(608) 347-1897 journeyspet@gmail.com
About Our Team

Veterinarians

Veterinarians

Dr. Laura Purdy, Partner

Veterinarian, CHPV (Certified Hospice & Palliative Care Veterinarian )

Laura Purdy is a graduate of the UW Veterinary School in Madison, WI. She has spent many years involved with veterinary clinics in the Madison and Waunakee area. She has worked for the UW Veterinary Oncology Department assisting in cancer research projects, and she is an elite dog trainer. Dr. Laura was given the 2015 American Association of Feline Practitioners Award by UW School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Laura became a partner at Journeys Home in the Fall of 2018, and at the same time she completed a 16-month certification course making her the only veterinarian in the Madison area to have the CHPV credentials.

She utilizes these skills every day she works at Journeys to help pets and their families through the end-of-life process. (More introduction on her video: Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian)

When she’s not working as a veterinarian, she can be found helping her husband on their small organic farm in Waunakee. They share their home with a variety of critters including two sister kitties named Shelby and Lilah, a golden retriever named Cricket, and plenty of farm animals including chickens and goats.

Dr. Laura Purdy, Partner

Veterinarian, CHPV (Certified Hospice & Palliative Care Veterinarian )

Laura Purdy is a graduate of the UW Veterinary School in Madison, WI. She has spent many years involved with veterinary clinics in the Madison and Waunakee area. She has worked for the UW Veterinary Oncology Department assisting in cancer research projects, and she is an elite dog trainer. Dr. Laura was given the 2015 American Association of Feline Practitioners Award by UW School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Laura became a partner at Journeys Home in the Fall of 2018, and at the same time she completed a 16-month certification course making her the only veterinarian in the Madison area to have the CHPV credentials.

She utilizes these skills every day she works at Journeys to help pets and their families through the end-of-life process. (More introduction on her video: Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian)

When she’s not working as a veterinarian, she can be found helping her husband on their small organic farm in Waunakee. They share their home with a variety of critters including two sister kitties named Shelby and Lilah, a golden retriever named Cricket, and plenty of farm animals including chickens and goats.

Dr. Katie Hilst, Founding Partner

Veterinarian

Dr. Katie Hilst graduated from the UW Veterinary School in 2002, and from the UW Business School in 1986. She practiced veterinary medicine in West Allis and Monona, WI prior to starting her own housecall business in 2007.

She established Journeys Home to focus her efforts on helping pets and their families at the end of their lives.

She authored the JOURNEYS quality of life scale for pets in 2013, and is certified in Pet Loss and Grief Companioning. She has been providing in-home euthanasia exclusively longer than any other veterinarian in Madison.

When she is not helping pets and their families she enjoys being outdoors, hiking, collecting rocks, and mentoring UW Veterinary School students.

Dr. Katie Hilst, Founding Partner

Veterinarian

Dr. Katie Hilst graduated from the UW Veterinary School in 2002, and from the UW Business School in 1986. She practiced veterinary medicine in West Allis and Monona, WI prior to starting her own housecall business in 2007.

She established Journeys Home to focus her efforts on helping pets and their families at the end of their lives.

She authored the JOURNEYS quality of life scale for pets in 2013, and is certified in Pet Loss and Grief Companioning. She has been providing in-home euthanasia exclusively longer than any other veterinarian in Madison.

When she is not helping pets and their families she enjoys being outdoors, hiking, collecting rocks, and mentoring UW Veterinary School students.

Dr. Christine Nelson Baker, Partner

Veterinarian

Dr. Christine is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. She has practiced companion animal medicine in clinics in Arizona and around Wisconsin. She has also worked with several species of primates in sanctuaries assisting in their rescue, rehabilitation, and release.

This has allowed her to live in a few countries around the globe, so Dr. Christine has moved away from Wisconsin several times, but keeps coming back to her home state!

Through her experiences, she has seen how human relationships with animals can be a great positive for everyone involved and has recognized the need to acknowledge and encourage these connections.

Dr. Christine had the opportunity to become a partner in late 2019 and finds it extremely rewarding to assist in end-of-life pet care and to play a part in managing a small business.

Dr. Christine lives in Madison with her husband and their black Lab mix. When away from work, she loves to travel to and explore new places. She also enjoys being on the water in the pontoon boat, camping, hiking, biking, and watching the sun set over all of the beautiful local landscapes.

Proud Member Of:

American Veterinary Medical Association
International Association of Animal Hospice & Palliative Care
Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association
Dane County Veterinary Medical Association

Dr. Christine Nelson Baker, Partner

Veterinarian

Dr. Christine is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. She has practiced companion animal medicine in clinics in Arizona and around Wisconsin. She has also worked with several species of primates in sanctuaries assisting in their rescue, rehabilitation, and release.

This has allowed her to live in a few countries around the globe, so Dr. Christine has moved away from Wisconsin several times, but keeps coming back to her home state!

Through her experiences, she has seen how human relationships with animals can be a great positive for everyone involved and has recognized the need to acknowledge and encourage these connections.

Dr. Christine had the opportunity to become a partner in late 2019 and finds it extremely rewarding to assist in end-of-life pet care and to play a part in managing a small business.

Dr. Christine lives in Madison with her husband and their black Lab mix. When away from work, she loves to travel to and explore new places. She also enjoys being on the water in the pontoon boat, camping, hiking, biking, and watching the sun set over all of the beautiful local landscapes.

Proud Member Of:

American Veterinary Medical Association
International Association of Animal Hospice & Palliative Care
Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association
Dane County Veterinary Medical Association

Dr. Kitt Schaller

Veterinarian

Dr. Kitt Schaller is a graduate of UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified in pet loss and grief companioning and is a member of International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, American Veterinary Medical Association and Dane County Veterinary Medical Association.

She began her career in veterinary medicine working with dairy cattle and horses using both traditional and alternative therapies. In 2018, she transitioned to Journeys Home where she found her true calling as a veterinarian. She feels incredibly honored to be able to help pet parents have a meaningful and peaceful sendoff for their sweet animals.

Dr. Kitt lives with her husband and two kids on their dairy farm in Verona. Their animal entourage includes a mixed-breed cattle dog named Ruby (who has zero interest in working cattle), a small flock of chickens, a house rabbit named Penelope, and Kevin the barn cat. Her husband milks 48 cows and married a vet for a reason. In her free time she enjoys mountain biking, cross country skiing, and playing tennis.

Dr. Kitt Schaller

Veterinarian

Dr. Kitt Schaller is a graduate of UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified in pet loss and grief companioning and is a member of International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, American Veterinary Medical Association and Dane County Veterinary Medical Association.

She began her career in veterinary medicine working with dairy cattle and horses using both traditional and alternative therapies. In 2018, she transitioned to Journeys Home where she found her true calling as a veterinarian. She feels incredibly honored to be able to help pet parents have a meaningful and peaceful sendoff for their sweet animals.

Dr. Kitt lives with her husband and two kids on their dairy farm in Verona. Their animal entourage includes a mixed-breed cattle dog named Ruby (who has zero interest in working cattle), a small flock of chickens, a house rabbit named Penelope, and Kevin the barn cat. Her husband milks 48 cows and married a vet for a reason. In her free time she enjoys mountain biking, cross country skiing, and playing tennis.

Dr. Sam Steinich

Veterinarian

Dr. Sam Steinich is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association.

She has worked as a small animal general practitioner in Wisconsin since graduation and enjoys animal behavior and Fear Free handling, palliative care, pain management, and internal medicine. During her years in private practice, she was able to experience the true depth and strength of the human-animal bond. She also worked for several years in the UW Veterinary Oncology Research Laboratory developing therapies for canine and feline cancer patients. She has served as a community outreach veterinarian for local libraries, organizations and schools to provide education and insight into the wonderful field of veterinary medicine. Dr. Sam is honored to have joined the Journeys Home team to provide care and support to pets and their families.

Dr. Sam lives with her husband and son on a small parcel of land in Mount Horeb. They share their home with a loveable and rambunctious Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Quinn. She enjoys agility training with Quinn, hiking and painting.

Dr. Sam Steinich

Veterinarian

Dr. Sam Steinich is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association.

She has worked as a small animal general practitioner in Wisconsin since graduation and enjoys animal behavior and Fear Free handling, palliative care, pain management, and internal medicine. During her years in private practice, she was able to experience the true depth and strength of the human-animal bond. She also worked for several years in the UW Veterinary Oncology Research Laboratory developing therapies for canine and feline cancer patients. She has served as a community outreach veterinarian for local libraries, organizations and schools to provide education and insight into the wonderful field of veterinary medicine. Dr. Sam is honored to have joined the Journeys Home team to provide care and support to pets and their families.

Dr. Sam lives with her husband and son on a small parcel of land in Mount Horeb. They share their home with a loveable and rambunctious Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Quinn. She enjoys agility training with Quinn, hiking and painting.

Dr. Miranda Braithwaite

Veterinarian

Dr. Braithwaite is a graduate of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health. Prior to pursuing veterinary medicine, she earned a Master of Arts in Spanish Literature and was a college-level Spanish instructor. She just completed an internship in Primary Care at UW Veterinary Care with a special emphasis on increasing access to veterinary care.

Dr. Miranda, DVM, MPH, MA is certified in Companion Animal Euthanasia through the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, and the Dane County Veterinary Medical Association.

Outside of veterinary medicine she enjoys reading, playing board games with friends, and spending time outdoors with her family and Plott Hound pup, Polly.

Dr. Miranda Braithwaite

Veterinarian

Dr. Braithwaite is a graduate of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health. Prior to pursuing veterinary medicine, she earned a Master of Arts in Spanish Literature and was a college-level Spanish instructor. She just completed an internship in Primary Care at UW Veterinary Care with a special emphasis on increasing access to veterinary care.

Dr. Miranda, DVM, MPH, MA is certified in Companion Animal Euthanasia through the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, and the Dane County Veterinary Medical Association.

Outside of veterinary medicine she enjoys reading, playing board games with friends, and spending time outdoors with her family and Plott Hound pup, Polly.

Dr. Catie Hawkins

Veterinarian

Dr. Catie Hawkins is a UW-Madison graduate where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health. Prior to pursuing veterinary medicine, she was a middle school science teacher in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Catie hails from New England, but is now proud to call Sun Prairie her home, where she lives with her family and her fiercely friendly dog, Nilly. When not working, Dr. Catie loves spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys traveling and the outdoors.

Dr. Catie is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, Dane County Veterinary Medical Association, the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance, Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, and the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care.

Interview: Isthmus Publishing included a great article about Catie Hawkins and our work at Journeys Home Pet. See full text: www.isthmus.com

Dr. Catie Hawkins

Veterinarian

Dr. Catie Hawkins is a UW-Madison graduate where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health. Prior to pursuing veterinary medicine, she was a middle school science teacher in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Catie hails from New England, but is now proud to call Sun Prairie her home, where she lives with her family and her fiercely friendly dog, Nilly. When not working, Dr. Catie loves spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys traveling and the outdoors.

Dr. Catie is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, Dane County Veterinary Medical Association, the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance, Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, and the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care.

Interview: Isthmus Publishing included a great article about Catie Hawkins and our work at Journeys Home Pet. See full text: www.isthmus.com

Dr. Margaret Breisch (Courter)

Veterinarian

Margaret Breisch (Courter) is a 2017 graduate of UW Veterinary School in Madison, WI. She worked in private small animal and equine practice for 5.5 years before joining the JHPE team part time. Her clinical interests include pain management, geriatric care, internal medicine and preventative health. Dr. Margaret truly enjoys connecting with clients by providing knowledge and comfort in the convenience of their home. Dr. Margaret continues mobile services to see both large and small animals in her time away from JHPE.

She and her husband live in Stoughton and have a Shepherd/Husky mutt named Luna. Dr. Margaret also has a Saddlebred gelding named “Mud” (Mississippi Mudcat) and continues to pleasure ride in her free time. They are avid Badger and Packer fans and love to travel.

Dr. Margaret’s professional affiliations include the American Veterinary Medical Association, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Dr. Margaret Breisch (Courter)

Veterinarian

Margaret Breisch (Courter) is a 2017 graduate of UW Veterinary School in Madison, WI. She worked in private small animal and equine practice for 5.5 years before joining the JHPE team part time. Her clinical interests include pain management, geriatric care, internal medicine and preventative health. Dr. Margaret truly enjoys connecting with clients by providing knowledge and comfort in the convenience of their home. Dr. Margaret continues mobile services to see both large and small animals in her time away from JHPE.

She and her husband live in Stoughton and have a Shepherd/Husky mutt named Luna. Dr. Margaret also has a Saddlebred gelding named “Mud” (Mississippi Mudcat) and continues to pleasure ride in her free time. They are avid Badger and Packer fans and love to travel.

Dr. Margaret’s professional affiliations include the American Veterinary Medical Association, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Admin Staff

Admin Staff

Jess Benson

Client Care Specialist

Jess graduated from the Medical Institute of Minnesota with a veterinary technician degree in 2001. She worked as a veterinary technician for 14 years before making a career move in 2015 to become the office manager of Canine Sports Zone in Middleton. Jess has always loved to surround herself with animals, and deeply respects the bond between people and their furry companions.

Jess, her husband, and two kids share their home with their cat Tonic, Zeke the Labrador, a Border Collie named Mira, and two guinea pigs – Skittles and Watermelon. In her free time, Jess enjoys hanging out with friends and family, camping, and agility.

Jess Benson

Client Care Specialist

Jess graduated from the Medical Institute of Minnesota with a veterinary technician degree in 2001. She worked as a veterinary technician for 14 years before making a career move in 2015 to become the office manager of Canine Sports Zone in Middleton. Jess has always loved to surround herself with animals, and deeply respects the bond between people and their furry companions.

Jess, her husband, and two kids share their home with their cat Tonic, Zeke the Labrador, a Border Collie named Mira, and two guinea pigs – Skittles and Watermelon. In her free time, Jess enjoys hanging out with friends and family, camping, and agility.

Stacy Welles

Client Care Specialist

Stacy has been a veterinary technician for 7 years and recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine with a Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and Behavior. She is Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) Certified and has always believed that animals are members of the family unit and positively influence human health.

Stacy and her husband share their home far north of Madison with two spicy Siamese-mixes, Chester and Spike. When not tending to their every need, Stacy practices aerial yoga, goat yoga when available, hiking, biking, and watching Ted Lasso episodes on repeat.

Stacy Welles

Client Care Specialist

Stacy has been a veterinary technician for 7 years and recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine with a Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and Behavior. She is Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) Certified and has always believed that animals are members of the family unit and positively influence human health.

Stacy and her husband share their home far north of Madison with two spicy Siamese-mixes, Chester and Spike. When not tending to their every need, Stacy practices aerial yoga, goat yoga when available, hiking, biking, and watching Ted Lasso episodes on repeat.

Ashley Nedlose

Client Care Specialist

Ashley has worked in the veterinary field for over 10 years as a receptionist and assistant.

Developing a relationship with pets and their owners alike has always been something she is very passionate about.

Ashley, her fiancé and their two children live south of Madison. They share their home with three dogs, two cats and fish tanks.

During her free time she enjoys family time doing various outdoor activities, camping/fishing, crafts and movie nights.

Ashley Nedlose

Client Care Specialist

Ashley has worked in the veterinary field for over 10 years as a receptionist and assistant.

Developing a relationship with pets and their owners alike has always been something she is very passionate about.

Ashley, her fiancé and their two children live south of Madison. They share their home with three dogs, two cats and fish tanks.

During her free time she enjoys family time doing various outdoor activities, camping/fishing, crafts and movie nights.

Our Goals

Increase awareness of home euthanasia as a peaceful alternative to in-clinic euthanasia.

Prevent pet suffering by assisting families in their decision to euthanize before pain and discomfort significantly impact the pet’s quality of life, and before the care of the pet becomes burdensome or impossible for the family to manage.

Support families through the grief process by sponsoring events (Remembering Our Pets in September, and Czar’s Promise In May) that offer a community gathering of people who have loved and lost a pet. These events are ways of honoring our pet’s memories and celebrating the joy they bring to our lives.

Eliminate companion animal homelessness by supporting animal rescue groups financially and encouraging adoption of shelter pets. (Of course, we all have adopted pets in our families!)

Losing our pet was incredibly difficult. The home experience took so much stress out of it. We had everything explained to us. This was so helpful and thoughtful.

Tracy Hauge 
Tracy Hauge