Meet Our Ann Arbor Veterinary Team

The veterinarians of Ann Arbor Animal Hospital are not only passionate about delivering the highest level of patient care possible, but they also act as mentors and coaches to our support staff and clients alike. It is their mission to foster a learning environment as part of our commitment to excellence in veterinary medicine.

Our veterinarians consistently enhance their skills through a minimum of 30 hours of annual continuing education and applying the latest medical insights in patient care. Our full-time DVMs receive up to 10 days every year at well-known local and national conferences, and we frequently send them to wet-labs to get further training in special interest areas so that they can provide cutting edge care to our patients. They are also involved in the community, participating in local fairs, wildlife rescues, and charity fundraisers, demonstrating a commitment to both animal care and community engagement.

Learn more about our wonderful veterinarians below, and be sure to contact us at (734) 662-4474 to schedule an appointment!

Our Vet team In Ann Arbor Mi

Sara Barnhart, DVM

Primary Care

Dr. Barnhart graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a DVM in 2004. She then completed a year-long rotating small animal internship at Michigan Veterinary Specialists in Southfield, Michigan. After that, she moved to Seattle, Washington, where she practiced at a large private practice for 11 years. A Detroit native, she returned to Michigan in 2016 to be closer to family. She is thrilled to work at Ann Arbor Animal Hospital where, she says, “The high level of care and family atmosphere cannot be beat.”

Throughout her time in veterinary practice, she has developed interests in complex medical cases, geriatric feline medicine, and oncology. Developing lasting relationships with patients and clients is also very important to her.

Outside of work, Dr. Barnhart enjoys being outdoors, practicing yoga, and becoming reacquainted with Michigan. Her household consists of her partner John; two young children named Sage and James; a dog named Maya; and three cats—Potato, Frida, and Keith Richards.

Taryn Clark, DVM

Primary Care

Dr. Clark graduated from MSU with her DVM in 2000. She has been working at Ann Arbor Animal Hospital since graduation and has an interest in general practice, chronic disease, pain management, immune-mediated diseases, and cancer.

In 2006 Dr. Clark completed a 130-hour acupuncture course in small animals and horses from the Chi Institute in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in Florida. In January 2014, she completed a 226-hour chiropractic veterinary program in small animals and equines and earned a certificate in Spinal Manipulative Therapy from the Healing Oasis Wellness Center in Wisconsin. Her goal is to improve the quality of life for her patients.

Dr. Clark’s household includes her husband, Jeremy; two children, Connor and Teagan (who keep her busy with hockey and gymnastics); three dogs, Dublin, Delaney, and Boston; two cats, Leia and Oliver; a horse, Karim; and eight chickens. She enjoys traveling, boating, and swimming, and most of all spending quality time with her family.

Amanda Critchfield, DVM

Primary Care

Dr. Critchfield graduated with her DVM from MSU in 2003 and has been working here at Ann Arbor Animal Hospital since the fall of 2012. She practices general medicine and has developed a particular interest in geriatric medicine.

She has had a long-time interest in medicine and over time has developed an appreciation for how important animals are to us. She wanted a career that would further support the human-animal bond.

Dr. Critchfield lives in the Chelsea area with her husband and two sons. Their household is complete with their cat, George, and two dogs, Zeke and Bowie.

Dr. Critchfield appreciates the compassion the AAAH staff has for animals and their owners. The teamwork, respect, and support the staff have for one another make working at AAAH a great experience. She encourages pet owners to “remember that we are a team. We value your perspective and opinion about the health of your pet as we diagnose and develop our treatments.”

Janet Figarra, DVM

Surgery

Dr. Figarra graduated from MSU with her DVM in 1988. She began working at Ann Arbor Animal Hospital in the kennels in 1980, later working in the lab, treatment, and reception areas. She started working as a clinician and surgeon upon graduation from vet school.

Dr. Figarra’s passion is soft tissue surgery. She states, “There is nothing more rewarding than removing toys, etc., etc. from a young dog’s small intestine.” She enjoys mentoring students in the Health Professions program through Ann Arbor Public Schools and teaching local 4-H groups about veterinary science.

Dr. Figarra appreciates the amount of experience the staff at AAAH has. “Our general medicine, critical care, and ER staff cooperate fully to communicate, research, and learn from one another.” She feels this cooperation allows the staff at AAAH to give clients valid options and patients the most appropriate care.

Dr. Figarra grew up on a small farm and spent most of her waking hours outside with “critters.” She had a fascination with watching the family sows farrow and the veterinarian palpate the cows. Her sister started vet school when she was in the first grade so she had no inhibitions about whether or not she felt she could succeed as a veterinarian. “I don’t actually remember a time when I decided to become a vet,” she recalls. “I just always knew it was what I wanted to do.”

She and her husband have three children and their household includes two dogs, Toby and Scarlett; two cats, Fester and Boris; two horses, Judy and Lulu; a herd of goats; a flock of chickens; a rabbitry of rabbits; and a cockatoo named Lola!

Jess Franklin, DVM

Primary Care

Dr. Franklin graduated with her DVM from Cornell University in 1978. She then completed an internship in food animal medicine at MSU and in 2000 started acupuncture with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Dr. Franklin started at Ann Arbor Animal Hospital in 1986 and feels her strength is in managing complex or complicated medical problems. She says, “At Ann Arbor Animal Hospital we put the patient and family first. Vaccine and preventative protocols are tailored to the individual.”

She was focused on becoming a veterinarian from an early age. When speaking of her inspiration she says, “As one of the lucky few who guessed right the first time, I did not ever consider another career choice…I knew I would be a veterinarian at age 14.”

Dr. Franklin has three daughters who have now “moved out into the world.” Her current household includes her partner Karl, her mother Lois, a Belgian Tervuren named Maddie, and several goldfish. Her advice for pet owners is to remind us, “Cats live 15-20 years, and most dogs live 8-13 years. This means we are facing age-related health issues and life quality issues every day. I have a golden rule for cats…each cat has the right to accept or refuse therapy. The cat should get to decide. It’s a balance between treating the physical ailment and allowing the cat to enjoy her life.”

One more piece of guidance from Dr. Franklin: “2018 was the year grain-free diet issues became a hot topic. Something was causing some dogs on grain-free diets to have taurine-related heart disease. Each pet family needs to make decisions about diet choices. What we know changes each month. My current best advice for cats: all commercial cat diets are balanced for taurine; this is not a cat issue. For dogs, if you have a dog that really does better in terms of gastrointestinal or skin issues on a specific food, look at how much of the ingredients come from legumes. We do not want more than 20% of the ingredients, by dry weight, to be legumes (add together pea protein, chickpea, and lentil). Also if you like grain-free food, consider using more than one brand and rotate.”

Heather Jarrett, DVM

Primary Care

Dr. Jarrett graduated from Ohio State University with a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 2006. She practiced in the Cleveland, OH area for two years before moving to Ann Arbor. Dr. Jarrett joined the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital in 2008 and appreciates the family atmosphere of the hospital and the way the doctors and support staff treat the patients as if they were their own. Her areas of interest include surgery, regenerative medicine (stem cell therapy), and general practice.

Dr. Jarrett knew she wanted to become a veterinarian as a young girl when her cat, Mittens, became ill and she couldn’t “fix” him. Dr. Jarrett currently has a cat named Isabel and a dog named Ernie. She enjoys spending time with her family as well as scrapbooking, photography, and being outdoors. Heather and her husband are at home here in Ann Arbor and are looking forward to raising their family here.

Kerry McKinney, DVM

Urgent Care

Dr. McKinney received her DVM in 1989 from MSU and has worked at Ann Arbor Animal Hospital since June of 2013. Before this, she worked for many years in a small animal and equine practice and currently enjoys the variety of critical care cases and the exceptionally talented veterinary support staff here at AAAH. She was honored to accept the position of ER Care Team Leader in December 2013.

Dr. McKinney’s interest in veterinary medicine was piqued early in her life following a trip to Rochester’s Leader Dogs for the Blind School at the age of nine. To this day she continues to feel that veterinary medicine offers the best of all professions: the ever-evolving challenge of science and diagnosis, the hands-on creativity of surgery, and the opportunity to meet extraordinary pets and their owners.

Dr. McKinney has been continuously and contentedly owned by cats for over 30 years. Her current residents include a tiger calico named Minerva Jayne who diligently pre-furs all clothing, and Felion-in-Chief Scout who oversees the computer keyboard and ensures all interior doors remain open. Dr. McKinney also enjoys long walks, a good book, a proper cup of tea, and thoughtful conversation with friends and family. She encourages pet owners to be active participants in the health of their furry family members and stresses regular preventive care and having an awareness of what’s normal for your pet. “Our pets (especially cats) are adept at hiding illness or injury. Prompt veterinary care when something’s not quite right can save a life.”

Kristina Zhang, DVM

Primary Care

Dr. Zhang graduated from Michigan State University in 2016, where she also completed her undergraduate studies. She practiced at Banfield Pet Hospital in Ann Arbor for 5 years before joining the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital team in 2021. What she enjoys most about working at Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is the high standard of care and the collaborative work environment. She also appreciates that Ann Arbor Animal Hospital provides emergency and critical care services in addition to primary care.

Before moving to Ann Arbor in 2004, Dr. Zhang grew up in Ottawa, Canada, and Sydney, Australia. She enjoys traveling as much as possible in her free time and it is her life goal to travel the world.

Dr. Zhang lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, Adam, and her German Shepherd, Michael. She enjoys going to the gym, reading, and cooking in her free time.