Our Team

Karen Rettig, BVSc (Hons)

Fearless Leader

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.

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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. 

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.

Tracy Rainwaters, DC

Chiropractor

Tracy has had a deep love for animals for as long as she can remember. At the age of thirteen, she saw a horse receive chiropractic care for the first time. She knew in that moment that was what she wanted to do with her life. Tracy received her Bachelors degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology from California State University, Fresno. During her under graduate work, Tracy rode for the CSU Fresno Women’s Equestrian Team. Tracy then received her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic West. Shortly upon graduation Tracy attended Options For Animals to receive her animal chiropractic certification. Tracy is certified through the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. In 2014, Tracy was asked to come back to Options For Animals as a part time instructor.

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When I started doing chiropractic work on animals, I became aware that they would show me images of what was going on in their bodies as well as in their humans. I have always been interested in energetic healing work, but my experiences doing healing work on animals got me on the path of studying shamanic energy medicine. In 2012, I completed the Healing the Light body course through the Four Winds Society. Bringing this work into my practice changed everything. Not only did the animals improve, but their people were experiencing transformative experiences as well.

Shamanic works involves bringing harmony the physical body, the energetic body and the soul. When our soul and energetic self are in balance, we create a state of being that allows our physical body to fully be an expression of health and well-being. Animals are amazing healers in that they routinely take on our “stuff” as we try to work through it. What shows up in our animals exists in us as well. I use gentle energy work in conjunction with chiropractic care to remove heavy or blocked energy and to address any unconscious beliefs that may be keeping the animals or their humans from thriving.

I attribute so much of who I am as person to the animals that have been a part of my life. My husband and I share our home with our beloved Persian cat, Toots and our two horses, Tina and Felix.

Tatiana Lineva

Veterinary Technician

Tatiana has always been surrounded with animals since childhood growing up in Russia. Growing up she decided to devote her life to helping animals which led to her receiving her veterinary education in 2002 and the start of a new journey. Since the beginning, she was trying to find alternative ways of treating animals by focusing more on prevention, supportive care and the right diet. After moving to USA, she met Dr. Rettig in 2017 and was very inspired by her broad experience in veterinary medicine and alternative treatment styles. In 2018, Tatiana accomplished the veterinary acupuncture course at the Chi Institute in Florida and subsequently joined the Alternatives for Animals family. Tatiana lives with her son Pasha and Churchill who is the sweetest cat ever, but can also be the boss of the house and all the neighborhood cats.

Sabrina Thompson

Veterinary Assistant

From a very young age Sabrina has had a passion and love for animals. She became a Pet Stylist at a local salon in the Bay Area and loved making her clients feel and look their best. It was a dream job, going to work every day doing what she loved. After 14 years she decided to make a career change and knew it had to be in the animal world. Sabrina joined our A4A family in October 2017 as a veterinary assistant to Dr Rettig. She is passionate about our patients and what we offer to the pet community.

Sabrina is a “cat mom” to Miko, Mila, Mason, and Wilson who run the household. She also has her daughter’s guide dog in training puppy whenever her daughter is home from college.