Dr. Jaclyn Carlson Van Lith
Hello! My name is Dr. Carlson and I am excited to be the new owner of Homestead Animal Health (previously Prairie Hills Animal Clinic) as of July 2020. I have deep roots in the community here as I grew up in Milbank, SD where I was active in 4-H and FFA. Upon graduation, I attended the University of Minnesota for both undergraduate and veterinary school.
After earning my DVM degree, I took a position with the Minnesota Racing Commission as a regulatory veterinarian for Running Aces Harness Park and Canterbury Park. Wanting to return to the prairie, I accepted a position with a mixed animal clinic in Benson, MN where I practiced for 10 years. When the opportunity to return home arose, we decided to take the leap into clinic ownership.
My favorite subject in high school was science, specifically biology. I also had many animals at home so I combined my enjoyment of science and animals into becoming a veterinarian. I was also impressed with the rapport that the veterinarians that I shadowed had with their clients. The friendly banter showed me that the human connection is just as important as the animal connection. I truly enjoy the problem-solving nature of veterinary medicine. My goal is to maximize every animal’s life so that they can enjoy it to the fullest and share that joy with their people for as long as possible. When a client thanks me for my time, effort, expertise, and help — that reaffirms the journey every time.
I am a member of the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. I am excited to begin offering equine veterinary care through Homestead Animal Health. Additionally, I have completed the acupuncture training course through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, so we now offer veterinary acupuncture as well!
My husband, Matt, is a hoof trimmer for cattle with his own business, Wooden Shoe Hoof Care. He has a vertical hydraulic chute that he transports around the countryside performing maintenance and lame cow trims. We are blessed with three children: Madelyn, Addison, & Reese. When not performing veterinary duties or caring for my family, I also enjoy gardening, photography, reading, and horseback riding.
I look forward to meeting you and your pets!
I am a registered veterinary technician and have been working at this location for 40 years. I was born on a farm in Minnesota. After graduating from Wheaton High School, I attended and graduated from the Animal Health Technology course at NDSU, Fargo, ND, in 1980. I then settled in Milbank, SD, where I found a job as a Veterinary Technician. After I started working, I successfully passed the National Veterinary Technician Examination and then became a Registered Veterinarian Technician.
Animals have always been my passion, I had many species of animals on my farm. I especially enjoyed the cats, dogs, horses, and rabbits that we had. My Grandpa introduced me to horses and passed on his passion for horses to me. On my eighth birthday, my present was a pony from Grandpa. I learned to train my palomino pony named Misty by myself. When I grew older, I got a palomino Quarab named Goldie whom I also had to train. I enjoy working with animals because they all have different personalities. It is never boring since you never know what you will be faced with on any given day. I love the different cases every day and find great pleasure helping your pets and equine stay healthy and content.
I know I am in the correct profession because of all the years I have worked in the veterinary field. Forty years is a good long career in the same profession. It has never really seemed like work to me because I look forward to going to work every day. Upon college graduation, I was offered a job at the Diagnostic Lab at NDSU and turned it down because I did not want to do the same thing day in and day out. I like the variety of veterinary medicine and meeting the owners that are part of the pet or horse’s lives.
Two years after moving to Milbank, I met my future husband, Marty. We are married and have two adult children, Jeff and Kristi. Jeff lives in Texas and Kristi and her husband live in South Dakota. At home, we have a chocolate Toy Poodle named Dream. She is a spoiled canine. We also have a grand dog named Zoey. In my spare time, I enjoy exercising, gardening, reading, Bible studies, and time spent at our lake cabin. I believe it is important to do God’s work so am involved with our church. One of the most enjoyable things I have done in my spare time is to teach children of any age how to water ski.
I started working at Homestead Animal Health in 2015. I grew up in Big Stone City so my home has always been here. Milbank and Ortonville were just the extended areas of my “hometown” as I had family in both and went to see them often. I attended Big Stone City School and graduated from Ortonville High School in 2010. I had no idea what to do with my life, so I went to the University of Minnesota, Morris for 2 years trying to figure out what to do with myself. I eventually made up my mind to change schools to try out Veterinary Technician work as I always had a soft spot for animals growing up. I first started with a year of generals at Ridgewater College in Willmar, MN. It was different getting used to a technical school versus a university, but it wasn’t too bad. Classes were fun and it was nice knowing I was going to school for something versus just going to school. Erika started Veterinary Technology the next year. The two years I spent at Ridge were some of the best years I ever had. The staff and teachers there are like an extended family. They truly care about each and every one of their students. I met some lifelong friends there and just had a great experience. I graduated in 2015 and did my internship here at Homestead Animal Health and just stayed afterward.
I have always loved animals. Always. I don’t really know where that passion came from as I only ever had outdoor cats when I was young. I loved watching Animal Planet, mostly The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, but also some of the animal cop shows and other nature shows. My uncle had a farm with goats, rabbits, llamas, deer, and a whole bunch of critters that I loved when I was small. It wasn’t until my first dog, Belle, came into my life that the real love and understanding of animals came through. That dog was my absolute best friend. The dogs that followed have also gotten that place in my heart. So if I have to say where my passion for animals came from, it would be from my dogs.
Outside of work, I am an avid video gamer and technology connoisseur. I love random knowledge about everything and anything. I love learning about different cultures and countries, plants and animals, history, and space. I enjoy downhill skiing, reading, walks, a show to get involved in, and a good gaming session. I am also very passionate about music and just how important it is in my life. I am always singing, humming, or dancing to whatever is stuck in my head. Life is not life without a good song!
I started working at Milbank Veterinary Clinic on June 1st 2003. At that time it was a mixed animal practice. In October of that same year the clinic split up from mixed practice with us becoming Prairie Hills Pet clinic, with us being a small animal clinic. In July of 2020 Dr Carlson purchased the practice and it became Homestead Animal Health. I am the person that you talk to when you call Homestead Animal Health. What a ride it has been.
I am usually the first one you see when you come in the door, the last one you see when you leave. Some of my duties here at the clinic are answering the phone. Controlling inventory & scheduling appointments for your pet. I also am the person they come to when there is an issue with the computers.
When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my Family, which includes our Granddaughter Victoria. My Husband and I also have several pets, both dogs and cats.
I also love to do crafts, Sewing, Crocheting and using my Cricut. I feel so lucky to be able to work with Animals and their owners!!!
Equine Assistant & Receptionist
I was born and raised in Milbank and originally went to Lake Area Technical College for Dental Assisting. Instead, I ended up in the equine world. I have truly loved animals my whole life and always wanted to become a vet. My favorite thing about working with animals is that no two are the same and I love to learn new things daily. I also love to be a part of helping animals live the best life possible!
My family consists of my boyfriend and Oakley. When I’m not working, I love to ride horses, help with cattle, and enjoy outdoor photography.