Shirley D., RVT

Hospital Manager

Although the island of Kauai has my heart, San Diego is my home. I graduated from the Mesa College Animal Health Technology Program and received my RVT license in 2002. Since that time, I have had the pleasure of numerous roles in almost all aspects of veterinary medicine, from Emergency, Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Ophthalmology, General Practice, and most recently Oncology. Although despite having so many years of leadership and experience in the field, I know there is always room to learn and improve. In the past, I have taught the Junior Veterinary Program for kids at Palomar College, where I enjoyed passing on my knowledge to the next generation. Over the years, the connections I have created with my patients and their families have allowed me to provide the advocacy needed to focus on the human-animal bond. I am grateful to champion for you and treat your pets as I would my own.

When I’m not at work, I can be found maintaining my Saltwater Reef tank, enjoying photography, paintballing, or paddleboarding.



Hello! My name is Somer, yes it is pronounced like the season :). I was born and raised here in San Diego and I graduated from El Cajon Valley High. I only left San Diego to attend college and I came back as soon as I could! I went to California Polytechnic University, Pomona for four years and graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, Pre- Veterinary Science/Graduate School option. Man that is a mouth full I know. My passion for animals began very young when I rescued my first cat at the age of four. The cutest black kitty ever had been living in the laundry room of my apartments for quite some time and we had already been feeding her. I begged my mom to let me keep her, and she couldn’t say no to me as easily back then. My passion for animals all started with that little black kitty named Leona, I truly owe my passion for animals to her. Since Leona I have rescued over ten animals, most of which I ended up keeping. As you can tell my love for animals started with cats and that love continues to grow exponentially. My love for dogs started later in my life, but has grown exceptionally since being a part of the SCAH team since October of 2016. I adopted my first dog about 4 months after starting my job here and I actually met him while I was working. He was taken in by The Rescued Dog, a rescue organization SCAH works with, and brought to our hospital to be examined. He was a calm tiny little tri-colored fluff with speckles all over his face/arms and I fell in love with him instantly. I named him Link, he is a cocker spaniel mix and he is the most special thing in my life- I love him more than I can say. With that being said, I do still love my kitties so so much and I currently have four of them. Pictured are Mollie, Link, and me- my other 3 kitties don’t love Link as much as Mollie and I.



Hello, my name is Gretchen and I moved to San Diego 2 years ago from Milwaukee, WI. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and then moved to Milwaukee to attend Marquette University where I completed my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. After college I worked at the Medical College of Wisconsin doing clinical research in the GI department, but I ultimately decided that I truly wanted to work with animals. My family has always had dogs and sometimes cats so I have been around animals my entire life. I have volunteered at animal shelters in Milwaukee and I currently volunteer at PAWS in Coronado where I get to walk dogs waiting to be adopted. I really love helping animals and being an advocate for them. I have a beautiful Black Lab/Australian Shepard mix named Callie who is the love of my life. I adopted her the summer I graduated college from the Milwaukee Humane Society. She loves swimming and playing fetch so San Diego is the perfect city for her! My ultimate goal is to attend veterinary school in the next year and be able to turn my love for animals into a career.


Hi! My name is Rachel and I was born and raised here in San Diego, California! I have had the absolute pleasure of growing up around animals all my life. My childhood dog was a Saint Bernard named Bruno. He was my gentle giant that weighed about 130 pounds. Growing up I always knew I wanted to have a career in anything that included animals. During my last couple years of high school I worked at a doggie day care and boarding facility. My dog Benny and I had a blast going to work together. Benny is a 2 year old Golden Retriever with the biggest heart and the cutest face! Although I was sad to leave, I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the San Carlos Animal Hospital team! Everyday I am challenged in the best way possible to grow my knowledge in the veterinary field. As I only graduated high school last year in 2021, I am so excited to start my educational journey and learn more about our four legged friends! I am so delighted to have a wonderful team around me and I am eager to meet all your precious doggies and kitties!


Howka! My name is Melissa and I am a native San Diegan. Throughout my life, I’ve had fish, turtles, guinea pigs, and a dog. I also grew up with an auntie that had five cats! I remember, as a small child I loved to climb their cat condo all the way to the very top. I enjoyed filling their bowls with their favorite cat food but never too fond of cleaning out their kitty litter 😉 My career didn’t start out in the veterinary field, I worked at a museum in the special events department for quite some time until COVID hit, which had changed my life completely. I took the bad and saw it as an opportunity to change my career path to something I’ve always wanted to do and have had a passion for since I was young but never took the courage to go for it. You guessed it! Choosing to follow my dream to work with animals has led me to where I am today at San Carlos Animal Hospital. Working with a team that share the same love and respect for animals is so important to me. It is truly the best feeling to know that everyday I come into the hospital, I am working towards saving an animals life, however small of a part it may be. I hope to continue my education in furthering my career and have a better understanding of each animal I have the pleasure of meeting.


Hello my name is Justine and I am one of 3 receptionists here at San Carlos Animal Hospital. I have recently moved here to the beautiful San Diego area from Pheonix. I lived in Pheonix for about 10 years and grew up in the Monterey county where I was born and raised. Some of my fondest memories are from visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a child. My favorite area was the toughing exhibit, I could have stayed there the whole time if my parents let me! My family would make a day of it and walk the wharf having clam chowder in sourdough bowls and salt water taffy to take home. After that I lived in Pheonix AZ, which was a huge adjustment to living near the ocean but I grew to love the beauty of the desert! After visiting Sedona and the Grand Canyon I think anyone can appreciate the beauty in AZ especially in the spring when the saguaro cactus are in bloom with the most magnificent flowers.

I grew up with dogs and I am big animal lover. My first furry best friend was my Sassy, she was a chihuahua mix that had the most personality out of any fur baby I have ever had. I got her when I was 12 years old. We had a family dog growing up named Rambo who was a lab mix and my Sassy was definitely the alpha being that she had spunky chihuahua genes. She taught me how rewarding it is to have the love and loyalty of a dog. After her I had a french bulldog who I adopted from a friend and he lived with me in Pheonix, my Thunder was a very intelligent dog and he made me very partial to the bully breeds.

I lived in Thailand for a year doing some volunteer work and was able to visit elephant sanctuaries during some of my recreational time and I fell in love with them! They are some of the most intelligent creatures I have had the pleasure of interacting with. I was amazed at how gentle and precise they are with their powerful trunks, feeding tamarind snacks up close and personal made me very aware of this. The bond between human and animal has always excited me and I very much appreciate what that bond can give to each and everyone of us. That is why it has been such a pleasure to start my journey here with the San Carlos team!


My name is Andrew, AKA Buffy and Ranger’s dad. I’m from Downers Grove, Illinois and I have never lived in a home without a pet (minus the dorms in New York,) I have been a vegetarian for years and I remember when I was around 10 or so I refused to go to the circus with my family because even at a young age I knew it was wrong to support the mistreatment of animals. I was also never invited fishing again after I made my step dad put all of the fish back.

I’ve lived in Chicago, went to an acting school in New York, and now I am lucky enough to call San Diego my home — and I’ve had a lot of different jobs along the way. I’ve been a party host/reluctant mouse at Chuck E Cheeses, I’ve handed out flyers for Broadway shows in Times Square, a B horror movie actor, promotional model, ALMOST completed yoga teacher training, brief stint as a handyman for Jones Apparel New York, and I’ve been flown around the country as a secret shopper for college admissions (with fake names and multiple cell phones). If you’ve been to a restaurant in La Mesa in the past 5 years, chances are I’ve probably been your waiter.

I may have taken the long way, but I couldn’t be more appreciative to have found my new home at San Carlos Animal Hospital along with the most compassionate, intelligent, and hilarious staff anyone could ask for. Even though I don’t yet have much training in the field, I am diligently working to become a Registered Veterinary Technician through my work experience with San Carlos Animal Hospital. I will try my best every single day to provide the best care possible for your animals and treat them like I would my own fur children.


Hi! My name is Alexia. I am originally from Los Angeles but San Diego is where I call home. As a kid, I have always wanted to work with animals but never knew where to start or if it was the right path for me. One day I just took the jump and switched from being a Psychology major over to Biology and Allied Health over at Mesa College! I’m currently taking classes there to get my certifications and later see where I can expand. I know how much any animal can impact someone because I have two of my own dogs who actually pushed me to make the switch in my schooling. My two dogs, Licorice who is a pit bull rescue from The Barking Lot here in San Diego and Rocky who is more of a boxer mutt. These are my sweet babies that I’ve had for over 10 years! Rocky is my sweet old man and my biggest headache. He’s still running around like a puppy even though he’s getting up there in age. Licorice is my old lady who I adore. She’s the complete opposite of Rocky. Licorice prefers quiet sunbathing and belly rubs whereas Rocky loves head kisses and picking fights with bees. My dear Rocky is a handful with his separation anxiety, fear of other dogs (thanks to the home he came from with an aggressive dog), and his constant whining, so I know how hard it can be to find the right animal hospital to take your pet. Luckily, I’ve gotten the chance to work at San Carlos Animal Hospital. The team that goes above and beyond for all animals. I’m so excited to start this journey and learn as much as I can!


Hello! My name is Jordyn and I was born and raised here in sunny San Diego, California! Throughout my life I have always been surrounded by animals. I’ve had all sorts of animals growing up from fish, bearded dragons, hamsters, to my family’s Italian Greyhound. I have always had a love for animals growing up. The first book that I used to regularly check out from the library was a book on dogs which contained everything from their anatomy all the way down to how to train them. As I grew up, my love for animals grew exponentially. I went off to college in San Francisco. While there, I made sure to take as many classes that pertained from anatomy classes to animal sculpture classes. Once I graduated, I decided that I wanted to pursue my dreams of working in an environment where I would be surrounded by animals. My path led me to San Carlos Animal Hospital. I enjoy working with my colleagues that all share the same passion that I do for animals. I hope to learn much about our four legged friends here at SCAH to learn how to better help them.


My name is Angelina and I was born and raised here in San Diego. Working with animals has always been a dream of mine for as long as I could remember. If it were up to me, I would probably have about a million pets by now… but instead of a million (for now) I have the cutest black cat named Chucky who I treat as my actual child. I’ve been in the field five years and have loved every second of it. I attended school at PIMA to get my Veterinarian Assistant certificate and graduated in 2018. I took a break from school for a while to get more hands on experince in the field. Currently I am back in school again to attain my RVT license. I am very excited to see where this next journey takes me. I cannot wait to further my knowledge and continue to help all of the four legged babies!!