E-mail: info@willitsvet.com | Office: (970) 510-5436

Who We Are - Willits Veterinary Hospital


John Kuck, DVM Dr. Kuck was born in New Knoxville, Ohio, a small farming community in rural southwestern Ohio.  At that time, Dr. Kuck called his parent’s 40 acre wooded property home, complete with a three acre pond and plenty of room to explore and cultivate his interest in nature, commonly in the company of his baby raccoons, his English Setter Mitzi or Sheba, the Newfoundland.  At the age of 13, John earned a scholarship to the prestigious Culver Academy where he pursued his love of football and Russian language studies.

Upon graduation from Culver Academy, Dr. Kuck earned an athletic scholarship to play football at Bowling Green University where he started at the center position for three seasons and served as a senior co-captain and earned the Carlos Jackson Award for his work ethic. He graduated in 1998 with a degree in International Business and a minor in Russian Language Studies.

Enrolling at the Metropolitan State College of Denver in 2001 John completed his pre-requisites for admission to veterinary school in 2003 and earned a place in the class at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.  Completing his training at Colorado State University in 2007, Dr. Kuck graduated from veterinary school with an ever-increasing passion for animal health and welfare.

Since graduation, John has attempted to maintain a very broad knowledge and skill base encompassing companion animal internal medicine and surgery.  Dr. Kuck feels a strong sense of service to his community volunteering at various animal charities and offering his services free of charge to needy communities abroad.

Dr. Katie Beiser grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She studied zoology and marine biology at Michigan State University as an undergraduate (Go Green!) and went on to graduate from University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. During veterinary school, she completed her veterinary acupuncture certification in small animal and equine acupuncture through The Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. She values preventative wellness and care, placing heavy emphasis on advocacy for nutrition wellness and exercise therapy as preventative measures. Dr. Beiser is particularly passionate about utilizing alternative medicine in pain management and geriatric patient care. She has seen and felt the improvement in her own animal’s health and quality of life through the practice of integrative veterinary medicine and feels
these are invaluable experiences when trying to relate to client goals and expectations.

In her free time, Katie enjoys partaking in volunteer medicine at local humane societies and wildlife rehabilitation centers. During school, she traveled to Guatemala and provided veterinary care to under-served and impoverished areas.

She also loves exploring new trails and the great outdoors with her two rescue mutts, Cheyenne and Aero. Basically any activity in the sun or snow will do. And she is very much looking forward to her new adventure in the Roaring Fork Valley and the beautiful Rocky Mountains!

Dr. Doug Bahr grew up in Houston, Texas where he started working for his neighborhood veterinarian at the age of 15.  He fell in love with the profession early on and also had a passion for wildlife biology.  In 2012, he earned his bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. He went on to attend veterinary school at Oklahoma State University.  While in veterinary school, Doug pursued his passion for wildlife through several externships including sea turtle medicine in Florida at Mote Marine Laboratory. He also spent a month in Thailand working with Asian elephants and their mahouts, treating everything from chronic abscesses to routine foot care.  

After graduating vet school in May of 2016, Dr. Bahr and his wife Mary moved to the Vail Valley to complete a year-long internship with Vail Valley Animal Hospital.  During his internship, he gained valuable experience in emergency medicine, soft tissue surgery and dentistry.  He met Dr. John Kuck while participating in a low cost spay / neuter clinic in rural Colorado. A few months later, Dr. Bahr was invited to join the team as an associate at Willits Veterinary Hospital!

Dr. Bahr’s special interests include soft tissue surgery, diagnostic imaging and the challenge of working with wild and exotic patients. In his free time, Dr. Bahr enjoys spending time outdoors, especially hunting and fishing with his Brittany Spaniel, Remi.  Dr. Bahr is happily married to his beautiful and brilliant wife, Mary who is a Registered Nurse and talented yoga instructor in the valley.  Along with their furry son, Remi, Doug and Mary have a sweet baby daughter, Eve, born in the fall of 2016.


Kristen Kuck, CVT/Office Manager  As a third generation Roaring Fork Valley local, Kristen is excited to have the opportunity to serve the valley and animal community that she loves so much.  Kristen graduated from Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale, Colorado in 1997 and quickly pursued a lifelong dream of becoming a member of the Veterinary Community. In 1999 Kristen graduated from Colorado Mountain College, Spring Valley with Phi Theta Kappa Honors, and received an Associates in Applied Sciences in Veterinary Technology. She became a Certified Veterinary Technician in August of 1999. Since that time, Kristen has worked in many different veterinary facilities ranging from general small animal practice to veterinary neurology.

In 2003 Kristen married John Kuck. Shortly after they married, John began veterinary school at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. While the couple was at Ross University Kristen worked as the head Intensive Care Unit Technician and was given the opportunity to participate in the educational process of students and found a passion for teaching. Once John and Kristen moved stateside in 2008, Kristen began teaching several courses in the Veterinary Technology at Colorado Mountain College. These courses included Vet Technology Computer Applications, Vet Technology Math, and a course designed to educate students interested in pursuing a career in Veterinary Technology.

Kristen is committed to the animal community not only in the Roaring Fork Valley but also abroad. She has participated in canine and feline Spay Neuter Clinics in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico and participates in local veterinary vaccine drives.


Tricia Mines, CVT  After growing up in Pennsylvania, and graduating from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, Tricia was excited to head out west. She sort of stumbled on the Roaring Fork Valley accidentally while researching Veterinary Technology Programs, not fully realizing how lucky she was at the time. Tricia graduated from the Vet Tech Program at Colorado Mountain College in 2001, and has been working as a Certified Veterinary Technician ever since.  She cannot imagine working in any other field, or living in a better place.  She is excited to continuing taking care of the  pets that also call this wonderful place, “home”. Tricia lives in Carbondale with her husband (Mike), her daughters (Iris & Abby), her kitty (Tika, a ragdoll cross) and her dog (Mowgli, a short legged bundle of craziness of unknown origin who someone once described as ‘part rubber ball’, which probably describes him best).  Their most recent addition are four chickens!  They are incredibly entertaining and it has been great fun watching them grow up!

Rachel Braudis, CVT  Rachel grew up in northern Westchester County, New York and was a self-proclaimed “horsey-kid”. She moved to the Roaring Fork Valley after graduating from the University of Hartford’s, Hartford Art School to see what the ski-bum life was all about. It took only a few days of living in the Roaring Fork Valley to realize that she had found home. Twenty years later, Rachel lives in Carbondale with her husband (Andy), children (Leah & Sean), dogs (Walter & Isaac), cat (Jeffrey), and horses (Thrifty and Bella). A lifelong animal lover, Rachel chased her dream of becoming a veterinary technician by returning to school. She graduated from Colorado Mountain College’s Veterinary Technology program on the President’s Honor List in 2013. Her favorite part of being a vet tech, everything! When she’s not in the clinic you are most likely to see her on bike or foot enjoying our local trails.

Melanie Arnold, CVT   Mel grew up on a farm in a small town in the thumb of Michigan. Growing up with cats, dogs, and horses in a community with very limited veterinary care fueled her passion to pursue veterinary medicine. She attended college at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, MI in 2010 and moved to the Roaring Fork Valley to attend Colorado Mountain College’s Veterinary Technology program in the fall of 2011.  She graduated in 2014 with national honors and joined the Willits Vet team in the spring of 2015. She loves every aspect of her job, with CT being one of her favorites. Outdoorsy, she enjoys hiking Colorado’s 14ers, rock climbing, skiing, backpacking with her Lucky Day Rescue dog Dude, hitting the trails with her horse Lulu, and enjoying the lifestyle that Colorado offers. 

Kirsten Hix, CVT  Kirsten grew up in Southern California, a kid with a passion for art and animals, she decided to pursue the former and attended Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, MI earning a BA in Art and Spanish in 2010. After getting married to a triple threat (fisherman, engineer, Michigander) in 2012 she and her husband moved out to Colorado, spending a year in Denver before heading to the Roaring Fork Valley. On discovering CMC’s fantastic Veterinary Technician program she decided to return to school in 2014, and graduated in the Spring of 2016. Now she enjoys exploring the area with Chinook (Lab/Pit/? rescue pup), lazing around with her bearded dragon Artemis, reading everything she can get her hands on, and creating during her free time.

Nichole Christensen, CVT Hailing from southern Minnesota, Nichole moved here in the summer of 2014 to attend the Veterinary Technology school at Colorado Mountain College. Along with her was her, now, fiance Shane and their cat (Cooper, domestic short hair). Together, she and Shane enjoy snowboarding, dirt biking, hiking and many other outdoor activities that are so bountiful in Colorado. Nichole yearns for the ability to one day own a farm and raise as many species of animals as possible. For now, she and Cooper are the best of friends. The newest addition to the family is Buttermilk, the rat, who has surprisingly enough taken quite the liking to Cooper. You can find the four of them snuggled on the couch on a typical weekday evening.

Never having worked in a veterinary practice before, Nichole enjoys learning the many tricks of the trade from her fellow Veterinary Nurses here at Willits. Her interests include radiography, nutrition and behavior, amongst everything else. If you see her out hiking, most likely with a Colorado Animal Rescue dog by her side, feel free to stop and say hi!
Sara Lorhenz, CVT Sara was born in raised in Colorado. She grew up with a love for riding her horse, Bull and enjoying everything outdoors. Sara graduated from the Colorado Mountain College Veterinary Technician Program in 2015 and shortly after moved to the Roaring Fork Valley to join the Willits Vet team. She has a passion for both large and small animals and has spent time as a ranch hand. When she is not at work, you can find Sara hiking the trails with her dog and cat (Teva, a Heeler/Lab mix & Henry, an orange Tabby) or riding her horse (Westy).




Meredith Duffy, Assistant/Reception  Meredith was born and raised at the Jersey Shore. She moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2008 for her love of the mountains. She currently resides on a beautiful ranch in Emma with her 4 loving fur children, dogs (Buell, retired Krabloonik sled dog and Brewski, Lab/Aussie mix) and cats (Bliss, surprise gift from Dr. Kuck and Beaumont, rescue from hurricane Harvey). When she is not at work you can find her at yoga, snowboarding in Snowmass, or frolicking in her backyard with her pets.




Hannah Faison, Reception Hannah was born and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley, then went to boarding school in MA, college in GA and moved back to the Roaring Fork Valley from NC with her dog Harley after being there for the past 5 years. Hannah joined our team June of 2015. Hannah came from a veterinary hospital that was a 24/7 emergency with fourteen different vets in the heart of a Southern city. Hannah has always been involved in rescue groups wherever she has lived and has continued to do so here, where she is part of Lucky Day Animal Rescue. When she is not working with animals you will find her cooking up a storm, dancing and diving into something creative. Her favorite place to be is on the beach but is finding she missed being away from the mountains and is loving being back and being closer to her family.

Mercedes Brown, Assistant/Reception Mercedes grew up in Michigan and moved to the Colorado Rocky Mountains in 2014 after graduating from Michigan State University. Always having a love for animals, she started at Willits Vet in 2017 looking to learn more about the industry and small animals. She has a passion for giving back to the community and enjoying time with her co workers outside of work. When Mercedes is away from Willits Vet you can find her crafting, tending to her plants, skiing, biking, or spending time outside with her Aspen Animal Shelter rescue dog (Mona, Heeler/Shepard mix).


Ann-Marie Biggins, Assistant/Reception Ann-Marie was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She attended Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and after graduation moved to the Roaring Fork Valley as she awaits acceptance to Veterinary School. She has a passion for biology, large animals, and getting as much experience as possible before Vet School. She has been coming to the valley since she was a child and loves everything the mountains have to offer. When she is not at Willits Vet you can find her snowboarding, hiking, or spending time with her aunt, uncle, and cousins.