We are proud to introduce you to our dedicated team of Granbury vets and veterinary professionals serving at Acton Animal Hospital.
Dr. Richard Gesell, Fear Free Certified
Dr. Richard Gesell was raised in southern Maryland, and attended college at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, graduating with a degree in Paramedicine. After working as a paramedic in Maryland, and North Carolina, he decided to go back to school and become a veterinarian. He graduated from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 and moved to North East Texas to work as a dairy veterinarian. In 2010, Dr. Gesell joined a mixed animal veterinary practice in Quitman, Texas, and developed an interest in small animal veterinary medicine and surgery, specifically in feline medicine, surgery, and anesthesia. In 2013, Drs. Gesell purchased the Acton Animal Hospital in Granbury, Texas to continue a career in small animal medicine exclusively. In 2018, he purchased Morgan Street Animal Hospital to expand his love and care to both sides of Granbury. The primary species Dr. Gesell works with are cats, dogs, and small mammals (exotics) such as rabbits, ferrets, rats, and guinea pigs.
Dr. Richard Gesell is married to his lovely wife Kristina, who is also a veterinarian and partner in Acton Animal Hospital. They have a daughter Amelia Grace and a son Richard Charles. He also has 4-legged children consisting of two dogs, multiple cats, chickens, fish, and gerbils.
Dr. Kristina Gesell, DABVP Canine/Feline, Fear Free Certified
Dr. Kristina Gesell is a 2001 graduate of North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She has been working as a small animal veterinarian since then in North Carolina, Dallas, east Texas, and Granbury. In 2011 she became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners certified in Canine and Feline Practice, and just recently recertified for another 10 years (until 2032). She has an interest in oncology, endocrinology, and ultrasound and is developing an interest in herbal medicine.
Dr. Kristina has been married to Dr. Richard Gesell for many years and they have 2 children – Amelia and Richard (AKA Junior). They have numerous dogs, cats, chickens, fish, and a gerbil at home, plus all the clinic cats between the two hospitals. Outside of work, she likes to read, cook, do jigsaw puzzles, quilt, and crochet/knit.
Debra Gryder, DVM
Dr. Gryder was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and moved to El Campo, Texas with her parents when she was fifteen. Dr. Gryder knew she wanted to become a veterinarian early in life and enjoyed spending time with her dogs, cats, and horses growing up in Texas. Dr. Gryder attended Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 1991. She married her husband, Scott, while in veterinary school and they moved to Granbury in 1996. She has worked as a veterinarian for over twenty years in and around Granbury. Dr. Gryder enjoys all parts of veterinary medicine, including wellness preventative medicine, internal medicine, and surgery. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is getting to know the clients and caring for their pets throughout their lifetime. Dr. Gryder enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 daughters, her church (Triple Cross Cowboy Church), her dogs, cats, horses, and cattle.
“I searched and found a home here where the owners of the business, doctors, and staff truly care. Not only for the pets and their owners but for the staff as well.”
Cierra grew up in Springtown, Texas, and moved to Granbury in 2013. She grew up helping her grandmother rehabilitate wildlife (like opossums, squirrels, raccoons, etc) which inspired her to pursue veterinary medicine. When she graduated high school, she began to pursue a degree in human medicine but after working at a grooming office, she quickly realized that working with animals just brought something to her life that she could not live without. She started with our practice in December of 2017 as a kennel care attendant and moved up over the years through the hospital to the Office Manager position. She has 13 brothers and sisters that she loves to spend time with outside of work, as well as her 2 dogs and 2 cats. She also loves to read, hike, go to the lake or beach, or find new hobbies to practice and learn. In 2020, she hiked about 40 miles from Pen Mar Park to Harper’s Ferry in Maryland with a few friends and had a blast! Cierra’s favorite part of the job is getting to teach people how to take care of their pets. She also enjoys getting the opportunity to develop relationships with the clients and learning about their lives outside of the vet office. She is particularly interested in assisting the doctor with exotic pets, such as rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, etc.
“The best part of my job is getting use all of this knowledge that I’ve obtained over the years to educate pet parents to improve the lives of them and their pets”
CJ is a Licensed Veterinary Technician that started with our clinic in 2021. Originally from Colorado, CJ graduated from the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in 2011. In her spare time, CJ enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 children, 3 dogs, and a cat.
Veterinary Technician – CVA 2, Fear Free Certified
Megan grew up in Lipan, Texas, and came to work at Acton Animal Hospital 2 years ago. Megan’s love of working in the veterinary field stemmed from working on a farm with her family. Megan told us of the moment that really solidified her desire to work with animals. “I think what made my heart fully emerge in loving animals and wanting to help them was when I had a lamb that got stuck in a stock tank and almost didn’t make it. I just remember us doing everything we could to save the lamb and we did, I knew at that moment that what I wanted to do was help animals of all kinds.” Megan really shines best when she is working with cats. She enjoys earning their trust because they are so challenging and picky about the people they let in. Megan has 3 cats of her own, as well as 3 retired cutting horses. Most of her hobbies now include spending time with her beautiful baby girl Aleigh and her husband Brad. She looks forward to teaching her how to love animals just as much as she does. She still helps out at the Hood County stock show each January, helping teach clover kids how to respect and care for animals, as well as confidence and responsibility.
“Every day is a new day here and I enjoy learning new things and laughing with my coworkers.”
Veterinary Technician – CVA 2, Fear Free Certified
Veterinary Technician – CVA 1, Fear Free Certified
Mickie was born and raised in Belton, Texas. She moved away after graduating from Mclennan Community College. She had several friends that were working with animals that convinced her to try it and from her very first day as a kennel technician, she fell in love with the job. Mickie has been in the veterinary field since 2008 and started with our practice in 2020. She is currently working on becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT). She used to have snakes, rats, guinea pigs, and birds, but now she only has 2 dogs and 4 cats. She hopes to have a Great Dane or a Newfoundland when she has a bigger place. When Mickie is not at work, she enjoys reading, watching tv, and hanging out with friends. She also liked to have people over to try different recipes. Mickie’s favorite part about working in this field is seeing the clients’ love for their pets throughout the years and caring for other people’s pets like they are part of the family.
Veterinary Assistant – CVA 1
“I really enjoy learning as much as I possibly can and playing with all the puppies.”
Amanda grew up in San Antonio but moved to Kerrville with her mom and stepdad when she turned 19. She graduated from Tarleton State University in May of 2022 with a Bachelor’s in Animal Science with a pre-veterinary concentration and a minor in biology, and is in the process of applying to vet school! Amanda started at the practice in May of 2021 as a kennel care attendant and moved into the veterinary assistant role very quickly! She loves looking at fecal samples or cytologies under the microscope because you get to see a whole other world and it also helps figure out why the pet does not feel well. Her favorite part of the job is the problem-solving that goes into every day working in this field, with each new case that comes in. She has 2 cats that she says “do not do any tricks but boy do they have me well trained!” Any amount of free time she has is spent playing with her cats, working on vet school applications, and planning her wedding.
“I love getting to interact with each pet that comes into the practice. It truly makes each day worthwhile!”
Rebekah started with our practice in February of 2022 as a Kennel Care Attendant and has worked her way up quickly to Vet Assistant. She grew up in Quitman, Texas with her 2 sisters and 1 brother being raised by their grandparents. Rebekah graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 with a degree in Animal Science and she is in the process of applying to vet school soon! In her spare time, Rebekah loves working out, reading, drawing, and working on puzzles. She has been training for 6 months for a competition based on muscle composition and is hoping to do her first show in the middle of next year! She also has 2 dogs of her own with her boyfriend, named Silly and Scout. Both babies are rescues and have goofy personalities of their own. Rebekah was inspired to work with animals after spending her high school years working with her neighbor, after her husband passed, to care for her horses. She learned to bathe, clean stalls, clean hooves, etc while developing a close bond and friendship with her neighbor. Rebekah really enjoys the challenge that comes with being in the veterinary field, always having to learn and keep up with what is new in the industry.
“I love that we are able to be our own person and we don’t have to change our appearance to come to work. I have gained so many new friends, this is the first time I’ve ever had work friends.”
Kennel Care Attendant
“I really like seeing all the different animals and how they all have different personalities.”
Emilee grew up and still lives in Stephenville, Texas with her sister, parents, aunt, 2 nephews, and grandparents. She came to the practice in October 2018 as a kennel technician and quickly moved into the role of a room technician within a matter of months. Ever since she was young, her family had told her she had an unexplainable way with animals and always knew what to do for them. She used to go to the farm at TSU in Stephenville with her grandparents to pet all of the horses. What she enjoys most about working in veterinary medicine is working with the doctor to figure out diagnoses for the patients, helping with anxious pets, and even at the hardest times she is grateful for the opportunity to be with families as their pets cross the rainbow bridge. She has one dog of her own, a 1-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer named Peetie, as well as several animals at her parents’ farm including 3 miniature dachshunds, 2 horses, 2 Angus cows, and a duck named Dutton. In her spare time, Emilee enjoys taking her dog swimming, fishing, spending time with her family, and going to sporting events in Stephenville.
“What I enjoy most about my job is seeing all of the pets come in for vaccinations leaving happy and healthy.”
Client Service Representative
Jennifer joined our practice in mid-June of 2022 after being a stay-at-home mom for 7-8 years. Jennifer grew up all over Central Texas with her Papa as her greatest influence. He inspired her to join the Army, where she was on active duty for 8 years. Jennifer has been happily married to her husband since April of 2020. In her free time, Jennifer uses photography as a hobby to relax and calm her PTSD, as well as going to the beach and fishing. She has a 15-year-old son, as well as a dog and a cat. She took in her dog as a rescue and dedicated lots of time and energy to teach her how to be a member of the family, lay on the couch, and cuddle. Jennifer’s favorite part about working in the veterinary office is being able to watch patients grow from puppy to adulthood, and watching them grow into their big personalities no matter how small they might be in size.
“There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing the pet’s excitement to see you when they come for an appointment.”
Client Service Representative
“I have been in this profession for many years, knowing that since animals did not have a voice, I could be that voice for them.”
Client Service Representative
Rachel grew up in Florida with 2 younger siblings with the beach as her playground, so boating and skiing are some of her favorite activities. She also enjoys putting puzzles together with her husband. The most difficult one took them 2 months to finish, and when they did they found it was missing the very centerpiece! She has 2 dogs, both with Disney-themed names. Rachel started with us in April of 2021. Her favorite part of the job is being able to get a sick patient in and seen by the doctor quickly. Some of the other technicians have also started to teach her some of the science behind everything, like reading samples on a microscope which makes her very excited! Growing up, her first dog inspired her to begin helping animals, watching over them, and protecting them. She remembers growing up playing outside with her brother, and her dog was always there. He would even herd them back to their playset if they strayed too far. Seeing how he would watch over and protect them, inspired her to want to watch over and protect others as well. One of the things we enjoy about Rachel is when she is comfortable or very passionate about something, her very distinct southern accent shines through.
“I applied thinking it could be a chance to learn something new, and since then I’ve continued to learn something new every day in this profession.”
We treat pets like family.
The Acton Animal Hospital team is always here to provide care to you and your pet when you need it most.
We are available to answer your questions and meet your needs throughout our business day.
Please reach out to us through one of the following means:
Monday: 7:30am – 7:00pm
Tuesday: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Wednesday: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Thursday: 7:30am – 5:30pm
(Closed Thursday 12:00pm-1:30pm)
Friday: 7:30am – 7:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 2:00pm