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. We love our work, we love our team, and we love your pets!
Dr. Bev Wofford
Dr. Wofford joined the Bellevue Animal Hospital team in October 2015. Originally from Kansas, she graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Animal Science, and received her D.V.M. from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984. She practiced in the Omaha area for 7 years, and then went on to a 23-year career with Hill’s Pet Nutrition, where she gained extensive sales, marketing, teaching, and consulting experience. In her free time, she enjoys sporting events, spending time at the gym, gardening, and just hanging out with her four-legged kid: feline family member Steve.
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; 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, Patient Services Director
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 Patient Services Director & Lead Technician. Jenni is also a registered Pharmacy Technician. Jenni devotes several months a year 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!)
Jeanne was born and raised in Bellevue’s neighboring city, LaVista. She joined our practice as a Veterinary Technician in April 2015. Jeanne received her Associates Degree in Veterinary Science from Iowa Western Community College in May 2015, graduating with honors. She has one very spoiled orange cat named Fritz, and two Miniature Australian Shepherds named Wally and Ozzie. During her free time, you may find Jeanne reading, crafting, catching up on her favorite shows, or shopping.
Rachel was born and raised in Springfield, Nebraska. She began work at our practice in July 2016. Rachel received her Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology from Northeast Community College in 2016. She has three dogs (Wilson, Cooper, and Loki,) two barn cats (Purrito and Tacquito,) and two show cattle named Charlotte and Maverick! Rachel’s hobbies include watching hockey and participating in 4H; she has enjoyed showing cattle and various other animals since she was just five years old. One of her favorite things to do is bring home animals and find them new homes; she loves working with dogs, cattle, and goats, and her favorite animal is the alpaca!
Breanne grew up in Nebraska and is a graduate of Iowa Western Community College’s veterinary technology program. She began work at our practice in August 2016. Bre has a Maltese/Shih Tzu mix named Josie Bear who loves chasing rabbits and squirrels and acting as the neighborhood watch dog! When Bre’s not busy snuggling patients and saving lives here at the hospital, she enjoys watching movies, playing board games, and spending time with her niece. Bre’s special interests include dentistry, clinical pathology, and surgery. Her love for animals extends beyond being a veterinary technician: she also enjoys pet-sitting in her time away from work!
Christie is originally from Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Millard West High School in Omaha in 2005, and earned her Associates Degree in Veterinary Science from Vatterott College in 2011. Christie joined our staff in March 2013. Her fur family includes Reni, a Corgi mix; Yuna, a beautiful Turkish Angora cat; and sassy tortoiseshell Temmie, an alumnus of The Foster Kitten Project. Christie’s interests outside the veterinary world include anime’, Manga, video games, and the study of Aikido.
Karen is originally from El Paso, Texas, and moved to Nebraska in February 2017. She arrived here at Bellevue Animal Hospital in May 2019, bringing with her extensive life experience, a solid education, and a life-long love of animals. After graduation from Irvin High School in El Paso, Karen earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas Tech University, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Cal State-Northridge; she later decided to change careers, and in January 2019 she earned her Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology (AAS) degree from Penn Foster College. Karen loves to travel and enjoys volunteering for animal rescues and emergency shelters. She and husband Shawn have two children, one grandchild, two dogs (Sadie and Steve) and two cats named Spot and Gage!
Our veterinary assistants are also vital to the success of our hospital! These dedicated staff members support the veterinarians and veterinary technicians in their daily tasks. They obtain and record medical histories about your pets; assist with our patients’ examinations, bloodwork, surgeries and x-rays; provide comfort and reassurance to your pets; help manage inventory; provide client education; fill prescriptions; perform clerical duties; clean kennels & cages; walk dogs; share your joys and sorrows, and much more.
Kim Avalos, Lead Veterinary Assistant
Born in Alliance, Nebraska, and raised on a farm in Blue Hill, Kim has lived in the Omaha metro area since 1993. She studied biology at Dana and Wayne State colleges, and spent three weeks in southern Australia studying Fairy Penguins in the wild. One of Kim’s most exciting experiences was working at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, where she raised, fed, and swam with the penguins! We welcomed her to the BAH family in February 2005. Kim loves making personal connections with our clients and their pets, and her favorite thing to do here is starting your pet’s appointment off right: discussing the patient’s history and reason for the visit, and making sure you have everything that you need for your pet and are completely comfortable & satisfied. Kim is also a highly recommended pet sitter, operating under the name “Cozy Critters” since 2008. In her limited free time, Kim enjoys relaxing at home with her husband Jose’; dogs ChaCha, Ollie, and Tramp; and her clowder of cats: Beatris, Buttercup, Charlie, Tom Thumb, Baby Boo, and Chunky Monkey!
Patty Wulff, Senior Veterinary Assistant
Born and raised right here in Bellevue, Patty has been a part of the Bellevue Animal Hospital family for over 17 years. She holds two bachelor’s degrees from Bellevue University, one in Environmental Science and the other in Sociology, but she loves BAH so much that she decided to stay! Patty excels at training new team members, and truly enjoys teaching the “newbies” how to succeed at the wonderful job of veterinary assistant. She has an amazing son named Connor, a sweet Basset Hound named Nana, two wonderful cats named Isla and Sawyer, and a new Basset Hound puppy named Dugan – all of whom are the absolute lights of her life! In her time off, Patty likes to spend her leisure time reading, and playing with and teaching her son.
After graduating from Bellevue East High School and attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Dani first joined our practice in 2013 as a Veterinary Assistant and worked here for three years before exploring an opportunity at a veterinary specialty hospital. She spent a year assisting in the Internal Medicine department where she helped with sick and chronic patients, worked in the laboratory, and ran CT scans. She then moved to the Specialty Surgery department for a year as a Surgical Scrub Nurse, assisting with procedures and keeping the operating suites spic & span. In March 2018, she returned to her second “home” here at Bellevue Animal Hospital, and we are delighted to have her back!
Dani lives in Bellevue with her “other half” and their small zoo, which includes Cleopatra the Great Dane, Harley the Labrador Retriever, and Brutus the Bull Terrier/Siberian Husky mix; feline friends Gypsy, Caesar, and Rasputin; and a very fine Chinchilla named Lord Norbert Nibbler. In her free time, she enjoys movies, billiards, or just spending time at home or with friends.
Originally from South Salem, Ohio, Kerinda graduated from Paint Valley High School in 2014. She and her family moved to Bellevue in 2017, and we welcomed her to our support staff in May that same year. Husband Zac and son Kylar keep her busy at home, and they love to go along with Kerinda on family hikes, to the zoo, and to local parks. In her limited free time, Kerinda also loves to fish and sew. Of course, the family wouldn’t be complete without pets: the Conn household includes Azura, a Siberian Husky; a sweet Collie mix named Skye; Cordy, a Parson Russell Terrier; and Samson, a black Domestic Shorthair cat.
Megan was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but moved to Fremont, Nebraska with her family in 2004 when she was just six years old. Megan joined our practice as a Veterinary Assistant back in April of 2019. She is currently enrolled full-time at Iowa Western Community College and is working towards a degree in Veterinary Technology; however, her plans may soon change, as she recently developed aspirations to go on and become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine! Megan currently lives in Fremont with her amazing fiance’, Ian, and their tiny zoo, which includes Apollo the Pit Bull; felines Tazz, Miss Kitty, and Dennis the Menace; turtles Big Bertha and Snap; and Speedy Gonzalez Jr., the chameleon. In her limited free time, Megan enjoys reading, listening to music, baking, being outdoors, and spending time with Ian and their fur children.
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 in June of 2019. 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 two Petite Basset Griffon Vendeens, a Catahoula Leopard Dog cross, and three of the most spoiled “freebie” cats known to man!
Client Service Representatives
Our front desk staff plays a vital role in the day-to-day management of our practice! The client services representatives welcome you to our practice, handle multiple phone lines, enter invoices and client/patient data, answer your emails, take prescription refill requests, relay messages to and from the doctors, assist with inventory, manage patient records and filing, lend an ear, answer questions, share your joys and sorrows, and are responsible for scheduling appointments for six veterinarians – everything from nail trims and vaccinations, first visits and follow-ups, to lumps, bumps, and limps, senior wellness exams and surgeries. Each one of them is a valuable member of our team!
Mary Vedder, Client Services Specialist
Mary began her career at Bellevue Animal Hospital in 1993 as a part-time receptionist, and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She was a member of the American Animal Hospital Association’s 2016-2017 Online Accreditation Engagement Committee (OAEC) and continued with that role in 2017-2018. Mary is the administrator for our hospital’s official website, Facebook page and Instagram account; coordinates all e-mail correspondence; and is our “go-to” person for US and international health certificate information, in addition to her other responsibilities. Her hobbies include reading, nature photography, and genealogy, and she is a life-long “Star Wars” fan. Her three much-loved feline furbabies are Harry Potter (a former stray,) Sheldon O. Cooper (a former barn cat and Nebraska Humane Society alumnus, and unofficial AAHA “spokescat”) and Zazzles (a former foundling and foster kitten alumnus of the Foster Kitten Project.)
Sarah Wilkinson, Office Manager
Sarah was born and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and has lived in the Omaha-metro area all her life. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 2003. Sarah joined our practice in June 2010, and is now acting as Training Supervisor for our newest front desk team members. She and her husband, Jeremy, have been together 14 years and have three beautiful daughters named Bailey, Jazmin, and Isabell. The family also includes a rambunctious Corgi/Australian Shepherd mix named Olaf, Ella the Boston Terrier, senior cat Stevie, and kitty newcomer Neagan. Sarah describes herself as “loud and outgoing!” and in her free time she enjoys working on projects with her girls.
A Bellevue resident since 1977, Pam graduated from the Omaha College of Health Careers in 1991 with an Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology degree. She was on our staff from December 1994 to April 2013 before “retiring” to spend more time at home with her three children. We invited her back for a return engagement in January 2017, and we’re thrilled to have her with us again! Pam is a co-president of the Nebraska Tarantula Enthusiasts Club, and counts genealogy, oceanography, and reading among her other interests. Her fur family of four kitties includes Maeve (Meadhbh,) Mega, Moonight, and Sass E. Fras.
Amber grew up in Madison, Florida, playing clarinet in her high school’s marching band and riding horses! She graduated in 2015 from Madison County High School; two years later, she married her husband, Casey, and they moved to Bellevue. We were very pleased to welcome her to our front desk team in June 2019! In her time away from work, Amber enjoys playing with her two awesome dogs, Nova and Red, and cuddling her sweet cats, Sylvester and Tootsie.
Hanna Van Oosbree-Cook
Hanna was born in Mesa, Arizona, and has lived all over Minnesota and Iowa, but she’s always considered Emmetsburg, Iowa “home.” She graduated from Emmetsburg High School in 2013; her accomplishments at EHS included placing 15th in the state of Iowa for golf! Hanna moved to Omaha in November 2018 and started working for our hospital as a Veterinary Assistant-in-training that same month. She has since cross-trained as a Client Services Representative, so you’ll usually see her up at our front desk, although she also loves assisting in surgery and meeting all of our wonderful patients! Hanna has quite a furry crew of her own at home, including canine companions Maverick (pictured here with his mama,) Rocket, Stormy, and Hawkeye; feline friends Miss Kitty, Dwight, and Lily; and two fine ferrets named Loki and Xavier. Husband Scott and step-daughters Madison and McKenzie complete the family. In her free time, Hanna says that if she’s not golfing, she’s obsessively binge-watching “The Office” or geeking out on Marvel movies. She enjoys playing the piano, and she and her step-daughters also enjoy rocking out as their own fake band, “Cook to the Power of 3!”
Justin (J.D.) Qualls
Having lived in Bellevue since 2002, JD graduated from Papillion-La Vista South before attending Doane
University for psychology. He’s since realized that his passion lies with working with animals, and he hopes to
become a licensed trainer of therapy and support animals. JD joined Bellevue Animal Hospital’s front desk team in
September 2019. His family currently includes his Whippet-Terrier mix, Amigo, and princess – sorry, cat! – Sasha.
JD enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing tabletop and video games, and listening to music.