Our Veterinarians

Dr. Richard Linkenheimer



The idea of wanting to be a veterinarian started at a very young age for Dr. Linkenheimer.    He attended Edenboro University and received a Bachelors in Biology degree and a secondary education teaching certification. 

He received his doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree from Mississippi State University in 1995. 

He worked emergency medicine for 5 years.  His dream of opening his own practice was fulfilled in 2000, when River Valley Veterinary Hospital opened its doors.  

Dr. Linkenheimer and his family are controlled by four dogs, Sam and Ella (Katrina rescues), Piper and Jewel, two sisters from West Virginia, along with two rescue cats, Peek-a-boo and Bob and multiple fish.

 He loves collecting eclectic music for his 1990's Ipod,  reading and cooking.

Dr. Teresa Fitzgerald


Associate Veterinarian

Ever since she was a child, Dr. Teresa Fitzgerald has had her heart set on veterinary medicine. She’s always lived by one motto: “Please let me be the person my dog thinks that I am!” Dr. Fitzgerald gets to live her dream every day as an Associate Veterinarian with the River Valley Veterinary Services family.

A Pittsburgh native, Dr. Fitzgerald attended the University of Pittsburgh for her undergraduate studies before earning her veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania. 

After graduating, she returned home to western Pennsylvania to begin her veterinary career. She’s been here ever since! Dr. Fitzgerald’s favorite part of her job is getting to meet loving pet owners and their wonderful companions on a daily basis.

Dr. Fitzgerald has many pets of her own at home. She lives with a horse named Lady; Krya the retired Greyhound; an elderly cat named Berber; a cat named Will; two foster kittens who go by Zoe and Malcolm Reynolds; and a flock of four chickens.

When she isn’t spending time with her animals or tending to the area’s pets here at the hospital, Dr. Fitzgerald enjoys relaxing in the great outdoors and reading good books. One of her favorite series is The Lord of the Rings, and she even hopes to one day visit the Shire in New Zealand!

Dr. Michelle E. Honse


Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Michelle Honse has been passionate about animal welfare ever since she was young. Her parents had always told her to choose a career path that would let her use her talents to give something back to the world—for Dr. Honse, veterinary medicine simply made sense! Now, she betters the lives of the area’s pets daily as an Associate Veterinarian here at River Valley Veterinary Services.

Dr. Honse grew up in northern Mississippi, where she cared for animals on the family farm and participated in various 4-H organization activities throughout her childhood. She attended Mississippi State University for her schooling, and first joined the River Valley Veterinary Services team as an intern. Dr. Honse is especially passionate about educating her clients on the best possible care techniques for their four-legged companions. She also can’t get enough of adorable puppies and kittens!

Dr. Honse lives on a small farm with her husband and son, a dog, several cats, a bird, a few horses, and a multitude of chickens. When she has time between her duties on the farm and her busy work schedule, Dr. Honse enjoys spending time with her family, horseback riding and gardening.

Dan Smith



Dan always knew he was meant to change animal lives for the better. Dan graduated from Vet tech Institute almost 20 years ago and landed his first technician position shortly after. A Lower Burrell native, he has worked at practices in the AK Valley most of his career and wouldn’t change a thing.

Dan specializes in wellness, behavior, and healing. He also likes to teach clients about disease, prevention and behavior. He loves a challenge in this ever changing profession. 

Dan shares his home with his favorite hiking partner, his collie Henry. They also enjoy camping and exploring together. The sound of Coyotes howling is a favorite. 

When not enjoying time spent with his dog, Dan likes to travel. His most notable travels have been to Ireland, the beaches in Maine, Key West, Montreal, Seattle and Outer Banks. Dan says there’s nothing like waking up to the sounds of the ocean waves crashing.