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. 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.
Dr. Marcia Bisel, DVM
In her spare time, she spends time with her husband raising their four children, long walks and lots of cuddles with her French bulldog Hughie, and helping with their family business, Downtown Bicycles in Northfield.
Dr. Greg Wilkes, DVM
Outside of being a veterinarian, Dr. Greg spends a lot of his time providing the best life he can for his new mischievous White German Shepherd/Husky rescue, Roo and helping people find homes as a real estate agent too. He always gets excited about road trips to the ocean, camping on the beach, disc golfing, snowboarding, woodworking, and tinkering with cars.
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
On one hand, Alison greatly enjoys any opportunity to spend outdoors. On the other hand, she loves some downtime at her cabin reading books. She also finds joy and excitement in traveling the world and a sense of fulfillment in volunteering with various animal and wildlife rescues. More importantly, she’s grateful for the time spent with her husband and loved ones. Her family is incomplete without her male cats. A chatty 6-year-old named Herbie adores belly rubs and a playful 15-month-old kitty called Junior loves to fetch!
April, Certified Veterinary Technician
When she’s not busy working, April sets aside leisure time. She enjoys baking, cooking, reading, hiking, and watching shows on Hulu. Above all, April spends time with friends, family, and her pets. Her house is not a home without her two guinea pigs named Cora and Poppy who love eating veggies and squealing when they’re hungry. She also has a cat called Christina who loves to snuggle and considers intently watching the guinea pigs a pastime.
Kasey, Veterinary Technician
Kasey attended the University of Wisconsin – River Falls as a pre-vet student. She majored in Animal Science and minored in Chemistry. When Kasey was in High School she joined a mentor program and was placed with Akin Hills Pet Hospital where she found her passion for veterinary medicine, and she has been with the clinic ever since. Growing up, Kasey had two cats and one of her favorite activities was pretending to be their Veterinarian. She also made it a point to stop by the zoo in any new place she visited.
In her free time, Kasey’s favorite form of entertainment is listening to music and going to concerts with friends. She also enjoys traveling and her go-to destination is often the beach. Kasey has opened her doors to three pets. She has two labrador retrievers called Vadar and BB, plus a kitty named Finn. BB and Finn are wrestling besties, while the older Vadar adores keeping humans company.
Michelle, Veterinary Assistant
Michelle is a veterinary assistant 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.
Kayla, Veterinary Assistant
Jess, Lead Customer Service Representative
Jess is a lead 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.
Lindsay, Customer Service Representative
Lindsay came on board at Akin Hills Pet Hospital in 2022. Her favorite part of working in veterinary medicine is being able to help pet owners and getting the chance to see the difference they make in people’s lives.
Away from work, Lindsay can be found hiking and hunting. She absolutely loves all things outdoors and considers herself a huge fisher “woman”. She shares her home with two dogs named Dodger and Penny, two guinea pigs named Ginger and Willow, Kiki the cat, and Smokey the rabbit. They also have four crappies, two birds, and a bass. They also raise ducklings in the spring.
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. Dane Tatarniuk, DVM and Dr. Casey Rabbe, DVM owners of Highline Veterinary Care PLLC, 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. Dane Tatarniuk, DVM MS DACVS LA
Dr. Tatarniuk is originally from Saskatchewan, Canada. He graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. This was followed by a surgical residency & Masters of Science degree in comparative orthopedics from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Tatarniuk became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2015. From 2016-2021, Dr. Tatarniuk was a faculty member in surgery at Iowa State University – College of Veterinary Medicine. His professional interests include veterinary orthopedics & sports medicine.
Dr. Casey Rabbe, DVM
Dr. Casey Rabbe is originally from Fairmont, MN; she graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014. Her professional interests include business management & advanced soft tissue surgery.
In 2021, Dr. Tatarniuk & Dr. Rabbe founded HIGHLINE Veterinary Orthopedics to offer specialty veterinary surgery across Minnesota to companion animals & pet owners in the comfort of their primary veterinarian’s office.
What our clients say about us....
Jen B., Google Reviews