Meet the Team at Westside Animal Hospital

Greetings from Westside Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs, CO! Nestled amid the stunning landscapes, our heartfelt commitment to your pet shines through. With genuine care and expertise, we ensure your furry friends receive personalized, professional attention.

Westside Animal Hospital Team

Get to Know Our Colorado Springs Veterinary Team


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Dr. Peter De Waal

Dr. De Waal graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. He loves all sports and is currently riding his mountain and road bikes and playing tennis.

He has been married to Merrilee for over thirty years; she is a residential Real Estate Agent. Their son, Kyle, loves sports and entertainment. He still plays hockey and works for a software company in San Francisco. His animal family currently consists of three energetic dogs and two lazy cats.

Dr. De Waal’s goal is to be devoted and passionate about his family, friends, work, spirituality, and life in general.

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Dr. Roman Dye

Dr. Dye came to Westside Animal Hospital in the summer of 2006 from Oklahoma, where he earned degrees from The University of Oklahoma, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and Oklahoma State University for Veterinary Health Sciences.

Dr. Dye and his wife, Deanna, have two adorable sons, Dylan and Lennon, who keep them both busy at home. They are also proud parents of two dogs, Squiggie and Charlie, and two cats, Skippy and Marley.

Deanna regularly bakes wonderful goodies for the Westside staff, which everyone looks forward to. They enjoy spending their spare time with family and friends.

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Dr. Marlin Geist

Dr. Geist moved to Colorado Springs in 2014 with his wife and 1-year-old daughter to raise their daughter and retire here. He joined the Westside Animal Hospital family in September 2014. Dr. Geist was raised in the state of Washington, attended vet school at Washington State University, and graduated in 1996. He worked for many years at practices in Washington and Oregon. For the last ten years, Dr. Geist operated his own veterinary surgery business, also working in emergency medicine.

Dr. Geist brings with him many years of experience in some areas of complicated surgeries, as well as the prevention and long-term management associated with them. These include TPLO (for cranial cruciate ligament injuries), fracture repair, corrective orthopedic surgery, minimally invasive surgery (endoscopy, laparoscopy, arthroscopy, etc.), reconstructive surgery, and major abdominal surgeries. He is currently in the process of getting certification for PennHIP screening (for early identification and intervention of canine hip dysplasia).

Dr. Geist’s other areas of practice interest include pain management, wound healing, and helping to build the human-animal bond. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking, climbing, biking, and fly-fishing.

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Dr. Abby Parrent

Dr. Abby Parrent is a recent graduate from Oklahoma State University, where she received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. She was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but always dreamed of living in Colorado. Dr. Parrent attended Austin College in Sherman, TX, where she played Division III soccer and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

Dr. Parrent married her college boyfriend, Alan, in a beautiful ceremony in Breckenridge, Colorado, in June 2019. They have two boxers named Roo and Breck. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her dogs, traveling, skiing, and spending time with her family and dogs.

Dr. Parrent’s veterinary interests include wellness and preventive medicine, soft tissue surgery, and ultrasound. She comes to us from a very busy small animal practice in Oklahoma and is excited to be a member of the Westside family.

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Dr. Jesse Hand

Dr. Jesse Hand grew up in the Colorado Springs area and graduated from Manitou Springs High School. He then graduated from Colorado State University in 2010 with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology.

During his time at CSU, Dr. Hand spent countless hours living/working/volunteering at a Wolf and Wolfdog Sanctuary. Dr. Hand also worked in CSU’s Veterinary Ophthalmology department as a student technician. To this day, Dr. Hand still retains a special interest in the eyes.

Dr. Hand has one very spoiled Great Pyrenees mix dog at home. In his spare time, he enjoys collecting and restoring vintage toys and tinkering with his classic VWs.

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Dr. Cecilia Gustafson

Dr. Cecilia Gustafson graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2023 with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. She was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia, prior to moving to Minnesota for her undergraduate degree and doctorate. Dr. Gustafson attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where she played Division III basketball, received a Bachelor of Science of Biology, and met her husband, Andy.

Dr. Gustafson studied in Minnesota for her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and then moved to Colorado Springs with her husband shortly after.

Dr. Gustafson has five fur babies: two dogs named Rainey and Dexter and three cats named Duck, Squish, and Beans. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her dogs, skiing, spending time with friends and family, and off-roading in the mountains.

Dr. Gustafson has a special interest in surgery, internal medicine, and client education. She is very excited to bring her love of animals and passion for veterinary medicine to the Westside Animal Hospital team.

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Dr. Ashley Cole

Photo and bio coming soon!


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Caley, Operations Manager

Operations Manager

Caley joined the Westside team in 2019. She has worked in the veterinary field since 2012. She enjoys getting to know the clients of Westside Animal Hospital and their fur babies!

Caley and her husband followed a dream to move to Colorado in 2017 after living on the Oregon coast their whole lives. They love Colorado and all the amazing outdoor adventures that this state provides. They currently share their lives with six pets: Frida, a Pug; Jack, a Papillion mix; Boris, a Pug; Pickle, a Pug; Marvin, a Pug; and a rescue kitty, Marlo.

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Karren, RVT, Technical Manager

Technical Manager

Karen moved to Colorado with her husband in the summer of 2000 and enjoys all the outdoor activities this state has to offer. After several years as a Travel Agent and many more in customer service-related jobs, she decided to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine. Karen graduated from the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in 2005 and cannot imagine doing anything other than helping animals and their families.

Since moving to Colorado, Karen and her husband have taken full advantage of the outdoor life. They enjoy hiking and backpacking the many trails available. Recently, they have taken up rock and ice climbing. On her lazy days, Karen enjoys reading and even sewing.

Currently, Karen’s family is down to one four-legged child. Her name is Señorita (Rita for short), and they adopted her from the Puerto Vallarta SPCA in May 2014. Rita looks like a black lab mix, but DNA testing says she is a Mastiff/Bassett hound mix. Either way, she is a bundle of energy that fits into their active life.


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Mikel, Animal Healthcare Technician

Animal Healthcare Technician

Mikel grew up in a military family and has lived in seven states. Growing up, she lived in Colorado Springs for nine years non-consecutively and attended The Vanguard School for high school before graduating in 2019. Afterward, she attended the University of California-Berkeley and graduated in May 2022.

While studying at Berkeley for those three years, she earned her B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology, specializing in Animal Health and Behavior.

Her reason for pursuing veterinary medicine stems from her overwhelming love for her Labradoodle named Parker, who passed in 2021, and her desire to keep other pets healthy and with their families for as long as possible. In her free time, Mikel enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, and spending time with family.

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Courtney, RVT

Lead Veterinary Technician

Courtney grew up in a small town just north of Boston, Massachusetts. While attending the medical occupations program during high school, she met her husband, Anthony. He joined the military shortly after graduating, and they have been traveling and moving ever since. Through all the moves, she found a love for the veterinary medicine world. Courtney began her career as a kennel attendant in Fayetteville, NC. At that clinic, she was trained to monitor surgical procedures, run laboratory tests, assist doctors in rooms, client services, and much more.

Courtney and Anthony moved to Colorado Springs in 2018 with their two dogs, Charlie and Mac. Soon after, she decided to go to technician school to become an RVT and further her knowledge. Courtney graduated from Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology cum laude, obtaining an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology in 2021. While in school, she took a special interest in rehabilitation. Courtney joined the Westside family in September 2021, completing her internship and restoring the rehabilitation program with Dr. Parrent.

During her free time, Courtney enjoys reading, training their new German Shepherd Dog, Rukia, and spending time with friends and family.

She looks forward to helping your fur babies feel their best!

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Sharon, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Sharon is a Colorado native and can’t imagine living anywhere else.  She has especially fallen in love with Colorado Springs.

After many years working in accounting and customer service, Sharon decided to pursue her dream of a career working with animals.  She completed her studies and graduated from the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in 1999.  She became a member of the Westside family in 2011 and loves the people she works with and the very special clients who trust us with their four-legged family members.

Sharon and her husband, Mike, fulfilled their dreams of living in the mountains. They enjoy spending time in the home they built and the challenges of mountain living.  They enjoy continuing to work on our home, trying to garden at high altitudes, camping, and fishing.

In her spare time, Sharon’s passions include NASCAR racing and racing of all kinds, hiking, biking, and stitching. She also loves music, and her new challenge is learning to play the guitar. Her family consists of two rescue dogs, Ellie Mae and Samantha.

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Savanah, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Savanah was born and raised in Pueblo, CO, and grew up with a large family. Her love of animals started at a young age as she was always surrounded by the many fur babies, and has wanted to be in vet medicine for as long as she could remember. Savanah graduated from the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology in 2023, earning an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. She worked as a veterinary assistant throughout school, where her love for the veterinary field grew.

In her free time, Savanah loves spending time with family and friends. She can be found in the mountains with her dog, a German Shepherd named Korra, and a camera, looking for their next adventure.

She is very excited to be a part of the Westside team and help keep your loving family pets happy and healthy.

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Ruth, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Ruth grew up in western New York and joined the Army after high school. She was stationed in Germany, Colorado, and Iraq. After the Army, Ruth moved to Indiana, where she worked on a horse-breeding farm for six years. She decided to move back to Colorado Springs to attend school at the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology, from which she graduated and became a Certified Veterinary Technician.

Of all the places Ruth has been, Colorado Springs is one of her favorites, which is why she decided to make this place her home. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in the mountains, gardening, and horseback riding.

Ruth has two “children”: Shrek, a three-year-old English bulldog/beagle mix who is quite the character. He loves sleeping in, going for car rides, and going on hikes with Ruth. Ash, a one-and-a-half-year-old mastiff mix who just recently joined her family, loves to play with Shrek and is quite the couch potato.

Ruth is proud to be a part of Westside Animal Hospital’s team and loves her new career working with animals every day.

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Maryann, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Maryann grew up just outside of Nashville, TN. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Animal Science. She also met and married the love of her life. After graduation, she worked as an Oncology Technician for four years. She learned a great deal about veterinary medicine and the unconditional love that is the human-animal bond.

She and her family moved to Colorado in 2023 to pursue their vigorous love of the outdoors and their desire to live in a place that resembles a storybook picture.

She is thrilled to be a part of the team here at Westside Animal Hospital. She is excited to grow her veterinary knowledge. In her spare time, she is busy biking, hiking, and taking her two cats on walks.

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Eva, Animal Healthcare Technician

Animal Healthcare Technician

Eva grew up in a small town in North Carolina before moving to Colorado in 2020 to pursue her education in veterinary medicine. She plans to expand her knowledge and gain a degree as a Veterinary Technician. Her ultimate goal is to get her VTS (vet tech specialty) and become a surgical assistant. For now, she is enjoying the amazing learning opportunities and knowledge she has gained from working here at Westside Animal Hospital.

In her personal time, she enjoys camping, creating multimedia art, and spending time with her two cats, Ziggy and Sky.

Eva is happy to be a part of the team here at Westside Animal Hospital and strives to provide the very best care for your pets!

Veterinary Assistants

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Jasmine, Veterinary Assistant

Veterinary Assistant

Jasmine was born and raised in Astoria, Queens, New York City. She moved to Colorado Springs in 1983 and settled near her sister, Dr. De Waal’s wife, Merrilee.

With her lifelong love of animals, Jasmine adopted a cat, Cindy, and a dog, Nifty. They both lived good, long lives and passed away when they were very old.

Jasmine’s most recent addition is a cat named Skittles, who she adopted from the Humane Society. Skittles has a unique personality and provides Jasmine with many hours of companionship and enjoyment. Some of his playful antics include chasing his tail and playing with his toys.

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Bethany, Veterinary Assistant

Veterinary Assistant

Bethany moved from Cleveland, OH, to Colorado in 2019. Bethany’s love for veterinary medicine started when she previously worked for an animal clinic in Ohio. She is passionate about providing care to all animals and looks forward to adding a fur baby to her home in the future.

In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, reading, and playing board games.

Bethany started with Westside Animal Hospital in 2022 and is excited to help in the care of your pets!

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Hunter, Veterinary Assistant

Veterinary Assistant

Photo and bio coming soon!

Client Service Representatives

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Alicia, Lead CSC

Lead Client Sevice Coordinator

Alicia grew up near San Jose, California, but has lived in Colorado for 17 years. She cares for a shy but very loving Shih-Tzu mix named Pluto, as well as a sassy orange tabby cat named Nami and an even sassier Siamese named Gizmo. In her spare time, Alicia loves baking, hiking, and taking advantage of the gorgeous landscape Colorado has to offer.

She found her passion for animals while working at a pet-based retail shop and shortly after started branching out into veterinary medicine and shelter work. She adores working alongside knowledgeable veterinary professionals who strive to help animals feel better at their most vulnerable points. In the future, she wishes to continue to utilize her education and experience to work with organizations that strive to help animals in need.

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Megan, CSC

Client Service Coordinator

Megan moved to Colorado Springs from Los Angeles in the spring of 2007 to enjoy the beautiful mountains and be closer to family.

She holds a B.A. in Graphic Design, yet her passion has always been working with animals. Megan has been a Veterinary Technician as well as a receptionist since 2002 and finds it very rewarding.

Together with her husband, Keith, she shares her home with three rescue dogs: Winnie, a Saluki mix; Emma, a greyhound mix; and Ivy, a Borzoi, along with four rescue cats: Coda, Kinsey, Sawyer, and Quinn. They love spending time with their “spoiled” kids, hiking with the dogs, and exploring all that Colorado has to offer.

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Taylor, CSC

Client Service Coordinator

Taylor moved from Austin, TX, to Colorado Springs in September 2017 and joined the Westside Animal Hospital team in September 2021. In her spare time, Taylor is a pet portrait artist. Taylor and her husband, Antonio, love to cook and spend time together in the kitchen. Taylor loves all kinds of animals. She grew up with dogs, cats, snakes, and reptiles of all kinds. However, cats (big or small) are definitely her favorite. Taylor and Antonio share their home with two cats: one perfect angel girl, Salem, and one menace to society, Minerva, who are the loves of their lives.

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Brenda, CSC

Client Service Coordinator

Brenda is a Colorado native who grew up in a small town and eventually moved to Colorado Springs in 2015. Growing up in the country surrounded by farm animals, she has always had a love of animals big and small and knew she wanted a career working with them.

She joined the Westside team in 2022 and is currently in school to become a dog groomer. Her dream is to move to the PNW and open a mobile dog grooming business.

Brenda and her husband, Allen, have three amazing fur babies: a sweet senior rescue Doberman named Parmesan, a wild child Doberman named Aries, and their newest addition, a lovable rescue kitty named Tomato.

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Emily, CSC

Client Service Coordinator

Emily is a native of Colorado and has been around animals her whole life. She started as a kennel technician at a boarding facility, and after spending time in the communications sector, she is thrilled to be working with animals again.

Emily lives with her husband, Eric, Beagle mix Spencer, and three cats, Batman, Turtle, and Ladybug. In her free time, she likes to ride her horse, Jack, spend time at the barn, read, and create art.

Emily started with Westside Animal Hospital in 2023. She is excited to be a part of the team and help keep your pets happy and healthy.

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Nathalia, CSC

Client Service Coordinator

Nathalia was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Colorado Springs in 2015. Her love of caring for animals stemmed from witnessing so many neglected street dogs when she lived in Puerto Rico for a short time as a child. She has spent much of her time since then volunteering at animal shelters, creating her own dog treat business, working with rescues, and collecting all of the misfit pets. She dreams of acquiring many acres of land and starting her own rescue/hospice for animals.

She currently has four dogs (named Sugar, Daisy, Coco, and Moe), three cats (named Cheeto, Alfie, and Noir), a bearded dragon (named Mushu), a bearded man (named Mathew), and two human children (named Luna and Sonny). Needless to say, her pack keeps her very busy. They enjoy going camping, paddle boarding, snowboarding, and exploring Colorado in search of good food.

She rejoined the Westside team in 2023 as a client service coordinator and is thrilled to be able to help take care of your fur babies and guide owners as best she can.

Join Our Team

We’re looking for passionate pet lovers, including veterinary technicians, administrative staff, and management. Join our team and help shape our amazing culture.