Training Vets - Home for Pets!

Training Vets – Homes for Pets Program

We, the doctors and staff of Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Care, Inc. are committed to caring for exotic pets and helping them to live long, healthy and happy lives.  We cannot do it all alone. The education and experience veterinary students receive in school working with exotic species is often very limited and varies greatly from school to school.   We are in a unique position to improve this situation and improve the lives of exotic pets.  Since we purchased the practice in 2007, we have had an active externship program that allows veterinary students in their final year of education to come and learn about these special species and how to help care for their unique needs.  Through the years we have hosted countless students from various universities throughout the US, as well as several international students, in an effort to spread the knowledge.

In order to give students valuable experiences that they can take with them, we have partnered with HAWS and ElmBrook Humane Society. They graciously supply exotic pets needing sterilization prior to being put up for adoption and we assist the students in performing these surgeries at no charge to the organizations.  It is a win/win for all: the students get valuable experience and the pets get to be placed with loving homes.  Steph Kurth, one of our vet student externs, recently performed Ovirectomies on two guinea pigs, Lucy  and Ginger from HAWS. Both Lucy and Ginger are now up for adoption!


Steph Kurth recently spent two weeks at our clinic. Steph is originally from Waukesha, WI and went to UW-Madison for her Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology, which first sparked her love of special species medicine. Throughout her undergraduate and veterinary school years at UW-Madison she was involved in several research projects working on topics such as sloth genetics, coyote and fox disease ecology, chronic wasting disease in deer and white-nose syndrome in bats, all of which furthered her passion veterinary medicine. Additionally, through these projects she found her love of providing education and awareness of infectious diseases of special species that affect us. After graduating she plans to work in a private practice, ideally working with exotics and small animals, for several years while obtaining a Master’s degree, ultimately in the hopes of pursuing a career in wildlife health.

We were so happy to have Steph join us and in turn, she appreciated our mentorship. She wrote us a wonderful thank you note detailed below:



“Dr.’s Bloss, Follett, Wittenburg, Lien, Schimek, and Kase   —- Thank you all so much for allowing me to tag along with each of you during these past two weeks!  With most of my special species experiences being in wildlife and research-based, I was really excited to observe and learn from exotic companion animal veterinarians in a private practice setting.  Being at Brook-Falls and listening to your thought processes and conversations with owners has really helped to solidify husbandry and disease issues that were just barely touched upon in our vet school curriculum.  I also appreciated the opportunities you gave me to practice handling animals, doing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and especially the opportunity to perform ovirectomies on the guinea pigs. Thank you again for taking the time to teach even during your busiest days.  Special thanks to the rest of the Brook-Falls team for making me feel welcome and also for helping and teaching me along the way.  “  – Steph  Kurth