Our Vets

Dr. Rick Nelson- Elkhart VeterinarianDr. Rick Nelson

Dr. Nelson began his career at the Fishler Animal Hospital in Elkhart in 1976 after graduating from Michigan State Veterinary School. He opened AACS in 1980 and has been practicing veterinary medicine here ever since. He and his wife, Barb, have two sons. Jesse and his wife reside in Lansing, MI. Ian and his wife live in Madison, WI with two young daughters. The Nelsons also have an adopted Daughter, Dojo, who lives in South Africa with her husband and two sons. Dr. Nelson has two dogs at home “M” who is a 12 year old Black Lab that he saved as a puppy with a severe intestinal obstruction. His other dog is a wild, six year old Chocolate Lab named “Z”. They also have a seven year old Burmese cat named “Smooshy” who runs the show. Dr. Nelson’s hobbies include football officiating, traveling, and nature. In fact, he has officiated in almost every venue possible – high school, Big Ten, Canadian Football League, and Arena Football. The Nelson’s also like to get some time with their grandchildren whenever possible! Dr. Nelson enjoys the variety of the profession and his biggest passion lies in doing surgery.  Dr. Nelson is also a board certified specialist with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.


Dr. Minerva Anderson- Elkhart area veterinarianDr. Minerva Anderson

Dr. Anderson has been a veterinarian at AACS for over 20 years. She is a graduate of Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine. She and her husband, Dave, have two boys. Charles is 11 years old and Nicholas is 9 years old. They also have three dogs named Spotty, Stubby and Hairy. Stubby is a 2 year old Corgi and a ball of fire! He is active in the 4-H dog club.  Their cats are Skippy John Jones (yes, he is Siamese), Tito and Stripey (who patrols the barn). They also have four horses and many chickens whom have finally began to lay their eggs! Dr. Anderson’s hobbies include horseback riding and going for long runs with her dogs. She has also completed a full marathon. Her favorite part of the job is not only the many wonderful pets she sees on a daily basis, but also the relationships with our long standing clients over the years.


Dr. Stacey Dean- Elkhart and Dunlap VeterinarianDr. Stacey Dean

Dr. Dean has been a part of the veterinary team at AACS since June of 2003, shortly after her graduation from the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine. She got married to Kelly in July of 2010. Their daughter Jasmine was born in 2012. She and Kelly have two cats named Lola and Daisy who were strays. They have a Golden Retriever named Pandora and two guinea pig named Tango and Mango who rule the house! Dr. Dean’s hobbies include traveling, running and reading. She has completed two half marathons and most recently her first full marathon. She has completed veterinary mission trips to Vietnam in 2006 and Africa in 2012. Dr. Dean entered the profession due to her passion for animals and her favorite part of her job is the constant challenges that it brings on a daily basis. Every day is different and she is never bored because she is constantly learning new things. She is also currently on the board of directors for the Michiana Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr Samantha Dawson

Dr. Samantha Dawson

Dr. Dawson is a recent graduate of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has relocated to the Northern Indiana area, with her husband Paul, young daughter Charlotte, and 12 year old French Bulldog named Phoebe. She is originally from New York, and before going back to school to pursue her DVM degree Samantha lived in California, North Carolina, and Washington D.C. While she has a special interest in surgery, wound healing, and pain management, she loves all aspect of veterinary medicine since it is always changing and there is always more to learn. In her free time Dr. Dawson enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and finding crafty DIY projects. She is excited to be a part of the Animal Aid Clinic – South.