L to R: Robin Mitchell with “Bucky”, Dr. Connie Stapleton with “Jovi,” Dawn Oliver, CVT with “Nellie,” Sharon Hanshaw with “Mollie.”
Connie Stapleton, DVM
Connie is a Colorado native and attended Colorado State University for both undergraduate and veterinary school, graduating in 1977. After graduation she moved to Poway, CA, where she met her husband and practiced there until 1997. In May of 1997, she and her family moved to Ridgway and opened Ridgway Animal Hospital in September 1997. In 2003, she then purchased land and built the building where Ridgway Animal Hospital is currently located.
Connie enjoys all types of medicine and general surgery cases. She has a very soft spot for cats and cats typically respond very well to this.
Outside of practice, Connie enjoys trail riding on her paint horse “Sparky,” gardening, and hiking. Her extended family includes “ Jovi,” a wonderful Doberman, that doubles as the hospital mascot, “Satchel,” a Devon Rex, “Bucky,” a domestic longhair, and two wonderful barn cats, “Sophie” and “Smokey.” She will also not pass up on reading a good book in front of the fire on a snowy winter day. She has one son, Lucas, currently residing in Seattle.
Dawn Oliver, CVT
Practice Manager / Hospital Administrator
Dawn Oliver, CVT, is a Colorado native, and has had nearly 30 years of experience in the veterinary field. She obtained her certification in 1994, after attending both Mesa State College in Grand Junction and Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs. She has also taken other pre veterinary medicine courses and continuing education courses through the years to keep current on the newest advances. She has formerly held board positions for the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians, and won the award for veterinary technician of the year in the state of Colorado in 2012.
In addition to working at Ridgway Animal Hospital, Dawn has an incredibly busy pet sitting business. She also helps with spay and neuter clinics on the Indian Reservations monthly. In the late summer of 2017, she travelled to Ecuador to assist with the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs. She is an advocate for the prevention of more unwanted animals. In addition to her small animal work, she has experience with large animals, exotics, and birds of prey.
In her limited free time, Dawn enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, reading, hiking and traveling. She also enjoys attending concerts and plays, both locally and throughout the western slope.
Robin Mitchell has been with Ridgway Animal Hospital since April 2016 and has been a veterinary assistant and groomer for over 15 years. She is thrilled with the opportunity to work with Dr. Stapleton, who is an extremely dedicated veterinarian, and admires her diagnostic skills. Her co-workers, Dawn and Sharon, are patient and kind, and they work together as a well-oiled machine.
Robin moved to Colorado from the east coast, and never wants to go back. She is raising her two nieces, Geny and Pallen, and loves the tight-knit community of Ouray. Her family loves animals, and shares their home with “Kodi,” a black lab, “Bucky,” a Westie and “Moe, Wasabi and Sushi, three wonderful cats. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the mountains atop her horse, “Cortez.”
At work she enjoys assisting in surgery, dental procedures and running blood work. Most of all she tries to be caring and compassionate to your animals. They don’t understand what’s happening, so she tries to provide the kind voice and gentle touch that your animal would get from you.
Sharon joined our team in March 2014 after decades of working in paralegal and administrative positions. She is thrilled to be able to work in her dream job because she has a deep and abiding love of animals. Sharon is also a licensed massage therapist, and in 2015 expanded that skill-set by becoming certified as a canine massage practitioner through the Lang Institute for Canine Massage. Due to family obligations, Sharon is now only able to fill in at Ridgway Animal Hospital as needed which has been a relief to our full-time staff members. Sharon holds a special place in her heart for the elderly pets and continues to improve her cooing and cuddling techniques. She claims that she also likes people, especially her husband. She is owned by her Brittany, Molly.