Arizona Skies Animal Hospital

Kristen Nelson, D.V.M.
Thorough medicine with care!

Meet the Staff


Kristen Nelson, D.V.M.


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.

Dr. Nelson has appeared in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times,, 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 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 Her books are available at Amazon as well as at the clinic. 


Michelle - Veterinary Technician

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!


Erica - Certified Veterinary Technician


Erica was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended the Pittsburgh Career Institute for Veterinary Technology where she studied cows, horses, rabbits and rodents in addition to dogs and cats. She relocated to Arizona in 2014 with her fiance, Jason, a dog and two chinchillas. Erica continued her training with an externship at Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center in Cave Creek, Arizona. She became a Certified Veterinary Technician after passing the Arizona State and National Exam in 2018. Erica worked at Banfield Pet Hospital before joining Arizona Skies Animal Hospital. 

Erica and Jason share their home with two dogs, Isis and Leo, and two chinchillas, Martini and Tequila . Erica is holding Isis and Leo for the picture. In her free time, Erica enjoys camping, fishing, horseback riding and relaxing with friends.


Olivia - Veterinary Assistant

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 externiship 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 one year old who likes to play games, especially at night when Olivia is trying to sleep.  


Tanya - Veterinary Assistant

Tanya was born in Mesa, Arizona and was raised in Phoenix. She attended the Veterinary Assistant program at Carrington College and graduated in 2018. She was on the Dean's List as well as receiving a Perfect Attendance Award. Tanya is bilingual in English and Spanish. Tanya completed her externship at the 99th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Animal Clinic and joined Arizona Skies in 2018.   

Tanya has four dogs, two Shepherd Husky mixes, a sweet but spoiled poodle mix named Gorda and her most recent addition, doxie mix named Chico.. The Husky mixes are very playful and energetic. Milo loves to talk back when he doesn't get his way while Kailo loves playing with empty water bottles while ignoring the people around him. In her free time, Tanya enjoys listening to music, reading, walking her dogs and going out with her family. 


Mason - Clinic Ambassador

 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!