Switch to Main Site
Practice Name

Central Animal Hospital

Social Media
Primary Location
203 D Street
Petaluma, CA 94952
Phone: 707-762-2693
Fax: 707-762-3734

Office Hours

Main Content

  Our Awesome Team

Matthew Carter, DVM - Practice Owner

Dr. Carter loves to swim, bicycle, play the violin, brew beers from local supplies, read, and fly fish. He purchased Central Animal Hospital in April of 2002. He lives in Petaluma with his wife Jennifer and his twins, Lillian and MaryBeth. The Carter's also share their home with Mylo the cat and their dog Elsie.

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.

Tim Helms, DVM - 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.
  • He enjoys abalone diving/spear fishing, and triathlons.

Jack Long, VMD, CVA

Dr. Long grew up and attended veterinary school in Pennsylvania. He then met his wife, moved to Sonoma County and settled in, raising 2 sons as well as buying and building his practice of 38 years in Forestville. Since selling his practice in 2007, Dr. Long has enjoyed "semi-retirement", continuing to provide patient care for his wholistic patients 2-3 days a week in various practices around the county and spending quality time with his family.

"I find great pleasure in seeing my patients get healthier, and I've learned that there are many ways to achieve better health. I customize combinations of conventional Western Medicine and Surgery with Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nutritional Therapy, and Homeopathy. This is called Integrative Medicine. I am very excited about a new therapy called Homotoxicology, a combination of Homeopathy and Acupuncture."

Degrees and Achievements

  • VMD - University of Pennsylvania 1972
  • CVA - IVAS 1999
  • He enjoys outdoor activities, mountain biking, gardening, hiking, reading, listening to music, and playing with his granddaughters. 

Fun Facts

  • Played the trombone 
  • Brews his own beer, currently working on perfecting his IPA
  • Passion for mountain biking 

Lindsey Alman, BVMS                                            

Dr. Alman received her veterinary degree from the University of Glasgow in 2013. She grew up in Santa Rosa and spent her first two years in practice working with large and small animals. She has a passion for travel and volunteer work, and is currently working with Homeless with Pets during her spare time. Dr. Alman lives in Santa Rosa with her husband Alex and daughter Layna. They have a cat named “Simon”, a rabbit “Peanut”, and a dog named "Madison". In her spare time she enjoys running, camping, and spending time with her family.                                 

Degrees and Achievements

  • BVMS- University of Glasgow 2013

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. 

Degrees and Achievements

  • BS - Business Administration, CSU Chico 1994

Fun Facts

  • She enjoys spending time with family, hiking, biking, and reading.

Brittany Barrows, RVT. - Manager

Brittany started on our Hospitality Team 10 years ago, 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 management last year 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, their Greyhound Farrah, and kitties Meeka and Bruiser.

Degrees and Achievements

  • RVT - Santa Rosa Junior College 2012
  • Certified Abdominal and Cardiac Ultrasound Technician 
  • Currently enrolled at SRJC for Business Management classes

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 Fairchild - 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.

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

Rebecca Walker, RVT - Patient Care Team Leader

Rebecca joined out team in 2015 after already achieving her licence as a registered veterinary technician. Rebecca became motivated to obtain her licence after taking a vet tech class at the SRJC taught by Dr. Carter! Rebecca quickly mastered patient care and surgical assisting and is now our Patient Care Team lead. Providing compassionate, stress/fear free care for our furry friends is of the utmost importance to her. Rebecca lives in Santa Rosa with her husband Johnny, their daughters Serenity and Kailey, their dogs Clover and Daisy, bird Lilah, rat Katniss and kitty cats, Kiki (CAH old hospital cat) and Diesel.

Degrees and Achievements

  • RVT - Santa Rosa Junior College 2013
  • Certified Abdominal Ultrasound Technician 

Fun Facts

  • Loves her Xbox 
  • Reupholstering/refinishing chairs 
  • Enjoys gardening, especially tending her roses
  • Hiking and exploring the outdoors but enjoys having lazy days as well

Asena Vera, 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

Jessica Brown - Patient Care Team

Jessica grew up in North Carolina where she married her high school sweetheart, Bobby. He is currently a chief serving in the United States Coast Guard, and is stationed here in Petaluma at the training center. They have three kids together, Robby, Nate, and Maddie Rae, and two knucklehead Pit bulls, Willow and Leo. Jessica started in the veterinary career a few years ago in hopes of someday starting a Pit bull rescue. This breed has a very special place in her heart! She attended Penn Foster College, a distant learning institute online to pursue a degree in animal science following the veterinary technician program they offer. She graduated in June 2016 with honors and is currently studying to take the Registered Veterinary Technician national exam to obtain her license. 

Degrees and Achievements

  • Associates Degree in Animal Science 

Fun Facts

  • Enjoys spending time with her family, especially camping
  • Loves to sew
  • Learning the ins and outs of gardening

Jocelyn Medina-Patient Care Team

Jocelyn knew she wanted to be in the veterinary field from the first moment she tended to an injured pigeon. She was only 9 years old when she was exploring the rocks and mountains with her pup, Fifi. She laid her eyes on sad, lonely pigeon sitting on a rock. When she noticed it wasn't flying away, she approached it and knew immediately something was wrong. Young Jocelyn scurried to give the pigeon food and shelter. For a week, Jocelyn tended to the pigeon's wounds until it could finally fly again. Jocelyn was sad that she would never see this pigeon again, but felt joy after seeing the pigeon fly away. This brings her to her caring, and gentle approach with all of our patients here at CAH. Today, Jocelyn lives in Penngrove with Fifi, and recently adopted a Pit bull named Leelah from the Petaluma Animal Shelter. Jocelyn loves her job as a veterinary assistant, and is working towards her goal of becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician. 

Degrees and Achievements

  • Carrington College- Graduted 2017

Fun Fact

  • Has been riding horses for 14 years, and wants to become a part time horsemanship instructor 

  • Is bilingual and biliterate in both English and Spanish 

  • Grew up in Solano County

Rebecca Baxter, RVT - Patient Care Team

Rebecca is one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians, and has been in the veterinary career for 10 years. Most of her background is in emergency medicine, where she has experience working at Pet Care Emergency Center and Animal Care Center. She first became interested in this career because she was looking for any type of night job, and came across an opening at the emergency center in Santa Rosa. She quickly became fascinated, and ended up becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician through the state of Alaska. Then, she applied for her Registered Veterinary Technician. She has two cats at home named Apollo and Dash. 

Degrees and Achievements

  • RVT-2015
  • FEMA trained to help with animals during a disaster 

Fun Fact

  • She loves hiking, and everything nature 
  • She also has a degree in English and history 
  • Loves to cook

Erica Marshall, RVT-Patient Care Team 

Erica grew up near Chicago and moved to the Bay Area right after graduating from school to become a Veterinary Technician, in 2012.  She worked at the Marine Mammal Center helping to rehabilitate seals and sea lions for a little over a year prior to joining our team. Erica is excited to be applying for her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Clinical Practice this year. 

Degrees and Achievements

  • RVT-2013 from Joliet College, IL 
  • Passed Veterinary Technician National and CA exams in 2012

Fun Fact

  • Hiking with her  husky mix, Apex
  • Traveling
  • Painting miniatures for table top gaming.  

Alex Hartmann-Patient Care Team

Alex was born and raised in Petaluma and has always had a love for animals since she was a kid. Alex has always spent her time surrounded by my dogs and horses. Alex has finally found the field she should be working in, since she began here at Central Animal hospital. It  took her a long time to realize she should be working with animals, when one day a light bulb went off, when she heard the words "Do what you love".  All the choices she has made have leaher to this point and she wouldn't have it any other way. Alex is looking to start school at some point in 2018 to be on the road to become a RVT.

Fun Fact

  • Horses has always been her passion, she has been riding since she was 4

  • Loves to garden and grow her own vegetables 

  • Loves crafting and makes rustic wood signs

Caylin Kojima- Patient Care Team

Caylin was raised on the Big Island of Hawai'i, there she discovered her passion for working with animals while volunteering at her school's sea turtle research project. There she assisted with the tagging, measurement, and release of Hawaiian green sea turtles. Caylin now resides in Cotati with her rescue lab mix, Addie, who enjoys frisbee, hiding shopping bags in the backyard, and chewing the heels of Caylin's work shoes. As of March 2018, Caylin is pursuing a veterinary technician degree through Penn Foster in hopes of becoming a registered vet tech by 2023.

Fun Fact

  • Enjoys reading 
  • Journaling
  • Playing video games with her friends

Serenity Walker- Patient Care Team 

Serenity always knew she had a passion for helping animals ever since she discovered the show Animal Cops Houston on Animal Planet. She originally wanted to pursue a career as an animal control officer, but as she started her job at Central Animal Hospital, she discovered that she wanted to pursue veterinary medicine and become a veterinarian. She is currently taking many honors classes at her local high school, hoping to get a scholarship into UC Davis. She hopes to own her own veterinary hospital in the future so she can provide high quality medical care to animals in need. Serenity lives in Santa Rosa with her parents Rebecca and Johnny Walker and her sister Kailey. They have many pets- dogs Clover and Daisy, bird- Lilah, rat -Katniss, and  two energetic and playful cats- Diesel and Kiki (who used to be Central Animal Hospital's resident cat!)

Fun Facts

  • Participating in a program called Upward Bound
  • Loves pocket pets
  • Has a passion for reading

Katy Thompson - Patient Care Team 

Katy was born and raised in Sonoma County and has been working with animals all her life. At a young age, she knew she wanted to work in the veterinary profession but was unsure of how to meet that goal. Katy joined our team in January of 2018 and started the Registered Veterinary Technician program at the SRJC. She now resides in Rohnert Park with her yellow lab named Buddy. Together they enjoy hiking, going to the beach, and going on drives together. 

Fun Facts:
  • Enjoys reading all genres of books,especially mystery 
  • Is a vegetarian
  • Katy was previously a marketing assistant before coming to work with us

Arlyn Cano - Patient Care Team

Arlyn was born and raised in Marin County and 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 is an owner of Coco, a pitbull mix, Zack, a jack russell terrier and fostering Hazel, a pitbull mix. Arlyn attended Santa Rosa Junior College where she received an associates 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 that values quality care for their patients. She is excited to be an active member in animal medicine and to be working along side individuals who are the same passion for animals as she does. She hopes to continue her education and become a veterinarian. 

Degrees and Achievements:

  • AS- Natural Science
  • BS- Animal Science
  • HACCP Certified

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite swim stork is butterfly
  • Enjoys the outdoors
  • Is a movie fanatic

Exclusive Offer

Click the button below to view our Online Store!


Featured Services

Services We strive to provide complete care for our patients. Learn more about all the services we provide. Make An Appointment We will do our best to accommodate your busy schedule. Schedule an appointment today! Online Forms Our patient forms are available online so they can be completed in the convenience of your own home or office.


We wanted to thank all of you for your kindness and help with our dog Joey. We only went into your office twice but everyone treated us like we had been there forever.

Wilda / Petaluma, CA

Office Hours

Day Open Closed
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8am 8am 8am 8am 8am 8am Closed
7pm 7pm 7pm 7pm 5:30pm 4pm



Newsletter Sign Up

Community Content