Our Doctors


Dr. Joel Conn
Dr. Maxwell Conn
Dr. Sarah Conn
Dr. Suzanne Hennessy
Dr. Judit Szamos
Dr. Kayla Walti

Dr. Joel Conn
Owner, Veterinarian

Joel was born and raised in Blacksburg, Virginia but migrated to California with the rest of his family following high school. He attended college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 2002. Joel went on to receive his doctorate at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006, following an externship in Avian and Exotic Animal Medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York.  Joel’s primary interests include surgery and internal medicine.
Ever since childhood, Joel has had a passion for working with and helping animals and has wanted to be a veterinarian since the age of five. Joel is a member of the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach/Five Cities, a board member since 2010, and the 2015/16 club President. He was a 2009-2012 board member of the Mid Coast Veterinary Medical Association and 2012 President of the Central Coast Professional’s Network. In 2017, Dr. Joel was awarded The Tribune “Top 20 Under 40.”

In 2016, Dr. Joel founded PETS Hospital in Orcutt, CA.  PETS is a 24/7 emergency and specialty animal hospital that focuses on the customer experience and developing a collaborative partnership with area general practice veterinarians. His hope is to expand the facility to offer an ever increasing array of specialty services including Cardiology, Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Emergency and Critical Care. For more information, go to petsurgentcare.com.

In his spare time, Joel loves playing Ultimate Frisbee and Goaltimate. Joel lives in Pismo Beach with his wife, Dr. Sarah Conn; his son, Jude; his dog, Bella; and his cats, Squishy Poof and Pickles With Milk.

Dr. Maxwell ConnDr. Maxwell Conn
Owner, Veterinarian

Dr. Maxwell Conn has been a resident of the Central Coast since January of 2000. He graduated from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (Virginia Tech) in 1997.

After doing externships at the Baltimore Zoo, Baltimore Aquarium, and Midwest exotics clinic in Chicago, he has remained active in the dog, cat, and exotics communities.

Dr. Conn lectures to promote exotic pet well-being through proper care, and has been published in Exotic DVM magazine on several occasions.

Dr. Conn participates in on-line forums with veterinarians from around the world, and he belongs to the Association of Avian Veterinarians, and the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians.

Dr. Sarah ConnDr. Sarah Conn
Owner, Veterinarian

Dr. Conn grew up in Minnesota, moving to California in 2000 for more sunshine and fewer mosquitoes.  She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota and graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Upon completion of a rotating internship in emergency care, surgery, and general medicine, Dr. Conn practiced in Sonoma County before moving to the beautiful Central Coast in 2009.

Although she enjoys the diversity of general practice, she holds a special interest in emergency medicine and diagnostic imaging.

Fulfilling her mission to enjoy the California life, Dr. Conn resides in Pismo Beach with her husband Joel, her son Jude, their Italian greyhound-type dog, and their cat.

Outside of work she enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, traveling, eating good food, and spending as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors.

Dr. Suzanne HennessyDr. Suzanne Hennessy

Dr. Suzanne Hennessy has been practicing in the local area since 1993. She graduated from veterinary school at UC Davis in 1992.

After graduation, she was offered a position at Gila Animal Hospital in Silver City, NM where she worked in a mixed animal practice. The following year she accepted a position at a clinic in Arroyo Grande, CA where she participated in both general practice and emergency duties.

In 1996, Dr. Hennessy and Dr. Kim Foster founded Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic. They based their business plan on offering the highest quality veterinary services while still maintaining a personal, “small town” approach to client relations.
In 2009, Drs. Hennessy and Foster sold Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic to Drs. Joel and Maxwell Conn who continue the tradition of the practice of excellence.

Throughout her career, Dr. Hennessy has had a special interest in medicine and surgery for working and competition dogs. Dog training has become her avocation and she has trained several dogs to participate in agility and obedience competitions. Golden Retrievers have become her favored breed, although over the years her heart has been touched by many engaging pets with many talents.

Dr. Judit SzamosDr. Judit Szamos

Dr. Judit Szamos was born in Budapest, Hungary and moved to California at the age of 4. She graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. After some clinical work in the veterinary field as well as a wildlife biology internship with the California Condor Recovery Program, she attended St. George’s University in Grenada for veterinary school and completed her clinical year at Oregon State University.

After vet school, Dr. Szamos completed a year-long small animal rotating internship at Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group (VMSG) in Ventura, CA. She then worked at a 24-hour small animal and exotics practice in Oceanside, CA for the last 5 years.

Some of her veterinary interests include internal medicine, preventative care, ultrasound, and preserving the human-animal bond. While she enjoys working with all animals, she has a special place in her heart for cats, having had felines in her family all her life.

Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, scuba-diving, trying new cuisines, traveling, and exploring the world around her with her husband and young son. Their cat, Paco Loco, keeps them entertained and amused with his antics at home; he loves watching birds on the balcony and drinking out of the water faucet.

Dr. Szamos is excited to be back on the beautiful Central Coast and happy to be part of your pet’s heath care team at Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic!

DKaylar. Kayla Walti

Dr. Walti was born and raised in Mission Viejo, California. Her love of animals was evident from a very early age and she soon decided her path would lead her to become a veterinarian. The first leg of her journey took her to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she left with a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology and a new dog, Django.  She then continued on to Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine where she held a board position for a local rescue and fostered many dogs in her spare time. She soon graduated and, once again, adopted another dog, Jelly Bean.

Her path has now led her back to the golden central coast where she is excited to be a part of the Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic. She is passionate about quality medicine and care for her patients, as well as compassion for the humans who love them.

In her free time she enjoys surfing, hiking with her dogs, painting, enjoying lots of good food and reading a book on the beach.

Contact Us:
Work: (805) 773-0474
Fax: (805) 773-5902
990 Price Street
Pismo Beach, CA 93449

OPEN 7 Days a Week
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8:00 am - 10:00 pm Thu/Fri
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