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  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. 

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, 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. - 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 also likes to help educate clients on all the information and facts they need to help their animals live a long happy life. She also loves to go above and beyond to make sure all the pets that come through have a comfortable and fun experience here! She 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.

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.

Lindsay Ravel-Customer Care Team 

Lindsay moved to Santa Rosa in 2012 to attend the SRJC for their 

animal science  program and she graduated with an AA in 2015. While she was taking classes she was a resident employee at Shone Farm where she helped take care of the livestock. Lindsay's favorite part was helping with the calving and lambing because she was able to witness the birth and help bottle feed if needed. There were over 50 cattle, 100 sheep, 10 horses, and 100 chickens so she stayed busy, but loved every part of it. Lindsay has always had a passion for helping animals, but it truly began when she was around 11 years old and was taking horseback riding lessons. Her trainer would foster dogs from shelters and she would let her help out, making it a very fun learning experience. 

Degrees and Achievements

  • AA in Animal Science 

​Fun Facts

  • Loves working with livestock 

  • Trained wild mustangs 

  • Enjoys a beautiful weekend hike

Rebecca Walker, RVT - Patient Care Team Leader

Rebecca always knew she wanted to work with animals but wasn’t sure of exactly in what manner. After taking a vet tech class at the SRJC (taught by Dr. Carter) she was sure becoming an RVT was what she wanted. Since receiving her license she has focused her training in surgery, primarily orthopedics, and in overall patient care. She is passionate about providing compassionate care for the hospitalized patient. Rebecca lives in Santa Rosa with her husband Johnny, their daughters Serenity and Kailey, their dogs Clover and Daisy, bird Lilah, and hamster Dean.

Degrees and Achievements

  • RVT - Santa Rosa Junior College 2013

Fun Facts

  • She is a gamer.
  • Enjoys gardening, especially tending her roses.
  • Hiking and exploring the outdoors.

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. 

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! 

Hannah Ross-Patient Care Team

Hannah joined our team in July 2016, and has really shown our team what true passion is. She was drawn to CAH because she felt we really advertise the gold standard of pet care, and strive to maintain a family dynamic. She is especially passionate about rescues and Pit bullsShe even has two of them at home, Ruca and Puppy. Hannah plans to attend the Santa Rosa Junior College next semester to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. 

Fun Facts

  • Enjoys going to the beach and collecting shells.
  • Loves beauty, makeup, pink and all things girly, but also loves fishing and playing in the mud!
  • Is coffee obsessed!

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. 

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. 

Fun Facts

  • 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. 

Fun Facts

  • 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. 

Fun Facts

  • 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 Facts

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

  • Loves to garden and grow her own vegetales

  • Loves crafting and makes rustic wood signs


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

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