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Our Careteam

Your pet’s emotional and physical well-being is prioritized with every visit. We put the patients first!



Lead Veterinary Technician

Alyssa grew up idolizing her older sister, who is a nurse. While she felt a pull to follow in her sister’s footsteps, she also knew that it wasn’t human patients she preferred to work with, but rather those of the four-legged variety. As a veterinary technician, Alyssa gets to experience the best of both worlds, helping animals while also helping their humans. It’s a win-win!

Alyssa started her journey at Minnesota School of Business, followed by an internship here at River Ridge Pet Clinic. Upon graduation in 2015, she was offered a full-time job at RRPC and she immediately jumped at the chance! The thing Alyssa loves most about being a vet tech is the diversity of the role. At any given moment, she could go from being a dental hygienist to a nurse to a surgical assistant to a shoulder for owners to lean on. Most importantly, she loves being a best friend to our furry patients.

Outside of the clinic, Alyssa shares her life with her soon-to-be husband and their Tuxedo cat named Minnie. Always one to keep her owners on their toes, Minnie loves to play fetch, snuggle, and hide around corners, from which she frequently jumps out and scares them.

In her spare time, Alyssa enjoys hiking and traveling. Her goal is to visit every state in the US and every national park.

Rachel Theis


Certified Veterinary Technician

Rachel grew up in rural Minnesota with her parents and two older brothers. As a kid, she always loved animals and even dreamed of one day becoming a veterinarian. As she grew older, her passion for pet care also blossomed and pushed her further toward her goal of working with animals professionally. As a veterinary technician here at River Ridge Pet Clinic, Rachel has finally found her true calling in life and is loving every minute of it!

After high school, Rachel realized that vet school wasn’t in the cards, so she decided to pursue human medicine but quickly discovered that wasn’t the right path for her. After two years of uncertainty, she came across a vet tech program in Minnesota and enrolled right away. Shortly thereafter, Rachel got a job as an assistant at a clinic in Eden Prairie before getting married and moving to Burnsville. She joined the River Ridge Pet Clinic team in October of 2023. Professionally, Rachel has a special interest in diagnostics.

When she’s not working, you can usually find Rachel fishing on a Minnesotan lake or river with her husband, Erik. The biggest fish they’ve reeled in so far was a 65-inch Lake Sturgeon from the Rainy River. The couple also enjoys camping, hiking, visiting national parks, and spending time with friends. While Rachel does not currently have any pets of her own, she loves to spoil the other fur-babies in her family – especially her parents’ three-legged Rough Collie, Jake.



Veterinary Assistant

Alissa grew up in a family that bred dogs, so she’s technically been working with animals since birth. When she was a small child, she helped her grandfather rescue a baby deer that had been orphaned. They bottle-fed and raised him until he was healthy enough to be relocated to a nearby deer farm. This experience sparked an interest in Alissa that would ultimately shape her career path.

Once Alissa had completed her college courses, she was ready to gain some hands-on experience. She joined the River Ridge Pet Clinic team in late May of 2022. Professionally, Alissa enjoys diagnostic testing because it’s always interesting to see what the results reveal. Overall, she finds the field rewarding and emotionally fulfilling. Alissa plans to continue her schooling to become a veterinary technician.

At home, Alissa has one pet of her own – a golden retriever named Ripp. Ripp has a huge personality and loves to give hugs to everyone, including strangers. He’ll tuck his head right into your chest and purr just like a cat. In her spare time, Alissa is always up for an adventure. She frequently goes on fishing trips and camps year-round. She also enjoys tapping into her creative side, drawing and creating portraits.



Practice Manager

Niky grew up in rural Wisconsin, about 20 miles east of Hudson in a small farming community with her parents, sister, and many cats and dogs. Growing up surrounded by animals helped mold Niky into who she is today and set the expectation that because animals are family, they should be treated with love and respect. After a few stints in education and human medicine, Niky found her way back to her calling and hasn’t looked back since!

Niky’s journey into the veterinary industry began in college, when she landed a job as a part time receptionist at a local pet clinic. Over the years, she worked her way up to lead customer service representative but felt a longing to do more. Several years and a few career detours later, Niky reunited with Dr. Herzog at River Ridge Pet Clinic when she joined the team in October of 2023. Professionally, Niky has a special interest in animal nutrition and breeding.

At home, Niky and her husband have a veritable zoo of their own, including four dogs (Harper, Tolkien, Rowling, and Lovecraft), two cats (Pluto and Pangur Ban), a pufferfish (Helga Hufflepuffer), and six sugar gliders (Meriadoc, Pippin, Samwise, Pikachu, Little Foot, and Petrie).

In addition to her passion for animals, Niky has a huge love and respect for arts and crafts. She is formally trained in the fine arts (glass blowing/stained glass, pottery, painting, printmaking, drawing, etc.) but loves the crafty side of things as well, including sewing and building. This past year she made a full leather armor inspired by a favorite book series that she could wear to renaissance festivals.

Niky also enjoys traveling and participating in sports events with her dogs, up to and including several national competitions at which several of her dogs have won awards.

“One small cat changes coming home to an empty house to coming home.”

 – Pam Brown