CHRISTOPHER PACHEL, DVM, DACVB, CABC | Lead Clinician, Practice Owner
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 | Clinician
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 | Clinician, ACVB Resident
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 | Clinician
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 | Behavior Technician
Julia grew up – and stayed – in Minnesota until her brief move to Portland in 2019 when she joined ABC. She is now back in Minnesota offering remote support to our clients and patients. 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.
MAREN COUCH | Practice Manager
Maren can’t remember a time when their life wasn’t all about animals. They joined the Animal Behavior Clinic in August 2013, and take great joy in helping others. Their primary goal is to provide the best information and assistance possible to our clients and colleagues as ABC’s Practice Manager. Along with Dr. Pachel, Maren is a co-owner at ABC’s collaborative partner, Instinct Dog Behavior & Training – Portland. Over the years, they have fostered kittens, volunteered for the Multnomah County Animal Shelter, and worked as a dog and cat groomer before shifting to the veterinary & behavior field.
They hold Bachelor’s degrees in Comparative Literature and Russian Studies from the University of Oregon. They compete in canine performance sports with their two borzoi, Shaniko and Fennel, and a silken windhound, Dresden. Their menagerie of cats and goats rounds out the “petting zoo” to always keep things entertaining. Beyond animal hobbies and work, Maren enjoys playing music, traveling near and far, and spending time in the diverse natural spaces Oregon has to offer.
MCKENNA DRASYE | Client Care
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.
REBECCA YOUNG | Client Care
Rebecca joined the Animal Behavior Clinic as a full-time Client Care Representative/Office Assistant in June of 2021. She is native to the PNW as she grew up across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, moving to Portland in October 2020. She has an associate degree in Accounting from Clark College, but always had a passion for animals, and wanted to use her skills in accounting to benefit the causes around her that work to improve the relationships between humans and animals.
She spends most of her free time caring for her brown tabby Bean, as well exploring the local food scene around Portland. She also loves going on road trips out to the coast, as well as up to Seattle and Canada, and she loves playing every instrument she can get her hands on.