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 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)
My love for veterinary medicine has been a part of my life for a very long time. In second grade I decided that I wanted to work in the veterinary profession, and I worked at veterinary clinics from the age of 16 until I graduated from high school in 2004. After high school I went on to complete my Bachelors of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, majoring in Biology. After I graduated from UWRF I decided to become a Veterinary Technician. I attended Globe University and received my Associates degree in 2011. Soon after graduation I became a Certified Veterinary Technician and I would not give it up for the world!
When I’m not at work, I enjoy going for bike rides with my girlfriend; once we made it all the way from St. Paul to Stillwater and back in a single day! I also really enjoy watching movies at home or in the theater. I can’t wait to start gardening in my new house. I have recently started painting and drawing again. I’m a bit rusty, but am excited to see what happens once I start practicing again.
Our fur/scaly babies consist of our cat Octavious who was recently diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease and Munster, Octavious’ brother, who has had some issues with crystals in his urine. These two have taught me a lot about the feline urinary tract! Patches is our calico cat; she has struggled with constipation issues and defecating outside the box, but has become much better since getting her diet under control- she still rules the roost! Peanut is our rambunctious Boxer/Bulldog mix. She had a rough start in life, but has become a very social girl and has taught me a great many things about behavior and allergies. Serenity, our Boston Terrier, came to us as a very sick 4 week old puppy. She had a small trachea and an upper respiratory tract infection and spent her first 48 hours with us in the hospital, but 2 years later is one of the fastest and most stubborn of the crew. Our latest canine addition is a Boxer named Lucy. She has a lot of separation anxiety, but she has really become a great part of the family. Lastly our scaly baby is a corn snake named Nugget.