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 complete 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!
Deb is a Registered Veterinary Technician and started working at Homestead Animal Health in July, 2020. She was born on a farm in Minnesota. After graduating from Wheaton High School, she attended and graduated from the Animal Health Technology course at NDSU, Fargo, ND, in 1980. After graduation, she settled in Milbank, SD, where she found a job as a Veterinary Technician. After she started working, she successfully passed the National Veterinary Technician Examination. She then became a Registered Veterinarian Technician.
Animals have always been a passion of hers. Deb had many species of animals on her farm. She especially enjoyed the cats, dogs, horses and rabbits that they had. Her Grandpa introduced her to horses and passed on his passion for horses to her. Deb’s eight year old birthday present was a pony from her Grandpa. She had to train her palomino pony named Misty by herself. When she grew older, she got a palomino Quarab named Goldie whom she also had to train. Deb enjoys 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. She loves the different cases everyday and gets great pleasure helping your pets and equine stay healthy and content.
Deb knows she is in the correct profession because of all the years she has worked in the veterinary field. Forty years is a good long career in the same profession. It has never really seemed like work to her. She looks forward to going to work everyday. She was offered a job at the Diagnostic Lab at NDSU upon college graduation. She turned it down because she did not want to do the same thing day in and day out. She likes the variety of veterinary medicine and likes meeting the owners that are part of the pet or horses lives.
Two years after moving to Milbank, she met my future husband, Marty. They are married and have two adult children, Jeff and Kristi. Jeff lives in Texas and Kristi and her husband live in South Dakota. In her household we have a chocolate Toy Poodle named Dream. She is a spoiled canine. They also have a grand dog and a grand cat named Zoey and Calliee respectively. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, gardening, reading, Bible studies and time spent at their lake cabin. She feels it is important to do God’s work so she is involved with their church. One of the most enjoyable things she has done in her spare time is to teach children on any age how to water ski.
Erika started working at Homestead Animal Health in 2015. She grew up in Big Stone City so her home has always been here. Milbank and Ortonville were just the extended areas of her “home town” as she had family in both and went to see them often. Erika attended Big Stone City School, and graduated from Ortonville High School in 2010. She had no idea what to do with her life, so she went to the University of Minnesota, Morris for 2 years trying to figure out what to do with herself. She eventually made up my mind to change schools to try out Veterinary Technician work as she always had a soft spot for animals growing up. She first started with a year of generals at Ridgewater College in Willmar, MN. It was different getting used to a technical school verses a university, but it wasn’t too bad. Classes were fun and it was nice knowing she was going to school for something verses just going to school. Erika started Veterinary Technology the next year. The two years she spent at Ridge were some of the best years she ever had. The staff and teachers there are like an extended family. They truly care about each and every one of their students. She met some lifelong friends there and just had a great experience. She graduated in 2015 and did my internship here at Homestead Animal Health and just stayed afterward.
Erika has always loved animals. Always. She doesn’t really know where that passion came from as she only ever had outdoor cats when she was young. She loved watching Animal Planet, mostly The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, but also some of the animal cop shows and other nature shows. Her uncle had a farm with goats, rabbits, llamas, deer, and a whole bunch of critters that she loved when she was small. It wasn’t until Erika’s first dog, Belle, came into her life that the real love and understanding of animals came through. That dog was her absolute best friend. The dogs that have followed have also gotten that place in her heart. So if she has to say where her passion for animals came from, it would be from them. Her dogs. Erika’s favorite thing about working with animals is the knowing that she’s helping them even if she can’t tell them why. They need help and if she can do her part, she will.
Outside of work, Erika is an avid video gamer and technology connoisseur. She loves random knowledge about everything and anything. She loves learning about different cultures and countries, plants and animals, history and space. She enjoys downhill skiing, reading, walks, a show to get involved in, and a good gaming session. She is also very passionate about music and just how important it is in her life. Erika is always singing, humming, or dancing to whatever is stuck in her head. Life is not life without a good song!
June 1, 2014 marks the start of the 17th year of employment here for Gail. What an adventure it has been. I am the person that you talk to when you call Homestead Animal Health. 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 is answering the phone. controlling inventory, scheduling appointments for your pet.
When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my Family, Sewing, Crocheting and making doll Clothes.
I believe our pets are our family!
I live on a farm, so pets large and small are a part of our family. We have several cats and Clyde is our ‘farm’ dog. He is our ‘Mother’ on the Farm. And then there is Maddie. I am sure most of you know her. She is our Yorkie and she comes to work with me daily. She sleeps under my desks.