Meet Our Team

Meet the Marion Animal Hospital team! We are dedicated to providing excellent patient care and stellar customer service! Click an image to learn more about a team member, and thank you for visiting.

Meet Our Team
Dr. Rachel Francis, DVM Dr. Katherine Crowley, DVM Dr. Cynthia Schaefer, DVM Dr. Harry Ernst, DVM Elijah Nelson, Practice Manager Elizabeth, Head Technician Jason, Facilities Manager Dale, Veterinary Assistant Alison, Veterinary Assistant Kelsey, Veterinary Assistant Samantha, Veterinary Assistant Carl, Technician Assistant Kennedy, CSR, Graphics Artist Chantelle, CSR Cheryl, Groomer Finn, Kennel Attendant Jana, Veterinary Assistant Kerri, Certified Veterinary Technician Katelin, Kennel Attendant

Dr. Rachel Francis, DVM

Veterinarian, Practice Owner

“Being a veterinarian has been one of my greatest accomplishments in life and it is a great honor to be working in this profession.”

Rachel graduated from the Tufts Veterinary School in 2001. And she purchased the Marion Animal Hospital in 2007. Her passion is to keep pets healthy and to help them in any time of suffering. Dr. Francis has two rescue dogs of her own, along with rescue cats, and even rescue guinea pigs. She loves gardening, bike riding, and crafting with her two amazing daughters and a wonderful fiancé.

“Riding my bike as it is the ultimate multi task. I save gas money, get exercise, commute, and have some time to think. I have always wanted to live on the Cape, and every time I go to work I think how lucky I am to live and work here.”

Dr. Francis feels animals make life worth living.

“My favorite thing to talk to clients about right now is behavior.  There are so many new ideas now on how we can communicate, bond and integrate our pets into our lives.  I love talking to owners about simple, easy concepts that help me everyday, so I know they will work for you!”

Visit Dr. Francis’ favorite behavior website here:

Dr. Francis also has roots in farm animal medicine, and her mother still owns a goat dairy in Bedford, MA.

“I love working with all animals. I have the most experience with goats and pigs, but I am interested in sheep, camelids, donkeys, and cows.  I was in 4-H for almost a decade and spent most of my time in and around the barns.  When I wasn’t in the barns, I was at my volunteer job at the Museum of Science in Boston, working with wild and exotic animals, like snakes, ferrets, foxes and birds of prey.  I cannot imagine my life without animals in it, and I know how clients feel about their pets.”

Visit Dr. Francis’s favorite pet health information site

Dr. Katherine Crowley, DVM

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Crowley graduated from the University of Colorado with her Bachelors in Biology and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Saint George University. Before that, she was a technician for the exotics department at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital and the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, MA.

She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and has her USDA accreditation, which allows her to complete international health certificates. She is also trained in veterinary acupuncture through IVAS, since 2014.

In her free time she enjoys traveling, gardening and hiking with her extremely energetic border collie.

Dr. Cynthia Schaefer, DVM

Associate Veterinarian

We’d like to officially welcome Dr. Cindy Schaefer to the Marion Animal Hospital Team! Dr. Schaefer is a graduate of Purdue University and owned Apple Country Animal Hospital for 31 years. She has extensive experience in surgery and dentistry along with general internal medicine. She now resides in Marion along with her German Shepherd and Siamese cat.

Dr. Harry Ernst, DVM

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Ernst received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University in 1987, graduating to then own and operate the Bourne Veterinary Program.  Working there as a veterinary clinician from 1989 to 2019 he grew his skills in preventative and internal medicine, taking special interest in cardiology, dermatology, and ophthalmology.  He also focused on the areas of nutrition and canine reproduction while practicing both clinical and emergency services.

Prior to joining our team in 2022, Dr. Ernst was also a teacher and director of the Veterinary Assistant Program at the Upper Cape Regional Tech Vocational School.

Dr. Ernst has a passion for teaching, and serves as a compassionate and communicative veterinarian who excels in diagnostics and problem solving.  He has two German Shorthair Pointers named Gretchen and Riley.

Elijah Nelson, Practice Manager

Practice Manager

Joining the Marion Animal Hospital in October of 2018, Elijah was very excited to begin working with a skilled and passionate team of professionals.  He has a love for customer service and is always eager to help our dedicated pet parents with any of their needs.

A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has a B.S. in Biology, with degrees in Psychology and Forensics, and a sneaky tendency to confuse Rhode Island Scholar with Rhodes Scholar.  Some of his less useful attributes include an allergy to rabbits, a strong dislike of printers, and the title of baron to an offshore independent principality.

Elijah lives in Warwick with his wonderful wife and daughter, two welsh corgis named Mulder and Murphy, a German Shepherd Husky mix named Finn, and a cat named Kuma who he squeezes throughout the day as she’s too lazy to go to the bathroom herself.  In his free time Elijah enjoys kayaking, playing Sea of Thieves with his daughter who’s probably too young for that sort of thing, and keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood squirrels.

Elizabeth, Head Technician

Head Technician

Beth has been with us since 2009. She is a loving mother to her daughter and pets. She also spreads this love to all of her patients. Currently, she is furthering her education to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Beth enjoys performing dentistry, working with farm animals, and teaching pet owners how to best care for their pets. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and scrapbooking with friends.

Jason, Facilities Manager

Facilities Manager

Jason has been part of the team since 2007. He is always aspiring to improve the health of every patient and help every client he works with. He also loves spending lots of time with all of the family dogs. In his spare time he enjoys working on his home/yard and spending time with his family.

Dale, Veterinary Assistant

Veterinary Assistant

Dale has been in the veterinary field for 35 years.  He loves spending his spare time with his two cats (Tuco and Hedley), golfing, driving his mustang with his girlfriend Lee, and going to Patriots games.

Alison, Veterinary Assistant

Veterinary Assistant

Ali has been in this field for over 35 years. She is a graduate of the Harcum College of Pennsylvania. She enjoys birding, outdoor photography, hiking, kayaking, and relaxing with her two dogs, Bella and Leon.

Kelsey, Veterinary Assistant

Veterinary Assistant

Bio Pending.

Samantha, Veterinary Assistant

Technician Assistant

Sam is new to our practice. She is a loving mom to her daughter, two stepchildren, and cat Bret. She graduated from BCC with her associates in veterinary healthcare, and is focusing on advancing her skills as a tech. In her free time she can be seen playing with her daughter, relaxing watching TV, or spending time outside.

Carl, Technician Assistant

Technician Assistant

Carlston joined Marion Animal Hospital in 2021 and has a background in animal rescue / control.

He loves his wife Suzy and is a proud father of four daughters, Jessica, Ashley, Autumn, Abigail and granddaughter Harley.

A lover of local history, legends and folklore. Halloween is his favorite holiday. Rhonda, a mini dachshund is the family fur baby and loved by all.

Kennedy, CSR, Graphics Artist

Customer Service Representative / Graphics Artist

Kennedy graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Business Management.  She has been with us since April of 2018.  Kennedy enjoys making her own clothing, designing her new home, and relaxing with her friends, family, kitten and pup.

Chantelle, CSR

Customer Service Representative

Chantelle graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2001 with a Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management and 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. When she is not at work you can find Chantelle reading, baking Portuguese dishes, and hanging out with her two cats Winnie and Sybil.

Cheryl, Groomer


Cheryl has worked with the hospital since 2007. She always makes every pet feel like her own and at home here at the hospital. She also loves hanging out with her grandkids and significant other in her spare time.

Cheryl can groom all breeds of dogs and cats. Find out more about grooming here.

Finn, Kennel Attendant

Kennel Attendant / Grooming Assistant

Bio Pending.

Jana, Veterinary Assistant

Kennel Attendant

Bio Pending

Kerri, Certified Veterinary Technician

Certified Veterinary Technician

Bio Pending.

Katelin, Kennel Attendant

Kennel Attendant

Bio Pending.