f Our Oswego Animal Hospital Staff | River Heights Veterinary Hospital
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 Veterinary Hospital in 2001. She attended the University of Illinois where she majored in Animal Sciences. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2001.

Dr. Pocius’s interests include surgery, dentistry, ultrasound, internal medicine and preventative care. She understands how special each dog and cat are to that family and tries to treat each pet with the same care and attention she would give her own.

She is currently a member of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), the Illinois State Veterinary medical Association (ISVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Academy of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). Dr. Pocius shares her home with her husband and 3 rescue pets, a Boxer mix named Tango and 2 cats, Vilnius and Riga.


Dr. Kimberly MayerDr. Kimberly Mayer

Dr. Mayer joined River Heights Veterinary Hospital in 2010. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science 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 soft tissue surgery, dentistry, and animal behavior. Dr. Mayer enjoys the challenges that veterinary medicine brings on a daily basis.

Outside of River Heights, Dr. Mayer enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends. She enjoys playing many different sports, spending summers on the family boat in Wisconsin, and hiking in Colorado. Dr. Mayer and her husband share their home with their three spaniels; Tucker, Eli and Beau and three cats: Jada, Devon and Munchkin.


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, internal medicine and behavioral medicine. She and her husband share their home with their two young sons and their rescued animals – Moose, a Labrador Retriever and their two cats Phoebe and Cheddar. In her free time Dr. Weaver enjoys watching Auburn Football, spending time with her family and friends and traveling.



Dr. Seth ByersDr. Seth Byers

Dr. Beyers grew up in a small town in central Illinois. He graduated from St. George University in Grenada West Indies and did his 4th year clinical rotations at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Beyers enjoys many aspects of veterinary medicine. However, "Integrative Medicine", such as chiropractic and acupuncture is his passion. He also really loves being able to connect with pet owners, working closely with them to ensure their pets are receiving the best care possible. In his free time, he loves to cook, play sports and spend time with his two dogs, Bosley and Boone.


Amy BrownAmy Brown, Hospital Coordinator

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. She is currently continuing her education through taking online classes toward a degree in Business Administration.

When Amy isn’t at River Heights or studying for school, she enjoys spending her free time with her longtime manfriend and their two boys, an English Bulldog named Richard and an American Bully named Willy. Amy’s favorite hobby is spending time in the kitchen trying new recipes and making her own recipe books. She also enjoys gardening, exercising, working on any household or garage project and spending time with family.


Debby MetzgarDebby Metzgar, Receptionist/Office Manager

I started at River heights as a receptionist in July of 2009. In November 2014 I also moved into the manager rotation to help with additional office responsibilities. I am married and have a senior Cocker Spaniel name CJ who we rescued from Kendall County Animal Control. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, cooking and playing golf.



Sandra TaftSandra Taft, Administrative Assistant

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 6 grandchildren. I reside in Oswego with my husband and 3 cats, Dutchess, Jax and Snowball, all three adopted from River Heights Veterinary Hospital. When not at River Heights I like spending time with my family and extended family. I am an avid Mystery and Science Fiction/fantasy fan and enjoy reading or watching them whenever possible. I have been an active member of the Oswegoland Woman’s Civic Club for 5 years, currently serving as their treasurer.


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. She is currently continuing her education through taking online classes toward a degree in Business Administration.

When Amy isn’t at River Heights or studying for school, she enjoys spending her free time with her longtime manfriend and their two boys, an English Bulldog named Richard and an American Bully named Willy. Amy’s favorite hobby is spending time in the kitchen trying new recipes and making her own recipe books. She also enjoys gardening, exercising, working on any household or garage project and spending time with family..


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. In November 2014 I also moved into the manager rotation to help with additional office responsibilities. I am married and have a senior Cocker Spaniel name 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 as a receptionist. I am now also the Dental Center Coordinator. I am married with 3 children and a wonderful granddaughter. My pets are 2 rescue dogs Dodger and Chase, and our little stinker cat Snickers. I love working around animals and talking with clients who have the love of animals themselves. When not working I love spending time with my family and pets.


Stacy DavisStacy Davis

I have been with River Heights since April of 2008. I am married, with 8 "children". Who are all rescued, my Labrador/Rottweiler, Doc, Pit bull - Zena, and 3 cats, Harvey, Sophie and Tom. Then outside we have 3 horses, Mac, Sissy, and Maverick. I enjoy doing crafts in my free time and my husband and I enjoy riding our horses, doing agility and nose work with our dogs as well as working on our farm.


Jen MantoothJen Mantooth

I started working at River Heights in February of 2015. I have been bringing our animals as patients since July of 2011. The staff and doctors have always been a pleasure to deal with, so when a position became available, I applied immediately.

My husband and I have one son that we have the privilege of homeschooling. We currently have a labradoodle named Scout, a sheltie named Duchess, and three cats, Sherlock, Rory and Hobbes. My hobbies include crocheting, knitting, reading, and playing board games with my family.


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.


Megan MuellnerMegan Muellner

I have been employed at River Heights Veterinary Hospital since 2007. I started working as a Kennel Assistant then was trained as a veterinary Assistant. I attended Joliet Junior College, graduating from their Veterinary Medical Technology Program in 2012. I am now a Certified Veterinary Technician with a main interest in dentistry. I am also the Kennel Manager of our boarding facility. My fur and feather children include a young dog named Oakley, a Quarter Horse named Kidd and two birds. In my spare time, I enjoy outdoor recreational activities such as horseback riding through wooded trails and watching live music with friends and family.


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.


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 include “Haylee” a senior mix breed dog and Delilah a 2 year old pit bull that I rescued. I also have 3 cats, Elwood, Buddy and Sierra.


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.


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