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.

Read more...

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.

Sabrina Brown

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.

Bethany Anzelone

Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant

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.