Dr. Sara Smith

Dr. Sara Smith is the owner and founder of Stepping Stone Animal Hospital. She graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. Dr. Smith grew up in central Massachusetts on a small hobby farm with all different species of animals and that is where her love for animals and taking care of them was born. Dr. Smith values the intense human-animal bond that people share with their pets and works hard to nurture that bond. She enjoys educating new and seasoned pet owners about nutrition options, preventative medicine, behavior and surgical or medical treatment plans that help pets live their best lives. Dr. Smith enjoys living in Gardner, KS with her husband, Christian and their three children. When not helping pets, she enjoys being outside playing with her kids or running along the Gardner Greenway. Dr. Smith loves seeing her pet patients and their owners outside of the clinic and is one of the reasons she loves Gardner so much! If you see Dr. Smith out for a run around town, stop her and say hi! She probably needs a breather… and a chat is a good excuse to take a quick break!


Sherri and her family have been an active part of the Gardner Community for close to 40 years. Sherri and her husband, Mike have raised there now grown children in Gardner. Active in school, community and especially 4-H, the country life has always been home. Sherri’s passion for animals has been a major part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her dog Hank and horse Pete are top of the list. If you see Sherri trail riding or just walking her dog in town stop and say Hi. We would love the company!


Nicole has been an RVT since 2012. She started her career as an extern at Blue Pearl before graduation and went on to work there for 5 years. Her love for animals has taken her from Specialty medicine to shelter medicine to privatce practice. She has a love for teaching and training veterinary nurses and nurse assistants. When she’s not spoiling her patients and laughing with her clients and coworkers, she is usually running her two boys to football practice or reading. She has two rescue pit bulls, Bullet and Bluebell and a 10-week-old kitten, Special Agent Jack Bauer. It’s a house full of boys and she’s loving every minute of it.


Hanna is a Gardner native. She obtained a few degrees from Johnson County Community College before finding her love and passion for animals. Fairly new to the veterinarian world, she is eager to learn and grow her skills in animal care. In her free time, you can find her exploring trails with her dog, snuggling with her cat, or doing countless art projects. Hanna always has an interesting story to share about her life with her dog, Margo. If you ask her favorite dog breed, she’ll probably say any large dog (Great Dane)!


Sailor grew up in Gardner and having just graduated high school last year her Veterinary Medicine journey started out at a local shelter and has blossomed from there. She is currently training to be a veterinary technician and working as a veterinary technician assistant here at SSAH. Her love for animals started at a young age growing up on a farm here in Gardner and continues to grow as she works here at Stepping Stone. She is extremely excited to be part of our team. She has one dog named Willa Mae and spends her free time with her and her family.


Molly has worked alongside animals since her first job back in 2016. While she loved her various careers in boarding, daycare, grooming and training, she had a strong desire to get a degree in medicine. After a few years studying Physical Therapy and becoming a certified Phlebotomist, she realized her heart was in Veterinary medicine. She began her journey as a veterinary technician about a year ago and finds joy in learning new skills and caring for her four legged patients on a deeper level. In Molly’s free time, you can find her crafting, exploring the outdoors, or watering her plants. If you stop by Stepping Stone Animal Hospital, expect that she won’t be alone. Hot on her heels will be Dimi, her companion and probably the world’s smallest sheltie, he follows her around like a shadow and happily greets anyone that walk through our doors. Molly is our resident “small dog whisperer” so if you have a feisty small dag she is your lady!