Our Veterinary Team in Ames
Dr. Melissa Rivers
Owner and 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 nursing director at Broadlawns Medical Center 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 Mac, 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. Chad Gubbels
Dr. Gubbels joined the Somerset family in February 2019. Serving as one of our associate veterinarians, Dr. Gubbels takes pride in providing the highest quality care for all patients. Growing up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Dr. Gubbels developed his passion for veterinary practices at an early age. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in May 2013, Dr. Gubbels furthered his education at Iowa State University by attending the College of Veterinary Medicine. There, he was an honors student on the dean’s list, graduating in May 2017. Since then, Dr. Gubbels has developed an interest in veterinary surgery, dentistry, preventative medicine, and more.
Dr. Gubbels and his wife welcomed their first child, Coraline, into the world January 2019. She has been an absolute joy as she grows every day. Dr. Gubbels also has four pets; his dogs are Albus and Belle, a Great Pyrenees and Great Pyrenees mix who love to exercise and keep playful with each other. Dr. Gubbels’ cats, Peanut and Olive, love to snuggle and play with lasers regularly. In his free time, Dr. Gubbels enjoys most things outdoors, including participating in sports leagues, playing disc golf, golf, fishing, and hiking. He also loves traveling and seeing new places, enjoying craft beer on occasion along the way. He is an avid supporter of Kansas City sports teams, Chiefs and Royals and of course loves the Cyclone community.
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 30 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, diabetic pets, young pets, older pets, smart pets, and not-so-smart pets! Dr. Flaming’s favorite things about veterinary medicine include helping dogs and cats with medical problems, dentistry and oral surgery, and keeping our pets healthy and happy.
Dr. Flaming enjoys walking her dogs, gardening, 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 grown children, a Hawkeye and a Cyclone; a house divided when the kids come home. Dr. Flaming loves and adores her two dogs, Luna, a Westie, and Neville, a black and silver Cockapoo.
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!
Dr. Crane grew up in northern Iowa in a big family. She has always felt drawn to animals both big and small. She spent time competing in 4-H with her horse, Joe. She also grew up with dogs. She completed her undergraduate degree at Gustavus Adolphus in Minnesota where she joined the swim team. Her love of animals inspired her to eventually attend veterinary school at Iowa State University. She loves the variety veterinary medicine provides.
Dr. Crane met her husband during her first year in veterinary school. One year later they got their first fur baby together, a German Shorthaired Pointer named Gunner. During summer of 2020, Dr. Crane and her husband added onto the fur family with a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon named Kit.
In her free time, Dr. Crane loves to spend time outside with her dogs, swim, travel, and read fiction novels. Dr. Crane and her husband are Cyclones fans and like to attend as many football games as they can.
Dr. Alex Lindgren
Dr. Lindgren is originally from California and planted roots here in Iowa back in 2014. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Iowa State in 2017, then proceeded to graduate from Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2022. She joined the Somerset team in June as our primary Urgent Care Doctor, and has been a wonderful addition to our team! Dr. Lindgren has 2 dogs at home, Twitter and Eve. In her spare time, Dr. Lindgren enjoys doing things with her dogs, of course, as well as hiking, gardening, and other outdoor activities. The next time an urgent situation happens with your pet, call us! Dr. Lindgren will take great care of them!
Dr. Kate Dovenberg
Dr. Dovenberg grew up in a small town called Decorah located in northeast Iowa. As a child, she enjoyed having a family dog, multiple cats and even a few rabbits. For as long as she can remember, she always loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian. She attended DePaul University in Chicago for undergrad, majored in biology and graduated in 2014. She earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University in 2019. Since graduation, Dr. Dovenberg has practiced both mixed animal and small animal medicine in Wisconsin and Illinois before returning back to Iowa in 2022 where she joined the Somerset Veterinary Hospital team.
In her free time, Dr. Dovenberg enjoys spending time with family and friends. Hobbies include running (hopefully, more tough mudders, half-marathons and possibly first full marathon in the next couple years), reading and snuggling with her pets that include Gracie (golden retriever), Marble and Reese (two calico cats) as much as they will allow.