Ingrid Rhinehart, MS, DVM, CVA

Education: Oberlin College, Cornell University, Chi Institute

Dr. Ingrid Rhinehart is a Western New York native who is happy to call Ithaca home. She is a Cornell Vet School alumna who just couldn’t stay away. She has previously practiced in Western New York and Western Pennsylvania before moving back to Ithaca and joining Briar Patch.  She purchased Briar Patch from Dr. Carolyn McMaster in September 2016 and plans to be here for a very long time.

Dr. Rhinehart earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Oberlin College and her Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell. After working as a development economist with farmers in East Africa, she returned to Cornell and earned her veterinary degree in 2011. Additionally, she earned certification in Veterinary Acupuncture from the Chi Institute in 2011. She continues to immerse herself in the study of Chinese Herbal Medicine, Chinese Food Therapy and other aspects of integrative medicine. She has recently earned certification as a Fear Free Practitioner, concentrating on considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments.

Dr. Rhinehart shares her life with her husband, her crazy Great Dane, one feisty kitty, two budgies and a tortoise. When not busy seeing patients or furthering her studies she enjoys quilting and traveling.  Dr. Rhinehart is also an avid Buffalo Bills fan and season ticket holder.

Katherine Vissio, DVM

Education: George Washington University, Cornell University

Dr. Katherine (Kat) Vissio loves being a part of the vibrant Ithaca community. She graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015, completed a Small Animal Rotating Internship at Cornell in 2016, and has completed additional training in soft tissue surgery through the NAVC Institute. She is especially interested surgery and exotics, but also enjoys general and emergency medicine. She believes in individually tailored medicine that works for you and your pet. She is also fluent in Spanish.

She is originally from Austin, Texas but has lived in the northeast since attending The George Washington University in D.C. where she majored in Biological Anthropology. In her time off she loves to dance, sing, travel and practice yoga. She also enjoys hiking and camping in the rain, snow or sunshine with her husband and their dog Zoe.

Carissa, Licensed Veterinary Technician

Education: Alfred State College

Carissa graduated from Alfred State College with a degree in Veterinary Technology in 2010. She has been practicing as a licensed veterinary technician since. Recently she completed her Bachelors in Technology Management through Alfred State College as well. Carissa lives near Corning with her two cats, Chuck Norris and Ellie, a Leopard Gecko named Penelope, and her husband Nate. In her free time, she likes to read, hike, and spend time with her family and friends. Carissa BILLIEVES that one day the Bills will make it to the playoffs.

Jenny, Licensed Veterinary Technician

Education: Blue Ridge Community College, Virginia Tech

Jenny is a licensed veterinary technician who moved to upstate New York from Blacksburg, Virginia in May 2018 when her husband, Ben took a position at Cornell University doing wildlife research. She went to Virginia Tech for her bachelor’s degree and Blue Ridge Community College for her associates in Veterinary Technology. When she’s not at work, Jenny’s favorite thing to do is to hike with her dogs, Cora and Cambrie. She also has 5 cats, 2 rabbits, and a hamster. Jenny absolutely loves the beauty of the Finger Lakes and is immensely happy to be living in New York.

Tammie, Veterinary Technician In-Training

Education: Cornell University, Penn Foster College

Tammie joined us in November 2009 as a veterinary assistant. In addition to working fulltime she is steadily working towards completion of her degree to become a licensed veterinary technician. She brought with her a Bachelors in Biology from Cornell University, has served as a research technician and has over 20 years of experience running her own business, Walnut Grove Home Pet Care. Tammie has bred, trained and shown Arabian horses and cares for a wide variety of pets throughout the community. She shares her home with her husband Steve, their cats and a barn full of horses.

Jacqueline Larocque, Licensed Veterinary Technician

Education: SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Canton
Originally from Northern New York and the Adirondack Mountains, Jacqueline grew to love the beauty of the Finger Lakes Region over the years during family visits to Elmira. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from SUNY Potsdam and recently graduated from SUNY Canton with a degree in Veterinary Science Technology. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, hiking and exploring her newly adopted hometown of Ithaca. She has a passion for the environment and loves sharing ways to reduce our carbon footprint on our planet. She shares her home with a red-tailed boa named Javier and a blue-tongued skink named Steve. She is drawn to exotics and wildlife but loves every pet she meets.

Renee Stilwell, Licensed Veterinary Technician

Education: SUNY Delhi
Renee graduated from SUNY Delhi’s Veterinary science technology program in May of 2019. She is now practicing as a licensed veterinary technician. She has lived in Ithaca her entire life. She has a soft spot for Labrador Retrievers, especially the pup her family recently adopted. In her spare time she loves to go camping and hiking with her family. She also loves to play softball and cornhole with her dad.

Anne, Practice Manager

Education: University of New Hampshire, Boston University

Anne handles all of the non-medical needs of the hospital, or as she likes to say, everything to do with the people. She is also a quilt artist who dreams of making art her retirement career. Her quilts sometimes hang in the reception area. A Wildcat hockey fan at heart, Anne graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1976 with a B.S. in Environmental Conservation. In 1986 she earned a Master’s degree in Experiential Education from Boston University.

She has been a volunteer puppy raiser since 2004 for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and BluePath Service Dogs. Several of her pups have successfully become working service dogs for blind adults or autistic children. They all grow up behind the scenes here at Briar Patch until they’re old enough to go back to the organization to complete their service dog training. She’ll tell you, yes, of course, sending them back is hard, but the joys make saying goodbye worth it.

In addition to the guide puppies she raises, her pet family includes 2 Labradors and 1 semi-feral cat.

Lena, Customer Service Representative

Education: Binghamton University

Originally from the mid-Hudson Valley, Lena moved to the Ithaca area in summer 2018 following the completion of her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Binghamton University. Her studies focused on human-animal interactions of prehistoric human populations in the coastal southeastern United States. When she’s not working, Lena enjoys hiking, practicing photography, and rock climbing with her friends and boyfriend. She hopes to add a furry four-legged friend to her family soon!

Jett, Customer Service Representative

Education: Tompkins Cortland Community College

Jett is a born and raised Ithaca native. He attended Tompkins Cortland Community College and received his Associates in Applied Science for Early Childhood Education. Jett feels a strong connection to the Ithaca community, and makes it his goal to ensure that regardless of where he is, that he is helping those around him. During his free time Jett enjoys spending time with his son Altair, doing photography, hiking, figure drawing, and doing almost anything that’s related to 1980’s Sci-Fi culture or toy collecting.