Registered Veterinary Technicians:
Tanja grew up in Yucca Valley, CA but is originally from Croatia, in Eastern Europe, and immigrated here with her family when she was five years old. She moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. She also completed a Minor in Equine Science and took courses required for veterinary school admission.
Tanja has spent her life working with animals, in different veterinary settings as well as rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming, sick and injured companion animals and wildlife. She started as a kennel assistant at the age of 14 and moved up from there over the course of 20+ years in the veterinary field.
During her son’s infant and toddler years Tanja successfully sold real estate in the San Diego area and independently ran her own business as a single mom for 6 years. She has a solid understanding of marketing, contract preparation, customer relations, human resources and many business related responsibilities. Tanja was promoted to Office Manager in 2015.
Tanja’s favorite activities include most outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, swimming and camping, which she usually enjoys with her 12 year old son and their two dogs. And they all love watching an evening movie, all piled together, along with their two cats.
Technical Staff Supervisor
Elaine joined PBVC in May of 2016 after working 8 years in veterinary emergency medicine. She has worked in the five cities area in the veterinary field over 10 years. Elaine and her husband have a full house with 3 cats and a dog. Napoleon is an old black and white cat, Shaka is a spunky brown tabby and Indira is a beautiful calico. She also has a loving 12 year old Corgi named Rose.
Elaine likes to spend time with her animals, crafts, gardening and hanging out with her husband. She loves to travel to many new places in the world and experience new cultures.
Melissa will be one of the smiling faces to greet you as you come into Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic. Coming to Central Coast California when she was 4, she stakes the claim and pride of considering herself a native Californian. With a combined total of over 11 years experience, we happily welcomed her to our clinic in March of 2017 and in May she became our lead reception supervisor. In her past, Melissa has worked in both general practice and emergency veterinary clinics. She feels that her experience allows her to assist in educating clients and co-workers on a daily basis.
In her spare time, Melissa can be found soaking up the sun on the sand, the green hills or maybe even a comfy couch! Melissa has recently gained a liking to exploring the central coast hiking trails. The weather and views that we have here are breath taking; And how can we not mention the warm sand and sun on our coastline?
Making up her pack of four-legged-family is a fun bunch! Mia: Black Lab mix, Trixi: Rat Terrier mix, and Cookie: Taco Terrier (Chihuahua/Terrier Mix)
Debbie is a native Californian who has worked in the veterinary field for 16 years. Before settling on the central coast, she lived in San Diego and worked as a Personnel Recruitment Clerk in North Island Naval Base on Coronado Island. She has had love and compassion for animals since she was a child.
Over the years, Debbie had many different pets such as ducklings, canaries, cockatiels, turtles, cats, a lamb, rabbits, her beloved German Shepherds (Dapper and Lady) and the love of her life: Boogie the Chihuahua. Debbie enjoys the simple things in life that the central coast has to offer. She enjoys whale watching, walks on the beach, biking, hiking, kayaking and yoga.
When she isn’t listening to her favorite local bands, she loves to read, cook, watching movies, doing challenging puzzles, traveling and spending time with family and friends. Debbie has enjoyed meeting all the wonderful & interesting clients along with the loves of their lives since April of 2016 and is looking forward to meeting many more. She continues to expand her knowledge to help educate clients with many aspects in the Veterinary field.
Kacey was born and raised in Mission Viejo, CA and moved to San Luis Obispo in 2015. During high school she raised and showed Market Lambs at the Orange County fair. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science and plans to get her Teaching Credential and Masters in Agricultural Education from Cal Poly after graduation. Back at home Kacey has a 9 year old cat named Bear. When Kacey isn’t working or at school, she enjoys being at the beach, hiking around SLO, or hanging out with her Mini Holland Lop named Peanut.
Katrina was born in San Luis Obispo and raised in Los Osos. While growing up she wasn’t able to have any cats or dogs due to a parental allergy but she did have a bird, a rat and a bunny. She has worked in human medicine for 22 years but always had a love for animals. After working in an emergency pet hospital she knew her true passion was with veterinary medicine.
Katrina has a tuxedo cat who is 5 years old named Fiona Bella and she recently moved to Santa Maria when she met her boyfriend Geoff and added to her fur baby family. She now has 2 boxers, Roscoe P Coltrane who is 4 and Liberty Belle who is 14 .
In her spare time she likes to take her dogs to the dog beach, spend time with her grown son, participate in car shows and hang out at her family’s Nacimiento lake house. She vows to one day actually get up on a wake board. Katrina‘s ultimate goal is to become a registered vet tech.
Jennifer was born and raised in Southern California. She always had a love for animals and the out-of-doors. After working at a small animal clinic in Indiana for the summers, she decided to pursue her passion for horses and changed her major to Equine Science at Colorado State University.
Missing the mountains and the ocean, she moved back to Colorado to work for her Alma Mateur ,then back to medicine at Little Equine Medical Center to tech. After needing to make a change she has found herself back in California to spend time with family and work with small animals again. Through all this her trusty sidekick Jax has stayed with her.
Marc was born in Shell beach and raised in Santa Maria. After graduating from Righetti high school in 2009 he pursued a associates degree in Psychology as well as in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Marc Briefly attended UCSB before changing career paths and heading into his true passion for veterinary medicine. After graduating the RVT program from Allan Hancock College he has spent the last three years working in the field. Doing both reception, emergency and assistant work, he is proud of his experience in the field.
In his free time he enjoys going out dancing, hiking, spending time with close friends and video games to unwind. He dreams of one day saving up and going on a trip to visit Japan again and seeing the country with new eyes with close friends and family.
Marc has thee furry friends in his little family, Tsuki his first cat rescued from VIVA in Lompoc and who totally needs to go on a diet, Kitsune – who is a rescued feral kitten, often called ghost cat because she is shy around strangers, but is loving as could be with her family. Lastly there is Muffins, who was rescued from the AG pet ER after she had been found injured and brought in by animal services. After having her leg amputated she was brought home and is now spending her days in a comfy and loving home(don’t worry she gets around great!).
Registered Veterinary Technician
Heidi has been working with animals for over 5 years but she’s been in love with them for as long as she can remember! Heidi has had the pleasure to work at a vet that treated Pacific Wild Life animals and had hands-on experience with owls, eagles, pelicans, etc.
Heidi has also spent time in the Philippines volunteering at a wild animal rescue for fruit bats, brown long tail macaques, and bear cats. Heidi’s favorite experience in the Philippines was a whale rescue she participated in and she spent 8 hours with a Dwarf Sperm whale! As exciting as this experience was, Heidi missed small animal practice and is so happy to be a part of the team at Pismo Beach Vet!
Alex grew up in the rural farming community of Winters, CA. She was an active member of 4H and FFA all through high school, mainly working with sheep, pigs, and horses. She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Animal Science in 2017. She recently moved to San Luis Obispo to be closer to her family and the beach! Alex is excited to get more experience working with small animals before going back to school to become a veterinarian one day.
Back home with her parents, Alex has a 2 year old Spinone Italiano named Tig. When she’s not working, Alex enjoys being outdoors, hiking, hunting, and reading.
Carolina graduated from Santa Barbara Business College in 2007 to pursue human medicine. After working with humans, she realized her true passion for animals. That same year, Carolina joined the team at PBVC and has been here ever since! Carolina’s favorite thing to do at work is draw blood and perform dental cleanings.
She has three dogs of her own (Mikayla, Chula, and Diego). In her spare time she loves to go shopping and spend time with her son, Mikey.
Carolina will always treat your pets like one of her own family!
Gabbie or “Gabbs” as we affectionately call her, is the ultimate Central Coast native. Born and raised in Lompoc, Gabbs showed livestock in 4-H and FFA including poultry, rabbits, swine and sheep, which helped to pave the way for her love of animals. Staying close to her roots, Gabbs moved up the road to San Luis Obispo in 2012 to attend Cal Poly, studying Animal Science and production.
Gabbs has a 7 year old boxer named “Hooch” and a 6 year old orange tabby cat named “Oliver”. When she isn’t at work she spends her days off at the beach playing with her trusty pooch. She also has a love for traveling and trying new foods.
Jenni has been working in the veterinary field since late 2006. Although originally from the Central Coast of California; Jenni lived in Germany for 3 years, and outside of Washington D.C. after (which is where her veterinary career started). Jenni and her two daughters relocated back to California in mid-2010.
Jenni became interested in veterinary medicine when her horse was diagnosed with a neurological disorder in 2003. Having to be extremely hands on during the diagnostic process and medical care, Jenni learned not only how interesting veterinary medicine could be, but also the importance of client education. She became even more interested in neurological cases and studies when given the opportunity to work at a specialty hospital just outside of Washington D.C.; which included working alongside a neurosurgeon. It’s no surprise that neurological cases tend to be Jenni‘s favorite aspect of her job. Assisting in out of the ordinary and complicated surgeries in a close second!
Along with her two daughters, Jenni also lives with her four dogs (Spicey Pie Rice, Lola, Lolly, and Reeses Pieces), two bunnies (Max and Olaf), and her mare, Wynny. In her free time Jenni likes to go horseback riding, do CrossFit, go on frequent trips to Disneyland with her kids, and create products for her Etsy shop, Sugar & Scrub Fairytale Co. Jenni completed her bachelors degree in 2015, and is now planning on getting her license to become a registered veterinary technician in the very near future.
Laurie moved to San Luis Obispo in 1987 to go to Cal Poly as a Dairy Science major and lived at Cal Poly’s project dairy with her 8 Holsteins. She started working in veterinary medicine in 1994 at a small animal and exotic practice and developed a passion and affinity for working with parrots which gave her a nickname of “The Bird Whisperer”. At one point, Laurie was fostering 3 cockatoos, 7 macaws as well as several smaller parrot species.
When she is not at work, you can usually find her out and about in the music scene. Laurie loves playing guitar and Ukulele, travel (her next “Dream Trip” will be to the Tambopata National Reserve in Puerto Maldonado – Peru to see and study macaws in the wild), cooking, photography, knitting, painting and relaxing at home with her critters.
Laurie and her husband Matt’s furred and feathered kids include her trusty pooch Robbie, her five cats, Kiara, Little Sister, Breena, Grizzabella and Ivan and then there is Darlin’, her Congo African Grey parrot. Curly and Gaiden are her Green Wing macaws and Zorro is her Military Macaw.
Martin was born and raised in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. He started out as a receptionist at a veterinary emergency clinic before coming to PBVC in late November of 2016. Martin has completed the R.V.T. program at Allan Hancock College and is now working towards taking his R.V.T. exam. He especially loves to work with emergencies or unusual cases.
At home Martin has two cats, Koba (from planet of the apes) and Picasso. Outside of work, Martin is an avid runner and enjoys hiking.
Neil moved to San Luis Obispo in 2007 and began volunteering at Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay. The experience of volunteering at PWC eventually led to attending Cuesta College’s Veterinary Assistant program which included an internship at both Woods Humane Society and Animal Services of SLO. He now looks forward to a long career of helping animals.
Odessa joined the PBVC team in September of 2016. She is originally from SLO, but has spent the majority of her life living in Cincinnati, Ohio. She moved back to SLO in 2014 to study Animal Science and pre veterinary medicine at Cal Poly and absolutely loves it! Her plans after graduating college are not set in stone, but she hopes to either pursue an R.V.T. license or possibly go to veterinary school.
She has had many pets in her lifetime including dogs, cats, fish, lizards, hamsters, and a hedgehog. She adopted Moose, a Collie/Aussie/Lab mutt from SLO Animal County Services in November 2016 and is in absolute love! Moose and Odessa can be found at the beach or out hiking on days when Odessa is not at PBVC. She also enjoys taking pictures of patients to go on the clinic’s Facebook page and writing blogs for the website.
Samuel joined our team at PBVC in December 2016. He was born and raised in the city of Santa Barbara before he met his wife playing online video games and moved to Grover Beach in June of 2011. He is currently a student at Allan Hancock College where he will be attending the Veterinary Technician Program in Fall of 2018. His goal is to specialize in emergency medicine once he becomes an R.V.T. Outside of work, he enjoys playing video games, paintball, and football. He does not have any pets yet so all of his love goes into every single patient he sees at our clinic.