Get to know us!
Each veterinarian at West Russell Animal Hospital bring a special skill-set to our veterinary team. We are fully dedicated to your pet’s health, and promise to go above and beyond when you need us.
Dr. Heather Benson
Dr. Benson wanted to be a veterinarian her whole life. When she was five years old she told her family that is what she wanted to be when she grew up. She lived in Colorado and Alabama before settling in New Mexico where her family still lives. She graduated from New Mexico State University for undergraduate school and then moved to Louisiana to attend Tulane University for her Master’s degree. She attended Louisiana State University for veterinary school.
Dr. Benson moved to Nevada and has been practicing veterinary medicine in the area since 2006. She has worked at Sunridge Animal Hospital and South Valley Animal Hospital. In October of 2018, she became the practice manager at West Russell Animal Hospital.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, jogging, and most importantly spending time with her husband and fur family. Her husband introduced her to Great Danes, a breed that she now can’t live without.
Dr. Erika Schroeder
Growing up in Henderson, Dr. Schroeder’s passions were clear in kindergarten: animals, learning about science, and playing outside. Over the years her pursuits mirrored these elementary school declarations through her dedicated scientific studies, work with animals, and conservation efforts in the wilderness areas surrounding her city. She graduated from CSN’s Veterinary Technology program, earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Chemistry Minor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. Dr. Schroeder’s veterinary interests include companion animal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and preventative medicine. She enjoys being able to be a part of her community by providing care for Nevadans’ furry family members.
Outside the veterinary hospital, Dr. Schroeder can be found hiking with her pocket pit Winnemucca, feeding vegetables to her guinea pig, Truckee, scrambling around Red Rock Canyon, and teeing it up to play a relaxing round of golf.
Dr. Cheryl Kaku
Dr. Cheryl Kaku was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. She always had a passion to work with animals as long as she can remember. In high school, Dr. Kaku started working in the veterinary field as a receptionist then a technician. She received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA, then went on to veterinary school at St. George’s University on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. Dr. Kaku completed her 4th-year clinical rotations at NC State University. After graduation, she went back to California then moved to Illinois for a year and a half before moving to Las Vegas in December 2018. Dr. Kaku’s world revolves around my 3 chubby Chihuahuas (Ringo, Kimchi, and Draymond) that love to be spoiled. She enjoys spending time with her family and furbabies, eating all types of food, watching movies, going to concerts, rollerblading, taekwondo, and Muay Thai kickboxing.
Dr. Brett Gouldburn
Dr. Brett Gouldburn was born and raised in Lake Charles. He studied at McNeese University for his undergrad. Dr. Gouldburn completed his clinical year at Michigan University and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University. He has a Tortoiseshell cat named Lily and his spare time Dr. Gouldburn enjoys biking, swimming, exploring Vegas, and seeing shows.
Emma was born in Iowa, with Nebraska roots, and has loved animals since a young age. She moved to Vegas in 2013 after graduating high school. She graduated in 2016 and received her Veterinary Technician License. She has been with the West Russell Team since October of 2014. One of her favorite things about being in the veterinary field is being a part of helping patients heal and get better. Her sports teams are Nebraska Cornhuskers (GO BIG RED!!) and the Baltimore Ravens. She likes to hike, travel, and spend quality time with her family and friends. She has an array of animals, which include 4 dogs; Stormy (pit bull), Wookie (chow Mix), Husker and Chip (dachshund mixes), and a pot belly pig named Beans. She loves being a part of the West Russell teams because when you love what you do you will never work a day in your life.
Leah was born and raised in Salinas, California. She has been with the West Russell team since 2015. Her main passions in the veterinary field are dental procedures, surgical assistance, and performing venipuncture. She has a spoiled Maltese named Manolo. Outside of work she enjoys watching football, a die-hard Raider fan, and spending time with her family.
Steven was born in California but raised in Las Vegas from an early age. He became a part of the West Russell team in February 2016 and pursued his passion by becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in 2017. His passions in the veterinary field are dentistry and surgery. He has an extremely dapper cat named Glenn and spends most of his off-time watching his favorite sports team, the Vegas Golden Knights, and being with his friends and family.
We proudly serve the pets Southwest Las Vegas and beyond.
It is our mission to partner with our clients to nurture and preserve the human-animal bond by providing compassionate, expert, and affordable veterinary care from your pet's first adventure throughout a long and healthy life.
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