Our Team

The Animal Clinic of Rapid City team

Our staff of expert veterinary doctors and skilled vet assistants and technicians are ready to help when your pet needs us. Contact us today to learn more.


Dr. Alyssa Keith

Dr. Alyssa Keith is a graduate from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is originally from Hermosa, SD where she grew up riding horses and enjoying outdoor activities including hiking, boating, skiing and biking. She is also a big ice hockey fan and played through college. She is excited to be back in her home state, with her faithful mixed breed dog, to be a part of your pets’ veterinary health care.


Dr. Heidi Brigman - Managing Veterinarian

Dr. Heidi Brigman grew up on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her family backgrounds beef steers, has a few sheep, and runs a commercial turkey operation. Dr. Brigman earned her undergraduate degree in Animal and Poultry Sciences (minoring in Agricultural Economics) as well as her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Virginia Tech. Her veterinary interests include: preventative medicine, nutrition and theriogenology (reproduction) in both large and small animals. Dr. Brigman enjoys spending time hiking in the outdoors and watching baseball games with her husband. She is excited about the opportunity to work in the Black Hills, as she fell in love with the area when she first visited 5 years ago. Dr. Brigman is looking forward to joining the Animal Clinic family and meeting you and your fur family.

Dr. Karissa Ketzner

(photo and bio coming soon)

Dr. David Christensen

(photo and bio coming soon)

Dr. Melissa Masters

(photo and bio coming soon)

Dr. Melanie Garbel

Dr. Melanie Garbel is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, where she grew up showing and riding hunter/jumper horses. Dr. Garbel earned her undergraduate degree and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. Her veterinary interests include small animal surgery, preventative medicine and internal medicine. She married Dr. Levi Garbel in August of 2016, who is a large animal veterinarian in Belle Fourche. She is excited to be living in the beautiful Rapid City area, as well as getting to know you and your furry family members!


Roy Hendrickson - Manager

Roy was born and raised right here in Rapid City. In 1983 his family moved to a ranch east of Caputa, SD. The Hendrickson family has raised cattle there ever since. Roy went on and received his B.S. in Animal Science from Kansas State University in 1992. From there he worked for several veterinarians, mostly in the livestock industry. In 1999 he started working as the Practice Manager for the Animal Clinic. Roy and his wife Christi still live at the ranch raising two kids (Seth & Ari). Roy enjoys working on the ranch outdoors along side of his most excellent wife and the rest of his family. 


Kim Earley - Director of Administration

Kim was raised in Rapid City and spent a lot of time at the Animal Clinic as a child. She has worked for several clinics both in South Dakota and in Arizona. She has a great love for animals, having everything from horses, cattle, dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, raccoons, and even a skunk. Presently, her wonderful and understanding husband and their children have three dogs (Stoli, Smudge and Indie). She and her family enjoy camping, hiking and going to antique auctions.


Kris Stapelberg

Kris has been with the Animal Clinic since April 1999. She graduated from SDSU with a degree in Agriculture and has worked with a variety of animals, including: parrots, birds of prey, horses and reptiles. She enjoys hiking, reading, writing and playing at dressage with her off-the-track thoroughbred Chester. She is also "mom" to a horse named Tariq and three cats.


Julie Girard - RVT/ Head Tech

Julie graduated from NAU with a technician degree in 1987 and has been working in the veterinary/human medical field ever since. 


Lindy Burleigh

Lindy grew up in Hill City, and is currently located there with no intentions of ever leaving! She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 2 years. They have two very handsome boys, and a small zoo of four legged kids. She loves to read and enjoys spending time with her family both two legged and four legged.


Emily Batman

Emily grew up on a ranch near Deadwood, SD with Black Angus cattle. After graduating high school, she moved to Sioux Falls to attend Globe University for their Veterinary Technician program. She and her husband enjoy the outdoors and spending time with their fur kid Mya.


Katy Donovan

Katy grew up in the beautiful state of Alabama. Upon graduating from the University of Alabama in Telecommunications & Film, she moved to North Carolina to work as a part-time Disc Jockey for Comcast Radio, Inc., and full-time for six veterinarians where she realized her love and passion for animals and their health care. After five years in North Carolina, she returned to Alabama where she continued to work for veterinarians and started to teach yoga. She enjoys exploring the Black Hills on foot and bike, and spending time with her husband, Ted, and their two dogs, Butters and Faust. Katy finds herself to be one of the luckiest people because she gets to do what she loves: work with animals and teach yoga.


Sarah Kammerer - Assistant Manager

Sarah relocated to Rapid City from Colorado, where she spent many years working in various roles at an exotics and small animal hospital. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting National Parks, listening to music, spending time with her husband and stepson, and playing with her dog and cat.

Carey Garlock (photo coming soon)

Carey grew up in Pierre, SD with her mother and two siblings. She has always loved animals and had a few pets while growing up. Carey chose to move to Rapid City where she pursued an Associates degree in applied science at National American University and became involved with the Lakota Animal Group, fostering more than 35 puppies in need of loving homes. As well as fostering, she enjoys going for walks, reading and spending time with her family and fur babies.


Megan Birdwell

Megan grew up in Graham, TX. After graduation, she joined the Air Force in January, 2010 and spent 3 years at Aviano Air Base in Italy. She moved to Rapid City in May, 2013 where she began her veterinary career. She is currently studying for her Associates in Veterinary Technology, her certification in Natural Animal Medicine and working towards becoming a Certified Veterinary Assistant. She has 3 dogs (Dorey, Dexter and Drago), 1 cat (Maddy), and 2 sugar gliders (Henry and Dewey).


Rachael Turner

Rachael is a graduate from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, with a degree in Equine Management. She is originally from Chadron, NE where she grew up training and riding horses, as well as, being actively involved in sports. She decided to expand in her field, so attended Globe University in Sioux Falls, SD, where she graduated with a Veterinary Technician degree. Currently Rachael has three horses; Britton, Dolly, and Shiloh, and one lab rat named Charlie. She moved to Rapid City, SD in June 2015 and is ecstatic to be a new family member of the Animal Clinic of Rapid City. She considers it a privilege to be able to provide optimal healthcare for your pets.

Stacy Held

Stacy was born and raised in a small town in southeast Nebraska. She and her family moved to Rapid City in 2006, and she has called it home ever since. Stacy attended National American University after high school and graduated with her associate's degree in veterinary technology in 2013. She took her Veterinary Technician National Exam later that year and became a Registered Technician. In December, 2016, she joined the Animal Clinic and Emergency Veterinary Hospital teams. Stacy has a special interest in creating fear-free visits and education clients about these behaviors. She has 3 dogs - Bella and Wylie are rescued mutts, and Champ is her three-legged Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


In Loving Memory


Thomas came to Animal Clinic as a stray in 2003 when one of our clients brought him in with a broken leg. He worked at the clinic for 10 1/2 years, keeping the barn free from unwanted pests, entertaining clients with his unique purr, counseling employees during times of stress, and donating blood that saved many feline lives. His distinctive purr will always echo throughout the clinic walls. He is missed.