Our Team

Meet the team at Alburnett Veterinary Service below!

APPOINTMENT

At Alburnett Veterinary Service, Experience Counts!

Our doctors have over 25 years of medical and surgical experience. They strive to keep up-to-date on new findings, treatments, and techniques to make life better for you and your four-legged family members. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about our doctors and staff or schedule an appointment.

Get to know our team!

Sam Teply

DVM
Click here to get to know me!

Dr. Teply started with Alburnett Veterinary Service in October 2019. She was born and raised in Dubuque. Dr. Teply received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Northern Iowa before attending the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine, where she earned her DVM in 2018. She played softball at the University of Northern Iowa, where she met her husband Jay, a fellow student-athlete. They live in Cedar Falls with their two kids (Cooper and Brooklyn) and their Golden Retrievers (Myka and Halle). Dr. Teply’s favorite parts of her job are emergency cases, wound management, senior care, and endocrine diseases such as diabetes and Cushing’s. When she isn’t seeing patients, she enjoys being on the river, interior decorating, running and cooking.

Best Pet Advice: Be as proactive as possible with your pet’s health so that they can live the longest, happiest, healthiest life possible!

Micheal Halsor

DVM
Click here to get to know me!

Dr. Halsor has practiced veterinary medicine at Alburnett Veterinary Service since graduating from Iowa State University in 1989. He is a native of the Cedar Rapids area, and he and his wife, Linda, reside in rural Center Point with their Labrador named Junior. They have two grown children (Madeleine and Sam). Dr. Halsor is a long-standing member of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Association and has been active in local veterinary groups. Dr. Halsor enjoys the outdoors, especially annual trips to Canada and the Great Lakes. He is also an avid trapshooter.

Best Pet Advice: Your pet can be a 10-15 year commitment. Choose wisely and give them lots of love.

Courtney Plazek DVM

Courtney Plazek

DVM

Click here to get to know me!

Dr. Plazek is a Pennsylvania native where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania before attending Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and graduating in 2021. Her professional interests include nutrition, dentistry, and preventative medicine. She also especially enjoys working with feline patients and in shelter medicine. Dr. Plazek loves veterinary medicine because she never knows what each day will bring. Every patient and their family are different with their own unique needs. Her goal for every patient is to design individual plans to help each one live the best life possible. She currently resides in Marion with her German Shepard, Monaco, and 2 cats, Bentley and Tucker. When she is not in the hospital, she enjoys baking, traveling, and wine tasting.

Dave Knight

RVT
Click here to get to know me!

Dave has worked at Alburnett Veterinary Service for over 31 years. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1979. Years later, Dave returned to school to get a veterinary technician degree. He has five grown children and four grandchildren, with a fifth on the way. Dave has quite the menagerie of animals. He has three dogs (Ludwig, Leona & Cracker), a horse (Captain), seven farm cats, peafowl, chickens, guinea fowl, muscovy ducks, and a turkey. Dave enjoys spending time with his grandkids and thinking up pranks to play on them. When veterinary medicine leads to a positive outcome, he appreciates his role as a veterinary technician.

Best Pet Advice: The following items are on my “gotta go or gotta know” list, including fad diets, choke chains, stretchy leashes, Flexi-leads, harnesses, and pinch collars. Some of them shouldn’t be in use. However, some of them can be used with care but must be used safely and effectively.

Dee Shurtz

RVT
Click here to get to know me!

Dee has lived in Cedar Rapids for many years now after relocating from the east coast. She is originally from South Carolina and has lived in many states due to her father’s military service. Dee was awarded her Associate of Applied Science degree in veterinary technology in May 2002. She also is certified in nutrition. Dee joined Alburnett Veterinary Service in March 2009. She finds fractious cats a challenge and loves her job and all the different animals she has encountered over the years (snakes, a tortoise, cougars, panthers, skunks, and a kangaroo.) She also enjoys educating clients about caring for their pets and the importance of training and keeping them healthy. Dee enjoys spoiling her Great Danes named Triton (RIP) and Frozen, who think they are lap dogs, as well as her cats (Leo, Blue, and Ara). She enjoys walking, traveling, the ocean, attending concerts, and spending time with her five grandkids.

Best Pet Advice: Pets are truly amazing but remember they are animals and have their limits. It’s important kids know how to respect pets and their boundaries.

Tammy Mysak

Veterinary Assistant
Click here to get to know me!

Tammy has been with us since 2009 but has been a veterinary assistant for over 30 years. She grew up on her family farm and always had a passion for working with animals. She is married and has a daughter, Kylie, who will graduate from Kirkwood Community College with her veterinary technician degree in 2021. In her spare time, Tammy enjoys archery, hunting, fishing, and watching Kylie show cattle. She also volunteers with 4H and helps out at the Linn County Fair. Tammy has three Standard Poodles named Phantom, Cash, and Maggie, a Chihuahua named Chopper, and four house cats. They raise cattle and also have two horses, a donkey, and some goats.

Best Pet Advice: Confide your dreams and secrets to your pets because they won’t tell anybody!

Carie McElroy

Veterinary Assistant
Click here to get to know me!

Carie has been with Alburnett Veterinary Service since 2016. She lives with her husband, three kids, and two cats Nero and Taco. Caring for animals has been a lifelong passion for Carie. She loves seeing our patients grow and enjoys being involved in their care at each stage of their life. She enjoys hiking and camping with her family in her free time and exploring Iowa’s many parks and trails.

Best Pet Advice: Trim your puppy’s toenails while they are young, so they are acclimated to it when they get older.

Jessica Kacena

Veterinary Assistant
Click here to get to know me!

Jessica has been with us since April 2018. She attended Kirkwood Community College, receiving her veterinary assistant diploma in 2011, returning to receive her Associate of Applied Science Degree in humane officer training in 2013. Working with animals and being involved in animal welfare continues to be a passion for her. Jessica currently resides in Cedar Rapids with her husband, Mickey, and their five fur-babies: Two Labradors (Kali and Zeppelin) and three cats (Zara, Bliss, and Sweetie). They are also expecting their first human baby in April 2021.

Best Pet Advice: Do ample research before bringing a new pet home, and be prepared for properly socializing and training your new fur-baby.

Emily Stewart

Veterinary Assistant
Click here to get to know me!

Emily started with Alburnett Veterinary Service in May 2020 after graduating from Coe College, where she majored in biology and minored in chemistry. She was born and raised in Riverside, Iowa, where she grew up surrounded by animals. Emily currently resides in Cedar Rapids with two friends and her cat Bob, who she adopted this past November. While Emily is fascinated by veterinary medicine, she is particularly interested in dermatology, radiology, and pharmacology. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, volunteering at SAINT Cat Rescue, boating, and doing yoga.

Best Pet Advice: Always take pride in your pet’s health by making sure they are safe and by asking questions!

Jacki Forcht

Veterinary Assistant
Click here to get to know me!

Jacki is currently a student at Kirkwood Community College in the Veterinary Technician Program and is expected to graduate in May 2021. Jacki started with Alburnett Veterinary Service in May 2020 to complete an internship. After completing her internship, she started working part-time as both a Kennel Assistant and a Veterinary Assistant with us as she continues going to school full-time to finish her degree. Jacki has lived in Cedar Rapids her whole life until recently moving to Central City with her boyfriend (Olin), dog (Bear), and cat (Athena). Upon graduating from Kirkwood, Jacki hopes to continue working as a registered veterinary technician with us.

Best Pet Advice: Love your pets with your whole heart. They are only with us for a part of our lives, but for them, we are their whole lives!

Mandy Kirby

Receptionist

Click here to get to know me!

Mandy has been with Alburnett Veterinary Service since July 2020. Mandy was adopted from Santiago, Chile, when she was just a baby and then grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Toddville. She comes from a family of animal lovers. Mandy has two fur babies of her own, her cats Lilly (13) and Stripes (19), who she took in after she was left at her family’s tree farm, and it was the best decision she ever made! Mandy really enjoys interacting with our clients over the needs of their furry loved ones and hearing stories about their animals, as well as spoiling pets while they are spending the day with us. When she isn’t at work, she enjoys crocheting hats and scarves and taking naps with her cats.

Best Pet Advice: Always take time to spoil them!

Sierra Davis

Kennel Assistant

Click here to get to know me!

Sierra has worked at Alburnett Veterinary Service since October 2019. She is a senior at Center Point Urbana High school and plays soccer and basketball. After she graduates, she will be attending Truman State University to play soccer and begin her academic journey to become a veterinarian. She has three pets, a dog named Tillie and two cats named Butterscotch and Tintin. Outside of playing sports and taking care of animals at our hospital, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, hiking, fishing, biking, snowmobiling, and water skiing.

Best Pet Advice: Socialize your pets while they are young so they can make lots of friends and avoid anxiety.