Dr. Risa Hanninen is a solo practitioner operating as the Northwest PA Veterinary Service, a mobile practice that allows her to travel to houses and farms in order to care for animals. From horses to cats, she sees several different species including alpacas, llamas, goats, sheep, deer, and dogs. As a mobile vet in a rural region, Dr. Hanninen covers a wide region that reaches over into eastern OH.

Dr. Hanninen provides a number of services for a variety of species. For horses, small ruminants, and camelids, she is able to offer a wide range of services from the annual wellness and vaccines to consultations and emergency care to obstetrics and minor surgeries. For cervids, Dr. Hanninen is able to help out with the annual herd inventories and offer consultations on improving animal health and assiting in health management. Her small animal work is primarily vaccines, wellness exams, quality of life assessments, and at home euthanasias.

Dr. Risa Hanninen

I grew up this region and saw the need for a mobile veterinarian who provides a variety of services. I went to Penn State to complete my Bachelor’s in Animal Bioscience, and then went to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine for my veterinary degree. After graduating Ohio State in May 2013, I worked with my friend and mentor Dr. Anne Hallowell, who then sold me her practice January 2014.

When I’m not being a veterinarian, I help my parents work on our farm where we raise Angora goats for mohair, protecting them with guard llamas. We have horses, an alpaca, rabbits, chickens, guinea fowl, as well as cats and dogs. I also help my mother work in the fiber arts which include spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and felting with the natural fiber we raise on our goats, llamas, and alpaca as well as sheep’s wool.

I am a member of the Mercer Spinners’ and Weavers’ Guild where we get together to work on projects and learn new skills. The Guild meets the second Saturday of the odd numbered months (our first meeting was 1/14/17) and the second Thursday of the even numbered months (February’s meeting is 2/9/2017). We usually meet at the Pig Barn at Munnell Run Farm in Mercer County off of Rte 58 . This year we have a variety of topics planned, from doing a teaching fleece to shawl, to locker hook. Our annual Dye Day is held at the September meeting at the home of one of our members. If anyone would be interested in a meeting, my mother is the president of the Guild.

I also assist my mother in her work with Arts 4 Everyone. A4E works to not only to show the public the skills of the artists involved, but also teach them how to do many of the things the artists themselves demonstrate.




Being a Veterinarian:

“Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.

I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.

I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.”

This is the oath that veterinarians swear at our white coat ceremonies before we enter clinics. We swear it when we graduate veterinary school. I keep it by my desk as a reminder.

Being a veterinarian means I have completed a college degree. I have completed a veterinary degree. I have passed the National Veterinary Boards. I have committed to completing a minimum of Continuing Education credits every two years so I can renew my PA veterinary license as well as my Ohio veterinary license. It means I have a DEA license to renew every three years so I can get the medications and drugs needed to perform basic services, such as euthanasias and sedations. It means I had to become Nationally Accredited to fill out health papers, rabies tags, and do testing for diseases, and I renew that accreditation every three years. I have certain insurances that I have to have.

Being a veterinarian means that I care about animals, it also means I care about the people who have them. It means that when the phone rings, I answer it. It means that I will get out of bed in the middle of the night to go help. It means that some nights I don’t get a lot of sleep. It means there are days I work over 20 hours. It means that I cry with clients when we lose the battle. It means that even though I have no calls, I’m still working. Being a veterinarian means that I am human, but I will do my best for you and your animals.