Skip to main content

P.A.W.S. Pet Hospital

Helping you enjoy a healthy and active relationship with your pets.
Home  Pet Health Info  About Us  Forms  Contact Us   
About Us
The mission of P.A.W.S. Pet Hospital is to help our clients enjoy the benefits of a long, healthy and active relationship with their pets. We are committed to strengthening the human/animal bond through client and community education on animal care and health. Our focus is on wellness as well as the art of healing.
We will achieve this mission by:
  • providing expert pet care and an exceptional customer experience from a highly trained team, leveraging the best diagnostic tools and procedures, and
  • by customizing and supporting a wellness program for each individual pet and owner’s lifestyle.

We will have achieved our mission if you view us as “your family’s other doctor”.

As your pet's health care team, we are here to answer your questions and help you in any way we can.

P.A.W.S. Pet Hospital is located at:
4644 Victor Path
Hugo, MN 55038
Phone: (651) 400-1180
Our building is on the south side of Frenchman Road (Highway 8) at the intersection of Leopold Lane and Victor Path.  We are one block west of Lake Area Bank.
Hours of Operation:
   Mon - Fri             7:30 AM - Midnight
   Saturdays            8:00 AM - Midnight
   Suns & Holidays   Noon - Midnight
Services by Appointment available:
   Mon, Wed, Fri   7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
   Tues & Thurs    7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
   Saturdays         8:00 AM - Noon 
Urgent Care / Emergency Services available:
   Mon, Wed, Fri    5:30 PM - Midnight
   Tues & Thurs      7:30 PM - Midnight
   Saturdays           Noon - Midnight 
   Suns & Holidays  Noon - Midnight
Payment options:
MasterCard, Visa, Discover, Check, Cash 
& payment plans through Care Credit. 
Wellness plans available for preventative services. 
P.A.W.S. Pet Hosptial recommends:

P.A.W.S. Team Members:


Dr. Michelle Beck, DVM


Pfizer ELITE Sedation & Weight Management, since 2008
Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, since 2009

Hi! My name is Michelle. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 1995 with my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.  After graduation I moved to the White Bear Lake area and have been practicing in the Twin Cities ever since.



I feel very lucky and privileged to be able to make a career out of my passion for animals.  For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a veterinarian and if you ask my parents they would tell you that this is what I was destined to do.When I was about three years old, my parents returned home from an evening out to find my babysitter distracted by my younger sister while I attempted to surgically repair my life-sized stuffed mouse in the front room. Now I am living my dream!


My interest in wellness services, pain and weight management, behavior and training, and preventative dentistry services come from the success I have seen in applying these skills and the resulting positive impact on an owner’s relationship with their pet. Providing client education is a cornerstone value of mine.Through my years of practice I have come to realize that veterinary medicine is actually primarily a people business.I encourage my clients to ask questions to make sure they understand the treatment we are performing on their pet and what care they may need to provide after leaving the hospital.


In 2006 my husband and I adopted two huskies, Amarok & Czar Nicholas. They love going for long walks and having a romp at the Otter Lake dog park.In the winter they enjoy pulling me on cross country skis and going sledding.This is very entertaining for observers, since I really have no idea what I am doing.  Our cat, Spooky, has been with us for 18 years and she plans to hang around indefinitely.


Outside of veterinary medicine I am often found working on home projects and gardening.  My other passion is food and cooking. I love to entertain and feed people…something passed down from my grandmother. 


Dr. Heidi Johnson, DVM


Hello, my name is Heidi and I received my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Prior to that I received my undergraduate degree in biology from St. Cloud State University.



I am very committed to helping my clients provide the best care for their pets. I enjoy the variety of challenges that I encounter in veterinary medicine and I look forward to helping you and your pets enjoy a healthy and active relationship.


There are continual advances in veterinary medicine and I constantly seek out professional learning opportunities to bring you the best veterinary services I can deliver. I do my best to offer my clients multiple treatment options which are both effective and fit with their personal circumstances. I welcome your questions and I am happy to talk through the pros and cons of various alternatives.


My husband, Keith, and I share our home with 3 fun felines, Chloe, Lakota, and Martin. And we recently adopted a cute Boston Terrier, Nala. We're very excited to be new dog owners and very much enjoying the change and added responsibilities.
























Dr. Ross Elton, DVM


For the last 9 years, I have been in a practice that has taken urgent and emergency cases on a daily basis.  While there, I set medical policy and ensured the practice of empirically based medicine.  My passions from this have solidified into urgent/emergency care, dentistry, soft tissue surgery, and pain management. 




I originally grew up out west in Reno, Nevada where I learned to love the mountains and the high desert (learned to ski at 4 years of age and was an Eagle Scout by 13 years of age). 


From Reno, I went to high school in Connecticut, college at Tulane University in New Orleans, obtained another Bachelor's degree at the University of Idaho and went to Veterinary School in the Caribbean at Ross University (someone had to enjoy the Caribbean). 


How did I end up in Minnesota?  I did my clinical year at the University of Minnesota and chose it based on the 33,000 small animal patients seen every year.  How did I end up staying in Minnesota?  Two weeks prior to finishing veterinary school, I met a girl who would turn out to be my wife.  I graduated Veterinary School in 2004 and soon after was placed into servitude to a shih Tzu and golden retriever. 



Dr. Ashley Barott, DVM


My name is Ashley and I recently became a full time associate at P.A.W.S. and I work both general practice and urgent care hours.  I completed my undergraduate studies in my home state of Oregon, then relocated to Minnesota for veterinary school where I have practiced ever since.



My professional interests include feline medicine, urgent care/emergency medicine, soft tissue surgery, and pain management.  I love many aspects of veterinary medicine and am committed to serving your pets the best I can.  I am a lifelong learner and believe in continued education to stay current with veterinary medicine, refresh my skills, and I strive to learn something new each day.

My home is not short of entertainment as I share it with 7 pets.  I have five cats that range greatly in personality, and age (2-13 yrs).  I also have two dogs that I adopted in the summer of 2012 as puppies.  Indi is an athletic, laid back lab/pointer/collie mix from an Indian reservation and Clover is an intelligent, loyal Australian Cattle Dog mix from Georgia.


I would like a hobby farm someday with more animals and different species. 

Anne Gillson, CVT


Hi! I am Anne Gillson, a certified veterinary technician at P.A.W.S. Pet Hospital. Since I was a little girl I have always felt a strong connection with animals, big and small.  I can seem quiet or introverted when you are first getting to know me, but you’ll see my boisterous side peek through when I am interacting with the animals.



I have cared for a wide variety of pets over the years; dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rats, fish...the list goes on. Currently my pack consists of two dogs and two cats.  Louie is a Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix and Daisy is a Pit Bull/ Rottweiler mix. My cats, Felix and Maverick, are both very patient with the pups.  Felix is notorious for awakening me at 3 in the morning with relentless nudges and meows.  When I am not working I am exercising Daisy and Louie at the dog park or spending some quality time with my babies.


I am thrilled to be a part of the team here at P.A.W.S. Pet Hospital.The staff and facilities here at P.A.W.S. are second to none and I feel great knowing that I am delivering top notch medical care to the patients we see.I am particularly excited about our Midmark 5000 dental unit.  One of my career goals as a CVT is to gain certification as an American Veterinary Dental Specialist (AVDS). This is a long process that involves a great deal of classroom experience, wet labs and continuing education conferences to improve my dental skills. I am always ready to answer questions regarding your pets and all the exciting incidents they can get into.

Erin Munsinger, CVT


My name is Erin.I have been working in the veterinary field for 10 years. I graduated from Medical Institute of Minnesota (now called Argosy University), passed my certification exam in 2001 and have maintained my certification ever since.



I currently have 3 kids. My dog Gizmo, a pomeranian, who I got from the St. Paul Humane Society. He was my “patient” the last quarter of school at MIM. Polly is my domestic short hair cat that I had adopted through the Golden Valley Humane Society. She’s a little sassy, but I still love her. Lastly I have Collin.He was born in 2009 and is my real child! He loves to pull on Polly’s tail and finds it really amusing when Gizmo runs away from him. He also loves to offer the animals samples of his food, which they happily accept.

Over the last 12 years I have learned a lot about veterinary medicine through my experiences at work as well as from my own animals. I use all of my experiences, good and bad, to help become a better Certified Veterinary Technician to you and your pet. My favorite part of my job is seeing the exam appointments. I feel that this is our first and best chance to educate you, the pet owner, and aid you in keeping your pet happy and healthy.

Angie Novatney, CVT


Hello, my name is Angie Novatney. I grew up in Blaine and still live there today. I have a Miniature Pinscher named Sargent and a Calico Cat named Cinnamon. I have always wanted to work with animals and decided from a young age that I wanted to be a Veterinary Technician.



My dad and I have saved so many animals along the way. We have saved anything from a gull with a broken wing to a frog, who we named "Kermit," that jumped off a delivery truck from a southern state last winter and brought both of them to a wild bird and animal sanctuary.


I graduated from Minnesota School of Business in December 2007 with my Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology. After college I passed both the state and national exams and became a Certified Veterinary Technician.


I met both Dr. Beck and Dr. Johnson at other clincis where we used to work together. After we parted ways for a little while, time brought us all back together! I am so excited to be working here in a team atmosphere where everyone shares the same goals, to take care of animals and give the best care that we can.  






Jill Nordstrom, CVT


Hello, my name is Jill Nordstrom.I grew up and still live in Mahtomedi, MN. My love for animals has been part of me for as long as I can remember. When I was about 5 I found a baby rabbit stuck in the window well of our home and convinced my parents it would be a good idea to keep it as a pet!I also got interested in horses as a child and actually owned one up until I went to college.






Currently I have a dog, 2 hamsters, and a new horse!My dog Kaiya is a 4 year-old brindle and white Pit Bull, and is absolutely the most entertaining animal I have met in a long time. My hamsters are Nibblers and Nubs (named so because one of them bit me when I first got it and the other has a nubby tail...). Finally my horse is name Chloe; she is a Quarter Horse yearling and is probably the laziest baby horse I know!

Needless to say my love of animal and people is the reason I became a CVT. I attended Argosy University and received my AAS in Veterinary Technology in January 2009. Around the same time I took and passed my certification exam (giving me the C before the VT!). I met Dr. Beck through my mom's hairdresser (weird I know) about a year ago and have wanted to work with her ever since! I am so happy to be able to be a part of the P.A.W.S. Team and give pets (and their people) the care that they need.

Andrea Bernier, CVT


Hi! My name is Andrea Bernier.  I was born and raised in Lino Lakes, MN and I have worked in the veterinary field for about 12 years.  I have been a Certified Veterinary Technician for two years.  I met Dr. Michelle Beck years ago when I was in high school at the first veterinary practice where I worked.  I always enjoyed working with Dr. Beck and have always admired her passion for animals and her devotion to them. I’m honored to work for her here at P.A.W.S. and am proud to be part of the team!




I love cats and dogs but have a passion for exotics.  I have worked with almost every domestic animal there is from hamsters to iguanas to birds and large animals such as horses and pigs. You name it I’ve likely handled and cared for it.


My whole life basically revolves around animals. When I was younger I did my best to fix up our wounded outdoor cats.  We had a tomcat named Duke who seriously had 9 lives.  In 4th grade my momma cat, got sick and I raised her 4 one-week-old kittens and I actually have the son of one of those kittens to this day.  At one time I had 13 rabbits, two adults and 11 babies, a desert swift, 3 golden geckos, a flying gecko, 2 Oscar fish, a red rat corn snake and 3 cats!  I have rescued many of reptiles over the years and re-homed them once they were well.  Currently I have 2 cocker spaniels Mocha and B.B, a cat named Rackum Stackum Kittum Cattum and my most recent addition a retired thoroughbred named Dan de Lion (aka Handsome). 


Brittney Urban, CVT


Hello my name is Brittney Urban.  I grew up in White Bear Lake and still live there today.  I always knew I wanted a career with animals.  I remember in elementary school we should have "show and tell", while others would bring in cool toys I could bring stuffed animals and pictures of my pets!



I have 1 dog, a golden retriever named Hailey who is about 12 years old, Tigger is my 14 year old cat and my recent addition to my family is my cat, Michah, he is almost 2 years old.  He loves to play, run around the house, and be crazy!


In December 2011 I graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at Argosy University and I became certified in March 2012.  I have been working as a technician here with the P.A.W.S. staff since March and everyday is a great learning experience.  The staff is absolutely amazing and very dedicated.  I now take all of my pets to P.A.W.S. to get the love and care that they deserve.  I love going into work every day knowing that I get to do what I love! 












Danielle Latcham, VT


Hi my name is Danielle.  Ever since I was a little girl I was born to work with animals.  Like most of my fellow colleagues I brought home stray animals and tried to get my parents to let me keep them.  However my dad is extremely allergic to cats so of course this is what I always wanted.  One time I found a stray kitten and brought her home to live in my closet I even had a small pie pan with sand in it for her litter box I was about 6 at the time.  My Grandparents lived on a farm in Iowa and had all kinds of animals and of course I could talk to them, my mom couldn’t believe that the horses would always come to greet me when we would pull into the driveway and how the dogs would howl for a few days after I had gone.  So I was destined to work with animals.  So I went to technical college and graduated in the year 2000.




I worked with Dr Beck previously and loved working with her.   Then in 2007 I got married and took a leave of absence from the field and started a family.  I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter Makena who is now 4 and I have 2 wonderful step children Ian (6) and Emma (10).  I also have a super sweet 16 year old kitty Roxanne and a rescue dog named Ernie who is about 3.  I can see my passion for animals play out in my daughter way of playing with her Ernie dog.   I recently was looking to get back into field. I have always brought my own pets to see Dr Beck at P.A.W.S and have always loved everyone there. So I thought hmmm maybe Dr. Beck would have a position for me, the only problem was I was looking for nights and weekend hours, well after meeting with her I discovered that she was planning on expanding her clinic hours to Urgent care and that is how I came to work at P.A.W.S.   I am so happy with the decision to come back to the Veterinary field it was something I have missed dearly.


 Taylor Lipp, Vet. Tech. Assistant 


My name is Taylor. I have always wanted to spend my life making animals happy and healthy. I am going to school to become certified as a Veterinary Technician. I am so grateful for all the learning opportunities I have as a student working here. I have been a part of P.A.W.S staff as a VTA since September 2012 and could not have asked for a better place to be. The staff I work with, equipment we use, clients and patients that come here, and P.A.W.S. values are all things that make me happy and proud.





I have always felt a connection with animals. I have volunteered for the past 5 years at several humane societies, the MN Zoo and with therapy animal organizations. When I lived with my parents I was not allowed to have a cat or dog, so I had several dozen different exotic animals. I have had hamsters, gerbils, rats, geckos, snakes, fish, ducks, turtles and rabbits. When I started working here I only had my young rabbit Loveybunny, then I fell in love with Sylvester. Sylvester was an outdoor cat who had been surrendered to the hospital with a leg that was very badly hurt from being stuck in a muskrat trap. We had to amputate his leg and find him a home. I secretly wanted Sylvester and talked to my boyfriend about him every day after work. Knowing my boyfriend did not want a cat I never thought he would have adopted him for me! I am forever grateful for P.A.W.S. bringing me and my baby together.
The veterinary field has so many options and career opportunities, I have so many dreams. I want to travel and work with animals around the world. And I also want to work in research. During my free time I love to travel, shop, golf and spend time in the water.





Kim D'Aoila, Vet. Tech. Assistant coming soon
























Katy Beirise, Vet. Tech. Assistant


Hi, my name is Katy Beirise. I am currently a student at Centennial High School. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a vet (my stuffed animals where my first patients).  I have always felt a strong connection with animals. After being at P.A.W.S. I am now even more convinced that veterinary medicine is the profession for me.


Being able to work at P.A.W.S. has been a dream come true.  I have already learned so much and am continuing to learn every day.  Sometimes I feel like a sponge, soaking up everything I see and hear. I am always eager to take a peek at something new and interesting. I absolutely love to ask questions, I am sure any of the technicians and doctors can attest to that!

I have a wonderful Pekapoo (Pekinese-Poodle mix), Zoey. I love her to death!  She is a crazy little girl who loves to play tug, go for walks, and curl up and watch a movie with me. Sometimes I think she forgets that she is a dog, as she prefers humans to dogs, curls up like a cat, and rubs against my legs like a cat! She's my girl though, always knowing just how to cheer me up or celebrate my little victories.