Meet Our Veterinary Health Care Team

team-drdeb

Veterinarian, Owner

Dr. Debra Bohnke

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

After a moment of consideration, the baton– twirling nine year old girl decided, I think I’ll be a veterinarian or a lawyer.  After a couple of days of further consideration, she told her Mom, “I think I’ll be a veterinarian. I’m not a very good liar….”  Thus, the crossroads of her life was approached and her path was determined.

And, determined she was! Skipping by all of the patronizing, “Wouldn’t you like to be a teacher”  and the nay-saying, “It’s harder to get into Vet School than Medical school” commentary,  she found herself at the door of Colorado State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Along the years, she’d raised a few cats, gerbils, desert tortoises; rescued some geckos and ground squirrels; worked with several thousand rodents and rabbits, and even a few baboons! It was sealed, from the time she was 15, when she got her first job at Broadway Animal Hospital, that this was the profession for her. It sang to her heart. Through all of the veterinary assistant positions from Tucson to New York, she followed that music as it nurtured her desire to the heal the bodies of animals and the heart and minds of their owners.

Veterinary School was just a way for her to realize that conviction. Here, she Learned, not just to pass the next test. Here, she Learned for Life.

After Veterinary School, she and her best cat friend, Coy, moved to Yuma. The experience was good, but too far from Home. She moved back to Tucson after 2 years. She grew her skills as doctor, dentist, surgeon, grief counselor and  family support assistant as she worked at her favorite hobby every day.

Love from another port also fell into her world upon returning to Tucson when she reconnected with her high school friend, Tom. The boy she had so admired in High School had grown up to be “tall, yet kind”.  After a 4 year romance, he proposed marriage 50 feet underwater in the Bahamas! (How could she say no to a diamond on a reef and an expectant young man holding a dive slate that said “Please”?)

Together, she and Tom had adventures in Italy and scuba diving the Caribbean. They took up home brewing , producing a world class Christmas Ale; discovered Cowboy Action Shooting, dressing up like old West cowboys; and watched Star Trek-Next Gen endlessly. They got married amid candles, brooms, kilts and broken glasses in 1997 (embracing multi-cultural wedding traditions that had personal meaning to them).  After a couple years, Dr. Bohnke and her husband decided to embark on one of “Life’s Greatest Adventures”: having a child!  Celyn, their son, has also grown up to be “tall-yet kind”.  He is the light of his parents’ eyes and promises to be one of the future’s great lawyers.

Family has always been one of the most important forces in Dr. Bohnke’s life. Her Mom and Dad always told her that “you can do anything you put your mind to.” So, she did!  Her husband and his family have been ever supportive. Her beloved family pets have always helped her find peace . Her family of patients and their people have given her the chance to fulfill her purpose in life— to help and heal.

Dr. Bohnke invites you and your pets to become a part of her Cimarron Animal Hospital Family— growing together – here for each other.

 

Member of the American, Arizona and Southern Arizona Veterinary Medical Associations

Member of the American Animal Hospital Association

Member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners with additional Cat Friendly Certification

Fear Free Practitioner Certification

Dr Valdez in the park

Veterinarian, Associate

Dr. sophia Valdez

Dr. Sophia Valdez, joined Cimarron in August of 2019. She received her doctorate of veterinary medicine through Colorado State University. Despite falling in love with the woods of Colorado, the calls of Arizona quail, the curious nature of lizards, and the beauty of monsoon season called her back home to Tucson. Prior to vet school, Dr. Valdez became both an intern zookeeper and a service dog trainer. Her dearest love, guide dog Pathfinder, even got to spend the majority of his first year of training alongside her in vet school, earning his honorary doctorates in puppy-years before graduating through Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The zoo and service dog world solidified Dr. Valdez’s love of conservation and animal behavior, making her a strong advocate for all creatures around us. Afterall, “A person’s a person, no matter how small”.

Veterinary interests: canine and exotic animal medicine and surgery (including future training in laparoscopy); physical therapy/rehabilitation; pain relief; mental and environmental enrichment. She is a strong advocate of animals’ emotional health as well as their physical well-being. Her compassion for animals and people is tremendous!

If you want a Smart Doctor who also has your pet’s emotional and physical comfort paramount, you want Dr. Valdez!

Dr. Valdez in a nutshell: Faith; family; food; waterfalls; photography; Disney & Pixar art in all forms

Member of the American, Arizona and Southern Arizona Veterinary Medical Associations
Fear Free Practitioner Certification

MARIA REYES webpic

Practice Manager- employed since 2017

Maria Reyes

Maria –  She started out as a Client Service Liaison, trained as a Vet Tech Assistant for a while, became our de facto Front Office Manager and was finally promoted to Practice Manager where she’s learning even more!

Maria is soft spoken in public, but charming in private. She brings peace and warmth everywhere she goes.  Having worked with rescue dogs and cats, she is passionate about preventive care, further proof that she carries Cimarron’s ideals in her heart! That heart soars when she hears the news that a pet is getting better, and it weeps when a pet or a person is sick or sad. Her own pets keep her busy at home.  You should see the puppy pile during football games!  For quiet times, Maria reads, scrapbooks and (admits to) binge-watching Netflix (but, really, who doesn’t?)  Um… she also actually believes that she speaks fluent puppy and kitten!  How lucky are we?!

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Certified Veterinary Technician- employed since 2005

Denise Chesser

Denise has been caring for small creatures since grade school.  She found her passion and attended school at Michigan State University to become a Certified Veterinary Technician.  She worked with the premier board certified surgeon in Tucson and brings those intensive anesthetic monitor skills to our patients every day, keeping every patient that much safer under anesthesia!  She loves meeting new people and their pets, educating pet parents about all of the amazing ways we can improve their lives through nutrition, exercise and medicine.  She runs her own menagerie of dogs, cats and  tortoises at home with the same love that she brings to work every day.  You might run into her at the gem and mineral show collecting beads for the jewelry that she makes or at one of the downtown music venues supporting the local music talents and businesses.

staff-solis

Certified Veterinary Technician - employed since 2008

Leanne Salois

Leeanne received her Veterinary Assistant Associate’s degree with honors from Pima Medical Institute in November of 2008. She received her Veterinary Technician License.  Every day, she revitalizes her enthusiasm for the profession as she learns new things  and new ways to help sick pets. Leeanne’s outgoing, bubbly personality and infectious smile brighten everyone’s day while her attention to detail keeps patients well managed and clients happy!  Leeanne has also been a professional dog trainer, so we have her expertise for clients who need help with pet behavioral issues.   If you need someone to brighten your day, swing by for a giggle and smile from Leeanne!

CHELSEA DUNN webpic

Vet Tech Assistant since

Chelsea Dunn

Chelsea is one of our luckiest catches yet! She came to us fresh out of her Veterinary Technician Assistant program at Pima Community College, and we are so grateful to have her. Chelsea believes that every animal is amazing and that the world needs more of them, and we agree! She first found her passion for helping animals as a child wanting to work with whales and marine life of all kinds. Her step-dad aided in her finding her way into the small animal field, which led her to us! When Chelsea is away from the hospital, you can almost always find her outside! Whether she is riding bikes, hanging out with her daughter or playing with her pets, she is most happy when she can be outdoors. Chelsea brings a special twist of fun no matter the occasion, and we are glad she is a part of the team!

ROCHELLE OLSTAD web pic

Vet Tech Assistant

Rochelle Olstad

Rochelle is the newest member to our Vet Tech Assistant crew here at Cimarron. She fits in here flawlessly! We are so blessed to have her bright and bubbly personality to add to the mix! She just makes everything fun! Rochelle got her Bachelor’s degree for Veterinary Medicine, which she decided on while in High School. She has assisted in the birth processes of her childhood dogs, and has a few of her own pets now! When she is not working, or hanging out with her dog, Loki, or kitties, Nalla & Zazzoo, you can find her coaching gymnastics, swim, & dive. Rochelle also enjoys country-swing dancing, she’s one active gal!

ROSALYN JACOBS

Pet Valet / Vet Tech Assistant

Rosalyn Jacobs

Rosalyn- came to the rescue in April, when Cimarron Animal Hospital had to convert to Curbside only appointments due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Dr. Bohnke put out the call to her 5 nephews and nieces-“Does anyone want to help just shuffle pets in and out of the clinic?”  We didn’t know how long this position would be needed.  Maybe just a week because we were so busy…. No one answered the text, but   Rosalyn showed up in scrubs, ready to work an hour later!!!  She slipped right into the position and even helped us develop and perfect it!  Her poise and professionalism was amazing for someone in their first “real” job!  She immediately proved invaluable not only at just shuffling pets, but also in vet tech assistant skills as well.  Before we knew it, she was helping to hold pets for procedures and answering the phones!  Well, we’ve stayed Curbside (longer than anyone expected) and still have Roz in our back pocket, even though she is busy now with school and Mock Trial (where she recently won All-State Champ!).  She’s a bright star and we are glad to have her whenever we can!

Pet Valet / Vet Tech Assistant

Ylia Chuffe

Ylia (“Ill-y-ah”)  answered our second call for “Pet Valet” when we were overwhelmed with Curbside Service due to Covid-19.  Ylia is a student at the University of Arizona, deciding whether to be a Pediatrician or a Veterinarian….  We told him this is a perfect place to start his journey.  Pets are just children with fur (or feathers or quills or…)!  Neither can really tell you what’s wrong. You have to observe their clues and puzzle it out.  Both careers present mysteries to be solved every day!

Ylia is quiet and reserved, but sharp!  He is quickly learning the skills of a Vet Tech Assistant when our Nurses need a helping hand!  He is always eager to learn something new.

We are so glad to have him in between his virtual classes and college activities during this challenging Covid time for his help at the clinic.

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Client Service Liaison- employed since 2017

Circe Cook

Circe has many years of customer service experience in the human world, but says that she “could not see herself in any other field than veterinary medicine” now that she has had the opportunity to help pets and their people heal from the work that we do!  Circe has two, wonderful children, Megan and Robert. Circe likes to spend time with her family at the Zoo learning about all the different animals, reading and scrapbooking. She is happy-go-lucky and sees the best in everyone!

MIRANDA NIELSEN webpic

Client Service Liaison- employed since 2017

Miranda Nielsen

Miranda is a new addition to Cimarron’s Reception Team, and we are so happy to have her! Miranda and her husband have 2 kitties, Eggs Benedict & Olive Oyl (perfect names, right?!) and are hoping to eventually expand their fur-family with a dog one day. We really lucked out when we added Miranda to our staff; she is not only a pleasure on the phone, but she has also completed her Vet Tech Assistant program through Pima Community College, making herself a great resource on both sides of the medical team! When she is not working, you can find Miranda doing one of the many hobbies she loves; hiking, crocheting, at a car meet/show, or playing Animal Crossing. She is as funny as she is a hard worker, and we hope to have Miranda as a part of our crew for a long time!

Client Service Liaison- employed since 2017

Zoe Meade

Zoe just hired on in early November.  Her Bio is coming soon