Dr. Don Hittenmiller
Dr Hittenmiller grew up in Iowa, where he developed a passion for animal welfare. He graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981, and was recruited to join a large veterinary practice in Nevada. He soon found that his interest was in the prevention of debilitating diseases such as hip dysplasia, which led him to pursue advanced surgical training. In addition, he later received advanced training in veterinary cardiac and abdominal ultrasound and endoscopy. Soon many trauma and critically ill patients began being referred to Dr Hittenmiller. The advanced care that these patients required put Dr. Hittenmiller on the path of residence training through the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC). Dr. Hittenmiller developed techniques in veterinary epidural catheter pain management, the placement of cranial tibial artery catheters, and the use of hyperbaric oxygen in the septic patient. In the mid 1990s, as the hospital was attracting specialists in a variety of disciplines, including cardiology, radiology, oncology, internal medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, emergency medicine, and critical care. This led to the formation in 1998 of a teaching institution, Western Nevada Veterinary Specialists. As a teaching institution, the hospital each year welcomed a class of residents and interns, to be taught and certified in various veterinary specialties through the ACVECC and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS).
Dr Hittenmiller's areas of professional interest include sepsis and Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, thrombosis and pulmonology, and the furthering of advances in techniques of pain management.
When not in the hospital, Dr Hittenmiller is involved in the environmental enhancement of the Sierra Nevada mountains. He may also be found enjoying the outdoors on the many white water rivers of the West, with his fiancee Annie and his Golden Retrievers Bentley and Norbell.
Dr Lisa Lewis
Dr Lisa Lewis was born and raised in southwest Minnesota. She has always been an avid lover of animals and had a "zoo" growing up. She graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor of science degree in 2003 and from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. For her clinical rotations, Lisa attended University of Minnesota. She moved to Carson City to pursue her dream in veterinary medicine. She enjoys emergency and internal medicine.
Dr Lewis lives with her daughter Georgia, and her 2 rescue dogs Khloe and Maggie. They all suffered substantial injuries and were patients here at Carson Tahoe Veterinary Hospital. She also enjoys watching movies and exploring the surrounding area in her spare time.
Dr. Irem Sancak
Naomi, Manager/ LVT
Naomi is the hospital manager and one of the licensed veterinary technicians at Carson Tahoe Veterinary Hospital. She has been working in the veterinary field for over a decade. She joined the Carson Tahoe Veterinary Hospital team in order to gain experience in emergency medicine. Naomi relocated to the Reno area from Douglas, Alaska. There she worked with sled dogs and trained with several teams to prepare them for competitive racing. Although being a musher was Naomi's dream job, she aspires to be a practice owner and enjoys working in an educational setting. When not at work, she is spending time with her daughter, hiking, biking, running, mushing, and hanging out with her dog Nigel.
Melissa, Co- Manager/LVT
Melissa is a licensed veterinary technician who has been in the veterinary medicine field for 19 years. Melissa has a passion and special training for emergency and critical care cases, and is hoping to obtain her veterinary technician specialty credentials. Melissa is a proud mom to a Navy sailor as well as a young son. When she’s not working, parenting, or caring for her own herd of pets, you’ll find her at the beach.
Ari is our Office Supervisor & one of our receptionists. She has been in the vet field for 5 years now, but has been apart of our team since May, 2019. She loves to learn new things and helps with every roll she possibly can, for example you will see her switch between reception, assistant, and office supervisor. Her Aspiring Career goal is to become a manager in the vet field. She adopted her first dog Atlas back in April of 2019 and they have been inseparable ever since. One of her main life goals is to go on new adventures as much as possible and travel as much as often she can, of course trying to include Atlas whenever possible. Although she is very adventurous, she also needs her relaxed days as well, which include modeling for her sisters jewelry shop, listening to music & candles, and the occasional TV.
Tracy Benamati is one of our Licensed Veterinary Technician's. She studied at the Bel-Rea Institute in Denver Colorado, and graduated in 2004 where she also received her license. Tracy was born and raised here in Carson City and is happy to be helping the pets of her home town. She has been in the veterinary field since 1998 when she first started as a kennel kid. She has always been passionate about animals and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Tracy treats all of the patients as if they were her own baby, and she feels privileged to be entrusted with your fur babies here at Carson Tahoe Veterinary Hospital.
Amanda started as an assistant with us, but is now a Veterinary Technician in training (VTIT) through the PennFoster Program! Amanda has been working at Carson Tahoe Veterinary Hospital for 6 years and enjoys every minute of it. She resides in Reno with her husband Nick and their lovely zoo. They enjoy their rescue animals and just recently added a new rescue horse to the mix! On her days off she enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, and family outings.
Krista is a Certified Veterinary Assistant here at CTVH. She is a Carson City native and avid lover of all animals. She started volunteering for a dog grooming business in Dayton, NV when she was just ten years old. From then on, she felt the passion of wanting to work with and help animals. After giving up photography and serving tables, she decided to serve her country and joined the U.S. Air Force on Veterans Day of 2011. She served six years active duty as a Security Forces military police officer, where she assisted with training our country’s military working dogs. She was stationed outside of Anchorage, AK for the entirety of her enlistment, where she achieved her Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. She plans to utilize her law enforcement background, coupled with her veterinary experience, in hopes of one day becoming an Animal Cruelty Investigator. Krista first started here at CTVH in November 2019. After completing her externship with us, and receiving her Veterinary Assistant Certification through Animal Behavior College; we decided to keep her and offered her a position! In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with her husband, who is currently serving in the Air Guard, and son. Together they often swim, hike, camp, travel, and garden together. She also likes to paint, draw, snowboard, and cuddle with her rescued Tabby “Beans”. Krista moved here from Austin, TX in 2019, and plans on staying in the area with the rest of her family and friends.
Jena is an assistant currently in school getting her LVT. She was born and raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania and moved out here 4 years ago. She has joined the Carson Tahoe Veterinary Hospital team in order to gain the experience of emergency medicine. She has been a part of our team since February 2020. In her free time, she loves camping and hiking with her partner, Greg. She also enjoys reading, painting and bonding with her two rescue dogs Max and Cru.
Missi Haggard has been married for 25 years, has 2 grown sons and 2 grandchildren. Missi has raised, saved, rescued and loved animals of all kinds as far back as she can remember, and has worked a better part of her life in the Veterinary field. Missi started as a Kennel Assistant back in 1996 in her hometown of Klamath Falls, Oregon which led her to wanting more, so she became a Veterinary Assistant. She then moved to Nevada in 2007 and worked as a Veterinary Assistant for several years, and is now currently working as a our Veterinary Receptionist here at Carson Tahoe Veterinary Hospital. Missi enjoy's this field because of her love for animals, but most importantly, her greatest goal is being a kind, caring and compassionate person.