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Allison Gedstad

Allison began working as a Veterinary Assistant at St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital in 2012 following her junior year at Roseville Area High School. She graduated in 2017 from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Global Studies (BA) and minors in Animal Science and Biology. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree at the University of Minnesota (Class of 2022).

Allison has enjoyed learning about veterinary medicine and loves working with the animals every day at the clinic. Outside of work, she spends her free time running, reading, traveling, fostering dogs, and of course, playing with her new puppy, Foxy.

Why do you love being a veterinary assistant?
Aside from getting to spend time with animals every day, my favorite part of being a Veterinary Assistant is that each day I work is an educational experience for me. I’m in veterinary school at the University of Minnesota, so working with and learning from the doctors and staff at this practice have given me valuable skills and insight into the veterinary field that I know I’ll be using in the future.

Why do you love working at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital?
St Francis does an excellent job in customer service. I know this not only because I’m an employee at this practice, but also because my Mom and I started bringing my late dog, Roxy, to St Francis when I was nine years old. They always treated us and Roxy with care, and took their time with every patient and every visit. I’ve been to other veterinary practices with Roxy and the customer service was never even close to as good as what we received at St Francis.

Katarina Ziegler

Katarina joined St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital as a Veterinary Assistant in the summer of 2012. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior with a minor in Anthropology. She is currently at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy earning her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She hopes to combine her passion for pharmacy and veterinary medicine.

When she's not studying, she stays busy spending time with her animals. She and her boyfriend live in Minneapolis with their two rescue dogs, Arrow and Diego; their cat, Tesla; and their two ducks, Louisa and Fifi. In her remaining free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and traveling.

Why do you love being a veterinary assistant?
I love being a veterinary assistant because I love the direct contact with our pets and being a part of the up-close interactions between pets, pet parents, and veterinarians. It is so fulfilling to work with animals and help foster exceptional care for our furry friends. I care deeply about how we treat fellow creatures and working in an environment where I feel I can make a difference first-hand is extremely important to me.

Why do you love working at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital?
I love working at St. Francis because it is an exceptional workplace that offers outstanding care for our animals, and I attribute it being so because every single member of the staff is extremely passionate about animal welfare. It is evident in every action, every day and I have never witnessed the amount of dedication and compassion I see in our staff at any other workplace. It is truly a special place and I am honored to work in a forward-thinking veterinary clinic that has such a positive impact in the community.

Audrey Ruddy

Audrey joined St. Francis in 2014 as a Veterinary Assistant. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biological Sciences. She is currently studying at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine where she will earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree (Class of 2021).

Outside of studying and work, she enjoys being outdoors, practicing yoga, and spending time with family, friends, and her two cats, Nessie and Willa.

Rebecca Harnack

Becca joined St. Francis Animal and Bird Hospital in 2016 as a Veterinary Assistant. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Animal Science with an Equine Management emphasis. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she managed the University climbing wall, was president of the rock climbing club, and spent time as a wrangler in Glacier and Rocky Mountain National Parks. In the future, she plans to pursue a degree in Radiologic Technology.

Becca spends most of her time outside of work exploring with her Australian Cattle Dog, Kai. She is also passionate about travel, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and yoga. On a down day, she prefers to be reading a good book, curled up with her three-legged cat, Grim.

Becca Harnack

Becca joined St. Francis Animal and Bird Hospital in 2016 as a Veterinary Assistant. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Animal Science with an Equine Management emphasis. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she managed the University climbing wall, was president of the rock climbing club, and spent time as a wrangler in Glacier and Rocky Mountain National Parks. In the future, she plans to pursue a degree in Ultrasound Technology.

She currently lives in Lakeville with her boyfriend, Travis; his red lab, Drake; her blue heeler Kai; and her three legged cat, Grim. When she is not at work, she spends the majority of her time outside with Kai, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and running. When she is not outside, she is usually reading a book, practicing yoga, listening to music, or planning her next trip.

Why do you love being a veterinary assistant?
I grew up around animals of all kinds. Over the years, I have had anything from frogs and salamanders all the way to pigs, chickens, and horses. My favorite things about work are getting to know our clients and learning about veterinary medicine. Every day I learn something new, and I am always impressed with everything we have to offer at St Francis.

Why do you love working at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital?
I am so lucky to have found such a talented and amazing group of people to work with, and I feel like I have a second family here.

Cate Boisjolie

Cate joined St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital in September 2017 after a varied career path that included being a certified nursing assistant, a research laboratory assistant, a phlebotomist, and a veterinary assistant in a large animal hospital. Her current career interests lie in research, pathology, and medicine, and she will be applying to medical school for the Class of 2023.

Outside of work and school, her hobbies include reading, running, camping, clumsily learning guitar, traveling with her husband, Danny, and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Why do you love being a veterinary assistant?
I was born and raised in Austin, MN and most of my adolescence was spent with animals. My interest in biology and medicine began at an early age. Dogs, cats and horses were some of my best friends and that's still the same today. I love working in a field that allows me to work with animals on a daily basis.

Why do you love working at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital?
I'm excited to work at St. Francis. I love having the opportunity to learn from my colleagues, both human and animal, and continue to gain knowledge that will help me in my future career path.

Baylee May

Baylee joined St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital in February 2018 as a Veterinary Assistant She received her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Animal Science with a Companion Animal emphasis from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in December 2017. In the future, she plans to continue working hands-on with animals in some capacity.

She shares her home with her green cheek conure, Jazz, and her guinea pig, Baby. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, bowling, playing softball and volleyball, and hanging out with friends.

Why do you love being a veterinary assistant?
I love being a Veterinary Assistant because I enjoy working hands-on with animals while assisting doctors and technicians with veterinary tasks and procedures. As a fellow pet owner, I know that our animals are considered family and we want what’s best for them physically and emotionally. I have a passion for the health, care, and well-being of animals that we consider family members.

Why do you love working at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital?
What sets St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital apart from other veterinary practices is our commitment to our core values of respect, integrity, compassion, excellence, and dedication. St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital has a great reputation for having highly-trained, educated, and compassionate staff who maintain positive relationships with their clients. The staff at St. Francis work to provide the least stressful experience as possible for you and your pets. By implementing Fear Free practices, animals are less nervous for trips to the vet. In turn, going to the vet can be a positive, rewarding experience. The doctors, technicians, and assistants truly care about you and your pets! I am proud to work alongside such a great group of people.

Amanda Mallek

Amanda joined St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital as a Veterinary Assistant in April 2018. She graduated in December 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. She is considering pursuing a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.

In her free time, she loves traveling, painting, exercising, spending time with friends and family and taking care of her cat, Sonny.

Why do you love being a veterinary assistant?
What I enjoy most about being a veterinary assistant is having the opportunity to help both people and animals and being able to assist the doctors and technicians in getting animals back to living the healthiest lives they can. It brings me joy to help provide a safe and friendly environment for your loved ones.

Why do you love working at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital?
I am happy to be a part of a clinic that cares about the individual owners just as much as their pets. Every employee I have the privilege of working with offers excellent service by forming close relationships with clients. They all truly care about the families that walk through the front doors of the clinic. St Francis also offers a wide range of care that is not available to other clinics such as acupuncture and massage therapy. For me, being able to observe and learn so much every day is rewarding!

Madison Baumgartner

Madison joined St. Francis Animal and Bird Hospital in 2018 as a veterinary assistant. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities while majoring in Animal Science with a Pre-Veterinary Emphasis. To be involved on campus, she is on the executive team of the Pre-Veterinary Club. Madison plans to attend the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine to receive her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.

During her free time away from school and work, Madison enjoys reading fiction, running, spending time with family and friends, and traveling. She loves animals and has a border collie black lab mix dog named Bandit. Additionally, she has three calico cats named Mystery, Tilly, and Mickey back home in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Why do you love being a veterinary assistant?
I love being a veterinary assistant because of everything that I am able to learn. My dream someday is to become a veterinarian and I am learning so much while being a veterinary assistant. In addition, I love, love, love handling all of the beautiful animals that walk into St. Francis Animal and Bird Hospital.

Why do you love working at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital?
St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital is an amazing place to work. It is a tight-knit community of workers that is welcoming to anyone that comes into the doors. From other veterinary practices that I have witnessed, St. Francis is the most professional and friendly veterinary practice that I have yet to encounter. I am very grateful for getting the opportunity to contribute to this amazing environment.

Debranique Pitter

Debranique joined St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital in 2018 as a veterinary assistant. She is currently in the undergraduate program for animal science at the University of Minnesota. She has a passion for companion animals and exotic species. Her career goals are to start her own conservation sanctuaries and animal shelters. When she is not in school, she works two part-time jobs: St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital and the YMCA. Her hobbies include working out, traveling, scary movie marathons, and spending time with her loved one.

Why do you love being a veterinary assistant?
I love being a veterinary assistant because it gives me the opportunity to be a part of a team that gives a voice to those who don’t have one. Animals mean so much to me and being able to help them gives me a purpose.

Why do you love working at St Francis Animal & Bird Hospital?
I love St Francis & Bird Hospital for the clinic’s genuine passion. Each doctor, technician, and assistant is as friendly and passionate behind the scenes as they are in the rooms with the clients. What sets them apart from other clinics is how compassionate everyone is and how they always put the animals’ needs first.