Call us today:  (218) 727.0128        4259 Haines Road, Hermantown, MN 55811

Airport Animal Hospital was founded and opened by Dr. Tom Hohl in 1979.  Dr. Hohl worked long and hard to build a quality veterinary practice and was effective in earning the trust of a loyal client base.  Dr. Paul Fitzgerald joined Dr. Hohl as an associate in July, 2000.  In July, 2003, an ownership transition was made and Dr. Fitzgerald took over operations of the practice.  After several years of rapid growth Dr. Leslie Clapper-Rentz joined August, 2005.  After Dr. Hohl’s retirement Dr. Mary Wictor joined the practice in the fall of 2013.  Continued growth and success inspired a complete remodel and expansion of the hospital completed late July of 2018.  In early 2019 Dr. Melissa Frank and Dr. Kristi Costley joined the practice.  Together this group of compassionate and talented veterinarians, along with our wonderful support staff, have helped Airport Animal Hospital grow into the busy and reputable veterinary practice that it is today.    

Our Veterinarians

Dr. Paul Fitzgerald

Dr. Paul Fitzgerald grew up in Rochester, Minnesota.  He attended St. Cloud State University for his undergraduate work and University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine for his veterinary training.  Upon completion of veterinary school in 2000, Paul accepted a position as an associate at Airport Animal Hospital and moved to Duluth.  In July, 2003, Dr. Fitzgerald became owner of Airport Animal Hospital. 

Dr. Fitzgerald and his wife stay very busy raising their family of six children.  He enjoys many outdoor activities including fishing, hunting, camping, and golfing.  He is very involved in the community and currently serves on the Stella Maris Academy Board of Directors, St. John’s Catholic Church Finance Council, and the Animal Allies Humane Society Program & Operations Committee.  He has also served time with the Animal Allies Humane Society Board of Directors, Board of Directors, Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota Northern Regional Advisory Committee, the St. John's School Commission, and the St. John’s School Finance Committee. 


1996-B.A. Biomedical Science, St. Cloud State University
2000-Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota CVM

Areas of Interest

Dr. Fitzgerald has strong interest in the areas of canine & feline internal medicine, dentistry, oncology, analgesia & pain management, and soft tissue surgery.  He believes in the importance of client education and strives for each pet owner to understand the rationale and value of the veterinary care being recommended for their pet, whether discussing illness or wellness care issues.  Common wellness topics of emphasis include effective body condition and weight management, dental health & home care, and arthritis & pain management.  

Dr. Leslie Clapper-Rentz

Dr. Leslie Clapper-Rentz spent her early childhood in a variety of locations across the country, but has been proud to call Minnesota her home for the majority of her years since middle school. She married her husband while in college and spent a year after graduation as a field biologist for a Native American tribe in South Dakota. There, she began volunteering for a wildlife rehabilitation organization, adopted a “hard luck” rescue dog, and decided that veterinary medicine was the career for her. After moving back to Minnesota, she spent several years working for a non-profit environmental and social justice organization (MPIRG), a small animal veterinary practice in the Twin Cities, and volunteering for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota while starting her family. Upon graduation from veterinary school, she and her family moved to Duluth to accept a position as an Associate with Airport Animal Hospital. She has been here ever since.

Dr. Clapper-Renz, her husband and their three active children love to spend time hiking, canoeing and exploring the Northwoods. She is a co-leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She continues to be involved in wildlife rehabilitation and is a consulting veterinarian for Wildwoods Rehabilitation, based in Duluth. She is also the consulting veterinarian for theGreat Lakes Aquarium. Dr. Clapper-Rentz serves on the board of directors for the Arrowhead Veterinary Medical Association.    


1994--BA (Biology), University of Minnesota, Morris
2005—DVM, University of Minnesota

Areas of Interest

Dr. Clapper-Rentz has a special interest in exotic and wildlife veterinary medicine. Other strong interests include canine and feline internal medicine, nutrition and weight management, and multi-modal pain management.


The Clapper-Rentz family currently share their home with a Malamute-mix, two senior cats, three dwarf hamsters, and a house rabbit.

Dr. Mary Wictor

Dr. Mary Wictor grew up in Southern California. She attended California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. She moved to St Paul, MN with her husband in the Fall of 1989 to attend the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation from Veterinary School in 1993, she stayed at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Teaching Hospital for a year-long internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. Dr Wictor moved to the Duluth area in 1994 for a position at a small animal private practice. Always having had a passion for the treatment of exotic animals, she spent 10 years as the Veterinarian for the Lake Superior Zoo, and 8 years as the Veterinarian for the Great Lakes Aquarium. In the Fall of 2008, she began to work for Animal Allies Humane Society and stayed there as the full-time Veterinarian for 5 years. Having developed a strong working relationship with Airport Animal Hospital while at the shelter, when Dr Wictor decided to move back to private practice this year she was hired as an associate when a position became available at the clinic.

Dr Wictor and her husband have one child, and numerous pets. In her free time, she enjoys reading and stained glass.


1989 – BS Animal Science – PreVet , California State Polytechnic University Pomona
1993 – DVM University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine

Areas of Interest

Dr Wictor enjoys numerous aspects of Canine and Feline Practice. Surgery, internal medicine, dentistry and ophthalmology are of particular interest. Having worked with many species of exotics, the challenge of treating these special patients is always fascinating. She believes strongly in the human-animal bond and enjoys working with each owner to ensure a long and healthy life for their pet.


The Wictor family currently enjoys the company of a Dobie/Corgi mix dog, 3 cats, an Eclectus parrot and a Green Wing Macaw.

Dr. Kristi Costley

Dr. Kristi Costley was born and raised in Duluth, MN, and attended the College of Saint Scholastica for her undergraduate degree.  She has always had a passion for animals and science, and while working as a veterinary assistant at Airport Animal Hospital in undergrad she realized that veterinary medicine was indeed the right career choice for her.  Upon completing her undergraduate degree she attended veterinary school at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, Dr. Costley accepted a position as an associate veterinarian at Valley Veterinary Hospital in Helena, MT and worked there until moving back to Minnesota.  She decided to move to Duluth to be closer to family and friends and she was happy to accept a position as an associate at Airport Animal Hospital. 

Dr. Costley enjoys spending time with her dogs, family, and friends. She also loves to enjoy the outdoors while gardening, hiking, hunting/fishing, and camping. 

2011 - BA (Biology), College of Saint Scholastica
2015 - DVM, Iowa State University 

Areas of interest

Dr. Costley enjoys all aspects of small animal private practice and her special interests include preventive medicine, internal medicine, and dentistry.  Dr. Costley enjoys the wide variety of cases seen in private practice on a daily basis and strives to form long lasting relationships with her clients and their beloved pets. 


The Costley family has 2 furry children, which includes 2 retired racing Greyhounds, and hopes to expand to include a Great Dane in the near future. 

Dr. Melissa Frank

Dr. Melissa Frank was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois.  She attended the University of Illinois, where she completed her undergraduate and graduate studies.  After graduating from the U of I College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007, she moved to Olympia, Washington where she practiced at a small animal clinic for 8 years.  She then moved to Utah for two years, before moving to Duluth in 2017.  She currently works part time at Airport Animal Hospital, as well as part time at the Blue Pearl Emergency Clinic in west Duluth. 

Dr. Frank enjoys spending time with her three daughters – they love spending time outdoors and exploring everything the Northwoods has to offer.


2003 – BS Animal Science, University of Illinois

2007 – DVM, University of Illinois

Areas of interest

Dr. Frank loves being able to help educate owners about their pets and ensure that they can live long and healthy lives.  Her areas of special interest include preventative medicine, internal medicine, and surgery.


The Frank family shares their home with two Golden Retrievers, two parakeets, a tortoise, and numerous fish.