Meet Our Team

We’re one big family working together to care for your pet.


Professional. Capable. Caring.

Our veterinarians are committed to making sure your pets receive the best care possible. As pet owners themselves, they understand that your pets are a part of your family. It is their mission to help your pets live as well as possible for as long as possible. They communicate closely with each client regarding his or her pet’s care, whether to treat an illness; oversee broader health issues and dietary maintenance; or for general health and wellness.

Our vets are assisted by an able team of veterinary technicians and administrative support staff. These staff members have many years of education, training, and animal experience and are equally dedicated to the Riverside Veterinary Care philosophy.

Carol Gifford, DVM, DABVP

Veterinarian / Owner

Dr. Gifford's Bio
Carol Gifford, DVM, has been practicing veterinary medicine in Vermont since 1987. In 1991, she founded her own practice, which grew to become Riverside Pet Hospital. In 2005, the practice name was changed to Riverside Veterinary Care to better reflect our scope of services. As Riverside’s portfolio of services grew, the name changed yet again in 2014 to Riverside Veterinary Care and Dental Services.

Dr. Gifford holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Dr. Gifford has also attained advanced credentials in the form of board certification in canine and feline medicine from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. This certification involves a rigorous examination process, as well as multiple case reports, professional experience, and references. Her family’s pets include a dog named Monte, two cats, and a horse. Her special professional interests include internal medicine and cardiology.

Read Dr. Gifford’s publication in the Journal of Feline Medicine about the Diagnosis of insulinoma in a Maine Coon cat.

Emily Sullivan, DVM

Veterinarian / Owner

Dr. Sullivan's Bio
Emily Sullivan, DVM, joined the Riverside team in the Summer of 2016. She grew up on the Eastern Shoreline of Connecticut and earned her undergrad at the University of Vermont. She then went on to earn her DVM at Atlantic Veterinary College on Prince Edward Island. After obtaining her DVM, Dr. Sullivan worked as a small animal vet in Pittsfield, MA, before moving to Vermont.

Dr. Sullivan has a Border Collie/ Aussie mix named Keirin. When she isn’t helping pets and their people, she enjoys mountain biking, Nordic, downhill skiing, backcountry skiing, and anything else outdoors!

What is Dr. Sullivan’s favorite about working at Riverside?
“Forming long-lasting relationships with clients and their pets and working in a friendly, fun, caring environment.”

Kristin Patterson, DVM


Dr. Patterson's Bio

Kristin Patterson, DVM is a Rutland native who relocated back to Vermont from Massachusetts. Dr. Patterson has been practicing veterinary medicine for 14 years. She received her veterinary medical degree from Ross University. Her special interests include dentistry and preventative medicine. Dr. Patterson’s objective is to provide excellent, compassionate veterinary care catering to the needs of each client and patient. She has a Bassett Hound named Flash!


Heidi Crane, DVM


Dr. Crane's Bio
Dr. Heidi Crane grew up in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes area of New York but has called Vermont home for the last 14 years. After earning her undergraduate degree at Tufts University, she graduated from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. She initially practiced in Colorado for a few years before making her way back to the east coast and happily settled in the Rutland area.

As a veterinarian, she loves working with owners to keep their pets healthy and enjoys the variety of day-to-day veterinary practice – you never know what you’re going to see, diagnose and treat on any given day! While she thrives on the challenges of veterinary medicine, Dr. Crane also cherishes the relationships she makes with owners and their pets through their care.

Outside of work, two children keep Dr. Crane and her husband busy, and they enjoy skiing, swimming, and exercising their Australian Shepherd, Masha. They also have a cat named Weezie, and thanks to the kids, a hamster, 1 beta fish, and 3 guppies!


Dr. Sandi Jex, DVM


Dr. Sandi Jex's Bio
Dr. Sandi Jex has been working at Riverside since 2007. She grew up in Cooperstown, NY, and earned her undergrad at Wheaton College in MA. She then obtained her DVM from University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Jex has two dogs named Lincoln and Nacho; three cats named Otis, Tippy, and Pepsi; and two horses named Roxie and Sassy.

When Dr. Jex isn’t helping pets and their people, she enjoys gardening, reading, skiing, and cooking.

What is Dr. Jex’s favorite thing about working at Riverside?

“The friendly staff and the kind, appreciative clients and their pets.”


Veterinary Assistant & Admin Coordinator

Alycia's Bio

Alycia’s journey at Riverside started with her internship in October 2015. She was officially hired in June 2016- she had two weeks off after graduating from high school and was then thrown right into full-time teching!

Alycia graduated from Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon, VT in 2016. She was a dual-enrolled student at Stafford Technical Center in Rutland in the Health Careers program both her Junior and Senior year. It was through that program she was able to become a Licensed Nursing Assistant. Soon after becoming a LNA, Alycia realized that it wasn’t the job for her. She still wanted a career in the medical field though. So, she tried out veterinary medicine- here she is 8 years later!

Alycia has 2 dogs and 4 cats. Fig is a Shih Tzu/Corgi cross. Lui is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi- Fig’s half brother! Jonas is a random, but handsome, longhair cat that she adopted from Homeward Bound in Middlebury in July 2018. Juniper is a Siamese mix that was brought into the clinic in rough shape. She was run over and had extensive injuries. She needed a lot of nursing care, and being her main nurse she quickly won over Alycia’s heart, so she made sure to call dibs! Julian is an orange tiger kitten. Last but not least, Mikey is an almost 12 year old long haired Siamese.

When Alycia isn’t helping pets and their people, she enjoys being outdoors., camping, kayaking, swimming, hiking, you name it. She also enjoys baking and cooking for her family and friends. Alycia grew up and resides in Brandon.



Certified Veterinary Technician

Lynn's Bio
Lynn was raised in Pittsford, VT and joined the Riverside team in 2018.

Lynn has an Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from Vermont Technical College, and is a Certified Veterinary Technician since 2013. She worked as a kennel assistant in a boarding facility and animal clinic starting in 2009 while she earned her degree and certification.

Lynn has 2 domestic shorthair cats, Ziggy and Tuckie; and a draft cross horse named Rudy.

In Lynn’s free time, she enjoys horseback riding, walking in the woods, and playing the piano.

What is Lynn’s favorite thing about working at Riverside? “All the really friendly patients!”



Purchasing Officer

Renee's Bio
Renee has been a part of the Riverside team since 2006. She was born and raised in Rutland VT, where she earned her high school diploma. She has worked for a variety of companies in and around the Rutland area over the years before finding Riverside.

Renee has a 7-year-old lab/beagle mix named Rocco. In her free time, she enjoys cooking family dinners and fishing.

What is Renee’s favorite thing about working at Riverside? “My favorite thing is all the great people I have met over the last 17 years, past/present employees and clients.”



Reception Coordinator

Shauntel's Bio

Shauntel was raised in Rutland VT and joined the Riverside team in 2022.

She has an Associates Degree in Environmental Science from CCV. Most of her work experience has been in the customer services field. Shauntel volunteered for The Feline Connection for 5 years, where she was a foster home and intake coordinator, and served as a board member 2021-2022.

Shauntel has 3 cats; Kitty Kitty, Mr. Biggles and Awilda. She also has a beta fish named Strawberry.

In her free time, you can usually find Shauntel in the kitchen either cooking or baking or tending to her growing collection of house plants.

What is Shauntel’s favorite thing about working at Riverside? “My favorite thing about working at Riverside is the environment. We have all developed very close relationships and it’s generally a very happy and upbeat place. How can it not be with all the adorable dogs and cats we see! I enjoy coming in to work everyday to see my coworkers, the clients, and the patients. I also look forward to all the knowledge and experience I get while at work, and have learned so much in just a short period of time”.




Bekah's Bio
Bekah joined the Riverside team in 2023. She grew up in a small town in Mississippi, on a farm with many different animals. She started working there at 8, and she has worked in customer service most of her life. She has been a receptionist for 3 years.
Bekah has three cats; a male tiger striped domestic long hair named Sassafras; a female tiger striped domestic shorthair named Fernando; and a female white and gray domestic medium hair named Penny. She also has a black female mystery breed dog named Lady Bug.

In her free time, Bekah enjoys spending time with her husband and son; she also enjoys crocheting.

What is Bekah’s favorite thing about working at Riverside? “Getting to meet all of the different types of animals and having amazing coworkers who enjoy being at work every day.”



Veterinary Assistant

Deirdre's Bio
Deirdre joined the Riverside team in June of 2023 She grew up in Minnesota, but most recently lived in Northern California before her husband’s job with the USFS moved them to Vermont.

Deirdre has a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation and Management from Cal Poly Humboldt class of 2017. She also has 10 years of animal medical care and reception in a myriad of clinics and shelters.

Deirdre’s pets include: Puffin (@puffin_the_puffalump on Instagram), dachshund/min-pin mix, Willie Nelson German Shepard/ Border collie mix; and 5 cats named Janis, Stevie Nicks, Jason, Rowdy, and Iris.

In her free time, Deirdre and her husband love to hike with their dogs and search for wildlife and signs of wildlife along the way. She also loves to craft and has a small business (@wildonesiwc on Instagram) where she sells some of the things she makes.

What is Deirdre’s favorite thing about working at Riverside?
“I love animals (of all kinds) and enjoy helping to make their vet experience a good one! I love getting to know all of our clients and patients and watch them grow together.”



Veterinary Assistant

Tamara's Bio
Tamara joined the Riverside team in March of 2023.
She earned her diploma from West Rutland High School and also graduated from Stafford Technical Center where she spent the last two years of high school in the Human Services program.
Tamara had a Pug named Lorenzo who she got to spend 11 years with (pictured below). He passed away recently in August of 2023 from a rare form of GI Disease. She misses him every day! She also has a 1 year old kitten named Rudy she adopted last December. He is very shy but once you get to know him he loves to play with his toys and is a big cuddle bug!
In Tamara’s free time, she loves to pet sit. Being around animals has always been good for her health and she is grateful to work with them every day. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family whenever she can. Learning and taking care of herself have always been very important to Tamara.
Tamara’s favorite thing about working at Riverside? “Having the opportunity to help animals throughout the good times as well as the bad times. Working with an amazing team and having those supportive coworkers makes it all worth it.”
liz and dog

Liz K.

Veterinary Assistant

Liz K's Bio
Liz joined the Riverside team in 2017, shortly after graduating from Rutland High School. She grew up in Rutland and Bennington, VT. Liz has 2 dogs and 2 cats: a Golden Retriever cross named Cash; a Golden Retriever (and Cash’s half sibling) Maisie; a Siamese/Himalayan cross named Poppy; and a very gentlemanly domestic shorthair named Waldo.

When Liz isn’t helping pets and their people, she and her fiance enjoy taking their dogs to the family cabin in Arlington, VT and hiking/exploring nature with them. She enjoys antiquing with her partner, refurbishing furniture & thrifting. Liz loves anything interior design. She’s also a big plant parent and incorporates any plant she can find to brighten up her home!

What is Liz’s favorite thing about working at Riverside?

“My favorite thing about working here is being able to be a part of our patients’ lives, and being able to provide the best care to them as if they were my own pets. I love the bonds I’m able to build with the clients and the  trust they give me to care for their best friends. It’s a great feeling to come in to care for all of the amazing pets that come here, through all of their ups and downs, I’m happy knowing I was there to help.”

liz and dog


Kennel Manager

Michelle's Bio
Michelle is a Rutland native and joined the Riverside Team in March of 2014.

Her first job at 15 years old was working in the kennel department at a local veterinary clinic. She found it to be a lot of work, however she loved her job because she was able to care for animals every day. After gaining 3 years’ experience there she joined the Riverside team 10 years ago, and was promoted to Kennel Manager.

Michelle has a white kitten named Frosty who is deaf; a one year old black and white mix breed dog named Archie; two guinea pigs: Penelope (a brown Abyssinian) and Gus (a black and brown American guinea pig); and lastly, two parakeets: a white male named Snow, and a blue and white female named Tiki.

If you don’t see Michelle at the clinic, she is usually at her other job- working as a cosmetologist! On her days off, she loves spending time with family and friends, venturing out on her kayak in nice weather, hiking, and just spending time outdoors!

What is Michelle’s favorite thing about working at Riverside?

“My favorite thing about working at Riverside would have to be the sense of accomplishment I feel day to day working with animals. Being one of several people to help make the patients feel comforted, safe, and assist in bettering their lives. I love that everyday is different and that we get to see all the adorable little faces. As Carol would say ‘I think everything is cute!'”

Certified Veterinary Technicians


Veterinary Assistants

Liz K
Liz S



Kennel Attendants

Michelle (Kennel Manager)