Our Veterinarians

Dr. Melissa Rivers

Owner & Veterinarian

Dr. Rivers grew upon on a small family farm in northeast Iowa giving her an early insight for her love of animals and veterinary medicine. She knew from a very young age that caring for animals was her passion and calling.  Dr. Rivers attended Iowa State University for undergraduate studies, during which time she also worked at a feline specialty clinic as a veterinary assistant and a laboratory assistant in the Department of Pathology at the veterinary school. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science, and went on to graduate with her DVM with honors from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Rivers’ husband, Brandon, is active in leadership as a nurse floor manager at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. He works closely with his nursing staff and patient families to provide high quality medicine, just as Dr. Rivers provides at Somerset.  Together they have two dogs, Sixxer and Vanity.  They also have two cats, Asher and Big Smoke, all of which are spoiled at home.  Dr. Rivers also enjoys being outdoors, gardening, music, and cooking. She is an avid sports fanatic, participating in a Fantasy Football League each year and attending many Cyclone sporting events.

Dr. Rivers is committed to her patients and her clients through all stages of life. If you are new to Somerset Veterinary Hospital, she would love to meet you. We invite you to drop in at our state-of-the-art facility, or contact us to schedule your first visit.

Dr. Brenda Flaming

Dr. Flaming grew up in a small town in Kansas.  She was hooked into the world of veterinary medicine during high school while helping her local veterinarian.  She graduated from Kansas State University, earning her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees.  The entirety of Dr. Flaming’s career in practice of 20 plus years has been spent in the state of Iowa; she has had “live in” experience with big dogs, little dogs, fun cats, aloof cats, blind pets, diabetic pets, young pets, older pets, smart pets, and not-so-smart pets! Feel free to ask her about them sometime.  Dr. Flaming’s favorite things about veterinary medicine include helping animals with skin problems, dentistry, as well as helping pet owners to better understand and care for their forever friends.

Dr. Flaming enjoys walking her dogs, gardening, quilting, and traveling with her husband, Kevan, who is also a veterinarian. Dr. Kevan Flaming works at Iowa State University developing educational materials for veterinarians around the world.  They have two children: a daughter at the University of Iowa and a son at Iowa State University…truly a house divided. The Flaming household also has two dogs, Lady the poodle and Luna the Westie.

Dr. Zanna Maisel

Dr. Maisel grew up in the woods of Maryland. She volunteered at the local wildlife center in high school, sparking her interest in animal behavior and veterinary medicine. She graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, focusing on animal learning and behavior. After moving from the East coast to work on language research with a group of bonobo chimpanzees, Dr. Maisel earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University.

Dr. Maisel’s husband, Edward, works in user experience design at Workiva in Ames, and also receives the credit for bringing cats into her life. They now have four furry felines: Enzo, Dizzy, Eames, and Basqui. They also live with two dogs: Marshall the Labrador retriever and Otto the chihuahua/rat terrier. In her free time, Dr. Maisel enjoys visiting National Parks, sewing, and training her cats to sit and high five!