Office: 314-770-2800 | Emergencies: 314-822-7600


Janet Chipperfield D.V.M (Dr. Chip)
Founder of Family Animal Hospital

Like most veterinarians, Dr. Jan Chipperfield has always loved animals. As a child, she drove her parents crazy bringing home stray dogs and cats, rabbits and any other critter who crossed her path. Born and raised in Kirkwood, MO, Dr. Chip graduated from Kirkwood High School in 1981 and received her BS in Physical Education from Southeast Missouri University in 1985. She then took a detour from her calling as a veterinarian and spent the next 15 years helping homeless animals.

Dr. Chip did her part in the animal welfare field by rescuing animals from neglect and abuse while serving as a humane officer with the Humane Society of Missouri. She conducted cruelty investigations and taught school children the importance of treating all living creatures with kindness and respect. During times of disaster and crisis, Dr. Chip was a first-responder and rescued animals from floods in Missouri and Minnesota. She oversaw shelter operations for the Humane Society of Missouri, the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau and St. Louis County Animal Control. But she still wanted to become a veterinarian. “I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian before I could spell the word,” she said. “Medicine fascinates me and animals have always been a part of my life. I can’t imagine my world without them.”

Dr. Chip earned her DVM degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2004. The recipient of many scholarships and awards during her academic career, Dr. Chip most values receiving The Gentle Doctor Award during her senior year. Bestowed by her peers, this honor recognizes the veterinarian who exemplifies the highest ethical and professional integrity in patient care.

And that’s what Family Animal Hospital is all about—patient care. Sometimes the doctor/patient relationship becomes second priority with all the high-tech advances in the medical field. “We are a small hospital. We know our patients by sight and know our clients by name. I spend most of my time on the floor with my patients, finding out who they are and what their issues are,” she said. “It’s about our pets—they cannot speak for themselves and they rely on us to understand.”

Dr. Chip continues helping animals through her volunteer work, by consulting for the Animal Shelter Consultation program for The Humane Society of the United States, and teaching veterinary students about shelter issues and compassion fatigue. She resides in Maryland Heights with her 2 and 4-legged family. And, yes, she really does want you to call her “Dr. Chip.”

Christine Donnelly
Staff veterinarian

Dr. Donnelly received her DVM from Iowa State University in 1998. Following veterinary school she did an equine surgical internship and a couple years of ambulatory equine practice before moving to Japan and working as a veterinarian for the Army. After returning to the states, she worked at the Humane Society for 10 years and joined the staff of Family Animal Hospital in 2013.

She has 2 sons, 6 cats, 3 dogs, a horse and very little free time! When she does have a moment she enjoys trail riding with her horse, Scooby-Doo.

Patty Brauns
Veterinary Technician

Patty attended Jefferson College in Hillsboro and completed the vet tech program. She has over a decade of experience in the veterinary field, working side by side with Dr. Chipperfield at the Humane Society of Missouri.

Patty’s family includes a Golden Retriever, two cats and a talkative Green Cheek Conure. Patty enjoys running, hiking, boating, and participates in triathlons.

You’ll meet Patty in the exam room, treatment room or surgery, as she is our full-time technician at Family Animal Hospital.

Sara Landsbaum
Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant

Sara graduated from the Vet Tech Institute at Hickey College in 2012. She worked at the Humane Society of Missouri for 2 years before coming to Family Animal Hospital.

She is an avid Husky lover and has a stubborn one at home. She enjoys taking her dog to the park and going to movies.

You will encounter Sara on the phone when scheduling appointments, putting patients in rooms and assisting the doctor.

Nikki Pendleton, RVT
Vet tech/Front desk

Nikki attended the Vet Tech Institute at Hickey College and graduated with an Associate’s in Veterinary Technology. She also earned her B.S. in Biology from St. Louis University. Her time in the animal care field includes volunteering, internships, foster work and medical clinic experience. Nikki has been with Family Animal Hospital since 2014.

Her furry and scaly family includes two cats and a box turtle. She enjoys kayaking, traveling, cinema and theater.

You’ll meet Nikki either up front at the desk, in the exam rooms, treatment, surgery or along for the occasional house call.

Heather Chappell
Veterinary Assistant

Heather has been a vet assistant for over 20 years. She has worked in several small practices as well as ICU at Veterinary Specialty Services for over 2 years. She joined Family Animal Hospital in 2014.

Her family includes a husband, 21-year old daughter, one dog, 6 cats, 1 lizard and many fish. She enjoys biking, hiking, walking 5k’s and pretty much anything outdoors, but only in the Spring and Summer.

Heather works side by side with Dr. Donnelly, so you will meet her in the exam rooms.

Sarah Blanton
Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant

Sarah graduated from the Jefferson College veterinary tech program. She has over 10 years of experience working and volunteering with animals. She has managed doggie day care, worked at the Humane Society of MO and Stray Rescue St. Louis. She has also volunteered with the APA and the Wildlife Rescue Center. She is thrilled to now be a part of FAH.

Her family includes a man-child husband, a son, a Dachsund, a Chihuahua, a Rat Terrier and a Burmese cat.

Sarah is a Star Wars fanatic and enjoys reading, kitty snuggles and being silly with her son.

Louise Smith
Volunteer/Wake-Up Specialst

Louise attended the University of Vermont and Webster University, and was an elementary education teacher for 25 years. She has also been a surgery assistant for 25 years.

Two Yorkies and a Wheaten Terriers keep Louise busy at home. She also enjoys reading and cooking.

Louise attends to our animals who are waking up from surgery, making the recovery process so much nicer for them (and US too!). Her gentle touch and sharp eyes allow our surgery schedule to run smoothly.

Teri Sharp
Business Manager

Teri is a graduate of St. Louis University with a degree in accounting.
She handles the administrative side of the business. Except purchasing, which she leaves to the experts.