A Family-Owned Operation

Meet Our Team

At Elk Creek Animal Hospital, we treat you and your pets like our family! Get to know our exceptional team below.

Our Doctors

Dr. Aaron Bessmer

Dr. Aaron Bessmer

Practice Manager & Practice Owner

Dr. Aaron Bessmer has always had a passion for taking care of animals. Growing up in nearby Pender, Nebraska, he had a wide variety of animals. After graduating from high school in Pender, he earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska. He then went on to study veterinary medicine at Kansas State University, earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Dr. Bessmer moved to Hartley, Iowa, where he practiced for one year before moving back to Sioux City. He joined the team at Roach Animal Hospital, where he practiced for nearly four years. In 2012 Aaron and his wife Rachel purchased Elk Creek Animal Hospital. In 2020 Dr. Bessmer and Rachel purchased Vermillion Veterinary Clinic. They split their time between their clinics and enjoy working with all of their clients in the Tri-state area. Dr. Bessmer and his wife Rachel have three girls, two dogs, and four barn cats that keep them busy in their spare time. Dr. Bessmer also enjoys being outdoors, hunting, fishing, and watching the Huskers play football.

Dr. Kalene Gross

Dr. Kalene Gross


Dr. Kalene Gross grew up on a farm in Rosalie, Nebraska. She always loved caring for the farm animals, especially the farm cats. Being on a pig farm, Dr. Gross also took care of numerous dogs and a wide variety of farm animals. After attending Bancroft Rosalie High School, she went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree at Morningside College and was a part of the women’s basketball program. Dr. Gross continued her education in the UNL/ISU veterinary program earning her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University in May 2018. Dr. Gross and her husband live in Sioux City and enjoy all the things to see and do in the Siouxland area. She enjoys playing basketball, golfing, visiting family and friends, and spending time with her dog, Zeke, and cat, Jaylon, in her free time. She is looking forward to meeting you and all your four-legged friends!

Rachel Bessmer

Rachel Bessmer

Office Manager & Practice Owner

Rachel was born and raised in Nebraska. Her passion for animals began at an early age when she would accompany her Dad while calling on farmers. She graduated from Wayne State College with a degree in business management. After Dr. Bessmer and Rachel married, they purchased Elk Creek Animal Hospital with the goal of providing the best customer service and patient care to their clients and creating the best possible workplace environment for their employees. The duo works well together with their two degrees, and although Dr. Bessmer’s main focus is the animals and Rachel’s main focus is the business side, running a vet clinic is a family affair, and they both work in all parts of the clinic. You will often find their daughters helping as well.

Our Staff


Office Manager

About Brooke
Brooke joined the Elk Creek family in April 2014. She was just a young senior in high school when she started her journey serving as a Kennel Assistant. Brooke immediately found her love for caring for animals and their families, and it wasn’t long before her skill and drive brought her to all the different areas within the hospital. Some of her previous titles include Kennel Assistant, Veterinary Assistant, Client Service Coordinator, Client Service Coordinator Manager, Assistant Manager, and her newest, Office Manager. Brooke’s favorite part about being in this industry is being able to talk and connect with the owners of our furry patients. She believes that the relationship between the provider and the owner is one that must be built on trust and communication and that keeping the best interest of patients in mind comes before all things.

Outside of work you will find Brooke with her husband, Devin, leading and teaching their children. Together you will find them exploring all things nature, going on family walks, and bike rides, and one of their favorite past times, going to local museums.

Fun Fact: Brooke rescued a three-legged feline from Elk Creek after he was hit by a car and we could not find his owners. Later her son renamed him Chester. Chester is very loved!


Assistant Office Manager
About Nicole
Nicole has been with Elk Creek since August of 2020. She is a Sioux City native, born and raised. She grew up around dogs, cats, and birds. Nicole has always had a love for animals and can’t imagine her life without them. Her favorite part about working at Elk Creek is being around animals and getting to learn something new every day. In her free time, Nicole likes to watch movies and share her life with her gorgeous cats Boco and Vivi, and boyfriend Scott.


Client Service Coordinator

About Jess
Jess has been an employee of Elk Creek Animal Hospital since June of 2022 but has been bringing her pets to us since 2016. She loved bringing her pets in so much that she decided to work here! Jess likes to spend her free time with her husband, son, and animals. She is very thankful to be part of the Elk Creek family.


Client Service Coordinator

About Mia

Bio coming soon!


Client Service Coordinator

About Mindy
Mindy started at Elk Creek Animal Hospital April of 2023. She has also been a client here for many years. Mindy graduated from East High School and moved to Iowa City, IA. After her time in Iowa City, she then moved to Georgia for a few years and made her way back to Sioux City to be closer to family, She loves spending time with her shih tzu, Bella, and watching any sports, especially the Hawkeyes and the Steelers. Mindy is a kind hearted, caring person which makes her perfect for our front desk. She has had many opportunities in her life, but working here is definitely her favorite!


Client Service Coordinator

About Jordyn

Bio coming soon!


Certified Veterinary Technician & Veterinary Technician Manager

About Abby

Abby McCormick has been a Veterinary Technician at Elk Creek since December of 2019. She was born and raised here in Sioux City. From a young age, Abby knew she wanted to work with animals. She graduated the Veterinary Technology Program at Northeast Community College in May of 2015. From there she moved to Lincoln, NE where she worked as a technician. She decided to move home at the end of 2019 to be closer to family.

When asked what she likes most about being a Tech, Abby said,

‘Animals help make us better people, so I love knowing that I am able to care for the animals that need help in return.’

In her free time, Abby loves hanging out with her Puggle, Goldendoodle, cat, and Leopard Gecko.


Veterinary Assistant – Manager
About Clay

Clay was born and raised in Homer, NE. After graduating high school, he went to college at Wayne State University, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in exercise science. A dedicated athlete his whole life, Clay set three different track and field records during his time at Wayne State, a fitting achievement considering his fitness passion.
Since a young age, Clay has also had a passion for animals, which eventually led him to work for us here at Elk Creek Animal Hospital starting in 2019. Clay has been an indispensable part of the Elk Creek family since the day he started. He is always there to anchor the rest of us and keep us motivated. If there is a stressful situation or a difficult case, Clay can maintain a positive attitude, and that positive attitude is always infectious.
Clay and his wife Melissa have a rambunctious Alaskan Malamute named Layla, and an energetic Golden Retriever named Atreus, that keep them busy and entertained. When he’s not playing fetch with his dogs, Clay likes to play the guitar, exercise, and spend time with his friends and family.


Veterinary Assistant – Assistant Manager
About Lexie
Lexie Schuster has been a part of the Elk Creek family since April 2020. She grew up on a farm outside of Elk Creek, Nebraska. She has always had a passion for helping animals. She graduated with her bachelor’s in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In her free time, Lexie loves spending time with her dog Oakley, farm kitties, and two pygmy goats.


Veterinary Assistant – Surgical Manager
About Ariel
Ariel is a native of Sioux City, IA. After graduating from East High School, Ariel received her Bachelor’s in animal science from Iowa State University. She hopes to attend vet school and become a veterinarian. Ariel likes working at Elk Creek Animal Hospital because she gets to see so many different animals and experience new and interesting things every day. She loves getting to work with her coworkers, who she thinks of like a second family. In her free time, Ariel likes to kick back and spend time with her awesome cat, Lou.


Veterinary Assistant – Inventory Manager
About Jayden

Jayden has been with us since May of 2022. She is originally from Cedar Falls, Iowa and moved to Sioux City after graduating from Iowa State University with an Animal Science Degree. She decided to join the team because of her love of animals and her desire to gain more experience in the small animal area, since she comes from a large animal background. Jayden hopes to  use the knowledge she gains from working at Elk Creek to help her achieve her ultimate goal of applying to vet school and becoming a veterinarian. In her free time, Jayden likes helping on her family farm and enjoying the outdoors with others and her pets.


Veterinary Assistant

About Dave

Bio coming soon!


Veterinary Assistant

About Cece
Cecelia joined Elk Creek as a Veterinary Technician Intern in the summer of 2023 and has worked here since. A Sioux City Native, Cecelia graduated from West High School and then graduated from Iowa Lakes Community College Veterinary Technician program with an associate’s degree in applied science. After graduating college, Cecelia decided to work at Elk Creek full time while studying to take her VTNE in hopes of becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician. Outside of work, Cecelia is a big ice hockey fan and enjoys going to musketeer games or watching her favorite team, the New Jersey Devils, play on TV. Cecelia has a soft spot for all animals but, has an even softer spot for black cats. She has her own two black cats, Luna and Void. She also has a lab/aussie mix named Lincoln and a white cat named Nico.


Kennel Staff

About Hayden

Bio coming soon!