Our Team

Karen Rettig, BVSc (Hons)


Graduated from Melbourne University School of Veterinary Medicine with Honors in 2001. After two years of practicing as a traditional western veterinarian, she decided to pursue her passion for preventative and holistic veterinary medicine. In 2003 she gained additional education from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and became a Veterinary Acupuncturist. In 2004-2007 she studied Chinese Herbal Medicine at the Chi Institute and in 2006-2007 studied Bioresonance Therapy. She is a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.


For those that don’t know me, I am proud to be an Aussie and according to my American friends, I have not lost much of my accent. Although if you ask my Mum (mom) I have developed a slight American “twang.” I have been married 17 years to my loving and supportive husband Scott. We have been blessed with two children, Jack and Will. They are the loves of my life. We share our home and hearts with our sensitive Rhodesian Ridgeback Rani and our huge vivacious German Shepherd Blue. The household is led by Inky our rescued cat and we round out our team with our sweet elderly rabbit Midnight.

In my early 20’s, I graduated in Australia with a degree in Finance, spent 3 years working in the financial arena and decided this was not for me. I had always wanted to be a vet and loved Science so thought, why not give it a go. So I decided to quit my job and worked on getting into Vet school until it was a reality and in 1998 was accepted into the Melbourne University School of Veterinary Medicine. I was so excited to go to school and learn and of course loved being with the animals. It was a match made in heaven. I had found my place in life and every day was a great day. I graduated in December of 2001, and moved to the USA two days later, sat board exams and started working in Reno, Nevada, in a small animal hospital. I quickly learned that while I loved being a vet, it needed some “tweaking.”

I wanted to heal the animals and not just send them away with quick fixes. I had been exposed to acupuncture and chiropractic through my horses back in Australia so I understood the concepts and how beneficial it can be for animals to help them find balance. So within 1.5 years of graduating vet school, I started the IVAS course to become a veterinary acupuncturist. I remember sitting in the room on the first day and them saying “your life is about to change.” Boy, they could not have been more right. It opened up my eyes to a whole different way of looking at medicine and healing. So I became a convert. And since then I have thrown myself into holistic medicine with all of my heart. I am grateful to have found a form of medicine that provides true healing rather than masking symptoms.

All of us and our animals have the ability to heal with the right tools. Wellness comes from balance and harmony in the mind and body. It is with true excitement and commitment that I come to work every day. My patients are my teachers and I am grateful for all that they teach me every day. 

Amy Powell, D.C.


Dr. Powell’s DC philosophy is to help all THRIVE through chiropractic care and other body work modalities. Her goal as a practitioner is to help the world by adjusting one joint at a time. She is a licensed chiropractor in the state of California.

She graduated from Life Chiropractic College West with a doctor of chiropractic degree. Then attended Options for Animals, in Kansas. She believes that the muscles are an intricate part of the body system, which also need to be addressed. Along with her chiropractic training, she completed equine sports massage & other bodywork courses offered by Equinology. She has furthered her knowledge and passion by taking Erchonia & Kinesiotaping classes.

She grew up in Dixon Ca, participating in FFA raising dairy bulls, pigs, and lambs. She graduated from CSU Chico with a degree in animal science and a minor in biology.

She has owned and ridden horses throughout her life. She purchased an ex-racehorse that allowed her to find chiropractic. Like a lot of chiropractors, her introduction to chiropractic care was through experience. After much research, she decided to attend chiropractic school.

She has a passion for chiropractic and a deep love for animals. Her main objective as a practitioner is to help maintain and restore body communication.

Susan Erwin

Office Manager

Susan has extensive experience in office support and management. She spent six years with a financial services firm in San Francisco supporting the day to day operation of a fifteen person office, including event planning and coordinating an office remodel and move. Most recently she was with a thoroughbred farm in the San Joaquin Valley which not only involved managing the office but also hands-on experience with the horses on the farm. Susan thought this was the best job ever, until she came to Alternatives for Animals.

The environment is calm, soothing and serene and is reflected in the faces of the dogs, and, yes, some cats that come to see Dr. Rettig. Our team is a family and our patients are part of that family. For someone that has always been passionate about our four-legged companions, this is truly the perfect working environment and each morning I look forward to coming here. My dog’s name is Izzy. She’s a 12 yr. old terrier I recently rescued and a very sweet girl. She shares our home with two former feral kitties, Raki and Apricot. Raki spends his days re-decorating by moving area rugs from one room to another.

Bethany Anzelone

Lead Veterinary Technician

Bethany is a sun loving California native who has been surrounded by animals her entire life. She graduated from Clayton Valley Charter and went on to California State East Bay to receive her certificate as a Veterinary Technician Specialist. She has a strong devotion for working alongside our team and has an outstanding passion and respect for all animals. She finds much of her inspiration in nature. Outside of work she spends a lot of time gardening, camping and hiking with her partner and kitty Cleo. Bethany thinks it’s important to bring awareness to the need of recycling and reusing and reducing man made products. Spontaneous art sessions and practicing new and old recipes in the kitchen are some of the ways she likes to stay in touch with her creativity. Even though she leads a busy lifestyle she always finds time to work and fight for social justice in her community. She believes in having a positive attitude and sending out good vibrations to all.

Gina Stubblefield

Veterinary Technician

Gina Stubblefield has grown up involved with animals from a young age. When she was 6 she expressed interest in training the family’s Australian Shepherd, and became active in the local 4H dog care and training program. From there her areas of interest expanded into various avenues of animal care.

The Australian Shepherd Club of America had (and still has) a phenomenal junior handler program. The club encourages junior handlers to train and participate in various venues with their dog(s). Since the family had Australian shepherds, Gina was able to work in all fields of training with her own dogs, and eventually picked up handling other people’s dogs as well. The training, opportunities and experiences from showing dogs makes all things dogs second nature to Gina.

She stuck through 4H until aging out, and in her years was active in most of the animal projects. At 13 she won small animal master showmanship at the county and state level. From there on she had the opportunity to start working with large animals. She raised market animals towards the end of her run in 4H, a truly valuable experience, but the dogs were always first and foremost her passion.

At 16, Gina was hired at her local general practice veterinary hospital. She stayed at that practice for 15 years before venturing out with an interest in holistic care.

Currently Gina has three dogs – Abby, a 14 year old Australian shepherd; Jewel, approximately 6 and a half year old husky/treeing Walker coonhound mix; and Rylee (the newest addition), a 1 year old catahoula leopard dog. Gina is an avid hiker with her hounds, not as active in the dog training world at the moment, and she loves exercising her dogs and providing quality care to make each day a perfect dog day!

Haleigh Morrissey

Client Liason

Haleigh was born to a pack of five and raised locally in Clayton, Ca. From the earliest of ages, Haleigh had a very special bond and love for animals. Her family always had a household full of dogs and cats, which they rescued from local shelters. Haleigh moved to San Diego in the early 2000s and spent six years enjoying its sunny beaches. Haleigh worked primarily as an esthetician before making the decision to chase her lifelong passion of caring for animals.

Haleigh moved back to the Bay Area and has worked in professional animal care since. She loves meeting new animals, and their owners, and providing them with all the love and care. Haleigh takes pride in working hard to ensure the best possible outcomes for all of the pets that come into our practice. In her spare time, Haleigh has her hands full with a home packed with three furry children of her own. She has a Siberian Husky, a German Shepherd, and a cat. Haleigh’s dogs, Honey and Maverick, keep her very active and have taken her on many adventures. These adventures are often quite epic and include summitting Mount Diablo, climbing trees (to chase Maverick’s backyard escape attempts), and becoming quite proficient in the husky howl-ish language. In contrast to her pups, Haleigh’s cat, Louie, has taught her that life isn’t always about running up mountains. These two love spending time napping, couch cuddling, and curling up in front of a winter fire.

Victoria Tugwell

Therapist/Reiki Healer

My intention for each healing session is to be focused, guided by intuition and intentional touch, to promote a whole-body healing experience unique to your companion animal.

Vickie started as a qualified veterinary nurse with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons UK in 1987. While working in the veterinary field, her roles have included managing the smooth running of hospital teams and surgical teams, training nurses, and starting/growing a satellite veterinary practice. She currently works in a number of holistic veterinary hospitals in the SF East Bay. Her passion and curiosity for muscle energetics, movement, and healing began in 2007 when she took a 250-hour course in Equine Massage training.


Being an active participant in many sporting activities, and after different injuries and many frustrations, her focus turned towards injury prevention and functional movement. She has studied Bowen Therapy, Distance Bowen Therapy, Canine Rehabilitation at the Canine Rehab Institute, and Holistic Veterinary Medicine at the Chi Institute Florida. She has also studied Canine and Equine Body Work, Animal Acupressure, Five Element Theory of Chinese Medicine, Canine Sports Medicine, and Animal Cranio-Sacral Therapy.

Vickie has been very fortunate to be mentored in energetic intuitive healing with the amazing healers Alice Hiatt and Chief Shaman, Maria Haswell which has led her to become a certified Reiki Master and an intuitive healer.

Services provided:

  • Isolated muscle release
  • Myofascial release
  • Animal Kinesio Taping
  • Acupressure
  • Cranial sacral therapy
  • Bowen technique
  • Reiki
  • Shiatsu massage
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Range of motion/stretching

Vickie has 14 years of experience including education and research.