Lakeland Veterinary Hospital

Meet Our Team

Our veterinary team values, above-all, the relationships we form with our clients and with each other. We're here to support your pet's long-term health and be a partner to you in providing them the best and most modern veterinary services and technologies. There's a reason we've been voted 'the best' in the Brainerd Lakes!

Deb Piepgras

DVM, Hospital Director, and Owner

Dr. Deb Piepgras, a Brainerd native, is the owner of Lakeland Veterinary Hospital. Deb received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota in 2000, and began practicing veterinary medicine at Lakeland in June of that year. She is Fear Free Certified and her favorite aspect of veterinary medicine is the challenge of aiding sick and injured animals that cannot communicate their problems.

She shares her home with her husband, their two children, and their Long-haired Miniature Dachshunds, Arya and Oscar. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Piepgras enjoys working in her many gardens, quilting, reading, camping, fishing, and enjoying the variety of outdoor activities the area has to offer.



Dr. Erica is an Associate Veterinarian at Lakeland Veterinary Hospital where she joined the team in January 2017. She graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 and her areas of interest include preventative medicine, internal medicine, infectious/zoonotic disease, and pain management. The best part of veterinary medicine for Dr. Erica is helping to support the human-animal bond that is central to people and their companions.

Originally from St. Joseph, MN, Dr. Erica shares her home with her husband, son, three dogs, Luey (a Doberman), Muskie (a Lab mix), Freddy (a Shepherd mix), and two cats, Morris and Whitman. She loves living in Lake Country where she can enjoy many outdoor activities including boating, fishing, camping, and hiking. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and trying new food. 



Dr. Kelly is an Associate Veterinarian at Lakeland Veterinary Hospital. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University in 2015. Her favorite aspects of veterinary practice include the variety that every day brings as well as getting to know pets and their humans! Dr. Kelly has recently taken an interest in canine agility and has started training with her dog, Bucky.

Originally from a small family dairy farm in South Central WI, Dr. Kelly and her fiancé, Ryan, recently moved to the Brainerd area. They share their home with three dogs, a Lab mix named Bucky, an English Llewellin Setter named Sawyer, and a Spinger Spaniel named Trio. Dr. Kelly enjoys anything that brings her outside, from hiking, hunting, and fishing to softball or sitting my a campfire.



Dr. Eryn is an Associate Veterinarian at Lakeland Veterinary Hospital. She has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree and a Masters degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Saint Cloud State University. She graduated with her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Saint Georges University in 2024. Eryn is Fear Free Certified in small animals, avians, and exotics. Her areas of interest in veterinary medicine include soft tissue surgery, internal medicine, and exotic animal medicine. Eryn enjoys working with owners to keep their furry, feathered, or scaly family members happy and healthy.

Dr. Eryn was born and raised in Brainerd, MN, sharing her home with her wonderful husband Josh, lovable lab Reagan and two kitties Ralphie and Baby Kitty. She loves spending time outdoors with Josh and Reagan. She also enjoys attending community events such as the Nisswa turtle races, Sertoma Christmas lights, and Craft Fairs.


Practice Manager

Liz joined the Lakeland team in June 2021. She graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. In the professional world, Liz has found her passion in building a career focused on customer service, empowering employees/building strong teams, and making an impact, no matter the field. Her background includes many years in the retail and food industry, including pet retail. She has always had a passion for pets and people and absolutely loves that Lakeland can fulfill both.

Liz was born and raised in southern California and has somehow found her way to the beautiful (but much colder) Midwest. Liz and her wife, Kate, share their home with their three little furry friends; Glenn Cocoa the Chihuahua, and Pandora Lovegood and Ollivander the Boston Terriers. She loves traveling, playing guitar and piano, listening to music/attending concerts/musical theater, reading, writing, cooking, and being an occasional gamer. She is a proud "nerd" and adores many fandoms with Star Wars and Harry Potter being some of her favorites.


Client Care Manager

Kim grew up in Pillager, MN with a house full of animals. She graduated from college in 2007 with an AAS in Message Therapy. She spent the next 15 years working and managing chiropractic clinics. In April 2022 the opportunity to combine her love of the medical field and animals arose and she joined us at Lakeland.

Her free time is spent with her three dogs Jackson, Josie, and Mildred as well as her three cats Mavis, Maxine, and Maurice (It’s a very busy house!). She also enjoys spending time with her family.


CVT, Technician Lead

Julia is a Certified Veterinary Technician who joined our team in June 2020. She graduated from Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minnesota with an AAS degree in Veterinary Technology. Her favorite part of being in the veterinary field is the opportunity to learn something new every day.

Julia is originally from a small town in Southwest Minnesota. Outside of work she enjoys fishing, hiking, camping, and reading. She and her fiancé share their home with two cats, Ginger and Purrsephone.


CVT, Technician Lead

Missy rejoined the Lakeland team in August 2022 after a stint in human medicine. Her passion for animals was so strong that it brought her back to the field, bringing her total years as a CVT to ten! Missy grew up on a farm near the small town of Stewart, MN and graduated with her Associates degree from the Minnesota School of Business in 2009. She, along with her husband Mike and her daughter Morgan, made the move to the BLA in the summer of 2023. Currently her fur babies include 4 cats, and two dogs Tucker and Tate.

In her free time, Missy enjoys spending time with her family whether they’re kayaking, fishing, or taking naps.


Certified Veterinary Technician

Jenna graduated from Vermillion Community College in 2020 with her veterinary degree. She joined the Lakeland Veterinary Hospital team in February 2021. She is passionate about animals and finds no greater reward than being able to help improve their lives or assist in their healing.

Jenna was born and raised in Aitkin, Minnesota. She has three cats; Winter, Charlie, and Lucky and also a brood of chickens. When she isn’t working she enjoys traveling, camping, finishing, four-wheeling, painting, drawing, and reading.


Certified Veterinary Technician

Bio coming soon!


Veterinary Technician

Bio coming soon!


Veterinary Technician

Bio coming soon!


Veterinary Assistant

Bio coming soon!


Boarding Manager & Receptionist

Inspired by her love of animals, Nicko joined the veterinary field in 2018. She has a spunky personality and her favorite part about being the Boarding Manager at Lakeland Veterinary Hospital is the trust clients have in her to take good care of their loved ones. Nicko rescued a Designer Street Mutt named Phoebe. She’s a professional at the snoot trick!



Melissa joined the Lakeland team in May 2022. She is a graduate from Southwest Minnesota State University with a Bachelors of Art English Literature. Melissa has lived all over the Midwest but moved to the BLA to be closer to family.

In her free time, she loves reading, travelling, and spending time with her friends, but above all, she is absolutely obsessed with her two Siberian Huskies Fenne and Odessa.



Dianna is a one of our groomers at Lakeland Veterinary Hospital. She joined the team in 1989 following her graduation from the Twin Cities School of Pet Grooming. Dianna loves that each day is different and feels that her job is truly rewarding. She loves making each pet look their best and appreciates having such great customers.

She shares her home with Chloe, a Lab mix and Pippa, a Bearded Collie. In her spare time, Dianna enjoys flower gardening, hiking, fishing, and camping.



Roz joined the Lakeland team in September of 2020. She got her start grooming in 2010 through a year long apprenticeship at a busy pet salon in the twin cities. Although working with dogs all day, every day can be a challenge, she finds dog grooming to be an extremely rewarding career. How many people get to say that they have a job they truly love?

When not up to her elbows in dog hair, Roz love spending her time with her husband, Ryan and their kiddos, Soren and Aspen. She has a black lab named Mitch and three cats - Kratt, Bunny, and Steve French. A big passion of hers is dogsledding. Roz and Ryan are working hard to get ready for a few dog teams of their own this fall! She also enjoys camping, canoeing, and road trips.


Boarding & Kennel Attendant

Cassie joined the kennel staff at Lakeland in June 2022. She graduated with an associate degree in Marketing with an emphasis in digital and social media technology from Eastern Gateway Community College in May 2022. Cassie was raised in the Brainerd Lakes Area and grew up with cats and dogs. She has always had a special relationship with any king of animal (except snakes), and they respond to her gentle and kind spirit. She has two dogs at home, Daisy - a husky mix and Ellie - a golden retriever.

In her free time, Cassie enjoys experiencing everything BLA has to offer. This includes kayaking, Just for Kix dance classes, yoga, swimming, and spending time with family and friends.


Kennel Assistant

Bio coming soon!


Kennel Assistant

Bio coming soon!



Ari rejoined the Lakeland team December 2023 due to her love for animals. She is an incredibly busy individual as she keeps multiple jobs because she loves to stay busy. Ari shares her home with her 3 pets; Miss Ma’am, a cocker spaniel/golden retriever mix, aka "Little Miss 'Tude," and her two kitties Meadow aka "Terrorist" and Majesty aka "Chillmiester."

In her free time (which is few and far between), she takes Miss Ma’am on walks or to the dog park, spends time reading, watches her shows, cleans, and goes on adventures and hiking trips with the dogs. She will sometimes try to find time for herself to continue to grow each day as a person. She loves learning and is always searching for a new challenge to conquer.



Grace joined the Lakeland team in March 2023. She was raised in southern Minnesota where she had the pleasure of being surrounded by a diverse range of animals. However, after graduating from high school in 2020 she chose to pursue a career in banking. A short time after, Grace and her family made their move to Brainerd where she discovered an opportunity to merge her passion for helping people and animals by joining the Lakeland team.

During her free time, Grace enjoys spending quality time with her family, engaging in outdoor activities such as walking and fishing and indoor activities including painting, crocheting, and cooking.


Clinic Cat

Meet Nyani!! The resident clinic cat! She joined our team in March of 2017. She enjoys meeting and greeting the patients that come through the treatment area. Nyani is great entertainment as well as a morale booster for our team! She’s a very curious kitty and has earned herself the nickname ‘Naughty’ which she happily responds to!!


Clinic Cat in Training

This regal feline is Bagel! She came to us in a group of kittens from Paws and Claws that our doctors were donating surgeries for. Bagel needed some additional dental care after her initial spay and, long story short, became Lakeland’s first foster failure. She is a sassy little thing but she fit right in, learning the ropes from a somewhat apprehensive Nyani. She’s quickly made her way into all our hearts (even Nyani’s, though she’d never admit it).

Join the Lakeland Veterinary Hospital Family Today!

Located behind Arby’s off Hwy. 371 in Baxter.

Phone: 218-829-1709

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