Our Veterinarians

Dr. Joseph Leppanen

Owner, Veterinarian

Dr. Joseph Leppanen spent the first 10 years of his life growing up in San Jose, California, and his family would often take trips to the countryside to stay on a friend’s sheep ranch. It wasn’t hard for him to develop a love and appreciation for animals early on in life. As he got a bit older, Dr. Leppanen started to develop intense passions for science and medicine. By the time he had signed up to do volunteer work at a few local animal hospitals, his mind was made up—veterinary medicine was the only choice for him!

Dr. Leppanen started his educational journey at Michigan Technological University as a pre-med student before transferring to Michigan State University to begin his prerequisites for veterinary school. During his time there, he volunteered at three separate animal hospitals while also working as an orderly at the school’s Olin Health Center and the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Leppanen graduated with a high-honors degree in medical technology and microbiology, and also obtained an additional Bachelor’s degree in Zoology.

During his final year of undergraduate studies, Dr. Leppanen was accepted into Michigan State’s School of Veterinary Medicine, where he earned his Doctorate in 1985. He then moved to Florida and practiced there for a brief time before returning to Michigan to be with his wife. He took a job at an animal hospital in DeWitt, where he would remain for the next seven years. In 1992, the facility that is now Pennsylvania Veterinary Care was put up for sale—Dr. Leppanen jumped at his chance, and took full ownership that spring. He’s been serving the pets and animal owners of the area ever since!

Dr. Leppanen has returned to his alma mater since graduation in order to expand his own skillset and knowledge; he’s completed courses in orthopedics and has studied in seminars and laboratory workshops in order to better serve his patients. In addition, Dr. Leppanen has done work for the Mid-Michigan Cat Rescue, served as the county veterinarian for Ingham County Animal Control, and given his time to the Capital Area Humane Society.

Outside of work, Dr. Leppanen spends most of his free time with his family—he has four boys and a girl. Together, they enjoy camping, fishing, and boating on Michigan’s beautiful lakes. Dr. Leppanen’s children are also active in sports, and he can often be found attending a local lacrosse, football, basketball, or volleyball game.

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Dr. Vanassche

Associate Veterinarian

As a young girl, Dr. Vanassche fell in love with James Herriot’s veterinary novels—it was then that her passion for animal care was ignited. By the time she was nine years old, Dr. Vanassche knew that she wanted to become a veterinarian herself! Her dream never wavered; she’s now a veterinarian with the Pennsylvania Veterinary Care family.

Dr. Vanassche grew up on an apple orchard in Ypsilanti, Michigan and headed to Michigan State University after high school to begin her animal-care education. After only three years of undergraduate studies in the pre-veterinary program, she was admitted to veterinary school. Dr. Vanassche earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State in 1990, and has been practicing in the Lansing area ever since.

Dr. Vanassche originally started here at Pennsylvania Veterinary Care on a relief basis in February of 2016, and was offered a part-time position shortly after completing her relief shifts. She has a particular interest in internal medicine cases, which allow her to work through the diagnostic process to find an appropriate solution. Dermatology is another area that she enjoys; for Dr. Vanassche, nothing beats turning an itchy, uncomfortable patient into a happy, healthy pet!

In her time away from the clinic, Dr. Vanassche enjoys gardening, fishing—she even recently restored her father’s old fishing boat—camping, and attending her children’s sporting and theatrical events. She and her three kids share their home with a Yorkshire terrier, a Shih-Tzu/dachshund mix, and a flock of 15 chickens.

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