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.”

Joy Lee, DVM
Staff Veterinarian

Dr. Lee knew at an early age what she wanted to do when she grew up. At the age of 5 she proudly announced to her parents that she wanted to be a vegetarian. Although she still loves a good burger, she loves her profession even more!

Growing up in a small town in Ohio, Dr. Lee got her animal experience by participating in 4-H projects (horsemanship and dog training), working at the county animal shelter and at a dairy research facility where she got really good at hand milking a cow! She earned her undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio and attended The Ohio State University for veterinary school. After graduation in 1997 she practiced in the Cleveland area, got married and started a family. Her husband’s work transferred them to the STL region 12 years ago. While working for the Humane Society of Missouri, she had the good fortune of meeting Dr. Chip and is now loving being a member of Family Animal Hospital!

In her free time Dr. Lee is busy keeping up with 2 cats and a dog, 2 high school aged kids and a loving and supportive husband.

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.

Casey Doyle
Front Desk

Casey has always wanted to work in medicine. He worked for the Humane Society for about a year and fell in love with the animal side. He tried the human side for awhile, but soon realized that he needed to return to animal medicine. He’s very excited to be returning to his first love at FAH.
He has two cats, a black long-hair named Rim and a torti named Friso. He spends a lot of his free time with his family, playing games or watching movies.

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.

Michelle Charboneau

Michelle works at our front desk

Michelle received a BA in Psychology and her MBA from the University of Missouri. She completed the Assistan Trainers course at the Greater St. Louis Training Club. She completed the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer program in 2013. In 2014, she earned her Animal Welfare Certificate through St. Louis Community College. Finally, in 2017, Michelle completed the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification.

Michelle lives with her rescued family, Oreo,Lily and Buddy Bailey.

Mara Flick
RVT/Veterinary Assistant

Mara graduated from UM-St. Louis in 1993 with a BS in business and worked for McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for 13 years. Apparently she enjoyed UM- St. Louis so much that she returned and received a BA in Physical Education in 2003. After trying many careers, Mara returned to her first love – animals. She graduated from Penn Foster College with her RVT Degree/Certification in 2010 and worked for the Animal Medical Center from 2007 until 2019. Her free time is spent with her husband and friends and 2 dogs. Her winter activities include hockey, hockey and hockey. She has played and coached for over 25 years, including a statistician gig with the St. Louis Blues that lasted over 20 years. Sand volleyball is also one of her favorite sports, but she can honestly say she hasn’t found many sports she doesn’t like,

Mara’s other dog

This is Mara’s other dog. We didn’t want it to feel left out

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.

Sara Townsend Receptionist Sara joined FAH in 2014. She left us briefly, but missed us so much she has returned to work part time and fill in. Sara is a graduate of the Hickey Vet Tech Program. Sara is a husky lover and has one of her own, as well as another geriatric rescue. She spends her off time with her husband playing video games and enjoying life.