Our Veterinary Staff
Tawna Bond, Receptionist
Tawna received her business degree from Mesa State and has worked in the veterinary field for 24 years in various positions. She has always loved animals, and loves going to work each day and getting to help people and their animals! Tawna and her husband Daven are soon-to-be grandparents and share their home with 2 Golden Retrievers, Sunshine and Grace.
Outside of work, Tawna’s hobbies include spending time with family, doing yoga, horseback riding, walking, and breeding healthy, beautiful Golden Retrievers.
April Bornhoeft, Head Veterinary Nurse
April, a team member at Coal Mine Animal Hospital since September 2007, earned her education from Metro University. She enjoys working with animals, helping seriously ill pets recover, and performing dental cleanings and dental X-rays. She lives with her husband Joe, their dogs Jebus and Katze, and their cats, Chester and Herrman. When she isn’t working, she enjoys hiking, camping, reading, climbing, and backpacking.
Melissa Casey, Veterinary Nurse
Melissa has been a part of our team since July 2011. She earned her associates degree in animal science from Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. It was her love for animals that brought her to this career and she has no regrets! One of the cool experiences she has had on the job was taking X-rays on a sedated baby tiger. She loves every aspect of her current position at Coal Mine Animal Hospital. Melissa is married to the love of her life, Charlie, and they have two daughters, Kayla and Kaitlin. They also have an animal family, including Dutchess, a black Lab; Minnie, a hound mix; Friskie, a shorthair feline; Simon, an orange tabby; and Lily and Ginger, two Guinea pigs. Melissa’s hobbies include spending time with family, supporting her kiddos in their activities, and going to Zumba.
Sarah Roper, Veterinary Nurse
Sarah, who earned her veterinary assistant degree after attending Arapahoe Community College and Penn Foster, has been with Coal Mine Animal Hospital since July 2011. She loves the fast-paced job she has here, enjoys helping owners care for their animals, and loves having new experiences every day. She spends her life outside of work-family with her wonderful husband, Nick, and their pets Toaster, a miniature schnauzer, and Sherman, a Cockatiel. When she isn’t working, she working on their house, crafting, and planning for the future.
Michelle Biles, Certified Veterinary Technician
Michelle was born and raised in Colorado. She graduated from Bel-Rea in 2008 with an associate degree in animal technology. Michelle is currently enrolled at MSU Denver, where she is working towards a BS in biology and a minor in business management. Her professional interests include surgery (soft tissue and orthopedic), parasitology, and emergency and critical care.
Michelle lives with her husband and daughter, and together they have a Red Heeler named Cricket and a cat named Snoops. In her spare time, she enjoys playing volleyball, reading, swimming, hiking, and spending time with her family.
Nico Mejia, Veterinary Technician
Nico was born and raised in Colombia and came to the US in 2008. He knew he wanted to work with animals since he was 4 years old. After 3 years in pre-vet school, Nico decided to no longer pursue becoming a veterinarian and instead chose to put 110% towards being the best vet tech he could be. He earned his CVA in high school and went to SFA for his ANS/Pre-vet program.
Nico’s love for animals inspires him, and his work in veterinary medicine has given him some memorable experiences. He will never forget working with a family whose dog was not doing well. The owners later gave Nico a beautiful letter that he always keeps with him.
Outside of working at the practice, Nico enjoys the outdoors. He loves hiking, swimming, ultimate frisbee, dog training, painting, and drawing. He and his girlfriend Lexi have 3 pets: Ossy, an Australian Shepherd; Miel, a Terrier mix; and Kevin, a Corgi.
Kristie Johns, Veterinary Technician
Bio coming soon.
Kristie Johns, Veterinary Technician
Bio coming soon.
Lori Scott, Receptionist
Lori, who has been with the Coal Mine Animal Hospital team since MID- 2015, chose her career in the veterinary field because of a love for animals. She has enjoyed her experiences with the animals, especially being able to handle wildlife, seeing all the different breeds of dogs and cats, and of course interacting with them. Lori is married to her husband, Rick, and they have two sons, Michael and Stephen. They also have two dogs name Indiana and Doohan. When she isn’t working, Lori enjoys gardening, camping, and reading.
Shannon Ripley, Receptionist
Shannon received her A.A.S. in veterinary technology from Bel Rea. Having grown up in a rural farming town, Shannon always knew she wanted to be an advocate for animals in some way. Her very first job was bathing dogs, and that sparked her interest even more. After working other jobs, Shannon realized she missed working with animals, so she enrolled in a veterinary technician program that led her to where she is today. She finds it extremely rewarding to be able to use her education and experience to help clients, friends, and family care for their pets.
Shannon and her partner Brady have 3 pets: 2 orange tabby mixes named Wuzzy and Winston, and a Shih Tzu named Su. Her hobbies include gardening, nature walks, and listening to podcasts. Shannon is also a big fan of snow days; she loves the calmness and quiet of snowfall.
Forever in Our Hearts