Our Careteam

Wendy Bettencourt
Co-owner, Registered Veterinary Technician
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.
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.
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.
Jennifer Hurst
Veterinary Technician
Jenny can’t remember a time when she didn’t adore animals of all shapes and sizes. Her parents used to breed Cocker Spaniels, and she spent a lot of time with the dogs while growing up. Jenny’s early experiences with pets made a lasting impression—she’s always wanted to devote herself to bettering the lives of the earth’s creatures!

Jenny grew up in Ontonagon, Michigan and attended Veterinary Technician school in Minnesota, graduating in 2001. She practiced in Minnesota for nine years, then took time off to raise her three children. Jenny couldn’t be happier to return to the world of veterinary medicine—she joined the Chico Creek Animal Hospital family in the summer of 2018, and she’s been caring for the area’s pets ever since! Jenny particularly enjoys running laboratory tests and using them to reach a diagnosis, and her favorite aspect of her work is interacting with patients and their loving owners on a daily basis.

In her time away from work, Jenny enjoys going for long walks, hiking, camping, going to the beach, and visiting family in upstate Michigan. At home, she and her three children share their lives with two loveable cats, Mittens and Luna.
Charlotte Schoo Ians
Office Manager
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 the proud office manager of Chico Creek Animal Hospital.

Charlotte is originally from Belgium, and moved to the United States when she was 23 years old. While in Belgium she graduated with her BA in communication. Her veterinary journey began when she signed on as a receptionist at an animal clinic in San Diego and soon she was assisting in the exam rooms. 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. 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. In 2019 Charlotte took on the role as office manager.

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.
Teal Busse
Veterinary Assistant
Teal has wanted to help others ever since she was a little girl. As an adult, she did just that by serving as a paramedic for 10 fulfilling years. When an injury forced her to look into other career opportunities, Teal had a thought: why not continue to use her love for medicine and combine it with her passion for animals? She hasn’t looked back since!

Teal was born here in Chico and grew up in Santa Rosa for a number of years before returning to this area. After her journey in the human side of medicine, she found an opportunity here at Chico Creek Animal Hospital and jumped at her chance. The rest is history—Teal serves the area’s pets and animal parents as a Veterinary Assistant, and couldn’t be happier to see where her new path takes her in the future.

Away from the clinic, Teal enjoys listening to music, attending concerts, and spending time with family, friends, and her pets. She has two dogs: an Australian Shepherd named Milo who would lick you to death if he could, as well as a Miniature Australian Shepherd, Luca, who insists on sleeping on Teal at all times.
Shelbie Fryar
Shelbie was born in Chico and grew up in Corning, where animals were a part of life from her earliest memories. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s dreamed of helping pets hands-on as a member of the veterinary field. Shelbie’s passion just didn’t quit—now, she’s a proud member of the Chico Creek Animal Hospital team!

Shelbie launched her veterinary journey when she signed up for a Regional Occupational Program to become a Veterinary Assistant. After graduating, she secured her first job in the field and has been helping pets and their owners ever since. Now, Shelbie has been a veterinary professional for four years—she joined the Chico Creek Animal Hospital family in June of 2018, where she serves as a receptionist.

Shelbie’s interests outside of veterinary care include singing, cooking and baking, and crafting. She and her family share their home with one pet: Zoie, a young Pekingese/Pomeranian mix who tends to act more like a cat than a dog.
Darlene Sollberger
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.
Alissa Sarate
Veterinary Assistant
Alissa has always known that it was her calling in life to work hands-on with animals. Some of her earliest memories include making friends with the creatures she would come across in her hometown. Serving pets and their owners in the veterinary field just made perfect sense! Alissa is now proud to serve as a member of Chico Creek Animal Hospital’s Veterinary Assistant team.

Alissa is originally from southern Maryland and started her veterinary journey by volunteering with a local Humane Society. She became a Certified Veterinary Assistant in 2011, and has been helping pets in that capacity ever since. Shortly after relocating to Chico in September of 2019, Alissa signed on with the Chico Creek Animal Hospital family and has enjoyed every moment since.

One of Alissa’s favorite parts of her job is performing dental cleanings. It’s extremely rewarding for her to see what a difference her work can make for a patient’s quality of life! Alissa also loves to chat one-on-one with pet owners and meet a new adorable companion every single day.

Outside of work, Alissa’s interests include swimming, cheering on the Washington Capitals, exploring nature, and spending time with her boyfriend and dog at home. Her pup, Serenity, is very smart and knows many tricks, including “bang!” and “take a bow!”