About Us

Dr. David Watkins started the Animal Health Center with the goal of providing the best care for Sarasota’s pets while making his clients feel like family. This has been the standard for over 30 years here at the Animal Health Center. In 2015 Dr. Morgan Watkins Tiefenthal joined the Animal Health Center to form a father daughter team to continue to provide the best care for Sarasota’s pets. Our family strives to continue to provide top notch veterinary care and maintain a family atmosphere that makes your pet as well as you feel at home.

Our Team

Dr. David Watkins

Licensed since 1980

Place of study
University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Champaign Illinois

Dr. David Watkins grew up close to St. Louis in Belleville, Il.  He completed his undergraduate work at The University of Illinois.  In his 3rd year of undergraduate work he was accepted to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.  After graduating in 1980 he moved to Sarasota to begin work at a large group practice.  In 1989 he realized his dream of owning his own small animal clinic designed to help pets and their owners.  He opened the Animal Health Center that same year.

Dr. David Watkins is an avid tennis player, boater, fisherman, and triathlete.  He has climbed Mt. Rainer, hiked the Grand Canyon, ice climbed frozen waterfalls in Ouray, Colorado, and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.  In the winter, snow skiing is one of his favorite hobbies.  He enjoys traveling the world looking for new adventures but always enjoys returning to beautiful Sarasota.  Dr. David Watkins’ wife Deborah is a national health care executive and is an avid traveler and adventurer as well.

Dr. David Watkins has two children.  His son is a certified financial planner here in Sarasota and his daughter is also a small animal veterinarian here at the Animal Health Center. Dr. David Watkins is a vociferous “Fighting Illini” fan but cheers equally for the “Gators” and the “Noles” as one child went to each school.  He currently has a Norwegian Forest cat named “Forest” and a miniature golden doodle named “Ruby”.

Dr. Morgan Watkins Tiefenthal

Licensed since 2013

Place of Study
Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Morgan Watkins Tiefenthal was born and raised here in Sarasota, Fl.  She attended The Out of Door Academy and Riverview High School International Baccalaureate program and then attended the University of Florida for her undergraduate studies.  Go Gators!  After graduating from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, she moved to Greenville, South Carolina to begin working at a multi-doctor practice focusing on small animal medicine.  Dr. Morgan has moved back to Sarasota in 2015 to continue her career at the Animal Health Center. 

Dr. Morgan developed a love for all things on the water growing up in Sarasota and in her free time she enjoys fishing, kayaking, and watersports.  She also can be found on the tennis court.  After 10 years living away from Sarasota, Dr. Morgan has realized there is no place like home and is happy to be back to the white sands of Sarasota. 

Dr. Morgan and her husband Chris welcomed their daughter Elizabeth to the world in 2022 and are having fun with their new adventure into parenting. They also have a Portugese Water Dog named Huck who keeps them on their toes.

Dr. Morgan is past vice president of the board of directors for Sarasota Bay Watch and is past president of the Southwest Florida Veterinary Medical Association.  She is also an active member in the Junior League of Sarasota and is currently in the Florida Veterinary Medicine Association’s Power of 10 leadership class.

Our Staff

Chris Stasik, Lori Pezanetti, Tiffany Williams

Sarasota Community Involvement

The doctors and staff at the Animal Health Center have been continually involved in various philanthropic organizations in Sarasota including:

  • Pelican Man Bird Sanctuary Board Member and Volunteer
  • Pet Placement Animal Adoption Organization Board Member and Supporter
  • 1984 President of Southwest Florida Veterinary Medical Association
  • 2017 Board Member Southwest Florida Veterinary Medical Association
  • Sarasota Rabies Control Board
  • Animal Welfare Advisory Board
  • Past Board Member of Sarasota Humane Society for 14 years
  • Sarasota County Science Fair Review Board
  • Sarasota Bay Watch Board of Directors and Vice President
  • Junior League of Sarasota