Our Veterinarians

Dr. Matthew Bettencourt

Veterinarian/Practice Owner

Dr. Matthew Bettencourt’s childhood veterinarian inspired him to pursue a veterinary medicine career. Growing up on a Chico, California dairy farm, young Matthew often saw the local veterinarian who treated the farm’s sick cows and calves. Over time, Matthew increasingly saw himself as a veterinarian; and during his senior year in high school, he offered to volunteer at this veterinarian’s practice. This generous professional introduced Matthew to the world of veterinary medicine, providing this young man with valuable medical knowledge and career guidance. Today, Dr. Bettencourt is grateful for his rewarding veterinary medicine career!

Matthew spent his childhood as one of 12 children, an experience that taught him the importance of sharing with his siblings. Growing up on the dairy farm, Matthew also learned the value of hard work. During his childhood, Matthew became acquainted with animals ranging from farm livestock to household pets. On any given day, Matthew might encounter dairy cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, and dogs and cats. As a member of his local 4-H and Future Farmers of America chapters, Matthew became accustomed to showing his dairy cows at many regional fairs.

After Matthew graduated from high school, and then from Chico State University, he set his sights on Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. To Matthew’s great relief, he was accepted into the veterinary medicine program. He trekked halfway across the country to school, traveling in his old El Camino packed full of his possessions. After four years of hard, intense work, Matthew Bettencourt received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in Spring 2001.

After his veterinary school graduation, Dr. Bettencourt returned to California, working in several small animal practices, one of which he purchased. After selling that practice, Dr. Bettencourt and his wife Wendy had a strong desire to return to the Chico area. In summer 2013, they found a vacant veterinary hospital building, which they decided to purchase. After completing extensive remodeling work, the visionary couple gave the building a brand-new identity. In June 2014, Dr. Bettencourt opened Chico Creek Animal Hospital’s doors, ready to offer excellent veterinary care in his beloved hometown.

Dr. Bettencourt thoroughly enjoys meeting his clients, and he’s grateful that these  pet parents provide such good care to their cherished animals. He also finds surgery challenging but rewarding. Finally, Dr. Bettencourt thrives on seeing puppies and kittens, as these fuzzy, energetic babies always brighten his day.

Away from the hospital, Dr. Bettencourt relaxes by doing woodworking projects. He and Wendy dearly love their five furry family members, each with their own personality quirks. Little Lainey the Yorkie mix, who also has several other endearing nicknames, loves to shake her “green monster” stuffed toy. Stitch, her terrier mix playmate, is always by her side. Three distinctive cats also share this loving home. One of Dr. Bettencourt’s cats has been with him for 14 years, and he deeply loves his senior feline companion. While she has some medical challenges, she is thriving with his love and care.

Kramer, the most distinctive household cat, has now become the resident hospital cat. After “fearless hunter” Kramer bullied the other two feline family members, Dr. Bettencourt relocated Kramer to the hospital premises. Now, Kramer can survey his domain unchallenged, keeping the humans and other animals under control.

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Photo of Dr. Matthew  Bettencourt

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