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The Haven Animal Hospital staff will treat your pets like "one of the family". As all staff members are pet owners themselves, they know how important your pet's health care is to you. Below is a photo and short biography of each of our staff members.

Dr. Barbara Bytwerk

Practice Owner and Veterinarian 

Dr. Bytwerk was born and raised in the Tri-cities area, graduating from Spring Lake High School. She attended college in Colorado obtaining her DVM from Colorado State University in 1990. She then returned to Michigan and established Haven Animal Hospital in March of 1993. Dr. Bytwerk is passionate about connecting with the animals and their owners. Her professional interests also include internal medicine and soft tissue surgery. Dr. Bytwerk has been married for almost 25 years and has 3 daughters. Dr. Bytwerk and her family also enjoy hosting exchange students and currently has a student from Finland! She and her family live on their hobby farm with the goats, chickens, horses, dogs, cats, birds, a donkey, and three chinchillas!

Dr. Angela Gray

Veterinarian & Associate

Dr. Gray was born in Houston, Texas and moved all around the country until she landed here in Allendale, Michigan. Dr. Angela Gray went to LaGrange College and received her B.A. in Biology - from there she taught science at a high school level for 3 years. She then went to the University of Georgia and become a doctor in Veterinary Medicine. She has been a veterinarian for over two years now but has over 10 years of experience in the field! Dr. Gray is very involved in the veterinary community and is a member of the MVMA, AVMA, and GVMA. She has been happily married for 8 years and enjoys playing soccer, performing in musicals, choirs and theater shows! When she isn't working hard or enjoying the theater, she is going for a run! You might see her down the street when coming in for you appointment! Being an animal lover, Dr. Gray has four furry kids - Dan, her 11 year old kitty - Ryerson, a 10 year old golden mix - Benson, a 3 year old long haired kitty - and Shelby, her 9 year old border collie mix! Come on in and get to know her!

Dr. Mary Kinser

Veterinarian & Associate

Dr. Kinser joined the Haven Animal Hospital team in the fall of  2016!  She loves animals of all shapes and sizes - Chickens, horses, dogs & cats, just to name a few.  She has two cats of her own, Norman (pictured) and Lily! If you haven't had the chance to meet her yet, you should make your next appointment for your pet with her, you and your pets will not be disappointed!

Nicolette Nees

Executive Director

"Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire."

Since 2012, Nikkey has cheerfully greeted you and your pets! She was born in Michigan and calls Grand Haven “home” but has traveled all over Europe and the United States. She is passionate about creating relationships with people and their pets and being involved in her local community- She is a member of the Grand Haven Parks and Recreation Board. She is also currently working towards a certification in Veterinary Management and has worked with small animals for about seven years. The relationship between people and their pets is her passion. When Nikkey isn't working hard to make you and your pet happy, she is spending time with her two big pups - Diesel and Wanda, both pitbull mixes! She also has Sweet Jane, her five year old female bearded dragon. She loves to take her dogs with her every where she goes and in her spare times likes to disc golf, have a few beers, and go on outdoor adventures! Nikkey is very familiar with all of the local pet friendly business, and works part-time at Must Love Dogs in Downtown Grand Haven!

Rebecca Chouinard

Director of Medical Services

"Hukuna Matata" - The Lion King

Rebecca is a recent graduate from Baker College’s Licensed Veterinarian Technician program. She  went to the tech center for Agriculture and Science as well! She volunteered at Harbor Humane Society through out high school and is associated with the NAVTA. Becca does have a way with small and exotic animals, often easing them and taking away anxious feelings, making toe nail trims enjoyable! Her love for pocket pets is understandable - Rebecca is the mother to two ferrets, Charlie and Bandit! When Rebecca is not at work, she likes to camp and visit family in the Upper Pennisula (camping while she is there!) and get in a little mountain climbing while she's there! A few fun facts about Becca - She has OVER 200 family members! She can also tweet and whistle like a bird! Come in and meet Becca!

Gabrielle Scott 

Licensed Veterinary Technician 

Gabrielle has been with us since 2012 and enjoys the variety of responsibilities she has at Haven Animal. She graduated from Baker College with an Associates degree in Applied Science, passed board exams and became a Licensed Veterinary Technician. You will often find her participating in surgeries, putting pets under anesthesia, taking care of your sick little ones and checking in on your pet through out the day. When she isn't giving your pet the most detailed care, she is spending time with her husband and two dogs. She loves to hike, camp and spend time outdoors, especially by Lake Michigan. If she isn't outdoors, you will find her under the hood, fixing up a car or motorcycle. Ask her about her two dogs, Torque and Monte (pictured above!) - both rescues from the Muskegon Humane Society! Fun facts about Gabe: She can play the piano and is excellent at replicating the noise that crickets make!

Deb Elenbaas

Licensed Veterinary Technician 

When you bring your pet to Haven Animal, Deb will be there to make sure they are taken care of. She has a true love for felines and always goes above and beyond to take care of the cats boarding, hospitalized, or here for their routine care! Currently residing in Holland, MI, she and her husband have two daughters. One of Deb's passions is gardening - you will often hear her giving some of the girls advice on their gardens! In her spare time, she works at a greenhouse and bakes amazing almond toffee & caramel popcorn for her co-workers!

Karla Born

Licensed Veterinary Technician

"And remember time waits for no one. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present." - Author Unknown

Karla has been with us since August of 2015 and we LOVE having her here! She graduated from MCC with her Associates of Science and went off the MSU, finishing with her Bachelors of Science along with a major in Veterinary Technology. She has been in this profession for over a decade now and ADORES helping your pets stay healthy, happy, and in top notch shape! To keep up on her skills as a veterinary technician, Karla is a member of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians and will attend any educational classes she can go to! When she isn't working hard getting the perfect radiograph or cleaning up your pets smile, she is at home with her husband and many fur babies -  her two senior cats, Akasha, Tracks - and Matilda, a fancy mouse rescue and an assortment of hens and roosters. Fun fact about Karla - she prefers mustard with her french fries instead of ketchup! 

Caleb Miller

Veterinary Assistant 

"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"

Caleb went to Cornell and graduated with a degree in Ornithology. When he isn't at Haven caring for your pets - he likes to get together with friends and go to different zoos, light houses, museums, and aquariums! Many would say Caleb is very social and is often out with friends! He also works at three retirement homes in Grand Haven caring for resident pets!

Kaila Johnson  

Veterinary Assistant 

"Until  one has loved and animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

Kaila has been taking care of pets since 2011. She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelors degree in Biology. She has done a LOT of volunteering at Carol's Ferals in Grand Rapids, helping take care of a LOT of stray cats - catching, neutering/spaying, and then releasing! Her love for cats has made her an expert pinner on pinterest - always pinning cat things! She loves art (Co-Owner of The Baked Piper), baking, and giving a lot of love to her kitties at home. Her favorite part of working at Haven Animal is providing the best care and love for you pet's during their visit here! Kaila has three cats, Rigby, Jena, and Lily, and has a blue beta fish, Mr. Mistoffelees!

Cassy Anderson

Veterinary Assistant

Cassy is a self-proclaimed "Crazy Cat Lady." She loves everything about them and hopes to someday become a cat behavior specialist. She is Certified Veterinary Assistant and is also certified in animal first aid and CPR. Cassy's family consists of her husband, Joel, of five years, her eight-year-old daughter, Emery, and her four furry cats! In her spare time, Cassy enjoys volunteering at Faithful to Felines. Something she has been doing for over 5 years! Did we mention she LOVES cats? 

Danielle Painter

Director of Public Contact

"Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not just things to show." - Author Unknown

Danielle has been an avid pet lover, rescuer and advocate for as long as she can remember!  Growing up in a big family she decided to go into the Human Services field - she graduated from Baker College in 2011 with an Associates in Applied Science. Although she loves helping people, she has found that her true passion is working with animals! In her spare time, she likes to create art - you may find some of her work throughout the community! She also enjoys going on day adventures with her husband, Casey and dog, Sweets. She loves to take pictures and videos documenting Sweets exploring and seeing new things! 

Chelsea Boomgaard

Veterinary Receptionist

Chelsea has had a soft spot for animals since she was little. Growing up, she had a Cocker Spaniel as a family pet and now she has a Cocker Spaniel and a Husky (pictured). She went to Grand Valley State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and minoring in Elementary Certification. She was also the first one in her family to go to and graduate college. Chelsea enjoys going camping and spending time hiking with her husky Midnight. If she isn’t working at the animal clinic, she is subsituting at surrounding schools!

Alecia Proefrock

Kennel Assistant & Patient Coordinator

Alecia joined the Haven Animal Hospital team in the fall of 2016 as a kennel assistant - providing excellent care for the many pets that stay with us while their parents are out of town.  She also has two cats of her own. You may also notice her smiling face at the reception desk, and answering the phone as she has just taken on a new role as Patient Coordinator!  Alecia is a Grand Haven High School graduate and is currently looking forward to graduating with her Associates in Business Management this Spring! 

Samantha Herreman

Kennel Assistant

"What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." 

Samantha has been caring for Haven Animal Hospital boarding guests for almost a year. She love's her job, and does it well. She creates a fun and loving atmosphere for every pet in her care during their stay here. She even has four dogs of her own! In between working and caring for her 1.5 year old son, she loves to spend time outside. In fact, she is an avid golf player and has been playing for 18 years! 



"The floor is just the floor, but  a piece of paper on the floor is a luxurious bed."

Glover joined the staff at Haven Animal Hospital in November of 2005 as our honorary clinic greeter. You will find Glover resting quietly in an office chair, on his beloved cat tree, or in the recycling bin! Glover is a big, sweet, gentle giant and enjoys the company of his humans, big and small! When Glover isn't napping, he likes to torment the other clinic cats or the other pets here for their appointments. Glover lives here at the clinic and will spend all of his days here with us! Stop in and say hi!


Bird Supervisor

"If I can see the bottom of the food bowl, is there really any food?"

Here is our newest addition! Lucy is our little miracle. She came to us very young, blind, and scared. Her heart is full of kindness and all she knows is love. She is gentle, sweet, and always roaming and running around after Nikkey - our receptionist. When she isn't wandering around and meowing for treats, she likes to scale the side of the bird cage and hunt our parakeets - don't worry - everyone is safe! Because of Lucy's special needs, she will spend her life here out at Haven Animal Hospital surrounded by lots of people who love her to the moon and back! Stop in to see Lucy, but keep in mind she likes to smell you first before letting you pet her! Lucy does NOT bite!

Fluffy Toes

"Wheek, Wheek" 

Fluffy toes came to the clinic in the winter of 2017. She quickly became a clinic favorite. You will often find her behind the reception desk running around and "popcorning." She loves red cabbage, timothy hay, cucumbers and her absolute favorite is pineapple. Feel free to ask to visit her the next time you are in!

Exclusive offer

Thinking about setting up a visit for you pet? Do you want to try us out and see if we are a good fit for your family? Is it time to get established at a hospital so your pets routine and emergency needs are covered? Mention that you visited our website and that you are new to the practice and you will get a $20 New Client Exam!

THIS ---->https://havenanimalcom.vetmatrixbase.com/meet-our-team.html

Office Hours

Day Morning Afternoon
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00am 8:00am 8:00am 8:00am 8:00am 9:00am Closed
8:00pm 7:00pm 6:00pm 8:00pm 6:00pm 1:00p Closed

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