Meet Our Veterinarians & Support Team

Steve Byers, DVM, Owner

Dr. Steve Byers has owned and practiced veterinary medicine at Companion Animal Hospital since February 1995. Originally from Wichita, he attended Kansas State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1993. After college, Dr. Byers attended Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. Dr. Byers is professionally interested in surgery and he greatly enjoys making a difference in an animal’s life.

Dr. Byers is married to Dr. Tammy Truesdell, who is a co-owner and practicing veterinarian at Companion Animal Hospital. In his free time, he enjoys raising and showing horses, volunteering at his church and coaching little league football and baseball.

Tammy Truesdell, DVM, Owner

Dr. Tammy Truesdell has owned and practiced veterinary medicine at Companion Animal Hospital since February 1995. She hails from Wichita and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Wichita State University in 1988. Dr. Truesdell earned Cum laude honors with departmental honors in biology. After college, she attended Kansas State University College Veterinary Medicine where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. Dr. Truesdell is a member of the American Society of Veterinary Behaviorists.

At home, Dr. Truesdell and her husband, Dr. Steve Byers, have two cats named Harry and Si. They have eight children—four of whom are in college and four of whom are still at home and active in sports, horse showing and church. In her free time, Dr. Truesdell enjoys raising and showing horses and volunteering at church.

Kayd Byers, DVM

Dr. Byers joined Companion Animal Hospital after graduating from KSU College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2018, graduating with honors (Magna Cum Laude). He is the son of doctors, and owners Steve Byers and Tammy Truesdell. Dr. Kayd Byers has a strong interest in internal medicine and surgery and strives to provide top of the line care for all his patients.

Dr. Byers is married , and currently lives in the Wichita area. His wife and he have a small heard of animals at home.

Some of his activities outside of work consist of; being with family, watching movies, and running/weight lifting.

Sonya Lingvai, Certified Veterinary Technician

Sonya Lingvai started caring for patients at Companion Animal Hospital in May of 1997. As a veterinary technician, her primary responsibilities are checking in and caring for patients, assisting with surgery, educating clients, and her favorite of of the job—dentistry.

“I love organizing and educating clients about the importance of taking care of their pet’s teeth,” says Sonya. She also loves that, “At Companion Animal Hospital, I’m not just an employee, I’m part of a big clinic family.”

Sonya earned her Registered Veterinary Technician degree from Colby Community College in 1997 and went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wichita State University in 2003. Before joining the staff at Companion Animal Hospital, she served as a veterinary assistant and was a staff member at Sedgwick County Zoo.

At home, Sonya is mom to two rescue dogs, Mathilda and Wiggles. She’s also been adopted by seven neighborhood cats: Baby, BB, Cuddles, Fluffy, Mocha, Mr. Orange and Possum. In her spare time she loves to run.

Estella Meraz, KPA-CTP, Dog Trainer

Estella Meraz has been a dog trainer at Companion Animal Hospital since August 2002. She is the head trainer in our hospital’s primary and puppy training programs. Her responsibilities include day-school assessments, scheduling day-school drop off and appropriate play groups. Estella is working towards her Associate degree in Veterinary Technology and is a Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner. She is also fluent in Spanish.

“I enjoy working at Companion Animal Hospital because it’s a low-stress and force-free veterinary office that goes along with my beliefs in dog training,” Estella says.

At home, Estella has a 3-year-old boxer mix named Omar and a 5-year-old orange tabby cat named Jackson. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild and the Pet Professional Alliance of Wichita. Estella has three daughters and one son. Her daughter Reyna just started high school and plays soccer. Soledad is in middle school and she loves to bake. Alysia is in the third grade and also plays competitive soccer. Her son Julian is 2-years-old and keeps Estella on her feet.

Valeri Schoen, Receptionist

Valeri Shoen joined the team at Companion Animal Hospital in November 2010. As a receptionist, she’s responsible for greeting clients, scheduling appointments and bonding with our hospital’s great patients. Valeri’s favorite part of the job is building relationships with clients.

“I have worked for the doctors of Companion Animal Hospital in some capacity since 2004,” Valeri says. “It is rewarding to help the owners and be able to advocate for them, their pets and our staff. Since I don’t have any animals of my own, it fills my cup to see the puppies and kittens who come in. It is amazing what we do in a day as a team.”

Valeri and her husband have four adult children, and they plan on rescuing a dog when they retire. She and her husband enjoys staying active by playing disc golf, going to drive-ins, going on cruises, listening to live music, going on bike rides, and attending community and church functions.