Meet The Staff of Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital

Client Care Coordinators

Annie Anderson

Annie AndersonI am new to the Portland area but have been loving my time exploring here. I grew up in the Chicagoland area before moving to central Illinois. While there, I attended Illinois State University where I studied to get my B.S. in Mass Communication with a sequence in TV Production and a minor in English. I have always had a deep love for animals and am thankful that I have begun a career dedicated to strengthening the human-animal bond.

In my free time I enjoy going to see live music, camping, travelling, and reading and writing poetry. I am also the proud cat-mom to CocoPuffs, my talkative, loveable lady cat.

Erin Finucane

Erin FinucareI grew up in Washington, DC and earned my Bachelors Degree in Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic, a small school on an island off the coast of Maine. I moved to Portland with my dog, Abbie, in June of 2013 and we are so happy to be settled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! I am excited to join the team at Northwest Neighborhood, where I get to indulge my passion for animals and begin my transition into the veterinary field, as I hope to eventually go back to school to become a CVT. My free time is spent exploring the city's parks and neighborhoods with Abbie, eating all the delicious food Portland has to offer, reading, baking, camping, biking and going on road trips.

Amelia Hunnicutt

Amelia HunnicuttI have had the great fortune of living in the northwest my entire life. I was born and raised in Springfield, Oregon, but have lived in Portland for the past 4 years while attending the University of Portland. I recently graduated with a B.S. in biology along with a minor in music. While I am not quite sure what path I'll take next, I am very excited to be joining the team at Northwest Neighborhood and look forward to diving into the world of veterinary medicine. My hope is to gain insight and experience that will potentially lead me to vet school.

In my spare time I love to foster my passion for the arts. I am a cellist and have played in a number of orchestral and symphonic groups in and around the Portland area. I also enjoy drawing and painting when I can find the time. On my days off you will probably find me either hiking or biking around Portland. Although I don't currently have any pets of my own, my family has a spunky 10-year-old golden retriever named Diva who I visit as often as I can!

Julia Russell

Julia RussellAfter spending the past five years in Walla Walla's wine wonderland, I succumbed to a lifelong crush on Portland, and moved here in January 2014. Originally from Seattle, I had the good fortune to work with the amazing crew at Green Lake Animal Hospital as a client care coordinator for several years. The quality of care there was unsurpassed, so I was only going to settle for the best when I landed here in PDX. I can say without hesitation that Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary delivers incredible quality of care and compassion, and I am so thrilled to be a part of this team. We are all devoted to our pets, and the folks here truly do treat our patients as family members. Portland is such a lovely city, and I am enjoying 'getting lost' with my dog, Wilson, in a place where so many treasures abound!

Susan Cara

Susan CaraI grew up in Northern California but have been eager to relocate to Portland for a while. After visiting a few times, I fell in love with the area and moved here with my dog in September, 2014. My chihuahua/corgi mix Rizzo is named after the character in one of my favorite movies, Grease. She is a big fan of treats, squeaky toys, squirrels and the ocean. Right now, we live in a North Portland skinny house with my roommate and her 2 chihuahuas, which makes for a lively household!

I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Psychology. In my spare time I like to paint, and am really enjoying exploring my new town. I especially love checking out Portland's art galleries, live music, breweries and numerous vegetarian restaurants.

My previous veterinary experience was at a specialty/emergency clinic in California, where I spent 5 years. I've always loved animals, and am so happy to be able to spend my days in their company.

I feel very lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest, and to have found a place at Northwest Neighborhood Vet!

Doctors Assistants

Erin Kash

Erin KashI grew up in Lansing, Michigan in a very dog friendly family. I first worked in the Vet community while living with my husband for several years on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I enjoy traveling with my husband of 13 years and going to Portland Timbers matches (R.C.T.I.D.). We have 2 dogs, both rescues, Quincy- our Rottie Crucian Mutt from St. Croix and Lenny, our Staffie Pit Mix from Portland. Last, but not least, I became a first time mother to my son Emmett in October 2011. I began working for NW Neighborhood Vet. and Dr. Shuler in July of 2008.

I graduated in 2009 as a Certified Dog Trainer from Animal Behavior College. I specialize as the Food/Retail Coordinator for NW Neighborhood, Dr. Nick Growing’s assistant and international travel health certificate guru. I thoroughly love working at NW Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital and enjoy learning every single day from the best Veterinarians I have ever met.

Arielle Fettman

Arielle FettmanI was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend the Evergreen State College, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in 2006. Following graduation I was hired as a veterinary assistant at a very fast paced small animal clinic located in Olympia, Washington. I joined the team at Northwest Neighborhood in summer of 2009. In the fall of 2012, I will be attending Lewis and Clark’s Graduate school of Education and Counseling.

My interests include running, hiking, researching, and spending time with my family. My partner and I share our home with two cats, Rizzo and Journey, and two naughty little dogs, Pippy and Buffalo.

Jen Smith

Jen SmithI was born and raised in Alabama and I moved to Portland in 1998. I earned a B.A. in Biology in 2006 from Portland State University. My love and compassion for animals began when I was a young child. It was then that I realized how special the human/animal bond is. My career in veterinary medicine begin in 2001 and I feel very fortunate to work in this field. I joined the team at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital in 2012. In my free time, I enjoy hiking with my dog, gardening, camping, kayaking and taking photos with my dog Traveler.

Katie VanCleave

Katie VanCleaveI have worked as a client care coordinator at NW Neighborhood since May of 2010; I also moonlight as a Veterinary Assistant from time to time, which is a nice change of pace. I am a born and raised Oregonian who grew up in wine country (McMinnville) and will be finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Organismal Biology at Portland State University. I intend to continue my education beyond my undergraduate degree to become a Marine Biologist, with an emphasis in marine mammals, with an end goal of someday becoming a zookeeper.

I have three very silly dogs (a Standard Dachshund, a Bloodhound mix, and a Papillon) and a wild and crazy kitten named Jelly Bean. I am a wine enthusiast and worshiper of the often absent sun, who loves watching sports and enjoying the company of my friends and family.

Certified Veterinary Technicians

Holly Otis, CVT

Holly OtisI was born and raised in Bellingham, Washington. I worked as a certified veterinary assistant in the Bellingham area until my travels took me to small animal hospital in Lexington, KY. Around this time, I realized there was so much more to learn about veterinary medicine, so I moved back to the west coast to attend the Veterinary Technician Program at Portland Community College. I graduated from the program in 2003 as president of my class. I have worked at several hospitals in the Portland area but my heart lies with Northwest Neighborhood where I have worked since 2007 as the lead surgical technician.

I enjoy music and travel and I am the proud mother of two very special canine critters, Gracie and Cassie AKA The Muppet.

David LyBarger, CVT

David LyBargerAs a certified veterinary technician I’ve been fortunate to work and live in such an animal friendly community, Portland. I’ve worked for Dr. Shuler since he took over the hospital in 2008. I’m excited to see alternative animal medicine being adopted by our hospital and how it has helped my dog, Daisy Mae, aka, The Dinosaur. I adopted Daisy Mae, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, four years ago at the Humane Society.

We enjoy swimming together on our fishing and backpacking trips. She is a comedic staple at our hospital; if you don’t watch out she’ll steal your breakfast.

Keelie Price, CVT

Keelie PriceI was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I moved to Colorado to attend the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. Upon graduation in 2001, I became a Certified Veterinary Technician. I earned a Certification in Canine Massage from Boulder College in 2002. After finishing my schooling, I moved back to Portland and spent 6 years in a surgical practice and then joined the team at Northwest Neighborhood in 2009. I have strong interest in the area or physical therapy and animal behavior.

In my spare time, I enjoy snowboarding, hiking and spending time with my dogs Ruby the Rottweiler, Mr. Miyagi the 5lb mix and Monkey the cat.

Stacie Williams, CVT

Stacie WilliamsI have been working as a part-time Certified Veterinary Technician at Northwest Neighborhood since 2009 and I also work full-time with a mobile Veterinary surgeon. I graduated from the Veterinary Technician Program at Portland Community College in 1996.

Outside of work, I enjoy being on the golf course, cooking, dabbling in photography, and playing with my dogs. I share my house with a Rottweiler, a Lhasa Apso, 3 cats, and a husband. Beezie and Chino (the dogs) are so kind to let us share the bed with them. It's a good thing my husband, Patrick, likes animals as much as me!

Kathy Dougherty, CVT

Kathy DoughertyI am originally from the east coast but I am loving every second I spend in Portland. After nurturing my eternal love of furry creatures for many years, I am currently in the process of getting my Veterinary Technician Certification from Portland Community College.

When I am not taking care of your bundles of joy, I enjoy snoozing on the floor with my elderly German Shepherd Mix, Toby, avoiding bites from my young kitty, Cleveland, and catering to hungry mews from my middle-aged overweight cat, Lily.

Tara Jeans, CVT

Tara JeansI grew up in central Missouri and after obtaining a degree in Anthropology, I decided I wanted to work in the veterinary field. That desire led me to Portland in 2003 where I graduated from PCC’s Veterinary Technology Program. I love providing the best clinical care to our patients while making them as comfortable as possible.

My husband Jon and I share our SW home with our children, Jack and Sadie, along with our crazy critters,2 dogs, Oz and PJ, and 4 cats, Sampson, Darwin, Newt, and Fig. In my spare time I enjoy camping, reading, playing games, traveling and continuing to explore the NW with my family and friends.

Lauren Thompson, CVT

Lauren ThompsonI have always had a love of animals, and now I have been fortunate enough to turn that love into a career! I grew up in the Northwest in a home filled with anything from dogs, to cats, to rats. I have been a certified technician since 2008, and was thrilled to join the team at Northwest Neighborhood in 2012.

At home, I have three animals. May, my 17 year old cat who rules the roost. Vincent, my two year old cat with only one ear (get it?), and Madison, my goofy and sweet Bernese Mountain Dog. My Husband and I have one daughter, Emory, who is the cutest little girl you could ever ask for.

Kael Melanson, CVT

Kael MelansonI moved to the Portland area about a year and a half ago from my home state of Montana. After graduating with a degree in Zoology from the University of Montana, I decided to pursue my goal of working in the veterinary field. I began my veterinary technician degree at Sanford Brown College in downtown Portland, and am excited to say I recently graduated and passed the national exam to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Working at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital, surrounded by a unique team of professionals, has only strengthened my passion for working with animals and people alike. I am excited to see what the future has in store for me in the veterinary field!

In my spare time I enjoy exploring the city and spending time outdoors. I love being on the water in the summer and on the slopes in the winter. While I don't currently own a pet, I know that will change quickly.

Nicole Marden, CVT

Nicole MardenOriginally a New Englander, I was born and raised in the North West corner of Connecticut. I had been around animals all throughout my childhood and began my first job in a Veterinary Hospital in 2003, and in 2006 became a Certified Veterinary Technician. I relocated to Portland in the fall of 2010; I have had a great experience exploring the West Coast and meeting new people. I joined the team at Northwest Neighborhood in October of 2014; prior to that I was working in the ER and ICU at a large emergency and specialty hospital just outside the Portland metro area. I care deeply for all living things; in addition to working with animals, I enjoy photography, both digital and film, listening and dancing to music, looking at art, learning new things, good coffee and walking my dogs Shea and Lulu.

Boarding Manager/Doctor's Assistant

Mary Tustin

Mary TustinI have been involved with the animals my entire life and I've enjoyed every step of the journey and the lessons they've taught along the way. I began in the veterinary field over 25 years ago branching into several amazing endeavors including starting and operating a no-kill shelter for many years and bringing no cost pet health care to the homeless and clients with HIV/AIDS. My emphasis is on strengthening the human animal bond and nurturing these relationships to their fullest potential. Whether helping someone understand their pet's care or assisting step by step through the excruciating end of life decisions that client's must sometimes make for their pets, I am constantly humbled by the unconditional love and grace found in the animal world.

Outside of the clinic I spend time with my own animals (2 fantastic old dogs and 2 gregarious cats) and am a cycling and yoga fanatic. I take advantage of any opportunity to get outside and play on a beautiful Portland day!

Technician/Kennel Assistants

Marci Witczak

MarciI have been living in Portland the past 3 ½ years while getting my BS in biology at the University of Portland. Before that I grew up in Fort Collins, CO enjoying the Rocky Mountains. I am hoping to go on to veterinary school once I graduate and to bring my dog, Jackie, out to Portland. I have always loved animals and have had a passion for helping them so I am very excited to have the opportunity to join NW Neighborhood in taking care of their boarding animals. Outside of taking care of the boarding animals and attending school, I love to run, read, wood burn, and explore Oregon's beautiful outdoors.

Savannah Lambert

SavannahI was born and still being raised in Portland Oregon. I currently am a junior at Sunset high school. I have always known I was interested in animals and wanted to make it a lifelong career. This summer I got a chance to job shadow a few veterinary hospitals and fell in love with the work and environment. I knew this was where I belonged. Each time I come to work I look forward to the time with the animals and expanding my knowledge and experience.

Outside of work I'm a usual teenager, football games, dances, etc. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family and my best friend Tahoe, a 6-year old Golden Doodle.

Practice Manager

Jan Latshaw

Jan LatshawI grew up in the Portland area and began my career in veterinary medicine as a Client Care Coordinator at a hospital in Beaverton. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Portland State University in 2003. After completing my studies, I left veterinary medicine to pursue a career in accounting. I soon discovered that I really missed the daily interaction with the animals, their owners and the great people that work in this industry. When the opportunity came along in 2008 to help Dr. Shuler and Dr. Fleming manage Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital I could not pass it up.

I currently share my home with my husband and my 2 Labrador Retrievers Jamie and Luke. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time at the beach, riding dirt bikes and quads and running with my dogs.