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:
2019 Dean’s Leadership Council— UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
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.
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 since 2010. She started out as an ROP student and has moved through the departments from reception to nursing and eventually into management as Practice manager in June 2018. Apart from working at VAH, she also worked as a Veterinary Assistant for an Equine Veterinarian. In 2017, Kelly graduated from CSU-Fresno with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. While going to school she competed on a Mule Packing team at Bishop Mule Days in 2016 and 2017. At home, she has an American Akita who is quite popular on Instagram, two Quarter Horses that she shows in reinings and sortings, and a cat named Kaboodle. When she is not showing horses, she stays active by hiking, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, and snowboarding. Kelly also has a passion for dog training and has worked with personal protection dogs as well as raised/trained puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Jillian M., Assistant Practice Manager
Jillian has been a part of our team since 2006. She enjoys helping clients care for their pets. Outside of work, Jillian enjoys spending time with her Daughter, 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.
REGISTERED VETERINARY ASSISTANTS
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.
Amanda B., RVT
Amanda joined VAH August 2019. She has her A.S. in Veterinary Science along with her RVT degree. She has pets of her own, including 3 dogs and 4 cats. In her free time, she enjoys crafting and playing outside with her son. Her favorite part about working at VAH is the atmosphere and willingness to help the community. She aspires to be a NICU nurse one day.
Victoria G., Pharmacy Assistant
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, who are both very active in sports. She's a year-round Sports Mom/Coach, who also plays softball throughout the year. She also competed in a Heads-Up Proper Tackling competition with her son at a 49ers youth football camp and she WON! She has two dogs, a schnauzer mix named Panda Savage and a border collie/pitbull mix named Scout and two guinea pigs, Gus Gus and Master Splinter.
Amanda T., Pharmacy Assistant
Amanda (AKA “Champ”) started working at VAH in March 2018. She has a small zoo of her own that includes, four dogs (Rylee, Tipsy, Sarge, and Jewels), two cats (Lolo and Cora), and four horses (Karma, Fergie, Etta Candy, and Sugar). Most of her free time is spent riding her horses and competing in Barrel Racing. She also enjoys spending time at the beach with her husband and daughter. Her favorite part of working at VAH is that her pets are allowed to come to work.
Mindy H., Pharmacy Assistant
Mindy recently joined VAH August 2019. She has a Customer Service Academy Certificate. At home she has two dogs and one cat. In her free time, she loves swimming, boating, crafts, and quilting. An interesting fact about Mindy, when she was younger, she raced BMX and rode dirt bikes with her sons when they were younger. She really enjoys seeing all the pets that come in to VAH.
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. Sabrina is married, and has four daughters. Her free time mostly consists of taking her daughters to volleyball and softball games but she does enjoy the occasional getaway to the beach. She is also a proud “pet mom” of a Doberman Pinscher, a dachshund, and English bulldog, and the most beautiful cat in the world.
Sarina Y., 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 has one furbaby of her own named Cash. In her free time, she loves spending time with family and considers herself a Culinary Goddess. Sarina's favorite part about coming to work every day is finding ways to help clients with their beloved pets!
Megan J., Receptionist
Megan started working at VAH in 2016 and left to start her family. She recently returned in 2018. She has her A.A. in Social Behavior Science, Small Business, and Marketing. She went to culinary school for pastry arts and is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources. At home she has four dogs, one cat, and two kids. She is obsessed with Christmas and keeps her Christmas tree up year-round. In June 2019, she had a Beauty and the Beast themed wedding. She loves seeing all of the puppies that come in to VAH.
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 started working at VAH in September of 2015 as a lodging attendant. She recently moved to the reception department but still helps in lodging on weekends.She enjoys getting to get to know all the pets and their different personalities. At home she has three dogs, a pitbull and two dachshunds (Shuggr, Pickles, and Lucy). When she isn't at work, she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling. We are happy to report that for the last three years, Gina has been cancer free!
Cherrelle H., Receptionist
Cherrelle recently joined the VAH team August 2019 as a receptionist. She is currently enrolled in school at Merced College. At home she has two dogs, Kodi and Ryuu. During her free time, she likes hiking, camping, and going to the lake with family and friends. Cherrelle also enjoys all things cinema related. She loves meeting all of our wonderful clients that we serve and interacting with their animals.
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! She is currently going to Modesto Junior College to complete the RVT program. At home she has two English Bulldogs, a one-eyed min. pin. mix, a cat named Jack, a leopard gecko, and a saltwater fish tank. 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 joined the VAH team in April 2016. She is one of our bilingual team members. She has her B.S. in Animal Science from CSU-Fresno and her A.S. in Animal Science from Merced College. At home, she has a kitty named Goose. In her free time, she enjoys going on adventures in different cities, reading new mystical books, and going to the movies several times a month. Her favorite part about working at VAH is working on different cases every day. She enjoys meeting and getting to know our clients and working with her coworkers on interesting cases.
Mel B., Veterinary Assistant
Melissa ("Mel") joined our team in May 2017. Mel loves all animals, she has a farm of her own that includes two huskies (Sierra and Nala), a German Shepherd (Avva), an Australian Cattle Dog (Colt), a chihuahua/terrier mix (Jack), three cats, six Boer Goats, a momma Watusi with her baby Watusi/Angus calf, and one husband named Cody. She loves working here at VAH and also at home where her family farms almonds. She’s 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 and 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, including New Beginnings for Animals and the Merced S.P.C.A. Brandy’s favorite part of her job is meeting animals of all breeds and getting to work with people that have the same passion as her. At home she has two dogs (Midna and Diamond) and two Lagomorphs (Sherlock and Dr. Watson). Brandy has an unhealthy obsession with all things Marvel, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. When she isn’t obsessing over the new Marvel trailers, she enjoys sketching, painting, and photography. Interesting fact, Brandy is bilingual! She is fluent in Movie/TV quotes and 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 joined the VAH team April 2018. She has completed certifications in both large and small animals at Modesto Junior College Vet Tech program. 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 has a cat named Remy, an orange tabby, and a white rabbit named Wade. She was a part of 4-H and FFA for many years and always knew that this is the career path she would take. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar and singing. Her favorite part about working at VAH is her coworkers and doing/learning something new every day.
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.
Katelyn D., Veterinary Assistant
Katelyn joined the VAH team February 2019. She has an A.S. degree in Animal Science. She has 2 dogs and 2 cats of her own. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and she loves to travel. Her favorite part about working at VAH is the fast pace of the clinic.
Cheyenne B., Pet Lodging Supervisor
Cheyenne started at VAH in May 2016. She recently started the RVT program at Modesto Junior College. She has three cats, four dogs, two rabbits, two sheep, a chicken, and a goat. Cheyenne is newly engaged and planning her wedding for Fall of 2020. Her hobbies include arts and crafts such as, wood burning, homemade Christmas ornaments and paper crafts). She enjoys seeing all of the different breeds and animals that come in to VAH.
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.
Amy S., Pet Lodging
Amy started working at VAH August of 2019 as a lodging attendant. She has two dogs and two cats at home. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors and loves to stay active by hiking, fishing, rollerblading, skiing, and boating. She once wrestled an alligator in Florida and has also been swimming with dolphins and manatees. Even though she is a newer team member, she is already enjoying working with her coworkers and being around all of the animals.
Lindsay., Pet Lodging
Lindsay joined the VAH family in August 2019 as a lodging attendant. She is currently going to school to be an RN for labor and delivery. At home she has a husky named Hudson and she was also involved in FFA in high school.. When she has free time she enjoys wakeboarding and wake surfing at the lake. Lindsay is very afraid of spiders, so don't ask her for help if you happen to come across a spider in the clinic! She really enjoys being surrounded by animals all day while at work.
Bridgette— High Standards Pet Grooming
Bridgette started working at VAH March of 2017. She has always been passionate about animals and discovered her joy of grooming at the age of 17 when she welcomed her first Standard Poodle into her family. She has gained a lot of experience over the years and has worked with other groomers to help build her skill set. Currently she has a Standard Poodle named Severus and many rescue kitties (Rhee, Raven, Baggy, Truffles, Cloud, Hiccup, Bean, Lucy, Cucumber, and Pickles). Bridgette enjoys the peaceful atmosphere of the clinic and getting to see all of the dogs and cats that come in to see her.
Photo Credits: AM Designs & Photography in Merced