Our Careteam

Katie Neushwander

Office Manager

Ariel Urka

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Ariel has owned dogs and horses her entire life. She has trained under many professional horse trainers who had experience working in veterinary clinics. Witnessing their expertise firsthand and seeing how calm they were under pressure, inspired Ariel to work in the veterinary field herself!

Born and raised in Ludington, Ariel attended West Shore Community College for two years before transferring to Baker College of Muskegon. At Baker College she earned her Associates Degree in Applied Science specializing in veterinary technology. Shortly after graduating in June of 2013, she passed both her state and national licensing exams, certifying her as a fully licensed veterinary technician. Ariel began her employment at Animal Hospital of Ludington in early December of 2013.

As a veterinary professional, Ariel particularly enjoys educating clients about the health of their pets. She also enjoys emergency care and finds it incredibly satisfying to help treat a patient and return them to proper health.

Ariel married her high school sweetheart on May 17th, 2014. At home, Ariel has two German Shepherds, Mya and Yukon. She also owns two Morgan horses, both mares: Brooklynn, who has the spunkiest attitude Ariel’s ever known a horse to have, and Beyonce, who is extremely laid back.

Ariel’s greatest achievement with her horses came in 2009, when she received Reserve World Champion at the Morgan Grand National and World Championship show with her horse Brooklynn. At the time, Brooklynn was still considered a “junior” horse and they were competing against seasoned senior horses! In 2011, Ariel again placed in the top five and top 10 with both Brooklynn and Beyonce.

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Amanda Kuras

Veterinary Assistant

Amanda’s passion for animals has been around since she was only a child; it wasn’t until recently, though, that she decided to pursue the veterinary world full-time. Now, she’s thrilled to begin her journey right here at the Animal Hospital of Ludington! Amanda is one of the clinic’s Veterinary Assistants.

A native of Ludington, Amanda was a client herself here at the hospital before she became an employee. The staff was so impressed with Amanda’s diligent care of her own dog that Amanda was offered a job when a positioned opened! She started in early June of 2016, and continues to learn something new every single day. Her favorite part of the job is meeting the hospital’s clients and all of their furry loved ones.

At home, Amanda lives with her young American Staffordshire terrier, Khaleesi. Khaleesi is just as fond of traveling as her owner is! Recently, Amanda and her best friend took their dogs on a six-week road trip through the southwestern United States. When she isn’t enjoying the open road or tending to pets’ needs here at the clinic, Amanda likes getting outdoors to go camping, hiking, fishing, and kayaking.

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Mary Emma Riley

Veterinary Assistant

Mary Emma’s father served in the United States Coast Guard for 30 years, so she moved around quite a bit while growing up. Pets were her constant companions, and she found that the bonds she shared with her family’s animals were some of the strongest relationships she had. The value of our four-legged friends was never lost on Mary Emma—now, she’s proud to give something back as an animal-care professional!

Mary Emma was a junior in high school when she accepted an internship here at the Animal Hospital of Ludington. It wasn’t long before she was offered a position! She became a Veterinary Assistant in March of 2017, and continues to learn something new every day. Ultimately, Mary Emma plans on attending veterinary school in the future to obtain her Doctorate and become a licensed veterinarian herself.

Here at the hospital, Mary Emma is particularly fond of surgery, having observed a surgical procedure during her very first day on the job. She also likes emergency work, and her favorite part of being a Veterinary Assistant is getting to watch a pet’s progress from illness or injury to full recovery.

When time allows between her studies and work shifts, Mary Emma enjoys practicing photography, reading, running, traveling, and spending time with her family and pets. She has two rescued dogs—Cobo, a German Shepherd mix, as well as a Shepherd/Collie mix named Flinn Parker—and an all-black domestic shorthair cat who goes by Jack.

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Paige Ohse

Veterinary Assistant

Paige has adored animals since she was a little girl, and her interests in medicine and the sciences started to blossom the older she got. Combining the two simply makes sense: Paige has always known that a career in veterinary medicine would suit her perfectly! Now, she gets to care for pets hands-on as a Veterinary Assistant.

Paige holds a degree in animal science from Michigan State University, and joined the Animal Hospital of Ludington family in May of 2017. She’s been caring for the area’s pets and animal owners ever since! She especially likes surgery and orthopedic medicine.

When she isn’t tending to pets needs here at the hospital, Paige enjoys participating in equestrian sports like trail riding, barrel racing, and jumping. She’s also fond of rifle- and bow-hunting, kayaking during the summer months, and spending quality time with her animal companions at home. Paige is the proud owner of two horses—Talon, her very first horse; and a Quarter horse named Tucker—as well as Jesse the Welsh pony and a steer named Henry. She also shares her life with Jack, a cat adopted during Paige’s college years, as well as a rescued dog named Scarlett who even plays with Henry in the pasture at times.

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