MEET OUR DOCTORS
ELEANOR DUNN, DVM
Medical Director & Owner
Dr. Eleanor Dunn has been committed to providing extraordinary veterinary care to patients and their families in Oakland for over 30 years. She is the founder of The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital and is a skilled medical diagnostician as well as a general practice surgeon. Dr. Dunn strongly believes in a holistic approach to veterinary medicine, integrating all her years of training in medicine, surgery, and dentistry with acupuncture, herbal therapy, and nutritional therapy. Her passion for helping her patients live the happiest, healthiest lives they can through individualized care is evident in everything that she does. Her goal is to educate clients and make her patients and their families feel valued and taken care of. Her guiding philosophy is that life feels more full when you extend yourself to others.
Dr. Dunn started her journey to becoming a veterinarian as the youngest of seven children in Illinois. The household abounded with cats, dogs, mice, and rats. In high school, she gained experience with goats, sheep, pigs, and cows on her brother’s farm. She attended Middlebury College, graduating summa cum laude. She created her own major in biology and physics and worked in human medical research in neonatology and ultrasound. She went to the University of Illinois Veterinary School, graduating salutatorian in 1986. While she will always have a love of research, veterinary medicine combined her passion for science with her love of animals and sharing her knowledge with the families that own them.
Dr. Dunn has always been a knowledge seeker. She is not satisfied until she has answered the question, “why, or how can we do better?” She was a boarded diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners for 20 years. Later in her career, frustrated that western medicine alone did not have all the answers, she became certified in veterinary acupuncture. She also extensively studied nutrition therapy and Chinese herbal medicine. She brings her research background and evidence-based eye to everything. Don’t be surprised if she says “Well, the clinical research says…” during your visit.
When not at the hospital, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, cat Tigerlily, and dog Zephyr. She is a long-time supporter and board member of the Friends of Sausal Creek, which has worked for decades to restore Oakland’s prized Diamond Park and Canyon. She loves hiking, nature, gardening, studying local history, and genealogy.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD, DVM
Medical Director & Owner
Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald has almost two decades of experience providing state-of-the-art medicine and surgery for dogs and cats. She is thrilled to partner with Dr. Dunn and the family at Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital to help preserve private ownership of veterinary hospitals. In doing so, she seeks to continue their tradition of excellence through individualized care that comes from thoughtful, compassionate, knowledgeable medicine. She looks forward to meeting old and new patients and fostering the human-animal bonds that help us thrive.
Dr. MacDonald grew up in Piedmont and went to school in Oakland. She is excited to finally be practicing back home. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College, then went on to U.C. Davis Veterinary School, graduating with the Phi Zeta Honors in 2000. She continued her training at The Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York City, where she completed an internship in internal medicine, surgery, and emergency medicine. AMC was, at the time, the only emergency and specialty veterinary hospital in Manhattan. This means she saw everything from the untouchable guard dog from the Bronx to diamond-studded poodles in Kate Spade handbags. She owned an Irish Wolfhound as a child, and New York taught her to adore all dogs LITTLE as well as all dogs GIANT–and a few sizes in between. Her first love and the driving force behind becoming a veterinarian was, of course, her childhood cat “Stripes.” She was known to arrive home from school as a child, claiming that dogs and cats had just “happened” to follow her home. (Admittedly, there might have been some encouragement on her part.)
Outside of work, she is kept busy with three human children, a labradoodle, two rats, and four chickens. She loves to get outdoors whenever possible, be it skiing or hiking, but, in reality, spends a lot of time on the sidelines of soccer fields cheering.
SARAH JONES, DVM
Dr. Jones joined us at The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital in June of 2019. She has earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Animal Biology, a Masters of Science in Animals & Public Policy, in addition to her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis.
She became a veterinarian because she felt it was the best way for her to help animals and the people who want them to be a part of their lives. “I started my first veterinary job in high school at a small animal practice just helping around the office in any little way I could. Knowing that I wanted a career helping animals, I continued to work in veterinary clinics and animal shelters until I realized the role as a veterinarian combines my passion for helping animals with serving people in the community.”
We love that Dr. Jones never wants to stop learning and she makes that clear with every patient she sees and client she interacts with. Her goal in walking into every exam room is to get to the bottom of the immediate concern and help prevent the issue from recurring. This stems for a deep-seated love of companion animals. We asked Dr. Jones to tell us more about what pets mean to her, and she replied, “Despite the fact that she loves my husband just a little bit more than me, our cat is a hilarious companion that welcomes me at the door every day and makes our lives better in so many other ways.”
We’re excited to have Dr. Jones, her husband, and kitty Tuxy, as a part of The Grand Lake Vet Family (despite that fact that she only respects the Oakland A’s and considers herself a Giants fan). Dr. Jones chose to join us because of The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital’s emphasis on client education, integration of holistic therapy with western medicine, and commitment to quality hospice care for senior patients. She felt that these values fit well with her own skills and ideals. In her own work, she strives to provide her clients with as much information as possible, allowing them to be a part of the process in making the best decision for their pets.
MELISSA PARTIN, DVM
Dr. Melissa Partin grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Zoology. Despite being raised in a tropical climate, she decided to brave the cold in order to attend veterinary school in a city, earning her doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2005, not long after graduating from Vet School, she decided to get away from weather extremes once and for all by fulfilling her years-long dream of moving to the Bay Area. She made the Bay Area her home and eventually found her way to Sweden and Germany to spend time with family in 2014. Upon returning to the Bay Area she was thrilled to have found a home at the newly reopened practice, The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital.
We asked Dr. Partin what drove her to pursue veterinary medicine. “I loved the idea of combining science with helping animals and people. I was drawn to the fact that a veterinarian’s job is physical and hands-on, as well as intellectual and verbal. Also, the patients are adorable! Pets mean family. They are a connection to nature, something outside of the world of people, things, and technology. At every visit, I try my best to make my patient comfortable and have their parent feel listened to.”
Dr. Partin has strong interests in preventative medicine, behavior, and surgery. She has been to Guatemala, Easter Island, and American Indian reservations all over the country as a volunteer for Rural Area Veterinary Services. These days, she helps closer to home when she is able. She volunteers with VET SOS, which provides free veterinary care for the pets of people experiencing homelessness. She also tutors children through Reading Partners, a literacy non-profit. Outside of that, she enjoys camping, hiking, city biking, snowboarding, traveling, practicing her Swedish and learning Spanish. Except for one sad year in a college dorm room, she has never lived in a home without 4 legged companions (her cats even came to Europe when she lived there). Her current menagerie includes her human family made up of a husband and son; kitties Diego and Leon; and a pitbull-shaped mix breed named Ned (pictured above right)
LYDIA WOOD, DVM
Dr. Lydia Wood has been committed to helping animals for 25 years. She began volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center in 1993 while she was attending Mills College. This experience led her to a job as a vet tech working with dogs and cats. As time went on she realized that this was her calling and this work inspired her to go back to school to obtain her DVM at U.C. Davis in 2006.
Lydia grew up overseas in Milan, Johannesburg, Paris, and Brussels. Being an American who had never lived in the United States, she decided that she should go to college there! She chose Mills College in part for her appreciation of the Bay Area. She has lived in Oakland on and off since 1990 when she began attending Mills.
Lydia enjoys dealing with a variety of subjects throughout each day, from ophthalmology to dentistry to surgery and medicine. Diagnoses and treatment options for animals are becoming more and more complicated as science progresses. Lydia enjoys talking through all the possible options and outcomes to help people make the right choices for their pets and their families. She understands that often there is no one right answer but grey areas that need to be addressed to find the proper path forward.
Lydia spends her spare time with her partner, her son, her rescue dog, and her stray cat. She has a great passion for the outdoors and California and all the adventures that it has to offer.
DANE WHITAKER, DVM
Dr. Dane Whitaker has been practicing veterinary medicine in the San Francisco area for the last 23 years. He recently completed his Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, training that makes him uniquely qualified to study the dynamics of disease in populations of animals. Although a Bay Area native, he grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994.
His veterinary interests include small animal medicine, clinical pathology, marine mammal medicine, and One Health. Through volunteer work at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Dr. Whitaker solidified his desire to return to school to receive further training. His area of research focused on ocean health and marine conservation as it pertains to human health.
Dr. Whitaker is a Board Member of the LGVMA, and takes an active role in promoting the ideas of inclusion and acceptance for all members of the community in the veterinary profession. In his spare time, Dr. Whitaker volunteers with several non-profits which help people with HIV/Aids. He also enjoys traveling, hiking, surfing and is an avid swing dancer and drummer.
Dr. Whitaker works at The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital on an as-needed basis.
LAUREN KNOBEL, DVM
Dr. Lauren L. Knobel came to California in 1980 and completed her B.A. with honors at Mills College in Oakland in 1984. She was one of 4 WICHE students from the state of Hawaii which sponsored her education at Colorado State University where she received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1990. She has practiced in Oakland since her return in 1990. Dr. Knobel has strong interests in client education, internal medicine, dentistry, behavior, and rehabilitative medicine. She is active in the Great Dane and German Shepherd Rescue Foundations.
Dr. Knobel enjoys spending her free time sailing the bay and beyond, traveling, spending time with family, cooking and playing with her 4 legged and feathered family of one dog (the wonderful whippet Bugsy), one cat (the best ratter around; Keiki Hula Girl), a 30 lb African Sulcata tortoise (Leon), and 7 chickens that grace her little zoo with eggs when they decide to (and yes, they all have names).
MEET OUR STAFF
Anya started working as a receptionist at a veterinary hospital in 2007. She had just moved back from New York City after leaving NYU, where she had been working part-time as a receptionist in a chiropractor’s office in Greenwich Village while going to school. When she arrived back home in the Bay Area she landed a job as a receptionist at a small veterinary practice in San Leandro. Since then, she’s come to learn how much she loves interacting with people, and how good it feels to make someone’s day better. She found it incredibly rewarding to be an important part of the client and patient experience. She also acquired her first cat, Oscar, while working at that first practice. “He has changed my life for the better. I fell in love with this field because I brought Oscar home, and realized that the people we help, love their pets the same way I love Oscar,” Anya says.
As the Hospital Manager at Grand Lake Vet, she tries to keep things as positive as possible. “My goal in every interaction is to leave each client feeling like they just had the best experience at GLVH possible. Even when I have to have difficult conversations, I try to actively listen and empathize. That goes for staff too! I try to treat people the way I want to be treated. I also try to frame every interaction from the perspective that everyone is doing the best they are capable of at that moment.”
For Anya, “Pets mean unconditional love. They are the epitome of what family is to me. They are companions, friends, and deserve our respect. Oscar, my first cat, helped me survive some of the most difficult phases of my life. My pets mean the world to me, and I have never been without an animal friend in my life from the age of three. I cannot imagine walking this earth without them.” Her family is made up of her wife (who she knew was her soulmate when she showed her a picture of her cat two minutes into meeting each other), their daughter, and their zoo. Frida and Spock, her two cats, guard the homestead. Little miss Johnny Cake, the friendliest Staffordshire Bull Terrier in East Oakland, comes to work with her every day. She’s the cutest little pit bull, with a huge personality. She also keeps a live planted freshwater aquarium and a jungle of houseplants.
Anya feels proud to work at Grand Lake Vet and to be a part of building the team here. “I love how gentle and compassionate everyone is at Grand Lake Vet, and that doesn’t just apply to how our clients and patients are treated, but also how we treat each other. The veterinary field is incredibly rewarding, but depression, compassion fatigue, and burnout are realities we all face, no matter what your position is in a practice. I’ve never worked somewhere where people take care of each other as we do at Grand Lake Vet. There’s no judgment, and we respect each other. We celebrate and grieve together. I feel like Grand Lake is a part of my family.”
Anya is working on becoming a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. But in her spare time, Anya and her family explore the Redwoods and East Bay trails with their staffy, Johnny Cake. “My dog Johnny Cake’s name is a nod to my Belizean heritage. She’s a sweet little Caribbean biscuit!”
Assistant Office Manager
Cassie believes that the veterinary field chose her! In 2007 she started off her career in animal medicine. She worked as a receptionist and eventually a veterinary assistant for 8 years. By 2015, she found herself transitioning to more leadership roles, where she supervised a team of receptionists and the managing a hospital.
Cassie is focused on teamwork and the impact that has on patients, clients, and staff alike. She wants every client and patient to know that she cares, and makes a concerted effort to show that in every interaction.
Before joining the team at Grand Lake Vet as the assistant office manager, she worked with Dr. MacDonald at another practice and was excited to work with her again. We love that Cassie has been able to bring her years of expertise to the clinic, and serve as a major support for our management team.
Her family is made up of her Staffie/Cattle Dog mix, Ava, two cats Jacquee and Tiger and her one-legged chicken, Peepalicious. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends and exploring new restaurants.
Head Registered Veterinary Technician
Lindsey completed her RVT classes at Western Career College in and became a licensed technician in December of 2009. Lindsey has always had a love for animals and originally wanted to be a veterinarian as a child. She had a career training horses, which she started doing in 1989. Eventually, she wanted a change. It was at that point she decided to become a veterinary technician. I have always loved animals, and had an interest in medicine, so becoming an RVT seemed like a perfect melding of the two.
Lindsey wants to build the trust of the client and the patient at every visit. For her, her pets are family. They are her constant companions who give her unconditional love. She recognizes that relationship exists for all of our clients and their pets, and treats them with the same level of respect and care she has for her clan of cats and dogs at home.
Lindsey chose to continue to work at Grand Lake Vet (she also worked at the former Lake Vet before its closure) because she loves, “her coworkers, the wonderful clients, and of course watching the animals over their lifetimes.”
When Lindsey isn’t helping to lead the crew at Grand Lake Vet you can find her instructing dressage. “I love teaching people how to improve communication with their horses.” We think Lindsey is a real gem (with staff, people, horses, and furry friends/patients).
Registered Veterinary Technician
Barbara is one of our registered veterinary technicians here at Grand Lake Vet. She was also a technician at Lake Vet years ago.
When asked why she chose veterinary medicine, Barb explains, “I love how animals are so direct with their feelings, and I’m fascinated by the science and art of medicine that our DVMs perform every day.”
Her career in veterinary medicine began in 2010 when she began working in a small practice after graduating from Portland Community College with a degree in Veterinary Technology and became a licensed technician in Oregon (which she maintains). Additionally, Barb has a Masters degree in Library Science and was a librarian and system administrator for some time prior to changing careers to work with animals – something she always wanted to do. She still loves public libraries and believes they are a critical institution in our democracy. But she is so very glad to be working with animals every day (and we are so glad she is too!!!).
We love Barbara because she approaches all of her patients with a calm demeanor and really uses a gentle touch. She is incredibly knowledgeable, caring, and a pleasure to be around. Her goal is to make everyone comfortable, welcome, and to be responsive to their reason for being here.
For Barb pets are a part of the family, they’re what makes a home warm. With that perspective, she aims to live by the golden rule, and this applies to interactions here at work with her patients and their people. To Barb, working at The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital means that she is able to be, “grateful every day to work with wonderful teammates, colleagues, and doctors who share the same goal of providing the best possible care and kindness to our patients and clients.”
Barbara and her human partner live in Oakland with a rescue kitty named Miss Maisel and a cattle dog mix named Cisco.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Photo coming soon!
When Melissa was 15, her mother signed her up to work at their family vet, and she’s never looked back! She’s been working in veterinary field since 1991, starting out as a kennel assistant and receptionist, and eventually working her way up to becoming an RVT/Nurse.
We love that Melissa expertise in the field that she’s acquired over the years has driven her to “try to understand what every client wants for their pet and to make certain they fully comprehend what treatment options they have.” Melissa says, “I want the patient to have the quickest, safest, and least stressful visit possible.” She is incredibly patient, something we all look to her for as an example.
Her family is made up of Loretta Lynn, a 4-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier with the most expressive face, and Violet Rae who is a 21-year-old Domestic Shorthair cat. “I love them dearly and they are the worst roommates I’ve ever had.”
Melissa chose to join us at Grand Lake Vet in early 2019 because she really enjoys the family vibe here and the way the team comes together to take great care of each patient.
When not working with animals, Melissa works as a tattoo artist (which she has done since 2005), and frequently holds art shows at local venues. In her spare time, she enjoys road trips, rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, and roller-skating.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Grace began in veterinary hospitals in 2004 as a Veterinary Assistant and Kennel Manager where she further developed and reinforced her love of working with and aiding animals, as well as introducing her to the possibilities of creating a career in veterinary medicine. It was here that she decided that she wanted to work in the field in order to do better for her own pets and others’. She received her BA in Veterinary Technology from Gaston College in North Carolina and currently still holds her license in NC as well as here in California.
Grace’s goal with every patient and client is to impart empathy and ensure that the best care is given to the pet. She believes that her role is to do no harm and to leave everything better than you found it which she demonstrates with every patient interaction. Grace decided to join The Grand Lake Hospital team to further develop her skills and to continue to advance in her career as an RVT.
Outside of the hospital Grace enjoys spending time with her partner Matthew and their dog Ghost, an Aussie and Golden mix. Ghost is truly a member of their family and has travelled across the country with them multiple times proving to be the greatest road dog! She also loves caring for her housemate’s pets Kenya, a senior doberman and Chewy, a Golden Retriever. Recently, Cody, the neighborhood cat has trained her to feed him when he comes to sun himself on her stoop. Grace also played in roller derby for almost 10 years in North Carolina where she was taught innumerable lessons on working on a team.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Remote Technician Assistant
Angel worked with us here in the office for several years before moving to her home state in Texas to start her family with her husband. Now that she’s out of state, you may still talk to Angel, as she remotely assists us with calls and emails.
Because of her love of science, medicine, and animals, Angel has been working within the veterinary field since 2001 when she started out as a kennel assistant in a VCA in Houston. She was tired of doing work she didn’t enjoy and started working at a veterinary hospital. Soon after, she realized that she could help clients feel well cared for, and have confidence in her and the practice as a whole. She strives for the animals to have the most positive and comfortable experience possible when she is interacting with them in the practice.
For Angel, home is with her pets. They bring so much humor and warmth into her life. She shares her home with her husband, daughter, and her two pets, June Bug the terrier and Riley the cat.
Angel will always have a place in the Grand Lake Vet family, no matter how far she goes! She’s helped us by remotely assisting our staff because we practice at a high level of care, and the animals are treated with a lot of patience and compassion. We’re so grateful to still have her on the team.
Angel is also a licensed cosmetologist, and even as she moves forward in her new profession as a hair stylist, veterinary medicine will always have a piece of her heart. Thanks, Angel!
SJ has always had a love for animals and helping people, so the veterinary field naturally appealed to her. She started pet sitting when she was in high school, so she started her career in this field 23 years ago!
She grew up in Oakland and Berkeley, and from Berkeley high school in 2000. Before plunging into professional medicine, she was a dance teacher in Oakland and Alameda as a youth and young adult. She has traveled around the world with her dance company including trips to Japan, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. She also graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2004. She then found herself back in the veterinary field. She still enjoys creating art in many forms such as drawing, painting, sewing, and crocheting. Her passion is animals, however, and she is very happy to be a part of the team here at Grand Lake.
SJ always tries to help clients in any way she can to make their interactions with her as clear and pleasant as possible. Her goals are to help the patient have the least stressful experience as possible.
She really loves and respects the values and philosophy at Grand Lake Vet, so we knew she’d be a great match for us the minute she walked through our doors! We love that SJ is always positive, and keeps moving forward!
SJ shares her home with her husband Ronnie and their chihuahua Margarita (Rita). Rita is SJ’s world and she’s like her child.
Lead Veterinary Assistant
As a child, I grew up in Ohio with the woods as my backyard. If I saw an injured squirrel or a baby bird that fell out of the nest, I always brought them into my home and tried to nurse them back to health. I’ve always had the drive to take care of our “fury friends.” Now as an adult, I still have that passion. I’m grateful that there is a field that allows me to work with animals every day.”
Cami’s words above about why she works with animals really show her core values and why we wanted her to join our team. She started her own pet sitting business in 2001. It first started by just watching her relatives pets and it slowly grew to watch a friend of a friend, to bumping into random people while on walks. She grew to know all of her clients on a personal level and treated them like family. Cami does her best to provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere for her patients and their parents with every visit because pets mean so much to her, “Even if they’re not my actual pets, I treat everyone with love, respect and a smidge of spoiling.” Cami joined our team because, “Everyone, and I mean everyone, is SO passionate about providing the best care possible to our patients.”
Cami is one of eight kids in her family and has always grown up with dogs. Even though she doesn’t currently have a pet of her own at home, she’s am getting her “fix” at work and pet sitting. When she’s not at work spoiling our patients, she’s always on the lookout for new hiking and camping adventures. On the weekends you’ll find her pretty much any place where she can pitch up her hammock to read for a couple of hours, hosting a game night, or attempting a new recipe.
(Photo Coming Soon!)
Christian began working with animals in 2018 as a sales associate at a pet food store. He enjoyed learning about nutrition and working with customers to help their pets but realized he wanted to further explore his passion for animals. As a fourth-generation Oakland resident, he is excited to be part of the GLVH team to help the pets of his community. Christian’ wants to build trust with every pet and their person. “Trust is vital in a medical center, and ensuring both the clients and patients feel comfortable makes the whole process easier for everyone.”
His family is made up of his mother, sister, brother, their lovely long-haired chihuahua, Ace, and a wonderful bunny named Capone. Christian’s pets, both rescues, are a constant reminder of what unconditional love and resilience is. When he is not at work, Christian enjoys outdoor activities like kayaking and basketball and makes sure he spends as much time as possible with his “pack” because family is everything.
Kaitlin joined us in May of 2020 and is currently enrolled in her final semester of Penn Foster’s Veterinary Technician program.
“My whole childhood I had told my mother that I wanted to be a ballerina and a veterinarian. When my dancing career ended, I naturally turned to the next thing I knew. I always had multiple pets growing up and my family always worked in the veterinary industry. I would plead to go to work with my mother and she would make a deal with me, if I helped clean the kennels I could pet the kittens and puppies. My animals have always been there for me so it brings me so much joy to be there for them.”
In 2015 Kaitlin officially started her career with animals when she joined Throw me a Bone as a Pet Care Expert. She loved getting to take care of her fellow New Yorker’s animals and loved that she got to explore the city more while doing it. She created strong bonds with her patients on her walking route and felt like she became part of their family.
Kaitlin’s family consists of her husband Britton, and her two fur-babies. She has a cat who plays fetch named Pancake and, a very lovable pug named Jemima. “My pets are the best part about me. Pancake is very intuitive and is always there for me. She has braved several moves with me and always loves to take on a new adventure. Jemima does not know a stranger and never fails to make you laugh. Jemima figures out what you think is funny and will do it just to cheer you up. Jemima and Pancake love me unconditionally, even after I trim their nails.”
Kaitlin wanted to be a member of the GLVH family because of the, “positive team like atmosphere that I just knew I had to be a part of. Everyone strives to achieve the best possible
care of their patients and never stops keeping up with the latest developments in modern medicine.”
When Kaitlin is not at work or school, she’s in the hot yoga studio: “I love yoga, especially in a heated room, because you can forget everything else and just focus on your breath.”
Raquel came to work at Grand Lake Vet in August of 2019 after working at the East Bay SPCA and primarily focusing on animal behavior and adoptions. She was excited to come here to further her knowledge of animal medicine and to work with a team that came recommended by a friend and former co-worker. She loves working with us at GLVH because, “We all have the same goal of treating each other with the utmost respect, caring for the client, and doing what is truly best for the patient. I am so happy to be part of this team that truly feels like a family. I only hope to add positivity and help wherever I am needed! ”
Raquel grew up around animals and has helped to train and care for the pets of her friends, family, and neighbors before moving to the Bay Area and finding a position as a dog handler. “I did not realize a job as a dog handler even existed until I moved up to the Bay Area. I was ecstatic that my job was taking care of dogs all day.” Four years later, she found her way to the East Bay SPCA, helping pets find their forever homes and educating their new families on how best to care for them.
It is her goal to brighten every person and creature’s day. She wants to help and give hope to everyone going through a tough time, make people smile, and ensure their pets get the best care possible. She comes to work everyday and practices her mantra: “Be Kind, always. Spread Love. Hakuna Matata.”
Raquel lives with her roommate (and best friend since 8th grade), his sweet pitty named Aura and her two cats, Mowgli and Gigi. Her pets mean everything to her and are always there for a good snuggle, or an even better, a good laugh when they are up to their kitty shenanigans.
Veterinary Assistant & Client Service Representative
Sage’s first job out of high school was at a doggie day care in 2008. Since then, she’s focused on building a career where she can take care of animals and ensure their well-being. Sage graduated from Carrington College after pursuing her degree to pave the way to becoming a registered veterinary technician. She fell into working at another boarding facility after that and joined our team in January of 2019 with the goal of getting her feet wet in veterinary medicine and continuing on the road to becoming a licensed technician. She feels like this is where she is supposed to be!
We appreciate that Sage aims to always provide sincere and accurate care/information for our clients so they can take the best care possible of their furry family members. When we asked Sage why she chose to join us at Grand Lake Vet, she said, “There is a very warm, welcoming feel. I like the way that clients are spoken to and treatment is approached. It seems like a great place to grow and learn.”
We’re excited to have Sage with us, as we continue to grow and she blossoms into the technician she aims to be!
Sage is originally from San Diego, but much prefer the Bay Area. She enjoys hiking, archery, knife throwing, camping, LOVES reading, and prides herself in always being dressed for the apocalypse. She spends her off time with her family made up of her pitty, Capreese, her partner, Azael, and his pitty Maya, and thier daughter. They mean everything to her!
(Photo coming soon!)
Siobhan first worked with animals as a teenager, where she worked at a local horse stable that rehabilitated abused and neglected horses, held equine therapy, and provided lessons for disabled kids and teens. Through this experience she realized how rewarding it is to work with animals and how much she enjoyed being in an environment surrounded by animals and the people who love them. Siobhan came to GLVH in 2020. While on her job search she came across the hospital and really felt aligned with the mission statement, not to mention all the lovely pictures of the pets on the website. She is excited to be on a team filled with compassion for the pets and people they serve and where she can practice her personal mantra, to keep things simple and be good to others.
Siobhan wants to interact with every client and patient in a compassionate way, to listen and to communicate concisely to ensure every pet gets the care they need, and every pet parent feels comfortable and informed in the decisions they make. Her family lives in Ireland and consists of her mother, Kim, father, Eamonn, her autistic brother, Cormac and their 13-year-old but still very spry border collie mix, Luna. Siobhan learned a great deal about responsibility by having a dog from a young age and feels that Luna’s undying loyalty and love is something she learned and grew from and believes Luna held a part in making her the person she is today. Something to know about Siobhan: “I have mild hearing loss so whispering is not always a success, but bark away!”
Todd spent 2 years at medical school in Vietnam and interned at a wildlife rehabilitation center where he gained knowledge in veterinary medicine and procedures. He is passionate about “working with wild, exotic animals as well as felines and canines.”
When we asked Todd what he enjoys most about working at Grand Lake Vet, he said, “ The thing I love the most about GLVH is the relationship among the members of the team. Everyone is so welcoming and it makes me feel like a family. It is very easy and comfortable for me to engage in a conversation with everyone. The doctors are incredibly nice and are willing to give me advice and tips about working in the field as well as continuing my education to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.”
His goal here at GLVH is to always create a good impression with every single client and patient. He believes that prioritizing the patient’s wellbeing and the client’s satisfaction is necessary.
Todd grew up in Hue, Vietnam and describes seeing, “jars of snake wine, tiger bone, and bear bile every time I visit a relative. These pictures so drastically contradict the majestic images of free-running wild animals I saw on nature documentaries.” He used this experience as motivation to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
Todd is new to the Bay Area and will be joined by his boyfriend soon! He plans to attend UC Davis to continue his veterinary medical career. Todd lives by the mantra, “”Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”
Client Service Representative
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Alex came to GLVH to use her customer service skills in a more meaningful and rewarding way and is excited to be a part of such a caring and well respected team. She has always cared for animals of all types and looks forward to the opportunity to help care for them professionally as well. Alex believes that honesty is everything and uses this philosophy to guide her interactions with clients by effectively communicating with them about their concerns while creating a genuine connection with both the client and patient. Alex is the oldest of her siblings, a sister, brother and their furry sibling, Lani, the adorable French Bulldog.
Client Service Representative
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Becca decided to take the jump into veterinary medicine because she cares about human-animal relationships and wants to be a positive force in fostering those relationships. Her philosophy is to always be kind and she brings that belief into every client and pet interaction with her goal of bringing positive energy into their experience at the GLVH.
Becca chose GLVH because “I wanted to join because I wanted to be a part of what seems like a very supportive and fun team! Additionally, I have puppy fever and I am hoping this will help fill my pet void.” While she does not currently have any pets, she has learned a great deal about friendship and companionship from her past furry family members. “They were a part of the family and the only thing that could survive eating the whole Easter roast!” Becca lives with her partner and enjoys biking to work.
Client Service Representative
Cora works with animals because of the deep love she has for pets. She started working as a receptionist at a veterinary hospital in 2007, and “it has been wonderful over the years.”
She always aims to live by this mantra: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated because you never know what a person is going through!” She wants every client to leave feeling like all of their questions have been answered, and they have received the best care for their pet.
Cora joined the Grand Lake Vet team in 2014, less than a year after we opened, and has continued to grow with us. She’s stayed at Grand Lake Vet because she loves how compassionate everyone is, and the family-focus here. We’re like one big family!
In her spare time, Cora enjoys spending time with her family and her six-year-old daughter.
Client Service Representative
Kelly started at Grand Lake Vet in April of 2017, with no prior veterinary experience. After pursuing a degree in visual arts, she decided to work in this field because of her love and compassion for animals.
Kelly “feel[s] very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know the pets (and their humans, too) as well as [she has].” She cares for them all as if they were her own and she finds great pleasure in being able to help them get the care they need and deserve! With this in mind, she tries to be as helpful and compassionate as she possibly can be with every client and patient. She chooses to work at GLVH because of our dedication to providing both the client and patient with the best possible veterinary experience.
Kelly’s family is made up of her partner, and their two cats: Maple and Charge. Her pets mean everything to her, they are her children!
Her deep love of animals is on the opposite side of the spectrum from her disdain for foxtails. Ask her about!
In her spare time, Kelly collects videos for her VHS collection. And a fun fact she loves to share is that her second cousin was Robert Redford’s landscaper.
Client Service Representative
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Louisa joined GLVH because of her love for animals and the friendly work environment! When we asked Louisa about her goals here at Grand Lake Vet, she said, “My goal is to make sure that the client and patient receive the best care possible. I want to make sure that they’re both comfortable and happy.”
Louisa has two older brothers and an older sister, and also lives with her grandma, her mom, and two dogs named Kimo and Khloe. She describes her dogs as her “best friends and protectors. They’re so loving and always happy and they make me happy too. Dogs are so innocent and pure. A lot of the time I prefer their company over a human’s company.”
Louisa believes “every situation in life is temporary. So, when life is good, make sure you enjoy it and receive it fully. And when life isn’t so good, remember that it will not last forever and better days are on the way.” She is enrolled at Chabot Community College and plans to transfer to CSU East Bay in 2 years. Louisa would like to become an elementary school teacher. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dogs, hanging out with family and friends, and trying out new food. In her own words, “my favorite colors are green and blue. I love Harry Potter (team Gryffindor!!). 2019 and beginning of 2020 were kind of a rough time but now I’m in a way better place and I’m so excited to start working at GLVH! Yay to new beginnings! 🙂 “
Client Service Representative
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Lynne loves animals and working in a field that allows her to help them. She started working with animals by volunteering at the East Bay SPCA in high school. While volunteering, she saw first hand what kind of care the intakes needed. After that experience, coupled with shadowing at a veterinary hospital, she solidified her decision to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
Her main goal is to make sure that each interaction with clients and patients is kind, personable, and that they leave satisfied. She always aims to treat others the way you want to be treated, and always leave them with a smile.
She shares her home with her mom and her 10-year-old Border terrier/Yorkie mix, Muffin: “Muffin means everything to me in the sense that she brightens my day just by being a goofball and squeaking the crap out of her toys to get our attention. She makes any day a joy.”
Lynne enjoys the warm and friendly environment at GLVH, and the fact that we make sure our clients are armed with all the right information to make sure their pets have a long and comfortable life.
She recently graduated with a B.S. in Animal Science from California State University – Fresno. Her next goal is to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. She is also a huge musical theater nerd as well as a self-proclaimed bibliophile.
Co- Lead Client Service Representative
Co-Lead Client Service Representative
Sarah joined our front office team as a receptionist in March of 2019. To Sarah, pets are family! She pursued a career in the veterinary field because she wanted to work in an environment with caring and compassionate people who share that same belief about pets.
She grew up surrounded by animals. She started actually working with them about a year ago when she found herself away at school separated from her own pets! “If I couldn’t spoil my own, I could at least spoil someone else’s!” says Sarah.
Sarah joined the GLVH team because she always wanted to work around people who love and care for animals just as much as she does! She wants to be part of a team that is doing its best to provide health care to some of the people’s most important family members.
Sarah approaches each person and four-legged friend with kindness and love, and an understanding of what it means to love your pet endlessly. Sarah feels that “My dogs are my comfort and happiness, they are a constant reminder to enjoy the little things. They are the best partners in life!” Her “best partners” are: “My little Pit bull, Ruby and Labrador, Gus. Oh, and my partner David!”
It’s very important to Sarah that you do things that fulfill you and truly make you happy. She has a BFA in painting, is a photographer, and also loves to cook. We’re so glad to have Sarah on the team!
Client Service Representative
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Traci originally wanted to become a veterinarian, so after high school, she started volunteering at local animal hospitals to get a feel for the work environment. Eventually, she was hired at one of them, and loved it. She worked there as a receptionist before deciding to pursue a degree in a different field (Illustration & Animation), although the time she spent there never left her mind. She is thrilled to be able to return to the field now where there is never a dull or meaningless day when you’re helping animals and their people.
Traci is excited to join GLVH because “it seems to be that rare gem of a workplace that has managed to stay privately owned, operates as an efficient and organized business, and values the satisfaction of its employees.” She lives by the mantra that people won’t remember what you did or said, but they will remember how you made them feel and strives to include this philosophy into every client and patient interaction by making them feel safe, valued, and taken care of, in whatever capacity she is able to provide. Traci considers her family to be her sister, partner, her cherished friends and of course her precious 20 year old, long-haired, tuxedo kitty named Crow. “Crow is the absolute love of my kitty life. We met on the day he was born — he was brought into the hospital after being attacked by a crow in the street — and since no one could locate his mother, I volunteered to foster him until he was old enough to be adopted out. Twenty years later, we’re still together and he has become my heart, living and breathing outside my body…. You asked. “l
Client Service Representative
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Yari joined the reception team at GLVH to gain the knowledge and understanding of veterinary medicine she will need to pursue a career as an RVT someday. She is excited to begin her path and feels this is an important place to start so that she can get to know all the aspects of a hospital and develop a strong base of knowledge that will carry her into her future.
She aims to ensure that every client and patient feels comfortable and safe while here at GLVH She also feels it is important to make sure everyone feels included, respected, and heard. Yari’s personal mantra is “it is what it is” and feels it is an important reminder that you cannot control all aspects of life and must let things be as they are meant to be which keeps her calm, collected and grounded. Her family consists of her mother, mother’s bird, brother, father, boyfriend, his dog Reina and her cat Calypso. Yari considers her pets her best friends and furry little diaries. She tells them everything and would do anything for them. Her pets bring her a sense of love that is indescribable.
Joan was one of the staff from Lake Vet who returned when Grand Lake Vet opened in 2013. She is a San Francisco Dog Walking Academy graduate, and completed four terms of school to become a Registered Veterinary Technician from 2010 to 2011.
She has been involved with dogs for many years, and when she needed to change careers before working at Lake Vet, she wanted to work with them professionally and sought out a career in veterinary medicine.
Joan wants every client and patient to have a wonderful experience and want to come back to us. She always tries to the best she can and lives by that. Her pets are everything to her, and she really enjoys learning about and working with the animals here at Grand Lake Vet.
Joan spends her days off with her husband John, Peet and Pebbles her Standard Poodles, and you’ll often see her walking her small poodle mix, Stretch (a rescue who was born right here in the clinic). She also does competitive obedience with her dogs and has earned various titles with them.
We’re glad to have Joan for her down to earth perspective and attention to detail!
We asked Kaylyn, who is just getting her feet wet in the veterinary field while on Summer break, about why she wanted to work with animals: “I love being around animals, and working with animals in distress, or those that need a little extra love. My house has been a sort of foster home for strays and rescues my entire life. I learned from these experiences that I wanted to work with animals.”
She wants to make sure that clients feel assured that both they and their pets will be okay. Kaylyn always provides a friendly face, so that the patients feel safe and comfortable leaving their parents, “which can be really scary.” She also hopes to be able to answer questions, or explain processes, or refer clients that need more information to ensure they feel safe entrusting their pets in our care. She tries to be empathetic to people’s situations so she can react in the most understanding way possible.
Kaylyn shares her home with her human family and a pit bull, a Yorkie, and three cats (2 tabby cats, and one black cat): “My pets are my rocks. I am closest to my pit bull, as she is the only pet that is truly mine. She is just a constant in my life and is always happy: happy to see me, happy to play with me, happy to nap with me. I feel that we are always on the same wavelength, and she is always there to comfort me. She shows unconditional love and is honestly such a role model because she is the best friend I could ask for.”
Kaylyn decided to join the team at GLVH, “because Anya and Dr. MacDonald are alumni of my current high school. My school hosted an event where we could sign up to participate in discussions with Head-Royce alumni, and I, of course signed up to talk to veterinarians. I was really intimidated by Anya and Dr. McDonald, but they were so well informed, honest, and clearly loved what they did. I knew that it would be a great environment for me to work and learn. Also my first interview went great, and everyone is just really nice, and open to helping me learn.”
We are grateful for Kaylyn and her kind open heartedness!