Advanced Veterinary Care

1500 125th Ave NE
Blaine , MN 55449

(763)310-3500

www.avetcare.com

Meet The Advanced Veterinary Care Team | Blaine, MN

 

Ross Elton

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Owner of AVC

I was not your typical “I want to be a veterinarian since I was 5 years old” and it was not until I was 25 years of age that I was aware that a career as a Veterinarian was one in which I could excel. This understanding stemmed from my experiences and the constant emphasis on education both from my parents at a young age and from myself as I grew older. 

I spent most of my childhood in Reno, Nevada where I learned to love and thrive in the mountains and the high desert (learned to ski at 4 years of age and was an Eagle Scout by 13 years of age). The continued search for high quality education brought me to high school in Connecticut, college at Tulane University in New Orleans, an additional degree at the University of Idaho and then finally to the Caribbean for Veterinary school. The University of Minnesota Veterinary school was chosen for my clinical year of Veterinary school based on the 35,000 small animal patients seen yearly which was significantly higher than any other Veterinary school in the United States. 

Two weeks prior to finishing Veterinary school in Minnesota, I met a girl who would turn out to be my wife. She forgot to tell me that even though I love the mountains, once you marry into the Midwest, you stay there.  I graduated Veterinary School in 2004 and soon after was placed into servitude to a Golden Retriever.  

For the last 9 years, I have worked in a fast paced, high quality veterinary practice. While there as the managing partner, I oversaw 17 support staff and 4 doctors I trained 25 new doctors, set medical policies and ensured the practice of high quality empirically based medicine.  My experience while there has created a passion for general practice (I love the new puppies and kittens), dentistry, soft tissue surgery, and pain management/geriatric care.  The pace of the hospital made it difficult to create the connections and bonds that I desired with all of my clients and patients thus Advanced Veterinary Care was born.   I love what I do and try to show this to every client I meet. 

 

Kristen Barrett

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

As a native to California, the first thing someone usually asks me is, "How did you end up out here?"

I grew up with a strict schedule of classical dance training with my sights set on becoming a prima ballerina. My mom was in the medical field and my dad was a computer engineer so it was no surprise that I also loved and excelled in math and science classes. After realizing that dance was going to remain a hobby (I was too tall to be a ballerina), I decided to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Towards the end of my undergraduate degree, I was not quite sure which career path really would be the best fit for me – physical therapy, infectious disease research, doctor, etc. I then realized that veterinary medicine encompassed all of those interests and more.

After graduation, I worked at a small animal general practice until I was accepted to the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Once I moved to Minnesota, I immediately fell in love with the seasons, the people, and my future husband (plus our dogs – German shepherd mix and a Vizsla) and knew that this was where I wanted to settle down. During veterinary school, I worked part time at an animal poison control center where my love for toxicology started/began.

I graduated from veterinary school in 2014, but in order to gain more knowledge and experience, I completed a year long small animal internship at an emergency and specialty hospital in Portland, OR. Even though I loved the excitement of emergency medicine, I missed being able to build long lasting relationships with clients. With the experience I gained from practicing emergency medicine, I returned to general practice when I moved back to Minnesota. I have special interests in toxicology, nutrition, dentistry, and preventative medicine. Becoming a veterinarian was a great way to combine my love for people, animals, and medicine and I hope to prove that with each and every client I work with.

Elizabeth Reed-Harris

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

I was your typical “I want to be a veterinarian since I was 5 years old” and, in fact, I have the preschool paperwork to prove it.

I was born and raised in Colorado but much of my childhood was spent in the Midwest. I spent my summers on my grandmother’s Wisconsin farm befriending pasture cows, raising litters of kittens, and caring for injured squirrels. As the years went by, I attended a canoe camp in Ely, Minnesota (Camp Widjiwagan) and fell in love with the state’s vast wilderness. I also played ice hockey which often brought me to Minnesota for tournaments – even one right here in Blaine.

With my sights set being a veterinarian, I went to undergraduate school at Smith College and majored in Chemistry with a minor in Biology. There, I joined the equestrian team and discovered my passion for riding and my love for horses. Although I loved horses, I have always wanted to work with small animals, and working in a small animal practice during my summer breaks solidified this belief.

When I was accepted to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, I was thrilled to return to Minnesota. During this time, I worked at several different small animal clinics and found a special interest in internal medicine and preventative dentistry. In my last two years of veterinary school, I adopted two wonderful rats, Pablo and Diablo, who helped me realized my passion of caring for pocket pets. I also excelled in my veterinary studies and was inducted into the Phi Zeta Kappa honor society my junior year

I am thrilled to now call Minnesota home, and I look forward exploring the Minnesota back country with my dog, and partner in crime, Kodi (an adorable Cairn Terrier). I absolutely love veterinary medicine and being part of the special human-animal bond and I strive to reflect that with every client I meet.

Corinne Yurich

Practice Manager and Certified Veterinary Technician

Starting at a young age in Ramsey Minnesota, my parents showed us the importance of pets in family and to care for all types of creatures. From picking up turtles in the road to helping injured birds, my passion for animals was solidified early on.

This love of animals brought me to the Minnesota School of Business where I graduated with an Associates in Applied Science. After completing an externship at the University of Minnesota Veterinary School, I obtained my Certified Veterinary Technician degree, joined a small animal veterinary hospital and flourished. From there, I held a position at a premiere referral equine veterinary hospital, taught college courses to veterinary technicians, and most recently have been a practice manager of a high volume small animal practice in Maple Grove.

I currently reside north of Blaine on a hobby farm with my husband, Zach and our daughters, Maci and Brenna. We are owned by three dogs; Tomah, an American bulldog, Bo, our pitbull, and Gus, our scruffy little dog. We also have; two cats, Ozzy and Luna, a Guinea Pig named Reba and finally, two paint quarter horses named Nyanna and Gigi. I am currently involved in volunteering for Kittens Cradle Rescue and dream of making a difference on the reputations of bully breeds. 

I thrive on providing a great client experience coupled with high quality medicine. I not only love the bond with our patients but also their owners.

 

Amanda Kilbane

Certified Veterinary Technician

Amanda grew up here in Minnesota, South of Blaine, and has a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology from the University of Maryland as well as AAS in Veterinary Technology from Argosy University and has been working as a CVT since 2007. Amanda enjoys taking classes in animal behavior and training as well as zoology, exotics and wildlife.  She is very interested in behavior modification and training. Amanda handles stressed, fearful and anxious pets with ease and helps them to become more calm, trusting and relaxed.

She currently has two dogs, Finnegan (A handsome Wheaten Terrier) and Coal (A mixed breed) and one big orange kitty named Pumpkin. 

If your pet fears going to the Veterinary Clinic, schedule an appointment with Amanda!

 

Andrea Bernier

Certified Veterinary Technician

Andrea is a Certified Veterinary Technician and lifelong animal lover. I currently reside in Lino Lakes, Minnesota, where I was born and raised. My compassion for animals began at a very young age when I taught myself how to care for my family’s outdoor cats when they became ill or wounded. My awareness of animal behavior and overall concern for each animal’s well-being has been undeniable throughout the years.  Over time, my animal rescues became so frequent that I stopped asking my parents’ permission and just started bringing animals home. Once successfully rehabilitated, all were released or appropriately re-homed.

Currently I have one spoiled, geriatric Cocker Spaniel named Buddy, a spunky and opinionated cat named Rackum Stackum Kittum Cattum and my eternal life partner, a retired thoroughbred racehorse named Dan de Lion (aka Handsome).

I spend my summers exploring my passion for large animal medicine in the test barns at Running Aces Race Track. I have also volunteered much of my time supervising special needs students at an Animal Science program provided at Century College in White Bear Lake, MN, where I have also been previously employed as an Animal Care Attendant. My volunteer work has also extended to providing top-notch animal care at a large hobby farm in the northern suburbs of Minnesota, aimed at providing a safe-haven for animals in need.

 

Becky Chaffee

Veterinary Technician Assistant

I grew up on a hobby farm in Andover, so my love animals started young. After graduating from Blaine High School, I headed east to attend Syracuse University in New York. I graduated from SU with my Bachelor’s in Advertising and enjoyed a decade-long career in advertising, which brought me to agencies in Washington, DC, Boston, and back to Minneapolis about 4 years ago for a dream job at Fallon.

While working in the ad world, I started volunteering at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, and fostering for Feline Rescue in St. Paul. Through these experiences, it became clear that instead of helping animals in my free time, it was time to change careers altogether. I left my job at Fallon in January in 2018 and joined the team at Advanced Vet Care while I simultaneously pursue the pre-requisite classes required to apply to veterinary school.

I am back living in Andover with my three rescues: Jakers, a Jack Russel mix from the Animal Humane Society; Luna, a long-haired chihuahua from Minneapolis Animal Care & Control; and Mabel, a tuxedo cat from a barn in Farmington. In my free time (what’s that?!), I enjoy running and have completed 8 marathons to-date and hope I have two more left in my old bones.

I’m so excited to be working with people who care about animals as much as I do and love learning from such an inspiring team of experts.

 

Hannah King

Certified Veterinary Technician

Hannah grew up in Ham Lake with dogs, cats, rabbits and ducks always underfoot. She loved them all and always wanted to be involved with their care. Hannah earned an AAS degree in Office Administration in May of 2013.

But, she has wanted to be a vet tech for as long as she can remember so she went back to school and graduated from MSB in June of 2014 with an AAS degree in Veterinary Technology. Hannah soon passed national and state certification.

Hannah is thrilled to be working at Advanced Veterinary Care! She says, "I am learning so much every day, and am always endeavoring to improve my skill set. I love interacting with both animals and the people who care for them. I have a specific passion for shelter animals." Because of this, it led Hannah to adopt her Pomeranian named Oliver in March of 2014.

Hannah presently lives in Ham Lake with her dog Oliver.

Alli Johnson

Certified Veterinary Technician

In June of 2016, Alli graduated from Minnesota School of Business in Blaine with an Associated degree in Veterinary Technology. This degree was only a continuation in the path that Alli chose at a young age. Growing up, Alli's parents had their hands full with stray cats and dogs that she brought home. Their guidance and support has helped her to be successful in her chosen career.

Alli's parents gave her and her siblings a love of camping, canoeing and kayaking. Even today, she loves anything to do with the outdoors. Her parents also taught her about healthy competition which led to 15 years of playing soccer. She also loves to spend as much time with her goofy Pitbull Terrier "Bolt."

While working on her degree, Alli completed an internship with Advanced Veterinary Care and she knew this was a practice she would enjoy working at long term. She quickly accepted a full time position with the AVC team upon completion of her internship and has loved working here since.

Dani Ladd

Veterinary Technician

I grew up in a small farming town in southern Minnesota. We always had pets in the house, and I had many friends who lived on farms, so I also was able to learn to love farm animals as well. 

I was the little girl who wanted to be a veterinarian and work in the animal industry. While in college at Iowa State University working to obtain a degree in animal science, I worked on a few different commercial hog farms in both Minnesota and Iowa where I grew to love pigs and learned that there is so much more to animal health than just being a vet. Since graduating from college, I have worked in a few different industries related to animal care such as at a doggy daycare/boarding facility and a research facility. While working at the research facility I was able to learn a different set of skills that gave me a different way to look at the world.

I am very excited to be working at AVC were I can continue to grow and learn new things every day.  I get the opportunity to meet different types of pets and people daily. I currently have one dog at home her name is Grace and she is petite pit bull mix.

Macy Curnow

Veterinary Technician

I was born in Duluth, MN, but my love of animals began during my early childhood in southern California with the family dog (Freya), cats (Clyde & Wuzzy), and koi pond. My dad was able to finally achieve his dreams of a hobby farm when we later returned to northern Minnesota. It was on this farm, in a rural area about twenty-five minutes from Grand Rapids, that I found myself surrounded by a menagerie of cows, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, pigs, and guinea hens in addition to the usual cats, dogs, and fish. My two younger brothers and I had a blast naming, getting to know, and taking care of all the animals the family farm has seen over the years!

Fast forward a little bit... I graduated from Hibbing High School and have both an Associate in Arts degree from Hibbing Community College and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. I have never really enjoyed running (and have always participated in it as a social engagement), but include it, on a very irregular basis, among my hobbies. I have done the annual Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon, named after my grandfather, with several family members since 2016. I have also done numerous 5ks and participated in both track and cross country in high school. I endeavor to, someday, return to my former level of athleticism. Hint: I've never been very fast ..:)

I found myself in the Twin Cities area while attempting to discover my next steps. I had been working overnights in Duluth in an unrelated field for almost two years and needed a change. My partner's newly-adopted cat, The Fig, suddenly became very sick (and has since made a full recovery), which brought me to Advanced Veterinary Care. Everyone was nice and helpful, so I was thrilled when I was asked to join the AVC team. I never saw myself within the realm of veterinary science but have had a great time learning many new things and getting to know the people and animals here!

Alicia Sprandel

Veterinary Technician

I’ve always had a love and passion for all animals throughout my life, it just took me a little longer to realize that a career in being a veterinary technician was right for me. After graduating high school I attended Normandale community college where I received my associates degree with a communication emphasis, then I thought; what next? After trial and error, I am now pursuing a degree to become a veterinary technician while working here, at AVC! It is true, if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life!

Currently I have two members of my family that walk on four legs, a spunky calico cat ‘Luna’, and an energetic mixed breed dog ‘Octavia’. When I have free time, I love to spend my time outdoors going on walks with my dog, hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking and just soaking up the sunshine!

I’m new to the team here at AVC, so if you don’t recognize me say hello! I am eager to meet you, and your pets to give them the great care they deserve.




Priti Vage

Veterinary Student

I grew up in southeastern Connecticut with a nontraditional animal lover's background - I never had any pets! I would always take the chance to go to shelters and play with the puppies and kittens to get my animal fix because my parents would never let me own any. I eventually decided that veterinary medicine was a passion I wanted to pursue and worked hard to get as much animal experience of any kind as I could.

I've had the opportunity to dip my toes in many aspects of animal care. I worked at local animal shelters in my hometown, interned at an exotics rehabilitation center in Massachusetts, interned at the Beardsley Zoo in Connecticut in rain forest animal husbandry, and immersed myself in a veterinary volunteer experience at an Asian Elephant/Sloth Bear wildlife rescue facility in Agra, India. I've felt so fortunate in all the experiences I've had, which have cumulatively lead me to start my journey through veterinary school.

I currently own a domestic short hair named Luna who is a spitfire of a cat! I'm so excited to have the opportunity to enhance my knowledge of small animal veterinary medicine at AVC by joining a group of people who are passionate about teaching and learning with me.

 

Camille Karpik

Veterinary Student

 

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