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Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology

If you love animals and want to become a veterinary technician, your future begins at Bel-Rea Institute. Located in beautiful Denver, Colorado, the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology is one of the largest veterinary technician schools in the U.S. that offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology.
Why should you attend Bel-Rea Institute?
Hands-on training and experience in the classroom, labs, and during your 10-week internship
Advanced training facilities including fully-equipped surgery and treatment rooms and on-site small and large animal facilities
Fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, which is required for any Veterinary Technician credentialing exams in the United States
Personal attention from experienced faculty and staff
Connect with rewarding career opportunities through our extensive job posting program
Academic programs that provide you with the strong foundation and knowledge you need to realize your dream of becoming a veterinary technician
The Faculty at Bel-Rea consists of 3 Professors (Licensed Veterinarians), 15 Technical Instructors (Certified Veterinary Technicians), and 2 General Education Instructors (Master’s level degrees).
Professors - Nolan Rucker, B.S., D.V.M., M.S. is the Dean of Education at Bel-Rea. Dr. Rucker graduated from the University of Missouri in 1970. He has worked as a Small Animal Surgery instructor at Auburn University, was the Director of Research for the Comparative Neuroscience Center in Denver, has been active in research projects in the field of spinal trauma, and is a past president of the Denver Area Veterinary Society. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Denver and a Clinical Associate at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Rucker instructs Anatomy and Physiology, supervises the faculty, and ensures the excellence of the academic content of the program.
Lonny Haynes, B.S., B.A., D.V.M., is a 1987 graduate of Colorado State University and is licensed in both Colorado and New Mexico. He has spent the majority of his career in veterinary practice, including both private and corporate practices. Dr. Haynes teaches Anatomy and Physiology I & II, and Veterinary Science III. Dr. Haynes also trains students during their surgery rotation in Pre-Clinical, where they assist him with spay and neuter surgeries on local shelter animals up for adoption.
Patrick Hemming, B.S., D.V.M., attained his doctoral degree in 1976 from Colorado State University. Dr. Hemming instructs students in the theoretical and applied aspects of veterinary reproduction. He owns and operates Animal Reproductive Technologies, a beef cattle production medicine, nutrition, reproduction, and veterinary consulting service. Dr. Hemming operates Aristocrat Angus Ranch’s beef cattle reproduction services and has traveled extensively implementing feasibility studies for livestock projects.
Technical Instructors - Brenda Ewert, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., attended Colorado State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science in 1993. She trained horses for several years before returning to Fort Collins. There she earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology from Front Range Community College in 1998 and immediately started working as an equine technican for Littleton Large Animal Clinic. Brenda gained experience in anesthesia, worked in radiology and ICU, and managed the technical staff, including many Bel-Rea Interns.
Amy Johnson, B.S., C.V.T., R.L.A.T.G., graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1996 with a B.S. in Biology. Amy then returned to school and graduated from Bel-Rea in 2000. Following graduation, she worked in several small animal and emergency practices, as well as in laboratory research. She began teaching in a veterinary technology program in Nebraska in 2002 where she taught for 3 years before joining the Bel-Rea Faculty.
Janet King, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., is the supervisor of Pre-Clinical studies at Bel-Rea and actively works to prepare students for their internship quarter. In addition to training students during their surgical rotation time, Janet teaches Microbiology and Anesthesia. Prior to attending Bel-Rea, she earned a degree in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin. After graduating from Bel-Rea in 1987, Janet supervised the Radiology Department at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital.
Jessie Loberg, A.A.S., B.A., C.V.T., attended Ripon College for her BA in Biology, and then took part in a Killer Whale behavior research project on the resident pods of the Puget Sound. Jessie also volunteered at the Wolf Hollow Rehabilitation Center in the San Juan Islands. She graduated from Bel-Rea in 2000, and completed an additional 6-month internship at Littleton Large Animal Clinic. Jessie then worked as a Radiology/Anesthesia Technician and Head of the Anesthesia Department for LLAC. Before starting as an Instructor in 2007, Jessie worked as an MRI Technologist at the Wisconsin Equine Clinic.
Scott Newman, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., teaches Radiology, Anesthesia, Pharmacology, Medical Math, and the Medical Math intensives for the students who test out of or waive the Medical Math class. Prior to becoming a technician, Scott received his degree in Animal Science in 1992 from Colorado State University. After graduating from Bel-Rea in 1994, Scott worked as a CVT at a small animal practice in the Denver Metro Area. He has been teaching at Bel-Rea since 1997.
Janelle Petrella, A.A.S., C.V.T., R.A.L.A.T., joined Bel-Rea’s Faculty in August 2007. Janelle attended Bel-Rea just 2 weeks after graduating high school in 1999 and has been in the veterinary field ever since. Janelle worked with small animals and exotics in a wide variety of areas, including general practice, emergency medicine and specialty referral, working for orthopedic surgeons, and internal medicine. She teaches Office Management, Veterinary Science I, Sterile Techniques, and leads the Anatomy Department.
Cyndi Rideout, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., graduated from Bel-Rea in 2001. Cyndi has a previous degree in Environmental Interpretation, has worked in wildlife rehabilitation, and has volunteered many hours at Colorado Horse Rescue. She has extensive small, exotic, and large animal veterinary medicine knowledge from her experience in a variety of Colorado veterinary settings, including: Littleton Large Animal Hospital, Lone Rock Veterinary Clinic, and Peak Veterinary Service. Cyndi also served as the Director of Operations for Intermountain Humane Society. Cyndi teaches Medical Math, Radiology, and Large Animal Pre-Clinical, as well as supervises the Animal Care Staff.
Tammy Schneider, A.A.S., C.V.T., R.L.A.T.G., instructs students in Microbiology, Hematology, and Large Animal Medicine. Tammy’s diverse background includes working at feedlots as an artificial insemination technician, and in small animal, exotic, and mixed animal practices as a CVT. Her working knowledge greatly benefits the students during their equine and bovine fieldwork experiences. She graduated from Bel-Rea in 1989, is currently pursuing a B.S. in Animal Science, and is a Registered Laboratory Animal Technician (Research).
Keith Semerod, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Environmental Studies in 1999. After graduation, Keith worked in Wildlife Propagation for the Pennsylvania Game Commission and progressed into Animal Keeping with the Erie Zoolological Society. In 2003, Keith moved to Denver and began working with domestic animals in a small animal practice while pursuing his studies at Bel-Rea. Before coming back to Bel-Rea to teach, Keith worked as a technician for a local small animal practice and managed their mobile practice.
Gina Stonier, A.A.S., C.V.T., supervised many Bel-Rea interns at small/exotic animal hospitals in the Denver Metro area after graduating from Bel-Rea in 1997, as well as serving on Bel-Rea’s Advisory Board. Gina instructs Medical Terminology and Office Management, and organizes the quarterly vaccination clinics at Bel-Rea and the Aurora Animal Shelter where students learn how to appropriately restrain and give vaccines to companion animals. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Biology & Zoology at Metropolitan State.
Angela Taibo, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., graduated from Bel-Rea in 1998 and earned a degree in Mathematics & Biology with an emphasis on Secondary Education at CU Denver in 2000. During her 16 years at VCA Wingate, she worked her way up from volunteer to CVT, and also worked in human medicine as a Medical Laboratory Assistant & Phlebotomist at St. Anthony’s Central & Porter Care Littleton. Angela teaches Hematology, Parasitology, and Clinical Chemistry, and ensures the facility meets or surpasses all USDA requirements for a veterinary program.
Lona White, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., graduated from Lincoln Memorial University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. Lona then worked as a emergency technician for two years. Lona previously worked for four years in a mixed practice, providing care for both large and small animals. She also taught some labs for LMU before joining Bel-Rea's faculty.
Michelle Wickizer, A.A.S., B.S., M.B.A, C.V.T., joined Bel-Rea in March 2010. Michelle graduated from Bel-Rea in 1997 and has worked as a supervising technician, hospital manager, veterinary practice management software trainier, and clinical director and instructor of a veterinary technology program. She also worked abroad as a Qualified Veterinary Nurse in the UK, holding positions in Scotland, Ireland, and England. Michelle is currently pursuing a doctorate in Psychology and Education.
Valerie Williams, A.A.S., C.V.T., graduated from Bel-Rea in September 1997 and is currently pursiuing a Bachelor of Business Management degree. Valerie has worked in a variety of veterinary facilities including an emergency care and referral hospital; a US Army facility in Germany that provides care for pets of military families and military working dogs stationed in Europe, Iraq, and Afghanistan; and most recently a progressive general practice as a Practice Manager.
Michaela Witcher, A.A.S., A.S., B.S., C.V.T., graduated from Bel-Rea in March 1997 and then from Metropolitan State College of Denver in May 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Her interests include emergency and critical care medicine. Michaela worked in a veterinary emergency room for many years and most recently for a needleless injection medical device company before returning to Bel-Rea as an instructor.
General Education Instructors – Rosemary Lewis, DipPhysio, C.T.P., B.A., P.G.DipL.I.S., graduated with a Diploma in Physiotherapy from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1971, followed by a Certificate in Teaching Physiotherapy in 1976. She then received her B.A. from the University of South Africa in 1991, followed by Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science from University of Cape Town, in 1992. Rosemary joined the staff at Bel-Rea in November 2000, is currently working towards her Master degree in Classical Studies, and teaches Technical Writing and Humanities in addition to her duties as Bel-Rea’s Librarian.
Cynthia Medina, B.A., M.A., attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology in 1994. In 1996 she completed her M.A. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Denver’s School of Education and started at Bel-Rea shortly thereafter. In addition to teaching the Perspectives Course, Cynthia’s responsibilities at Bel-Rea include assessment, computer instruction, guidance and career counseling, and mediation. She also supervises Student Council, Bel-Rea’s website, and the Teaching Assistant/Mentor Programs.

Contact Us:
Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology
1681 S. Dayton
Denver, CO 80247
(303) 751-8700 
(800) 950-8001

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