Meet MN SNAP’s staff

Your pet is in good hands!

Anna Kucera

Executive Director

Anna Kucera graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in biology and English. Her past experience includes positions with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Special Olympics Minnesota, Utne Reader and the Northern Lighthouse Board of Scotland. Anna currently serves as board chair of Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa, where she has provided leadership since 2010.

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since May 2015

Types of pets in your family and their names:
Anna shares her life with three dogs  Skye, Clyde and Islay — and a tortoiseshell cat Meka.

The most pets you ever had at one time:
Four! Anna has nearly 150 pounds of fur in her home (not counting her husband).

Favorite color:
Green

Favorite pet names:
Winston Chuckles, Sir Chicken Bucket Senior and Mr. McBacon Pants

Interesting personal trivia:
When Anna was in grade school, she spent summer days standing in front of the local grocery store with a handmade “Save the Whales” sign.


7-f43f762257117d121fd46768ed2fe04f

Kim Culbertson

D.V.M., Medical Director & Founder

Dr. Kim Culbertson graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. She spent five years in private practice before joining a humane organization where she could respond to her desire to help homeless animals and to help prevent pet overpopulation. During 10 years in that role, she performed high-volume and pediatric surgery for eight years, three of those on a mobile clinic. She created MN SNAP in 2010 to fill Minnesota’s unmet need to provide wide-scale and affordable spay and neuter services to the public.

Dr. Kim’s drive to advocate for animal welfare has resulted in her testifying before the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives on behalf of stricter regulations for puppy and kitten mills; assisting with and testifying on behalf of animals seized from hoarding situations and animal fighting; and partnering with other animal welfare organizations to perform trap, neuter and return for feral cats.

Dr. Kim is a member of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians and the Board of Directors of Chicken Run Rescue.

In her free time, Dr. Kim likes to eat, sleep and watch TV! She also spends quite a bit of time digging and planting in her yard.

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since the first thought of forming MN SNAP occurred … the first synapse

Types of pets in your family and their names:
A houseful of unadoptable cats with both clever and mundane names

The most pets you ever had at one time:
Dr. Kim has seen hundreds of foster cats and dogs come through her house to receive medication or TLC while waiting for placement at the local shelter.

Favorite color:
Purples and blues

Favorite pet name:
Trouble

Interesting personal trivia:
Kim hopes to retire to a commune consisting of people who have respect for this world. If she can’t find one, Dharmaville will do fine. If she could meet any person, real or fictional, it would be Sherlock Holmes.


Lisa McCargar

D.V.M.

Dr. Lisa McCargar started her career caring for abandoned and unwanted pets after completing a four-year bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. She took a job cleaning kennels in a small shelter in Wisconsin. It was here that she first recognized the great suffering of unwanted and homeless animals in our society. She was determined to help stop the flow of unwanted litters into shelters and decided to enter veterinary school so she could learn to spay and neuter everything!

Dr. Lisa graduated with her degree as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 2004. She spent three years in private practice, and then found herself again at a shelter: the Animal Humane Society. It was here that she developed a relationship with MN SNAP Founder Dr. Kim Culbertson and learned to perform high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter surgery.

From 2006-2009, she performed thousands of spay/neuter surgeries, assisted in several animal abuse cases working alongside humane investigations officers, prepared testimony for court cases, and handled thousands of cases of sick, abused and neglected pets. In addition to private practice and shelter work, Dr. Lisa has also worked in emergency clinics, provided relief veterinary services for private practices and has volunteered her time with the Minnesota State Fair Surgery Suite, VeTouch (Veterinary Treatment Outreach for Urban Community Health), and participated in the Program Advisory Committee for Globe University’s veterinary technician program. Dr. Lisa is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Lisa and her team of technicians joined MN SNAP in January 2012, and she couldn’t be more thrilled to return to her roots and to the source of her passion for this career!

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since January 2012

Types of pets in your family and their names:
Two indoor cats, Bitu and Chili; two barn cats, Scooter and Latka; three dogs, Chester (Pittie mix) Foster (Boxer) and Olive (English Bulldog); and three horses, Frankie, Echo and Honey Badger. The horses, barn cats, boxer and pittie came with her fiancé.

The most pets you ever had at one time:
Four

Favorite color:
Orange

Favorite pet name:
There are some pretty creative names on the mobile unit – her favorite so far was a cat named “Crabbers.” His cohort was named “Not-Crabbers.” It still makes her laugh today!

Most interesting veterinary patient you have encountered:
Dr. Lisa enjoyed working with the bald eagles while volunteering at the raptor center during vet school. She performed surgery on a young bald eagle who had been struck by a car and sustained a laceration across his back. She said it was very odd suturing around feathers rather than hairy skin!

Interesting personal trivia:
College friends call her “Dr. Stu” — ask her about it next time you see her! She also dabbles in very amateur photography – mostly for personal enjoyment!


23-dba7f94830c5442d92a4bd43970ee106

Rebecca Tollefson

D.V.M.

Dr. Rebecca Tollefson was on the path to a career as a professor of French when she took a year off from graduate school to care for her young children. During this time, she began volunteering at her local Animal Humane Society and took a part-time job at a dog-training facility, where she remembered her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. Dr. Rebecca returned to school and graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004.

After graduating from veterinary school, Dr. Rebecca practiced at a small animal clinic in Northfield, Minn., for nine years. In that role, she performed spays and neuters for the Rice County Humane Society (now Prairie’s Edge Humane Society) and learned pediatric surgery techniques to help a local breeder spay and neuter his kittens before adoption.

In addition to veterinary practice, Dr. Rebecca works as a medical editor, revising scholarly articles for foreign researchers seeking publication in English language journals.

Dr. Rebecca sees the prevention of animal suffering as her primary role as a veterinarian. Knowing that much of the suffering of dogs and cats in our community arises from the abundance of unwanted pets, as well as from preventable diseases found in unaltered animals, she feels she has found her calling at MN SNAP. She joined our veterinary team in June 2013 and is happy to be combining her love of surgery with making a difference in the lives of so many pets and people in the greater Minnesota community.

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since July 2013

Types of pets in your family and their names:
She has a 5-year-old Standard Poodle, named Faye, the BEST dog ever, whom she found through the Humane Society. She also shares her home with two middle-aged cats, Luna and Weasley.

The most pets you ever had at one time:
As a child, she had a real menagerie: multiple dogs, cats, gerbils, a guinea pig and a rabbit. She tried saving every bald baby bird that was blown out of its nest (without success); she doesn’t know a number but it was lots.

Favorite color:
Green, blue, purple

Favorite pet name:
She once had a client who named her dogs using verbs. Flit and Tackle are two of her favorite dog names ever. And they were great dogs, too!

Most interesting veterinary patient you have encountered:
Maybe not the most interesting, but one of the most important of her early veterinary experiences was a Boxer puppy named Biko, who came in with vomiting and diarrhea. He was her first parvo puppy, and she spent days and nights with this little, miserable dog who couldn’t keep anything down and seemed to be spewing out body fluids as fast as she could pump them back in intravenously. Day after day went by, and she felt they were making no progress. But the owners and Dr. Rebecca and poor skinny Biko hung in there together, and he turned the corner after a week of hospitalization. Biko became a giant Boxer dog, and she thinks his early experiences with the clinic, which one would expect would leave him leary of vets, made him the most affectionate, vet-loving patient she ever had the pleasure to treat. He taught her a lot about the body’s ability to heal and the importance of patience!

Interesting personal trivia:
She lives in a geodesic dome!


31-4f8e9c54491f63fd21a0813dece0cbb2

Christie Daluge

Office Manager
Christie graduated from Minnesota School of Business in 1996 from the Veterinary Assistant program. She worked in a private practice (Brighton Veterinary Hospital) as a veterinary assistant for two years. After a brief career change, she started at the Animal Humane Society (Golden Valley) in 2001 as a vet tech and started as a surgery technician at the stationary surgery suite in 2003. She then moved onto the mobile surgical unit in 2007. Christie was part of the MN SNAP start up in 2010.

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since April 2010

Types of pets in your family and their names:
Coco and Sasha

The most pets you ever had at one time:
Five total – three owned cats, one cockatiel and a foster cat

Favorite color:
Green

Favorite pet name:
Troy – the name of her first rescue cat. He was a great companion for nine years.

Interesting personal trivia:
She loves all the things that Minnesota offers and the outdoors: biking, running around the lakes, snowboarding, wake-boarding, camping, etc.

Rachel Muller

Office Assistant
Rachel graduated from St. Cloud State with a B.A. in Spanish and Public Administration and has worked in a variety of areas from project management to teaching English in Spain. She’s always been an animal lover and has gotten involved in animal welfare the past few years. She volunteers with two local rescue groups and learned about MN SNAP through them and is very excited to be working with such a great organization.
Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since April 2014

Types of pets in your family and their names:
Two coonhound mixes named Jackson and Jewel, two black cats named Noche and Ink, and a rabbit named Bun Bun

The most pets you ever had at one time:
Twelve: her five, plus six foster cats and a foster chicken.

Favorite color:
Green

Favorite pet name:
Mercy was the name of her dog growing up. She was a very gentle, loving, well-behaved mutt.

Interesting personal trivia:
She’d love to have rescued farm animals, especially chickens, one day. Rachel also loves to travel and has visited four continents and more than 20 countries.

49-d4585f684b832bf715369e3389cad149

Amy Divine

Surgery Prep Technician
Amy has worked in the animal health industry for more than two decades. Her career started at a small animal hospital working as a kennel attendant while attending high school. Over the years, she has gained experience as a technician working in various small animal hospitals and shelters throughout Nevada, Iowa and Minnesota. She has worked as a technician for 16 years, gaining knowledge from general practice veterinarians, boarded surgeons, boarded radiologists and a wide variety of technicians.
Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since November 2012

Types of pets in your family and their names:
She currently lives with her dog, Revelie, and six cats. Revelie was adopted from Sioux Empire Pit Rescue out of South Dakota, and the Divine Kitties were picked up along the way from various states in which Amy has either resided or visited. If there is an animal in need, and she has a vacancy, Amy will not hesitate to bring them to safety.

The most pets you ever had at one time:
At most, she has been blessed with the presence of 16 cats, three dogs, two rats, a tank full of fish and a hamster!

Favorite color:
Her attention is fully captured by any shade of blue.

Favorite pet name:
She’s always loved the name Oliver! Anytime she meets an animal with that name, it brings a smile.

Interesting personal trivia:
Amy loves to draw, and she’s currently learning the techniques of charcoal and pastels. To no one’s surprise, her favorite subjects to artistically recreate are companion animals.


 

106-e717d7cc6c8244c581ca7a6b21627d35

Erin Richards

Anesthesia Technician
Erin has more than 11 years of veterinary experience. She started working as an animal care technician at a local animal shelter in 2001, moving to the veterinary technician department in 2006. Erin started with MN SNAP when MN SNAP started!
Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since April 2010

Types of pets in your family and their names:
A Bassett Hound named Duncan, and a DSH Brown Tabby named Halen. Both were rescued from a shelter.

Favorite color:
Pink!

110-2a1a49eeeba76eb13da3c8bab9ff1c0c

Nikki Shiers

Anesthesia Technician
Before joining the MN SNAP team, Nikki spent six years at a local animal shelter, including three years as one of the two lead technicians. She’s been fortunate to work with a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, “pocket pets” and various types of birds. Nikki’s previous surgical experience includes anesthesia, monitoring, assisting and nursing in a variety of procedures, including high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter, dental, GI, orthopedic and other surgeries. Before coming to MN SNAP, Nikki spent a year as lead surgical technician on another mobile surgical unit that performed spay and neuter surgeries for rescue groups and shelters in Minnesota. Nikki is a member of Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians (MAVT) and National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).
Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since March 2011

Types of pets in your family and their names:
She has CJ, a black lab; Port, a grey domestic short-haired cat; and several goldfish.

Favorite color:
Blue

Nicole Wallace

Surgery Prep Technician
Nicole is dedicated to the field of animal welfare and has a commitment to continually improving the quality of care that animals receive, no matter the species. For more than a decade, she worked in an animal shelter and helped develop a wildlife exam room that took in thousands of wild animals each year. She also worked as a zookeeper that specialized in the care of reptiles and amphibians. Both roles allowed her to travel and educate people about animals that not everyone understands. She also has experience in emergency veterinary care and private practice.
Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since July 2016

Types of pets in your family and their names:
A boa constrictor named Titanaboa and various foster animals

The most pets you have had at one time:
Animals are a huge part of Nicole’s life, a good chunk of it on a hobby farm, which included cats, dogs, horses, goats, chickens, chinchillas, rats, quail, rabbit, parakeets, pigs and fish. She thinks 24 was the highest number at one time. Current residents of her parent’s hobby farm include two dogs: Tucker, a 15-plus-year-old Norwegian Elk Hound/Labrador Retriever, and Kodiak, an 8-plus-year-old German Shepherd. The farm is also home to five domestic short-hair cats; Dilute Tortoiseshell Petra, Gray and White Oscar, Brown Tabby Blade, Grey Tabby Taz and Lynx Point Siamese Annie; and five equines: Quarter horse geldings Cool and Pete, Brood Stock Paint mare Ice, Shetland pony gelding Trigger and Mule gelding July. Last, but not least, a rooster called Rusty lives there, too.

Interesting personal trivia:
Nicole’s invested in volunteer work. She’s volunteered for animal shelters, her saddle club, zoological facilities (including the Australia Zoo!), The Wildcat Sanctuary, Chicken Run Rescue, Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release and Minnesota Herpetological Society. She sits on many boards of directors, including Minnesota School of Business Veterinary Technology Programs Advisory Committees. Nicole is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and has helped rehabilitate more than 100,000 wild animals!


Janae Herman

Client Communications Technician
Janae discovered her passion for animal welfare and high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter work when she found a job in 2005 at the major animal shelter in Rapid City, South Dakota. She worked there for the next seven years and during that time went back to school to get her AAS degree in Veterinary Technology. She also worked with a local nonprofit group doing MASH-style spay/neuter clinics on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in western South Dakota. (MASH-style means traveling with surgery equipment stored in a trailer, unloading it into a suitable community center for three or four days, then packing everything up and driving back home.)

When Janae found a technician position posted on this website, she was so impressed with the organization, she immediately applied. Several Minnesota blizzards and nine-hour car trips later, she was thrilled to join the team.

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since March 2014

Types of pets in your family and their names:
Two cats: Prince, long-haired grey & white, and Wobbles, short-haired buff tiger tabby. Wobbles has a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia, which causes him to “wobble” and fall over frequently. But he’s the friendliest cat ever!

Interesting personal trivia:
During her time at the shelter, Janae knew quite a few cats and dogs that would come in with injuries to legs where the best option for the animal was amputation of the affected limb. It’s amazing to her how well and how fast these animals recovered! Also, Janae also has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, which she obtained before she started working with animals.

Elizabeth

Client Communications Technician
Elizabeth graduated in June 2014 with an associate’s degree in Veterinary Sciences, and passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination in August 2014. She completed a 270-hour internship at a small animal practice before graduation and a 90-day externship at a small animal practice after graduation.

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since December 2014

Types of pets in your family and their names:
Elizabeth has three male cats named Pokey, Brutus and Mustachio

The most pets you ever had at one time:
When she was fostering, at one point, she was caring for eight cats and kittens.

Favorite color:
Almost any shade of green

Favorite pet name:
She loves her orange-and-white mustached cat who she named Mustachio.

Interesting personal trivia:
Elizabeth loves long-distance running, and she recently took up rock climbing.

Heather Brey

Surgery Prep Technician
Bio coming soon

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since July 2014


Jessy Nickolauson

Anesthesia Technician
Jessy has had a soft spot for animals her whole life, and its always been her goal to help them in any way she can. She enrolled in the two-year veterinary technology program at Minnesota School of Business in Elk River in 2011. She obtained her associates degree in Applied Sciences in December 2012 and became certified early 2013. Jessy then completed an internship at Midwest Animal Rescue, was hired on and later became lead C.V.T. She has more than two years of experience in shelter/rescue medicine, has done volunteer work and has fostered animals with Midwest Animal Rescue and other Minnesota rescues.
Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since March 2015

Types of pets in your family and their names:
Jessy currently has four pets. One is a boxer named Trout, who is her best friend! She also has two cats, Harvey and Maple. Last but not least is her painted turtle named “T,” who Jessy’s had for about 19 years.

The most pets you have had at one time:
When she was 10 years old, her family had a total of seven animals between her mother’s and father’s houses: three dogs, two cats, one turtle and one rat.

Favorite color:
Green

Favorite pet name:
Jessy’s always liked pets with theme names. Her dog was part of a littler born in rescue, and they named the litter all after fish! Trout was, of course, her favorite.

Interesting personal trivia:
Jessy likes anything outdoor Minnesota has to offer! She has family in Lutsen on Lake Superior and hopes to retire to that area. She’s also an amateur photographer and frisbee golf player.

Loreli Jackson

Cross Coverage Technician
Bio coming soon

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since August 2015

Kelly Anderson

Client Communications Technician
Kelly spent many years working for a wonderful company with an amazing group of people, but she recognized that the job and industry was no longer a good fit for her. After a great deal of reflection, she decided to change careers and enrolled in the Veterinary Technology program at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minn. She’s excited to have found a home at MN SNAP that combines her love of animals and the opportunity to use her newly acquired degree to educate pet owners and contribute to MN SNAP’s mission helping Minnesota communities.

Length of time with MN SNAP:
Since September 2016

Types of pets in your family and their names:
Kelly has no pets of her own; however, she has fostered a number of dogs through Twin Cities’ rescue organizations and gets tremendous joy seeing each one of her “fur kids” find their forever homes!

The most pets you ever had at one time:
She’s unsure of the exact number, but growing up, at any one time there were at least a few horses, a couple of dogs, barn cats and rabbits.

Favorite color:
Red

Favorite pet names:
When Kelly was a child, her mother stopped at a gas station on the way home with Kelly and her sisters. The station happened to have a litter of Labrador Retriever puppies in a cardboard box waiting to be adopted. After much begging and pleading, Kelly’s mom let her girls pick one out to take home. While her father was not happy with the arrival of a new family member, he couldn’t say no. He said that the puppy must be a lucky dog, and “Lucky” he became.