Dr. Lynda Guenther, Veterinarian, Co-Owner
As a child, Dr. Guenther was deeply impressed by her family’s veterinarian and his ability to solve all their pets’ medical problems. It inspired her so much that she knew she wanted to do the same thing! Her veterinary journey has led her all the way to her current position as a full-time Veterinarian and the Co-Owner of Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital.
Raised in the Bay Area, Dr. Guenther attended the University of California at Davis, receiving her Bachelor’s in Animal Physiology in 1985. She completed her DVM degree in 1992 at UC Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine. After completing an internship in surgery and emergency critical care at California Animal Hospital, she started working in small animal practices in 1994. On June 1st, 1997, she started at Blue Cross as an associate veterinarian, eventually purchasing the hospital in 1998.
Since our pets can’t speak, Dr. Guenther continues to be motivated by the challenge of figuring out what’s bothering a pet. She enjoys communicating with families over the years and watching young puppies and kittens grow up.
At home, Dr. Guenther has three dogs: Ty, a Golden Retriever; Scruffy, a Brussels Griffon; and Sawyer, her youngest Golden Retriever. She also has two cats, Sammy and Ranger. She’s also added “the little boys”, three new kittens who answer to Gus, Kirby, and Murphy.”
In her free time, Dr. Guenther enjoys karate, golf, spending time with her kids, and scuba diving. She even went on a trip with Dr. Hicks to go cage-diving with sharks!
Dr. Melisa Hicks, Veterinarian, Co-Owner
Dr. Hicks knew from a young age she was going to be a veterinarian. In kindergarten, she drew a picture of herself—decked out in a lab coat and holding a syringe—next to an operating table with a horse on it! Spending childhood summers on her grandparents’ Nebraska farm didn’t hurt either; she loved bottle-feeding baby lambs, milking cows, and collecting the chickens’ eggs.
Dr. Hicks grew up in Denver and attended Colorado State University, regularly driving home on the weekends to volunteer at her family’s veterinary practice and gain valuable experience. After graduation, she spent a summer working at a practice in New York before moving to California to become a full-time veterinarian. After working at a Long Beach vet hospital for 10 years, she realized she wanted her own practice. She was offered a job, and an ownership opportunity at Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital and gladly accepted!
One of Dr. Hicks’s favorite parts about being a veterinarian is seeing new puppies and kittens. She enjoys educating pet parents and building relationships with pets and owners. She’s also passionate about surgeries and using them to improve quality of life.
At home, Dr. Hicks lives with her husband Mark, a golf professional, and a menagerie of pets. They own two Miniature Pinschers, Kona and Koa, as well as Mac the cat – short for macadamia nut! A Greek tortoise named Forest Gump rounds out the family.
Outside of work, Dr. Hicks has many exciting hobbies: sailing, scuba diving, cheering on the Denver Broncos, and clay sculpture. She and her husband even make “catturns,” cat-shaped urns that are available for Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital clients to purchase!
Dr. Ralph D. Sellman II, Veterinarian, Co-Owner
Dr. Sellman’s earliest memories involve an intense love for animals—he grew up with dogs, cats, snakes, hamsters, fish, toads, and birds. He focused his passion towards helping pet owners understand their beloved companions by starting a lifelong career in veterinary medicine!
Dr. Sellman grew up in a suburb of Chicago as the oldest of three siblings. He went to the University of Tennessee in 1996, then completed a small animal medicine and surgical internship at the University of Georgia from 1996 to 1997. After working in the Florida Keys, Northern Virginia, and the Washington, D.C. area, he relocated to the west coast to assist his parents in retirement. He says meeting Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital’s Dr. Guenther was like meeting a long-lost sister—they hit it off right away!
Dr. Sellman’s professional interests include dental work and preventative medicine. He’s passionate about educating clients to provide the best care possible, and regularly attends continuing-education conferences to stay updated on current technology and treatments.
At home, Dr. Sellman has two orange and white tabby cats, George and Penny. Cody, a black Labrador, enjoys chasing tennis balls and antagonizing the cats. Scampers, a bottle-raised Siamese Flame Point, meets Dr. Sellman at the door nightly.
In his spare time, Dr. Sellman likes sea and whitewater kayaking, catching a hockey game at every NHL arena—he’s halfway to his goal!—and reading good books.
Monica, Human Resources Supervisor
Having previously worked in the customer service and management fields, Monica was looking for a career change. She applied for a receptionist position at Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital, and has since grown immensely in the field, now serving as the Hospital Supervisor!
Growing up in Long Beach, Monica had over 17 dogs, two turtles, a rabbit, and countless fish. She started at Blue Cross in 2004, and instantly fell in love with the profession. Now she considers pet patients her children, and regularly refers to them as “her kids!”
Monica particularly likes greeting all clients and patients and hearing their stories. She loves working in a career that helps both pets and their owners, and is proud knowing that she helped pets feel better.
Monica’s son and daughter are her inspiration in life. She helps out in ministry and currently mentors a girls’ youth group. She enjoys photography, which she’s been practicing for 25 years, and also likes to cook and watch people enjoy her dishes.
Kelsey, Front Office Supervisor
Since her mother worked as a Veterinary Technician at Blue Cross, Kelsey was often found around the clinic—staff members sometimes joke that she was born in the kennels! Young Kelsey would help clean cages and file paperwork, and was hired on almost as soon as she was old enough.
Kelsey grew up in South Gate with her parents, younger brother, and many pets. At one point in her childhood, she counted the number of pets in the household, and it totaled to 21! She currently works as a receptionist, and has previously worked as a technician assistant and kennel attendant. She likes the structure and organization of the receptionist position and has been happy with the role for the past seven years.
Being partially of Scottish heritage, one of Kelsey’s most memorable journeys was her trip to Scotland and London. She rented a car for the first time and drove it seven hours to Scotland—she says the experience was scary but she would do it again in a heartbeat!
Tanya, Veterinary Assistant
Ever since she can remember, Tanya was inspired by people who dedicate their lives to helping animals. She always admired the way they could make a living doing what they loved, and aspired to be that type of person herself.
Tanya was born in Simi Valley, California. She’s never had a job that didn’t involve animals—her veterinary career began when she started working on a farm, tending to the animals and setting up kids’ parties. She worked at a pet store until she got her first job at a veterinary hospital. She began as a kennel attendant in 2001 and has worked her way up to her current position as a Back Office Supervisor!
As a veterinary professional, Tanya enjoys tending to hospitalized patients and doing little things to make them feel better and lift their spirits. She loves the hands-on aspect of her job, working closely with doctors, staff, and animals to improve a patient’s health.
At home, Tanya lives with her husband, who also works as a Veterinary Technician. They have a beautiful daughter, a Sulcata tortoise, and three cats: Paige, Turk, and Chase.
Paulette always had cats as a child, recognizing early-on their capacity to love unconditionally. She has always felt they deserved the same in return, so she decided to pursue a career in the veterinary world!
Born and raised in Long Beach, Paulette’s veterinary journey began in 1990 when she started working for a mobile vaccine clinic. She started working for a veterinary hospital in Bellflower, California before coming to Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital in 2004.
Paulette loves the feeling of knowing she helped a sick animal get better, and nothing compares to witnessing the happiness and relief it brings a pet’s owner! She also loves working in the family environment at Blue Cross.
At home, Paulette lives with her adorable tabby cat, Crash, who likes playing fetch. In her free time, Paulette likes reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends.
Alex, Veterinary Assistant
Alex found her first pet dog in the streets of Long Beach, where she grew up. The poor creature was starving and covered in fleas. Alex convinced her parents to let the family keep the dog, and raising her made Alex realize she wanted to make animal care a career!
During high school, Alex worked at a neighboring animal hospital before volunteering at Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital. She instantly fell in love with the profession and the clinic, and was hired as a Veterinary and Kennel Assistant in January of 2011. She particularly likes assisting the senior staff during surgeries, as well as giving each and every pet the attention they need and deserve. She also enjoys grooming pets, and has even started a home grooming service for her own pets and family members!
Alex lives with her parents and three dogs: Rayo, a loyal Australian Cattle dog; Lola, the class-clown Pit bull; and Pelusa, a little Chihuahua who absolutely loves food. Alex also owns an adopted chinchilla named Chachis and two red-eared sliders.
When time permits, Alex enjoys rollerblading, which helps her relax and get good exercise.
Kerrie, Kennel Attendant
As a kid, Kerrie brought a lot of stray pets back home with him—he had over twelve dogs growing up! His passion for animal care never ceased, and he decided to pursue a career in the veterinary field.
Kerrie grew up in Long Beach with his family. When he was looking for employment, his first thought was to somehow work with animals. His sister Monica works at Blue Cross, so it only made sense for Kerrie to apply! He does all she can to make pets comfortable while they’re boarded at the clinic, and he particularly enjoys watching pets grow up over the years.
At home, Kerrie has a very intelligent and well-trained blue-nose Pit bull named Nena. When he’s not working or spending time with Nena, Kerrie enjoys dancing—he even won several dance contests during college! He also likes training pets and has trained several neighborhood dogs that are now well-disciplined companions.
Mona, Veterinary Assistant
Mona used to work in the accounting field, but felt she needed a change. She’d always wanted to help animals, so she decided to help pets and their owners by pursuing a veterinary career!
Mona was born and raised in Long Beach. She came to Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital in 2010 and couldn’t be happier with her choice. She especially enjoys phlebotomy—drawing blood—but is also interested in grooming and nursing pets back to health after a hospital stay.
Mona lives in Long Beach with her son and several pets, all of which are rescues. Tom was an unwanted kitten, Honey the Chihuahua was dropped off on a curb before Mona scooped her up, and George the cat was found taped to a box next to a dumpster. Now he rules the roost at Mona’s home!