About us

February 22, 2011 (published) | October 1, 2023 (revised)

VIN News Service staff

The VIN News Service was established in 2008 as the news media arm of the Veterinary Information Network, the largest online information service devoted to veterinary medicine. Since 1991, VIN has served as a community where veterinary colleagues connect to share medical cases and their experiences navigating life, business and the profession. VIN News, like VIN, is advertiser-free, supported by the dues of VIN members. Reach us at



VIN News is an independent newsgathering service that examines issues of concern, importance and interest to the veterinary community, and communicates veterinary perspectives to the public. Our goal is to provide unbiased, accurate, insightful news reports and analyses that explore topics and viewpoints not commonly covered by other media outlets. We seek to be an indispensable source for trusted information relevant to the veterinary profession. VIN News does not accept advertising or sponsorships. It is funded solely by VIN, an online professional community with more than 100,000 members around the world. 

For more information, see FAQ.

Meet the news team

Lisa Wogan, news team director
Lisa has written countless profiles, issue pieces, essays and breaking news for regional and national magazines and newspapers. She was managing editor for Seattle magazine, a contributing editor and blogger for Bark magazine and a frequent contributor to The Seattle Times, Ms. and Washington Law & Politics. She's also written books, including "Dog Park Wisdom: Real World Advice on Choosing, Caring For, and Understanding Your Canine Companion." Lisa counts herself lucky to have shared her Seattle home with a dog-loving husband and three husky-mix pups. She can be reached at
Ross Kelly, managing editor
Ross covers international news from London and Sydney. He has close to 20 years' experience as a journalist, having worked for outfits including the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo UK and the Australian Associated Press. Ross has a bachelor's degree in biology and a graduate diploma in journalism, both from the University of Technology, Sydney. He can be reached at
Jennifer Fiala, reporter, editor and podcast producer
Jennifer joined VIN in 2008. Prior to that, she worked for DVM Newsmagazine and several newspapers in the Cleveland area. Jennifer has a bachelor's degree in newspaper journalism from Kent State University. She and her husband share a home in Bay Village, Ohio, with their two daughters and dog. She can be reached at
Edie Lau, reporter and editor
Edie has reported and edited for VIN News since 2008. Before that, she covered science, energy, the environment, education and whatever else needed doing at The Sacramento Bee (California); the Portland Press-Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram (Maine); the Press & Sun-Bulletin (New York); and the Stockton Record (California). Edie has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives near Seattle with her husband and their canine associate. She can be reached at
Christy Corp-Minamiji, contributing editor
Christy graduated with a DVM degree from the University of California, Davis, in 1996. She worked in the livestock biologics industry and spent a decade working in large animal ambulatory medicine before joining VIN as a full-time writer in 2011. In addition to writing and editing for VIN News, Christy writes for VetzInsight, an education blog published by VIN. Her professional interests include equine medicine and surgery, food animal emergency medicine and veterinary-client communications. Christy lives near Davis, California, where she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, painting and chocolate. She can be reached at

Cindi Drake, production associate
Cindi joined the VIN News Service staff in late 2018 and has been with VIN since 2009. As part of the content team, she not only helps the news team format content for publishing but also works on various projects across VIN, which keeps her busy and knowledgeable about many aspects of the VIN operation. Cindi relocated from VIN headquarters in Northern California to Southern California in the spring of 2018 with her wife and dog.
Arin Arthur, proofreader
Since childhood, Arin has been equally interested in art, animals and words. She received BA and BFA degrees in studio art from the University of Idaho, and for years, organized a low-cost spay and neuter clinic and fostered neonatal kittens. In March 2020, she joined the VIN content team, developing conference proceedings, and expanded her duties to the VIN News Service in 2023. She feels fortunate to have a job that encompasses her interests in animals and writing and deepens her knowledge of science. Arin lives in Boise, Idaho.
April Hildebrand-Louton, proofreader
VIN has been a part of April's life since 2003, when she entered her final year of veterinary school at the University of California, Davis. April began her career practicing small animal medicine and doing weekend vaccine clinics. In 2013, she started working for VIN as part of the proceedings team, and in 2023, became part of the news team, as well. She lives in the wine country of Sonoma County in Northern California with her husband, two sons and several cats, dogs and koi.
Megan Ward, proofreader
Megan graduated with a DVM degree from the University of California, Davis, in 2004. She worked in small animal practice before joining VIN's content team in 2019, working on conference proceedings. In 2023, she expanded her scope to the news team. Megan lives outside of Seattle, Washington, with her husband, two kids and two cats. She enjoys walking, hiking, listening to podcasts, reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Tamara Rees, graphic artist
Tamara has been a lifelong artist with an interest in science, beginning as a pastel and pencil sketch artist, dabbling in summer school at the San Francisco Academy of Art, graduating with a bachelor of science in genetics from the University of California, Davis. She began digital graphic design and vector art in 1994, with her first desktop computer before joining VIN in 1996. For more than 25 years she has enjoyed the challenges of expressing thoughts and science concepts through art. She has composed medical illustrations for veterinary textbooks and VIN-certified education courses, plus graphics for VIN News. She has three grown daughters and lives in Davis, California, with her husband, miniature schnauzer Molly and mini Dutch rabbit Hugo.
Wendy Smith Wilson, podcast narrator
Wendy has a DVM degree from the University of Georgia, 1998. Earlier, she obtained a teaching degree from Marshall University in West Virginia and spent five years in television production before entering veterinary school. She worked 15 years as an associate in a mixed-species practice covering the Tri-State region of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. Today, Wendy works full-time for VIN on the membership, education, content and multimedia teams. She narrates audio stories and voices introductions and conclusions in the VIN News podcast, Veterinary Voices. Wendy lives on a farm with assorted animals and an overly ambitious garden, and belongs to several vocal and instrumental music groups.
Baltazar "Tito" Rivas, hotlinks archivist
Tito joined VIN in 2020, mainly working on the content team. In 2023, he began helping the VIN News Service team to combat link rot. Tito grew up on a farm in Northern California, studied culinary arts in San Francisco for a few years, then returned to the family farm. He lives with his partner, Marsea, and their young daughter, along with goats, sheep, cats, dogs, ducks, chickens and pretty much anyone else who stumbles onto the property.
Tony Bartels, advice columnist
Tony graduated in 2012 from the Colorado State University combined MBA/DVM program. He and his wife, a small-animal internal medicine specialist, have more than $400,000 in veterinary school debt that they manage using federal income-driven repayment plans. By necessity (and now obsession), Tony's professional activities include researching and speaking on veterinary student debt, providing guidance to colleagues on student loan repayment strategies and contributing to VIN & VIN Foundation resources. He writes Dear Dr. Debt, an monthly advice column published by VIN News. Beyond debt, his professional interests include small animal practice. When he’s not staring holes into his colleagues’ student-loan data, Tony enjoys fly fishing and exploring Colorado with his wife, Audra, their daughter Lucy and their two rescued canines, Addi and Maggie.


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VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community. To submit a commentary for consideration, email

Information and opinions expressed in letters to the editor are those of the author and are independent of the VIN News Service. Letters may be edited for style. We do not verify their content for accuracy.