Staff of Cottage Grove Animal Hospital

Joanne R., CVPM, Hospital Manager, Veterinary Technician and Radiation Safety Officer

Joanne joined the Cottage Grove Animal Hospital in 2000, a month before the practice opened. She wears many hats due to over 25 years of experience in the field. As a veterinary technician, she takes patient histories, handles laboratory work, takes radiographs, monitors anesthesia, assists during surgeries and dental procedures and educates clients.

Beyond those responsibilities, she also implements management software, ensures adherence to administrative policies and procedures, including bookkeeping, sales tax, payroll and purchasing, and implements Hospital Management Plans, which include OSHA, Radiation Safety and Emergency Action Plans. She has an Associate's degree and excels in organizational management and problem solving.

"We are a very tight-knit family – most of us have worked together for years," she says. "I'm proud to say we don't have any turnover with our staff. Great clientele is a bonus!"

Joanne has a Golden Retriever named Kai and a Paso Fino horse named Desi. She spends her free time training Kai and trail riding Desi. Kai is an AKC Obedience Trial Champion, Tracking Champion and models for various advertising and dog food companies. Joanne is a member of the Greater Twin Cities Golden Retriever Club and the Golden Retriever Club of America.

Tammy B., Certified Veterinary Technician

Tammy joined our practice in April 2001 and brings over 20 years of animal care experience to the team. As a veterinary technician, she is responsible for patient histories, laboratory work, X-rays, anesthesia, surgical preparation, dental work, medications and patient care. She is a certified veterinary technician in Minnesota and has an Associate's degree.

"I have worked with many of my co-workers as long as I have been in the field," she says. "We all work very well together and have a great clientele." Tammy has two Labrador Retrievers named Gump and Dixie and two cats named Lovebug and Harry. She enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, walking and playing with her dogs.

Penni, CVT Penni T., Certified Veterinary Technician

Penni is a certified veterinary technician who joined the Cottage Grove Animal Hospital team in October 2000. Her responsibilities include checking in patients, assisting our doctors during examinations and surgery, performing dental cleaning, helping educate clients and nursing surgical patients during recovery. She particularly enjoys grooming. Penni has two Associate's degrees in science and arts.

"The people I work with are like family – we get along well inside and outside work," she says.

When not at the hospital, Penni enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She and her husband Rob and their two sons Jesse and Chase love camping, exploring, sports and family game night. They have two cats named Pickles and Olive.

Cassie S., CVT Cassie S., Certified Veterinary Technician

Cassie joined the Cottage Grove Animal Hospital in October 2016. Her responsibilities as a certified veterinary technician include monitoring patients under anesthesia, administering medication to animals, performing dental cleaning procedures and filling prescriptions and medications. Cassie has a "go with the flow" attitude, and her calmness transfers over to the wide variety of animals she works with. Cassie earned her veterinary technology degree from Argosy University.

"This hospital is a good fit and we treat each other like family," Cassie says.

At home, Cassie has four cats named Riley, Cleo, Axel and Chiana, as well as two dogs named Bridgette and Wheeler. Bridgette is a Vizsla mix and Wheeler is a boxer mix. Cassie enjoys snuggling with her fur babies, crocheting and reading. She spends her free time with family and friends. Cassie and her boyfriend purchased their first home in 2015.

Rachel D., Veterinary Technician Rachel D., Veterinary Technician

Rachel has been with the Cottage Grove Animal Hospital team since September of 2021. She brings over six years of experience to the table as she collects medical histories, performs laboratory procedures, and assists in surgeries and dental cleanings.

With an Associate degree in Animal Science, Rachel also brings her own unique attributes of team mentality and reliability. She loves how welcoming the veterinary hospital is, enjoying coming to work each day.

When she’s not working, Rachel can always be found with her son, Tyson. Together, they love being outdoors, reading books, and hanging out with grandma and grandpa. She also loves trying out new restaurants in the area.

Jacqueline V., Veterinary Assistant Jacqueline V., Veterinary Assistant

Jacqueline’s favorite part of the job is cuddling your furry friends, so they aren’t nervous while they’re here. She rewards bravery with treats and loves making you feel like you’re part of a family.

“I love working at CGAH because everyone working here WANTS to be here, and the animals we care for come first...” she says.

Jacqueline has over fifteen years of experience working with animals, including grooming, training, and loving them. She has a knack for staying patient and calm in high-stress situations and has an eye for body language. Though Jacqueline doesn’t yet have a degree, she is working toward her degree and is planning on transferring into a Veterinary Technician program soon.

She has a six-year-old Shiba Inu Mix named Sadie, who likes to play fetch. Jacqueline spends her spare time helping with Animal Inn Training schools Jr. Program, spending time with her husband and the couple off-road clubs they are a part of. Jacqueline also likes camping, art, drawing, working with clay, and hiking.

Jessica M., Receptionist Jessica M., Receptionist

Jessica joined the staff at Cottage Grove Animal Hospital in September 2016. As a receptionist, she is responsible for scheduling appointments, filing, assisting clients, as well as verifying patient and client information. Jessica holds an Associate degree in Applied Science with a concentration in Veterinary Technology from Globe University. Jessica prefers working as a receptionist.

"We truly are one big family," Jessica says. "Everyone always has each other's back and we have wonderful clients."

Jessica shares her home with a Teddy Bear dog named Zoey, a red-eared slider turtle named Hubbell and a goldfish named Macaroni. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys reading, photography, yoga and spending time with her family.

Lisa S., Receptionist Lisa S., Receptionist

As a customer service representative Lisa's duties include scheduling appointments, answering the phones, filing, assisting clients, as well as verifying patient and client information. Since joining the practice in December 2009, she finds great satisfaction in making sure all of our patients and clients have good experiences. Lisa has a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from the University of Minnesota Crookston.

"The staff here is amazing!" she says. "I consider them all close friends, not just great co-workers. We strive to take care of the pets to the best of our ability and listen to our clients' wants and needs."

Lisa enjoys spending her free time at the family cabin, playing volleyball, scrapbooking, fishing, hiking, watching Minnesota Twins games, and hanging out with family. She has two teenage Chocolate Labs named Grace and Chloe. They love being social and really enjoy going on walks, riding on the kayaks, and playing fetch.

Shuana S., Receptionist Shuana S., Receptionist

Shuana has been a full-time receptionist with Cottage Grove since September of 2021. She loves being in the field of animal welfare and aiding like-minded animal lovers as she answers phones, communicates with clients, handles transactions, and schedules appointments. She has a BA in Creative Writing.

With three young cats named Thalia, Athena, and Dita, Shauna enjoys a special kinship with the clinic cats as well. She also has two chinchillas and four hens.

Shauna has teaching certificates in yoga and dance and loves practicing and teaching. She also enjoys cooking, hiking, camping, napping, and spending time with family and friends. She’s also a movie and podcast enthusiast and unwinds with some good wine.

Moonface, Clinic Greeter, Staff Counselor and Security Guard

If you visit the clinic and find a friendly cat brushing up against your legs who you didn't walk in with, chances are it's Moonface, our self-appointed greeter and ambassador of goodwill and comfort.

"The staff here is great!" meows Moonface. "I have trained them extremely well. The clientele is also the best at being able to be so flexible and pay attention to my needs. I even have a special delivery of catnip from one client and another one comes to just spend time with me."

When not soliciting affection from clients and staff, Moonface can often be found sleeping on the fridge, sunbathing or eating hay. She also takes obedience classes with Joanne, who is teaching her to drink water only from designated areas and not to beg for treats.