Meet Our Staff
Dr. Lisa Harrenstien
Dr. Lisa Harrenstien has 26 years of experience as a veterinarian, including employment in a private small animal/exotics practice, university exotics practice, postdoctoral training in zoological pathology, consultant work related to avian and exotic species, and zoo practice. She was an associate veterinarian at the Oregon Zoo for 13 years, and is board-certified by the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM). The ACZM is a specialty organization related to the care of avian/exotic companion animals, as well as free-ranging wildlife and animals in zoological facilities. Dr. Harrenstien is the only veterinarian in Oregon to have achieved this specialist ranking.
Dr. Harrenstien also belongs to numerous veterinary organizations, including the Portland Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. She is on the executive committee of the American College of Zoological Medicine, serving as the organization’s treasurer. Dr. Harrenstien also teaches the veterinary curriculum of the Biology and Management of Zoo Animals associate degree program at Portland Community College, and is a courtesy faculty member of Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Harrenstien’s favorite patients over the years have usually been the ones that heal well from serious illnesses and still appreciate her veterinary visits, including a California sea otter named “Thelma” who needed a lung removed, a young double yellow headed Amazon parrot named “Miss Lilly” who had her upper beak bitten off by a macaw, and a Houston toad named “Ratatouille” whose face and toes healed well after a predatory attack by a rat.
Lyndsey Jett, CVT
A native to Oregon, Lyndsey grew up in the rural outskirts of Portland where she cared for rabbits, chickens, and a box turtle. With a passion for a variety of animals, Lyndsey went to Denver to study veterinary technology and become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Lyndsey always wanted to work with exotics, so while studying to become a CVT she dedicated much of her time to volunteering with exotics at the local animal shelter and at a sanctuary with large carnivores rescued from the illegal pet trade. After graduation in 2014, Lyndsey immediately returned to the Pacific Northwest for an internship at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, followed by work at a small animal clinic with dogs and cats, then an internship at an endangered species conservation center in Florida, then a CVT position at a small animal/exotics practice. Lyndsey joined AEVC in September and is excited about all the new learning opportunities that a 100% exotics specialty practice has to offer.
Karen Primrose, CVT
Born and raised on the island of Hawaii, Karen was always drawn to the natural world around her, whether wild, feral, or domestic. Her first pet was the “one mouse” her parents let her pick out in the pet store. She of course chose the pregnant female! She also spent a lot of time in the ocean snorkeling and night diving. Although she has now lived in Oregon far longer than Hawaii, she still visits family and always takes the time to see the Honu (or green sea turtles) that commonly inhabit the beaches.
Karen has always worked in the animal field, starting as a 12 year old volunteer at the Humane Society, then becoming a veterinary assistant, then getting her Oregon CVT license. She has a strong background working with dogs and cats in emergency veterinary medicine, has rehabbed wildlife, worked with primates, rabbits, and pigs in a research setting, and has owned and raised several birds and some reptiles. Karen’s pets have included snakes (a Burmese and a ball python and a green vine snake), day geckos, parrots, cockatiels, grass parakeets, chickens, quail, doves, tropical fish, Opae’Ula (tiny Hawaiian shrimp), rabbits, dogs and cats. Not all at the same time, of course!
Karen is excited to be a part of AEVC, eager to glean what knowledge and experience working entirely with exotics can bring.
Christine Weld, CVT
Christine's passion for wildlife and exotic animals started as a teenager after an amazing tour of Africa with her grandmother. She has pursued working with exotics ever since, with a biology degree from the University of Florida, and by volunteering and working with bats, primates, birds, reptiles, and kangaroos at several zoos and sanctuaries. Christine started her vet tech program at St. Petersburg College while working at several veterinary clinics with dogs and cats. Christine moved to Portland in 2015 to escape the Florida heat, and completed her degree and certification as a veterinary technician. She jumped on the opportunity to work with exotics at AEVC and is committed to mastering the skills and knowledge needed to provide the highest quality nursing care to all her patients.
Receptionists & Veterinary Assistants
Kali is a New York native with nearly 15 years of professional animal care experience with reptiles, fish, birds, small animals, exotic pets, and dogs and cats. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from SUNY- College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her passion for nature, local community, and less snow led her to the PNW, where she helped run Portland’s largest independent pet store for 11 years. Kali has opened her home to many pets over the years including cats, dogs, dumbo rats, several aquariums, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and finches. Kali runs her own pet sitting business and is excited to be part of the AEVC team! She is dedicated to animal health and pet parent education.
Kathleen has had a lifelong love for animals. Her first pets were a guinea pig and silkworms when she was four years old, and she started fostering orphaned kittens when she was twelve. Kathleen's passion for wildlife and conservation guided her to earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. With a desire to get hands on experience with a wide range of animal species, Kathleen completed the 2 year Biology and Management of Zoo Animals program at PCC. Through the program Kathleen completed a student internship at the Oregon Zoo, and she has been involved in wildlife rehabilitation at the Audubon Society of Portland for almost five years. Throughout Kathleen’s life, she has had a variety of pets from box turtles and rats to parakeets. Currently, Kathleen has a dog, two cats, five goldfish, and a 20-year-old corn snake.
Tari is a bird nerd from New England, where she had the pleasure of working in a small zoo, in wildlife sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers. She came to Portland to become a Certified Veterinary Technician, and to specialize in wildlife and exotic medicine. Her passion is wildlife conservation and she loves to be involved with ecological field work devoted to protecting and restoring wild species. Other than Tari’s commitments to exotic animal medicine and perpetual learning, she is a devoted birder and naturalist who enjoys fun and play with friends and family.