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!
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 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!
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 Scholting, Veterinary Technician Department Manager
Rachel was born and raised in Springfield, Nebraska. She began work at our practice in July 2016. In September 2021, Rachel took on a new role as our Veterinary Technician Department Manager. Rachel received her Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology from Northeast Community College in 2016. She has three dogs (Wilson, Cooper, and Walker,) 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!
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. 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! 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!
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 / Training Coordinator
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 Aldo, ChaCha, D’Jango, Ollie, and Tramp; and her cats, Buttercup 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 20 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 senior Basset Hound named Nana, two wonderful cats named Isla and Sawyer, and a Basset Hound youngster named Dugan – all of whom are the absolute lights of her life! In her time off, Patty likes to spend her leisure time reading, as well as playing with and teaching her son.
Ashlea joined our practice in September 2020. An Omaha native, she attended Omaha Central High School. Ashlea excels at keeping a positive attitude about everything! She loves working with exotic pets like reptiles and birds, and is also adept at assisting with the patients who are less than happy to see us (and aren’t afraid to show us!) Her own menagerie of pets includes a bearded dragon named Emmerson; kitties Hadwin, Nellie, adorably cross-eyed Penelopie, and Rocco; and Khaleesi the Rottweiler. Ashlea’s favorite car is a motorcycle – named Sandy, because the first time she “threw” Ashlea it was on a sandy road – and she loves going to the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota!
Allyah has lived in Nebraska for 22 years and most of that time has been in Bellevue. She became an enthusiastic member of our team in July 2021. Allyah is an alumnus of the College of Saint Mary in Omaha; she graduated with a degree in biology and a minor in natural science. During her college days, Allyah played tennis and she still enjoys playing now in her free time. She also likes to read and knit, likes watching all different types of movies, and enjoys hanging out with family and friends. Allyah said she enjoys a good joke, so if you have any to share, be sure to let her know!
Yesenia was born and raised in Omaha and is a 2019 graduate of Omaha South High Magnet School. After she joined our practice in January 2021, it quickly became clear to us that Yesenia excels at organization, cleanliness, and keeping our inventory shelves stocked! She describes herself as a “clean freak” – but also as a fashion icon, dog owner, mom, and animal advocate. Yesenia has a female English Mastiff named Brown – a 95 pound princess – as well as a female American Pit Bull Terrier. When she’s not at work or school, Yesenia enjoys painting and drawing, and loves watching crime documentaries.
Originally from Lake Wales, Florida, Maggie came to our practice in March 2021 after moving to Omaha in 2020. She’s a cowgirl at heart, but loves working with all of our wonderful patients!
Kayleigh hails from the state of Dolly Parton and Jack Daniel’s whiskey! Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, she moved to Nebraska in October 2019. Her mom fosters dogs for a local rescue, so Kayleigh came here to network with the rescue community and find some new opportunities to work with animals. She says that her love of animals has grown over the years into a passion. Kayleigh has an 8-year-old mixed-breed dog – a Jack (Parson) Russell Terrier / Chihuahua / Papillion – named Rose (after a Doctor Who character). Sweet Rose is the first dog for which Kayleigh has been solely responsible, and “man has it been a rollercoaster!” Rose has a variety of health issues, including a rare form of lupus. Kayleigh has spent a great deal of time in numerous veterinary hospitals with Rose, and that is what she ultimately credits for igniting her passion for veterinary medicine.
Kayleigh joined our team in June 2020 as a Veterinary Assistant, and she is currently studying through an online program to become a Veterinary Technician. She says that she loves many aspects of her job, but “it is particularly close to my heart that when a client leaves they aren’t confused, upset, or frustrated like I was so many times before while trying to get my own dog diagnosed and treated. Don’t ever be embarrassed to ask questions! I feel part of my duty as a veterinary assistant is to work with you and your veterinarian to make sure you understand your pet’s diagnosis, treatment, and care, and are content and comfortable. Connection, compassion, and empathy are the values that I try to let drive every interaction with a client and their fur baby.”
In her free time you can usually catch Kayleigh at home with Rose and Kayleigh’s mom’s three beagles (a comedy all their own!) Some of her favorite pastimes include cooking, watching documentaries, drinking craft beer, sleeping, and listening to audiobooks, podcasts, or hip hop music.
Alexandria (Ali) Reyn Roberts
Ali was born in the Texas panhandle and attended Shawnee Mission North High School in Mission, Kansas. She recently moved to Omaha from Kansas City, and found her way to our practice in September 2021. Ali *loves* exotic pets, and is excited to work with our wide variety of patients! She has cared for all sorts of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects, and is currently the proud owner of a very large Argentine Red Tegu named King Aurthur. Ali’s other pets include a Boston Terrier / Pit Bull mix named Chloe Dawn; a tortoiseshell cat named Sylvie (after the character in the Disney+ “Loki” series); a flop-eared rabbit named Gene; a duck named Karla McQuacken; and a piranha fish named Darla. Ali and her fiance’, Chris Roberts (who loves birds and aquatic animals,) also have six Button Quail and eight rats which they breed. Like her co-worker Ashlea, Ali is a big motorcyle fan – she used to build bikes for the Harley-Davidson Motor Company before the factory in Kansas City closed. Harley Davidson’s loss is our gain, however, since the shutdown brought Ali back into the veterinary field! Her future goals include returning to school in 2022 to work towards a veterinary technician degree.
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 is originally from a very small town in upstate New York, but has spent most of her life here in Bellevue. She graduated from Bellevue West High School, and attended Kearney State College for two years. She 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. Mary 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. She is the administrator for our hospital’s official website, our Facebook page and Instagram account; coordinates all outgoing e-mail correspondence; and is our “go-to” person for US and international health certificate information, in addition to her many other responsibilities.
Mary’s hobbies include reading, nature and cat photography, jigsaw puzzles, and piecing togther the puzzles of ancestry and family history through genealogy research. Mary is also a life-long “Star Wars” fan, and has seen all of the movies multiple times! She says that her “happy places” include Omaha’s botanical oasis Lauritzen Gardens, Fontenelle Forest, independent bookstores, and at home with her cats. Her two much-loved feline furbabies are Sheldon O. Cooper – a former barn cat, Nebraska Humane Society alumnus, and unofficial AAHA “spokescat” – and Zazzles (who goes by Zazzy) – 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 front desk team in June 2010, and is now acting as our interim hospital practice manager. She and her husband, Jeremy, have been together almost 20 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. She is a big fan of Winnie the Pooh, and one of her favorite animals is the sloth.
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 three kitties includes Maeve (Meadhbh,) Mega, 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! Amber is a fantastic organizer and also excels at finding a good bargain. In her time away from work, Amber enjoys playing with her two awesome and goofy (or awesomely goofy) Pit Bulls, Nova and Red, and cuddling her sweet cats, Sylvester and Tootsie. She also has two adorable pet rats named Nibbler and Bumpkin!
Kaitlyn joined our front desk team in July 2021. A Bellevue native, she has lived here for 22 years, and attended Bellevue West High School. Kaitlyn’s fur family includes a busyness of ferrets! (That’s the official name for a group of ferrets.) Their names are Damocles, Marcella, Cicero, Relish, Dill, Yoshi, and Wario. Her handsome Pit Bull named Frank completes the family.
Maddy was born and raised in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, and graduated from Plattsmouth High School in 2020. She joined our front desk team in July 2021. Maddy is really into art, and likes to draw and paint. She also likes organizing and decorating, so we’re looking forward to putting her to work on our Christmas decorations! Maddy has two cats and one dog. Oldest kitty Mayhem (named after his crazy attitude when he was younger,) was found in a trap set for a raccoon; he’s the big baby and only cuddles with his momma or his family. Jack (Jack Jack) the cat was brought to Maddy’s family on the 4th of July in need of help: he was separated from his mother, so they bottle fed him and got a little too attached to his cuteness. Jack Jack is a big cuddler and love his attention! Charlotte the German Shepherd Dog was destined for euthanasia as a puppy because she was born with only three paws, but Maddy’s family took her in and bottle fed her until she was big and strong. Charlotte then proceeded to wrap Maddy and her longtime boyfriend, Shiloh, around her three other paws and crawled right into their hearts. Maddy says that Charlotte is smart, very outgoing, and definitely doesn’t let her birth defect get in her way! Maddy, Shiloh – one of the best people Maddy knows – and their fur babies will be moving in together soon, as one big happy family.
Born and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Bailey is currently a Thomas Jefferson High School senior attending classes at Iowa Western Community College. She came to work for Bellevue Animal Hospital in July 2020, and has been a great help to us throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Bailey’s furry siblings include dogs Olaf, Ella, and Gidget, as well as Negan and Stevie the cats. Bailey says that one of her favorite foods is chicken tenders! When she’s not working or studying, Bailey enjoys experimenting with makeup, and she has plans to become a professional hair stylist.