Our Staff

What’s Important to You Is Important to Us

At Den Herder Veterinary Hospital, we take great pride in serving the Waterloo and Cedar Falls areas with quality veterinary care. Treating our clients and their pets like family is our first priority.

Our four veterinarians, all graduates of Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and four certified veterinary technicians provide expert treatment for your pet. Emphasizing preventive care, we offer the healthiest, safest and most economical options. Our goal is to help you prevent problems, not just treat them.

You and your pets are the most important reason we are in business. We welcome the opportunity to provide you the best pet care in the Cedar Valley area. Have a look at our services and request an appointment today.

Meet Our Staff

Dr. Tom Taylor

Tom is a 2004 graduate of Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He joined Den Herder Veterinary Hospital as a kennel staff employee and veterinary assistant from 1998–2000 while he was completing his undergraduate study at the University of Northern Iowa. Following graduation from ISU, he rejoined the team as a veterinarian in 2004. Tom’s veterinary interests are many and include surgery (soft tissue and orthopedics), ultrasound and internal medicine. He has recently explored stem cell therapy as a treatment for chronic arthritis.

Tom is originally from Rowley, Iowa, and married his high school sweetheart, Mandy, in 2000. They have three very active boys, Coby, Isaac and Wes. They also have two dogs a Vizsla named Jade and Chloe, a Golden Retriever. Needless to say, he is not bored. If there happens to be any spare time, Tom spends it with his kids fishing, hunting or cheering for them at the baseball field or on the Waterhawks water ski team. If you can’t find him in any of these places, he’s probably at the CrossFit Gym trying to stay healthy enough to keep up with life in general.

Tom has an active role as a partner on the Partners in Education board at Lou Henry Elementary, and is a member of the Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee at the University of Northern Iowa. + Learn more.

Dr. Jerry S. Den Herder

Jerry is a 1972 graduate of Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He spent 11 years in a corporate veterinary practice prior to opening the doors of Den Herder Veterinary Hospital in 1983, moving it to its current location in 1985. He is married to Ronda (Vanderloo) and has four daughters and three grandchildren. He considers veterinary medicine one of his hobbies and passions. He spends the rest of his time with his family, running, boating and in Bible study. Jerry currently has two poodles, Gracie and Nell. He has had five other pets in the past 42 years of practice and has helped his previous pets through cases of Addison’s disease (a hormonal imbalance) and several bouts of pancreatitis. Going through these issues with his own pets has increased his empathy for clients who may have concerns for their pets’ health. Jerry sold the veterinary practice to Tom Taylor in December of 2012 and continues to practice three to four days per week. + Learn more.

Dr. Lori Cherney

Lori is a 1991 graduate of Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She joined the Den Herder Veterinary Hospital team in 1996. Her specialties at the hospital are many, but she specifically enjoys surgery, pain management, ophthalmology and exotic animal medicine. Lori also donates a large amount of her time to the Black Hawk Wildlife Rehabilitation Project. She married her high school sweetheart, Ken, and they have three children, Hannah, Bryce and Ty. Lori loves to garden and read in her spare time. She currently has three dogs (all adopted from the local humane society), four birds, three rabbits, one bearded dragon and one ferret. + Learn more.

Dr. Sophi Franck

Sophi Franck attended Iowa State University majoring in animal science and graduated from veterinary school in 1999. She started her career at a private practice in Las Vegas, NV. In 2002, she moved to Spencer, IA practicing there in a small animal hospital until joining the Den Herder team in September of 2016.

Sophi grew up on a farm outside of Quasqueton, IA. She enjoyed all the farm animals, but decided to direct her career towards companion animals during her last year of vet school. Dr. Franck enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine, but has special interest in feline internal medicine, acupuncture, and pain management.

Sophi has three daughters: Faythe (12), Macy (8), and Lilah (6). Her girls are involved in 4-H, soccer, swim team and just started karate lessons. In her free time, Sophi enjoys baking as well as many outdoor activities including bicycling, jogging, and gardening.

Sophi and her daughters have two cats, Pearl and Poppy, along with a bearded dragon and three hermit crabs. Sophi enjoys volunteering and has worked with her church children’s programming, coached soccer, given children’s groups veterinary office tours, and has led a team for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s One Walk. + Learn More

Dr. Kealie Rogers

Kealie is a 2017 graduate from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is our newest addition to the Den Herder Veterinary Hospital! She attended Drake University and the University of Iowa, majoring in Biology with a minor in Studio Arts.

Kealie grew up in Altoona, Iowa, where she was always bringing a variety of animals home. She was involved in 4-H and FFA showing livestock, but has always had a special place in her heart for companion animals. She also played soccer growing up and has completed several triathlons over the years. Kealie enjoys many aspects of companion animal medicine and hopes to learn all that she can from the DHVH staff.

In her free time, Kealie enjoys being outdoors, cycling, exercising, drawing, and of course hanging out with her four-legged child, Doc. She is very excited to join the Waterloo community and looks forward to meeting you all! +Learn More…


Tracey graduated from Iowa State University with a B.A. in Animal Science in 1992. She then began work at Den Herder Veterinary Hospital while pursuing her degree as a certified veterinary technician, graduating from Kirkwood Community College in 1994. She assists the doctors and staff with outpatients, laboratory testing and radiology. She specializes in behavior training and positive reinforcement. Tracey and her husband, Joe, have two children, Sam and Ben. They also have two dogs, Henry and Theo (both Cavalier King Charles spaniels). + Learn more.


Jeana is a 2006 graduate of the Community College of Southern Nevada Veterinary Technician program, and joined the Den Herder team in August of 2006. She spends her days at the hospital assisting in surgery, monitoring anesthetized patients, doing teeth cleans and assisting the doctors with patients. She enjoys seeing the wildlife Dr. Cherney cares for. Outside of work, Jeana enjoys being outdoors, fishing, playing sports and spending time with her family.  Jeana and her husband, Mark, are the proud parents of Blake, born in June of 2009, Brock born in November of 2014, and Brook born in May 2016. Jeana has two cats, Midget and Bella, and two dogs, Scrubs and Dyson. + Learn more.


Charity began working at Den Herder Veterinary Hospital in 2006. She started as a kennel staff member and soon became a veterinary assistant. In 2011, she graduated from the Kirkwood Community College Veterinary Technician program and is now a certified veterinary technician. Charity and her husband Dan live in Waterloo. They have three dogs, Chloe, Simon, and Jax. + Learn more.


Tracy is a 2004 graduate of the Kirkwood Community College Certified Veterinary Technician program and has been with Den Herder Veterinary Hospital since graduation. Tracy enjoys and excels in pet dentistry at the hospital. She also spends much of her time assisting in surgery. Tracy and her husband, Matt, have two little girls, Isabelle, born in April of 2010, Charlotte born in March of 2014, and one son, Noah born in October of 2016. Recently they had to say goodbye to their beloved cat, Cosmo, pictured here. Tracy didn’t like being in a pet-free home so they welcomed a Golden Retriever puppy, Piper, at the end of 2015. Tracy enjoys reading, practicing yoga, watching Hallmark movies, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.


Kara is a lifelong Waterloo resident. She has worked in pet retail for many years including PetCo, Emporium Pets, and most recently PetSmart. Kara was the Pet Care Manager at PetSmart for 10.5 years before joining the DHVH team. She has a passion for working with pets of all types.

Kara wears two hats at Den Herder Vet. One is veterinary assistant and the second is kennel staff manager. She loves the hands-on work with clients and helping the doctors behind the scenes in the hospital and laboratory. She is an integral part of our kennel staff team helping to schedule, train, and making sure our hard working kennel staff are enjoying what they are doing!

Kara has two amazing children, Aiden (born in 2004) and Mia (born in 2010). When she isn’t at work, you can find her at basketball, baseball, gymnastics, swim lessons, church activities or just enjoying being a mom!

Kara has 3 cats, Mufasa, Marvin, and Murphy. And one dog, Ryder, a coonhound mix. She recently lost her beloved cat, Demon (pictured here), after a long bout of kidney and heart issues. Last, but not least, she has a rose-hair tarantula named Spider.


Natalie graduated from Iowa State University with a B.A. in Animal Science in 2015 and joined the Den Herder Team in May of 2016. She helps out in the front office and also in the back assisting the doctors and techs. A native from Janesville, Iowa, Natalie likes to spend her free time playing softball, relaxing on the river, or with her family. She has three pets; one cat, named Cat and two dogs, Merlin, a Terrier mix, (pictured here) and Raye, the newest member of the family, a Shih tzu.


Deb joined the Den Herder team in 2008 with the task of starting the grooming department and has done a phenomenal job. She has served the Cedar Valley pet community in various roles for 20 years, and has experience as a veterinary assistant, humane society director and medical technician and groomer for 15 years. She managed the Petco grooming salon prior to joining our team. When not grooming, Deb lives with her teenage grandson, Cole. She has a passion for French bulldogs and has trained two of her own, Spot (who passed in May of 2017) and Sully. She enjoys creatures of all types and has an African Grey, Rocky, at home. + Learn more.


Keely began working at Den Herder Veterinary Hospital in 2006 in the front office. She loves to greet people and has a deep sense of commitment to helping clients and patients as they enter or leave the hospital. Keely is married to Tim, and they spend as much time as they can fishing. In September of 2011, they were blessed to receive Boise, who was in training to be a service dog, but did not pass the final exam. She is a super addition to their family and is the new “queen.” + Learn more.


Sandy was a wonderful client for 29 years before joining our team in the fall of 2010. She is married to Dan, and they have a wonderful daughter, Kaley, and son-in-law, Mike. Two grandsons, Logan and Lukas, make their world go around. Sandy loves pets, so transitioning to Den Herder Veterinary Hospital from her years in retail management, was a fun move for her. Sandy spends free time with her family, cooking and baking, and loves taking trips to Disney with the grandkids. Her three Old English Sheepdogs (Lacey, Murphy, and new pup Savannah) and Wilbur the Beagle, keep her and Dan very busy. + Learn more.


After years as a client, Jackie joined the Den Herder Veterinary Hospital team in 2012 as a member of the front office staff. She came to the Cedar Valley to attend the University of Northern Iowa and remained after graduating. She worked for several years at the Cedar Bend Humane Society helping the homeless animals of the area. It was at the Humane Society where she met her first dog, Speckles, a blue merle Australian Shepherd mix and many of her other pets. She also spent a lot of time with the shelter mascot, Steve, the iguana. Jackie shares her home with her boyfriend, Jamie, two Chihuahuas, Roxy & Chase, and a highly intelligent and curious cat, Leo. Roxy and Jackie train in agility and enjoyed many exhilarating days of competition through the American Kennel Club. + Learn more.


Rachel has been with Den Herder Veterinary Hospital since 2006 when she first started with our Kennel Staff. Over the years she has also assisted the doctors, techs, and clients in the back and most recently has become part of the front office team. She can do it all! Rachel is another one of our exotics and wildlife specialists. She is a licensed wildlife rehabber and works closely with the Black Hawk Wildlife Rehabilitation Project. She has a wide variety of pets at home including: Alice (a Golden Doodle), Ellen (a Bloodhound), rabbits, tortoises, and fish! Whether fur, fin, scales, or feathers, Rachel loves them all. She is a native of Cedar Falls and attended the University of Northern Iowa. She likes to spend her free time reading, drawing, and going on road trips. + Learn more.


Kirsten has been with Den Herder Veterinary Hospital since 2004. She manages the hospital’s bookkeeping, payroll, billing, taxes, computer issues, social media, marketing, blogging, and online communications. She and her husband, Emerson, have three young boys, Emerson, J.D., and John. They have four cats, Fred, Daphne, Scooby, and Shaggy, all adopted from Waverly Pet Rescue. She is a native of Gilbert, Iowa, a graduate of Iowa State University and attended the University of Wisconsin for graduate school. She grew up on a small farm with hogs, horses, sheep, dogs, and cats. She has a passion for learning new things, laughter, tiny plants in quirky containers, and sleep.


Kacie started at Den Herder Veterinary Hospital in 2008 on the kennel staff and now spends time assisting the doctors with outpatients and lab work. She is owner of Kacie Wagner Photography. She spends much of her free time taking beautiful photos of children, pets and families. In fact, Kacie took many of the pictures on our website! She and her husband, Mike, have three young sons, Beau, Stone, and Jett. They have Chloe the cat at home and Apollo, a Boxer. In the little free time they have, they enjoy traveling, spending time with family and being outdoors.