About Us - McKinleyville Animal Care Center

Dr. Cathy Schmall, D.V.M/Owner

Dr. Schmall first fell in love with Humboldt County in 1989 when she attended Humboldt State University, leaving after she graduated. She returned to the area and began working at Mckinleyville Animal Care Center in 1998 as a receptionist. Over the next 3 years she worked in all aspects of the hospital including learning how to be a technician. Along the way with Dr.Trobitz as a mentor she was accepted in 2001 into the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, Canada.  Once she graduated she completed a one year internship at the Specialty and Emergency center in Rochester, New York. After 5 years in a small animal practice in Modesto California she returned to Humboldt and is looking forward to reacquainting herself with the staff, the practice and especially the clients.

Dr. Rachel  Bird, D.V.M

Rachel was born and raised in Humboldt County.  After graduating from Eureka High School she received her Bachelor degree in Animal Science from UC Davis.  She was then accepted to UC Davis Veterinary School and graduated in 2009, and has since worked at McKinleyville Animal Care Center. She, her husband and their three children can be found hiking around our beautiful county with their dog playing at Mad River Beach, and enjoying all of Humboldt.

Dr. Ott, D.V.M

Robyn  originally from Rochester, NY, she grew up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, horses, fish, and even the odd iguana. She received her bachelor’s degree in theatre and literature from Reed College in 2001. After living the artist’s life in New York City and completing her pre-veterinary studies at Columbia University, she followed her heart back to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. There, she pursued her love for animals and desire to make a difference, working at Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic in Portland, OR and at Northwest Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Everson, Washington. She then moved to Corvallis, OR to earn her DVM at Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine. While at OSU, she participated in two incredible veterinary service trips to the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua, and was very involved in the veterinary college community.

She is ecstatic to be in the paradise that is California’s North Coast to start her life of helping animals and the humans who love them. Her special veterinary interests include animal behavior, wildlife rehab, preventative and shelter medicine, and surgery. Outside of the clinic, she can usually be found outdoors hiking, biking, or fishing, but also loves to knit, make artwork, and shoot the occasional rack of pool. She shares a home with her Munchkin cat “Swayze,” her sweet black Labrador “Grace,”  her wonderful husband and their two beautiful daughters.

Dr. Jeff Stegmaier D.V.M 

Jeff grew up in Upland California where his thoughts of being a Veterinarian began at an early age.  He moved to Humboldt in 2002 to study Zoology.  As he studied, he began working at MACC as a kennel attendant in 2009, and then as a Vet Tech until he graduated with honors from HSU.  He then went to Minnesota State University College of Veterinary Medicine and studied 4 yrs of Veterinary Medicine. Jeff graduated from Minnesota State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017 at the top 5% of his class. So Jeff and his girlfriend Sarah relocated back to Humboldt with their dog Jiggles, cat Burma, turtle Roy, and two snakes.

Heidi Chavez, Owner/Manager                  

Originally from Hesperia California Heidi moved to Humboldt County after high school and started her career with animals as a pet groomer. In 2005 Heidi got her first position in veterinary medicine as a receptionist at Sunny Brae Animal Clinic. After five years Heidi was presented with the opportunity to manage Mckinleyville Animal Care Center.  There she contributed to rebuilding and growing the practice for nearly 5 years. In 2015 Heidi partnered with Dr. Cathy Schmall and purchased Mckinleyville Animal Care Center. Today she is a proud owner and manager with over 20 employees including 4 doctors.  Personally Heidi is happily married with a 9 year old son named Cruz and a quickly growing toddler, Andres residing in Mckinleyville Ca.

Our front staff consists of  several full time receptionists.

Diane  has been with us for 8 years and is our customer service specialist knowing everyone who comes through the front door. She also has the responsibility of inventory manager and is our social media person keeping our clients up to date through our website and Facebook!

Bette is originally from San Diego, CA. In 1973 she moved to Humboldt County to attend college. She joined the staff at MACC in 2011. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking and quilting. She has too many cats, and a cute rescue dog named Hazel.

Lexi has been with our office for 4 years, starting off in the kennels and was cross trained in receptionist.  This makes Lexi a valuable member of our team. Outside of work Lexi spends time with her cat Leo and enjoys all Humboldt has to offer from the redwoods to the beautiful beaches.

Julia is one of the newest additions to the front staff of our hospital. She grew up in Ruth Lake where she was able to enjoy hunting and fishing. Julia is the owner of 2 dogs 1 cat and 2 rats.  Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her new husband and starting this next adventure.

We have cross trained our staff to better serve you however we do have main room technicians and Registered Veterinary Technicians who are extremely thorough, helpful, and friendly.


Lori(RVT) a registered veterinary technician has worked for us for close to 20 years and is very partial to the small and fluffy! She helps in every part of the hospital.  She spends her free with her wonderful family seeking out all the great spot in Humboldt to enjoy.

Julie has recently joined our staff  is happy to see every pet that walks thru the door and we are pretty sure the pets feel the same about her. In her free time she like to hike the redwoods and spend time with family and friends.

We all look forward to serving you and your pet!