Our professional staff is truly the most important feature of our hospital. Several of our dedicated team members have been with us for 10 years or more! We emphasize continuing education and team training, enabling us to provide the best possible medical care for our patients, and the best service for our clients. Our medical support staff includes licensed veterinary technicians as well as several veterinary assistants, and our administrative support staff includes management and client services representatives. We all love our work, we love our team, and we love your pets!

Veterinary Technicians

Credentialed veterinary technicians are the nurses of the veterinary profession. They must show proficiency in the care of species with fur, feathers, and scales. They are important members of your pet’s health care team, and crucial to our efforts to provide the highest quality of animal care and humane treatment of all animals. A veterinary technician must graduate from a two-year, AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) accredited program from a community college, college, or university; must pass a state credentialing examination to earn their license; and must earn continuing education credits every year in order to maintain their credentialed status. In addition to nursing care, our veterinary technicians coordinate all of the veterinary assistants’ activities and duties; prepare patients, instruments and monitoring equipment for anesthesia and surgery; perform dental prophylaxes; analyze urine samples; draw blood samples; perform digital radiographic diagnostic imaging; and serve as client educators.

Jenni Riha, Senior Veterinary Technician / Equipment & Inventory Manager

Jenni Riha and Tweety Bird (portrait by Andrea Dahlberg)

Jenni hails from Springfield, Nebraska, and after many years as an active participant in 4-H, she graduated from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in 2001 with an Associates Degree in Veterinary Science. She joined our Bellevue Animal Hospital team in July 2006, and now serves as our Lead Veterinary Technician. Jenni is also a registered Pharmacy Technician. In September 2021, Jenni took on the role of Equipment and Inventory Manager for our hospital as well.

Jenni devotes a great deal of her free time to caring for foster kittens in her home: she is the founder and president of The Foster Kitten Project, specializing in the newborns and itty-bitties that require bottle feeding and devoted care.  Foster-failure Fergus was added to Jenni’s own fur family at the insistence of previous foster-failure Dean Winchester, and with the approval of senior cats Tab (aka Fatty) and Squeaker! In January 2017, Jenni became the proud mama of a rescue Greyhound named Cascade (also known as Cas!) and added rescue Greyhound Tweety Bird to the pack in February 2020. When Jenni’s not at work, taking care of foster kittens, or spending time with her own pets, she loves to support her nieces and nephews by attending school concerts, plays, or athletic events!

Lauren Smalley

Lauren Smalley and Whiskey

Originally from southwest Iowa, Lauren attended the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) for her Associate of Applied Science degree, and finished up her degree in Veterinary Technology online, through Cedar Valley College.  She joined our team as a Veterinary Assistant in June of 2019.  In April 2021, Lauren got the great news that she had passed her Veterinary Technician National Exam; after she waited what seemed like forever to receive her state license, we’re now proud to say that she’s a full-fledged veterinary technician!  Lauren says that she basically grew up with her own petting zoo – everything from birds and dogs to donkeys and llamas! Her first calf came home with her in the back seat of a tiny Ford Taurus, which seems appropriate. Currently, Lauren’s home zoo includes one Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen, a Catahoula Leopard Dog cross, and one of the most spoiled “freebie” cats known to man!

Cady Boat Nielsen

Cady Nielsen and Charm

Originally from Cheraw, Colorado, Cady has lived in Nebraska since August of 2019, and she joined the Bellevue Animal Hospital medical support staff in November of 2022. She graduated in May 2021 from Iowa Western Community College with an A.A.S. (Associate of Applied Science) degree in Veterinary Technology.  Cady most enjoys working with exotic pets, and performing dental prophylaxis (cleanings) to help your pets maintain great health. She has quite a menagerie of pets herself: three dogs named Ophelia, Wrigley, and Meadow; four cats, including Comet, Coraline, Wybie, and a tripod named Charm; and one snake called Maui. When she’s not working, Cady enjoys spending time with her girlfriend, Miranda, with whom she shares a love for the Marvel universe and all things Harry Potter! Cady is also an outdoor sports enthusiast who loves hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and traveling.



Barbara Rodriguez

Barbara Rodriguez and Robbin

Barbara graduated from Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon Facility of Veterinary Medicine and Zoology in Mexico in 2015.  She joined our Bellevue Animal Hospital team in July of 2022 as a graduate technician, and received her temporary technician license through the State of Nebraska in October 2022.  (A temporary license allows a person who has graduated from an AVMA-accredited Veterinary Technician School or program, or its equivalent, to perform the duties of a veterinary technician for up to one year, while awaiting testing via the Veterinary Technician National Exam to become a fully licensed veterinarian technician.)