Dr. Terri McCarty and her husband, Craig Steffen, founded Howell Avenue Pet Hospital in 2010.
She has been a longtime resident of the Clifton area and her family history here dates back to the 1890s, when her grandparents were growing up on Scioto Street. “I decided to open my clinic here in Clifton to provide the community I love with veterinary services,” she says.
Dr. McCarty earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1989 and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from The Ohio State University in 1993. She began her career as a veterinarian in her hometown of Kettering, Ohio. In 1998 to she returned to Cincinnati to serve as an associate veterinarian at a large practice before deciding to open Howell Avenue Pet Hospital.
As the practice grew, we moved next door a larger facility at 317 Howell Avenue. Dr. McCarty and her husband once again combined their design and carpentry skills so we can better serve our patients and clients.
She and Craig now live on a small farm in Mt. Airy with their many cats, two Great Pyrenees named Maggie and Preston, three bunnies and seven cows. She’s an avid gardener who loves to enter her home canning every year at the Ohio State Fair, where she has even won some ribbons.
A native Cincinnatian, Dr. Betsy Klerk recently returned to her hometown after a 24-year hiatus in Chicago. "I love being back home," she says. "It’s fun practicing where I grew up, and I have run into some familiar faces along the way."
Dr. Klerk earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Illinois. After completing her internship in veterinary oncology, she practiced in Chicago for 15 years.
Dr. Klerk’s oldest cat, Chicken, has been with her for 15 years -- even longer than her husband Brandon and their two children. The newest family member, Arcky, is a 9-month-old kitten "in danger of being loved to death by my two kids,” she says. “He is winning every award in patience."
For Dr. Klerk, the best part of being a veterinarian "is being able to fix a problem so that a family gets their beloved pet back."
Our practice manager Craig Steffen is the co-owner and co-founder of Howell Avenue Pet Hospital along with his wife, Dr. Terri McCarty.
Craig couldn’t be prouder of the staff here.
Craig worked in the juvenile justice field for 18 years after graduating from Miami University with a degree in sociology. He later turned his talent for carpentry into a career as a remodeling contractor, beautifully showcased in his renovation of our clinic.
Craig’s love for dairy cattle blossomed late in life, but he derives great joy from his farm in Mt. Airy and his herd of Brown Swiss cows. The couple‘s two Great Pyrenees, Maggie and Preston, have become his sidekicks in caring for the cows. They even help to bring them in from the fields when they get distracted. Don’t ask about Craig about his cows or his dogs unless you have some time on your hands!
Our head technician Rana joined the Howell Avenue Pet Hospital staff in 2011 after graduating from UC Blue Ash College with her degree in veterinary technology.
Rana finds true joy in dental cleaning because she can shut out the world and immerse herself in her task. She is constantly educating herself about dental health.
Rana and her husband Matt and their two children are devoted to a three-legged cat named Freckles and a red heeler mix named Clementine, who loves to chase her tail – nicknamed Tangerine, of course.
Melanie changed careers only a few years after graduating from The Defiance College with her Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management in 2009. She started at Howell Avenue Pet Clinic in 2012, and is currently working toward her associate’s degree in veterinary technology. Melanie and her fiance Becky have two dogs – Dublin, a Siberian Husky, and Baxter, a Boston terrier/beagle mix, both of which spend their days lounging and living the dream. They adopted their 2 cats, Benny and Ernie, from Howell Avenue Pet Hospital. Benny came to the clinic scared and malnourished in 2015 and Ernie has an underdeveloped cerebellum which makes him quite the clumsy fella. They have both become quite robust and rotten.
“There isn’t anything much more rewarding than to know clients and their animals are confident with their pets in our care.” --Melanie
Shannon, a recent graduate of the veterinary technology program at UC Blue Ash College, is one of our licensed and registered technicians.
She has a 10-year-old Pomeranian, Diamond, and a one-year-old pit bull mix adopted from Howell Avenue Pet Hospital. The native Cincinnatian can’t imagine living anywhere else, and she feels lucky to work with animals every day.
Kaytee graduated in 2016 with her Associates degree in Veterinary Technology from Brown Mackie College. Comes to us with a background not only in small animal medicine but also in research and development.
She discovered her love of animals and desire to help them at a young age working on a farm. There she spent her days caring and grooming the animals living there while nursing strays that showed up back to health.
At home she has a busy household with 3 dogs, 2 cats, a bearded dragon, and a constant rotation of foster cats. She has enlisted her 8 year old daughter to help her care for everyone and will soon have another young animal lover to help out as well.
Lexie graduated from UC Blue Ash in 2017 with her degree in Veterinary Technology. She chose a career path in the veterinary field due to her strong desire to keep pets healthy and happy as long as possible.
She enjoys working in the lab here at Howell and loves being able to meet all of our patients.
At home Lexie has a Miniature American Eskimo named Sophie and a cat named Roger whom she adopted thru the SPCA while volunteering there with school.
Jen has worked at Howell Avenue Pet Hospital as office manager and receptionist since the beginning, and she considers it the highlight of her 18-year career in the veterinary field. “I love working in the eclectic and unique Clifton neighborhood,” Jen says. “The people and pets of this community are truly the most warm and wonderful group I’ve ever gotten to work with.”
Jen and her husband Matt have two children who have inherited their love of animals. The family has four cats – Fee, Marvin, Phillip and Spark – and two dogs, Wink and Fritz.
Our receptionist and assistant Jackie graduated from the Diamond Oaks veterinary assistant program and is currently working toward her veterinary technology degree. Jackie and her husband Richard have a rescue cat named Budd and a boxer, Gunner, who follows their toddler daughter around wherever she goes.
“I love getting to know our clients on a personal level and being able to feel and share the love they have for their pets,” Jackie says.
Our receptionist Hilary has been working with animals since 2013. She is a nursing student at UC Blue Ash College.
The newlyweds, Hilary and Sean have a Beagle mix named Josie. Her favorite pastimes include playing with her squeaky squirrel toy -- affectionately and appropriately named “Squeaky” -- and sitting on top of the couch watching the world go by.
Our receptionist Erin says she loves being around animals “because they have always been an emotional support system in my life. I am always in a better mood after hanging out with a fun critter.”
She has a full house, including three cats – Navi, Merlin and Fritz – and a 5-year-old bearded dragon named Lawrence who loves to sunbathe and eat bugs.
Erin is a communication major at Sinclair Community College student, and she plans to start at UC next year.
Whitney just started here at HAPH in August of 2017 and has enjoyed every moment of getting to know the clients and their companions. She comes to us after being a hair stylist for 7 years and was looking for a career change.
Her wolf dog, Bear, helped her realize her true passion was with animals and she soon enrolled in Penn Foster’s Veterinary technology program. Soon after picking up Bear in early 2016 it was clear “The Beast” was the best companion (next to her husband Kevin) she could have asked for and is thankful every day for him.
Since the addition of Bear, the pack has only grown. Grinn joined in February 2017, another wolf dog who is as goofy as she is sweet, and an English Angora Bun named Deku Sprout.
Whitney Jo states:
“It’s truly an amazing thing to see the bond that animals share with their humans, and I’m extremely grateful to be a part of the experience.”
Our receptionist and assistant Kaitlin has been working in the veterinary field since 2011. She spends her free time volunteering at the Cincinnati Zoo with the elephants and the reptiles.
She shares her home with her dogs Phantom and Daisy and her snake Soot.
Our assistant Natasha is studying veterinary technology at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College. She shares her home with her three cats, Bob, Smudge and Munchkin. She only intended to foster Munchkin, but couldn’t give him up after bottle-feeding since he was a day old.
“I love working here because animals are my passion and it’s like a second family,” Natasha says.
Our assistant Sara is a graduate of the Diamond Oaks veterinary assisting program who is now making the dean’s list in UC’s veterinary technology program. She enjoys cuddling with her three cats -- Binx, Poe, and Oscar -- in her minimal spare time between work and school.
“My favorite part about working here is the bond between animals and their owners,” Sara says. “The sense of community here is unbelievable.”
Our assistant Brooke graduated from the veterinary assistant program at Diamond Oaks in 2014. She loves working with animals so much that she spends her free time volunteering at Villalobos Pit Bull Rescue and Blue Rock Horse Park, where she took riding lessons as a child.
Brooke and her family are the proud owners of seven rescue dogs: Eli, a toy Peekapoo; Layla, a border collie; Ginger, a Yorkiepoo; BB, a Maltese; Beau, a boxer mix; Harper, a pit bull mix; and Gunner, a mixed breed. Each has a dramatic rescue story. Gunner, for instance, came to them with severe gastrointestinal problems because his diet consisted of garbage and rocks. “But he’s thriving now,” Brooke says. “Our dogs are all so different in so many ways, and I can’t imagine life without them.”
Bri graduated from the Veterinary Assistant program at Diamond Oaks in 2016. She started with us in a co-op position through school and has stayed on since.
Her spare time is mostly spent preparing for her first child due in November. She also shares her home with 2 dogs, Zeke an American Bulldog and Taco a Min Pin Mix. both of which spend most of their days lounging in bed.
In the future she plans to obtain her Veterinary Technology degree. Bri loves working at Howell because she finds it truly rewarding to watch animals return to their happy selves after coming to us for help.
Boo came to us in 2011. She had a severe wound that covered most of her back and required extensive care including daily bandage changes, laser therapy, hydrotherapy, topical applications, etc. She made a full recovery and spends her days lounging in the sun, drinking water from the lab sink, and inspecting new treats that come in to our clinic. Boo from time to time also donates blood to our critical patients from time to time in order to pay it forward for the care she received.
Calypso was found in 2013 as a frightened young lady. Calypso immediately became very drawn to our other housecats and we knew that she was meant to stay here with us. She enjoys spending her days cuddling with Boo in the sun and getting lots of scratches. She also is one of our blood donors for patients in need.
Bitty Kitty (BK, Bitty, Bit Kit, etc) was brought to the clinic in 2014 with severe injuries that have left him with lifelong challenges. He doesn’t let them slow him down though. He lives for attention and bug watching. You can find him at the front desk greeting our clients and patients alike.
317 HOWELL AVE
CINCINNATI, OH 45220
MON – FRI 7AM – 6PM
SELECT SAT 8AM – NOON