Get To Know Our Awesome Team

Our Awesome Team

  • Dr.
    Matthew Carter
    Veterinarian - Practice Partner

    Dr. Carter loves to be outdoors.  He is always active in various community groups and events and especially enjoys volunteering alongside his spouse Jennifer with the Petaluma Valley Rotary Club. He has been known to play the violin, help with local harvesting to make various beers and wine, ride his bike in numerous fundraising events and spend time futilely trying to create amazing meals. He joined Central Animal Hospital in April of 2002 and lives in Petaluma with his wife Jennifer and twin daughters Lillian and MaryBeth. The Carter's also share their home with Mylo the cat, Elsie and Alice the dogs, Sugarbomb the rabbit, and a few chickens and fish.

    Degrees and Achievements

    • DVM - UC Davis Veterinary School of Medicine 1995.
    • He has worked in hospitals in London, England; the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley of California.
    • Past President of the Redwood Empire Veterinary Medical Association.

    Fun Facts

    • Loves road biking
    • Enjoys volunteering 
    • Great with the grill
  • Dr.
    Tim Helms
    Veterinarian - Practice Partner

    Dr. Helms grew up in San Diego, and then spent 11 years in Davis, receiving his Bachelor's Degree in 2004 and DVM in 2010. In 2003, he received All American honors while racing for UC Davis, placing fourth in the 3000 meter Steeplechase at the 2003 NCAA National Championships. He currently races off road triathlon and cross country mountain bike races. His first 4 years in the profession were spent in Mendocino County, practicing all aspects of Veterinary Medicine due to the rural nature of the area. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing with his son and any outdoor activity with his family. Dr. Helms professional interest lies in surgery, specifically Orthopedics. Dr. Helms lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Jessica and their three children, Jackson, Ryder and Maeanna. 

    Degrees and Achievements

    • DVM - UC Davis Veterinary School of Medicine 2010.
    • He conducted research at UC Davis and was published in JAVMA in 2009.

    Fun Facts

    • Enjoys abalone diving/spear fishing
    • Avid runner and trail biker
    • Has a pet snake, Havoc 
  • Dr.
    Ashley Atkin
    Associate Veterinarian

    Dr. Ashley Atkin grew up in San Francisco and volunteered at the Marin Humane Society in high school, where she decided she wanted to become a veterinarian. She received her B.S. in Animal Science in 2005 and her DVM in 2010 from U.C. Davis. She and Dr. Helms were in the same veterinary class! She then completed her internship at PetCare Veterinary Hospital in Santa Rosa. She went on to practice in the East Bay for 6 years. She and her family moved to Petaluma where she practiced in Sonoma for 2 and a half years before joining CAH. Dr. Atkin and her family have a Dachshund Mix, Harley and a trouble making kitty, Maggie.


    • B.S. in Animal Science in 2005
    • Received her DVM in 2010 from UC Davis

    Fun Facts

    • Loves the outdoors
    • Donut enthusiast
    • Boy mom! 
  • Jennifer Carter
    Practice Owner

    Jennifer co-owns Central Animal Hospital with Dr. Carter. They have twin daughters, Lillian and MaryBeth. Prior to purchasing the hospital in 2002, she was a Senior Manager with Deloitte's Enterprise Risk Solutions group in San Francisco and still is a CPA (in inactive status). Jennifer is active in Petaluma Valley Rotary, currently serving as their President.

    Degrees and Achievements

    • BS - Business Administration, CSU Chico 1994

    Fun Facts

    • She enjoys spending time with family, hiking, biking, and reading.
  • Brittany Barrows
    RVT. - Practice Manager

    Brittany started on our Hospitality Team in 2007, where she realized her passion for animals. She worked her way through school and is now a licensed veterinary technician (aka RVT). Brittany took over as manager and is passionate about helping others. She enjoys educating clients on helping their furry family members live a long happy life. She also loves to go above and beyond to make sure all pets that come through the door have a comfortable and fun experience here! Brittany lives in Rohnert Park with her husband Mike, son Evan and kitty Bruiser.

    Degrees and Achievements

    • RVT - Santa Rosa Junior College 2012
    • Certified Abdominal and Cardiac Ultrasound Technician

    Fun Facts

    • She enjoys remodeling her home
    • She loves the beach and hiking
    • Although she does not have a 'green thumb', she still has fun gardening
  • Courtney
    Customer Care Team Leader

    Courtney has been in customer service since 2002. She has always wanted to make a difference in the world, and has always loved animals. This drove her to work in the veterinary field. Courtney has adopted many cats, dogs, hamsters, snakes and fish throughout her life. She currently lives in Cloverdale with her kitty, Jasmine, who she rescued from a feral community. Courtney is currently enrolled in the veterinary technician program at the Santa Rosa Junior College to expand her knowledge.

    Degrees and Accomplishments 

    • 2006 AA in accounting
    • 2007 Human Resources certified 
    • SRJC-Class for Vet Tech program 

    Fun Facts

    • She is a huge gamer!
    • Harry Potter, Dr. Who, and Star Wars are just among her favorites
    • Loves exploring the city with her boyfriend, and going on day drives.
  • Ashley Fairchild
    Custom Care Team

    Ashley grew up in Cloverdale. Her love of animals was encouraged and helped to grow through learning to care for her family’s cats Muffin, Chaplin, Soot, and Simba. From a young age she knew she wanted to work with animals. In high school, Ashley worked after school helping to care and tend to a quadriplegic woman. She started gaining customer service experience through retail jobs starting in 2007. In 2016, Ashley joined the veterinary industry as a veterinary receptionist at Animal Hospital of Cloverdale. Sharing her knowledge and assisting people has been something she enjoyed and being part of the Customer Care Team at Central Animal Hospital has brought this to a new level. She loves to help give people the knowledge they need to give their pets the healthiest and best lives possible.

    Fun Facts

    • Loves playing games (video,card or computer)
    • Knits in spare time
    • Is a movie enthusiast
  • Darrly Calderon
    Customer Care Team

    Darryl was raised in Petaluma and has owned a variety of pets including birds, hamsters, fish and dogs. He's been in customer service since 2013 and enjoys helping in any way he can. Darryl came to Central Animal Hospital because he's always had a passion for customer service and pets and it was a dream job to be able to combine the two! His goal is to someday have his own restaurant business with his family to welcome all clients and of course be pet friendly! 

    Fun Facts

    • Enjoys movie nights
    • Avid computer gamer
    • Loves dancing to Latin music 
  • Mari Machado
    Patient Care Team

    Mari was born in San Francisco  and moved to Petaluma when she was 5 years old. Her love for animals started very young and she had many pets growing up, cats, dogs, bunnies, and fish her family had. Since graduating high school in 2016, Mari has worked in Customer Service. She joined our team in March 2020 and has been a great asset to our Customer Care Team. She has discovered a passion for Veterinary Medicine and is looking forward to attending the SRJC Veterinary Technician program in the future. In her spare time Mari likes to express her creative side through her love of baking and crafts. 

    Fun Facts:

    • Mari always has a  iced coffee in hand
    • Loves to spend time with her friends and family 
    • She loves Disney!

  • Kristen, RVT
    Patient Care Team Team Lead

    Kristen had a passion for animals since she was a kid. She wanted to grow up and be a zoologist. She started as Kennel Technician at a veterinary hospital in Santa Rosa during her senior year in high school and has had an extensive career in veterinary medicine and animal care since. She worked at the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue for 4 ½ years caring for wild animals such as raccoons, opossums, coyotes, eagles, hawks and more. She made her way back to Veterinary Medicine at Central Animal Hospital in 2013. Kristen moved to Washington State for 2 years and moved back and rejoined the CAH staff in 2018. She now lives in Santa Rosa with her husband Mark and her 2 dogs, Indiana and Moo Moo and 2 cats Curry and Pistachio.

    Degrees and Achievements

    • RVT license 2014
    • AA in Natural Sciences 2013

    Fun Facts

    • Avid horseback rider
    • Love hiking with my dogs 
    • Provided supportive care for a baby mountain lion
  • Asena
    RVT - Patient Care Team

    Asena was born in Redwood City, then lived in San Bruno until she was five years old. Her family moved to the town of Windsor and have been living in the same house for 20 years now! Asena began in this industry as a kennel technician at the Healdsburg Animal Shelter. She met a registered veterinary technician there, and fell in love with the medical aspect of animal welfare. She finished the R.V.T. Program at Santa Rosa Junior College in 2014 and is currently studying to take the national veterinary technician exam early 2016. She has female, 6 year old Doberman named Akela. They enjoy hikes, stand-up paddle boarding, and sunshine. A few things that has drawn Asena to work at Central are the AHAA standards, continuous love and devotion to the pets, and wonderful the personalities of her fellow coworkers.

    Degrees and Achievements

    • RVT from SRJC 2015

    Fun Facts

    • Asena's favorite food is macaroni and cheese.
    • She enjoys the adrenaline rush of jumping off of cliffs and rocks into water.
    • She loves to sing!
    • She is one of the tallest members of our team!
  • Arlyn
    Patient Care Team

    Arlyn was born and raised in Marin County. She has been a Petaluma resident since 2004. Growing up, she always knew she wanted to work with animals, and pursue a career in animal medicine. Arlyn attended Santa Rosa Junior College where she received an Associates degree in Natural Science. She transferred to Chico State where she received a Bachelors degree in Animal Science. Arlyn is thrilled to be working for an animal hospital who values quality care for their patients. She is excited to be an active member in animal medicine, and to be working alongside individuals who share the same passion for animals as she does. She hopes to continue her education and become the veterinarian she has always aspired to be. Arlyn is an owner to Cocoa, a Pitbull mix; Zack, a Jack Russell terrier; and fostering Hazel, a Pitbull mix.

    Fun facts

    • Favorite swim stroke is butterfly 
    • Enjoys the outdoors 
    • Movie fanatic 

    Degrees and Achievements 

    AS- Natural Science from SRJC

    BS- Animal Science from Chico State

    HACCP Certified 

  • Josue Herrera
    Patient Care Team

    Josue has lived In Sonoma County his whole life. From a young age, he has always wanted to work with animals. He recalls always wanting to help his animals when they were sick or injured and knew he working with animals was his calling. When he turned 18, he finally decided to pursue work in the animal field and had the very fortunate opportunity to work at an upscale dog boarding facility in Sebastopol. After learning all he could, he decided to move on and work in construction but due to covid-19, it was short lived and decided to get back into the animal field, with Central Animal Hospital. While his animal work experience has only lasted close to 2 years, he knows one thing is for sure, that his passion will only continue to grow it. Josue has 3 spoiled chickens and 1 cat.

    Fun Facts

    • Vegan lifestyle
    • Enjoys spending time outside
  • Jonathan Ruiz
    Patient Care Team

    Jonathan is an avid animal lover. He enjoys helping pets when they are not feeling well and of course loves seeing all the happy pets who come in to visit. Jonathan came to Central Animal Hospital looking to purse his passion of working with animals. Though Jonathan has no pets of his own now, he looks forward to having a furry family member one day! 

    Fun Facts

    • Is fluent in Spanish
    • Loves trail biking
    • Enjoys being outside
  • Monique Els
    Patient Care Team

    Monique is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa and moved to Petaluma with her parents at the age of 3. Monique discovered her love for animals early on; her house was never complete without a dog or two...and maybe a bird, some goats, a snake, a couple cats, and--of course--a full fish tank. Even when she was not at home, she was encouraged and motivated to spend time with animals through riding horses and volunteering at animal shelters. This passion for working with animals led Monique to four years of studying Animal Science at UC Davis, where she graduated in June 2020. Monique gained her first few years of experience working at different veterinary hospitals in Sacramento while enrolled at UCD. Monique recently moved back to Petaluma and has her hands full with her puppy, Moose, and German shepherd, Luna, and she is looking forward to spending her career in the veterinary field! Monique values quality patient care, client relationships, and feeling like she worked her hardest at the end of each day. 

    Degrees and achievement:

    • Bachelor of Science-Animal Sciences from UC Davis-June 2020

    Fun Facts:

    • Enjoys jogging with Moose
    • Is fluent in Afrikaans and Dutch
    • Loves to travel! She has visited many parts of the US, South Africa, The Netherlands, Turkey, and France, and is hoping to continue seeing the world

  • Brandy Puckett
    Patient Care Team

    Brandy was born and raised in Petaluma and has always had the company of furry friends in her home. It's been a childhood dream of Brandy's to care for animals and she feels she has found the perfect place to live that dream, in veterinary medicine at Central Animal Hospital. She has a sweet Pitbull who she adores!

    Fun Facts

    • Enjoys baking
    • Has a green thumb
    • Has a deep passion for all animals 


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Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Central Animal Hospital


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-4:00 pm