Please note: We will be closing at 12 pm on Saturday, December 24th, and we will be closed Sunday, December 25th and Monday, December 26th in observance of Christmas!

Meet Our Veterinary Health Care Team

Veterinarian,

Dr. Debra Bohnke

Veterinarian, Medical Director

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

After a moment of consideration, the baton–twirling nine-year-old girl decided, “I think I’ll be a veterinarian or a lawyer”. After a couple of days of further consideration, she told her Mom, “I think I’ll be a veterinarian. I’m not a very good liar….” Thus, the crossroads of her life was approached and her path was determined.

And determined she was! Skipping by all of the patronizing, “wouldn’t you like to be a teacher” and the nay-saying, “It’s harder to get into vet school than medical school” commentary, she found herself at the door of Arizona State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Along the years, she’d raised a few cats, gerbils, and desert tortoises; rescued some geckos and ground squirrels; worked with several thousand rodents and rabbits, and even a few baboons! It was sealed from when she was 15, when she got her first job at Broadway Animal Hospital, that this was the profession for her. It sang to her heart. Through all of the veterinary assistant positions from Tucson to New York, she followed that music as it nurtured her desire to heal the bodies of animals and the heart and minds of their owners.

Veterinary school was just a way for her to realize that conviction. Here, she learned not just to pass the next test. Here, she learned for life.

After veterinary school, she and her best cat friend, Coy, moved to Yuma. The experience was good, but too far from home. She moved back to Tucson after 2 years. She grew her skills as a doctor, dentist, surgeon, grief counselor, and family support assistant as she worked on her favorite hobby daily.

Love from another port also fell into her world upon returning to Tucson when she reconnected with her high school friend, Tom. The boy she had so admired in high school had grown up to be “tall, yet kind”. After a 4 year romance, he proposed marriage 50 feet underwater in the Bahamas! (How could she say no to a diamond on a reef and an expectant young man holding a dive slate that said “Please”?)

Together, she and Tom had adventures in Italy and scuba diving in the Caribbean. They took up home brewing, producing a world-class Christmas Ale; discovered Cowboy Action Shooting, dressing up like old west cowboys; and watched Star Trek-Next Gen endlessly. They got married amid candles, brooms, kilts, and broken glasses in 1997 (embracing multi-cultural wedding traditions that had personal meaning to them). After a couple of years, Dr. Bohnke and her husband decided to embark on one of “Life’s Greatest Adventures”: having a child! Celyn, their son, has also grown up to be “tall-yet kind”. He is the light of his parent’s eyes and promises to be one of the future’s great lawyers.

Family has always been one of the most important forces in Dr. Bohnke’s life. Her Mom and Dad always told her that “you can do anything you put your mind to.” So she did! Her husband and his family have been ever supportive. Her beloved family pets have always helped her find peace. Her family of patients and their people have given her a chance to fulfill her purpose in life — to help and heal.

Dr. Bohnke invites you and your pets to become a part of her Cimarron Animal Hospital family— growing together – here for each other.

  • Member of the American, Arizona and Southern Arizona Veterinary Medical Associations
  • Member of the American Animal Hospital Association
  • Member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners with additional Cat Friendly Certification
  • Fear Free Practitioner Certification
Sophia Valdez

Dr. Sophia Valdez

Veterinarian, Associate

Dr. Sophia Valdez joined Cimarron in August 2019. She received her doctorate in veterinary medicine through Arizona State University. Despite falling in love with the woods of Arizona, the calls of Arizona quail, the curious nature of lizards, and the beauty of monsoon season called her back home to Tucson. Prior to vet school, Dr. Valdez became both an intern zookeeper and a service dog trainer. Her dearest love, guide dog Pathfinder, even spent most of his first year of training alongside her in vet school, earning his honorary doctorate in puppy years before graduating through Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The zoo and service dog world solidified Dr. Valdez’s love of conservation and animal behavior, making her a strong advocate for all creatures around us. After all, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Veterinary interests: canine and exotic animal medicine and surgery (including future training in laparoscopy); physical therapy/rehabilitation; pain relief; mental and environmental enrichment. She is a strong advocate for animals’ emotional health as well as their physical well-being. Her compassion for animals and people is tremendous!

If you want a smart doctor who also has your pet’s emotional and physical comfort paramount, you want Dr. Valdez!

Dr. Valdez in a nutshell: Faith; family; food; waterfalls; photography; Disney & Pixar art in all forms

Member of the American, Arizona, and Southern Arizona Veterinary Medical Associations
Fear Free Practitioner Certification

Dr. Marusich

Dr. Elisa Marusich, DVM

Dr. Elisa Marusich, an Arizona native and UA Alumni, has been practicing for over 15 years in the Tucson area. She graduated cum laude from St. George’s University, Grenada, with a Doctorate degree in Veterinary Medicine and has specialized training in traditional Chinese medicine from the world-renowned Chi Institute, with certification in Mixed Animal Acupuncture.

Dr. M was inspired to become a veterinarian as her interest in science and medicine developed in college. She has always had great compassion for all living things and figured veterinary medicine was the perfect niche for her.  Over time her interests evolved to include companion animal behavior. This then led her to devote herself to practicing Fear Free medicine.  Most recently, she has been driven to find a more integrative approach to treating our companions for such things as pain and internal conditions that are not always effectively managed with standard Western medicine and treatments.  So, she has become a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and is now studying Chinese herbal therapy and food therapy practices to expand her knowledge and offerings in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.
When not hard at work, she enjoys spending time training with her two dogs using Positive Reinforcement principles.  She also trains with her five cats, mostly party tricks, since they are social butterflies.  The rest of her time is spent attempting to keep a permaculture garden with her Sonoran desert tortoise and Red Eared Pond Slider turtle.

Veterinarian

Denise Chesser

Certified Veterinary Technician- employed since 2005

Denise has been caring for small creatures since grade school. She found her passion and attended school at Michigan State University to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. She worked with the premier board-certified surgeon in Tucson and brings those intensive anesthetic monitor skills to our patients daily, keeping every patient that much safer under anesthesia! She loves meeting new people and their pets, educating pet parents about all of the amazing ways we can improve their lives through nutrition, exercise, and medicine. She runs her own menagerie of dogs, cats, and tortoises at home with the same love that she brings to work every day. You might run into her at the gem and mineral show collecting beads for the jewelry that she makes or at one of the downtown music venues supporting the local music talents and businesses.

Veterinarian

Leeanne Salois

Practice Manager/Certified Vet Tech – employed since 2008

Leeanne received her Veterinary Assistant Associate’s degree with honors from Pima Medical Institute in November of 2008. She received her Veterinary Technician License. Every day, she revitalizes her enthusiasm for the profession as she learns new things and new ways to help sick pets. Leeanne’s outgoing, bubbly personality and infectious smile brighten everyone’s day, while her attention to detail keeps patients well-managed and clients happy! Leeanne has also been a professional dog trainer, so we have her expertise for clients who need help with pet behavioral issues. If you need someone to brighten your day, swing by for a giggle and smile from Leeanne!

Audra Rauschen

Audra Rauschen

Vet Tech Assistant

Audra received her Veterinary Assistant Certification from Pima Medical Institute in 2020. She aspires to continue her education to become a certified veterinary technician. Her solid competence is reassuring. Her dry humor will come out of nowhere and have you in stitches! Her passion for this profession is in aiding in the magic of restoring pets to health. Audra has worked with small animals and horses, which are her hobby. She rides English, Western and does jumping! She reads in her free time– but she hasn’t told us what yet– see if you can coax it out of her!

Leanne Salois

Rochelle Olstad

Vet Tech Assistant

Rochelle has been with us since the first summer of Covid. She fits in here flawlessly! We are so blessed to have her bright and bubbly personality to add to the mix! She just makes everything fun! Rochelle got her Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Arizona. She has assisted in the birth processes of her childhood dogs and has a few of her own pets now! When she is not working or hanging out with her dog, Loki, or kitties, Nalla & Zazzoo, you can find her coaching gymnastics, swimming, & dive. Rochelle also enjoys country-swing dancing. She’s one active gal!

circe cook

Circe Cook

Client Service Liaison- employed since 2016

Circe has many years of customer service experience in the human world but says that she “could not see herself in any other field than veterinary medicine” now that she has had the opportunity to help pets and their people heal from the work that we do! Circe has two wonderful children, Megan and Robert. Circe likes to spend time with her family at the Zoo, learning about all the different animals, reading, and scrapbooking. She is happy-go-lucky and sees the best in everyone!

Miranda Nielsen

Miranda Nielsen

Client Service Liaison- employed since 2020

Miranda is a new addition to Cimarron’s Reception Team, and we are so happy to have her! Miranda and her husband have 2 kitties, Eggs Benedict & Olive Oyl (perfect names, right?!) and are hoping to expand their fur-family with a dog one day eventually. We really lucked out when we added Miranda to our staff; she is not only a pleasure on the phone, but she has also completed her Vet Tech Assistant program through Pima Community College, making herself a great resource on both sides of the medical team! When she is not working, you can find Miranda doing one of the many hobbies she loves; hiking, crocheting, at a car meet/show, or playing Animal Crossing. She is as funny as she is a hard worker, and we hope to have Miranda as a part of our crew for a long time!

Miranda Nielsen

Cass

Veterinary Assistant

The ASPCA had no idea the inspiration they sparked in a 4-year-old watching their donation commercial on TV. Cassidy announced to her parents that she was going to help animals. And here she is!

Cassidy began helping animals as a child, helping her Dad with his stray cat catch-neuter-release project. Her pet-sitting jobs were more than a job for her. She loved finding ways to really bond with all of her charges. Cassidy started learning about careers in veterinary medicine in high school in a vet assistant course. Her love of learning, love of animals, and fascination with the medicine, skills, and psychology of different animals have culminated in her desire to continue her education to be a Certified Veterinary Technician! Yay! Go, Cass!

Her own dog, “Zero” and her kitty, “Olaf” help her host game nights and are frequent subjects of Cassidy’s expanding photo portfolio.

Cass brings her quiet, stable, soothing energy to our (sometimes rowdy, loud) energetic team. She is the quiet in a storm, which has a definite impact on our more anxious patients.

Miranda Nielsen

Elizabeth “Elly”

Veterinary Assistant

Elly came into the animal health care profession a number of years ago when she decided to get her certification as a Veterinary Assistant at Pima Medical Institute. She brings her perpetually positive attitude and cooperative Team spirit to our team every day! When she isn’t working, she’s a busy mom with two small sons. She enjoys reading with a cat curled up in her lap when the boys give her a break! She dreams of fancy vacations around the world and loves to hear about travel opportunities!

DVM NEEDED!

This Spot Is For YOU!

DVM NEEDED!

We are looking for an outgoing, friendly, approachable DVM to sync without Cimarron Family. Our hospital uses Fear Free techniques, is Certified Cat Friendly, and is AAHA Compliant. We are clean (usually) odor free and homey. Our team is very cohesive and agreeable– no fighting, no biting! We see cats, dogs, ferrets, rodents, rabbits, and hedgehogs!

We are looking for someone to work Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and potentially Sunday. Competitive salary and Full benefits for full-time work. Prosal salary structure.

Flex scheduling for maximum work-life balance. Have an event you want to attend? Trade hours with another doctor!

Job requirements:

Great client and staff communication skills. Willingness to teach both clients and staff. An interest in growing both themselves and the business. Competence or at least confidence in soft tissue surgery, spays, neuters, GI FB removal, and dental surgical extractions. Skilled in TFAST, AFAST, or willingness to learn (at our expense). Basic sample collection, including venipuncture, blind cystocentesis, and IV catheter placement. Even better if you have more advanced skills to bring to the practice: Orthopedic surgery, full ultrasound skills, Rehabilitation certification, and Specialized interests. Efficient typing skills (we are paper lite).

Send Circum Vitae/ Resume and References to Maria@cimarronah.com or call Maria @ 520.886.1125