Veterinary Team at Abel Pet Clinic
Dr. Byam and her team are proud to provide high-quality care to pets and pet owners in the Elk Grove community.
Abel Pet Clinic is also associated with many veterinary specialists in the Elk Grove area. This allows us to offer additional diagnostic and surgical services to our clients. These specialists include Radiologists, Ultrasonographers, Orthopedic & Soft-Tissue Surgeons, and Cardiologists, all of whom are board-certified. These specialists are traveling veterinarians who come into our Pet Clinic and work as a part of our team to serve your pet.
Take a moment to read below to get to know the team that is waiting to meet you and your pet!
Abel Pet Clinic Team
Dr. Samantha O’Neil, MPH, DVM
Dr. O’Neil is a Midwesterner, born and raised in northeastern Minnesota. She graduated at the University of Minnesota – Duluth in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then attended Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine to pursue her veterinary degree. She concurrently completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University and Master of Public Health degree from the University of Iowa in 2020. Upon graduation, she moved to Elk Grove, California with her husband and their sweet orange tabby cat, Nelly. They recently adopted an Australian Cattle Dog mix puppy, Josie.
Dr. O’Neil has interests in surgery, dentistry, and particularly exotic and wildlife medicine, as she has had experience in wildlife conservation and medicine in South Africa and at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota. She is also Fear-Free Certified. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family and friends, hiking, reading, running, yoga, traveling, and skiing. She looks forward to serving the Elk Grove community!
Dr. Michelle Tieu, DVM
Originally from Sacramento, CA, Dr. Michelle Tieu graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2011 with a major in general biology and minor in biologic anthropology. She worked at a small animal/exotics practice in La Jolla, CA just before starting her studies at Western University of Health Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine with Phi Zeta honors in 2016.
Dr. Tieu then completed a year-long intensive small animal specialty internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital, San Marcos prior to moving to the Pasadena area where she previously practiced for 6 years. She has now moved back to her hometown of Sacramento and is excited to be providing veterinary care to the Elk Grove community.
She takes pleasure in being detail oriented, communication driven, and she enjoys building trust and close bonds with her patients and their owners.
Her professional interests include internal medicine, cardiology, wellness, and geriatric medicine. She is a proud member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Sacramento Valley Veterinary Medical Association (SVVMA), and California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA).
Outside of the office, Dr. Tieu enjoys going on adventures, trying new restaurants, drawing, watching movies, and being a homebody with her husband, two-year-old son, dog Quorra, and Savannah cat Saphira. When she retires she plans to become a Disney Animator!
Dr. Kelly Byam, DVM
Dr. Byam is a UC Davis graduate. She was awarded the first annual “humane-itarian” award from the Sacramento SPCA, and is also actively involved with many rescue groups. She is a former President of the Sacramento Valley Veterinary Medical Association (SVVMA), serves as President of its charitable foundation and she served on the Small Animal External Advisory Board for UC Davis’ Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and has served on its admissions committee, where she helped choose the nation’s future veterinarians. Additionally, she serves the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on the Accreditation Committee for Veterinary Technician schools and is a former delegate to the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and a current member of their Legislative Committee.
She is a Rotarian and practices Rotary’s motto, which is “Service Above Self.” She recently completed a Don Low Fellowship at UC Davis Veterinary Hospital, where she had advanced training in small animal abdominal ultrasound. She enjoys spending time with her family, RVing, traveling, and reading. She has a Pug, a Dachshund, a Poodle mix, a cat, and a rescued desert Tortoise. Her advocacy on behalf of homeless animals in Elk Grove led her to make several appearances before the city council and on local news media, including the Bee and Capitol Public Radio, where she urged grassroots support for building our own animal shelter in Elk Grove. After nearly 2 years of community activism, the efforts were successful, and the City Council voted to approve building our own Animal Shelter here in Elk Grove. The site is expected to open in 2019.
Dr. Dane Whitaker, DVM, MPVM
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT PRIDE VETERINARY MEDICAL COMMUNITY
Dr. Dane Whitaker has been practicing veterinary medicine in the San Francisco area for over 25 years. He completed his Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis in 2017 and is currently providing small animal clinical relief services across central California. He is also a relief veterinarian at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito CA, and he provides clinical as well as field support for marine mammal research projects. Although originally from the Bay Area, he grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. After graduation, he completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital. His veterinary interests include small animal medicine, clinical pathology, marine mammal medicine and One Health. Dr. Whitaker is the immediate past president of the Pride Veterinary Medical Community and takes an active role in promoting the ideas of inclusion and acceptance for all members of the community in the veterinary profession.
Jennifer, Hospital Manager
Jennifer graduated from Western Career College (now Carrington College) in 1993 as an Animal Health Technician (AHT). After bouncing around to a few different veterinary hospitals over the years, she found her forever home with Abel in 2016 and was promoted to Hospital Manager in 2020. Jennifer lives here in Elk Grove with her husband Jon, son Robert, dogs (Missy & Evie), cats (Leia, Wicket and Kylo), and gecko family (Stitch, Toothless and Lil’ Lilo). When not at work, you can usually find Jennifer at one of the local soccer fields, cheering on Robert while he plays soccer for Elk Grove FC and planning her next family get away to Disneyland.
Charlie, a graduate of a registered veterinary technician program first came to us for a clinical rotation. We liked them so much; we offered them a job.
Two fun facts about Charlie; they have a background in the performing arts and have also become quite the coloring artist. One by one, they have given almost all of our employees technicolor hair! The second fun fact is that they are three inches shorter than Danny Devito! At 4 feet nine inches; they’re not short; they’re fun size!
Traci has always found joy in being around animals and decided to enroll in Carrington College’s RVT program in 2018. While in school, Traci worked at a local animal shelter as an animal care attendant. After Traci graduated in 2020 from the RVT program, she continued to pursue her love of shelter medicine until she moved in 2022. Shelter medicine will always be a huge part of her life, and she is hoping to start volunteering again soon. Traci achieved her RVT license in 2022 and joined Abel Pet Clinic in May of 2023 and has, hopefully, found her forever home with our amazing staff.
In her free time, Traci enjoys spending time with her Border Collie, Jinx, whose antics keep her on her toes. She also has four amazing cats (Zatana, Mad Moxxi, Handsome Jack & Princess Poofy Snugglepuff Queen Else the Third).
Sam started in the Veterinary field after the passing of their first Dog. This loss sparked a lifelong desire to help pets and their families through happy as well as hard times. They obtained their RVT certification after graduating from Carrington College around the turn of Pandemic.
In their down time, they can often be found baking cakes and desserts that always make our day a bit sweeter. They also enjoy tabletop games and long road trips.
Parissa, Veterinary Assistant
Parissa’s passion for animals began while working at WAG Hotels. She provided amazing love and support for the animals under her care; she decided she wanted to do more and moved over to the medical side of the field. She joined Abel Pet Clinic in April of 2023 as a Veterinary Assistant, and it has strengthened her passion for the field. She enjoys continuing her education so she can bring her patients the best possible care.
In her free time, she enjoys gaming, reading, and finding new music to connect to. Because of her love of music, Parissa is Abel Pet Clinic’s honorary DJ. Her positive attitude and amazing energy make everyone’s day at Abel Pet Clinic a little brighter.
Hilda, Veterinary Assistant
Hilda is a 4th-year student majoring in animal science at UC Davis. She has goals of going to vet school and becoming a veterinarian. She volunteered at Sacramento SPCA for 4 years and completed some animal behavior internships at Davis. She worked at a small animal clinic in Rocklin for 2 years. She is excited to start her new journey at Abel Pet Clinic.
Outside of work, Hilda enjoys spending time with friends and family, going on hikes with her husky, trying new things, watercoloring, and watching the latest marvel shows/movies.
Haley, Veterinary Assistant
Haley was raised on a dairy farm here in Elk Grove and had the privilege of growing up around both small and large animals. After starting out as a ranch hand on her family’s farm, she branched out to work as a veterinary assistant at another local hospital before coming to Abel. Haley is currently attending Cosumnes River College in hopes of someday becoming a veterinarian.
In her free time, you can find her either with her family, friends, and fur babies or spending time outdoors!
Emily started in the veterinary field at the age of 17 with a special interest in laboratory medicine. She is continuing her education in the veterinary field here in Elk Grove. She is a big fan of cats and rats. She has her cat Goop, who she has raised since she was a prenatal kitten. She is hoping to continue fostering once she is finished with school. Emily’s favorite cat breed is Oriental Shorthair.