Animal Clinic of Van Wert

Get to Know our Veterinary Care Team.

Our team is here to help. At Animal Clinic of Van Wert, we treat you and your pets like our family.

team page - dogs and cat

Meet our Veterinary Doctors!

We are solely dedicated to your pet’s care! We look forward to getting to know you, and we hope you’ll take the time to scroll down and get to know us.

Dr. A.J. Smith

Dr. A.J. Smith

Veterinarian / Owner

Dr. A.J. Smith is a former graduate from Van Wert High School in 2013. He attended the University of Findlay after high school and earned a Bachelor’s in Animal Sciences. Upon completion of his degree in Findlay, Ohio, he lived in Columbus, OH for 4 years studying at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. A.J. returned to Van Wert during his summers, where he started working at the Animal Clinic of Van Wert and met Dr. Tom Wilkin and Dr. Emily Early.

Following his graduation from Ohio State, he began his career as an associate veterinarian at the Animal Clinic of Van Wert, working alongside Dr. Wilkin and Dr. Emily. A.J. realized his passion for all companion animals during his time at The Ohio State University, and he has made his goal a reality to be able to work back in his hometown serving the Van Wert community. He currently owns a dog named Duke, and a cat, Gus. A.J. and his wife Melissa welcomed a new baby boy, Parker, in December of 2021. His hobbies include spending time with his family, golfing, and cooking.

Dr. Emily Early

Dr. Emily Early

Veterinarian / Owner

Emily Early graduated from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She has been practicing at the Animal Clinic of Van Wert since 2013. Her interests include ultrasound, soft tissue surgery, and preventative medicine.

In her free time, she enjoys art projects, spending time outdoors, and relaxing with her family. She lives in Van Wert with her husband, Josh, their two daughters, a dog, and 3 cats.

Meet our Veterinary Care Team!

Paige B.

Veterinary Assistant

Paige's Bio
I started working at the clinic in December 2017. I left for a period of time in 2021 and started back in November 2021. I have been married since 2018. We welcomed a son in October 2020 and a daughter in Aug 2023. I have 3 dogs and 4 cats and multiple farm animals.


Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant

Krissy's Bio

I have been with the Animal Clinic of Van Wert for roughly 17 years. I mainly work reception, but I will assist the doctors with treatments as needed. A self-proclaimed “Jill” of all trades, I also order the prescription food, help with inventory, and computer I.T. support.

I have always loved animals, including the creeping crawlies and feathered ones. My Mother found a few frogs in my pockets as a child! We have a whole slew of critters on our farm. From cows to parakeets, we have them all. Our three dogs think they run the show but our potbelly pig is the real boss!

I was blessed to score my “dream job” at such a young age and cannot imagine doing anything else. I look forward to helping your pets and I thank you for the opportunity to care for them.

Farrah W.

Veterinary Technician

Farrah's Bio

My name is Farrah, and I graduated from veterinary technician school in December of last year.

My special interests in the veterinary field are anesthesia and dentistry.

I have seven pets at home and enjoy hiking during my free time.

Jodie E.

Jodie's Bio
As you can see, my two labs are the love of my life. Well, other than my family. I’ve been a certified groomer for almost 14 years. I have always had a natural love for animals my whole life. I was diagnosed 15 years ago with chronic fatigue, degenerative disc, and arthritis. My compassion and love for the animal animals keep me going each day. The love I get from these pets is the best feeling in the world. I just wish more people would realize that they are not just a “dog” or a “cat”, they are family! They have feelings and a personality that makes me laugh and brings me joy.

Haley S.

Veterinary Assistant

Haley's Bio
My name is Haley Speith. I am currently going to school to become a veterinary technician. I am doing online schooling while working full-time.

I love my pets. I have one of my own! I love the outdoors and hanging out with my dog.

Amy M.

Office Manager

Amy's Bio

My name is Amy Magner. I started volunteering at the Animal Clinic of Van Wert 35 years ago when I was around 11 years old and worked part-time until September 1998 when I became full-time. I have 3 children, ages 23; 25; 13, 2 dogs, and 1 cat.

Penny P.

Veterinary Assistant

Penny's Bio

My name is Penny Price. I live in Payne, Ohio. I started working in Van Wert in 1978 thru 1995 as a manager of KFC. I left Van Wert to work at Fleetwood RV for 13 years. I became a longtime client of Dr. Harold Wilken and Dr. Tom Wilkin and in 2008 I accepted a position at Animal Clinic of Van Wert which position I am holding.


Veterinary Assistant/ Receptionist 

Hannah's Bio

Hi, my name is Hannah Fairchild and I’ve been working at the Animal Clinic since the beginning of 2022. Before working here I was in the United States Army as a Military Police Officer. I’ve lived in Germany, Tennessee, Oregon, and Ohio. Before joining the military I/ve always wanted to take in all the strays and save every single animal that was living on the streets. Currently, I have 2 dogs and 2 cats that I absolutely adore, but there is always room for more. 


Veterinary Assistant

Emma's Bio

My name is Emma May. I have been at the Animal Clinic since July of 2022 working as a veterinary assistant. I enjoy meeting new clients and making the best experience for both the client and their pet(s). I have 3 dogs of my own which are my entire world. I will soon be welcoming my first child, a daughter, in January 2024! I look forward to meeting all of our patients and cannot thank our clients enough for letting me love on their fur-babies! 


Veterinary Assistant

Lorynn's Bio
My name is Lorynn. I started at the clinic at the beginning of 2022. As a little girl, I always wanted to work with animals. My parents even called me the “animal whisperer” because all animals were attracted to me like a magnet. I currently run the pharmacy line in the clinic. I own a dog named Tracer J and a cat named JoJo the Hobo. I enjoy all the pets I see every day and many more years to come. 


Kennel Assistant

Cathy's Bio

Hi, my name is Cathy Lanier. I have worked here since March 2021. I’ve been a client since 1996 when I moved here from West Virginia with 2 cats. I now tell people I work to support my habit. I do TNR with feral and stray cats. I have 22 cats that I claim as mine inside and outside. I feed them each day and they are spayed and neutered. I retired from Braun Ambulance in 2017 after 20 years of assembling ambulances. I live in Van Wert with my daughter, her husband and my 2 grandsons.