American Association of Feline Practitioners AAHA Accredited | The Standard of Veterinary Excellence

5580 Route 34 West Oswego IL      •      630.554.3400

Meet the Staff



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Our Teams

Dr. Stephen JurigaDr. Stephen Juriga

Dr. Juriga, owner of River Heights Veterinary Hospital, earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois in 1987. He returned to the University of Illinois to complete a dental residency from 2002-2006, under board certified dentist and surgeon, Dr. Sandra Manfra. In 2007, he became a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC). He is one of 100 board-certified veterinary dentists in the United States and lectures on veterinary dentistry both nationally and internationally. Dr. Juriga finds time to mentor his dental resident, serve on the Examination Committee of the AVDC, serve on the Medical Advisory Board at the Shedd Aquarium and Brookfield Zoo, and provide dental services at Brookfield Zoo.

Dr. Juriga enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his kids’ sports team and road/mountain biking. His family has always had Golden Retrievers, but now has a Standard Poodle – Oliver and a Coton De Tulear – Mei Mei.


Dr. Elizabeth PociusDr. Elizabeth Pocius

Dr. Elizabeth Pocius joined River Heights in 2001. She attended the University of Illinois and majored in Animal Science. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. Dr. Pocius’s interest includes surgery, ultrasound, internal medicine, and preventative care. She enjoys traveling, bike riding, theater, and spending time with family and friends. Dr. Pocius currently has 1 mixed breed dog, Dudley, that was adopted from a nearby shelter.


Dr. Kimberly MayerDr. Kimberly Mayer

Dr. Mayer joined River Heights Hospital in 2010. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 2005 with a B.S. in Animal Science with a focus in pre-veterinary medicine. Dr. Mayer then went to the University Of Illinois College Of Veterinary Medicine where she received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. Dr. Mayer’s professional interests include orthopedic surgery, dentistry, and animal behavior.

Outside of River Heights, Dr. Mayer enjoys spending time with her family and playing many different sports. Dr. Mayer shares her home with her two dogs; Chinook, a Siberian Husky and Tucker, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She also has two cats; Jada, a domestic long haired and Devon, an energetic Bengal; as well as two Quaker parrots; Kiwi and Sysco.


Dr. Lisa WeaverDr. Lisa Weaver

Dr. Lisa Weaver is a 2003 graduate of Auburn University. She is originally from Atlanta Georgia and after practicing in Florida, she joined the staff of River Heights Veterinary Hospital in 2005. Dr. Weaver has a special interest in soft tissue surgery and behavioral medicine. She and her husband share their home with their 3 dogs and 3 cats.


Amy BrownAmy Brown

Amy Brown joined River Heights Veterinary Hospital in February of 2004. She started as a Receptionist and has worked her way up to Hospital Coordinator throughout the years. Amy graduated from AAHA’s Veterinary Management Institute Series at Purdue University and received a Certificate in Veterinary Practice Administration in 2010.

When she isn't at River Heights, Amy enjoys spending time with her longtime boyfriend and their two boys, an English Bulldog named Richard and an American Bully named Willy. She also enjoys spending time with family, fishing, jet skiing, cooking, reading, gardening and working on any household or garage project.


Sandra TaftSandra Taft

I joined the staff in April of 1993 as a receptionist. Over the years I have filled many positions and currently I am the Administrative Assistant to the Practice Administrator. I am married with 2 grown children and have been blessed with 4 grandchildren. I reside with my husband and our 2 cats, Dutchess and Jax in Oswego. When not at River Heights, I enjoy spending time with my family. I am also an active member of the Oswegoland Civic Woman's Club.


Amy BrownAmy Brown

Amy Brown joined River Heights Veterinary Hospital in February of 2004. She started as a Receptionist and has worked her way up to Hospital Coordinator throughout the years. Amy graduated from AAHA’s Veterinary Management Institute Series at Purdue University and received a Certificate in Veterinary Practice Administration in 2010.

When she isn't at River Heights, Amy enjoys spending time with her longtime boyfriend and their two boys, an English Bulldog named Richard and an American Bully named Willy. She also enjoys spending time with family, fishing, jet skiing, cooking, reading, gardening and working on any household or garage project.


Nancy TichyNancy Tichy

I joined River Heights Veterinary Hospital in the fall of 2000 as a part-time receptionist. I enjoy welcoming all the pets and their owners and I love the variety of animals we see. I seem to learn something new about them every day.

My husband and I moved to Oswego in 1999 and we serve as staff for our 2 rescued 4 pawed "children." Oreo our mixed breed dog and our cat, Buzz. I enjoy spending time with and caring for them, working on various crafts, gardening, crosswords, and watching movies.


Debby MetzgarDebby Metzgar

I started at River Heights as a receptionist in July of 2009. I am married and have a senior Cocker Spaniel named CJ who we rescued from Kendall County Animal Control. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, cooking, and playing golf.


Cathy MitchellCathy Mitchell

I started here in September of 2008. I am married with 3 children. My pets are 2 rescue dogs, Dodger and Chase; and 2 cats Snickers and GoGo.


Stacy DavisStacy Davis

I have been with River Heights since April of 2008. I am married, with 5 "children". Who are my senior Pitbull Tootsie, rescued Labrador/Rottweiler Mix Doc, and 3 quarter horses Mac, Sissy, and Lyla. When not working my husband and I enjoy riding our horses, volunteering at a Rescue group, agility and nose work with Doc, renovating our old farm house, and anything outdoors.


Karen ClausKaren Claus

I started out at River Heights as a client in 1994. In September 2009 I came on board as a veterinary technician assistant. Then, in September of 2013 I switched positions and am now a receptionist. I am also a very active volunteer with the US Naval Sea Cadet Corp as well as the Oswego High School Band Boosters. I also run my own business testing homes for radon. I live in Oswego with my husband and 2 teenage children, 2 crazy golden retrievers, Maggie and Indi as well as 2 guinea pigs, Cookies and Cream.


Jan ZiechJan Ziech

Jan became part of the River Heights Veterinary Hospital family in the mid 1990’s as a professional pet groomer. Jan graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Agriculture and worked in may fields before deciding that spending her day with animals was more rewarding. Weekends usually find her showing dogs across the country.


Dr. Stephen JurigaDr. Stephen Juriga

Dr. Juriga, owner of River Heights Veterinary Hospital, earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois in 1987. He returned to the University of Illinois to complete a dental residency from 2002-2006, under board certified dentist and surgeon, Dr. Sandra Manfra. In 2007, he became a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC). He is one of 100 board-certified veterinary dentists in the United States and lectures on veterinary dentistry both nationally and internationally. Dr. Juriga finds time to mentor his dental resident, serve on the Examination Committee of the AVDC, serve on the Medical Advisory Board at the Shedd Aquarium and Brookfield Zoo, and provide dental services at Brookfield Zoo.

Dr. Juriga enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his kids’ sports team and road/mountain biking. His family has always had Golden Retrievers, but now has a Standard Poodle – Oliver and a Coton De Tulear – Mei Mei.


Verena Niederbeger

Verena joined River Heights Veterinary Hospital in 2005 and became Dr. Juriga’s dental technician in 2006. Verena brings many years of veterinary nursing and dental experience to RHVH. Verena enjoys training other veterinary staff on dental radiology, anesthesia and pain management. In her free time she loves taking care of all her own critters.


Laura PhillipLaura Phillip

I have been with River Heights Veterinary Hospital since April 2010 as part of the kennel staff. I really enjoy working here with the animals and I wish to become a veterinary technician. I have a golden retriever, Cody and 2 outdoor cats, Sunday and Emmy.


Kathy MinerKathy Miner

I graduated from Parkland College with an AAS in Veterinary Technology in 1994. I joined the River Heights team in September of 1996. I enjoy working in a practice that has such high standards and where I am utilized to my full potential. My interests include preventative care, senior care, and surgical assistance. Currently I live nearby with my husband, 2 sons, and adopted pets.


 Jennifer RenwickJennifer Renwick

I started working at River Heights in 2004, when I completed an externship here for Veterinary technician school. I was thrilled when I was hired on as an employee when the externship ended. I originally received my bachelor's degree in geology, only to graduate and realize that I wanted to work with animals instead. I graduated from Joliet Junior College in 2005 with an associate's degree in Veterinary Technology. My furry children include 3 cats, a dog, a horse, and chinchilla. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, skiing, scuba diving, landscape/wildlife photography, and competing with my horse in pole bending and barrel racing.


Amy ReinboldtAmy Reinboldt

I have been at River Heights Veterinary Hospital since 1999. I started working in the kennels and knew I loved working with animals. I worked as a veterinary assistant while getting my bachelors degree in health science, and then went to Joliet Junior College to become a certified veterinary technician. I have many animals, which include horses, goats, dogs, and many misfit cats.


Kristin PavlikKristin Pavlik

I have been working at River Heights Veterinary Hospital since 2004. I am a Veterinary assistant. I love working with all kinds of animals. I have been working in the veterinary field for 19years. I have 3 dogs, all girls of course. Diamond is a black Labrador mix, Daphne is a Shihtzu, and Bella is a brown nose Pitbull. I also have 3 adorable cats and a guinea pig named Snooki. My interests are helping animals, assisting in surgery and exam rooms, and working up at the reception desk.


Nikki RossNikki Ross

I began working at River Heights in October of 1996 as a kennel assistant. In August of 1998, I was promoted to a Veterinary Technician. I currently live in Sandwich Il, with my husband and 2 boys. My fur babies are Haylee a senior mix breed dog, cat named Elwood, and corn snake named Rex. I love my job, but when not working I enjoy spending time with my family.


Megan MuellnerMegan Muellner

I've been working at River Heights since 2007, where I started my animal career as a kennel assistant. Eager to learn more about animals, I began working as a veterinary assistant and decided this was the job for me. I continued my college education at Joliet Junior College graduating with an AAS in Veterinary Technology in 2012. My special interests as a CVT are dental procedures, client education and managing our boarding facility. In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors, baking, riding horses, going to the gym, and spending time with my family. My pets include a Border Collie- Lucky, a Doberman my boyfriend and I adopted from the Illinois Doberman Rescue- Guinness, 2 rats we adopted from a friend, a guinea pig- Rupert, and 2 ducks.


Wendell CrowderWendell Crowder

I started at River Heights when Dr. Koch was the owner. I’ve been with Steve and Alex from the get go. My wife, Dee and I share our home with Midnight, a Yorkie and Lily, a Maltese. Prior to working here I worked at All Steel in Aurora for 40 years.


Mandy LauperMandy Lauper

I have been with River Heights as a kennel assistant since 1995. I love animals, I have a parakeet named Hansel. When I am not working I like to go to the movies and go bowling.


Jessica NelsonJessica Nelson

Hi, I’m Jessica and I’ve been working here since July 2012 and really enjoy it. I’ve always loved animals and had them as pets. My family has three cats, a dog, a turtle, and a pond of fish at our house. I graduated from Aurora Christian High School and I ultimately want to become a Veterinarian, but for now I am attending Benedictine University to earn my Biology degree.


Susan CharapataSusan Charapata

I am a student at Wabonsee Community College. I began working at River Heights in 2012. I grew up with animals my whole life. I have a dog of my own named Maddie. I love taking care of animals, and am a very responsible and hard worker.


Casey MiddletonCasey Middletona

I am currently attending Oswego High School. I have 3 dogs, 2 birds, and foster small cage animals. I strive to be hard working and responsible. In the future I plan on working with animals, and would love to eventually open an animal rescue of my own.


Mackenzie NeperenyMackenzie Nepereny

I have been working here since May 2013. I currently have a Morkie named Daisy, but I have had 4 other dogs in the past. I graduated from Oswego High School and am currently attending Waubonsee Community College. I plan on going into the field of Mass communication.


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