Meet Our Veterinarians and Support Staff
Our veterinarians and staff are a dedicated and talented bunch. Each of our members excel at various skills, so your pet is always in expert hands. We thrive on giving you and your pet the best experience we can—including exceptional veterinary medicine and compassionate customer services. Meet our fantastic team below or feel free to stop in and meet us in person!
Jill Preston Fournier, Veterinarian/Owner
Dr. Fournier is originally from Troy, MI. She always knew as a young girl that she wanted to be a vet, a mixed (large and small) animal vet to be exact. Her journey toward becoming a veterinarian started at MSU, where she graduated in 2001 with a BS in Animal Science. Immediately after, she was accepted into vet school at her alma mater and received her DVM in 2005.
While in vet school, she decided against becoming a farm vet. She practiced her first year out in Cadillac, MI and then transferred back to her "home" clinic in South Lansing for a few years. In February 2008, she moved up to Sunrise Vet in Alpena and has been here since! In December of 2013, she became the practice owner.
Dr. Fournier has a passion for anything dogs. She enjoys perfecting surgeries, understanding dog behavior, and being involved in reproduction/breeding. In fact, she breeds and owns English and French Bulldogs and has six house dogs herself, ranging in size and breed. Her free time is spent on her funny farm with her two children, Autumn, 6, Ethan 5, and her husband Andre. They have chickens, peacocks, and hunting Blue Tick Coon Hounds. When she is not playing with dogs, Dr. Fournier enjoys gardening, working on her succulent collection, reading a good book, or enjoying time with family and friends.
Heidi LaCross, Veterinarian
Heidi was born and raised right here in Alpena, MI. She earned her B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University and her DVM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. She lived and practiced in Madison, WI until moving back to Alpena in 2015. Heidi has four children: two girls and two boys as well as several pets, which include two dogs (a Labrador and a golden retriever), two rescue cats who are sisters, and one guinea pig.
Kathy Oliver, Office Manager
Kathy lives in Alpena with her husband Chris, 2 children, Siarah and Brady, and her Black Lab, Rylee. She worked in an administrative position at a top real estate company for 14 years before leaving to work here at Sunrise Vet in April 2018. With a passion for animals, this is the perfect fit for her. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, camping, and practicing agility with her very active dog.
Ruth Krawczak, Receptionist
Ruth was born and raised in Rogers City and moved to Alpena over 30 years ago. In September 2002, she started working at Sunrise Veterinary Services and has been happy to be here helping people care for their beloved pets. She is a versatile team member as she is cross-trained to help wherever needed! Yet, her main position is as a receptionist---and she loves it!
Ruth has four amazing adult children and is blessed to be "granny" to five little people. When she is not at work she enjoys daily walks, riding her bike, kayaking, reading, baking, volunteering, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Lakyn Webster, Veterinary Technician
Lakyn is a Licensed Veterinary Technician and has been working at Sunrise since 2014. She graduated from Baker College of Port Huron in 2014 and has been with us since! Her favorite parts of her job include anesthesia and nursing care. She loves (and is very good!) drawing blood and placing IV's.
When not at the clinic, Lakyn enjoys spending time with her husband and their pets, and loves to go camping, too! They currently have three German Shepherds, a Blue Tick Coon Hound and one cat.
Brandi Urbach, Veterinary Assistant
Brandi has worked 6 years as a veterinary assistant and has been with Sunrise since July 2018. She has a lot of experience, and we're grateful to have her on our team! At home, she has 2 dogs and 1 cat. Outside of work, she enjoys boating and kayaking.
Shelly Olsen, Veterinary Assistant
Shelly has worked at Sunrise Vet since 2002. Prior to that, she was on active duty in the Navy and a Navy wife for 19 years. In 1998, she returned to Alpena along with her three children. She also has two senior cats at home, and in her spare time, she enjoys all forms of needlework and goes kayaking! Her fondest memories are those of family camping trips.
Tabitha McDonald, Veterinary Assistant
Tabitha has worked for the clinic since February 2011. Her duties include the ordering of our pet food, retail items, and clinic medications. At home, she has 3 dogs and 2 cats and enjoys gardening, scrapbooking, raising livestock, camping, and spending time with family and friends.
Dana Barnhardt, Veterinary Assistant
While she was raised in Alpena, Dana moved away for some time, and then moved her family (husband and son) back nine years ago when she was offered a job at Sunrise Vet! At home, they have five pets total: two dogs, a Pitbull and a Chiweenie named Hamlet and Greta, as well as a tortoise named Bob, and two fish named Lucy and Ethel. Dana works as a vet assistant helping wherever she is needed. She counts herself very lucky to be doing what she loves!
Jennifer Smith, Veterinary Assistant
Jennifer has been with Sunrise Vet since April 2017 and comes with a wealth of knowledge after 10 years of professional animal care experience. She is a certified dog groomer, pet smart certified trainer, certified dog obedience instructor, and an AKC approved canine good citizen evaluator. Phew! And that’s not all: she also does pet sitting and private training/obedience classes. She has been in the vet business since 2008 and was the shelter director at Mid-State Human Animal Treatment Society.
She finds all her jobs vastly rewarding as she has a deep passion for animals. Setters are her favorite breed, and she has five English Setters herself! Additionally, she has one Golden Doodle, one Redbone Coon Hound, and one Bloodhound mix. She has two grown sons, and enjoys spending time outdoors by the water, boating, and traveling. In her spare time, she also enjoys Irish dancing, Appalachian clogging, and playing the fiddle!
Taddy the Maine Coon, Greeter/Model
When you visit Sunrise Veterinary Services, you can expect to be greeted by our professional greeter and part-time model, Taddy, the Maine Coon. Taddy loves to show off for anyone and everyone that walks through the doors. Attention is the name of the game, and with Taddy strutting around the room, he's hard to ignore!
Cubby the Tail-less Cat, Empathetic Cat Comforter
Cubby is our resident cat comforter who puts all of our cat patients at ease while they wait to see the vet! He has a calming presence and makes friends with every cat who comes into Sunrise Veterinary Services.
We brought our cat Maizey in for a wellness check and immunizations this morning. The office staff were so nice! Dr. LaCross and Ruth were so gentle with Maizey and were so sweet to her. The services were very affordable. You need to stop by just to say hello to their "Greeter Cats"
Professional and friendly. They treat my fur babies like their own. Very thorough and willing to speak to you about everything.
I came here with my cat and am so happy that I did! They all care so much and are very affordable.