Dr. Cooney and Guber, her black lab
Dr. Kathleen Cooney began her life in Michigan and quickly developed a love for her family’s pets. These included dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds, and horses. In 1995, she began the educational journey that would lead to veterinary medicine.
Dr. Cooney graduated from the veterinary college at Colorado State University in the spring of 2004. That same spring, her family had to say goodbye to their 15-year-old yellow lab, McKenzie. McKenzie passed peacefully under the aspen tree in their front yard. From this experience, Dr. Cooney learned just how important it was for pets to be at home for the end of their lives.
Shortly after this experience, Dr. Cooney and her family relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, she practiced internal medicine and surgery at a small progressive animal clinic. At this clinic, she began performing in-home services for families - particularly cancer patients.
After 2 years away, Dr. Cooney and her family decided it was time to return to beautiful Colorado. She started Home to Heaven in the fall of 2006 and has received an overwhelming welcome from the community and the veterinary profession.
She has learned a great deal since founding Home to Heaven, having now helped thousands of families. And she looks forward to helping the families of northern Colorado for many years to come.
In the spring of 2011, she completed writing her first ebook. It is about euthanasia techniques and is written as an aid for other veterinarians. In 2012, she completed writing the book Veterinary Euthanasia Techniques: A practical guide. Dr. Cooney has also just finished her work with the 2013 American Veterinary Medical Association's panel on euthanasia guidelines. She is currently the education chair for the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC).
In the fall of 2010, Dr. Cooney opened the first-ever pet euthanasia center in the United States. The center is located on her 35-acre farm in Loveland, Colorado and offers two comfort rooms for pet euthanasia. It is open year-round for families looking for an alternative to standard clinic or in-home euthanasia.
Dr. Cooney is honored to be doing what she does. She loves getting to know her clients, hearing their stories, and sharing in the beautiful experience of in-home pet hospice and euthanasia.
Dr. Jennifer Coates spent her early years in the Washington D.C. area before attending McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for her undergraduate training in biology. After graduation, she worked for several years in the fields of conservation and animal welfare before returning to her first love, veterinary medicine.
She graduated with honors in 1999 from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and has been in practice in Virginia, Wyoming and Colorado ever since. Jennifer has long had a special interest in geriatric medicine, which has prepared her well for her work with Home To Heaven. She has been with the service since October 2008.
When not practicing veterinary medicine, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, particularly when they can all take advantage of the wonderful hiking, skiing, biking, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities that northern Colorado has to offer.
Jennifer is also a published author of several books and short stories that all relate to veterinary medicine, pet care and the human-animal bond.
Dr. Shelley Finnegan was born and raised in Virginia, just outside of Washington DC. As a child visiting her grandparent’s farm in rural Texas every year, she developed a love for all animals. This love naturally progressed into a passion for veterinary medicine.
She attended University of Colorado-Boulder for undergraduate studies in biology and biochemistry. Upon completion of her veterinary degree in 2008 from Colorado State University, she practiced general medicine for 3 years along the Front Range.
Her veterinary interests include internal medicine, pain management, and shelter medicine. When time allows, she volunteers at local animal shelters performing spays and neuters.
Shelley currently lives in Boulder with her husband Patrick, their unruly pug Winston, and two cats George and Big Cat. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching football, and spending as much time as possible hiking, camping, and climbing in the mountains.
The importance of in-home euthanasia became clear to Shelley after experiencing the euthanasia of her beloved dog at home. She was grateful that his final moments were peaceful and her family could grieve privately in the comfort of home.
The bond between animals and their owners is remarkable, and Shelley feels fortunate to provide this service - and pet hospice - to families in her community.
Dr. James Dye was born and raised in Wyoming. He moved to Washington state with his wife, Sheila, and obtained a Bachelors degree in Zoology from Western Washington University. He then moved to Colorado to pursue a Masters degree at the University of Northern Colorado. Ultimately his plan was to become a veterinarian, and his dreams came true when he graduated from CSU in 2011.
Dr. Dye worked as a mixed large animal veterinarian for one year after graduation and then decided to modify his career path. Although his love for large animal medicine is ever present, he is very passionate about hospice and end of life care and has been with Home to Heaven since September of 2012. As a veterinary acupuncturist, he is also able to help both large and small animal patients with this non-traditional, medical approach.
His amazing wife, Sheila, has been by his side through schooling and career changes. He also has two amazing children, Olivia, who is 3.5 and a new addition Jackson, who is almost 6 months. His dog Foxy is a red heeler and has been with the family for six years and was recently joined by a younger (4-legged) brother named Wilson.
When not working, his loves include fishing, cooking, and spending time with the family. Whenever possible the family ventures on camping trips and loves spending time in the outdoors.
Dr. Amber Dove originates from the warm desert of New Mexico. She attended undergraduate and graduate school at New Mexico State University and studied biology and microbiology. Following this, she completed a veterinary degree at Colorado State University in 2004.
She returned to New Mexico to work in a busy general and emergency practice. However, Colorado had won her over. When the opportunity arose, she returned to this beautiful area.
Dr. Dove has been busy in emergency and general practice since returning to the area and joined Home to Heaven in early 2011.
Amber participates in local veterinary medical associations and volunteers for various organizations as time allows. She enjoys spending time with her family, her pets, and plays a little hockey on the side.
Dr. Trish Miller was born and raised in Nebraska. She attended college at Midland Lutheran College and the University Nebraska-Lincoln. In 1990, she graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
After graduation, Dr. Miller and her husband moved to the Chicago area. There, she practiced small animal medicine for 5 years. They moved to Colorado in 1995 and she continued to practice veterinary medicine full-time until 2004.
Since that time, she has been doing part-time and relief work for numerous practices along the northern Front Range. Dr. Miller happily joined the Home to Heaven team in the summer of 2011.
Dr. Miller has been married to her husband, Ross for 22 years. They have a wonderful daughter, Rachel who is 10 years old and in the 5th grade. They have 2 labs, 2 cats, and 2 guinea pigs. They have recently added foster care to their family. Dr. Miller enjoys camping, skiing, watching football and baseball, and spending time with her family.
Dr. Margaret Garcia
Dr. Margaret Garcia was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. She moved up to Fort Collins to attend CSU in 1995, in hopes of eventually attending Veterinary school. She graduated from CSU Veterinary School in 2003. Doing small animal clinic work along with shelter medicine she discovered her passion was helping the under privileged animals get rehabilitated to find homes and helping people with affordable Veterinary care. She has been working in shelter medicine for almost 6 years now.
She enjoys being able to explore all of the different aspects that a DVM degree can offer. She has done small animal practice, spay/neuter work, zoo internships, feral cat work, shelter medicine and now the at home euthanasia service. While going through Veterinary school she took extra coarse work in grief/euthanasia study, feeling drawn to that particular area in Veterinary medicine.
While not working she enjoys her family, 2 kids(8 and 11), 2 dogs(2 and 13) and her husband, Mike-married 12 years. She enjoys camping, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, walking, baking and volunteering at the kids school. Life has definitely been full of joy and her Veterinary medicine degree has played a huge role.
Dr. Michelle Reynolds was born and raised in rural southwest Michigan. She graduated from Michigan
State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. Upon graduation, she immediately headed west
and began her work in small animal practice in Denver. After starting a family, in 1998, she returned to
Michigan and continued growing her family and developing her career in medicine and surgery. After 10 long
years of missing the amazing sunshine and wonderful Rocky Mountains, her family packed up and headed
back to beautiful Colorado in 2008. Dr. Reynolds is grateful for her career in veterinary medicine and although
she enjoyed medicine and surgery immensely for many years, she is currently focused on her interests in
holistic medicine and end of life care. Her experiences in caring for her yellow lab, Summer, in the last
years of life gave her an invaluable perspective of the challenges and rewards of geriatric care. She believes
what she experienced in Summer’s last days and very peaceful euthanasia, at age 15, has led to her strong
desire to help others through the passing of their own precious pets. Her family consists of her husband, Nathan,
married 15 years, their 3 very energetic children, her 9 year old
daughter’s black lab, Willow, and Beta Fish, Harry. When not working, she can be found running, sewing,
cheering at her kids’ sporting events, and watching football. Summer’s yellow lab shoes have not been filled
as of yet, but she is looking forward to adopting a special yellow labbie in the near future.