Meet our Babcock Hills Family!
Babcock Hills Veterinary Hospital is made up of a team of qualified, experienced and compassionate professionals. We are here to answer your questions, offer up-to-date information about animal health and provide the best in veterinary medicine for your pet.
Dr. Sherry Knopp
I grew up in Venezuela where, unfortunately, the stray population of dogs was a big problem in the residential areas. This is when I first realized that being a veterinarian is what I wanted to do with my life. Four years out of veterinary school, I married my partner in life, Dr. Jack Speir, also a veterinarian. In 1984 we opened Babcock Hills Veterinary Hospital, the practice that we love and that has shaped our families’ lives for the last 35 years. Our oldest daughter, Dr. Jordan Zapalac, is one of our six dedicated doctors that make up our team. Our younger daughter, Carly Speir, chose a career as an Ag teacher to instill a love of animals in her students. I loved being in clinical medicine and surgery for 30 years but for the last 5, I have enjoyed serving as medical director where I focus on encouraging and facilitating client education and offering excellent patient care through our compassionate doctors. With my decrease in hours at the hospital, I am able to spend more time with my elderly father, my 3 precious grandchildren and traveling with my husband.
When we are gone from home, I know Annie and Belle, our canine family members, are always in good hands. Throughout the 35 years, we have served our neighbors, God has blessed us with staff and doctors that have brought their gifts to this practice to make it what it is today. Looking to the future, my hope is that we continue to grow and excel so that our awesome team and wonderful clients have enjoyment and satisfaction in providing the best of care for our beloved pets and patients. Life is just better with our furry friends!
Dr. Jack Speir
Dr. Jack Speir is married to Dr. Sherry Knopp and they have owned the practice since its inception in 1984. Raised in Uvalde, Texas, Dr. Speir attended Texas A&M University, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy in 1965 and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1969. Dr. Speir is retired but is very involved with the day-to-day operations of our hospital.
Dr. Speir and Dr. Knopp have two daughters. Jordan is a graduate of Texas A&M and an associate veterinarian at Babcock Hills Veterinary Hospital, where she grew up working in the kennels and as a technician. Carly also graduated from Texas A&M and is an agricultural teacher in Kyle, Texas. Dr. Speir is an avid fly fisherman and enjoys working out of doors on his property in the hill country. He is also an active leader in the Kendall County Youth Ag and Equestrian Center.
Dr. Rhonda Lane
I have lived in San Antonio since 2009. I grew up in this area. My husband and I have two children, Teagan and Colin. I have two dogs: Penny, a miniature dachshund, and Captain, a Leopard Catahoula. I have 6 chickens: Pearl, Princess Laya, Opal, Buckbeak, Durpy, and Effie Trinket. My daughter has a Leopard Gecko named Link and my son has a pet frog named PacMan. When not taking care of the mini-zoo at home, I enjoy camping, family time, reading, and hiking.
Dr. Jordan Zapalac
Dr. Jordan Zapalac joined our hospital in July 2014. She was born and raised in the greater San Antonio area. As a kid, she spent much of her after-school time here at Babcock Hills, as Dr. Speir and Dr. Knopp are her parents.
Dr. Zapalac attended Texas A&M University for both undergraduate and professional programs, completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Science in 2007 and graduating from veterinary school in 2011. She spent her first year in practice at a mixed animal clinic in Brenham, TX. Then, her family made the move to San Antonio. She practiced for a few years at a progressive small animal clinic here in town before coming home to Babcock Hills.
She and her husband are proud parents of 3 young children. They also have 3 fur babies: Gunner and Clover, German Shorthaired Pointers, and Oliver the cat. Dr. Zapalac especially enjoys sharing time with her family outdoors camping, gardening, swimming and playing at the beach whenever time allows.
Dr. Laurel Gomes
Dr. Laurel Gomes joined Babcock Hills Veterinary Hospital in June 2016. She was born and raised in Clovis, California. Both of her parents instilled their love of science, especially biology, in her from an early age. Her father’s volunteer work with a local wildlife rehabilitation group sparked her interest in veterinary medicine. Dr. Gomes attended California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science in 2012. She decided to attend veterinary school in Texas after she visited Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine and experienced the school spirit and community of Aggieland. While in vet school, she worked as a student ambassador leading tours of the College of Veterinary Medicine and served on her class officer team. She graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2016.
She and her husband Niko began dating in high school and have been married since 2014. They managed to make it through vet school with only adopting one pet, a cat named Frisco. Dr. Gomes enjoys traveling, horseback riding, reading and crafting in her free time.
Dr. Hunter Schrank
Dr. Hunter Schrank received his Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from The University of Florida, where he became a published researcher in marine biology. He went on to receive his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida, as well, where he served as his class president for all four years of his doctorate program. He may be a born and raised Floridian (and Gator), but the Schrank family lineage dates back over a hundred years in Texas. He and his wonderful wife, Brittany, moved to San Antonio after Dr. Schrank completed his doctorate degree to be closer to family and start a new adventure in their lives. Their beautiful daughter, Hannah, followed shortly later. Leena, a boxer, was adopted by the Schrank’s and quickly became an invaluable member of the family. Dr. Schrank loves the outdoors and his hobbies include surfing, snorkeling, free diving, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and snowboarding.
Dr. Schrank’s passion for veterinary medicine goes well beyond his love for animals and feels honored to be able to provide care to animals in need. He relishes a challenge and constantly looks to improve his abilities for the betterment of the care that he provides to his patients. He has a curious personality and enjoys using modern diagnostic methods and therapies to ensure that his patients receive the best possible medicine to the best of his abilities. He treats each one of his patients as if they were his own pet, and understands that the relationship between people and animals, for many individuals, is just as much about family as it is about friendship.
“Always be kind, and never lose your sense of humor.”
Dr. Katie Alldredge
Dr. Katie Alldredge joined the Babcock Hills Veterinary Hospital team in June 2018. She was raised just an hour outside of San Antonio with a variety of animals including dogs, cats, horses, and cattle. She spent much of her childhood in her parent’s veterinary hospital, which sparked her passion for veterinary medicine from the start. Being born into an Aggie family, she was destined to attend Texas A&M University for both her undergraduate and veterinary studies. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Science in 2015 and went on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. During her studies she worked in the radiology department at Texas A&M’s small animal hospital, competed on the Aggie gymnastics club team, and was involved in the Christian Veterinary Fellowship.
Dr. Alldredge has one black lab named Ladybug (aka Bug) who loves swimming, playing fetch, and giving kisses. Besides spending time with Bug, Dr. Alldredge enjoys horseback riding, hiking, golfing, and spending any time she has outside.
Dr. Ashley Stricklin
Dr. Ashley Stricklin joined Babcock Hills Veterinary Hospital in April 2019. She was born and raised in San Antonio where she was an active member of her high school band and F.F.A. She graduated from Tarleton State University in 2008 with a BS in Animal Science and completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. She learned all about the Aggie spirit and traditions from her brother who was a member of the Corps of Cadets and bleeds maroon!
Dr. Stricklin enjoys internal medicine cases and has a strong interest in ultrasonography. She understands that our pets are cherished furry family members and strives to keep them happy and healthy.
In her free time, Dr. Stricklin enjoys spending time with her family which includes her 3 dogs (Sully, Ranger, and Luna) and 2 cats (Charlie and Phoenix). She competes in several dog sports with her dogs and also enjoys being outdoors on the water, hiking, kayaking, and watching football.
Meet our specialty veterinarian that our doctors consult with as needed on a case by case basis. The doctor comes on site to our practice to work with our veterinarians to provide any necessary diagnostics and/or treatment.
Justin Harper, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS-LA
A graduate of Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Harper then completed an internship in Littleton, Colorado and surgical residency program at Auburn University in large animal surgery. After returning to the Texas Hill Country, Dr. Harper realized the need for specialty surgical services to be offered in-house to veterinarians and their clients. During this time, Dr. Harper began training in South Texas under the direction of Dr. Andy Baker (small animal surgeon of 40 years). In addition to being board certified in large animal surgery, Dr. Harper is seeking dual certification in small animal surgery.
Please meet the rest of our staff family:
Vicki Rieken joined Babcock Hills Veterinary Hospital in January 2008 as our hospital administrator. She is a native Texan raised in West Texas. Her previous experience includes banking where she served as a bank officer in customer relations. She also worked for several years in the Dallas and Austin areas in commercial real estate business focusing on property management, accounting, and marketing. Vicki is responsible for our day-to-day operations, customer service, human resources, accounting, and marketing. She is a member of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA). Vicki and her husband live in Comfort, Texas and they have three sons, three grandchildren, and two grand-dogs.
Nathan is one of our kennel technicians and also serves as our facilities manager. As you can see when visiting us, Nathan takes great pride in the appearance and cleanliness of the hospital. He is also responsible for assisting with maintenance and repairs.
Brooklin is our veterinary technician supervisor. She has been in the animal medical field for over 25 years. She attended Sul Ross State University and has worked for Babcock Hills since 2001. She earned her Certified Veterinary Assistant Level III (CVA III) for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association in 2013. Brooklin enjoys traveling with her husband and son as well as reading, gardening and cooking in her spare time. Her household is completed by four dogs: Ransom, Birdie, Slinger, and Woodreaux.
Amanda has been a member of our staff since 2009. She started in the kennel department and is currently one of our veterinary technicians. She recently obtained her Certified Veterinary Assistant (CVA) I certification. You may also see Amanda at our front receptionist area at times, as she is cross-trained in all departments. She and her husband are the proud parents of two little girls, two cats, and two dogs.
Melinda’slove for animals brought her to our team in 2015 and since then, has loved getting to know our clients and their furry babies. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. She is a Certified Vet Assistant (CVA) and loves working on your pets during their surgeries and dentals. Melinda is married with four fur-babies of her own (two dogs and two cats), and has an adorable boy, Aiden. Her hobbies include cooking and decorating in
her spare time. Melinda is cross-trained so you may see her as a vet tech helping with your pets or as a client advocate helping to answer any questions clients may have.
Sean is one of our of newest cross-trained veterinary technicians. He started in our Kennel department and is learning the ropes as a veterinary technician.
Lacey, whose name literally means cheerful crooked mouth, likes to approach life with just that- a cheerful smile and a helping hand. Starting her medical career with people as a medical assistant at a family practice clinic in Fredericksburg, then working as a phlebotomist and bus driver for the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center here in San Antonio, her love for animals brought her to Babcock Hills in July 2016. She is currently working towards becoming a certified veterinary assistant. Growing up with many animals, many loved and many lost, she currently has 3 cats- Cat Baby, Casanova, and Siam and 2 dogs- Bunny Emma and Cash Jones. She enjoys spending time with family, exploring the roads of Texas, and rural roadside photography.
Sam has been a member of our clinic since 2016. She started off as a kennel technician then crossed trained to be a vet tech. She also helps out up front with our CA’s from time to time. Sam has 5 dogs, 4 cats, and an adorable ferret named Nigel.
Clarissa graduated from the Palo Alto Vet Tech Program in 2016 and now am a licensed veterinary technician. Currently, she attends the University of the Incarnate Word to finish her Bachelor of Science in Biology. Her goal is to become a veterinarian to save as many animals possible. She is married to her high school sweetheart Jeremy and they welcomed their baby boy Jeremiah in May 2017. She has a bossy chihuahua Bella and a sassy cat Luna. She enjoys cooking, traveling, outdoor activities and smothering her baby boy in kisses!
Brianna has been a vet tech for over 10 years. She as a true passion for the care of animals. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, she pursued her passion by joining the U.S. Army and received her training through the Vet Tech Course and earned the title “Animal Care Specialist”. While stationed at Brooks City-Base, she met her husband and started her family. Mother of one son as well as her fur babies “Tony” a rotty, “Sam” a lab-chow mix, and her kitties “Jax” and “Tyrus”.
Summer, LVT started at Babcock Hills in August 2013 while attending the Veterinary Technology Program at Palo Alto College. She graduated May 2015 and later acquired her official Veterinary Licensure in October 2015. Her favorite aspects of veterinary medicine are dentistry and anesthesia. She entered the field as a strict dog lover but has now become a full-on cat lady and proud of it! Currently, she has no pets at home so she shares all her love with her furry patients.
Matt started here as a Kennel Tech in the summer of 2018 and has now cross-trained to become a Vet Tech. He is the proud owner of a one-eyed Min-Pin named Spider. When not at the hospital, he is the guitarist/vocalist in a couple of garage bands around town.
Hannah is a senior at UTSA. She has been a vet tech for a little over four years and is applying for vet school after graduation. She loves furry friends of all kinds but especially her two kitties “Ollie” and “Clyde”.
Isai just moved from El Paso with over 8 years’ experience in the veterinary field. He has two of the sweetest cats, “Dante” and “Lucien”. Animals are his passion but he also enjoys his downtime playing bass guitar.
Diana has always had a love and passion for animals. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at UTSA and completed an internship at the San Antonio Zoo Reptiles Department before coming here to Babcock Hills. She has two amazing Akitas named “Max” and “Lilly” that she loves so much.
Pam is one of our many long-time staff members, joining Babcock Hills in November of 2000 as a receptionist/client advocate. She is currently our telephone triage coordinator, so when making appointments or calling for information, you will more than likely be speaking with Pam. She has earned an AAHA certification as a certified veterinary receptionist. Her hobbies are reading, word puzzles, watching movies (favs are sci-fi) & adult coloring books. Pam also likes to relax and spend time with her furry family members. She has a love for all animals especially cats, dogs, and horses, but cats are her favorite.
Vanessa joined the hospital in 2007 as a Kennel Tech and after about a year, transferred to the Client Advocate department. She also assists with administrative duties. Vanessa is known as the “hospital nerd” for her love of games, movies, and above all, Harry Potter. Vanessa and her husband have a beautiful daughter Lily and a new baby boy Benjamin. In her free time, she creates her own pieces of charcoal artwork. She has a love for all animals but cats are her favorite.
Joe joined our team in March 2016 as a Client Advocate and is now our Client Advocate Team Leader. Joe comes with veterinary receptionist experience. He is our go to “tech guy” and is very good with computers, always fixing computer issues when they arise. He is also the proud owner of 3 schnauzer babies, JJay, Jett, and Jeimy. On his downtime, you’ll find him at home cooking, as he loves the kitchen, along with hosting get-togethers with his friends and traveling when time permits.
Andy is pursuing a Biology Science degree to become a veterinarian. When he is not watching Disney movies, he’s fixated over superheroes (still a kid at heart). He is also the proud owner of the three cutest yorkies, “Milo”, “Abby”, and “Prince”.
Amber graduated from West Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. She specialized in Cattle Reproduction and also has her certificate in Equine Science. Amber decided later she preferred to work with dogs after her time working with a Saint Bernard Rescue. It was here she decided she wanted to be the one helping care for dogs in a veterinary setting. Amber is the proud owner of a Saint Bernard named Wendy and a spoiled Papillon Mix named Missy. She loves Disney, dogs, Starbucks, and movies.
Ruby just moved here from El Paso with her boyfriend. She is currently working toward her degree in Business Administration. She has been working in the veterinary field since 2011. She is the loving fur mom of two cats and a tiny spoiled Chihuahua. She is musically inclined and loves everything Marvel and anything relating to cats.
Brooke started with us in August 2019 as a Client Advocate. She graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelors degree in Health Administration and is a new resident to San Antonio. She and her husband are proud pet parents to two dogs, “Tuck” and “Riley” and two cats, “Tinkerbelle” and “Gracie”.
Ercie is one of our long-time employees being with us since 1997. She is the kennel technician supervisor and ensures that your furry family is taken well care of during their stay with us. Her clan includes 4 dogs and 2 cats.
Kelly, Travis, Laura, David, and Richard complete our kennel technician department. They have tremendous love and caring nurture for your pets and take wonderful care of your furry family member while they are staying with us. They all take great pride in their department and welcome you to come by and take a tour of our boarding facility!