Our Veterinarians

Dr. Matthew Bettencourt
Veterinarian / Practice Owner
Dr. Matthew Bettencourt's childhood veterinarian inspired him to pursue a veterinary medicine career. Growing up on a Chico, California dairy farm, young Matthew often saw the local veterinarian who treated the farm's sick cows and calves. Over time, Matthew increasingly saw himself as a veterinarian; and during his senior year in high school, he offered to volunteer at this veterinarian's practice. This generous professional introduced Matthew to the world of veterinary medicine, providing this young man with valuable medical knowledge and career guidance. Today, Dr. Bettencourt is grateful for his rewarding veterinary medicine career!

Matthew spent his childhood as one of 12 children, an experience that taught him the importance of sharing with his siblings. Growing up on the dairy farm, Matthew also learned the value of hard work. During his childhood, Matthew became acquainted with animals ranging from farm livestock to household pets. On any given day, Matthew might encounter dairy cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, and dogs and cats. As a member of his local 4-H and Future Farmers of America chapters, Matthew became accustomed to showing his dairy cows at many regional fairs.

After Matthew graduated from high school, and then from Chico State University, he set his sights on Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. To Matthew's great relief, he was accepted into the veterinary medicine program. He trekked halfway across the country to school, traveling in his old El Camino packed full of his possessions. After four years of hard, intense work, Matthew Bettencourt received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in Spring 2001.

After his veterinary school graduation, Dr. Bettencourt returned to California, working in several small animal practices, one of which he purchased. After selling that practice, Dr. Bettencourt and his wife Wendy had a strong desire to return to the Chico area. In summer 2013, they found a vacant veterinary hospital building, which they decided to purchase. After completing extensive remodeling work, the visionary couple gave the building a brand-new identity. In June 2014, Dr. Bettencourt opened Chico Creek Animal Hospital's doors, ready to offer excellent veterinary care in his beloved hometown.

Dr. Bettencourt thoroughly enjoys meeting his clients, and he's grateful that these  pet parents provide such good care to their cherished animals. He also finds surgery challenging but rewarding. Finally, Dr. Bettencourt thrives on seeing puppies and kittens, as these fuzzy, energetic babies always brighten his day.

Away from the hospital, Dr. Bettencourt relaxes by doing woodworking projects. He and Wendy dearly love their five furry family members, each with their own personality quirks. Little Lainey the Yorkie mix, who also has several other endearing nicknames, loves to shake her “green monster” stuffed toy. Stitch, her terrier mix playmate, is always by her side. Three distinctive cats also share this loving home. One of Dr. Bettencourt's cats has been with him for 14 years, and he deeply loves his senior feline companion. While she has some medical challenges, she is thriving with his love and care.

Kramer, the most distinctive household cat, has now become the resident hospital cat. After “fearless hunter” Kramer bullied the other two feline family members, Dr. Bettencourt relocated Kramer to the hospital premises. Now, Kramer can survey his domain unchallenged, keeping the humans and other animals under control.
Dr. Valoree Johnson
Associate Veterinarian
Ever since elementary school, Dr. Johnson has been obsessed with taking care of animals of every shape and size. She bottle-fed calves, calculated diets for her horse, and even got a doe goat for Christmas that she took for walks in the park. For Dr. Johnson, veterinary medicine simply made sense—what better way to help others while spending time around animals every day? Now, she’s proud to serve as an Associate Veterinarian here at Chico Creek Animal Hospital!

Dr. Johnson grew up in Arizona and California with her parents and two younger brothers. She was particularly inspired during her high-school years, when she met Dr. Loretta Dean—the first woman to graduate from the University of California-Davis’s College of Veterinary Medicine—and accompanied her on farm calls. Dr. Johnson would attend U.C. Davis herself, also securing a work-study position with an equine neonatal unit in Lexington, Kentucky, before continuing on to the University of Georgia to complete her undergraduate studies and earn her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Johnson joined the Chico Creek Animal Hospital team after the clinic’s very own Amber connected her with Dr. Bettencourt. Her favorite part of every day is meeting and getting to know the area’s pets and animal owners; being a firsthand witness to the bonds between pets and owners is truly rewarding!

In her time away from the office, Dr. Johnson enjoys bicycling, training for and competing in hunt tests with her dog, and spending time with her family. She has two children, Emily and John, who live in New York City, as well as several animal companions: Chuck, an orange-and-white lap cat; Little John, Dr. Johnson’s son’s Golden Retriever mix; and a goofy and happy Black Labrador named George.
Dr. Brittany Sansoni
Associate Veterinarian
Becoming a veterinarian has been a lifelong dream for Dr. Brittany Sansoni. She fostered kittens and volunteered with numerous animal rescue programs as an adolescent growing up in Tracy, California. She attended Chico State to pursue a bachelor’s degree in animal science, then continued her education at Ross University on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. After a quarter-century working towards her goal, Dr. Sansoni became a doctor of veterinary medicine following a year of clinical study at Oregon State University.

The dream of becoming a veterinarian and helping animals in need has taken Dr. Sansoni - quite literally - halfway across the world and back. Along the way, she has been fortunate to have many unique experiences that have helped shape the professional she is today. No matter where she’s been, however, her passion for animals and animal care has never diminished. In fact, she has grown to feel a deeper passion and pride for the profession thanks to the long, diverse journey that she’s had.

Dr. Sansoni joined the team at Chico Creek Animal Hospital after experiencing first-hand the dedicated, caring, and compassionate staff that’s been serving the Chico community for years. She knew immediately that she wanted to be a part of an environment that placed such an emphasis on caring for animals and providing a great experience for owners. And she jumped at the opportunity to return to Chico, an area that has been an integral part of her life for so long.

Outside the office, Dr. Sansoni is quite the outdoor enthusiast, enjoying hiking and camping whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Together with her fiance, Nick, she has a growing fur family that includes three dogs, four cats, and a friendly tortoise named Darwin.