Dr. Jennifer McCracken
Back in 1999, Jennifer decided that she wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine with aspirations of one day being her own boss and she moved from Calgary to Manning to save money to pursue her goals. She became a permanent resident of Manning when she married into the community and decided to raise a family here with her husband Todd. She realized her dream in January 2015 when she opened up the Manning Veterinary Clinic. She chose to take the leap to practice ownership because there was a need for veterinary services in Manning and the surrounding communities. Furthermore, practicing out of Manning has allowed her to be more available for her family and community involvement.
Why veterinary medicine you ask? Dr. McCracken has always loved animals and had an interest in health care so a career in veterinary medicine only seemed natural. Jennifer says the best part of her job, besides the interactions with the owner’s of her patients, is knowing that she has made a difference in the quality of life of an animal. Whether it be through making the proper diagnosis and providing treatment or to know that she has done her part to prevent an illness, she loves being able to help many animals feel more comfortable.
Jennifer started off her education at the Grande Prairie Regional College for 2.5 years. She moved to Edmonton to attend the University of Alberta for a year after that. She then went on to graduate from the four year Doctor or Veterinary Medicine program at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009.
As a mixed animal veterinarian, Dr. McCracken works mainly on dogs, cats, horses and cattle. She is always up to the challenge to work on any species that comes into the practice. Her favourite animal to work on are dogs because 90% of the time they are happy to see her. There is nothing better than a litter of puppies breaking up the appointments during the day, except of course, a litter of kittens. She also really enjoys visiting with producers when out of farm calls. She says there is something so relaxing about shooting the breeze with the local farmers while working on cattle and that it doesn’t even feel like work!
Jennifer and her husband Todd live east of town on a farm with their two children – Kendall and Kade. They have 2 cats named Benny, Albert, and 2 dogs named Major and Bear. They also have over 30 horses on farm as her husband Todd races thoroughbred chuckwagons on the WCA circuit which fills their family’s summer schedule. The McCracken family farm cares for cattle, horses, goats, donkeys, pigs, and a llama named Bruce.
Kaitie Koch, VPM
Kaitie Koch started working at the Manning Vet Clinic in August of 2015 and has moved into the role of Office Manager. She grew up in Manning and after a few years pursuing various interests at post secondary institutions, Kaitie returned to Manning. Having always had a love for animals, working at the Manning Vet Clinic was a natural fit. She genuinely enjoys her role at the clinic and looks forward to many years of helping to care for your pets.
Kaitie currently enjoys the company of two canine friends, one cat, and two horses.
Shirley Norman, RVT
Shirley grew up on a mixed cow/calf and grain operation in the small community of Donalda, AB. From an early age she was out helping her parents with the cows (dairy and beef), pigs and horses. She spent 11 years in 4-H between beef club and canine club. Shirley started volunteering at the age of 15 at the Forestburg Veterinary Clinic and hasn’t left the field since.
She graduated high school in Stettler and started her Animal Health Technology Program that fall at Fairview College. She graduated in the spring of 2001 and spent her first few years in central Alberta involved with mixed animal practice. She made the move to the Peace Country in 2005 and spent 12 years with Dr. Kevin Breker at the Peace River Veterinary Clinic.
Shirley relocated to Manning in May of 2018, thanks in part to her new matchmaker boss. Jennifer had the forethought to introduce her to Greg Nichiporik and the rest is history. Well played Jenn, well played.
She has a special interest in beef cattle medicine and Regenerative Agriculture. Greg’s family runs a commercial beef cattle and grain operation in Hotchkiss, which keeps her busy when she is not at the clinic.
Danica Gummesen, Client Care Specialist & Kennel Manager
Danica started at the clinic as a part-time kennel attendant in November of 2018. It soon became apparent that she was a great fit for our team, and we were excited to have her become our Client Care Specialist in May 2019. Her warm and inviting personality greets everyone as they walk through the door. She is also amazing kennel manager and will make sure that every dog and cat will have an excellent stay with us.
When she is not at work, Danica is a homebody and enjoys watching movies with her cat, Mellow.
Jori Grimm, RVT
Our newest member of the team – Jori grew up on a farm north of Grimshaw with her parents, two sisters, and lots of animals! Her passion for animals as a child led her to 4H, High School Rodeo, and volunteering at her local vet clinics. After graduating from Grimshaw High School, Jori went off to post secondary education where she attended the Animal Health Technologist program at GPRC – Fairview campus. She was with us for her 6 week practicum and we were excited to extend her stay with us and have her join our team!
Her family has cattle; a herd of horses; 3 purebred yellow labs; 2 inside cats; and of course, barn cats. While she is a horse enthusiast – she loves all 4 legged creatures!