Meet the Team

DR. RACHEL MCKAGUE

Dr. Rachel McKague grew up in both California and Colorado. She spent her childhood obsessed with horses, and rode as often as she could. Her passion for horses led her to pursue her Bachelor's degree in Equine Sciences at Colorado State University. It was after high school that she was granted admission into the VetStart program, which guaranteed a spot in the veterinary program at Colorado State University secondary to her excellent academic standing. This program and her undergraduate bachelor's degree helped make her dream of becoming a veterinarian more tangible. After obtaining her Doctorate degree in Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University she decided to move to beautiful Arizona in 2013 and now resides in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area with her husband and energetic cockapoo.

Dr. McKague has practiced as the Medical Director of a small animal hospital in Cave Creek and most recently worked as an associate veterinarian in Yuma Arizona to deliver much-needed veterinary care to an underserved community. She is grateful to have achieved her lifelong dream and is honored by the trust her patients and their people put in her. She treasures the long-term relationships she develops with her clients, and the capability to collaborate with her colleagues to ensure she continues to provide the best care possible to her patients. She has fostered a special interest in internal medicine, treating and managing Valley Fever infections, and excels at all aspects of canine and feline wellness.

DR. KATHERINE JENSEN

Dr. Jensen grew up in Westchester County, just north of New York City. She attended Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania for undergraduate studies before obtaining her doctorate from Midwestern University. She did not miss the east coast winters and decided to make Arizona her new home. Dr. Jensen has a strong interest in preventative care, feline medicine and dentistry.

She shares her home with two cats, Jelly and Bean and enjoys cooking, baking and going to concerts with her partner Curtis.

DR. JERI ALTIZER

Dr. Jeri Altizer was born in Austin, TX and grew up in humid southwest Houston. She was originally pre-med at the University of Houston, but quickly changed her mind when one of her friends brought her to a pre-vet student association meeting. Before she knew it, Dr. Altizer was on her way to Arizona to attend Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine. She achieved her dream and graduated in 2020. Her main interests include soft tissue surgery, preventative medicine, and nutrition.

During her first year of veterinary school, she met her future husband in anatomy lab. Fast forward, they now have three dogs, one cat and hope to add some human children of their own in the next few years. In their free time, they enjoy throwing pottery, gardening, swimming, and binge-watching TV shows.

DR. IRINA SIROTA

Dr. Irina Sirota is originally from Ukraine, but has moved around quite a bit prior to settling in Arizona. She obtained a B.S. in Microbiology at California State University, Northridge followed by her doctorate at Midwestern University in 2020. Her professional interests in veterinary medicine include internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, dentistry, and preventative care. She lives with her significant other, three cats and two dogs. Dr. Sirota enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, or simply catching up on her favorite shows. She is looking forward to getting to know you and your furry family.

DR. SAMANTHA KELSEY

Dr. Kelsey grew up in Ohio and wanted to be a veterinarian since she was very young. She volunteered with rescues and shelters while growing up and has been a veterinary technician since she was in undergrad. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. She moved to sunny Arizona and achieved her lifelong dream by studying at Midwestern University and obtaining her degree in 2020. Dr. Kelsey's professional interests are in geriatric patient care, dermatology, and ophthalmology. Dr. Kelsey currently resides with her boyfriend, one cat and three dogs. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys being outdoors to hike or paddle board, crafting, and spending time with her family. She is excited to meet our amazing clients and their furry loved ones.

DR. KENDRA THOMAS

Dr. Thomas was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and grew up in Phoenix. She received a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Arizona and graduated from Washington State University with her doctorate in 2023. After four years in Washington, she decided to return home to the desert warmth. Professionally, Dr. Thomas has an interest in feline medicine, internal medicine, preventive care and dentistry.

Dr. Thomas resides in Scottsdale with her senior cat Elsie and her small terrier Muffin. She enjoys hiking, traveling, yoga and reading.

Kandi - Hospital Manager

Kandi started working with the team at Cochise Animal Hospital in 2022. She is an Arizona native and has worked in the veterinary field since 1992. Kandi earned the certification in Veterinary Practice Management in 2007. She shares her home with her husband, two sons and four dogs.

Holly - Assistant Hospital Manager

Holly originally began working at Cochise Animal Hospital as a Client Service Representative in 2021 and was promoted to management in 2022. She is another one of several Arizona natives here at the office. She loves arts and craft, the team relies on her creative touch to projects. Holly shares her home with her husband and three dogs.

Michelle - Veterinary Assistant

Michelle joined Cochise Animal Hospital in 2023. She has been working in the veterinary field since 2000. Originally from England, Michelle moved to the United States after graduating from high school. She shares her home with her husband, step daughter, two dogs and a tortoise.

Rachel - Client Service Representative

Rachel joined Cochise Animal Hospital in 2022 after moving here from Kansas City. She shares her home with a Chihuahua named “Memaw.”

Autumn - Client Service Representative

Autumn began working at Cochise Animal Hospital in 2021. She is one of our several Arizona natives here at the office! Autumn shares her home with her fraternal twin daughters and two cats.

Samantha - Veterinary Assistant

Sam started working at Cochise Animal Hospital in 2022. She is originally from the Tucson area and very happy to live in Phoenix now. Sam is planning to attend college and become a certified veterinary technician.

Taylor - Veterinary Assistant

Taylor joined the team at Cochise Animal Hospital in 2023. She is originally from Maryland and is currently attending Penn Foster for Veterinary Technology to become a certified veterinary technician. Taylor shares her home with one dog named “Piper.”

Shiane - Veterinary Assistant

Shiane started working at Cochise Animal Hospital in 2022. She grew up in Arizona and has received her Bachelor’s in Applied Biological Sciences. Shiane shares her home with a three-legged dog named “Kenai.”

Kaylee - Veterinary Assistant

Kaylee has been with Cochise Animal Hospital since 2022. She grew up in Arizona and has worked with exotic animals in the past. Kaylee shares her home with one dog, 1 snake and three guinea pigs.

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