Our Team

Our Veterinary Team

Meet the team of Wholehearted Veterinary Care! We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your pets.

Get to know our team!

We are solely dedicated to your pet’s care! We look forward to getting to know you, and we hope you’ll take the time to scroll down and get to know us.
Veterinary Team - Kara Malone

Dr. Kara Malone – (she/her)

DVM (practice owner)
Kara Malone is both a veterinarian and the owner of Wholehearted Veterinary Care in Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Malone is a Northview High School graduate and attended Michigan State University for both undergraduate training and veterinary medical school. With experience as a small animal veterinarian since 2003 (in Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, and Michigan), she is excited to open a practice in her hometown. As a veterinarian, she enjoys providing dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, gerbils, hedgehogs, ferrets, and reptiles with the high-quality care that all our pets deserve. Outside of work, Dr. Malone enjoys spending time with her family, reading, puzzles, bird photography, volunteer work, and playing music (flute, piccolo, and piano).

Veterinary Team - Joan Koelzer

Dr. Joan Koelzer – (she/her)

Joan Koelzer is a 1985 graduate of the College of Veterinary at Michigan State University. She practiced briefly in Dearborn but has spent the last 35 years practicing small animal medicine in West Michigan. Her special interests include small animal soft tissue surgery, including “pocket pets”. She frequently performs surgery on rats, rabbits, and other small mammals for the local animal shelters. Her hobbies include walking her dog, spoiling her cats, crocheting, knitting, hiking, biking, reading, and traveling. She especially enjoys visiting National Parks across the country. She has been married for 37 years and has four children and four grandchildren. Her fur kids include her golden retriever, Harry, and four cats – Seven, Wallace, Davis, and Lou.


Abbi Conley – (she/her)

Hospital Manager
Abbi Conley is the Hospital Manager of Wholehearted Veterinary Care. She is a Grand Valley State University alumni and has worked with animals for over 10 years. She has a specific interest in exotic pets such as rabbits, reptiles, and rodents. Outside of work she enjoys houseplants and gardening, fostering pets, and spending time with friends. She lives alongside her boyfriend, a Chihuahua-mix named Marley, three cats, two chinchillas, a rabbit, mice, a freshwater fish tank and a tarantula.


Ashley- (she/her)

Ashley grew up all over the United States and finally landed in Michigan where she graduated from Baker College in 2020. She owns a husky, four cats, and two (17yr old) aquatic turtles. Her favorite part about being a technician is the ability to help not only animals, but people as well. In her free time she enjoys exploring beaches and trails with her dog, kayaking, and reading horror books with her fiancé.


Leah- (she/her)

Leah has been a Grand Rapids native her entire life. She graduated from MSU with B.S. in Veterinary Technology in 2001. Although she loves all aspects of veterinary medicine, her passion is surgery, anesthesia, and pain management.

When she is not at the hospital, Leah enjoys anything involving outdoor adventure, but it is well known her favorite place to be is on or slalom skiing behind the family boat with her husband and two daughters.


Jackie- (she/her)

Jackie grew up in Holland, MI but decided to move to Grand Rapids to be closer to family. She graduated from the Veterinary Technology program at Baker College in 2018. She owns a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Labrador Mix. Her favorite part about being an LVT is being able to advocate for her patients who don’t have a voice of their own.

In her free time, Jackie enjoys gardening, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.


Amber- (she/her)

Amber is a Licensed Veterinary Technician that has been practicing since 2014. She is a 2014 graduate of the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in Colorado. She has helped provide wellness and surgical nursing to cats, dogs, and multiple exotic animals. She is currently working on becoming a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Exotic Companion Animals. She currently lives in a home with her significant other, two dogs, two cats, and two rabbits. In her spare time, you will most likely find her playing video games, watching anime, playing Magic the Gathering, or in multiple DnD sessions. She loves going to Comicon, the Renaissance Faire, Lake Michigan, and playing her flute whenever she can. She is looking forward to working with you as part of the Wholehearted team to take care of your best friend and can’t wait to get started!


Kristin- (she/her)

Veterinary Assistant
Kristin started her career in Veterinary medicine 20 years ago at the Animal Emergency Hospital, where she learned an amazing amount about veterinary medicine and made lifelong friends.  After around 10 years, she transitioned to daytime practice, and most recently worked in animal rehabilitation which continues to be a passion.  At home, Kristin has 2 pit bulls (Rex & Raisin) and 2 cats (Asher & Ronald), and almost always a foster dog or cat (focusing on hospice, neglected dogs, and kittens).  When not working or tending to the animals, Kristin is usually out walking in the woods or listening to live music, while enjoying a craft beverage.

What is Fear Free Certified?

Our mission is to alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets and educate and inspire those who care for them. Fear Free focuses on both the physical and emotional well-being of your pets and aims to take the pet out of petrified. Your visit with us will be full of thoughtful details to alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress. You will see the layering of calming pheromones, calming music, warm towels, catnip, high reward treats, and staff that exhibit gentle handling and intrinsic knowledge of pet body language and behavior. To learn more, visit the Fear Free website.

Our Grand Opening!