Full-Service Veterinary Clinic

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, 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 10-year-old son named Cruz and a quickly growing 5 year old, Andres and enjoying her newest addition Rico, who is 2 months old. She enjoys raising her family here in Mckinleyville Ca.

Our front staff consists of several full-time receptionists.

Lexie has been with our office for over 6 years, starting off in the kennels and was cross trained as a receptionist, she now holds the title of Kennel Supervisor and is our go to gal! Lexie is 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 our amazing long term receptionists and has been cross trained as a technician, learning new skills and perspectives. Most recently Julia has been promoted to Assistant Manager where she oversees our daily operations. 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.

Desiree has been with us for about a year and what a gem. She is professional and will always go out of her way to educate our clients properly and keep them happy. She also enjoys using her skills at her other job, the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center.

Lyndsey has been a key part timer for our practice. She is a very fast learner and always keeps her calm. Lyndsey is also working hard as a student at HSU.

Kelly is our little firecracker receptionist. She is smart and eager to learn. We are utilizing her enthusiasm in all areas of the hospital. She participated in FFA during high school and has always been an animal lover!

Kayla is our newest addition that comes from It’s All About The Dogs. This past experience has allowed her to immediately work as a technician and help with animal restraint. She is also learning a lot towards being an excellent receptionist. Her sweet disposition makes her a perfect addition to our team.

Amber is a returning team member who worked for us in the kennels last year. She is now tackling a new position as a receptionist and is excelling! She enjoys spending time with her large family when she is not working hard for you and your furry family members!

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.

Technicians/Kennel Asst.

Lori (RVT) a registered veterinary technician has worked for us for close to 30 years and is very partial to the small and fluffy! She helps in every part of the hospital. She spends her free time with her wonderful family seeking out all the great spots in Humboldt to enjoy.

Maureen (RVT) is a registered veterinary technician who has been with us for a couple years now. She traveled from LA for a new take on life. She is an excellent multi tasker and loves her patients. When Maureen isn’t working her 40+ weekly hours, she enjoys raising her beautiful son in Trinidad.

Mary has been with us for close to 40 years and can’t stay retired. She enjoys her semi-retirement in Trinidad and helps our team out whenever we need her. Her skill set is the best and any animal is lucky to have her as their caretaker.

Yvette and Rowan are our key players in keeping our boarding side running smoothly. They also keep our facility clean and sanitized along with walking our four-legged friends and keeping your pets clean and well cared for while they stay with us. They are an amazing mother and daughter combo!

Other technicians…Ashley, Alexa and Anisa are what makes this clinic run smoothly. They are ALL cross trained and probably the hardest workers any business could find. They all love what they do and it shows every day! We hope you get the pleasure of meeting them soon!

We all look forward to serving you and your pet in McKinleyville, CA!