The exceptional staff at Safe Harbor is ready to welcome you to our clinic.
Passion. Knowledge. Expertise. Your pet’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
I was always going to be an animal doctor. Since I could say the word “vet”, my path was chosen. I started in the way most budding vets do, bringing home injured wildlife and strays and attempting to nurse them back to health. Both my successes and failures helped ignite a need for more education.
My passions include positive reinforcement training and behavior shaping and helping fearful or aggressive pets learn to love life and vets! Pediatrics, senior pet care, surgery, allergies, and standards of care in veterinary anesthesia and pain management are just a few of my interests.
26 years ago, I started working in dog boarding, breeding and training kennels, grooming salons and veterinary clinics. I have worked with many breeds from every group. Some of my favorites include: Golden Retrievers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, really the entire gun-dog family, Vizsla, Belgian Tervurens, Tosa Inu and most Mastiffs, and all of the Bulldogs and PitBulls. There is a really good chance I have worked with your breed too.
I also have extensive experience in animal shelters and foster care. I understand the special needs your rescue pet may have.
In my spare time, I love hiking, boating, agility with Jackjack, obedience with Booker, chin-scratching time with P-2, working with whomever is my foster dog at the time, and horseback riding.
I look forward to helping you and your pet live together happily and in great health for as long as possible.
Richelle Smith, DVM
Safe Harbor Animal Hospital
Rhonda RitterLVTPractice Manager
For as long as I can remember, I have loved animals and loved taking care of them. In 1996, I graduated Colorado Mountain College with a degree in Veterinary Technology and spent 13 years in Colorado gaining experience in large animal medicine, emergency and specialty medicine, and small animal private practice. I enjoy many aspects of veterinary medicine, but my special interests are pain management, behavior, and anesthesia. In September 2006, I moved to Michigan to pursue new aspirations in veterinary management and teaching. I have enjoyed working at Michigan Veterinary Specialists and teaching new veterinary technicians at Sanford Brown.
My journey found Safe Harbor Animal Hospital and I joined their amazing team and special pet community in June 2013. As a member of your community, I will continue to embrace new medical technology to help improve senior wellness. Through my passion and dedication I pledge to work hard to improve the human animal bond with good medicine and I will continue to give back through teaching. I also promise to commit to find good homes for our stray population. I am lucky to share my home with two feral but adorable ginger 'twin' kitties Mork and Mindy, and an ornery Siamese mix named Fonzy. In my spare time, I enjoy spending times with friends, reading and I love all outdoor activities Michigan has to offer.
Alexis PilarzVeterinary Assistant
Alexis graduated from Ball State University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She joined our Safe Harbor Animal Hospital team in 2015 after changing career endeavors to follow her passion working with animals. Alexis is an amazing and talented addition to our veterinary community and team. You will always be greeted with a huge smile and a hug. She knows everyone by first name! Alexis has spent her entire life working and volunteering in shelter medicine. She is a huge advocate in our community for senior animals and bully breed dogs. Currently, Alexis is enrolled in a Veterinary Technology program and aspires to become a licensed Veterinary Technician. She is Fear Free Certified in small animal medicine. Alexis desires to blend her passion in marketing and love for veterinary medicine to educate people on how to better care for their fur family. Alexis shares her home with her husband and two dogs, Molly the pit bull and Zippy, a Norwich Terrier mix. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering for local animal rescue organizations.
Becca DiCiccoLicensed Veterinary Technician
Becca is a licensed veterinary technician who has been with our Safe Harbor Animal Hospital team since 2016. Becca holds an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology and graduated with honors from Baker College in Michigan. She is also Fear Free Certified in small animal medicine. Becca grew up with a variety of animals, including horses. We embrace her ability to multitask and her expertise in working with frightened cats. Becca’s passion is in veterinary dentistry, anesthesia, and patient nutrition. Her and her husband shares their life with Bruce the tortoise, Dexter a bearded dragon, Cloud the ferret, Haymitch and Pickett, two very mischievous kitty’s. During her free time, Becca and her husband enjoy trying new local restaurants and breweries in the Grand Rapids area. Becca also volunteers at the Animal Wild Life Center in town.
Angela CampbellVeterinary Assistant
Angela is another new face to the veterinary industry and joined our Safe Harbor Animal Hospital team the beginning of 2018. Angela is currently enrolled in a Veterinary Technician program and is aspiring to become a licensed veterinary technician. We welcome her enthusiasm and energy for veterinary medicine. She is Fear Free certified in small animal medicine. Angela loves the fast-paced of clinic life and getting to know our clients. Prior to her new career endeavor, Angela spent a lot of time in customer service and being a full-time mom. She has three grown children and five grandchildren. Angela and her husband are owned by two dogs, Howie a hound mix and Sammy a pit bull lab mix, and two cats, Jack and Frank. Halloween is her favorite holiday and she makes all her own costumes! When Angela is not studying, she enjoys spending time with her family and in the summer, you can find her camping and touring the Midwest with her husband on their motorcycles.
Bio Coming Soon