Eduardo Acosta, D.V.M.

I hail from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. As a child, much to my mom’s surprise (and initial disapproval) I traded my drum set for an Orange Wing Amazon parrot (named Duque, who is still alive today) and it has been history ever since. Good thing I have a very supporting and understanding mom because I am pretty sure that I am a much better veterinarian than I would have been a rock star. Taking care of Duque made me realize what I wanted to do with my life. I love working with the animals and the clients, and enjoy all aspects of veterinary medicine, especially the human-animal bond. I love how I am part of my client’s and patient’s life and they are a part of mine. It feels like I have the biggest extended family. I love seeing the puppies and kittens grow up and get older, seeing the kids that I have seen as children going out to college, some to pursue veterinary medicine and know that I may have a had a little influence on that. Of course, seeing those children go off to college does make me feel old, what can you do? I cannot envision a life not being a veterinarian and being involved in taking care of all of my clients’ four-legged and furry family members.

I graduated from UC Davis in 1996. I previously worked in Long Beach before moving down to San Diego and purchasing Sunset Cliffs Animal Hospital in 1998. Since then, I ventured off to acquire San Carlos Animal Hospital in January of 2014.

When not serving the needs of my four-legged friends, I am a huge outdoor enthusiast and I love relaxing in my cabin in Big Bear or going snowboarding, surfing, wakeboarding, off-roading, mountain biking, sand dunning, rock climbing, and hiking or just walking around and enjoying the beautiful community that is Ocean Beach. If it is outdoors I like to do it. And I am lucky enough that I get to do all that with my beautiful wife Lisa, our son Gavin and the most amazing dog Lucas Oil.


Laurel Nishida, D.V.M.

I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii which has forever made me intolerant to cold. I received my Bachelors of Science in Biology at the University of Hawaii and my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University. Despite the drastic change in climate, I enjoyed my time in beautiful sunny Colorado. I escaped during winter breaks, though, to thaw out in Hawaii. After living on the mainland, Hawaii seemed too claustrophobic, so after graduating, I moved to San Diego where I’ve settled ever since. After all these years, I still love veterinary medicine with all of it’s challenges and rewards. It’s deeply gratifying when I feel I’ve developed trust and rapport with my clients and patients.

During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and step Chihuahua, exploring the many cultural events that San Diego has to offer, and trying to stay in shape. My husband and I occasionally dust off the tandem bike and take her for a ride. I am an active member of the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club, a community service organization. Once in a blue moon, I’ve been known to put on my old pair of dancing shoes to indulge my past passion of swing dancing.


Stephen P. Sawyer, BS, BVSc

Dr. Sawyer grew up in San Diego, earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from SDSU, he then worked for The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla investigating immunology and its relation to human juvenile diabetes. Following this tenure in research, he ventured abroad to the United Kingdom to pursue his veterinary qualification at the University of Liverpool earning his Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc). He worked in two practices in the UK, first in a two vet mixed-animal practice to include dogs, cats, small mammals, horses, cattle and sheep; then another two years in a six vet, exclusively small animal hospital. He returned home to San Diego sixteen years ago and has been in practice in the East County since.

Dr. Sawyer is a member of the AVMA, SDCVMA, CVMA, and is USDA accredited, and whose interest is in soft-tissue surgery and medicine, attending a wide scope of Continuing Education courses to keep up-to-date with the latest theories and treatments of our valued patients.

Dr. Sawyer’s extra-curricular activities include home DIY, golf, baseball, swimming/water polo, camping & hiking locally and throughout the national parks, as well as traveling abroad. He enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends in a relaxing milieu with their children & pets.


Monica Gabourel, D.V.M.

Dr. Monica Gabourel is proud to be a native San Diegan and attended SDSU for undergraduate. She followed her passion of veterinary medicine and graduated from Veterinary School at the University of California, Davis in 2003. She then went on to complete a rigorous internship with an emphasis in Emergency Medicine, Surgery, Internal Medicine, and Oncology, located in San Diego, California.

In the beginning of her veterinary career, Dr. Gabourel worked as an Emergency Veterinarian for 7 years in San Diego, where she developed her passion for surgery and trauma medicine. Dr. Gabourel then went on to work as a relief veterinarian for several private hospitals and animal shelters. She has such a passion for surgery, and through the years she has focused most of her experience and work to perform surgeries. She had the pleasure to participate in yearly trips to volunteer and teach veterinary students in Mexico how to perform surgery on dogs and cats, so they can be well prepared for their future as a veterinarian.

Dr. Gabourel enjoys spending time with her family, running, triathlons, hot yoga and hiking. Her favorite hiking is in Hawaii.