MEET THE TEAM
Akin Hills Pet Hospital is a group of highly trained, experienced animal lovers who are devoted to giving our patients the best care possible. You can expect to be greeted by a courteous receptionist, clean exam rooms, friendly doctors, and caring technicians. We appreciate the role we get to play in your pets’ health care.
If you have any questions or comments about how we can care for your pet, please contact us today at (651) 460-8985.
Dr. Leslie Buggi, DVM, Owner
Dr. Leslie purchased Akin Hills Pet Hospital in February 2017 from Dr. Lori Ecklund. She began working in this practice in 2014, and practiced veterinary medicine in Omaha, Nebraska for seven years prior to moving to Minnesota. She attended Kansas State University for both her undergraduate degree and veterinary school. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is building bonds with her clients and seeing their relationship with their pets.
In her free time, Dr. Leslie enjoys spending time with her family and hiking. Her favorite vacation spot is Banff National Park. Her family includes Gus, a Bernese mountain dog. Gus is a big, loveable goof ball who loves to steal food. Dr. Leslie loves to hike with him through Lebanon Hills Park during the winter.
Dr. Cindy Guss, DVM
Dr. Cindy is an associate veterinarian who joined Akin Hills Pet Hospital in 2012. She graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in September 2011. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is the variety of care she gets to provide in a general practice. She enjoys seeing healthy, happy pets, doing surgery and dental care, and helping sick pets feel better. Dr. Cindy enjoys seeing how much owners love their pets and helping to keep their bond strong.
In her spare time, Dr. Cindy enjoys watching movies and snuggling with her pets, a menagerie that includes Izzy the Puggle (the nose on four stubby legs), Freida the shepherd/lab (the nose on four long legs) as well as her very own gang of “Breakfast Club” cats including Blue (the criminal), Wumpy (the athlete), Tips (the teacher), Wobbles (the basket case), Princess (that one’s obvious), and Chris (the husband…not a cat).
Dr. Carrie Blees, DVM
Dr. Carrie has been an associate veterinarian at Akins Pet Hospital since 2017. She attended Trinity International University, graduating in 2012 with a B.A. in biology/pre-med and an M.A. in bioethics. She graduated from University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. Dr. Carrie enjoys learning new surgical procedures to provide better care for her patients. She relishes seeing and experiencing pets become integral parts of families, while being able to play even a small role in maintaining a healthy human/animal bond.
In her spare time, Dr. Carrie loves the gym, her second home, where she participates in Calypso CrossFit and gym functions. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, softball, and playing bass guitar and cello at church. Dr. Carrie is fur mom to Finley, a seven-year-old giant fluffy beagle (beagle/border collie mix) who loves all food and snuggling with his teddy bears. Dr. Carrie adopted him during her second year of veterinary school.
Shawn has an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and an MBA from Western Governors University. This year, his two major accomplishments are getting PHR certified and joining Akin Hills Pet Hospital. Growing up, he has always considered himself an animal lover. He also enjoys working with different clients from all walks of life.
Away from work, he loves spending time with his family and friends. On the weekends, you can find him attending his children’s sporting events, camping and just enjoying his free time with loved ones.
Shawn adopted two Siamese cats from the same litter that spend most of their time catching Z’s.
Mary Kavanagh is the office manager. She began working at Akin Hills Pet Hospital part-time in 1994 and became a full-time employee in 1997. Seeing all the pets is fun for Mary, but she also enjoys visiting with the owners.
In her free time, Mary does cross-stitch and crochet. She enjoys spending time with her adult children and all her pets. Her menagerie includes golden retriever, Missy, who is eight, and three cats – Patches (a ten-year-old domestic short-haired calico), Butter (a seven-year-old tabby and white domestic short-haired cat), and Arabella (a domestic long-haired, seven-year-old calico).
Veterinary Technicians and Assistants
Nikki, Certified Veterinary Technician
Nikki is a certified veterinary technician who graduated from Argosy University with an AAS. Since 2014, she has enjoyed working with pets at Akin Hills Pet Hospital.
In her spare time, Nikki enjoys reading, playing video games, hiking, exercising, cooking, and playing with her dog, Mikko (aka Princess), a ten-year-old Gordon Setter.
Jen, Certified Veterinary Technician
Jen is a certified veterinary technician. She received an AAS in veterinary technology. She has been part of the team at Akin Hills Pet Hospital since 2013. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is that there is always something new to learn.
Outside of work, Jen enjoys reading, playing kickball, and spending time with her pets, which includes three dogs and four cats.
Emily H, Certified Veterinary Technician
Emily H. is a certified veterinary technician who graduated from Argosy University in 2018. She has been with Akin Hills Pet Hospital since 2017. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is dentals, but she loves taking care of hospitalized patients and being able to see them return to themselves.
In her spare time, Emily H. enjoys going to the gym and playing with her animals. She has three cats, Weezer, Frankie, and Stanley, and one dog, Lucy.
Kat, Veterinary Technician
Kat joined Akin Hills Pet Hospital in 2021 as a veterinary technician. She attended University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse and Minnesota School of Business. She loves working with senior pets and their families. She also enjoys working in surgery.
Kat likes spending time with her family camping and hiking. She also likes watching and playing sports, especially basketball and soccer. Kat’s fur children include Coba, a senior cat who is dedicated to her family, and Wonder, an active, curious cat who is great with kids.
Ali, Certified Veterinary Technician
Ali is a certified veterinary technician. She joined the Akin Hills Pet Hospital team in 2020. She is considering attending college to become a DVM. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is seeing all the animals and knowing they can help animals feel better.
In her free time, Ali enjoys playing games, reading, writing, and, of course, playing with her animals. She has an adorable and energetic three-year-old border collie named Charlie who has a unique red merle coat, which occurs because of a recessive gene in border collies. Ali also has a lazy eight-year-old rat, Emma, who she has had since Emma was two weeks old and needed to be bottle fed.
Jennifer, Veterinary Assistant
Jennifer graduated with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with an English degree from the University of Minnesota. The staff’s dedication to their work and how much they care for their patients is what she likes best about joining Akin Hills Pet Hospital. On top of that, she also enjoys the pharmaceutical side of veterinary medicine. In her spare time, she likes to run, go to Gopher football games, read books and explore state parks. She is the fur mom of an English Setter named Scout and a Terrier Mix named Banjo who both love the dog park and their squeaky toys!
Michelle, Customer Service Representative
Michelle is a client services representative who began working at Akin Hills Pet Hospital in 2015. She attended Winona Tech in the legal secretary program and Rochester Tech in the emergency medical technician program. At Akin Hills, Michelle enjoys the daily variety of appointments, working with clients and their pets, and seeing the pets grow.
In her spare time, Michelle enjoys traveling to tropical locations. She has had German shepherd dogs since 1998 and currently has two: Maui and Kailua. Maui is a four-year-old male named after the Moana character, Maui. Kailua is a three-year-old female who is named after Michelle’s favorite area on the big island, the Kailua-Kona area. Michelle likes spending time with Maui and Kailu working on teaching them new tricks.
Jess, Customer Service Representative
Jess is a customer service representative who began working at Akin Hills Pet Hospital in 2021. She studied photography at the Art Institute of Minnesota. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is meeting clients and their fur babies and learning about new breeds.
Outside of work, Jess enjoys reading, knitting, and hiking with her family. She has several pets, including Priya, a six-year-old German shorthaired pointer/greyhound mix; King, a four-year-old American Staffordshire terrier; Dottie, a one-year-old American pitbull terrier; Curly, a fifteen-year-old tomcat; and Solomon, her baby ball python.
Keri, Customer Service Representative
Keri is a customer service representative who began working at Akin Hills Pet Hospital in 2015. For her, working at Akin Hills is a job establishing a relationship with fantastic clients and learning about their fur family. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is being able to help them, get the care they need, and being able to answer their questions.
Outside of work, Keri enjoys reading, watching movies, crocheting, knitting, making bracelets, going to the gun range, and playing with her dogs. She shares her home with her two dogs: Nikko and Opie. Nikko is a Boston Terrier who has been diagnosed with seizures. He is very energetic and loves to play with his brother. Opie is a Boxer whose nickname is Opie Dopey which suits him well. He is Keri’s crazy boy who loves to play, always wants to cuddle, and gives hugsy loves to annoy his brother. He is absolutely her velcro dog. Both of them always make Keri laugh.
Melissa, Customer Service Representative
Melissa is a customer service representative who joined the Akin Hills Pet Hospital family in 2021. She went to Pikes Peak Community College. First and foremost, Melissa appreciates the fact that there is something new to witness every day. Seeing sick pets fully recover and watching puppies and kittens grow up is what she finds most gratifying.
In her free time, she loves spending quality time with her family. She also enjoys playing video games and traveling. Melissa shares her home with two cats named Isis and Schwarz who both love cuddling and playing fetch.
Dr. Melissa Weisman, DVM
Akin Hills Pet Hospital partners with Dr. Melissa Weisman owner of Minnesota Veterinary Ultrasound for our advanced diagnostics and specialized ultrasound services. Minnesota Veterinary Ultrasound provides on-site diagnostic ultrasound services including abdominal exams, musculoskeletal exams, echocardiograms, ultrasound-guided biopsies as well as many other services.
Dr. Weisman is a long-time native of Minnesota, having earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota. She has worked for over 25 years as a small animal practitioner in the Twin Cities with more than 10 years of performing thousands of diagnostic ultrasounds.
To say Dr. Weisman is an expert is an understatement. She has completed over 300 continuing education credits in small animal diagnostic ultrasound imaging in addition to one-on-one mentoring with a veterinary radiologist and other boarded specialists. Her ultrasound training and education courses have been taught by nationally and internationally known veterinary-boarded radiologists, cardiologists, internists, and other boarded specialists who are at the top of their field.
Akin Hills partners with Dr. Brian Rose, DVM, and Dr. Nate Rose, DVM owners of Minnesota Mobile Veterinary Surgery, for specialty surgeries. Their main surgery performed for Akin Hills Pet Hospital is Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy or TPLO surgery. This is the repairing of the cruciate ligament.
Dr. Brian Rose, DVM, DACVS (Surgery)
Dr. Brian Rose is a Board-Certified Veterinary Surgeon. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. Prior to his DVM, he received a degree in biology from St. John’s University, MN. He completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. He then undertook a residency in veterinary orthopedic, soft tissue and neurologic surgery at the University of Minnesota, in conjunction with master’s work in fracture biomechanics.
Dr. Rose has authored publications for Veterinary Surgery and the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Rose became board certified through the American College of Veterinary Surgery (Small Animal) in 2010.
Dr. Nate Rose, DVM, DACVS (Surgery)
Dr. Nate Rose is a Board-Certified Veterinary Surgeon. He grew up in Plymouth, MN, and attended St. John’s University, MN receiving a BA in biochemistry in 2003. After graduating from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007, he completed his internship training at Tufts University, MA in 2008. Dr. Rose came back to the University of Minnesota to complete his residency training in small animal surgery with publications in liver and gall bladder surgery, bone healing, and biomechanics of surgical implants. Dr. Rose became a Board-Certified Surgeon in January 2012.
Dr. Rose’s professional interests include canine sports medicine, arthroscopy, neurological surgery, and minimally invasive procedures.