Please note: We will be closed on Monday, May 30th in observance of Memorial Day!

Our Team

Get to know us!

APPOINTMENT

Meet your Palm Desert, CA veterinary team.

We’re one big family, and it takes each and every one of us to take the best care of your pets. We look forward to being your partner in your pet’s health for all stages of their lives.

Dr. Terry Hicks

Dr. Terry Hicks

Veterinarian

One of the earlier stories that I remember being told about myself with my family was from shortly after I was born. My parents lived in a small town in southern Missouri, where my father had taken a position as administrator and principal of the local high school. It was summer, and there was a little money before the job started for accommodations. There was a school bus associated with the district that was no longer being used. The seats were moved out, and accommodations for sleeping and relaxing were added to the interior of the school bus. One week that summer, the family had moved some chairs out underneath trees in the shade and up came this thunderstorm that released a torrent of rain. There was a mad scramble to get all the chairs and things back into the bus. My mother turned to my dad and said, “Where is Terry?” They had put me into a cellar to provide a cooler place to be. They retrieved me from the cellar in my cardboard box crib just as the water from the rain started to cascade down the steps into the cellar.

My family moved several times to various towns for dad’s administrative positions and graduate school. My education involved different schools in southern Missouri and Kansas. It culminated in a degree from Kansas University, another degree, and my DVM from Kansas State University.

During this time, my daughter and my son were both born, and after graduation from veterinary school, we moved to Reseda, California. I became part of the five-man practice that saw close to 100 patients each day, and this was a wonderful mentor to work with.

As I worked the first two years there at McClave Veterinary Hospital, a classmate of mine and I began looking for a practice to purchase in Southern California. I located a practice in Palm Desert, California, and Rod Melchert and I (and the bank) assumed ownership on July 1, 1979. There were six veterinarians in the Coachella Valley, and Rod and I added two more. Palm Desert was a great place to live, work, and raise a family. The practice grew, and in September 2006, Rod retired and moved to Montana.

As a sole practitioner, I wore all the administrative hats at Palm Desert Pet Hospital for several years. A challenge, to be sure, but a welcomed one. The practice changed considerably in those first few years, as did veterinary medicine. We have a wonderful group of clients and patients at Palm Desert Pet Hospital who have made my experience here wonderful. As technology came to be available, I tried to incorporate it into the practice whenever I could.

I met Dr. McGrath in late December 2019. He was introduced to me by a client, and I was hoping he could look at the practice and give me some suggestions or constructive criticism related to my practice. To my surprise, he expressed interest in purchasing Palm Desert Pet Hospital.

Long story short, he made an offer, I accepted, and the purchase was finalized on July 1, 2020. I was happy that he offered me a position for one year at Palm Desert Pet Hospital, which I hope will facilitate the transition of ownership. I already see the staging of projects at Palm Desert Pet Hospital, which will help it grow dramatically in the coming years. I am glad to be a part of this transition. One essential and dynamic change was offering the position of practice manager to Alsatia, which she accepted. This is a welcome and much-needed addition to Palm Desert Pet Hospital.

Dr. Amber Pentoney

Dr. Amber Pentoney

Veterinarian

I was born and raised in California. Growing up, our family included dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and various reptiles. After completion of an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, I moved on to earn a Master’s in Cell & Molecular biology studying cardiac disease at the SDSU Heart Institute. During this time, I was given the opportunity to teach college students human anatomy. I also began volunteering with local rescues and carried a position working for a veterinary hospital.

After completion of my Master’s, I obtained my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Western University in Southern California. I have a special interest in research and have spent time involved in projects prior to and throughout my veterinary training. Following completion of veterinary school, I received additional training through a small animal rotating internship working alongside veterinary specialists and gaining experience working in fast-paced emergency medicine.

During my free time I enjoy being outdoors and I can be found biking, hiking, camping, enjoying the ocean, or spending quality time with my family- including my two dogs, Koa and Tesla.

Dr. Joshua Freng

Dr. Joshua Freng

Veterinarian

Being born and raised in California, I have a deep appreciation for the diverse people and geography of our great state. As a kid and teenager, I was lucky to travel up and down the state with my family showing dogs and livestock. This allowed me the opportunity to see what a beautiful place California truly is and that it offers something for everyone. I remember exhibiting at the Palm Springs Kennel Club Dog Show, held at the polo grounds in Indio, as a young teen and falling in love with the Coachella Valley. The San Jacinto Mountain’s stark silhouette against the setting sun was mesmerizing to me. Even then, I understood that this was a special place that I would revisit.

It seems fate would have me become a veterinarian, as my family was involved with all things animal. I grew up in a small mountain town, Tehachapi, CA, on a little ranch with horses, some cattle, goats, the occasional hog or two, cats, and of course, dogs. Through 4-H and FFA, I showed steers and hogs at the fair and learned the value of hard work, compassion, and leadership. My mom bred and showed German Shepherds and, later on, Keeshonden. Initially, I just tagged along to the shows, but soon was grooming and handling dogs too. Eventually, I used the money from handling dogs to help support myself through my undergraduate studies at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where I majored in Pre-Vet Animal Science. I went on to receive my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Kansas State University in 2006.

After vet school, I moved back home to Tehachapi to help my aging parents. I was lucky Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital had an opening for an associate, and I jumped headfirst into a very busy 4-doctor rural practice. I received excellent mentorship, and given the rural and isolated nature of the practice, I had to quickly expand and hone my skills. As time marched on, I would continue to travel back to the Coachella Valley to visit, always thinking that I’d love to relocate to the area if given a chance. After the passing of my parents, I decided it was time to make a change, and it was apparent the Coachella Valley was where I wanted to resettle.

Outside of the hospital, I enjoy DIY home renovation, partaking in the great outdoors, and spending time with my two dogs, Chevy and Watson, and my grumpy kitty, Fatty. I love hiking and am looking forward to further exploring the many miles of hiking trails the valley has to offer during the day and its many fine restaurants at night.

Alsatia

Alsatia

Practice Manager

Alsatia is from a little farm town named Brawley, CA, and she moved here in 2013 after graduating from high school. Since she grew up in an area with a large focus on livestock and working animals, her love for animals started at the young age of four, when she got her first dog, Bingo. She started in the veterinary field in 2015. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and furry babies (Missy May and Bubba Bear), going to the beach, or having a slumber party/movie night in her living room. She is dedicated to making sure the hospital gives quality care to all patients that walk through the door and exceptional customer service to their owners.

Daniella

Daniella

Veterinary Assistant

I was born here in the Coachella Valley and have lived here all my life. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved animals, and I was blessed to be able to grow up with a family dog and experience that incredible bond we have with our pets. My love for animals is what inspired me to care for the health of animals as a career. I have been pet sitting since 2015 and love being able to spend time with such amazing pets. This past year I finally made the decision to start studying to become a veterinary assistant. In March of 2021, I began my externship here at Palm Desert Pet Hospital and have learned so much from everyone in this amazing team. I am now a certified Veterinary Assistant, and I am working here as a Vet Tech/Assistant. I plan to further my studies to become a Registered Vet Tech so I can care for the health of these amazing animals in even more ways. I have one dog at home (Mia) with who I love to do everything, from going on adventures to cuddling at home. I am continuing to grow with my work in this field, and I am dedicated to giving the best care I can to all the amazing animals who come into our hospital.

Laura

Laura

Technician

Laura Bury was born and raised in Oakland, California. She started her first job in animal care at Oakland Veterinary Hospital in 1999 and knew that animal care would be her lifelong career. Laura relocated to the desert in 2016 and started serving the pet owners here at Palm Desert Veterinary Hospital in January 2017. A lifelong animal lover, Laura believes that pets deserve love, respect, and the best health care possible.

Amber

Amber

Supervisor RVT

Amber was born and raised in Texas and moved to the desert in 2018. She has always been an animal lover and knew she wanted to work with animals for as long as she can remember. Right after high school, Amber started interning at a local vet’s office in El Paso and went on to work at multiple different hospitals as a veterinary technician. Amber studied Veterinary Technology and is a Registered Veterinary Technician. She has over 10 years of experience in the Veterinary field.

Amber lives with 2 cats and 1 dog. Pickles an 8-year-old vizsla mix, John Wayne a 1-year-old domestic shorthair, and Piper an 8-year-old domestic shorthair.

Brittany

Brittany

Technician

Brittany grew up on a Horse Ranch in Oakland, OR. Where my love for animals grew into a passion. She decided at the age of 5 that her career would be working with animals big and small. After she graduated high school, Brittany moved to California, and her path veered away from animals when joined the Army.
Brittany found her way back to the animal medical field when she switched to the Army Reserves and trained to be an Animal care specialist (veterinary technician) caring for and treating military working dogs.

Brittany moved back to California and has been working in this field since. She lives by the phrase” Do what you love, and call it a job.”

When her workday ends, she comes home to her 3 girls (cats) Dharma 13-year-old Siamese Manx mix, Jinx 5-year-old domestic short hair, and Pearl 2-year-old domestic short hair.

Christina

Christina

Technician

My name is Christina and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I moved out to the desert 10 years ago to peruse my dream of working with animals: Since I was little I have always had an attachment to animals. I would help any animals I saw that needed care and sneak them into the house until they were better and found a home. My mom would get so mad at me! I have been a veterinary technician for 10 years now. I just finished school so that I can become a registered veterinary technician. In my spare time, I keep busy with my 2 kids, Noah 14 and Connor 7. I have 2 dogs, Sofie a 13 year old Yorkshire terrier and a 9 year old pit bull named Piper. I also have a 1 year old cat named Oliver.
Andrea

Andrea

Reception Supervisor

Andrea was born in San Diego but was raised in the Coachella Valley. She graduated from La Quinta High School in 2013. She joined Palm Desert Pet Hospital at the end of the summer of 2018, with this being her first job in the vet world. Even though she hasn’t been here long, she has come a long way with learning something new every day she’s at work. When she’s not at the front desk, Andrea likes to spend time at home with her dog, Khloe, a seven-year-old Chihuahua, and her cat, Pancho, a one-year-old Siamese mix.

Lauren

Lauren

Reception

I have been working in this field since 2011. I have a Boston Terrier named Zuko, as well as some exotic pets such as sugar gliders and a hedgehog. In my spare time, I enjoy pet sitting. I have been a pet sitter since 2008.

Clarissa

Clarissa

Reception

I was born and raised in the Coachella Valley. I have been working here at Palm Desert Pet Hospital for five months now and I love it. It’s always great to see the animals that come in every day. I love the atmosphere here as well. I have two children named Jacob and Adam and three dogs named Jerry, Sally, and Penny. When I’m not working, I spend time with my kids and my dogs, like going to the park, taking walks, and going to soccer practice and games.