Nelson Animal Hospital

Our Team



Dr. Clark Nelson, DVM

    Dr. Clark Nelson received his Bachelor of Science degree, graduating cum laude in chemistry from Colorado College.  After receiving his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Colorado State University in 1979, he completed a five year program in a large referral hospital in Los Angeles, CA, and was honored by the California Academy of Veterinary Medicine on three separate occasions. Dr. Nelson returned to Colorado in 1983. He opened Nelson Animal Hospital that same year. In those first few years practicing in Colorado, he realized there was a need for first class veterinary care for avian and exotic pets. This led to Dr. Jerry LaBonde joining the practice in 1990 to fill that void.  Not long after they became business partners and expanded to include Homestead Animal Hospital in Centennial in 1993 where Dr. LaBonde and several others provide care to avian and exotic patients along with cats and dogs. Dr. Nelson is a member of the AVMA, DAVMS, CVMA and AAHA. Dr. Nelson enjoys golfing and working outdoors on various projects. He enjoys all animals but has a particular love for Golden Retrievers.


Dr. Meredith Douglas, DVM

    Dr. Douglas grew up as an “army brat”, moving from place to place, including 5 states and 2 countries.  She and her family settled in Littleton, Colorado in 1992, where she attended and graduated from Arapahoe High School.  Dr. Douglas then received her Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Colorado State University in 2000.  She continued her education at CSU and obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2004.  After graduating, Dr. Douglas worked as an associate veterinarian at Westridge Veterinary Hospital in Wheatridge, Colorado until she joined the staff at Nelson Animal Hospital in 2006.  She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  Meredith and her husband Steve married in 2006 and have two children, Jacob and Emma. They also share their home with a Golden Retriever, “Madison”, Border Collie, “Louie” and orange cat “Owen”. Meredith enjoys cycling, skiing, and camping with her family. She is also an avid Broncos fan.


Dr. Matt Hitchcock, DVM

    A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Dr. Hitchcock escaped the frozen tundra to attend Florida State University on a National Merit Finalist Scholarship. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business which led him to a career in television advertising sales in Chicago. Upon realizing that his true calling was veterinary medicine, Dr. Hitchcock began working at an animal hospital, while taking prerequisite veterinary courses. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2008.  Shortly after graduating he joined us at Nelson Animal Hospital. Dr. Hitchcock’s special interests include soft tissue surgery, neurology and pain management. He is currently a member of the AVMA.  Outside of work he enjoys the outdoors while hiking, camping and skiing. Matt and his wife Esther have two children, Chloe and Carter and a lovable Pit Bull named Lambeau.


Chelsea Mendola, , DVM

 After living in many different states on the east coast as a kid, Dr. Mendola moved to Illinois to attend the University of Illinois, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. She continued her education at the University of Florida, where she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. After spending part of her clinical year at CSU's veterinary school, she fell in love with Colorado and the mountains and decided to move cross-country once again. She made the move with her boyfriend and their two animals: a lovable mutt named “Jam” and a sweet orange tabby named “Ronald”. She joined the team at Nelson Animal Hospital shortly after moving to Colorado in the summer of 2016. Dr. Mendola's special interests include oncology and internal medicine.

Support Staff:


Ginny Betz, Practice Manager

Ginny began her career with animals at the age of twelve as a volunteer for the Denver Dumb Friends League. She truly found her calling and hasn’t left the field since! Ginny brought her skills to Nelson Animal Hospital in 1991, and eventually took on her current role as Practice Manager. In addition to making sure the hospital runs like a well-oiled-machine, she is the owner of a successful Denver area pet sitting business called Pet Tenders. Her gentle nature and compassion for animals is truly emphasized in her participation as a foster parent for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue USA. Although she would love to keep them all, three special Cavaliers stole her heart. They are “Tally”, “Eddie” and “Tristan”. They are joined by cats, “Finn”, “Arlo “and Siamese kittens “Ajax” and “Fiona”. Ginny loves to travel, especially with her dogs. Their favorite destination is the beach in Carmel, CA. In her spare time Ginny enjoys reading, singing and listening to music and working on her Washington Park home and garden.


Beth Johnson, CVT

    After spending time showing dogs in her youth, and tending to her urban farm in San Diego, Beth packed her bags and headed to Denver to attend Bel-Rea Institute of Technology.  Upon earning her Associate of Applied Science degree, and her certification as a Veterinary Technician, she began her career at Nelson Animal Hospital. Beth works hard at staying up to date on feline and canine nutrition which she also inventories and purchases for our patients. Beth has a true knack with cats, at the hospital and at home. She and her daughter Kaylie share their home with five cats, “Peanut”,”Julius”,”Tigger”, “Maisie” and “Hazel”. A chinchilla named “Santiago” also shares their lives. When not herding cats, Beth stays busy keeping up with her daughter and perfecting her green thumb.


Jamie St.Clair, CVT

    Jamie traded the rolling hills of Iowa for the Colorado Rockies when she moved here to attend Bel-Rea Institute of Technology. After graduating she received her Associate of Applied Science degree and became a certified technician in 2009.  Directly after that accomplishment, Jamie interned for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, Colorado. Following her internship she took a position with Antech Diagnostic Laboratories in Denver.  Jamie missed having interaction with animals and was ready to apply her technical skills in a hospital setting. Nelson Animal Hospital welcomed Jamie in 2010 and gained a technician with excellent laboratory skills. Alas, Jamie doesn’t spend all of her time in the lab. If you have visited our hospital you have most likely been greeted warmly by Jamie. She has a way of helping our patients and their owners feel at ease. Jamie and her husband Blake make the most of their spare time, camping, fishing and gardening.  They also try to return to Iowa and Kansas to visit family as often as they can. When they return to Colorado they are welcomed by their two cats, “Link” and “OB”.


Jeff Herriot, CVT

    Jeff grew up in the Denver area and tried out a few different careers before attending Bel-Rea Institute of Technology in 2006 and receiving his Associates of Applied Science degree and becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2008. While attending school, Jeff took a part time position at Nelson Animal Hospital caring for our boarding pets. After graduating, we realized we didn’t want to lose such reliable fellow and persuaded him to stay on as a Technician. Jeff has an extremely big heart which shows in how he cares for animals and also his co-workers. Jeff and his fiancée Stephanie share their home with Greyhounds, “Buzz”, “Maddie” and “Murphy”. “Daisy” the cat and a flock of chickens round out the household. If that weren’t enough they also volunteer with Colorado Greyhound Association. Jeff enjoys renovating homes in his spare time.


Lexi Kavinsky, , CVT

 Lexi is a true Colorado native. She was born and raised in Englewood, where she still resides. Lexi graduated from Englewood High School with a 4.0 GPA. Lexi’s mother had dreams of being a Veterinarian which she was never able to fulfill. That coupled with seeing her dog Rascal through a difficult surgery fueled Lexi’s desire to work in the Veterinary field. She is very passionate about her career and takes her patient care very seriously. Lexi and husband Josh share their home with 2 cats, “Cuda” and “Chevy”. Her inspirational dog “Rascal” a Shih Tzu, rounds out the family. Outside of work, Lexi loves swimming, reading and napping.


Marcie Yanez, Receptionist

    Marcie was born in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico and moved to Denver as a young girl. Marcie attended and graduated Denver West high school and went on to study at Emily Griffith Technical College in Denver, graduating with a certificate in Medical Administration in 2009.  Marcie worked at our “sister” facility Homestead Animal Hospital caring for their boarding animals for two years. When we had an opening for a receptionist, Marcie expressed interest and we snapped her up and she’s been a member of our family since. Her personality really shines through in her smile and she is a favorite of her coworkers and clients alike. When asked about her family, Marcie likes to say that she is the mother of three, sister of two and the daughter of one.  Marcie and her husband Raul share their lives with a German Shepherd, “Texano”, a Maine Coon cat, “Mufaza” and a Double Yellow Headed Amazon parrot, “Kano”.  Marcie would love to have more cats someday. In her spare time, Marcie loves helping people improve their spiritual lives.


Vanessa Arredondo, Receptionist

  Vanessa was born in Colorado in 1987. When her family moved to Kissimee, Florida she continued school and began working in a medical office at 15. Vanessa had a son Xavier in 2006. The family eventually returned to Denver and now she also has a daughter Ariel Brooke who was born in 2015. Vanessa's mother Marcie introduced her to us and we were fortunate enough to convince her to work with us. She started out helping in kennels on the weekends. We soon realized that with all of her medical experience and her warm personality she would be an asset and added her to our reception staff. Vanessa and her family share their home with two crazy and charismatic dogs.” Buttons” is a micro-Maltese, and” Mojo” is a Yorkie. A new kitten “Letty” has also joined the family.


Carroll Mello, Boarding Technician

    Carroll grew up in Denver, attending and graduating from Denver’s East High School with her many brothers and sisters. In 1990, Carroll’s love of dogs drew her to attend school at Colorado School of Dog Grooming & Training. Carroll graduated in 1991 and took over grooming and boarding care at Nelson Animal Hospital. Although we discontinued grooming, Carroll stayed on as our Boarding Technician. She also maintains the lawns at our hospitals which is a huge help. Carroll and her husband Rick enjoy going to Blackhawk and attending the Albuquerque Balloon Festival in the fall.  

Michael Lillmars, Veterinary Technician


Lauren Gillespie, Certified Veterinary Technician


Karen Gordon, Client Service Representative


Linda Roney, Client Service Representative