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Meet the friendly staff at Deschutes Animal Clinic!

  • Virginia S. Balius

    Virginia S. Balius, DVM - Graduated from Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. She has three cats and two Gouldian finches. Also, many elk, deer, coyotes, rabbits, porcupine, owls, and summertime nighthawks often take up residence on her place. Dr. Balius' professional interests are feline and rabbit medicine as well as small animal soft tissue surgery. She is a member of AVMA, WSVMA, The American Rabbit Breeders Association, and The American House Rabbit Society. She enjoys piano, landscape gardening, hiking and volksmarching, travel and belongs to a belly dance performing group called Troupe Rashaad.

  • Kristin Ripka

    Kristin Ripka, DVM - Attended Washington State University for both undergraduate work and veterinary medicine. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2009, and started working at Deschutes shortly thereafter. Forming strong, long-term bonds with her clients and their pets as a general practitioner has been her life-long dream. Her interests in veterinary medicine lay mostly in small animal surgery and internal medicine. In her spare time, Kristin enjoys hiking, reading, traveling (stateside and internationally), and spending time with her dog, Chester. She is on the board for Joint Animal Services Commission (JASCOM), and volunteers with the non-profit group Covenant Creatures. Kristin and her husband (who is also a veterinarian down in Chehalis) love exploring Thurston County and getting to know the area!

  • Melodie Peterson

    Melodie Peterson, DVM is originally from Seattle, WA, and is thrilled to be returning to the area after time spent in the Midwest. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Washington and received her veterinary degree from Washington State University. Following graduation, she completed a Small Animal Rotating Medicine and Surgery Internship at the University of Illinois, where she developed strong interests in emergency and internal medicine. Prior to starting at Deschutes Animal Clinic, Dr. Peterson worked at a busy veterinary hospital in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Peterson lives with three dogs: her loyal German Shepherd, Vaughness, and two rambunctious Terrier mixes, Charlie and Gamble. In her free time, she enjoys road trips, hiking, traveling, kick boxing, watching hockey, and dressing her dogs in silly outfits.


Office Hours


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-3:00 pm




  • "We have been Deschutes clients for years, but, this is the first time for overnight stay for Pepper and Mei-Mei. If it is possible they come home more spoiled than we have them. Thanks to the staff and doctors for taking such good care of us. Gabby, thanks for treating us like family!"
    Georgann M.
  • "This was my first visit to this veteran as my vet office closed. They were wonderful! They were very thorough with the information and cost and everything right up front which was very nice. And gave me everything I needed to know afterwards."
    Lori F.
  • "We have been going here for years the staff and Dr. Are amazing my friends and family also go here we would never change!"
    Sarah S.