Jon Klingborg, DVM -- Practice Owner
Dr. K believes that Communication is the Key-- he loves talking to pet owners and discussing their pet's health in clear and straightforward language. He tries hard to be the best veterinarian possible and is very dedicated to animals and pet owners of the Merced area.
Dr. K graduated from UC Davis-- where he earned his Veterinary Degree, as well as a degree in Zoology and in Rhetoric. He has been a member of the Valley Animal Hospital team since 2003. Some of his accomplishments include:
- 2018 Alumni Achievement Award for UC Davis Veterinary School-- the highest award given by the School's Faculty.
- Distinguished Life Membership, California Veterinary Medical Association-- awarded May 2018, The CVMA's "Highest Membership Honor."
- President of the California Veterinary Medical Association, 6/2004-6/2005
- awarded the honorary title of Distinguished Practitioner from the National Academies Practice.
- awarded the Distinguished Service Award from UC Davis Veterinary School and given the President's Award from the California Veterinary Medical Association.
- Author of Exam Room Communication for Veterinarians: The Science and Art of Conversing with Clients.
Dr. K. is married to Kim and he has two sons: Patrick, an Attorney, and Aaron, who has a Masters Degree in Soil Science. Their family pets includes Josette & Colette (adorable Papillons) and "Kitty GwayPaws."
Christine McFadden, DVM -- Practice Founder
Dr. McFadden has lived in and served our community since graduating from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. She opened Valley Animal Hospital in 1985 and in 1999 she built our current, state-of-the-art hospital to offer the best medicine and surgery possible for our patients. She cares for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and all small “pocket pets” and exotics. She has cared for the Applegate Zoo animals for over 25 years. She has cared for the local police dogs in three counties since the Police Department and Sheriff’s Office Canine Programs inception in 1987. In addition, Dr. McFadden was a Board Certified Avian Specialist (ABVP-Avian) for 10 years and continues to take a special interest in parrots and other birds. Dr. McFadden is involved in a local college scholarship program at the University of California, Merced through the non-profit charity, The MSSM Friendship Scholarship Foundation in memory of and to honor her four children Melanie, Stanley, Stuart and Michelle. In addition, she has served the community through the Downtown Rotary Club, participates in multiple education & career day events and is a supporter of the University of California, Merced. Dr. McFadden is married to Gerald Corman and together they have twin daughters, four cats, a large Irish Wolfhound, a plethora of chickens, a gaggle of koi and, at Valley Animal Hospital, her 30 year old Blue & Gold Macaw “Forbes”. She loves gardening, baking, and all things French!
For her work with children Dr. McFadden has been awarded:
The Compassionate Angel Award from ChildHelp : “For giving children the opportunity through higher education to become a star in their chosen field” May 2007
Woman of The Year 2007, State of California Legislature, sponsor Senator Jeff Denham
Dr. McFadden has been a newspaper columnist, a public speaker, has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and currently writes the blog “McMenagerie”.
Adam Lauppe, DVM
Dr. Lauppe (pronounced “Loopy”) loves serving Merced, where he was born and raised. A Golden Valley High School graduate, he received his bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013.
Dr. Lauppe grew up taking his family’s pets to Valley Animal Hospital for care, and he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue the establishment’s legacy of compassionate and excellent veterinary care.
Dr. Lauppe married his best friend Katie, a local attorney, in 2016. Together they have two lazy cats, Steve (the wise one) and Weezy (the princess, pictured), and a playful Doberman, Ace. Ace’s only wish is that the cats might someday acknowledge his existence!
Dr. Lauppe is leading the effort at Valley Animal Hospital to become a certified “Cat Friendly Practice” and he is also active at the state level on various veterinary issues.
Dr. Lauppe enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and camping, and he has run the Merced Half Marathon annually since its beginning in 2014. He and Katie are highly competitive when it comes to golf and Trivial Pursuit!
Michelle Sheffield, DVM
Dr. Michelle Sheffield has been a Merced veterinarian since 2002. She joined the VAH Team in April, 2018. Her practice is focused on the well-being of dogs and cats. Dr. Sheffield is married with two children and numerous pets (of course.)
The Management Team
Kelly D., Practice Manager
Kelly has been a member of the VAH family in 2010. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from CSU-Fresno with an major GPA of 3.8! Kelly has worked in nearly every capacity at VAH (Veterinary Assistant, Reception and Lodging), and has also worked with large animal veterinarians as a veterinary assistant. Kelly has trained dogs (and their owners) as well as raised Guide Dogs for the Blind. She became Practice Manager in June, 2018.
Jillian M., Assistant Practice Manager
Jillian has been a part of our team since 2006. She enjoys helping clients care for their pets by dispensing medication and lots of love. She also works with clients to find affordable care plans for their pets (compiling estimates, Care Credit, Payment Banc). Outside of work, Jillian enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her pets: Macchiato, a Cane Corso; Coco, a little Terrier; and Gemma, a terror of a Tabby cat! She has been Coordinator of the Valley Animal Hospital Relay for Life team for several years, raising thousands of dollars each time for human cancer patients and cancer research! Interesting facts about Jillian is that she is a lefty, and lives a gluten-free lifestyle.
Liz C., RVT, Nurse Supervisor
Liz joined the practice back before the first Ice Age, earned her Registered Veterinary Technician's certificate and has been providing excellent Nurse and Surgery care for many years.
Briana G., Pharmacy Assistant
Briana has been a receptionist at our hospital since June of 2014 She is currently a student at Merced Junior College. As a receptionist, she loves being around animals. Although we don’’t see them here at Valley Animal Hospital, monkeys are her favorite animal. She shares her home with her fur babies: Lacy, a boxer; and Gengi, a pug. In her spare time, she loves hiking, playing soccer, reading, and singing.
Katie G., Pharmacy Assistant
Katie is a Pharmacy Assistant and Exam room nurse. She has been a member of the Valley Animal Hospital team since February of 2016. You can find Katie always taking notes and educating herself on all aspects of the clinic. She is organized and always brings bright ideas to the table. She is a self-proclaimed "cat" person, but is crazy about birds and rats as well. Katie has a degree in Criminal Science, which makes her a natural in trying to figure out 'why good dogs do bad things.'
Sabrina G., Receptionist
Sabrina joined the Valley Animal Hospital team in April of 2014. She loves that her position allows her to meet new people and help them with their pets’ needs. She also loves working with animals. Sabrina is married, and has three daughters. She is also a proud “pet mom” of two dogs, and two cats. When she’s not caring for pets at work, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Victoria ., Receptionist
Victoria joined VAH July 2017. She has a background in banking and medical assisting. She loves working in customer service as well as meeting new people and their pets. She has two kids, Daniel and Alannah, one lazy dog named Panda and a chubby guinea pig named Gus Gus. She's a year-round Sports Mom/Coach, who also plays softball throughout the year.
Courteney G., Exam Room Nurse
Courteney has been a member of the Valley Animal Hospital team since June of 2015. She started out as a receptionist and then became an exam room nurse, and currently works as our dental technician/exam room nurse. Dentals have become her favorite part of the job! In her free time, Courteney enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time with her own pets. One of Courteney’s most interesting experiences with animals was being a volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium working with the penguins!
Katelyn B., Exam Room Nurse
Katelyn recently graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at San Joaquin Valley College in Fresno. She plans to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. She has 3 Black Labradors that she's rescued (Bailey, Buzz and Rebel.) She also has a cat named Alice. Katelyn enjoys all of the wonderful & new experiences that VAH offers!
Yesenia T., Exam Room Nurse
Yesenia is a full time student at CSU Fresno and a part time Exam Room Nurse. She is also bilingual!
Mel H., Exam Room Nurse
Melissa ("Mel") joined our team in 2016. Mel loves all animals, she has a farm of her own with dogs, cats, cows, and goats. She loves working here at VAH and also at home where her family farms almonds. Shes been working with animals since high school, taking veterinary classes all 4 years then continued onto MJC for the vet tech program and also dairy science. Mel loves helping save animals 😊 big and small. Mel loves how rewarding her job is here at VAH.
Alex D., Exam Room Nurse
Last year, Alex graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at SJVC in Fresno with an AS degree in animal science. She is working towards passing the VTNE to become an official RVT. She has been passionate about animals for as long as se can remember and has an extra soft spot for German Shepherds. She loves working at VAH and being surrounded by people with the same passions & getting the opportunity to serve the animals in my community.
Brandy T., Exam Room Nurse
Brandy became a member of the VAH team December of 2016. Brandy started out as a lodging attendant and quickly became an exam room nurse. Brandy has lots of experience with cats and dogs. She has worked closely with local animal rescues, helping pets in need. Brandy’s favorite part of her job is helping the animals (and dispensing love). Brandy loves board games, roller coasters, and you guessed it, her pets! Interesting fact, She knows sign language!
April B., Exam Room Nurse
When she was in high school, April realized she wanted to pursue a career doing something she loved, rather than go through life merely tolerating her job. She’d always had a soft spot for animals, so she decided to try out the veterinary profession! After researching different schools, April found the Veterinary Technician program at Modesto Jr. College. After two years of hard studying, she graduated in 2012. April loves assisting animals and learning how to handle them. She also likes checking on animals to make sure they’re comfortable or warm enough after a procedure or surgery. April's goal is to become a licensed veterinary technician. Outside of work, April’s main hobby is creating flower arrangements. She loves seeing the happiness in peoples’ faces when they receive one of her bouquets. April has three dogs of her own: a Chihuahua named Kiara, a German Shepherd named Achilles T. and a dachshund named Kora and the newest rescued member of her fam
Savannah R., Exam Room Nurse
Savannah just finished school at Modesto Junior College and has certifications in both large and small animals. She is one of our exam room nurses and is eager to keep learning and become a registered veterinary technician in the near future. Savannah grew up on a ranch where her love for animals started at a young age. She was a part of 4-H and FFA for many years and always knew that this is the career path she would take.
Cheyenne B., Pet Lodging Attendant
Cheyenne started with Valley Animal Hospital in 2016. She also has her own Photography business has taken many of the staff photos for the website-- her photography studio is called 'Sky's the Limit' and she did most of the professional photography on this website. Contact her at email@example.com!
Gina G., Pet Lodging Attendant
Gina has been a valued member of the VAH team since early 2016.
Brian L., Pet Lodging
Brian recently joined our team as a lodging attendant in June of 2017. He has enjoyed getting to know the staff and all the animals that stay with us. In his free time he enjoys basketball, music, watching movies and rock climbing. He loves his boxer named Bella and has been a vegan for over 2 years.
Mryna P., Pet Lodging
Mryna is a full time student at UC Merced and has been working part time as a lodging attendant since August 2017. She hopes to attend veterinary school after her undergraduate studies are completed and accomplish her dream of helping animals. Mryna is bilingual and has 2 cats and a 9 year old Min Pin.
Taylor M., Pet Lodging
A small town girl from Sioux City, IA. She moved to California and got married in 2016. She found the job at Valley Animal Hospital in October of 2017. She also has a license in Cosmetology, but the animals have taken over her heart and life. She is a dog mom of three. She aspires to become a vet technician in the future.