Walker Animal Hospital, Inc.

306 8th St S
Walker, MN 56484-0640



Our caring and compassionate veterinary care team!

Meet the Veterinarians & Team of Walker Animal Hospital in Walker! We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your pets!

Please call us at 218-547-3222 to speak to one of our caring veterinary staff members!


Dr. Michele Vedbraaten-Larson - Practice Owner

Dr. Michele realized her love for animals at a young age, growing up on a hobby farm near Fosston, Minnesota. Her farm was home to a variety of animals, including sheep, cows, horses, goats, pigs, and chickens.  She knew early on that she wanted to become a veterinarian and began shadowing at clinics while in high school and college.  She graduated from Fosston High School and received her Bachelor of Science degree at Bemidji State University in 2004 and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2012.  Her medical interests include soft tissue surgery and preventative care. After receiving her DVM, she worked at an animal hospital in Park Rapids, MN.  In 2013, she moved to East Grand Forks to gain more experience as an associate veterinarian.  Longing to be back in lakes country, she and her husband Toby moved to Walker to purchase Walker Animal Hospital from Dr. Steve Ekholm.  They have three rambunctious cats; Steve, Reggie and Fernando.  In her spare time, she enjoys camping, fishing, exploring the outdoors, reading, classic cars, and being with loved ones.  Dr. Michele is excited to continue the legacy of Walker Animal Hospital and serve the community.

Dr. Steve Ekholm


Toby Larson

Toby grew up in Bemidji, Minnesota enjoying the vast outdoors and opportunities the northwoods has to offer.  Before moving to Walker to pursue ownership of Walker Animal Hospital with his wife, Dr Michele, Toby worked in healthcare.  In July 2022, Dr. Michele and Toby filled in for a few days before officially made the jump and purchased the veterinary practice in August 2022.  Toby continues to enjoy working with the team and getting to know the clients and patients.  In his spare time, Toby enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, working on cars, classic cars, and spending time with family and friends.


Heather Harvet, CVT "Auntie Heather"

Heather graduated from the Medical Institute of Minnesota in 1993 with a degree in Veterinary Technology.  She has 29 years of small animal experience, mainly at Woodlake Veterinary, until moving to northern Minnesota.  She joined the Walker Animal Hospital in 2018.  She enjoys spending time with her partner Rick, her 5 cats, her dog Yuri and her two beautiful daughters.  Her hobbies include bee keeping, quilting, mud racing, glass staining and enjoying her family.  


Lisa VanVickle "The OG"

Lisa has been a Veterinary Assistant and Client Service advocate for 29 years.  She spent two years at the Bloomington Veterinary Hospital and 27 years with Walker Animal Hospital.  Lisa was born and raised in Hackensack, MN and graduated from Walker-Akeley-Hackensack school in 1984.  Soon after high-school, Lisa married her high-school sweetheart Brian and welcomed their daughter Marissa.  Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, her dog Aspen, her two cats Wooly and Trigger and her bunny Theo.  Lisa's hobbies include beach time, boating, fishing, and traveling when time allows.  

Brandy Wessels

Brandy joined our team at the Walker Animal Hospital in March of 2016.  Brandy moved to Minnesota in 2004 and owned Iowana Beach Resort for 12 years before working in the veterinary field.  She currently holds a Bachlor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation Management and recently acquired her RN degree. She enjoys spending time with her two dogs Moki and Zora, Archie the cat, and her two horses Violetta and Apollo.  Currently, Brandy is working as a Registered Nurse for Sanford in Bemidji and fills in part-time at the clinic.  Growing up, Ally spent 

 Ally Garbe "Allycat"

Ally was born and raised in the Northlakes of Minnesota with a pile of pets from day one.  She attended elemtary school in Longville, then switched to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley schools until graduation in 2013.  She attended Bemidji State University and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Biology in 2017.  Growing up, Ally spent time during winter months in San Diego and Glammis Imperial Sand Dunes, Califorina.  She's also explored most of the wester United States while camping with family and friends.  

Annie Niewind-Abbott "The Energy Enforcer"

Annie joined the Walker Animal Hospital in 2021. Annie's currently holds a master's degree in Reiki and has previous experience working in the human medical field as a CNA and in long term care.  She is the first of three daughters, and grew up on a dairy farm in Eden Valley, Minnesota where she began her love for animals.  She spent summers vacationing with family in Walker over the course of 20 years and moved to Hackensack in 2010. Annie enjoys spending time her husband Jerry, her daughter Heather, 8 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, with more on the way. She has two dogs, Moses, a Great Dane and Hanz, a Rottweiler.  In her spare time, Annie enjoys making something sweet, savory or delicious in her kitchen or sweing a quilt in her craft room. 


Julie Rister "Summer Help"

Julie has been with Walker Animal Hospital since 2010, working part-time in the summer's, and recently transitioned to our full-time receptionist.  She has worked in the veterinary field since 2005 for clinics in Michigan, Colorado and Ohio.  Julie was born and raised in southern Michigan and moved to Colorado when her husband John changed careers.  In 2014, the family moved back to Michigan and then in 2017 made Backus, Minnesota their "forever home".  Overall, Julie is a rockstar receptionist!  She enjoys spending time with her husband John, her two daughers, son-in-law, and two amazing grandchildren and her faith community.  She recently started gardening, enjoys cooking, bonfires with family/friends and loves her Golden Retreiver Tebo.  


Kathy Ullom

Bio coming soon!

Karla Schmidke

Bio coming soon!

Heidi Stamm

Bio coming soon!






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