Through the happy times and the sad, we are here for you through it all. Because to us, you are family. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Doctors

Melissa Harrer

Melissa Harrer

Doctor

Dr. Melissa Harrer graduated from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Her philosophy on veterinary medicine is to provide high-quality care, thorough examination, and comprehensive diagnostic and treatment options. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine, especially dermatology, internal medicine and surgery; with a special interest in stem cell therapy and laser surgery. Melissa was raised in Larchwood, a small town in northwest Iowa, where she spent a lot of time on her grandfather’s farm. Melissa had the opportunity to interact with many kinds of animals and decided at a young age to become a veterinarian. Melissa and her husband Shane, keep busy outside of work spending time with their young children, Isaac and Amelia, 2 cats, Chase and Blaze, and their Doberman Tigger. When the Harrer family has free time they enjoy hiking, biking, golfing and spending time in the great outdoors. Dr. Harrer is an active board member for both the Salvation Army in Council Bluffs and Iowa Western Community College’s Veterinary Technology Program, is an active member of St. Cecelia Cathedral, and assists with Midlands Humane Society when she can.

Amanda Merchant

Amanda Merchant

Doctor

Dr. Amanda Merchant is originally from Beulah, North Dakota. She worked for 9 years at a small animal veterinary clinic as a veterinary technician in Colorado. She graduated from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is interested in providing the best care for pets as well as internal medicine and surgery. Amanda is married to her husband Dan and they have three children, Kaylee, Matthew and Andrew. She also has a cat, Gracie, that rules the house. The Merchant family enjoys spending time outdoors and going to movies as a family.

Donna Mertz

Donna Mertz

Doctor

Dr. Donna Mertz was raised in Northwest Iowa on the family farm. She graduated from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced large animal medicine in Wisconsin for 13 years. For the last three years she has been practicing in Blair, Nebraska. Since, moving to Blair, Donna has transitioned from large animal medicine to small animal medicine. Donna has a special interest in surgery and veterinary spinal manipulation therapy or chiropractic care along with meeting and caring for your furry pets. Donna is married to her husband Keith and they have two young daughters named Casey and Haley. When the Mertz family has free time Keith enjoys training and riding quarter horses, while, Donna enjoys showing and raising Ayrshire Cattle. The Mertz family also includes two dogs and three cats. The two dogs are named Scout and Chip. Scout is a red Australian Cattle dog and Chip is an Australian Shephard. The three cats are named Spot, Abby and Reagan.

Dr. Kristen Westergaard-Bladt

Dr. Kristen Westergaard-Bladt

Doctor

Dr. Kristen Westergaard-Bladt was raised in a small town in Western Iowa. She graduated from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. After practicing for a year in Central Illinois, she moved back to Southwest Iowa with her husband, Mike, and their dog, an English Setter named Sage. Kristen’s passion is to connect with people in the community and to provide progressive and high-quality medicine for their pets. Her interests in the veterinary field include internal medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, and cardiac ultrasonography. Kristen enjoys an active lifestyle including early morning running and fitness classes at the YMCA, biking, swimming, and hiking. She is an active member of St. Patrick’s Church in Neola, the Junior League of Omaha, and the Rotary Club of Council Bluffs.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
–Anatole France

Care Team

Sarah Lawyer

Sarah Lawyer

RVT, Hospital Manager

Bio coming soon!

Jade

Jade

Vet Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Tyler

Tyler

Vet Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Laura

Laura

Coordinator

Bio coming soon!

Markayla M.

Markayla M.

RVT

Markayla is a Registered Veterinary Technician. She graduated with her associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from Iowa Western. Markayla grew up in Council Bluffs and has always loved animals. Growing up she helped care for horses, goats, chickens, cats and dogs. Markayla is actively involved as a 4-H project leader. She owns four dogs and one cat. Her dogs are named Diezel, Brazer, Foxy and Syd and her cat is named Bear.

Kimberly S.

Kimberly S.

Lead Coordinator

Kimberly was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She came to Council Bluffs four years ago. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She also has an Associates of Applied Science degree from MTI College located in Sacramento, California. She has always had a passion for animals. Growing up she helped care for rabbits, dogs and cats. Currently, she owns one cat named Maximus. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, and walking/hiking around the local areas.