Kelly Cuttitta, CVT, Practice Manager
Kelly has been working in the veterinary health field for over 20 years. Her love of animals started when she was a child on her family’s farm in rural Michigan working with her mother, who bred and showed Bouviers and Old English Sheepdogs. Along with LOTS of dogs and cats, they also had horses, cows, ducks, geese, chickens,goats, pigs and rabbits!
Prior to coming to join the staff at Red Hill, Kelly worked as the nursing staff supervisor and triage nurse at a specialty practice in Denver. She is married to Dr. James Ziegler and has a son, Cole, who is an avid skier and lacrosse player. Their favorite pastimes are camping, hiking, fishing and exploring the great outdoors.
Bridgitte Handville, CVT
Bridgitte moved to Colorado at a very young age from Front Royal, Virginia. Her family settled on a farm just outside Carbondale, where she spent most of her childhood caring for horses, dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, chickens, and sheep. Her love for animals grew with age, and she found herself shadowing the local veterinarians in high school and also began working as a kennel assistant at Red Hill Animal Health Center in 2000. After high school, she attended Colorado Mountain College while also working part-time at Red Hill as a technicians’ assistant.
In 2004, Bridgitte graduated as a Certified Veterinary Technician and began working full time at Red Hill. Since graduation, Bridgitte has developed a special interest in dentistry and anesthesia. She performs dental cleanings, dental radiographs, assists the doctor during dental treatments, and performs anesthesia during these procedures and other surgical procedures. She spends her free time with her husband Matt managing their farm and spending as much time outside as they can, boating, dirt biking, camping, and jeeping.
Kristen Vargas, CVT
My name is Kristen Nicole Vargas. I grew up in Highlands Ranch Colorado. I’ve always loved animals and have had a passion for caring for others so being a vet tech has always been my dream. I have had many animals growing up; birds, frogs, salamander, hamsters, rabbits, dogs, cats. I currently have 3 cats and a husky. I came to the mountains to join CMC and graduated in 2016. After falling in love with the mountains I decided to stay up here after school. Other than working I enjoy playing violin, writing poetry, baking and visiting my family whenever I can!
Kaysie Tosch, CVT
Kaysie grew up in Wisconsin, but moved to Colorado in 2010 to work at a
dude ranch in Kremmling, CO. At the dude ranch, she met a team of
veterinarians that inspired her to attend veterinary technician school.
Later that year, she began attending the highly esteemed Vet Tech
program at Colorado Mountain College. She graduated in 2012, and has
been at Red Hill since April of 2013.
Kaysie enjoys riding horses, camping, hiking, and basically anything
that has to do with the outdoors. She and her husband Vicente live in
Redstone with their 2 dogs, Layla and Ruger, 2 mules, Sugar and Tommy,
and a horse named Tara. Animals have always been a big part of her life
and it is a privilege to be able to work with them!
Alia Strong, CVT
Alia is 100% Colorado grown. She received a BA from Lewis and Clark in OR in 2009. After a few years of being a wrangler, raft guide, and gardener, she went back to school at CMC and graduated theveterinary technician program in 2016. She and her husband lived in Durango CO for 10 years and that is where she got her start at a CVT. In spring of 2018, they decided to move back to the Roaring Fork Valley.
Animals have been and always will be an integral part of Alia's. When not helping furry friends at work she'll be adventuring on the river or in the mountains with her husband and two dogs, riding horses with her mom, or playing ice hockey. She also has a cat named Bob and has been keeping bees for 4 years in hopes of becoming a much better beekeeper!
Rarity Ashton, CVT
Rarity grew up in northern Vermont surrounded by animals. She moved to Colorado in 2014 to attend the veterinary technician program at Colorado Mountain College. When she isn't working, Rarity loves exploring in the mountains with her horse and dog, fly fishing and hiking.
Jeanie Hanas, Inventory Manager & Receptionist
Hello! My name is Jeanie Hanas, and I work as a front desk receptionist and inventory manager, among other things at Red Hill Animal Health Center. The first thing that struck me about this facility was the common thread that all the employees possess of truly caring for animals. The second thing was the cleanliness and “at home” feeling you get when you walk through the door. I thought, “I could be happy working here.”
I received my Associate’s degree in Horse Husbandry at the State University of New York at Morrisville and worked at a hunter/jumper stable in Geneseo, NY for a few years. After moving to Aspen, I worked for a time at the Aspen Animal Hospital. While working also in other areas, animals have always remained a passion of mine. My husband and I have raised two boys here in the Roaring Fork Valley. We presently own a horse and three cats, and horseback riding remains my favorite thing to do. It is also a great pleasure to spend my days with all the furry friends that walk through the door at Red Hill!
Sheryl Merkel, Customer Service Representative
Sheryl grew up in a small town in Southern Ohio. In 1974, she came to Colorado for vacation. During her visit, she realized that she is a "mountain girl" and needed to come back to live! In 1978, that realization became reality when she moved to Colorado and never looked back. Sheryl married her husband, Tony, in 1986. They enjoy the peace and views of living up in Missouri Heights. Tony & Sheryl have a horse, two Chihuahuas, and a kitty. Sheryl enjoys riding her horse, hanging out with her pets, hiking, and reading.
Sheryl spent twenty years working in at Aspen Animal Hospital as a customer service representative at their front desk. During those twenty years, she combined her love of animals and her amazing customer service skills helping to keep clients & their furry families happy! After a brief retirement, Sheryl joined the team at Red Hill Animal Health Center and continues to bring her enthusiasm and dedication to all the clients and pets that come in.
Katie Lowery, Customer Service Representative
Hi, My name is Katie! I was born and raised in Kansas and moved to
Colorado in 2003. I worked at the Historic Redstone Inn in Redstone,
Colorado for the past 15 years with the occasional side job here and
there throughout the valley. I have two teenage children, Brook-Lynn and
Sawyer who attend school online at home. I started working at Red Hill
in June of 2019 and absolutely love it! I have always loved animals and
really enjoy meeting all the furry ones that walk through the door. We
have three animals at home, two cats, Ginger and Socks, and Penny our
corgi mix. When I'm not working at Red Hill, I am very busy making cakes
and pastries through my home bakery business. I also enjoy crocheting
and making candles that I sell at local craft shows.
Andrea Bembenek, Marketing Director & Boarding Host
I was born in central Wisconsin but relocated with my family to Utah because of my parent’s love of the mountains and skiing, which of course they passed on to me! I grew up ski racing and raced through college. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and German, I moved to Munich, Germany. In Germany, I taught English, participated in big mountain competitions and played soccer for an Irish football club.
After five years in Munich, I moved to Colorado to be closer to family, my three horses, and to go back to school. I graduated in the spring of 2014 from Colorado Mountain College with a Bachelor’s in business administration.
In my free time, I enjoy horseback riding, camping, hiking and spending time with family! I am really excited to be part of the Red Hill team because I really enjoy being around animals!
Randi Garcia, Boarding Host
Randi started at Red Hill as a dog walker back in 2008 and continues to work as an experienced boarding host in our kennel. She is very grateful to work with a team that feels more like a community & co-workers who look out for each other like family! Randi also loves being able to work with & care for animals every day!
Over the years, Randi has become interested in pet grooming. She has had the opportunity to work for and learn from several groomers in the area. Randi has a soft spot for senior pets and has learned special techniques to help groom pets who are no longer able to complete traditional grooming. In addition to grooming, Randi has also studied dog training with an emphasis on dog psychology. Her goal is to help provide people with a better understanding of their dogs so they can live in harmony with their furry family!
Randi grew up here in the Roaring Fork Valley and has loved living here for over 20 years. She has always been a great lover of animals! Randi has three dogs at home: Honey, who is over 15 years old and Randi’s pride and joy. Sugar is five years young & a ball of energy and Duke, her fiancé’s dog, a pretty big pup with lots of love to give. When she is not taking care of critters, Randi is dancing! She is studying classical ballet & modern dance.
Diana Morales, Groomer and Boarding Host
Diana Morales became part of Red Hill staff in 2008, beginning as a weekend dog-walker and then becoming a boarding host in the Little Tail kennel. We are now also proud to introduce her as our primary groomer at the Four Paw Spa. "I chose this job because I love the dogs and cats. If I feel tired, stressed, or sad, the animals bring me happiness. I enjoy every minute with them." You can see this reflected in the wagging tails and barks of recognition when she checks your pets into The Little Tail and Four Paw Spa, and the compassionate attention she gives them they are our guests.
Diana enjoys drawing, photography, Japanese comic books and Japanese animation, DC and Marvel comic books too, and "Batman is my FAVORITE." Also, she is a groomer volunteer for Lucky Day Animal Rescue.
Sophie Pepper, Boarding Host
Hi, my name is Sophie! I am a Colorado native, but new to the valley. I was born and raised in Highlands Ranch, CO which is just south of Denver. I came out here for school and am currently attending CMC in Spring Valley for the Vet Tech program. I love animals and always have. Growing up, I always had lots of pets- dogs, cats, fish, birds, hamsters, and so many more! I am a bonafide crazy cat lady and almost always in the middle of some sort of crocheting, cross-stitching, macrame, or knitting project. When I don't have my paws full with needlework, I can be found cooking and baking. Bread is my favorite food (and I always have to fight my Maine Coon cat over any loaves) followed closely by cannoli. I'm perpetually covered in animal hair and slobber which is how I like it and I look forward to meeting and befriending all the animals that come to Red Hill/The Little Tail!
Jed Frazee, Boarding Host
Jed first moved to the Roaring Fork Valley as a Colorado Rocky Mountain School student! After
finishing school, Jed continued his passion for life in the mountains with his four legged
counterparts between Montana, Washington, California, and Colorado.
He recently relocated with family to Carbondale after almost 8 years working in Gunnison as a
special education teacher. His wife, Kristen and their two children are excited to be back in the
area to start a new adventure. Jed has always thought of opening this own boarding facility and
is excited to join the Red Hill boarding staff to take a step towards that dream!
When Jed isn’t taking care of our beloved furry friends, he has an enormous passion for
preparing tasty meals, listening to music, hiking, camping, skiing, bicycling and spending time
with his family.
Julia Teatro, Boarding Host
My name is Julia! I am new to the valley but I have been working seasonally in Summit County as a trail guide and draft horse driver for 5 years. I’m originally from Michigan and got my bachelor's degree in biology at Oakland University.
Now, I’m a vet tech student at CMC. When I’m not working or studying in usually outside hiking or horseback riding. I’m super excited to get to know all the animals that come through red hill!