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Meet Our Team

Riverside Animal Hospital is a companion animal hospital in Kearney, Nebraska. Along with our mixed animal practice in Elm Creek, Nebraska, we are prepared to meet all of your animal care needs.

We take special interest in advanced diagnostics, dermatology, orthopedics, chiropractics and acupuncture. We are very committed to providing our clients and patients the highest quality veterinary care! 

Dr. Barry Littell

DVM, CVC, CVA, Owner

Dr. Barry Littell is a 1987 graduate of KSU College of Veterinary Medicine. He has over 45 years experience in the horse industry. Through the special interest in equine, Dr. Barry is an accomplished Farrier and is certified in Veterinary Chiropractic since 1992 and Veterinary Acupuncture since 2002.

Dr. Deborah Littell

DVM, Owner

Dr. Deborah Littell is a 1988 graduate of KSU College of Veterinary Medicine. As a Senior Student, she was the recipient of the Prestigious Upjohn Award for proficiency in Small Animal Medicine. Dr. Deb has over 25 years experience of small animal clinical experience with special interest in dermatology, ophthalmology and orthopedic surgery. She received the America's Top Veterinarians award in 2007 for small animal surgery and medicine.

Both doctors enjoy involvement in a wide variety of community activities. Some of those activities include: 4-H leadership and volunteer efforts, church membership and boards, and local Lions Club members. Dr. Barry is on the Buffalo County Agricultural Society Board and Dr. Deb has previously served on the Buffalo County Extension Board. Deb and Barry, along with their son Tom, have 14 horses, a Corgi/Aussie named Diva, an Australian Shepherd named Bess, and five barn kitties named Ginger, Andi, No-No, JP and Hibby.

Dr. Kendra Novotny-Welniak


Dr. Kendra Novotny is a graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Kendra grew up in Ord, Nebraska on the family farm and ranch.  She grew up showing horses, cattle and sheep. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and participating in her community activities. She enjoys horse riding, going to the lake, fishing, playing sand volleyball, golfing, traveling and spending time with family. Kendra and her husband, Todd, are excited to make Kearney their new home. Kendra has one horse, Zippo, and a yellow Labrador Retriever, Lexi. 

Pennie Hort

Veterinary Technician

Pennie graduated from Eastern Wyoming College with an Associates of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology. She has been a part of our team since September of 2007 and she has experience working at one clinic before that. Pennie, her husband Brent and their three children Kyle, Shelbie, and Kourtney have a Heeler mix named Spice, six cats named Spook, Freddie, Turbo, Avon, Ruthie, and Molly and 2 rabbits.

Connie Anderson

Animal Care Assistant

Connie, Dr. Deb's mother, has worked at Riverside Animal Hospital and Littell Veterinary Services since 2000. She enjoys working with the animals and being with her co-workers. Connie has 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Payton Peterson

Payton graduated from Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture with a degree in Animal Science and became a licensed veterinary technician in 2018. She lives in Riverdale with her fiance, and has 3 rescued pitbulls. She enjoys working with small animals and exotic pets and enjoys rescuing and fostering dogs. Payton has been with Riverside Animal Hospital since March of 2018.

Codi Saunders

Vet Assistant/Receptionist

Codi moved to Nebraska from Chicago in October of 2016. She lives in Kearney with her 3 dogs and 1 cat. She spends most of her time with her pets and her family. She has been with Riverside Animal Hospital since November of 2016.   

Brenna Schneider

Animal Care Assistant

Brenna is currently attending UNK studying Nursing and Majoring in Biology. She is the happy owner of 2 labs, Grazie and Bristol and a mare, Fiona. In her spare time she enjoys riding and showing horses. Brenna also enjoys knitting, reading and playing sports.

Sydnie Lowery 

Kennel Staff

Sydnie is studying Biology for Veterinary Medicine at UNK.  She graduated from Blue Hill High School and has two dogs named Charlie and Twinkie. She grew up on a farm. Sydnie has been working at Riverside Animal Hospital since January 2017.  

Sharita Burton

Kennel Staff

Sharita currently attends UNK and is studying Criminal Justice.  I love dogs, sleep and food.  Sharita started with Riverside Animal Hospital in November of 2017.

Elle Rieker

Receptionist/Vet Assistant


Elle graduated from Colby Community College with an Applied Science Degree in Vet Technology in 2015. Colby is where she met her Husband Cody which pulled her up to Nebraska from a little town called Wathena, Kansas. Her and Cody have 1 daughter named Reata  that was born April 30, 2018. They live in Lexington Nebraska where Elle has lived for 3 years now. They have 3 dogs, 2 cats, multiple rodeo horses, and there own herd of cattle. Elle is learning how to breakaway rope which she enjoys doing on her  free time. Elle started working with Riverside Animal Hospital March 2018.