The Doctors

Jon Klingborg, DVM -- Practice Owner

Josette, Colette and “the guy who carries them around . . .”

Josette, Colette and “the guy who carries them around . . .”

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:

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), "Kitty GwayPaws" and numerous types of frogs.

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.  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. Dr. McFadden is married and has twin daughters.

Dr. McFadden is a newspaper columnist with the Merced Sun-Star (on Saturdays) and invites you to follow her blog, DrMc’s Veterinary Tales.

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 a 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.  

Janet J., RVT


Janet has had a passion for animals since early childhood.  She attended Hartnell College in Salinas, with an AS in Animal Health.  She became a licensed RVT in 1985. After working at VAH in the 1990's, Janet returned to VAH in May of 2018. She enjoys providing great nursing care to her patients, and talking with their owners.  Special interests include dentistry and caring for pre and post op surgical patients.  Janet has a dog and a cat and a horse.  One of the most favorite 
things about her life right now is being a grandma!

Daniel H., RVT


Daniel has lived in the central valley for most of his life with a few breaks spent living in Monterey, Santa Monica and Long Beach. Daniel started his veterinary career in 2007 at a dog kennel in Modesto. He instantly fell in love with working with animals. In 2011, Daniel enrolled in the Veterinary Technician program at Carrington College in Stockton and became an RVT in 2013. When he’s not at work, he enjoys many activities, including just having fun with friends and family. At home, he has a chihuahua named Maddie, two cats (Dallas and Leo), two rats (Penelope and Ella) and has recently added four chickens into the mix.


Briana G., Pharmacy Supervisor


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.


Sabrina G., Receptionist Supervisor


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/Pharmacy Assistant

Victoria 2.jpg

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. 


Sarina, Receptionist

Sarina joined the Valley Animal Hospital team March of 2018. She's had a love for animals ever since she was a little girl, she even has One furbaby of her own named Cash. In her free time she loves spending time with family and loves to bake (she's really good at it!) Sarina's favorite part about coming to work everyday is finding ways to help clients with their beloved pets! 






Megan re-joined VAH in 2018 after working with us for a while and then starting a family.




  Melody Joined VAH in December 2018. She loves working in customer service and meeting new and returning customers every day. As a little girl she has always loved being around animals, Especially cats. 

When she’s not at work, Melody is spending as much time as she can with her Son Carter and Husband Nathan, she also enjoys cooking, baking and arts and crafts. She is also a mommy to three dogs and five crazy cats. 


Gina G., Receptionist & Pet Lodging Attendant

Gina has been a valued member of the VAH team since early 2016.

Veterinary Assistants


Courteney G., Veterinary Assistant


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!  

Yesenia T., Veterinary Assistant

Yesenia is a full time student at CSU Fresno and a part time Exam Room Nurse. She is also bilingual!


Mel H., Veterinary Assistant


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.

Brandy T., Veterinary Assistant


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., Veterinary Assistant


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., Veterinary Assistant


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. 


Taylor M., Veterinary Assistant

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.

Brian L., Veterinary Assistant


Brian 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. He is now working full time as a Veterinary Assistant.

Katelyn, Veterinary Assistant


Pet Lodging


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!

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.

Reyna G., Pet Lodging


Reyna is a full-time UC Merced student that started working in Lodging since June of 2018. She has always enjoyed volunteering for animal shelters and continues to be involved through her organizations at school. She absolutely adores the two newest additions in her life, Aglet and Orion, guinea pigs that popcorn like crazy for hay. In the future Reyna hopes to graduate vet school and become a veterinarian. 


Annalee B., Pet Lodging

I joined the VAH team in June of 2018. I love helping animals of all shapes and sizes. I enjoy spending my free time educating the public about exotic pets at reptile shows and herping (finding local reptiles and amphibians while hiking). My pets include a cat named Asti, a leopard gecko named Monster, a ball python named Dry Bones, and a pixie frog named Genie.


Bridgette— High Standards Pet Grooming