About Franklin Ranch Pet Hospital
Franklin Ranch Pet Hospital and Hotel was created from the ground up to provide the ultimate pet-care experience. We have a truly unique combination of a first-class pet hotel and state-of-the-art pet hospital with the convenience of one location.
Our five-acre ranch has two innovative buildings, planned specifically by the architect, to reflect the characteristics of the surrounding countryside. For a warm welcoming atmosphere, the interiors boast rich inviting colors and a gallery feel, exhibiting artwork by various local artists and photographs by Lisa Waterman.
The grounds are professionally landscaped, and our ranch enjoys a sweeping view of a nearby wildlife preserve. The pet park has a walking path, outdoor recreation equipment, and plenty of freshly manicured green grass.
We have worked diligently and spared no detail to create an environment that promotes your pets’ health, happiness, and well-being during their stay at Franklin Ranch.
Meet Our Team
Thomas Zehnder, DVM
Hospital Director and Veterinarian
Dr. Thomas Zehnder received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California at Davis in 1979. After two years of dairy and small animal practice on the north coast of California, Dr. Zehnder returned to his hometown of Elk Grove. In 1984, Dr. Zehnder took over ownership and management of Bradshaw Veterinary Clinic along with Dr. Michael Johnson. With their combined 60 years experience in the profession, they have designed and developed the Franklin Ranch Pet Hospital to be one of the most advanced in the industry. Dr. Zehnder is married with 4 children. His outside interests include golf, tennis, waterskiing, snow skiing, and horseback riding. His goal is to offer the Elk Grove/Laguna area unsurpassed service and comfort for their pets.
Arlene McKinstry, DVM
Associate VeterinarianDr. Arlene McKinstry received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1994. She fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian after studying Animal Science at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez.
Her experience and interests include internal medicine, geriatric care, physical rehabilitation, pain management, and preventive medicine. She is currently working towards becoming a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Her passion is to improve the quality and enjoyment of life for all her patients.
Outside of work she enjoys spending time traveling with family and friends, reading, photography, and scrapbooking. Her family includes her husband, children, dogs, and tortoise.
Kelly Churchill, DVM
Associate VeterinarianDr. Kelly Churchill developed a love for animals as a very young girl. She grew up riding horses and showing Shetland Sheepdogs from the early age of 7 and this paved the way for a natural career in veterinary medicine. She graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and a minor in Equine Science. After completing her undergraduate education, she obtained her doctorate in 2009 from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She worked for 7 years as a small animal veterinarian in Fresno before relocating to the area in 2017. Dr. Churchill was born in Stockton, California and raised in Valley Springs, so she and her family were very excited to join the Franklin Ranch team in 2018 and get back to her roots in the area. She has two beautiful children with her husband; a boxer mix named Ryder, and two cats Pearl and Autumn. When she’s not working on her furry friends, she enjoys watching movies, gardening, riding horses, and wakeboarding.
Samantha Hunt, DVM
Dr. Samantha Hunt was born in Southern California, but grew up here, in Elk Grove. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the University of California at Davis in 2006. Samantha started working in the Veterinary field in 2004 and continued to work as a Veterinary Technician for 7 years until she was accepted into Veterinary School. She also worked in a research lab at UC Davis for several years prior to her acceptance into veterinary school. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California at Davis in 2015.
Dr. Hunt’s veterinary interests include: preventative medicine, ophthalmology, internal medicine and behavior. She lives in West Sacramento with her fiancé and three cats (Ricky, Lucy and Nina). Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, dancing (especially Latin ballroom), watching movies, and playing sports.
Bruce W. Christensen, DVM
Dr. Bruce W. Christensen earned his veterinary degree from Cornell University in 2002. He worked as an intern in a busy, small animal referral practice in New Jersey for a year before moving to the University of Florida where he completed a residency program in theriogenology, focusing on dogs and horses. While at the University of Florida, Dr. Christensen earned a Masters of Science degree in reproductive physiology with a research project focusing on testosterone concentrations in captive male rhinoceros. He became a board-certified Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists in 2006.
After an additional year working as a clinician at the University of Florida, Dr. Christensen moved to Australia where he worked as a senior veterinarian at Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital in Victoria. Dr. Christensen then spent 4 years as an assistant professor at Iowa State University, working with both horse and dog reproduction. He was at UC Davis as Chief of the Theriogenology for 4 years, running both equine and canine reproduction services. Dr. Christensen is thrilled to now offer reproduction services at Franklin Ranch Pet Hospital. He is a birdwatcher, a racquetball player, and a snow skier. He has a son and daughter and they love living in California.
For more information about Dr. Christensen, please visit his personal website at http://www.kokopellivet.net
Kristin Reiser, DVM
Associate VeterinarianDr. Kristin Reiser grew up in Portland, Oregon until she moved to Boulder, Colorado to pursue her bachelor degree in animal science which she earned at the University of Colorado in 2000. She moved to Sacramento right after graduation to take a job at a local veterinary clinic with hopes of attending what she considered the best veterinary program in the country. She fulfilled her dream and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California at Davis in 2005. Throughout veterinary school she continued to work at the same local veterinary clinic on the weekend and after graduation she was excited to begin her career as an associate veterinarian with this same clinic. She then enjoyed 14 years there practicing quality medicine while gaining some amazing life long clients, many of which have followed her to her new location today. Looking for a change of pace she was intrigued when an opportunity arrived to practice medicine at Franklin Ranch Pet Hospital. She enjoys all aspects of general practice, but her special interests include internal medicine and ultrasound. She currently resides in El dorado Hills with her family which includes her husband, 2 children and three furry children. In her spare time she enjoys snow boarding, puzzles and trail running with her border collie.
Alyssa Shelby, DVM
Associate VeterinarianDr. Alyssa Shelby was born and raised in central Missouri in a rural community. She received her BS in Animal Sciences in May of 2013 from the University of Missouri. While there, she was a member of Sigma Alpha professional Agricultural Sorority, president of Pre-Vet Club, as well as competed on the National Livestock Judging Team her junior/senior year. She attended the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri and graduated in May 2017 with her DVM. She was very active in veterinary school, serving as Class President, President and co-founder of the Theriogenology Club (study of reproductive medicine), fundraising chair for the Missouri Mule Team, served as the National American Association of Bovine Practitioners representative for her college, and was involved in American Association of Equine Practitioners club. Her passion is comparative reproductive medicine (large and small animals). In her free time, she likes to ride horses, work with cattle, workout, read, and explore her new home state of California. She currently lives with her husband, who is an MD, and their fur children (tortoiseshell cat and corgi). Her goal is to one day become board certified in comparative Theriogenology.
Emily Sutton, DVM
Dr. Emily Sutton was born and raised in Chico, California. Her participation in both 4-H and FFA during her childhood fueled her love of veterinary medicine and her decision to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from California State University, Chico. After spending a few years honing her skills as a veterinary technician, Dr. Sutton was accepted to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. During her veterinary education, Dr. Sutton developed a passion for animal behavior, and in addition to training under a veterinary behaviorist is also Level 1 Fear Free certified. Dr. Sutton also has a keen interest in veterinary nutrition and the ways in which disease can be managed and prevented through appropriate diet.
When not in the hospital, Dr. Sutton enjoys spending time outdoors with her fiance and their two Labradoodles, Holly and Ellie. Some of their favorite activities include camping in the Anderson Valley, hiking in the national parks near Mendocino, swimming in Lake Tahoe, and visiting the local farmer’s markets on Sunday morning.
Alexandra Thornton, DVM
Associate VeterinarianDr. Alexandra Thornton was born and raised in Fresno, CA. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology at DePaul University in Chicago, and attended veterinary school at Colorado State University. Deciding that the snowy weather was over-rated, she moved back to California and is excited to call Sacramento home. Beyond her love of small animal general medicine, she is particularly interested in pain management and is certified in medical acupuncture and physical rehabilitation. She is also passionate about client education and partnering with clients so that they understand how to best help their beloved pets both inside the veterinary hospital and at home. She lives in downtown Sacramento with her husband and four feline kiddos. When not working, she’s tucked away in a coffee shop reading and writing.
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