Becky Prior received her Doctorate of Veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1997. Over the past 18 years Dr. Prior has practiced small animal medicine, surgery, and emergency and critical care in practices in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and most recently in Casper, WY. Dr. Prior assumed ownership of Lifetime Small Animal Hospital August 1, 2013. She looks forward to a continued working relationship with its previous owner Dr. Malcolm L. Blessing and all its staff.
Dr. Prior’s husband Jim has also joined the team at Lifetime as the Hospital Administrator. Jim and Becky have been married over 15 years and have two children, Laura and Brendan.
A graduate of Kansas State University in 1964, Dr. Blessing served as a veterinarian in the U.S. Air Force for two years before coming to Cody in 1966. In 1968, he moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada where he practiced until 1970. He then returned to Cody and started Blessing Animal Hospital.
In 1974, the business expanded and moved to its current location on Big Horn Avenue. In 2007, the business expanded again, nearly doubling its space and changing its name to Lifetime Small Animal Hospital. On August 1, 2013, Dr. Blessing sold Lifetime Small Animal Hospital to Dr. Rebecca W. Prior, yet he continues to practice at the hospital to service Lifetime’s clients.
Dr. Blessing has a special interest in small animal dentistry, orthopedics and avian medicine. His years of experience and knowledge are greatly appreciated. He is always researching new methods and protocols that pertain to the every day operation of the facility. Dr. Blessing was a founding member of the Humane Society of Park County, and served as president for four years. Dr. Blessing is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Wyoming Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Blessing and his wife Deanna have two grown sons Greg and Stuart.
Jim keeps all the bells and whistles of our hospital going.
Jim and Dr. Prior have had animal hospitals in other parts of the country. We are happy that they settled in Cody, WY and created a wonderful place to work and care for animals. Jim majored in music and is also a student of foreign languages. When he isn’t working he enjoys listening to music, spending time with his children.
Office Manager and Receptionist
Mary joined the hospital in 2009 as our morning kennel attendant. She has expanded her duties to being receptionist and the Office Manager. She is a friendly voice on the other end of the line when you call our hospital. Her duties also include being the kennel supervisor, Doggie Daycare, and assisting the technicians and doctors when the need arises.
She keeps our days busy always making sure we have work to do. Mary keeps the technicians on their toes and is always willing to help whenever and wherever it is needed. When she isn’t at work Mary enjoys riding horses, reading, doing photography, and most importantly spending time with her grandchildren.
Certified Veterinary Technician
Deana has worked at Lifetime Small Animal Hospital since 1991. She has an Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology, as well as a B.S. and A.S. in other animal science fields. She is also a member of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians and the Wyoming Veterinary Technician Association.
Deana is the go to technician for any questions on laboratory evaluations and behavior consultations. When she isn’t at work she is spending time with her furry family. She has done obedience competitions with numerous times with her dogs. Her many years of experience brings a beneficial knowledge to the team.
Certified Veterinary Technician
Tessa graduated from Hot Springs County High School in 2006 and went right into the United States Marine Corps, where she served 4 years and received an Honorable Discharge in 2010. After serving her country she became passionate about taking on a career as a Veterinary Technician. Tessa joined us in September 2014 while on her externship for her degree. She graduated from Pima Medical institute, Mesa, AZ in October 2014 with an Associates of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology. She became a full time employee with us in November 2014 and in April 2015 she became a Certified Veterinary Technician in the state of Wyoming. She has a strong passion for horses and in 2015 she became certified as an Equine Veterinary Technician as well.
She has been around animals her entire life, mostly livestock and horses. Growing up on a ranch in Thermopolis, WY she had to learn at a young age how to care for sick and injured animals. The fact that she can help an animal that can’t help itself gives Tessa a strong sense of purpose. She has had the pleasure and opportunity to assist in major orthopedic and prosthetic surgeries in horses with Dr. Ted Vlahos a local equine specialist and owner of Yellowstone Equine Hospital.
Tessa shares her life with her husband Joe and together they have 3 children; Casey, Wyatt, and Tristyn. Their family also consists of 2 dogs; Ralph and Red, and 2 horses; Apache and Sven. When Tessa isn’t working she is hunting, camping, and riding her horse. She is one of the founding members of the 307 Renegade Riders, a local equine organization and official rodeo drill team of the Cody Nite Rodeo and Cody Stampede Rodeo.
Kara joined our team in March 2018. She has a B.S. in Marine Biology and a B.S. in Captive Wildlife Care and Education from Unity College in Unity, ME. She moved from Maine to Montana for a wildlife job in 2015. She left the wildlife job in the fall of 2017 to work as a veterinary technician in Billings. She left Billings and came to work for Lifetime Small Animal Hospital in March 2018.
She has a strong passion for wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation. She enjoys sanctuary and zoo settings and isn’t afraid of hard work. She became interested in the medicine aspect after years of working rehabilitation and finds gratification in mending and helping animals to live full and happy lives.
Kara shares her life with her husband Cruz and their daughter, as well as her dogs; Sadie Mae and Ranger who are both rescue pets. When she isn’t working she is outdoors. Kara loves to hike, traveling, go camping, and furthering her education in the veterinary medicine field.