Our Careteam

Brett

Office Manager

Brett had worked in a wealth of different industries over the past decade, but he didn’t realize that something had been missing until he started here at Companions Animal Hospital. That “something” was the gratification of giving back to families in his hometown of St. Cloud! Brett impacts the lives of pets and their owners every day as the hospital’s Office Manager.

Brett joined the Companions Animal Hospital family in January of 2017, where he makes it his mission to ensure that each and every visitor to the clinic—four- and two-legged alike—receives the ultimate in compassionate care. He particularly likes meeting the area’s pet owners on a daily basis and interacting directly with their animal companions.

At home, Brett lives with his three children and two pets: Lolla the rat and Blitz, a dog who loves to sleep in the kids’ bed. When he isn’t supporting his children at their various sporting events or caring for the area’s pets and animal parents here at the hospital, Brett can be found spending time outdoors, traveling, and serving as the coach of a semi-professional football team.

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Steph

Client Care Representative

Steph began fostering for a local animal rescue about 10 years ago, and quickly fell in love with the process. Knowing that she could make a real difference in the lives of animals was incredibly rewarding! When the opportunity arose for her to combine her love of pets with her background in customer service, Steph didn’t hesitate—she’s proud to serve St. Cloud’s pet parents as a Client Care Representative.

After working for several years as a graphic artist and then as a sales representative, Steph took time off to raise her second child and become a stay-at-home mother. That’s when she first became involved in animal rescue—Steph knew immediately that she’d found her true calling. She joined the Companions Animal Hospital family in 2016 and is now a Client Care Representative.

Much of Steph’s time away from the clinic is also spent caring for animals, as she’s still actively involved in local animal rescue efforts. Otherwise, she can usually be found supporting one of her three children at their various sports and activities. (Steph and her husband stay quite busy between their eldest daughter’s college career, their younger daughter’s competitive dance matches, and their son’s involvement in football, baseball, and basketball!) The family shares their home with three dogs—Asia, a loveable black Lab; a lazy yellow Lab named Abby; and a rescued pit bull who goes by Annie—as well as Dante the Siamese cat and two sassy outdoor felines, Juno and Wiskas.

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Sherry

Client Care Representative

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Mendi

Certified Veterinary Technician

After spending her early years in Wyoming with her parents and two brothers, Mendi and her family relocated to Minnesota. Between time spent visiting the horses on her grandfather’s property and watching her father nurse an eagle back to health on the family’s porch, Mendi knew one thing very early on: she would love to help animals every day as a veterinary professional. Now, she’s been doing just that for nearly twenty years!

After high school, Mendi secured a job as a Kennel Assistant at what was then Clearwater Road Pet Hospital. Dr. Nancy Cowardin bought the clinic two years later, and Mendi has been here ever since! She’s found that her true passion lies in teaching and training—for Mendi, being able to pass her knowledge on to a fellow staff member or one of the area’s pet owners is the ultimate reward.

In her spare time, Mendi enjoys dabbling in yardwork and curling up with a good romance novel. She and her husband have one son—he’s currently juggling a full load of college courses and a demanding work schedule—and also share their home with Fig, an elderly cat, as well as a frisky dog named Tank.

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Katie

Certified Veterinary Technician

At the age of three or four, Katie crossed a busy road—unbeknownst to her mother—to rescue a kitten who was hiding under a neighbor’s deck. The frightened cat wouldn’t come out for anyone except Katie! She knew from then on that she had a special connection with animals. What better way to do something she loved and help others in need, Katie mused, than by working as a veterinary professional?

Katie is a St. Cloud native and studied veterinary technology in her hometown to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. She joined the Companions Animal Hospital family in the summer of 2014, and has been caring for the pets and animal parents of St. Cloud ever since. Katie’s favorite part of her job is educating new puppy or kitten owners, and she also likes learning new things in the laboratory area.

In her time away from the hospital, Katie enjoys traveling—her favorite vacation so far included a parasailing adventure in the Bahamas!—and singing in karaoke contests. Along with her husband and two wonderful young boys, Katie shares her home with a pair of mischievous cats and an energetic young Golden Retriever.

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Annie

Overnight Animal Caretaker

Annie’s own pets have always been there for her in times of need—she knows firsthand the true importance of the relationships we share with our pets! Being able to give something back to others’ animal friends is a dream come true for Annie. She’s the Overnight Animal Caretaker at Companions Animal Hospital.

Annie grew up in South Carolina and Minnesota, where she always gravitated toward animals, nature, and the great outdoors. Although she’d harbored a passion for pets since she was a little girl, she found herself in other career fields as an adult. It wasn’t long, though, before she decided to make a change. Annie began volunteering with her local Humane Society at the age of 37, and that sparked something that hasn’t let up since. That same year, she enrolled in courses at the Minnesota School of Business to study veterinary technology—Annie joined the Companions Animal Hospital team in April of 2014 to supplement her studies, and she’s been here ever since!

Around the clinic, Annie enjoys doting on visiting pets to help make them feel as comfortable as possible. Her absolute favorite part of the job is working in the laboratory, and she never tires of satisfying her scientific curiosities by studying slides under the microscope.

At home, Annie and her family keep several pets. They have Josie, an aging dog who is the best canine companion Annie has ever known; Socrates, a rescued pooch who loves to sleep on Annie’s head; and a feisty cat named Lighting. When she isn’t enjoying the company of her family and pets or tending to the area’s animal companions here at the clinic, Annie loves fishing, hunting, camping, playing hockey, and relaxing in the great outdoors.

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Rhonda

Veterinary Nurse Assistant

From the time she could walk, Rhonda was spending time around animals large and small. She grew up on a dairy farm in Kimball, where animal care was much more than a hobby—it was a way of life. She simply can’t imagine doing anything else! Rhonda serves as one of Companions Animal Hospital’s Veterinary Nurse Assistants.

Rhonda moved to St. Cloud after meeting her husband and joined the Companions Animal Hospital team in October of 2000. She’s been serving the pets and animal owners of St. Cloud ever since! Rhonda particularly likes helping out with surgeries and interacting directly with clients and pets during check-ins. On any given day, she might be answering phones up front or walking dogs in the back; Rhonda never tires of the variety her workday brings.

Rhonda and her husband—who can create the most delicious meals thanks to his professional culinary training—share their lives with their wonderful son and daughter. When she isn’t spending time with family or tending to pets’ needs at the Companions, Rhonda loves baking, crafting, and bicycling or walking during the warmer months.

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Jesse

Veterinary Nurse Assistant, Massage Therapist

Jesse grew up right here in St. Cloud, where pets were a natural part of life from day one. She grew up watching Steve Irwin on television and immediately recognized that his raw passion for animals was something that she felt herself! For Jesse, working with animals professionally was the only choice that made sense.

Jesse began volunteering at the local Humane Society as soon as she was old enough—it didn’t take long for her to know that the veterinary field was perfect for her. She joined the team at Companions Animal Hospital in 2005, and has been serving the pets and animal parents of the area ever since. Jesse has a particular passion for surgical work, and she also likes to utilize her skills in massage therapy to reduce pain and make pets more comfortable.

Outside of work, Jesse loves traveling, hiking, camping, listening to music, catching up on her favorite television shows, and spending time with her own pets at home. She has four quirky cats: Toolakia, who takes care of the house when Jesse isn’t home; Maresha, the youngest of the bunch; Cosmo, who likes to think of himself as the household’s court jester; and Athena, who prefers to watch the commotion from afar.

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Faith

Veterinary Nurse Assistant

Faith has always loved interacting directly with customers, and she’s a lifelong animal lover. Working as a veterinary professional, she able to experience the best of both worlds! Faith cares for the pets of St. Cloud daily as one of Companion Animal Hospital’s Veterinary Nurse Assistants.

Faith is a St. Cloud native. After spending a year living in Tennessee, she returned to this area and signed up for a position in reception at a local large-and-small animal practice, where she learned the ropes of the profession. When she came across the opportunity for an overnight caretaker position at Companions Animal Hospital, Faith jumped at the chance! She first started with the hospital in 2009, and moved into a Client Care Position within the year. Now, Faith serves the area’s pets as a Veterinary Nurse Assistant.

Away from work, Faith enjoys reading, scrapbooking, trying her hand at photography, and spending time with her elderly Beagle, Katie.

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Abby

Veterinary Nurse Assistant

Abby grew up in Elk River, Minnesota with her parents, older sister, and the family’s pet birds. She’s always had an innate love and respect for the earth’s creatures—by working in veterinary medicine, Abby is able to foster the very same bonds that she’s shared with her own family pets. She’s proud to serve as a Veterinary Nurse Assistant with the Companions Animal Hospital team!

Abby’s journey began when she started volunteering at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota. It was there, while helping the on-site wildlife veterinarian stabilize an injured hawk, that she learned about an advanced internship that the center offered. Abby was accepted into the program that summer, and hasn’t looked back since. She studied biomedical science at St. Cloud State University, first beginning here at Companions Animal Hospital as an intern in the fall of 2011, then continued to volunteer until her graduation in 2013. Abby became a Veterinary Nurse Assistant with the hospital team in the fall of 2015.

Abby’s interests outside of animal care include running, playing tennis, horseback riding, and birdwatching. She and her husband, Chris, have two wonderful children named Owen and Lily. The family shares their home with an energetic German shepherd/husky mix named Jack, a cat named Otis who loves to snuggle, and several pet birds who all have their own unique personalities.

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Kim

Animal Caretaker

Growing up surrounded by animals on her family’s Albert Lea, Minnesota farm, Kim always had a special place in her heart for the earth’s creatures. Although she’s only recently taken on the title of Animal Caretaker as a member of the Companions Animal Hospital team, she’s been responsible for pets ever since she was a little girl!

Kim previously worked for two different veterinary clinics in the area before taking a job with a printing company, where she would remain for several years. After meeting the Companions Animal Hospital team at 2015’s Woofstock Companion Walk, she was persuaded to submit a job application! The rest is history—Kim has been a member of the clinic family ever since. She’s especially fond of bathing and blow-drying the area’s animal companions, and loves to spend one-on-one time with shy pets so that they feel more relaxed during their time here at the clinic.

At home, Kim lives with several four-legged friends of her own. She has two rescued dogs, Bear and Chazz, and also shares her home with her mother’s Australian Cattle Dog, Ivy.

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Lacy

Animal Caretaker/Groomer

For as long as she can remember, Lacy has enjoyed indulging her artistic side. She’s also harbored a passion for pets ever since her childhood years growing up here in St. Cloud. For Lacy, grooming pets professionally allows her to use her intuition to make a lasting difference while working hands-on with the animals that she loves!

Lacy was only 14 years old when she began volunteering at the local Humane Society. Her fate was sealed ever since—she knew that she wouldn’t be satisfied in any other career path! Lacy began her grooming journey at a local pet store and salon before the opportunity arose to groom pets in a veterinary clinic. That’s when Lacy joined the team here at Companions Animal Hospital.

Most of Lacy’s time away from the clinic is spent caring for her young son at home. He’s just over a year old, and is shaping up to be the most incredibly sweet, curious, and friendly child around!

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Aric

Animal Caretaker

When his family cat fell ill a few years ago, Aric was both impressed and humbled by the skilled veterinarian who started the beloved pet on the road to recovery. He knew that he would like to be a part of such a rewarding experience himself! That’s when Aric decided to jump head-first into the veterinary profession. Now, he’s proud to serve as a member of the Companions Animal Hospital team!

Aric is originally from Elk River and moved to this area to attend St. Cloud State University. In October of 2016, he started here at Companions Animal Hospital after hearing about the clinic from his laboratory partner in chemistry class. Aric serves pets and their owners as an Animal Caretaker, and is particularly fond of training work and seeing pets through the entire recovery process after a procedure.

When he isn’t tending to pets’ needs here at the clinic, Aric enjoys playing video games and trap shooting in his free time.

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