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.
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)
Chelsea was born and raised in Santa Clarita, CA and moved to San Luis Obispo in 2013 to attend Cal Poly where she received her Bachelors of Science in Animal Science. She joined PBVC in October of 2014 and couldn’t be happier! She has always had a love for all types of animals and plans on applying to vet school in the near future. Between school and working at PBVC, Chelsea works at The Equine Center as a member of the ICU team.
Chelsea enjoys traveling, kayaking, sport shooting. In her free time Chelsea spends time with her boyfriend and three dogs, Pudge, Ruger and Leroy Brown.
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.
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!
Gabby is a Northern California native. She moved to San Luis Obispo in 2000 and spent her free time volunteering at local shelters. She pursued her passion and love for animals and became a Registered Veterinary Technician in 2008. She worked as an RVT with local shelters and the Pet ER and finally found her way to Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic.
Gabby loves turtles and tortoises and her dream trip would definitely include any and all Sea Turtle Conservatories and Hatcheries.
Gabby enjoys photography, hiking and camping with her family that includes her husband, two sons and her two dogs, “Scooby” and “Harper” (Both 14 years old), and “a few cats”.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Lauren was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA, where she began working for a small animal and exotics veterinary hospital in 2006. Since then, she has dedicated her time working in the veterinary field and volunteering for non-profit animal groups and animal shelters. She loves to volunteering to help animals in need, and has been a foster mom to many dogs and cats.
In 2015, Lauren graduated from Cal Poly SLO with a Bachelors of Animal Science, a concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine, and a minor in Biological Sciences. Her passion for learning and teaching holds a bright future ahead. In 2016, she became a Registered Veterinary Technician (R.V.T.) and plans to pursue specialty credentialing in Dentistry and Emergency and Critical Care.
Lauren and her husband reside in Arroyo Grande with their rescued fur babies. When they are not busy working, they like to enjoy hiking with their two little dogs, Bella and Scooter, working on their house, gardening, crafting, and building things with power tools!
Carolina is a resident of Santa Maria. Animals have always been her passion and she considers them a special part of her life. She has worked as a veterinary Technician for many years and enjoys every second of it!
She has four dogs of her own (Chispita, Chula, Paris, and Diego). In her spare time she loves to go shopping and spend time with her family and pets.
Carolina will always treat your pets like one of her own family!
Elise Ruffoni joined Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic in June of 2015. She grew up in San Diego , CA where she volunteered at the local animal shelters and realized her passion in life is to help and care for all animals.
She moved to San Luis Obispo in 2013 to attend Cal Poly, where she is currently working on her bachelors of animal science. When she isn’t working or at school, she enjoys spending her free time at the beach with her Mini Aussie, Koda and Lab mix, Annie. After graduation, she hopes to continue working in the veterinary field and volunteering her time at the local animal shelters.
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 6 year old boxer named “Hooch” and when she isn’t at work she spends her days off at the beach playing with her trusty pooch.
Veterinary Assistant / Receptionist
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.
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’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.
Neil moved to San Luis Obispo in 2007 and after getting an 8 week old Boston Terrier, who he named Clyde, 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 SLO. He now looks forward to a long career of helping all animals in any way he can.
Neil is a lover of all animals and there wasn’t a point in his life when he wasn’t fascinated by them. He has had pets ranging from cats and dogs to fish and a parakeet. Currently, along with his Boston Terrier, he owns a Ball Python (Goldy) and a Carpet Python (Nygma).
In his spare time Neil enjoys being outdoors and going on long hikes with Clyde or camping, always on the search for wildlife.
Nina has always had a passion for animals and enjoys them both at home and work. After graduating high school in San Luis Obispo in 2008, she attended and completed Ashworth College’s Veterinary Assistant program. Later, she continued to work in veterinary clinics in both Ventura and Lompoc, California. She has also volunteered at the Humane Societies in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.
After joining PBVC in July of 2015, Nina has been enjoying every minute of her job. She is attending Allan Hancock College to pursue a Registered Veterinary Technician Certification.
Odessa joined PBVC in September 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 goal after Cal Poly is to hopefully go to vet school and continue helping animals.
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 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.
Sam joined our team at PBVC in December 2016. He was born and raised in the city of Santa Barbara before he met his fiance playing online video games and moved to Grover Beach in June of 2011. Sam will be getting married in May of 2018! 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.
SeaJay joined our staff in January of 2016 as a relief employee and has been loving it so far. She is a 5th year student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo studying animal science. She is graduating this June and is very excited to see what the future holds for her. Working with animals has been a passion of hers since a very young age. She was born and raised in Southern California where she showed a variety of livestock for over 15 years. When she is not working or a school, SeaJay enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, horseback riding, and spending time at the beach.