Our Careteam

Darla

Office Manager

Darla grew up on a hobby farm in Lakeville, Minnesota, where she was surrounded by everything from dogs and cats to rabbits and chickens. When she saw an advertisement on TV for the Medical Institute of Minnesota, she knew that the animal care world was her true calling!

Darla attended that same school she’d seen on TV, the Medical Institute of Minnesota (now Argosy University), and graduated with her Applied Science degree as a Veterinary Technician. She began working at Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital as a Vet Tech and the Office Manager, and stayed on as Office Manager once Dr. Kruse took over the practice.

Darla lives in Burnsville with her husband and two teenagers. The family has two brother cats, Cowboy and Roper, as well as a dog named Rio. They also have a 19-year-old puffer fish who splashes excitedly when he knows he’s about to get fed.

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Heather

Practice Manager/CVT

Growing up in northern Wisconsin, Heather was surrounded by everything from dogs, rabbits, turtles, and chameleons to salamanders, cockatiels, cattle, and pigs! She’s had a soft spot for animals ever since she was a little girl, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else than caring for pets every day.

Heather was a sophomore in high school when she first heard about veterinary technician programs. She began volunteering at a local boarding and grooming facility to gain experience, then moved to the Twin Cities after graduating. After earning her Veterinary Technician’s degree from Argosy University, she completed an internship here at Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital and simply never left!

The satisfaction she gets from cleaning a pet’s dirty or infected mouth is one of the most rewarding aspects of Heather’s job. She even holds an advanced qualification as a Veterinary Dental Technician. Heather also enjoys educating clients and helping them learn the best ways to care for their pets. Heather lives in Burnsville with her husband Matt, their young son Dylan, and two dogs: Sophie, a Boston terrier, and Louie, a German shepherd/Border collie mix.

When she has time between work and family life, Heather enjoys taking Dylan to the zoo, volunteering with her husband at local animal rescues, fostering dogs, and cheering on her home-state Green Bay Packers.

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Sammi

Veterinary Technician

During high school, Sammi had the opportunity to visit Alaska and watch the Iditarod Dogsled Race. When she saw how well the dogs were treated, she realized she wanted to become someone who could provide that level of compassionate care!

Sammi grew up in Rosemount, Minnesota with her parents and a toy poodle. She started volunteering at the Humane Society as soon as she was old enough, and then attended Argosy University to study veterinary technology. After graduation in 2009, she began working as a technician in various clinics before signing on at Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital in 2011.

Laboratory work is one of Sammi’s favorite parts of her job; analyzing samples under the microscope never ceases to amaze her! She’s also fond of the clinic’s newest addition, a therapeutic laser. Last but not least, Sammi loves interacting with clients and making a lasting connection.

Currently, Sammi lives in Apple Valley with her sister, her sister’s two cats, and her own two dogs named Brady and Toby. Brady is a young Chihuahua who sticks by Sammi’s side wherever she goes, and Toby is a Jack Russell/Dachshund mix who is the smartest dog Sammi has ever met.

When she’s not at work or spending time with her dogs, Sammi can be found with her friends at a country music concert. She’s become very active in the local music community in the past few years, and loves seeing live shows and meeting new people.

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Nicole

Veterinary Technician

For Nicole, it was love at first sight when it came to animals. She’s been fascinated by creatures of all types—but especially cats—ever since she can remember! Being able to care for pets every day as a Certified Veterinary Technician is the ultimate reward for her.

Nicole was born and raised in New Ulm, Minnesota. After attending school at the University of Minnesota for a few semesters, she transferred to the Medical Institute of Minnesota (now Argosy University) to study veterinary technology. Shortly before graduating, she moved to Burnsville with her future husband and applied to Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital a few days later.

Dentistry is one of Nicole’s favorite aspects of veterinary medicine—she’s even a certified Veterinary Dental Technician! She also enjoys placing catheters, monitoring pets under anesthesia, and helping out in surgery.

Nicole lives with her husband Bill, their daughter Maya, their son Owen, and Nicole’s step-daughter, Tayler. They share their home with a skittish cat named Yuki who only allows the family to pet her with their feet. Outside of work, Nicole enjoys working out, gardening, cooking, decorating, making crafts with her kids, and working on DIY projects for her home.

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Amanda

Veterinary Technician

Amanda grew up in Farmington with her father, stepmother, and plenty of family pets. Whenever an animal would fall ill, Amanda felt a burning desire to help. She decided early on that a career in veterinary medicine would suit her well! Now, Amanda cares for pets daily as a Certified Veterinary Technician.

Amanda attended Rochester Community and Technical College for general studies before transferring to the Minnesota School of Business in the summer of 2013 to study veterinary medicine. She graduated in June of 2015, and joined the team here at Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital shortly afterward as a Certified Veterinary Technician. Amanda has a particular passion for dental cleanings, and also enjoys taking X-rays and examining the results.

In her time away from work, Amanda likes reading, playing softball, and spending time with her own critters at home. She and her family share their home with a dog, Deuce; a pair of cats named Clarence and Panther; two birds who go by Benji and Dingo; and a trio of baby rats named Parminga, Pheta, and Penelope.

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Lauri

Veterinary Technician

When she was little, Lauri would always go into local pet shops and see if they needed help, even though she was far too young to hold a steady job. She’s adored animals ever since she can remember! When Lauri heard about the Veterinary Technician profession, she was hooked—she started in the field shortly afterward and has been caring for pets professionally ever since.

Lauri is originally from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and lived and worked in Virginia for 35 years before returning to Minnesota in 2007. She began her career at a clinic in Virginia while attending school to study veterinary technology; Lauri ended up staying at that hospital as a Veterinary Technician for 25 years. After moving with her family to Minnesota, she began working at a clinic in Farmington until joining the Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital family in March of 2016.

Around the clinic, Lauri is particularly fond of client education. She loves keeping pet owners up-to-date on the constantly changing field of veterinary medicine! She also enjoys chatting with animal owners in the exam rooms and hearing fun pet stories.

Lauri enjoys spending her time away from work with family. She and her husband, Chris, have a son named Joshua who currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He’s a linebacker on the school’s football team, and Lauri and Chris travel nearly every weekend to attend his games!

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Heather C.

Veterinary Technician

Heather had always had an intense passion for medicine, but she knew she didn’t want to enter the human healthcare field. Once she discovered what a Veterinary Technician did, a lightbulb went off—this was Heather’s opportunity to put her passion for animals and her love of medicine to good use!

Heather grew up in Apple Valley, Minnesota. She attended Argosy University to receive her Veterinary Technology degree, and joined the Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital family shortly after graduating. She’s been here ever since! Dental cleanings, puppy and kitten visits, and quality client education are her particular favorites around the hospital.

Heather still lives in Apple Valley with her husband and two young children. They have one pet: Oliver, a rescued greyhound who is enjoying his laid-back retirement years.

Outside of her interests in the veterinary care world, Heather is passionate about reading, spending time with her family, and running. She’s even completed a few half marathons and plans on running more in the near future!

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Sarah

Veterinary Assistant / Client Service

Sarah’s father was a veterinarian at an emergency clinic in her home state of California, and she loved going to work with him whenever she could. Some of her earliest memories include helping to bring newborn puppies into the world! For Sarah, working in veterinary medicine is her way of giving something back to the pets who have offered her so much over the years.

A lover of science and anatomy ever since she was young, Sarah attended Iowa State University to earn a degree in biology. After graduation, she brought her own dog here to the clinic to see Dr. Kruse. It wasn’t long before she was offered a job! Now, Sarah serves the pets and animal parents of the area as a Veterinary Assistant, and has become particularly fond of laboratory work and one-on-one interactions with clients and patients.

In her time away from work, Sarah likes swimming, surfing, hiking, horseback riding, and spending time with her family and pets at home. She and her husband have three young daughters, a crazy cat named Hiccup who truly rules the roost, and three English mastiffs: Maizey, Kenai, and Faith.

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Shelley

Client Service

Shelley always wanted to work in an animal clinic, both because she loves animals and because she wanted to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes! In 2007, her dream came true when she was hired on at Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital.

Shelley grew up on a farm in North Dakota with her parents and brother. A friend referred her here to the clinic, and she started in the fall of 2007 as a receptionist. Shelley loves being the first and last person a client sees and helping them to feel comfortable and welcomed. She also enjoys helping the staff when they need an extra hand—assisting with X-rays, holding a pet for blood draws, or helping out with dental charting is a lot of fun for her!

Shelley and her husband Jeff own three cats: Bengal, a Siamese mix; Gizmo, an attention-hogging Manx; and Little Man, a young domestic shorthair who bobs his head when Shelley talks to him.

When she has free time, Shelley enjoys reading books on her kindle, spending time with her husband, and visiting her dad’s farm in North Dakota.

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Duncan

Clinic Cat

At three years old, Duncan is the youngest Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital resident cat. He was brought in with a litter of kittens at only 12 weeks of age—the hospital staff simply couldn’t let him leave!

Duncan has trained plenty of visitors to the clinic to tell him how cute he is and how pretty his blue eyes are. He even trained a receptionist to carry him around for a few months! Duncan is most often found napping in his front-desk basket or sunning himself in the chairs by the window.

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Bob

Clinic Cat

Bob was first brought to the hospital with a litter of kittens who were all suffering from severe upper respiratory infections. The wonderful doctors and technicians at Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital nursed the kittens back to health, and they felt Bob was great enough to keep around!

Bob is one of the younger resident cats at the age of six. He’s made himself right at home here at the hospital—usually, visitors will find him on the front desk waiting to greet patients as they walk in the door. He also enjoys sunning himself by the large window or hanging out in his cat tree. From his vantage point there, he can keep an eye on everything and ensure all staff members are doing their jobs correctly.

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