Dr. Laura Toddie
Dr. Laura Toddie knew that she wanted to become a veterinarian since the second grade. She was an expert at helping snakes, turtles, mice, ducks and other birds, often splinting wings with popsicle sticks and hand feeding orphaned rabbits and squirrels. A 1991 University of Minnesota graduate, she has been a veterinarian at Heritage Pet Hospital since 1991, and a co-owner since 2002. Her passion for a large variety of animals is evident in the home she shares with her husband, Rod, and her daughter Jane. They currently have 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 turtles, a cockatiel and a rabbit. When she is not cleaning cages and litterboxes, Laura enjoys reading, tennis and travel.
Dr. Jennifer Watson
Dr. Jennifer Watson is a 2007 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She grew up locally in Rochester, attending Lourdes High School and then pursuing an undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University. Dr. Watson has a special interest in internal medicine, critical care, and sees many of our behavior cases in clinic. Labradors have a special place in Dr. Watson’s heart, and she has recently adopted Toby, a former service dog trainee who just loves people too much to be a working dog! Dr. Watson enjoys traveling, hiking, pilates, and yoga in her spare time.
Dr. Benjamin Finkel
Dr. Benjamin Finkel earned his Bachelor of Sciences degree in Animal Sciences at Washington State University. Upon completion of his undergraduate program, Dr. Finkel traveled to Europe to ride for a Holsteiner equestrian sales facility in Verden, Germany. He returned to Washington State University for veterinary school, graduating in 2019. Throughout vet school, he worked as a teaching assistant in the university’s clinical skills laboratory, where he helped students learn surgical skills and procedures. Most recently, Dr. Finkel was awarded the “American Animal Hospital Association Award for Proficiency in Primary Care” scholarship. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his French bulldog, Paloma, and competing in dressage and 3-day eventing with his horse, Grigio.
Dr. Michelle Swenningson
Dr. Michelle Swenningson is a 2001 graduate of the University of Minnesota. She comes to us with over 20 years of experience focusing on internal and preventive medicine, dentistry, and surgery for dogs and cats. Dr. Michelle enjoys all these areas as variety is what keeps things interesting. Dr. Michelle grew up on a farm near Spring Valley where she gained a love of animals both large and small. As a child, she showed goats in 4-H and helped her father raise Paints and Quarter horses. In her spare time, Dr. Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. The family also has two cats, Maddie and Tony. Her favorite part of being a veterinarian is helping her clients throughout all the stages of their pets’ lives through education and preventative care.
Dr. Christa Worrell
Christa Gordon-Worrell hails from the cotton fields of Timmonsville, SC where she spent her childhood operating a stuffed-animal hospital in her grandmother’s guest bedroom. She graduated from Tulane University as a chemical engineer (her Momma made her do it) but eventually left technical sales to pursue veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University. There, she developed a fascination with ultrasound imaging as a diagnostic modality. After receiving her DVM degree in 1995, she practiced small animal medicine and continued to hone her ultrasound skills through additional training. She believes that no matter whether your pets are covered in fur, scales, or feathers, they bring joy and enrich the human experience. She’s proud to support the human-animal bond by lending ultrasound support to the HPH team.
Beyond medicine, Christa touts creative outlets as the key to sanity in a busy world. She writes stories, teaches yoga, and hunts morel mushrooms in the spring. She and her husband are servants to a grumpy, old, barn cat, and have recently adopted a severely-adorable, chocolate standard poodle.