CHRISTOPHER PACHEL, DVM, DACVB, CABC
Dr. Pachel received his veterinary degree from the University of MN in 2002 and worked as a general practitioner for two years in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area prior to the start of his behavior residency program. He operated a house-call behavior practice in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area until 2010 and became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists in 2010. He spent 3.5 years of his residency period under the mentorship of Jacqui Neilson, DVM, DACVB at the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, OR before purchasing the practice from her in 2011.
As the owner and primary clinician for the Animal Behavior Clinic, he brings an approach to behavioral therapy which combines learning theory, medical training, and experience along with compassion and effective communication to create a balanced treatment plan that is tailored to the individual patient’s needs. Dr. Pachel’s methodology emphasizes the importance of the human animal bond and the role that companion animals play in the lives of their families.
Outside of direct patient care, Dr. Pachel lectures regularly throughout the US and Canada, and has taught undergraduate and professional courses in veterinary behavior at the University of MN and at the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He has published research on feline water consumption preferences, wrote a book chapter on Intercat Aggression for the May 2014 issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, and is co-author of a book chapter on Pet Selection for Animal Assisted Therapy.
In his spare time away from the office, Dr. Pachel enjoys distance running, strength training, yoga, and weekend RV excursions. He is a supporter of beer festivals, wineries, and the Portland food scene, and is always looking for new recommendations for places to visit. He shares his home with his partner of 16 years (who happens to be a veterinarian as well) and a Bull / Rat Terrier cross named Corneliuz.
PAIGE PIERCE, MS, DVM
Dr. Pierce graduated with a BS in Zoology from Michigan State University, and moved to College Station, TX, to pursue graduate work in animal behavior and genetics. Upon completing her Master’s degree, she moved to Oregon – not because she had a job lined up, but because she knew this was where she wanted to live. She worked for Oregon Fish and Wildlife for a few years, met her future husband there, and then made a slight shift in career path. She attended OSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and has been providing medical care for dogs and cats in Portland since 1997.
In general practice, she’s found that her ongoing fascination with animal cognition, communication and emotional health allows her to help clients with pets who have anxieties and/or concerning behaviors. Her particular areas of interest are reducing the stress and fear that so many dogs and cats experience with vet visits, and trouble-shooting issues that crop up for performance dogs. Dr. Pierce joined the Animal Behavior Clinic as a part-time clinician in 2017.
Dr. Pierce and her husband share their lives with four wonderful dogs (Merit, Beacon, Quip, and Drake), as well as one very handsome orange and white cat (Ember). Favorite family activities include agility, hiking, cross-country skiing, and walking at the coast.
KIMBERLY KRUG, DVM
Dr. Krug grew up in Parker, CO and attended Colorado State University for both her undergraduate studies as well as veterinary school. She graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2011 and moved to Seattle for a 1-year small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle. Following her internship, she stayed on as an emergency and critical care staff doctor.
Dr. Krug’s interest in behavior medicine stems mostly from her Australian Shepherd Sori, who presented some behavior hurdles including agility training and veterinary visits. Dr. Krug started teaching cooperative veterinary care to ease stress and anxiety for Sori. One day she hopes all families will teach cooperative veterinary care to their pets as commonly as they teach sit and down. Dr. Krug is also passionate about teaching veterinary professionals about how to prevent, recognize, and treat anxiety and fear in their patients. She believes behavioral health in all animals is vital to their overall health and well-being.
Dr. Krug shares her home with her two Australian Shepherds, Ode and Sori. They love exploring the outdoors, especially on rainy, gloomy days. She enjoys training her dogs and competes with both dogs in barn hunt and with Sori in agility. Dr. Krug is excited to experience all the sour beers Portland has to offer as well as the amazing food.
KATHERINE PANKRATZ, DVM, DACVB
Dr. Pankratz graduated with her veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2014 and pursued a small animal rotating internship in New York. She completed her behavioral medicine residency program at North Carolina State University and became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists in 2018. She stayed on at NC State for her fellowship and as a clinical instructor before joining the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, OR in 2019.
While striving to understand inter-pet conflict within her home, Dr. Pankratz became passionate about veterinary behavior. She aspires to help others rebuild their human-animal bonds. She is most interested in educating others to better understand and communicate with their beloved pets.
She is an adjunct professor at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine and teaches veterinary behavior to the public, veterinary students, and fellow veterinarians. For her research on the use of behavioral medication to improve the welfare of cats, she was awarded the RK Anderson ACVB Resident Award and JFMS Resident Best Paper Award.
Dr. Pankratz spends her free time watching movies, cooking, and learning more about Japanese language and culture. She shares her home with her snuggly blind cat, Kaeto. Together, they enjoy communicating with each other through training new ‘tricks’, including teaching Kaeto to turn off the light.
JULIA HERZAN, CVT, CPDT-KA
Julia grew up – and stayed – in Minnesota until her move to Portland in 2019. She attended the Minnesota School of Business and earned an Associates in Applied Science, and obtained her Veterinary Technician Certification (CVT) in 2013. Over the course of five years, she worked in general practice, mobile veterinary practice, and wildlife rehabilitation. For the year leading up to joining the Animal Behavior Clinic team, she worked at Veterinary Behavior Specialties of Minnesota under another group of board-certified vet behaviorists. During that time, she obtained certification as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) in 2018.
She is passionate about teaching behavior modification techniques to humans and animals using positive reinforcement principles and uses this training as a way to create stronger relationships and a common language between pets and their people. She also loves to help dogs and cats feel more comfortable and confident at the vet’s office and teaching other veterinary professionals how to provide cooperative and fear-free care to their patients. She is currently working toward obtaining her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Behavior, and certification as a KPA training partner.
Outside of animal behavior, she enjoys anything related to the ocean, traveling, hiking, the accordion, and dance. She shares her home with her fiancé as well as pitbull mix Hemingway, an anxious dog-friend who she credits with teaching her deep empathy and understanding, and the importance of addressing the function of behavior.
MEGAN CRUZ, KPA-CTP
Megan has been training animals in some way or another since she got a dachshund puppy at age 3. In addition to horses, chickens, goats, fish, cats, numerous small rodents, and of course dogs, she trained and handled animals for the Oregon Zoo’s “Zoo to You” program, which included ferrets, parrots, snakes, box turtles, and rabbits. Nearly 25 years ago she discovered a passion for teaching people to train their animals. When she saw how training exercises or programs improved the relationship dynamics between people and their pets, she was hooked.
Her own Airedale terrier started her down the path of behavior modification, and helping and supporting pets with behavior challenges and their people became her primary training focus. In 2007, Megan was offered the first staff-sponsored scholarship for the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior, and in January 2008 became the first West Coast graduate and Certified Training Partner of the program (and second graduate overall.) She comes to us with a background full of rich training experience focused on helping pets overcome unique challenges, from teaching group classes to her most recent work with “career change” dogs through Guide Dogs for the Blind who exit the program to be placed in appropriate non-guide-work homes. She joined the Animal Behavior Clinic as a staff trainer in 2014.
Megan shares her home with Monty the Shetland Sheepdog, Kip the Keeshond, Tsubaki the Labrador Retriever; Jack and Flicka, two kitties; and one amazing husband. She enjoys Japanese art and culture.
STEPHANIE COLLINGSWORTH, CPDT-KA
Growing up in the country provided lots of opportunities for Stephanie to interact with, and learn from, the animals in her life. From dogs and cats to horses and goats, there were always four-legged friends around. She attended her first dog obedience class when she was 17 and that set her on the path to becoming a dog trainer herself. Stephanie quickly found that she enjoyed showing people how to communicate with their pets, and more importantly, how to understand what pets may be trying to communicate to us. She obtained certification as a Certified Pet Dog Trainer in 2009 and works to maintain these credentials with continuing education and training.
She began working for Multnomah County Animal Services in 1999. During her time at the shelter, she handled thousands of dogs and cats. Her duties at the shelter included the behavioral assessment of shelter dogs and cats, consultation on behavior issues for adopted and fostered animals, and training of volunteers and staff on animal body language, behavior, and basic care. She also fostered dozens of dogs, and admits that adolescent dogs are among her most favorite to work with. She was brought on as a staff trainer for the Animal Behavior Clinic in 2015.
Stephanie is a self-proclaimed “dog geek” and never ceases to be fascinated with observing and learning about animal behavior. Her canine companion is a Pug-mix named Paz-E. She is thrilled to be a member of the Animal Behavior Clinic Team and to continue fulfilling her passion for helping people and pets.
Maren can’t remember a time when her life wasn’t all about animals. She joined the Animal Behavior Clinic in August 2013, and takes great joy in helping others. Her primary goal is to provide the best information and assistance possible to our clients and colleagues as ABC’s Office/Practice Manager. Over the years, she has fostered kittens, volunteered for the Multnomah County Animal Shelter, and worked as a dog and cat groomer before shifting to the veterinary field.
She has Bachelor’s degrees in Comparative Literature and Russian Studies from the University of Oregon. She spends her off time traveling near & far, playing music, and cuddling with her “menagerie”: Saxafrax (an Australian shepherd), Shaniko (a borzoi); Esteban, Harlow, Atlas, Sangria, & Smitten (a collection of cats); and Arkasha, Borenka, & Junebug (Nigerian dwarf goats).
Mckenna joined the Animal Behavior Clinic as a part-time Client Care Representative/Office Assistant in January of 2017 and became a full-time member of the team in October 2018. She is an Oregon native, growing up in Eugene and attending college in Corvallis. Growing up she spent her time riding horses, raising rabbits and volunteering at local humane societies. She volunteered at the Cascades Raptor Center for nearly 5 years and quickly became passionate about wildlife rehabilitation and positive reinforcement training. Since moving to Portland 3 years ago, she has been pursuing her dream of working with both exotic and companion animals.
She currently spends much of her free time at the Oregon Zoo as a Zookeeper’s assistant in the North America exhibits (her favorite zoo animals are the cougars and black bears), and volunteering with the OZ Reptile Encounter Program. She trains dogs for Search and Rescue, and while she doesn’t have any pets of her own currently, she does steal her family’s yellow lab Baxter as often as possible. She loves to paddleboard, rock climb, play ping-pong, and watch every Sci-fi show on Netflix.