We can learn so much from animals! Kris grew up on a farm in Minnesota where she developed a deep appreciation and understanding for animals. At age four, she decided to be a veterinarian. A year later her father took her hunting. Once she realized what was happening, Kris made noise to warn the ducks. She established a hospital in the bow of the boat with blankets, food and water. When a duck was brought in, she dressed its wounds before wrapping a towel around the bird. Kris wanted to save them all. . . she still does.
In 2010, Kris was lying in bed with her cat Tigre when he began to sniff her body. When he got to her abdomen, he let out a loud hiss and tried to cover her with a sheet. Two weeks later, Kris was in the hospital starting chemotherapy for rare form of cancer called double-hit lymphoma. She had her first cat scan at home!
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Nelson completed a small animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. She continued her education with a year of additional surgical training at the Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to learning advanced surgical techniques, she also taught surgery to veterinary students.
Dr. Nelson cares for dogs, cats and exotic animals. Her thirty plus years of practice include work as an emergency room veterinarian and Medical Director of a private hospital. She then launched her own practice - the Minnesota Veterinary Center. On a cold winter day in 1997, Dr. Nelson sold her practice to relocate to sunny Arizona. Kris continues to care for animals in the Phoenix metro area.
Dr. Nelson is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association.
MEDIA AND HONORS:
Dr. Nelson has appeared in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, DisneyFamily.com, The Ladies' Home Journal and numerous radio and television interviews. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Duluth Kennel Club Award for Outstanding Small Animal Surgery and Medicine and the Carl F. Schlotthauer Memorial Surgery Award. The latter is presented by the University of Minnesota Surgical Faculty to a senior student "In Recognition Of Outstanding Ability in Veterinary Surgery." As a student, Kris was a member of Phi Zeta, the Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine. The United States Customs Service awarded Dr. Nelson a commendation for her care of a drug-sniffing canine officer.
Dr. Nelson's first book Coated With Fur: A Vet's Life celebrates the deep bond between humans and animals. Set in a veterinary practice, the book chronicles Kris' triumphs and trials as a young woman owning her first animal hospital. Experience each day as she did, from the joy of saving a dog's leg to the agony of losing a long-term patient. Marvel at what it took to untangle a snake stuck in a doorway, scaring the society ladies in the waiting room.
Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat's Love continues the story of a young women who opened a veterinary hospital in Burnsville, Minnesota. Marvel when a blind cat helps Adam overcome a physical limitation. Follow Kris as she tries to collect a semen sample from Ivan the shy Doberman, saves the life of a struggling Chihuhua and delivers Ashley's adorable golden retriever puppies. Meet Snowflake, a white cat who fights hard to stay alive and Lilah, the friendly, pregnant German shepherd. Through it all, experience the sheer joy and challenges of being a veterinarian. More information at www.coatedwithfur.com. Her books are available at Amazon as well as the clinic.
Dr. Nelson is currently writing the third book in the series, "Coated With Fur: A Vet's Heart."
ore information at www.coatedwithfur.com. Her books are available at Amazon as well as at the clinic.
Elaina was born and raised in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in small animal science from Delaware Valley University. Prior to attending veterinary college, Elaina worked as a veterinary technician at a local animal shelter in Pennsylvania. The shelter provided care for under served populations and animals. This inspired her to become a veterinarian and continues to be a passion for her today!
In 2016, Elaina made the big move across the country to attend Midwestern University in Arizona for veterinary college! Dr. Volpe received her Doctorate of veterinary medicine from Midwestern in 2020 and graduated as a member of Phi Zeta (the veterinary honor society).
During veterinary college, Dr. Volpe married her husband, James. They share their home with their 2 year old energetic Boston terrier, Yoshi. Outside of work, Elaina enjoys reading books of all kinds, watching anything on Bravo TV, hiking, trying new restaurants with her husband and spending time with friends and family.
Michelle was born in Phoenix then moved to Northern California with her family. She returned to the Valley of the Sun in 2009. Before accepting a position at Arizona Skies Animal Hospital, Michelle worked with dogs and cats at The Animal Hospital at Tatum Ranch and horses at Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center. She is pursing the Certified Veterinary Technician designation.
Away from the clinic, Michelle enjoys reading, drawing and a variety of outdoor activities including horseback riding, running and hiking. An accomplished long distance runner, Michelle took first place in her age division in the Lost Dutchman 8K Train Run and was second overall. She set a personal record in the 2014 Sedona Half Marathon and was part of the winning 'Sole Sisters' team when they won the woman's only division of the 2014 Ragnar McDowell Mountain Trail Relay. Michelle and her husband Ed, have two daughters, three dogs and three cats. She must also posses some magical skills to get all those animals in one picture!
Olivia was born in Yakima, Washington then moved to Arizona when she was five years old. She has lived in Phoenix ever since. In 2018, Olivia graduated from Carrington College as a Veterinary Assistant. She was on the Dean's List, President's List and received an award for Perfect Attendance. She completed her externship at Arizona Skies Animal Hospital. Olivia impressed us so much we offered her a permanent position. Olivia is bilingual, speaking Spanish as well as English. She enjoys working with all kinds of animals.
In her free time, Olivia enjoys photography, drawing and spending time with her family. She adopted a Rottweiler mix named Batman and a kitten named Robin. Batman is about nine years old but still thinks he is a puppy. He loves to redecorate the backyard by digging holes. Unfortunately, he is very camera shy. Robin is an outgoing two year old who likes to play games, especially at night when Olivia is trying to sleep.
Sarah was born in Redwood City, California and moved to Arizona in 1991. She graduated from Anthem College of Veterinary Technology in 2011. Sarah has worked at Banfield and VetMed before accepting a position at Arizona Skies Animal Hospital. Sarah's pet family includes a calico cat named Snax as well as a mischievous Maine coon mix breed cat named Houdini. She is also has a grey horse named Beauty. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading, video gaming with video editing and spending time with her boyfriend.
Heather was born in Illinois where she grew up with a variety of animals. including cots, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, lizards and two snakes. She was fortunate to visit her family in Arizona every summer since she was 8 years old. During her visits, she spent most of her time riding horses with her cousin. One year, she found a cactus wren
drowning in a water trough. She administered CPR and the little bird made it.
Heather graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2011 with a B.S in education and certification in Early Childhood Education. She taught for over three years then stayed home to raise her two boys. When Heather re-entered the work force, she decided to change careers and pursue a position in veterinary medicine. She started as a kennel technician at Canyon Pet Hospital in Flagstaff, Arizona. She worked her way up to being a veterinary technician at Grand Paws Animal Clinic in Surprise, Arizona before joining the staff of Arizona Skies Animal Hospital. Heather enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine. Besides her two boys, Heather is mom to a cat named Riley as well as two lab mixes. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, learning about the desert, collecting rocks and doing all kinds of crafts.
Mason is a Shetland Sheepdog who lost his mom at two weeks of age. Michelle and another good Samaritan, Karen, took turns caring for Mason, his brother and two sisters. It was touch and go for several days but thanks to the good nursing care, all the pups survived. Michelle adopted Mason and Lilly while Karen adopted Annie and Axel..
He loves coming to work with his mom where you will find him napping behind the reception counter. He springs into action whenever he hears a truck because he associates large trucks with treats. Unfortunately, Mason struggles to control his weight because of all the treats. Please ask Michelle before rewarding those big brown eyes with a cookie. We want to keep him fit and healthy!
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