Meet Our Team!

Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital

Animal Clinic
3079 Highway K, O’Fallon, MO 636-272-5950


Doctors

Animal Clinic doctor Dr Amy Kreutzer was born and raised in Ste Genevieve and now resides on her husband’s family farm near Clarksville, Missouri. Growing up Dr Amy had a Cocker Spaniel named Sydney, a female domestic short hair cat named Belle, and a male domestic short hair cat named Blackie. She used to dress Blackie up in pink baby doll dresses and push him around in a stroller; she also made him carry a matching purse. Dr Amy had always wanted to become a veterinarian ever since she could remember, and there was no wavering from that. Dr Amy attended the University of Missouri-Columbia Veterinary College and graduated in. She enjoys the challenge of solving difficult mysteries of why a pet is sick or not doing well. She also has a passion for working with birds of prey (falcons, hawks, eagles, etc). She is a licensed general falconer and has flown red tailed hawks and a Kestrel. Dr Amy, her husband Kurt (who is also a vet), and their son, Kaleb share their home and farm with five dogs and five cats. Their 5 dogs include Mya a female Great Dane, Sage a female English Mastiff, Breeze a female Great Pyrenese, Boone a male Great Pyrenese, and Berkeley a male Border Collie mix. Their five domestic short hair cats include 4 boys (Simon, Alphonse, Gus and Chester) and one girl (Sushi). Mya, the Great Dane, and Sushi, the smallest cat, are best friends; they sleep curled up together constantly. It is rare to find one sleeping without the other.


Veterinarian Dr Melissa Lafferty was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and moved to St Charles, MO when she was six years old. Her parents still live in St Charles and Dr Melissa now lives in Wentzville. When Dr Melissa was six years old, Santa gave her a calico kitten she named Tiffy. Her mom was terrified of animals; it took two years before her mom was brave enough to be in the same room with Tiffy. Before Dr Melissa attended veterinary school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, she worked at fast food places and was also a veterinary technician. Having a strong interest in science, animals, and medicine, Dr Melissa decided that becoming a veterinarian would enable her to pursue all of her interests. In addition to the dogs and cats, Dr Melissa loves interacting with all the interesting people she meets every day in her job. She also loves the challenge of never knowing what she may see on any given day. Dr Melissa, her husband, Brad, and their three children (Braxton, Abby, and Cora Rose) share their home with two dogs and a cat. Baci is a three year old Italian Mastiff whose name means “kisses” in Italian. When she was younger, her husband forgot to lock her kennel one day when he left the house. When they came back home, they found that their sweet little dog had redecorated the laundry room! Blake is a ten year old male Husky mix that rarely barks. Instead of barking, he howls every time Dr Melissa comes home; the kids say it sounds like he is saying, “I Love You!” Their cat, Tiger, was a rescued female tabby that she had to hand raise and bottle feed when she was four weeks old.


Veterinary Dr. Bob McCool was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. As a young child, he used to spend hours playing with plastic zoo animals, and his favorite thing to do was visit the zoo. He had a habit of catching animals (from frogs/toads to even a gopher) and trying to make them pets. He drove his parents crazy with the approximately 15 fish tanks he kept in his room. It was clear early on that he had a fascination for animals.During career day in high school, he recalled how most of his classmates chose 3 or 4 different career choices to research as most of them were uncertain what direction they would go. For himself, it was different. He knew he wanted a career working with animals. He had already narrowed his choice down to veterinary medicine. Everything he did from that point forward was focused on getting into veterinary school. In 1985, he was accepted for admission into the University of Missouri-Columbia Veterinary School. He would eventually marry one of his classmates, Lori, in 1988. He knew early on that the area he wanted to pursue was small animal medicine and surgery. So when he graduated he and his wife took positions as Associate Veterinarians in practices in California. Having grown up in Missouri, they both thought it would be nice to live elsewhere for a change. After one year in California, they made the decision to move back to Missouri to raise a family.Currently Dr Bob and his wife have 2 children, both boys, attending elementary school. Both of his sons also love animals. He always said there must be “animal gene” that he and his wife passed on to them. They have several pets including a golden retriever who loves attention (Kilimanjaro), a cat who loves to eat (Jack), two sweet maltese (Ella & Eli), another cat who is constantly in to things (Holly), a pomeranian who is their most bull-headed child (Mikaela), 2 pigmy goats who love to climb (Sandy and Lily), 2 sweet nubian goats that love cheerios (Sponge Bob and Flower), and a chinchilla (Benji).


Vet Dr. Julie Baise grew up in the Pacific Northwest and moved to the O’Fallon area in 2005. She knew she wanted to be a veterinarian as long as she could remember. As a child, pets were always part of the household and included rats, mice, parakeets, dogs, and cats. She begged for her first dog, Sadie, at the age of 12 by hiding cut-out pictures of dogs all over the house until her parents finally gave in. During high school, Dr. Julie worked at the YMCA as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. When time permitted, she would volunteer at the local humane society. She attended Washington State University where she obtained a major in Zoology and minored in Animal Science and Business. She graduated in 2005 with a Degree in Veterinary Medicine and soon after traveled to the O’Fallon and started working at Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital. Dr. Julie can’t imagine herself in any other profession and truly enjoys coming to work everyday. She loves the interactions with people and the rewarding feeling of helping animals in need. Dr. Julie and her husband, Steve, share their home with three dogs and four cats. Her dogs include: Josie, a 5-year old Golden Retriever that was rescued from the shelter; Buddy, a 2-year old shepherd mix acquired from the Missouri Humane Society in 2007; and Sheila, an Australian Cattle Dog who was hit by a car and brought to our clinic with a broken leg & pelvis. Sheila spent a month here recuperating before Dr. Julie decided she would be a perfect fit with her family. Her cats range from 3 to 11 years of age. Their names are Izzy, Opal, Mango, and Willy. Willy, her newest addition, lost his eye to a herpes infection when he was only 8-weeks old. Opal is her street-smart cat with 9 lives. After moving across town a few years ago, she found her way back to her old home…..twice….before she finally decided her new place wasn’t so bad.


Dr. Heather Wise was born and raised in a military family, which means she has lived all over the country including Oklahoma, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Illinois. As a child, she had two black Labrador Retrievers in addition to rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and fish. Her love for animals is what initially sparked her interest in the veterinary profession. She remembers her older Labrador, Suzie, giving birth to a litter of puppies. The delivery was difficult, so they had to rush her in to the emergency clinic for a C-section. Fortunately, all the pups survived. As a birthday gift, Heather was given one of her favorite pups in the litter, and she named her Kona. By the time she was in middle school, Dr. Heather had made the decision to become a vet. So, in 2008, she applied and was accepted for admission to the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2012, she became the newest member of our team of doctors at Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital. In addition to being around the animals, she enjoys bonding with pet owners and loves the challenge and satisfaction of helping them with their pets. Currently, Dr. Heather shares her home with her Border Collie, Mia, whom she adopted from the Humane Society a few years ago, and a ten year old blind rabbit named Keebler. Mia loves to run and has won both a trick contest and a “wag off” at two of the many dog shelter fundraising events that she frequently attends. Mia is quite the talent as she competes in agility, Dock Dogs, and sheep herding, and she is also a certified therapy dog.

Patient Care Team Members

Veterinary care technician Tracy Anderson was born in St. Louis and raised in Florissant, Missouri. As a child, she had three male Shih Tzus (Frosty, Gizmo, and Riley). One of their favorite pastimes was going to the park and running around chasing a ball. Tracy loved to dress them up for Halloween and take them trick-or-treating. Her loved for animals caused her to take action when she heard Gentle Doctor was hiring. The thing she enjoys most about her job is helping to improve the health of a sick pet. She finds it very rewarding to send the recovered pet back home to the relieved parents. She also loves interacting with the clients and their pets. Tracy and her husband, Greg, currently share their home with their two Shih Tzus (Buddy and Belle). One night when Tracy and Greg were playing cards, Belle came over and lied down next to them. The way she was lying there, it looked like she was playing poker. Tracy took a picture with her camera and always smiles to this day when she sees it. When Greg arrives home every night, Buddy and Belle are so excited to see him. So, he pets them and tells them to “Go tell Mommy I’m home.” Then, they run to Tracy, jump in her lap, and get all excited. So she tells them to “Go tell Daddy where I am.” And they race back to Greg and “tell him.” It is a game they love to play every night.


cat doctor Loretta McMenamy was born in Ferguson, Missouri. At 2 weeks of age, her family moved to St Peters, Missouri where she lived at home until she was 20 years old. Loretta had 2 cats growing up, Smokey (blue and cream) and Tuxedo (black and white). She also had a chow chow dog named Cinnamon who lived to be 16 years old. Smokey was a gift for her 7th birthday from her aunt. She used to dress Smokey in baby clothes and put her in the baby crib.Her career goal was to find employment where she felt like she could make a difference. Her love of animals made Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital a perfect fit! Loretta enjoys meeting new clients with their kittens and puppies. She loves seeing pets recover from serious illnesses. She likes to talk to the clients about their pets and loves it when they praise us for the great job we did helping their pet. Working at Gentle Doctor has been her favorite job. She hopes to have a long career working at Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital helping care for clients and their pets. Loretta and her husband, Nathan, have 3 cats: Salem, a 3 year old female black cat, Tre Jones, a 2 year old male chocolate point Siamese mix, and Gilbert, a 2 year old male tabby with white markings. Salem was her first cat and loves to give kisses, especially while Loretta is sleeping. Tre, who she calls Jonesy is the talker. He sits on the counter by the treat cabinet and cries until he gets a treat. He was a rescue kitten that had a broken leg that required surgery to pin his leg. He is a social butterfly and snuggle bunny that sleeps with her every night.


Tiffany Briggs was born in Roy, Utah but spent most of her childhood in Denver, Colorado. Her first pet was a dachshund, named DJ. DJ is now 15 years old and still going strong. In his younger years, DJ would have episodes of extreme excitement where he would very enthusiastically run around the house. She enjoyed watching these bursts of excitement… it gave her a great feeling to see him so happy! DJ loved the warmth of lying on laundry that just came out of the dryer or lying in the sun. And Tiffany has fond memories of how he would always hog the bed! Tiffany has always loved animals and has worked previously as a kennel attendant at an animal hospital. After watching the technicians taking such good care of the sick pets, she became passionate about working as an animal health technician. She loves the feeling she gets when she sees an animal recover from a serious illness or injury and then watching the elated owner reunite with her pet. In addition to her long time friend, DJ, Tiffany also has 2 cats (Molly and Birdie) and a double yellow-headed Amazon parrot (Lola). Molly is a very prudish kind of cat and Birdie is a major snuggle bunny. Birdie has the wonderful habit of waking Tiffany up in the morning by attacking her feet! And if she doesn’t wake up right away, she can always count on her parrot, Lola, to give her an early morning wake up call.


Pet Clinic Technician Sandy Brodeur grew up in St. Charles and High Ridge, Missouri. Sandy had a lot of pets growing up, but her favorite was Frankie, who was about 150 pounds and was a mix between a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and a St. Bernard. Frankie was very smart. She could crawl on command and catch treats off her nose on the count of three. Sandy’s love for animals led her to pursue a job in the veterinary field. She loves working with animals and especially enjoys interacting with the cute puppies and kittens. Sandy currently shares her home with her two boxers (Kane and Bruno) and a Chihuahua/rat terrier mix (Sogi). All the dogs love going to her river property to run and play in and near the river where they end up taking a mud bath. They also love doing the same in a lake near Sandy’s house so bathing her dogs is something Sandy does frequently!


Veterinary clinic dr Diane Clark was born and raised in St Louis County. Growing up she had 2 cats: Willy Joe and Peepers. She also had a pug named Tuffy, who was a cantankerous guy that wouldn’t let anyone in the kitchen when he was eating, and he would growl if you tapped your toes.Diane has always loved animals, especially puppies and kittens. Working with sick or injured pets is very rewarding to her. She often volunteers to take pets home to provide that little extra TLC and really enjoys helping pets that require special care. Diane previously worked at a pre-school and realized the similarities between pets and children; both take patience, love, consistent rules, and a lot of attention. Diane has been married for 23years; she and her husband, Dean have 3 children: Tyler, Ashley and Dylan. The family shares their home with 5 pets: Jasmine, a 14 year old Golden mix; Houligan, a Collie mix that is 6 year old that helped keep Jasmine young (hence the name); Tahlula, an adorable 3 year old Pekingese, who likes to chase fishing lures that we cast in our back yard (no hooks); Dobbie, the Pomeranian (the only boy; he is the happiest dog!); and their newest addition is Sandwich, who is a mischievous and very loveable 6 month old kitten.


Vet hospital cat dr Shannon Derby was born and raised in Richmond, VA and moved to St Louis in 2006. Growing up in Richmond, she had a lot of pets: dogs, cats, chickens, two geese (named Mutt and Jeff), Holstein calves (named Ike and Tina), skunks, rabbits, fish, ferrets, several horses, and a retired rodeo mule named Apple Dumpling. One of her favorite dogs was Bobo. As a young child, she would often blame Bobo when she got in trouble. Whenever she did anything bad she would say “Bobo made me do it!” And of course, Bobo would always stand up for her. Her mother had a difficult time keeping an eye on her, as one of Shannon’s favorite pastimes was hanging out at the horse pasture.Shannon has always had a passion for animals. She was always catching frogs and leaving them in her pockets for her mom to find. She helped raise baby birds and squirrels displaced from their nests after storms. Before joining Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital in 2007, Shannon managed a boarding stable and worked in a farm and home store in Virginia. Her favorite thing about her job is being around her passion, the animals. Currently, Shannon has four cats. She has two Burmese cats named Pasha and Jack, who are retired show cats. Bessie is a domestic short haired cat that she found as a stray kitten. Her other cat is also a domestic short haired cat whose name is Poopers, who was a recent addition that she rescued while working at Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital. Bessie likes to steal a variety of objects and hide them under the bed. Pasha and Jack are cuddle bugs; they love to cuddle up and sleep with her as long as she is in bed. Often, Pasha will even tell her when it is time to go to bed.


Veterinary center dog dr Tara Ewers was born in Ballwin, MO and moved to St Charles when she was 14 years old. Growing up she had 2 domestic short hair cats and 2 English sheepdog mixes. Once, she had this great idea of hooking the dogs, Bandit and Oreo, to her while she rode on her roller-skates. It was a great idea until they saw a squirrel and took off. Needless to say, her skating days ended shortly thereafter! It took a long time for the wounds to heal from being dragged half way home.Tara has always had a love for animals and has worked in the veterinary field as a veterinary technician since 2001 and never thinks of doing anything else. She enjoys coming in to work knowing that she will help someone with their pet. Tara and her husband, Mike, live with 3 dogs. Jasmine is 11 years old; she is diabetic and likes to sleep a lot. Higgins (3 years old) and Bailey (2 years old) are their Old English sheepdogs. Higgins and Bailey are both very affectionate and are big clowns! Bailey (weighs 84 lbs) thinks he is a cat; he loves to lay on the back of the couch all day and look outside. Higgins (100lbs) and Bailey save a little room on the couch for Tara, but this usually means her husband, Mike, has to sit elsewhere.


Spay/Neuter Tech Lori Halfhill was born and raised in Florissant, Missouri. Lori had a Peek-a-poo named Midnight, a mixed breed dog named Cocoa, and several hamsters as pets while growing up. She also tried to raise finches. Cocoa loved to go camping with her. Lori would throw a tennis ball into the lake and Cocoa would swim after it; he was a great swimmer.Before Lori came to work at Gentle Doctor she had worked in the health insurance industry. Lori says she enjoys working with animals much more! She especially likes it when the doctors take a sick pet and make them well again! It gives her great pleasure and satisfaction to know that she was part of the team that helped nurture a clients pet back to health. There is nothing as satisfying as seeing how happy the clients are when their sick or injured animals are ready to back home.Lori, her husband Karl, and their two children Tyler and Caelan share their home with three dogs and three cats. Their dogs consist of two boxer named Zena and Bruno and a Boston terrier named Kona. Their three cats include two domestic shorthairs named Lacy and Mercedes that she adopted through Gentle Doctor and a Mainecoon cat named Sammy. Lori’s 2 boxers are always catching frogs in the back yard and bringing them inside to the sunroom, where Lori’s husband gets the task of catching the frogs. The dogs love to play with them; they have never seen such an entertaining toy!


Vet clinic dr Kerri Kuenkler was born and raised in Maryland Heights, Missouri. You could certainly say Kerri was surrounded by pets as a child. She spent most of her time with her black Labrador Retriever mix, Lady, but had a variety of other pets as well including four rabbits (Cinnamon, Samantha, Buddy, and Brownie), two baby raccoons (Rocky and Roxanne), a variety of chickens, and several ducks. Some of her fondest memories were the snowy winter days where Lady would pull her and her brother up the hill on a sled and then ride the sled back down with them. Her passion for animals caused Kerri to search for a job working in an animal hospital. She finds it very rewarding to help the animals. Kerri and her fiancé, Jeff, and their four children, Blake, Cody, Austin, and Dylan, share their home with a miniature dachshund (Gretchen), a yellow Labrador Retriever (Daisy), a Chihuahua (Chica), another dachshund (Teddy), and four mixed breed cats (Bogey, Sissy, Chloe, and Tinkerbell). Although Gretchen is small, she is the boss of the whole clan. When Kerri brought their kitten, Tinkerbell, home, she was only five weeks old and weighed six ounces. Gretchen decided Tinkerbell was her baby and raised her like a mother raises a puppy. She licked Tinkerbell, carried her around in her mouth like a newborn puppy, and never let her out of her sight.

Veterinarians Cheryl Peppers was born in St. Louis, Missouri and was grew up in Dellwood and Jefferson County. She grew up surrounded by pets. Her favorite pet was a toy poodle named Mimi. Mimi was Cheryl’s best friend. She frequently dressed Mimi up in doll’s clothes and pushed her around in her doll stroller. Mimi followed Cheryl around wherever she would go. In addition to Mimi, Cheryl also had two cats (Golda and Morris), two turtles, a parakeet (Blue), and a baby wild rabbit (Hoppy) that she hand raised and later released into the wild. Cheryl has always had a desire to work with animals since her childhood. Both sets of grandparents had pets: one raised poodles and her other owned cats. She loves seeing sick and injured animals recover, watching puppies and kittens grow up, spending time getting to know our clients, and developing great friendships with the people she works with. She truly loves her job! She currently shares her home with her two cats: Gizmo and Cheddar. Both cats were rescued from shelters. Gizmo loves to lick the curtains before he puts his head through to look outside the window. She says Gizmo is her “OCD” cat. Cheddar follows Cheryl everywhere even into the bathroom. If she does not let Cheddar in, Cheddar knocks on the door until she finally gives in and opens it.


Jen Davis was born and raised in Granite City, Illinois. As a child, her family did not own pets, but Jen managed to “adopt” a couple of stray cats and make them her pets. Although they were feral cats, she fed and played with them. Her favorite was “Bob”, who was named after the appearance of his tail which was bobbed. He also was missing one ear. But he was very sweet and would hang out with her even when it snowed. As soon as Jen was old enough, she adopted her own cats. She, her husband, Jared, and her two children, Trent and Adrianna, currently share their home with their four female cats: Kiki, Patches, Spunky, and Lexus. Lexus is probably her favorite as she is very loveable. However, Patches is the most vocal of her cats. Every morning when she gets up, Patches meows so loud it sounds like a scream! This is her way of ensuring that Jen does not forget to feed her. Jen has always had a passion for animals and a connection with them. But it was more than this that attracted her to a career in an animal hospital. She wanted to work at a place where she felt like she could make a difference. And there is nothing that makes her happier than seeing the bond people have with their pets and being able to play a role in keeping their pets healthy.