Our Staff

La Crosse Veterinary Clinic has a team of certified veterinary technicians, supervisors, veterinary assistants, and receptionists to assist our veterinarians with their day-to-day tasks. Our staff is dedicated to your pet’s well-being and helping them down the road to wellness. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our staff members, Contact Us today!

Our Staff in La Crosse: Tristene Mikel

Tristene Mikel Client Services/IT Supervisor

Tristene joined the team in 2004. As an IT supervisor and skilled multi-tasker, she loves being able to organize and supervise different areas of the clinic. She also enjoys the various experiences that come with each new day. Tristene is married with three children, several chickens, ducks, two dogs, and two cats. Outside of the clinic, she enjoys camping, geocaching, hiking, swimming, and working around her house.  Tristene and one of her daughter's have a personal goal to hike the Ice Age Trail over the next few years-all 1,200 miles! Her love of the outdoors extends to wild animals as well; wolves are her favorite animals due to their powerful, intelligent, and resourceful nature.

Our Staff in La Crosse: Pat Bye

Pat Bye Bookkeeper/Inventory Supervisor

Pat joined the La Crosse Veterinary Clinic team in 1998. With 16 years at the practice, she has had the privilege of being involved with countless positive experiences with her co-workers. She enjoys being part of a team that is dedicated to providing pets with high-quality care and clients with friendly customer service. Pat is married and is the "pet mom" of two cats, which is also her favorite animal. She spends her leisure time knitting, gardening, and geocaching. She also loves to travel, and would love the opportunity to travel more.

Core Team Members

Diana Ornes, Lead Certified Veterinary Technician

Our Staff in La Crosse: Diana OrnesDiana has been with the team since 2013 after earning her associate’s degree in veterinary technology from Globe University. She has had many interesting experiences in her career.  The most memorable patient will forever be the older,  heartworm positive bully breed dog.  She will never forget his kind soul. She enjoys dentistry and can pull out the most random cases from the back files of her brain at a moments notice!  She is married with three children.  She also has cats and dogs of her own.  Her favorite breed of dog is the Boykin Spaniel.  Outside of work, Diana and her family are very involved in Monroe county 4H.  Her family raises show sheep, pigs, beef and chickens on their small hobby farm. She also enjoys camping, kayaking and vegetable gardening.

Krissy Buchheit, CVT

Our Staff in La Crosse: Krissy BuchheitKrissy began working as a CVT at our clinic in 2009 after earning her associate’s degree in veterinary technology from Madison Area Technical College. One of the things she enjoys most about her position is seeing the love and dedication that pet owners have for their pet family members and being able to make a difference for them. Her own love for animals and the medical aspect of pet care is what led to her position at the clinic. Although she has had many notable experiences with animals, one of her most memorable was actually with a horse, riding on the beaches in Jamaica. Krissy is married with a daughter, son, a dog, and two cats. She spends her free time with family and friends and being active.

Sarah Miles, CVT

Our Staff in La Crosse: Sara MilesSarah joined the team in 1996 with a love for exotic pets in particular and handling unusual pet emergencies. Since childhood, she has been close to animals and loves helping them in any way she can. She loves that her position as a CVT is always exciting with new learning experiences. Her favorite part of the job is meeting new pets and their families and working with senior pets. Sarah is married with two children. She is also a "pet mom" to a cat, a guinea pig, leopard gecko, aquarium fish, and seven chickens. When she’s not at the clinic, she spends her time with her family, reading, camping, hiking, being outdoors, and bee keeping. She also enjoys arts and crafts.

Mary Samuelson, Veterinary Technician

Our Staff in La Crosse: Mary SamuelsonMary began working as a veterinary tech assistant at La Crosse Veterinary clinic in 2005 with more than 26 years of experience working with animals. Her position enables her to have many unique and interesting experiences with pets, which has made her an excellent multi-tasker over the years. She gladly welcomes the unpredictability of every day. She also loves having a great team to work with and being part of the recovery of a sick pet. She shares her home with her life partner and several fur babies, including a cat and two dogs. In her spare time, Mary enjoys being outside and on the river. She also loves to fish, paddleboard, kayak, jet ski, go on pontoon rides, bicycling, walking, and doing yard work. In the winter, she also enjoys billiards.

Jessica Servais, CVT

Jessica ServaisJessica earned her associate’s degree in veterinary technology, and joined the team in 2011.  She loves working with the close-knit group of co-workers and providing the best possible experience for the patients and clients.  One of her most notable memories as a CVT was when she and Dr. Lee received flowers from a client for delivering a litter of Yorkie puppies on emergency.  Jessica shares her home with her husband, daughter and two cats. She spends her leisure time with family and loves to go shopping with her daughter.

Echo Viner, CVT

Echo VinerAs a licensed and certified veterinary technician, Echo loves helping sick pets recover and assisting with surgical procedures. She earned her associate’s degree in veterinary technology from Globe University and bachelor’s degree in social studies from UW-River Falls. She has always had a love for animals, but her passion for caring for sick pets and helping them down the road to recovery was birthed when she volunteered at an animal shelter years ago. Echo is the proud "pet parent" of three dogs and two cats. When she’s not caring for pets at La Crosse Veterinary Clinic, she spends her time fishing, kayaking, playing games, cooking, crocheting, and reading. Her favorite movie is The Big Sleep.

Kaylee Plantikow, CVT

Our Staff in La Crosse: Kaylee PlantikowOn her way to becoming a CVT, Kaylee attended Madison Area Technical College and University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she earned her Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology and her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with an emphasis on Veterinary Technology. She chose a career path in veterinary medicine because she has loved helping animals since she was very young. Her favorite part of working as a CVT at La Crosse Veterinary Clinic is building lasting relationships with patients and clients. Kaylee and her fiancé Robin have five pets: Shira, a Boxer; Gizmo, a Teddy Bear; Cleopatra, a Siamese; and Meeko and Jasmine, both tabbies. She enjoys spending time on her fiancé’s farm when she’s not at work, and scrapbooking.

Rochelle Dahlen, CVT

Rochelle received a Bachelor’s degree in animal science, with an emphasis in veterinary technology from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. She also holds an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology from Argosy University Twin Cities. She hopes to one day also be a specialist in animal behavior. Rochelle chose her career path at a young age when she started volunteering at the Jackson County Animal Shelter. She fell in love with the animals there and wanted to devote her life to helping them. Her favorite part about her job is reuniting pets with their families after overcoming an illness. She also loves to form relationships with clients and educate them about preventative care. 

Rochelle is married to her husband, Steven, and they have several pets together including three dogs: Porsche, a Pitbull mix; Elsa, a Blue-Nosed Pitbull; Rusty, a Miniature Pinscher; and four cats: Stewart, Sprout, Katniss, and Everdeen. In her spare time, she enjoys buying and selling antiques, scrapbooking, and traveling. She also loves to continue her volunteering work at Jackson County Animal Shelter. In fact, with a million dollars, she’d open up her own rescue, as well as a boarding facility.

Mari Sartin-Tarm, CVT

Mari attended the Community College of Denver where she received her associate degree in veterinary technology. She loves taking care of animals and especially appreciates being able to work with all different types of people and their animals.

Mari has two pets of her own: Bissli, her dog, and Schoko, her cat. Both were named after Israeli snack foods. In her spare time, Mari enjoys cooking, hiking, and spending time with family. You also might catch her re-watching her favorite move, When Harry Met Sally. She has a knack for karaoke and sang in a choir for three years. Her favorite animal is the tiger and the most amazing place she’s ever been is Fiji!

Breanna Feit, Technician Assistant

Breanna is currently pursuing her veterinary technician degree. She originally attended Northland College with the intention of becoming a veterinarian. However, she decided that 8 years was too long to wait to start helping animals. Her entire life has been based around animals and helping them in any way possible, so she figured she might as well do what she’s already being doing her whole life, but as a career! Breanna’s favorite part of her job is being able to start at the bottom and gain the work skills she’ll need in a few years in the workplace instead of a classroom.

In her spare time, Breanna enjoys being at the dog park with her dog, Buckshot, a Beagle/Basset Hound mix. She also has two cats at home named Mayo and Ranch. While she loves her pets and the animals she helps at the hospital, her favorite animal is a Brown Swiss Cow. Soon, Breanna is going to start volunteering to help rescue animals in Texas and bring them back to their forever homes.

Stephanie Wemette, Receptionist
Our Staff in La Crosse: Stephanie Wemette

Stephanie began working as a receptionist at La Crosse Veterinary Clinic in 2004. She enjoys working with animals and the ongoing learning experiences of animal healthcare that come along with it. As a receptionist at the clinic, she also loves visiting with clients and patients. Stephanie is married with two dogs, which are her favorite animals. She loves bowling, making fleece-tied blankets, reading about holistic diets, supplements, and other health-related topics, and baking. In fact, baking/frosting cookie cutouts is one of her special talents. She is very passionate about health, both for people and pets. Her favorite book is How to Have a Healthier Dog.

Jan Wiggert, Receptionist

Our Staff in La Crosse: Jan WiggertJan joined the La Crosse Veterinary Clinic team in 1999. She has always wanted to work with animals, and is known for her excellent communication skills and ability to empathize with clients during their difficult times. She loves learning more about animal health and helping people keep their pets healthy and happy. Jan is married, and shares her home with her favorite animals: cats and horses. She has five cats, four Arabian horses, and two dogs at home. Jan has bred, trained, and shown four Arabian national champions, and has had several memorable experiences over the years at the Nationals in Louisville and Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. When she’s not caring for pets or training horses, she loves to read and garden.

Tarilyn Mikel, Receptionist

Our Staff in La Crosse: Tarilyn MikelTarilyn joined our team in 2018. She chose to work in the veterinary field because she always wanted to work with animals. In her role with us, she loves learning as much as she can as well as improving everyone’s mood wherever she goes! At home, she has a Labrador Retriever named Rango, a long-haired kitten named Binx, and a rabbit named Snickers. Outside of work, she enjoys anything outdoors such as swimming, rock climbing, and hiking. Her favorite animal is a frog and her favorite book is Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. Something that she’s proud to share is that she has traveled and met people from all over the world.

Diana Schuldt, Receptionist

Diana loves animals and deeply enjoys working with their owners. She enjoys constantly learning new things and making connections with people and their pets. Everyday is a new adventure—not one is ever alike!

Diana is married with two amazing boys and two dogs: Kloe, a Lab/Pit Bull mix and Roxy, a rescue dog. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and being with her family.

Nena Vavricka, Receptionist

Nena attended Western Technical College and received a degree in graphic design. Her first experience working with animals was with the humane society in customer relations for 3 years. She chose a career in the veterinary industry because helping animals and people has always been a huge passion of hers since she was very young. In her current role, Nena enjoys being involved in making sure animals are happy and healthy.

At home, Nena has two cats named Priscilla and Drogo. She is a very artistic person and loves drawing, art, and video games. Her favorite animal is the horse and her favorite movie is You’ve Got Mail.

Huckleberry, Clinic Cat

HuckleberryHuck has been with La Crosse Veterinary Clinic since 2017. From greeting clients and patients to getting his daily brushing, Huck brings a lot to the clinic. He’s been known to steal toys from the welcome bags meant for kittens and puppies. Huck enjoys finding things made from plastic or rubber during his free time as he is fond of chewing on them. His medical records would show history of multiple foreign body surgeries so Huck felt living at a vet clinic would really benefit his well being. His favorite part of being a member of La Crosse Veterinary Clinic is meeting everyone who visits the clinic as he’s great with dogs and cats alike.

Both my cats love the service here. Never want to leave even after shots. Ladies at the front desk are always friendly. Vets are great. Highly recommend.

-Tina P.

Dr. Skime and Krissy are fantastic! My 6 month old golden retriever ingested sugar free gum and was in pretty serious condition when I brought her in after hours. They worked so hard to bring her back to us:-). Our whole family thanks you for all you do (and Miss Lena too!)!

-Kerry W.

Our Sophie, a new German Shepherd rescue, loves Dr. Mitzelfeldt and staff! They were very kind and welcoming, helping us enter and leave the office without coming into contact with other pets, which helped Sophie stay calm and focused. Thank you for the wonderful care.

-Nancy D.

We've been going to La Crosse Vet Clinic for many years. They have been excellent! I commend them for being very understanding, kind and professional during difficult times. Five stars in our book!

-Dee M.

I love the staff at La Crosse Vet clinic! They are always extremely friendly and helpful, and never make me feel like I'm asking a stupid question, or bothering them with all of my, sometimes off the wall, questions! Thank you for taking such wonderful care of my pets! 

-Tiana & Dan R.

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