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Meet Our Team

Dr. Jeff Smith, Dr. Dana Shackelton, Dr. Joanna Holtz


  • Joanna Holtz, DVM

    Dr. Holtz has been an integral part of MAH since July 2010 and is experienced with treating both large and small animals. Dr. Joanna Holtz was born and raised in a large and supportive family in Southern California. From the time she was a young girl she had aspirations to become of veterinarian. Her first love was horses and she acquired her horse, Splinter, when she was 16 years old. After graduating from UC Davis in 2003 with a degree in Animal Science and Management, she entered veterinary school at Oregon State University. Initially, she had her sites set on large animal only medicine. However, after various experiences with multiple species in veterinary school, she elected to pursue mixed animal practice. After obtaining her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, she moved to the small town of Brookings, Oregon to practice in a large private mixed animal practice. Over the three years there she solidified her love of practicing medicine on a variety of species. Dr. Holtz was happy to return to her home state of California where she can spend more time with friends and family. She shares her home with her cat, Monsty.

  • Dana Shackelton, DVM

    Dr. Shackelton to our practice November 2014.  Dr. Dana Shackelton graduated from UC Davis Veterinary School where her track was small and large animals.  She then completed an internship for a year at Pioneer Equine Hospital in Oakdale, CA.  Growing up, her father worked for the National Park Service and his career took her to rural parts of Hawaii, California, and Alaska.  Her interest in veterinary medicine was sparked at a young age in Eagle River, Alaska where she dreamed of becoming a veterinarian on the Iditarod Trail.  During college she decided that she wanted to be in the back country of Yosemite National Park and pack mules full time.  However, when she graduated from college she realized that she wanted to continue learning and that her passion remained in veterinary medicine.  She moved from Mariposa, CA near Yosemite National Park to Hidden Valley Lake.  She shares her life with a rescue dog named Kiko and a mule named Josephine.  In her spare time Dana enjoys hiking, riding her mule, and hunting for the perfect mocha!  Dr. Shackelton's greatest asset is a positive attitude with exceptional attention to client and patient care.   We are thrilled to have her as part of our team at Middletown Animal Hospital.  

  • Scott Fetherston, DVM

    MAH is pleased to offer cutting edge surgical solutions for cruciate ligament ruptures as well as other orthopedic procedures. TPLO, or tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, is a surgery performed on dogs to repair and stabilize the stifle (knee) joint after a rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament. Dr. Jeff Smith and Dr. Scott Fetherston partner to provide the highest quality surgical repair for a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. Dr. Fetherston is an orthopedic surgeon, who travels to Middletown for special cases and surgeries, in particular the TPLO's. Dr. Fetherston received his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin in 2003. He divides his time between various practices in the Mendocino-Lake County, CA area.

  • Sandy Knowles, DVM

    Dr. Knowles grew up in the suburbs of the SF Bay Area and currently lives a double life between Martinez and Sacramento - and now Middletown! Dr. Shackelton and Dr. Knowles were roommates in their undergraduate degrees at UC Davis and have been friends ever since. Dr. Knowles went to veterinary school in New Zealand and Massey University, graduating in 2012, and practiced exclusively in equine until 2017 when she jumped the fence and started doing cats and dogs at a practice in her hometown Martinez.

    Dr. Knowles has an Australian Shepherd named Evie (Evelyn for when she's in trouble) who is 98% the perfect dog. She also enjoys CrossFit (or did enjoy CrossFit, thanks COVID!), yoga, camping and hiking(as long as it's not too cold), speaks French and almost became a winemaker instead of veterinarian. She does NOT enjoy headaches, traffic, IPA's or things that don't match. 

  • Lauren Penney, DVM

    Dr. Penney is a Los Angeles native who has recently moved to the area. She majored in Animal Science at UC Davis before continuing on to complete veterinary school in Australia at University of Sydney. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Penney enjoys painting, crochet, and spending time with her Australian cat Maze.

  • Courteney Thompson, DVM

    Dr. Thompson was born and raised in Sonoma County but has also spent a lot of her life in Lake County at her family’s cabin in Lake Pillsbury. She majored in Animal Science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where her interest in pursuing her veterinary degree grew as she loved working at the horse, beef cattle, and sheep/goat units. She then attended Western University of Health Sciences for veterinary school where she was president of the Food and Fiber Club and received the Animal Health Award for Food Animal Clinical Proficiency. While she loves all her dog, cat, and horse patients alike, she has a large passion for working with livestock including cattle, goats, sheep, and even pigs! In her spare time, you can find Dr. Thompson doing any sort of outdoor activity with her German Shepherd Stu, weightlifting, reading, or spending time with her two adorable nephews Westyn and Carsyn.


  • Lori Jones
    Practice Manager

    Lori joined our Reception staff July 2018 after moving to Lower Lake from Illinois. She worked as a Veterinary Technician for 5 years before having children as well as for Nutro pet food company for 10 years. Lori is courteous, professional, and has a can-do attitude.  Lori excelled in her position as Receptionist and quickly advanced to running the front office. Lori stepped into her position of Practice Manager March of 2020.  She shares her home with her husband, 3 children, Severe Macaw Quackers, senior dog Lula, Savannah Cat Percy & Cinnamon the calico cat. Lori enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her family when she is not working at MAH.

Animal Care Team

  • Jackie Hickson

    Jackie joins our Animal Care Team staff September 2013 after finishing 40 volunteer hours at our hospital required for her Veterinary Assisting Certificate at Boston Reed College.  She also completed her Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate at Boston Reed but decided that she prefers working with animals.  A graduate of Middletown High School in 2005, Jackie likes being able to live and work in a rural town instead of commute to Santa Rosa.  After gaining some experience in a veterinary hospital, Jackie hopes to one day become a Registered Veterinary Technician.  She shares her home in Hidden Valley Lake with her fiance, Miles and dachshund, Sparks, and the newest addition to the family, baby Nylex. 

  • Brandi Parsons

    Brandi graduated from school June 2010 where she studied for 2 years to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. A welcome addition to our staff, she joins Middletown Animal Hospital July 2010. Brandi grew up in Lake County and returned to stay after graduating from the Carrington College Veterinary Technology program. She worked at a variety of small and large animal clinics while attending technician school. She enjoyed volunteering for Fix Our Ferals in Oakland and the Redwing Horse Sanctuary in Lockwood. Brandi looks forward to spending many years at Middletown Animal Hospital. Brandi shares her home in Loch Lomand with her daughter Kayla, her cats Little Mew & Mina, dogs Rudy, Homer, & Olivia.

  • Mandy Olson

    Originally from Novato, Amanda moved to Loch Lomand in 2016.  She previously worked as lead animal care attendant for the Humane Society of the North Bay as well as receptionist for Kensington Vet Hospital in Berkeley.  She joined the Animal Care Team at Middletown Animal Hospital February 2018 and loves the positive atmosphere and helping the technicians and doctors treat the animal patients.  She shares her home with Bailey, a 5 year old rescue from Orphan Dog; Lacie, a rescue from Solano County Friends of Animals; and Booker, a 2 year old rescue from the Humane Society of the North Bay.  

  • Megan McGaffey

    Megan joined our team in January 2023 and has been a fantastic addition to MAH.


  • Carrie Troughton
    Client Service Representative

    Carrie was born and raised in Napa then moved to Clearlake in 2019. Her experience in the hospitality industry gives her excellent customer care experience as a Receptionist at MAH. She also volunteered at the Napa Animal Shelter while in high school. Carrie always wanted to become a vet but now working in a veterinary hospital is the next best thing. She wants to further her interest in animals buy going to school to study animal behavior. She shares her home with her 2 children, Jack Russell named Cooper, and cat named Panther.

  • Michelle Cain
    Client Service Representative

    Michelle previously worked for the Konocti Unified School District for 15 years and the Kelseyville District for 10 years. Her professional demeanor and strong interpersonal skills make her a welcome addition to our Receptionist Team.

  • Patricia Nelson
    Client Service Representative

    Patricia joined our team in September 2021. She has fit right into the team here at MAH. She takes great care with clients and their needs on a daily basis.

Facility Maintenance

  • Dr. Joanna Holtz & Dr. Dana Shackelton
    The New Owners of Middletown Animal Hospital as of 2/1/20


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