Animas Animals

560 Sundance Circle
Durango, CO 81303




What our happy clients say about working with us


Annie the cat by a pool

In August 2021, our 16 year old tabby cat, Annie, had been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, hypertension, and kidney disease. She was being treated with multiple Western medications, but she was still not eating well, vomiting on a regular basis, and losing weight at an alarming rate. Our conventional veterinarian recommended steroids as the next treatment, but we were concerned about the side effects of this medication and wanted to pursue an alternative solution to her health problems. Friends referred us to Animas Animals where we met Dr. Heather Perkins.

The first appointment included a review of our Western medications and diagnosis followed by a Chinese medical exam and pattern diagnosis. She was then treated with acupuncture, herbal supplements, and a vitamin injection. Annie can be a very timid cat, but she was very cooperative and patient in the calm office setting.

Annie’s appetite increased noticeably (she had been leaving food in her bowl but was now cleaning her plate and eating more!), and she became more active. She had always had a subtle lameness that resolved after treatment and was now racing around, playing ball again, and running up the stairs. She started gaining weight and was now rarely vomiting. In the five years we have had Annie, she only reluctantly ate cat food. Now she enjoys salmon, chicken, tuna, shrimp, and beef -all items which she had previously rejected.

Annie was 12 when we adopted her and would always hide when other people came to visit. After her treatments she became more curious, confident, and friendly with others.

Annie is now a healthy body weight, feels better, and looks great. We are grateful for the treatment, guidance, and patience from Dr. Heather and have recommended her to many others.

Thanks!  Sheila and Frank – The Tabby Cat Family



girl on a big rock petting a dog

We are so grateful we found Animas Animals! Dr. Karlene Stange and Dr. Heather Perkins have been a phenomenal asset to both our dogs health. We recently brought our dog, Cayenne, to be treated for limping on her hind leg, and are happy to say she made a full recovery! No surgery, no expensive imaging or pain medications needed. Only diet and activity modification, supplements, and laser treatment and she is back to chasing our mountain bikes and running trails with us! We highly recommend the comprehensive veterinary care we have received at Animas Animals.

– Ellen Stockhausen, PT, DPT

Video of Cayenne




Black dog on couch with a toy

Dr. Perkins has changed Rose’s and my life, and we will both be forever grateful!

Dr. Heather is the most patient, caring veterinarian I have ever met. When Dr. Heather met my dog, Rose, she was a very exuberant, energetic dog with sometimes overwhelming amounts of energy! I wondered how she would possibly get needles into the wiggling Rose. Dr. Heather took her time with Rose and calmed her down so she could examine her.

Rose had a weak rear leg and had difficulty getting into my vehicle. After only one acupuncture treatment, Rose easily jumped into my 4Runner!! Dr. Heather saw the “whole” Rose, and at our second appointment, she recognized that Rose had more than a physical ailment needing treatment. She recommended a supplement to balance Rose’s anxiety. Not only did Rose’s leg gain strength and her pain subside, but she calmed down and now plays appropriately with my other dogs (instead of zooming in circles!). But best of all she started sleeping through the night!!! She had never slept through the night in her entire two years! Rose continues to improve both physically and emotionally. She has become a very sweet, loving dog, and I credit Dr. Heather’s loving treatment of Rose for this change.

– Heidi Malberg



Riley carrying a big stick

Riley, just before his 13th birthday.

Riley epitomized the enthusiasm and contentment with life typical for a Golden Retriever. As Riley aged, his spinal column and front legs started to develop arthritis. At age 10, the discomfort started to limit his joy. Thanks to the help of Dr. Stange and Dr. Perkins, Riley was able to age gracefully and continue to embody his moto of “Snort quietly, and carry a big stick.” Riley was fortunate to receive regular acupuncture treatments and herbal pain medications with Dr. Stange and Dr. Perkins until he passed at age 13. I miss him every day but am so grateful for all the memories we shared and the time we enjoyed for an additional three years—free of discomfort.

– Jenny Nuuttila



Theo at 10 years old, posing in the Irises on a camping trip

Theo at 10 years old, posing in the Irises on a camping trip.

Dr. Heather and Animas Animals have been incredibly beneficial for my golden doodle Theodore! We came to Dr. Heather after a surgery specialist told us it was impossible to remove a tumor on Theo’s adrenal gland. With no other treatment option, and a bleak diagnosis, I reached out to Dr. Heather and Animas Animals. We began in April of 2019 and have been seeing Dr. Heather for acupuncture, herbs and supplements every 2-3 weeks, and it is now March, 2021. She listens to my questions and helps me understand the integrative approach of western medicine and TCVM, and also provides me with resources to answer my questions.

Theo feels noticeably better after each session with Dr. Heather and absolutely relaxes into the treatment. Theo was not sleeping well, and now sleeps through the night! He is able to keep hiking, competing in nose work, swimming and paddle boarding. Theo is joyous every time he sees Dr. Heather.

– Shannon



Charlie and Brody

Dr. Heather Perkins saved our dogs…literally! Dr. Heather creates individualized cold laser treatment plans and prescribes specialized Chinese herb supplements to meet the needs of our fur babies! Her gentle touch and patience with our dogs keeps them at ease.

Our Schnauzer, Charlie, has hind-end weakness and our other Schnauzer, Brody, has lupus. After seeing two other Durango vets, we were told Charlie’s hind-end weakness was not treatable. We sought Dr. Heather who treated Charlie with cold laser and Chinese herbs to supplement Charlie’s deficiencies. Charlie is able to get up, walk, run, and shows no signs of hind-end weakness with continued tune ups from Dr. Heather. Brody also receives specialized cold laser treatments and Chinese herbs to treat his lupus. His weight is back within normal range and his pain is under control.

Charlie and Brody are doing great under the superb care of Dr. Heather. We are forever grateful that we found her! She is truly amazing, talented, and sincerely concerned about her clients and their well-being.

– Tyler & Jackie
Charlie & Brody – The Schnauzers




I brought Scooter to see Dr. Heather a few months ago. Scooter’s rear legs were getting weaker and more painful for him because of knee issues. He is only three years old, so he was probably born with bad joint problems. Dr. Heather suggested a series of Laser treatments after trying conventional acupuncture. Scooter would not tolerate the needles, it was hard to get him to hold still long enough, as well, he’d pull the needles out first chance he got. That’s when Dr. Heather started Laser treatment in place of needles for acupuncture. Scooter was okay with that treatment, so we started a series of this type of therapy. Also he was started on a herb mixture to help with his pain.

After a couple of weeks, Scooter was starting to visibly look less weak in his rear legs, less limping, and a bit more active. We started to reduce the frequency of the treatments, and he’s maintained his improvements. I believe the strength in his legs is getting better. He’s more stable on slippery surfaces.

I believe this treatment was a good choice for Scooter. We’ll work towards a once a month maintenance. Scooter reacted well to this therapy. Thank you, Dr. Heather!

– Rich Stewart



Brown and white dog

When I first got my young, spayed female red heeler she had urinary incontinence. It was inconsistent and unpredictable, but she would fall into a deep sleep next to me on the couch and when she woke up the couch would be wet. I tried conventional veterinary methods, and while they did cure her UTI and crystals in her urine, the incontinence continued. Before going to drugs, I decided to try acupuncture and Chinese herbs. It took several months, but it seems to be working. She has not had an accident for a month now. Dr. Heather was great to work with, my dog loved her, she communicated well, and the cost was reasonable. Thank you for finding a non-pharmaceutical solution.

– Janet Ross



Cocker Spaniel Mix Murphy

Our cocker spaniel mix Murphy, who we found as a stray almost 12 years ago, developed a severe cough in late 2017. We took him to a traditional vet who examined him, then took a few x-rays. He had a large mass in the lower lobe of his right lung. The vet gave us a few choices as to what to do with him. First choice was for surgery to remove the mass, second was to biopsy the mass. Both of these choices gave him a less than 50% chance of survival, and a probable life span of approximately 6 months. Her last suggestion was to visit Dr. Karlene Stange.

After our first visit, Murphy was already doing better! Dr. Karlene performed an acupuncture treatment and prescribed a combination of Chinese herbs. Since our first appointment, Murphy has steadily improved, and in fact, has the energy and enthusiasm he had years ago! Thank you Dr. Karlene for your knowledge, compassion, and skill with our sweet Murphy!

– Paula & Rick



German Shepard Pilot

I hope you find Karlene before you’re at the end of your rope so you and your pet don’t have the struggle like we did. Our beloved German Shepard, Pilot, was ill for almost a year before we took him to Animas Animals for alternative care. At 4 years of age, he was weak in the hind end and struggled to get up. We visited local veterinarians and were referred to specialists where blood values, x-rays, and MRI results were inconclusive. $8000 later, Pilot was taking numerous pain medications and anti fungal drugs. He became increasingly depressed and his movement had not improved. He screamed in pain when he opened his mouth. After the first visit with Karlene, Pilot had 20% improvement in mobility and depression. She treated Pilot with electroacupuncture (that he absolutely loves). We gradually eliminated the drugs and used Chinese herbal formulas instead. His depression was gone. 36 hours after I started giving a third Chinese herbal, the tide changed! He was up and moving around!!! Pilot had been in pain for almost a year and after 6 weeks under Karlene’s care he was a changed dog. Pilot looks forward to our visits, he can hardly contain his excitement in the car when we get to her office, and when she puts the needles in, he lays down and takes a peaceful nap that makes me so jealous!

– Pilot



Stryder the horse

Karlene is truly a magician with horses. We had heard that horses responded better to acupuncture than any other animal, including people.

We were thrilled to find Karlene. Within a few minutes of the needles, our 23 year-old horse Stryder, went to sleep. Our vet had advised us to put our beloved Stryder down. He was lame and couldn’t raise his head. We were told he could never carry a rider again.

After one treatment with Karlene, Stryder was able to raise his head, and after a few treatments his lameness healed. She also put Stryder on Chinese herbs, which helped enormously. We appreciate that Karlene was willing to fight for Stryder when other vets had given up on him.

Stryder has now been ridable for a few years. He is a very healthy, affectionate wonderful horse and we are deeply indebted to Karlene for helping us heal him. We also gave him organic grain and lots of love.

We also had her treat our little dog for a ruptured ACL in his knee, and he was able to heal with out surgery.

Karlene is truly a miracle worker!

-Dr. Erika Chopich



Cat licking water from a bird bath

It was a cold November evening in 2009 when I heard the weak calls from a bony stray cat. I went outside and saw the poor creature calling out for help. He made himself at home very quickly and was graciously accepted by my husband, loved by my daughter and our dog Gus became his best friend. Our other cat Luna just tolerated him.

My husband named him Tomtom; even though he had other names like Romeo, because he was such a lover-boy and my daughter called him Scarfie, since he liked to lie across her neck like a scarf. My daughter never loved an animal as much as Tom.

At his first Veterinarian visit 27. Nov. 2009 he only weighed 8.7 lbs; 3 weeks later he gained over 3 lbs. He also had to endure an operation where his 3rd eyelid had to be removed because of proliferative growth like squamous cells and he recovered very quickly.

During his 1 year checkup it was discovered the cancer came back and it was recommended to remove the eye. I made up my mind; Tom would not have to go through that. You see, he loves to be outside and hunt all day.

Dr. Stange used a Chinese herbal both topically and orally and the mass disappeared and did not return. I sincerely can’t express my gratitude to you for taking Tom on as a patient and for saving his life!!! I gave up hope and you fixed him!   THANK YOU.

– Angela Carpenter



Grey Horse

“Dear Dr. Stange, We will never be able to thank you enough for saving our beloved Ute’s life! You have made Mike and me big believers in Eastern medicine.

When the ophthalmologist from CSU came down and saw his eye, he said it would be a gamble to send him to the veterinary hospital. Even if he arrived there alive, there was no guarantee he could be saved. I thought for sure he would have to be euthanized.

The day you came to do acupuncture on the dogs was the best day of Ute’s life! You called 48 hours later and I was sure you were going to tell us he had died or nothing could be done to save him. Imagine how surprised we were when we arrived at your clinic to see him eating, and instead of the horrible putrid tissue, it was pink and healing!

Mike and I, and especially Ute, want to thank you.”

Note from Dr. Karlene
Golden Yellow Powder, a Chinese Herbal formula, was the thing that cleared his severe eye infection in two days after he had been on 3 antibiotics for 10 days.

– Mike and Sandy – BruceRancho del Perrofeo



Kate - an Aussie

I am happy my traditional veterinarian recommended Animas Animals for “Kate,” my sweet 16 year old Aussie who had wounds and paralysis from an accident with an auto. It was obvious from the first appointment that she felt better. Your care, professional knowledge, and treatment plan were all reassuring. Kate and I both looked forward to our appointments. Everyone is amazed with her profound recovery. Thank you Dr. Perkins and Dr. Stange for your outstanding services!

– Jackie Ellis



Llamas in field with hot air balloon

Karlene Stange’s name is “out there” in the animal world around Durango. I live in an area where all our neighbors have horses and many of them speak highly of Karlene. Well, I have llamas (4) and for ten years Karlene has helped me with the yearly maintenance of my llamas-shots, filing teeth, overall health check-ups.

Then my oldest pack llama, Dreamcatcher, started showing signs of old age. He’d been packing all his life and around 17-18 years of age arthritis set in. He also had an episode of choke and then an infection. Karlene was there to help on the choke and infection so he made it through it all. The arthritis was an ongoing challenge to see what Dreamcatcher would respond to so he could move his neck better and walk more easily.

Acupuncture treatments were used first; then a Chinese herbal powder called Loranthus that is easily mixed in with his Equine Senior. This was used for maintenance. To watch Karlene work with my llamas (especially the acupuncture), you know she has a fondness and ability to communicate with them. I’m so thankful for her knowledge and help. Now Dreamcatcher moves around much easier and keeps up with the other 3 boys in the pasture. He is a happier older llama.

– Lois Bartig Small



white dog named blizzard

“I think that I benefitted as much from Karlene’s services as my dog Blizzard did. Blizzard was suffering from chronic sinus infection and sneezing which caused him discomfort and general unhappiness. I was referred to Karlene after several expensive and painful procedures, which did not help.

Karlene was able to balance Blizzard’s overall health and cleared his sinus problems with acupuncture and natural medicine.

He is doing amazingly well. Thank you Karlene.”

– Jason Gordon


"We took our 5 year old dachshund, Peppermint, to the vet because she was paralyzed in her back legs. We were told that our 2 options were $7000.00 back surgery or euthanasia; we looked for other options. (the video in the link below shows Peppermint's amazing recovery We were told about Dr. Stange at the clinic and felt ready to try anything. Let me start by saying that my husband and I are in the medical field and were very skeptical of acupuncture. That being said, our baby was paralyzed and we were willing to try anything that we could afford. Well, Dr. Stange has made believers out of us. When I brought Peppermint for her first visit, she was dragging her back legs. After 5 visits, she was walking and running. She is back to her old self and we have Dr. Stange to thank for that. Words cannot express how thankful we are to her. She gave us our Peppermint back! Thank you Karlene, we love you! " 
- Alex and Peggy Schermer

Click the video above to see Peppermint's progress!