pet food and veterinary assistance to pet parents who are struggling financially. I am an active member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and The American Veterinary Dental Society. I love working out at The Firm, cooking elaborate vegan meals and walking Fia around the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. It is an honor and a privilege to be a veterinarian and I am sincerely grateful for the trust that my clients place in me every day!

 

Picture courtesy of Michelle Trombetta (bombchellephotos.smugmug.com)

Jenn Wilder, DVM


The story is a familiar one; a child grows up surrounded by animals of all sizes, and upon entering those formidable adult years, sets off down the path to realize his/her dream of becoming a veterinarian. For me, however, I required more persuading before responding to this call. As a young person, I soon recognized the one true flaw in the animal world: that they simply do not live long enough. Having witnessed the struggle of family pets as they succumbed to their various health issues, I was overwhelmed by my lack of understanding while feeling utterly helpless. That experience growing up left an indelible mark on me that shaped my career path.

The direction of my life changed after I graduated from the College of Saint Benedict and moved to the Pacific Northwest. Volunteering as an AmeriCorps VISTA for a local literacy program, I was in the midst of my errands one day when I was stopped in my tracks at the sight of an abandon pet, tethered to a building just steps in front of me. With a package of half-eaten hotdogs lying next to him and clear injuries to his face, I was profoundly struck by this dog, who despite what he had been through, was still wagging his tail, and looking for attention from anyone who would stop. While there was little I could do for this dog, I realized that as a veterinarian, I would have the skills to change this pet’s lot. Instantly, I wanted to be an advocate for what he was going through, and I wanted to know how to best alleviate his pain and suffering.

Looking back on it now, what seemed like a typical, almost lackluster day became a defining moment in my life. I eagerly applied for vet school the following fall and received a DVM degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. After graduating, I pursued an additional year of intensive training in internal medicine and surgery at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners here in the Twin Cities. 

After almost 4 years in general practice at a busy clinic in the metro area, I am ecstatic to join the Caravan Vet team, and play an integral role in the lives of pets beyond the clinic. Throughout my formal training, I have cultivated a love for veterinary dentistry, radiology, and dermatology. I’m passionate about strengthening the human-animal bond, and enjoy working alongside owners to deliver the care pets deserve.

My own life would not be complete without Bean, an overly-enthusiastic Pitbull rescue who still questions the need for commands like, “sit” and “stay”, and loves to commune with nature in her own way. Bean was loved by a family before me but was surrendered after a brush with death that required 2 blood transfusions for a full recovery. I am happy to report that she is wagging her tail and doing great.

When not working, I love driving up the North shore to visit my friend and her 50 sled dogs, stopping by the best pie shop (Rustic Inn Café!) before returning home. When given the chance, I also love meeting up with friends to try a new restaurant or brewery in Minneapolis—of which, there is no shortage!

 

(Picture courtesy of Kate McGough, Perspective Studio)

Michele Turrentine, CVT


After attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth for the first three years of my undergraduate degree and changing my major about 12 times, I finally decided that I wanted to be a veterinary technician. I transferred to Argosy University and graduated with an A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology in October 2004. I successfully passed the certification test in January 2005.

Some of the things I enjoy most about being a veterinary technician are educating clients, performing dental cleanings and meeting new puppies and kittens. I have a special interest in dentistry and in cats who have Inappropriate Urination issues. I also like to attend continuing education seminars to learn about the new advancements in veterinary medicine.

My pet family includes Sophie, who is the perfect feline companion. I can't seem to go anywhere around the house without Sophie close at my heels. My second feline friend is Alby, who unlike Sophie, decided that it was much too boring to be perfect. Alby suffers from IBD, a case of bladder stones, cataracts, anxiety and elevated calcium levels!! She likes to keep me on my toes!

When I am not at work, I like to run in local road races (Grandma's Marathon is my favorite!). Watching movies, either at home or at a theater, is my idea of a perfect day. I especially like old Esther Williams movies! When I moved into my house there were no gardens in the yard. I quickly took care of that, it was my goal to have the best looking gardens on the block. This is a goal I am still trying to achieve but getting closer every year. Curling up with a good book, taking walks with my husband and visiting the Caribbean Islands on a cruise ship round out how I like to spend my free time.

 

(Picture courtesy of Sarah Beth Photography)

Marla Richter, BS, CVT


My career in the veterinary field started by cleaning kennels to earn some extra money while completing my Associate's degree in Biology in Ely, Minnesota.I transferred to the U of M- Twin Cities to complete a Bachelors degree in Environmental Education and continued to pick up shifts at veterinary clinics. Although my field of study did not produce the job opportunities I had expected, my time working in veterinary clinics did. I continued to work in various positions throughout the clinic and after 6 years of trying to decide what to do next, I went back to school and earned my Associate's in veterinary technology.

I most enjoy educating people about pet care and the tips and strategies they can use for their specific pet's needs. Animal behavior is facinating and the techniques and theories are constantly evolving. Geriatric patients also hold a special place in my heart. There is nothing better than improving the life of a much loved companion.

My free time is spent volunteering with The Pet Project a not for profit organization that strives to keep pets in their homes. I also foster with Wags and Whiskers Rescue and have enjoyed watching dogs grow, learning their personalities, and matching them up with the perfect home.

I am owned by an amazing tabby cat T J who is currently battling cancer. A boisterous Lab named Kid who has helped educate me first hand about living with a dog with allergies and skin issues. My most recent rescue is a wonderfully stubborn terrier mix named Hippo. He has surpassed my expectations by passing his canine good citizen test and also becoming a certified therapy dog. He loves visiting residents at a local assisted living facility. Hippo is also teaching me the finer points of training an agility dog. We enjoy many outdoor activites with the dogs including hiking, camping, and running

 

Picture courtesy of Michelle Trombetta (bombchellephotos.smugmug.com)

Nancy Schrupp, CVT


After working a few administrative assistant jobs, I realized my true passion was to be a Veterinary Technician, so I returned to school and graduated from Argosy with a degree in Veterinary technology in 1998.

I worked with Christa and Michele for many years and have watched as Caravan Vet has grown to be a thriving practice. I am very excited to be a part of the Caravan Vet team!

As a veterinary technician, I love being able to educate clients, get to know their pets, and play a part in helping to make their relationship with their animals even better. I really enjoy dentistry and always find it very rewarding to hear from a client how much better their pet feels after a dental procedure. I am also very interested in the advancements that the veterinary profession has made in making veterinary visits less stressful for pets and really enjoy continuing to learn about “fear free” handling techniques.

I have two dogs. Porter is a Doberman Pinscher who was adopted from the Carver Scott Humane Society when he was a year and a half- he is about to turn 10! Layla is a German Shepherd that I took in at 16 weeks of age, from a family member who was in a severe car accident. Layla is also going to be 10 and still enjoys many visits and overnights with her real mom- she basically has two wonderful homes! Then, after having to say goodbye to three cats in less than two years, Boo Too came into my life! He was abandoned at the door of the clinic where I was working. I was the first one to arrive at work that day, and he had bright blue eyes and white fur, much like my cat Blue, who had just passed, so I said I would “foster” him. He does have some issues, but special food is helping his urinary tract to stay healthy. As you can guess, he is not a foster, he has found his forever home!

My husband Andy and I have lived in Apple Valley for 24 years. We really enjoy spending time with family and friends, going for motorcycle rides and camping. Of course, I also love to spend time with my pets!