Our Careteam

Wendy Bettencourt

Co-owner, Registered Veterinary Technician, Office Manager

Wendy Bettencourt received her veterinary medicine career inspiration from her father’s guard dog. When Wendy was a small girl, she often visited her father’s mechanics’ garage. His resident German shepherd guard dog immediately bonded with little Wendy, staying close to her while she visited different parts of the facility. Even then, Wendy felt touched by the dog’s loyalty and devotion, and she felt completely protected. Now, Wendy’s veterinary medicine career enables her to return that same love and care to her furry patients!

Wendy is an Amarillo, Texas native, although she moved to California when she was eight years old. Living with her mother, stepfather, a brother, and a sister, Wendy loved to immerse herself in the magical world of books. Building on her early experience with her guard dog friend, Wendy cared for many creatures throughout her childhood. Besides numerous dogs and cats, Wendy kept hamsters, rats, guinea pigs, a parakeet, rabbits, ducks, and a Shetland pony on the family’s property. 

During high school, Wendy joined a Future Farmers of America chapter, eager to acquire more knowledge about animal husbandry and care. She gained practical experience by becoming a veterinary practice kennel assistant. While on the job, Wendy decided to learn more about veterinary medicine. When time allowed, she shadowed a generous veterinarian who passed on much of his knowledge and prepared her for the career she enjoys today.

Now that Wendy has worked in veterinary medicine for 30 years, and has earned her Registered Veterinary Technician credential, she is certain she was meant for this rewarding career. She especially enjoys assisting in surgical procedures, knowing that successful outcomes often help her furry patients to live longer, healthier lives with their pet parents. Wendy also takes great care in processing patients’ blood and urine samples. She realizes that accurate results enable the veterinarian to make the correct diagnosis and prescribe the proper treatment.

Wendy has a long history of collaboration with Dr. Bettencourt, as the couple has worked together for 13 years, and has been married for the past three years. They previously owned a central valley practice, but they relocated to the Chico area to reconnect with Dr. Bettencourt’s family. Wendy and Dr. Bettencourt are excited about Chico Creek Animal Hospital, and they look forward to providing quality veterinary care to the community.

Wendy also leads a fulfilling life away from the hospital. She has two grown children: a beautiful daughter who will soon become a mother; and a son who is currently preparing for dental school. Wendy has also become an accomplished cook, always experimenting with new recipes she finds on the Food Network. Her grown children always make time for Wendy’s tasty meals, and they have each settled on a favorite dish. Wendy’s dogs also appreciate her cuisine; in fact,they patrol the kitchen while she cooks, always looking for tasty fallout.

When time permits, Wendy enjoys traveling; and she has already visited exotic destinations such as Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. She’s especially fond of Hawaii, since on a previous visit she conquered her fear of heights and experienced a thrilling zipline trip.

Wendy has also welcomed four furry family members into her home. She has a very close bond with her older dog Stitch, who had experienced very little human contact before Wendy met him. Lainey, Stitch’s companion, is a small girl with a lot of personality, and she’ll do almost anything for a snack. The two rambunctious cats, Deliah and Kramer, keep Wendy on her toes.

In particular, Kramer has become known as a prolific hunter; and he often brings Wendy live lizards, birds, and rats to show his affection. On one memorable morning, Kramer released a large rat into the house, causing Wendy to hop on a table in panic. Her husband and son eventually caught and released the rodent in a nearby field, but not before Wendy had a good heart-to-heart talk with her fearless feline hunter.

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Kelly Privette

Veterinary Receptionist

Kelly Privette’s animal shelter work helped her to appreciate animals’ loving and affectionate nature. Volunteering at a local shelter with her younger daughter, the pair sensed that they had a natural connection with the animal residents. Kelly met many inspiring animals; and she was especially touched by Winnie, a little pit bull terrier who overcame many challenges. Over time, Winnie found a good foster home; and then a loving adoptive owner welcomed this sweet girl into her forever home. Kelly was grateful she could contribute to a better future for these deserving animals!

Kelly is a California native, growing up on a 10-acre Gerber-area farm. Kelly shared her life with her parents and brother; and she kept rabbits, geese, chickens, and even a billy goat. Kelly’s grandmother lived nearby, and Kelly has fond memories of playing board games and baking cookies with this generous woman. When Kelly wasn’t visiting her grandma, she enjoyed horseback riding and roller skating.

After graduating from high school, Kelly held varied jobs; however, she suddenly found herself without work in January 2014. Kelly was pleased to be welcomed into the Chico Creek Animal Hospital family, and she appreciates the opportunity to learn something new every day. Kelly enjoys being able to help the animals she loves, and she also delights in getting better acquainted with the pets’ dedicated owners.

Away from the hospital, Kelly lives on her childhood farm with her loving husband, to whom she’s been married for 25 years. The couple has two accomplished daughters, one of whom is a cosmetologist while the younger girl is a rising high school senior. In Kelly’s spare time, she has a passion for reading, gardening, and day hiking. Kelly also has an adventurous spirit, as she and her younger daughter soon plan to explore the challenging sport of kayaking. During the summer months, the family often pulls their trailered boat to the lake; or they pack the camping gear in the car for a weekend trip.

This animal-loving family has welcomed two dogs and one cat into their household. Kelly’s Labrador retriever/Great Dane mix pours on the charm if he thinks he’ll receive a treat. Kelly’s Jack Russell terrier/pit bull terrier mix is also highly entertaining, acquiring the name “Meercat” for her comical sitting position.

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Amber Anderson

Registered Veterinary Technician

Amber grew up right here in Chico, where she was rarely without a dog or two by her side. Her love of animals started at a very early age, and as she got a bit older, a fascination with the world of medicine started to blossom. For Amber, pairing the two by working in veterinary care was the obvious choice! She’s a proud member of Chico Creek Animal Hospital’s Veterinary Technician team.

Amber began her animal-care journey by signing on with an occupational program to work as a Veterinary Assistant—this cemented her desire to help pets as a veterinary professional. Next, she attended Veterinary Technician school and became a Registered Veterinary Technician; Amber has been caring for animals since 2004, and hasn’t regretted a single moment since. She has a particular fascination with the circulatory system and loves to draw and study samples, but her favorite part of the work is getting to meet a wide variety of pet and owner personalities every day.

Away from the office, Amber likes to spend time outdoors and enjoy the company of her dog, Bailey Jane the English Bulldog. Bailey Jane’s favorite pastimes include sunbathing in even the smallest patches of sunlight and playing with her favorite toys: toilet paper rolls!

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Taylor Privette

Veterinary Assistant

Taylor’s past experience in the human healthcare field gave her a passion for helping others through the power of medicine. Having adored animals since she was a little girl, a career in the veterinary world simply made sense! Taylor is thrilled to continue her journey in pet care right here at Chico Creek Animal Hospital.

Originally from Red Bluff, California, Taylor joined the Chico Creek Animal Hospital team in July of 2017; her mother has been a member of the clinic team for several years, and Taylor jumped at the opportunity when a position opened. She’s found that she particularly enjoys helping with various types of surgeries, taking X-rays, and studying samples to spot abnormalities. Most of all, Taylor loves to meet pet owners and their adorable companions every day!

Outside of her interests in animal care, Taylor enjoys reading great books, paddle-boarding, and going caving (she recently explored the many caves of Lassen Volcanic National Park!). She and her family have three dogs: Hannah, Bugsy, and Daisy.

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Charlotte

Veterinary Assistant

Charlotte cannot remember a time when she didn’t want to help each and every animal that crossed her path. Whether it was feeding a homeless cat or picking up a runaway dog on the side of the road, Charlotte has always felt an obligation to better the lives of the earth’s creatures. For her, working in veterinary medicine was always the natural next step in her passion! She’s a proud member of Chico Creek Animal Hospital’s Veterinary Assistant team.

Charlotte is originally from Belgium, and moved to the United States when she was 23 years old. Her veterinary journey began when she signed on as a receptionist at an animal clinic in San Diego––it wasn’t long before she learned enough to transfer into the examination rooms, assisting with diagnostic work, medications and treatments, and even surgical procedures. It was during this hands-on training that Charlotte completed her certification at Mira Costa College to become a Veterinary Assistant!

Next, Charlotte relocated to Chico and became a Pharmacy Technician and Veterinary Assistant at a local clinic before taking a job at another nearby hospital, further developing her experience in the world of veterinary medicine. In early May of 2018, she was thrilled to join the team here at Chico Creek Animal Hospital––she’s been helping the pets and animal owners of the area ever since. Charlotte particularly likes performing dental cleanings and monitoring patients in surgery, but her favorite part of the job is interacting one-on-one with the area’s pet owners in the exam rooms.

Away from the office, Charlotte loves to spend time outdoors enjoying the beautiful California weather. She especially likes to take her dog, Marley, on hikes and picnics! Charlotte also shares her life with an aging foster dog, Charlie.

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Darlene Sollberger

Administration

Darlene is a native of Amarillo, Texas, where she grew up with all sorts of family pets. After spending time in California during the 1970s, she moved back to Amarillo and spent 12 years working on a ranch; it was during this time that her love of hands-on animal care blossomed. Now, Darlene gets to work alongside her family to better the lives of the area’s pets—she’s Wendy Bettencourt’s mother and Dr. Matthew Bettencourt’s mother-in-law!

Darlene has a wide variety of work experience to draw from while serving pets and animal owners here at Chico Creek Animal Hospital. In addition to her years working on the ranch, she’s served in the food service industry and also worked in the medical records field for 15 years. When she and her husband retired from the working world, they moved to California in order to be close to the Bettencourts. Now, Darlene is thrilled to lend a helping hand as a member of the Chico Creek Animal Hospital team!

In her spare time, Darlene enjoys gardening in her backyard and spending quality time with her wonderful grandchildren.

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