Our Veterinarians

Dr. Terry Barker

Owner, Veterinarian

Before deciding to become a veterinarian, Dr. Terry Barker attended college to study business. While he was home on Christmas break one year, he came across a red-tailed hawk suffering from a gunshot wound. Dr. Barker took the bird home, cleaned the wound, and nursed it back to health. When the hawk flew off over a freshly fallen snow that Christmas, Dr. Barker decided to change his career path—veterinary medicine was the choice for him!

Dr. Barker grew up with his parents and two older sisters on a farm in central Iowa, where his love of nature and animals was first sparked. He attended Iowa State University to study veterinary medicine, eventually settling on the small-animal care track. Dr. Barker joined the Animal Hospital of Ashwaubenon family in 1981, and has happily been practicing high-quality veterinary medicine here ever since. He particularly enjoys wellness exams and preventative medicine, and loves educating new puppy or kitten owners and seeing their pets grow up happy and healthy.

Dr. Barker and his wife Sally have a newly married son, Dan, as well as a grand-puppy named Moonbeam. At home, they live with an English Setter named Breeze, who has hunted numerous bird species from Wisconsin all the way to Montana. His new addition in the summer of 2016 is another English Setter named J.J.

When he isn’t caring for pets here at the hospital or training with Breeze and J.J., Dr. Barker enjoys trying his hand in woodworking and sailing with his wife. They own a sailboat in Door County, and spend many weekends sailing on Green Bay!

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Dr. Michele LaFond

Owner, Veterinarian

Dr. Michele LaFond inherited her love of animals from her mother, who always kept a menagerie of pets—dogs, cats, tropical fish, a cockatiel, even a Bobwhite quail—around the house. Dr. LaFond never had a question in her mind: she was determined to become a veterinarian someday to help all the pets that she could!

Born and raised in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, Dr. LaFond moved to Manitowoc with her family in the third grade. After high school, she attended the University of Wisconsin in River Falls to earn her Bachelor’s degree. From there, she pursued her Master’s degree in veterinary science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, then applied to the university’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. LaFond graduated with her Doctorate in 1989.

While practicing in her hometown of Manitowoc, Dr. LaFond was approached by the Animal Hospital of Ashwaubenon (known at that time as Roningen-Nyren Animal Hospital) about a job opportunity. She gladly accepted, and started here in the summer of 1997. By 1999, she had become part-owner!

When she has time between her duties as a full-time veterinarian and practice owner, Dr. LaFond enjoys gardening, camping, reading, cooking, quilting, and spending time with her many pets. She shares her home with Donzi, a yellow Lab; a black Lab named Maggie who has a bad habit of eating rocks; a small Havenese named Eddie; three cats named Bo, Sammy, and Ramsey; and eight koi fish who live in the backyard pond.

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Dr. Michael Gass

Owner, Veterinarian

Dr. Michael Gass grew up in Wisconsin Rapids with a house full of dogs and cats. He’s wanted to be a veterinarian since he was in grade school! Dr. Gass never gave up on his dream—now he’s a full-time veterinarian and part-owner of the Animal Hospital of Ashwaubenon.

Dr. Gass earned his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls before attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison to receive his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. He started at the Animal Hospital of Ashwaubenon right out of veterinary school in 1997 and has worked here ever since. Dr. Gass has a special interest in internal medicine, and loves the fact that every day’s workload brings something different. Most of all, he enjoys building long-term relationships with the clinic’s clients and their pets.

In his spare time, Dr. Gass enjoys fishing, camping, and golfing. He lives with his wife, Becky, their two daughters, Katelyn and Kyah, and several pets. The furry members of the family include a sheltie named Mulligan; Bunker, a King Charles Cavalier; three cats who go by Bogey, Blu, and Kahlua; two rabbits; a pair of guinea pigs; and a chinchilla.

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