Our caring and compassionate veterinary care team!

Meet the Veterinarians & Team of Howard City Veterinary Services in Howard City, Michigan! We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your pets!

Please call us at 231-937-4396 to speak to one of our caring veterinary staff members!

Ryan Buitenwerf, DVM

Hello all! My name is Dr. Ryan Buitenwerf (Bite N werf) but I go by Dr. Ryan at work because it is easier. I am a 1998 graduate of Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, and a 2001 graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. I have been practicing for the last nineteen years in a small mixed animal practice in northeast Iowa. While in practice I spent more than 50% of my time treating all the small animals in the practice and split the rest of my time between beef, dairy, swine, exotic, and horses. I also taught as an adjunct professor at the local Veterinary Technician school for the past 6 years.

I married my wife in 2003 and we have four children. They range in age from 14 all the way down to 4. We enjoy being involved in our church and this has lead to us getting to travel the world serving others. I have been to Mongolia twice where I helped teach Mongolian veterinarians more modern medical procedures. I have been to Ethiopia three times, once to adopt, and twice to serve under privileged widows in a remote village. I treated their sick livestock and educated them in preventative medicine. Finally I have traveled to Kosovo, formerly part of Yugoslavia, four times where I have done some Biblical teaching, taught English, and just some humanitarian relief.

My family and I are looking forward to our time here in Howard City. We are excited to get involved in the school and local community. We enjoy kayaking as a family, along with watching movies and reading.

Christine Crandall, DVM

Dr Christine Crandall is a small animal veterinarian focusing exclusively on dogs and cats. She is a Michigan native who graduated with a biology degree from the University of Michigan, then attained her DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri in Columbia. In her 28 years of practicing veterinary medicine, she believes passionately in strengthening the human/animal bond by helping clients to recognize the sometimes subtle ways that dogs, and especially cats, transmit their signs and symptoms of needing help. Her goals include providing a positive experience in the veterinary clinic for both pets and their family members. She has a special empathy for cats and small breed dogs.
She loves to travel with Jeff, her significant other of 25 years. They have experienced incredible journeys together, including cave exploring in Missouri, swimming with manatees in Florida, paddle boarding in the Caribbean, visiting the set of The Hobbit in New Zealand, feeding Tasmanian Devils in Tasmania, walking on a glacier in Alaska, and exploring Antelope Canyon in Arizona. Her goal is to visit all 59 US National Parks. At home she enjoys summer afternoons by the pool reading or doing jigsaw puzzles. In winter she likes to read in bed until the cats gather for naptime.

Michelle, Practice Manager

Michelle has been in this field since 2006. She started out as an assistant and has done just about every job and is now the manager. She has been at Howard City since 2016. She lives with her husband of 20+ years Ryan and their German Shepherds, Maltese and Mini Schnauzer. In her downtime, she enjoys working with her shepherds, spending time in her flower garden or just relaxing on the boat.

April, LVT

She graduated from Baker College in 2005 and started at Sand Lake Veterinary in 2008. You may have seen her here and there as she would come here to help.  She came over permanently with the merger in 2021. She lives with her husband, daughter, rescue dog Rambo and an Akita named Riff. Her favorite part is the diagnostics and getting to know the why. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, fishing and kayaking.

Cheyanne aka Chey, VT

She graduated from Lakeview and started working at the Sand Lake location as an assistant in 2014 before coming to Howard city in 2018. She is currently finishing up Penn Foster to become a Licensed technician. She started in this field to help animals in need. Her favorite thing about her job are the clients and doing laboratory work. She lives with her husband and Siamese cat Kirara. When she is not working, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, watching fantasy/Syfy/anime shows, playing cards, board games, video games and hanging out with friends.

Jorden, VT

A graduate from Lakeview he started in Sand Lake in 2020 as an assistant. After the merger in August 2021, he came here and moved up to technician. His favorite part about working in this field is seeing how much people truly care for their pet.  He is an avid sports fan, but college football is his favorite. He is always cheering on the Oregon Ducks. He shares his home wife Amanda, son, daughter and 5 dogs. When not working he enjoys fishing, hunting, gardening and traveling.

Chelsea, VT

She joined the team May of 2022 when she moved back here from Tennessee. She comes with 5 years past experience. Her favorite part about working in vet field is educating/helping owners understand importance of preventative care for pets. (especially dental cleanings) She also enjoys helping pets in need. She lives with her boyfriend Blake and their 3 dogs Mille, Jax and Helix. In her time off she likes to hike, backpack, read, kayak, fish and play both video and board games.

Keesha, Receptionist

Keesha has been with the Howard City Vet since about 2007. Dr. Lepley and his wife found her and knew she would be a good fit to the Howard City Family. Her love for animals and the clients has kept her here while striving to keep Dr. Lepley’s name and dream going.

She has 2 cats (Mojito and Mew Mew) one of which was Dr. Lepley’s and a step dog (Daisy).

Through all the changes she has kept her love for this place, clients, and the pets to make sure we give the best care we can.

When not working she enjoys painting wine bottles and spending time with family and friends.

Kenzie, Assistant

She joined the team in 2022. She has a Belgian Malinois name Bane. Her favorite part about working here is the staff and likes to have the feeling that she is helping and caring for the animals. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends and dog.