Veterinary Team

Dr. Lisa Killian
Vice President of Veterinary Services, Mission Campus

Dr. Lisa Killian is the Vice President of Veterinary Services for our Mission Campus.  Dr. Killian and her husband and daughter are the guardians of a 13-year-old Siamese rescue named Bateman and a 7-year-old Doberman pinscher named Wendy, who was found on a highway in Houston after Hurricane Rita. Dr. Killian is proud to be part of the Bay Area’s animal welfare community.  She continues to find inspiration in the committed staff,...

Dr. Tom Mason
Vice President of Veterinary Services, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Mason is a 1988 graduate of the University of California – Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, he completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Mason joined Pets Unlimited (now the SF SPCA) in 1991 and was promoted to Medical Director in 1994. His special interests include internal medicine, with a focus on endocrinology,...

Dr. Jeannine Berger
Veterinarian & Behavior Specialist, Mission Campus

Dr. Berger first obtained her veterinary degree in 1991 in Zurich, Switzerland. She moved to Davis, California in 1998, where she completed her residency in veterinary behavior and attained board certification with the American College for Veterinary Behaviorists from UC Davis in 2007. In 2014, she attained board certification from the American College of Animal Welfare. She has been with the SPCA as Director of Behavior Resources...

Dr. Emily Adamson
Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Emily Adamson grew up in San Diego and received her B.S. in Marine Biology from UCLA in 2007. She worked as a zookeeper and wildlife educator for 2 years before earning her DVM from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, located in St. Kitts, West Indies, in 2013.  She spent her yearlong clinical rotations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before completing a one year internship in small animal medicine and surgery...

Dr. Anne Marie Benfatto
Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Anne Marie Benfatto grew up in Massachusetts.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Ecology from Simmons College.  She went on to earn her D.V.M. degree from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1993.  She has been working as a Feline Veterinarian since 1994.  

Dr. Benfatto has lived in San Francisco for most of her adult life.  She lives with her wife, Carole and three senior...

Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Bowman joined our veterinary staff in August 2003 after graduating from the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in June of 2000.

Dr. Bowman has a special interest in complementary and holistic medicine. He offers a holistic approach to treatment through our Holistic Veterinary Medicine program, as well as traditional western medicine...

Dr. Hart Ling Cheung
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Hart Ling Cheung has joined the staff of the SF SPCA Hospital and will be available for consult full-time beginning October, 2014.  Dr. Cheung recently relocated to the Bay Area from Hong Kong after spending several years practicing both in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.  Her pre-veterinary studies began at Iowa State University. She received her DVM degree from the China Agricultural University, Beijing, and a Masters of...

Dr. Richard Chu
Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Chu grew up in Oahu and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dr. Chu received his Bachelor’s from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. He graduated from Oklahoma State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 and completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center in NYC from 1997-1998. He joined the Pets Unlimited (now SF SPCA) veterinary team in August 1999 and has an interest in...

Dr. Murali Gadde
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Murali Gadde is a recent California transplant. He relocated to the Bay Area from Oklahoma in February, 2013 with his wife, Usha and their dachshund, Taj. Dr. Gadde worked for several years in a large, 24-hour, referral practice in Oklahoma City. He spent a year practicing in India. He has experience with abdominal and cardiac ultrasound, intensive care and surgery, as well as general medicine. In his spare time, Dr. Gadde...

Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Gervais is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Veterinary School. She also attained an MA from UC Davis. Dr. Gervais worked as a large animal extern in New Zealand for a few months, and with Angel’s Camp mixed animal practice in the Sierra Foothills for two years.

Dr. Gervais joined Pets Unlimited (now SF SPCA) in 1991.  She is deeply involved with our outreach to ...

Dr. Jean Goh
Staff Veterinarian and Director of Spay/Neuter Clinic, Mission Campus

Dr. Goh was born and raised in Singapore. When she was 15, her family (dogs and all) left the equator for Calgary, Alberta. In 1997, she completed her BSc at the University of Calgary with a major in Zoology and a minor in English Literature. She spent an additional year working for the university veterinarian, and then moved to Boston to attend veterinary school. After she received her DVM from Tufts University in 2002, she worked...

Dr. Betsy Goldenberg
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

An Ohio native, Dr. Betsy Goldenberg headed west to the University of Colorado at Boulder and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1998. She returned to Ohio for veterinary school and graduated from Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. With an initial interest in zoo and aquarium medicine, Betsy lived in various locations across the country to work with everything from elephants to tigers to penguins...

Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

On May 1, 2010, Dr. Helmers re-joined the SF SPCA staff as a full-time veterinarian. He previously worked as a staff veterinarian from 1991-1992 and 2000 to 2006. He worked at East Bay Veterinary Specialists and Emergency in Antioch and Walnut Creek for four years, but always remained dedicated to the SF SPCA community, commuting from Tracy, CA to cover relief shifts at our Hospital.

Dr. Helmers is known for his ever-changing...

Dr. Gina Henriksen
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Gina Henriksen is a Bay Area native who received her undergraduate degree in Microbiology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She worked at Genentech for 7 years before deciding to follow her true passion and become a veterinarian. She is a 2006 graduate of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

While in Colorado she worked with retired racing greyhounds, rehabilitating them to be...

Dr. Margaret Hoppe
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Margaret Hoppe joined the SF SPCA Hospital staff in March 2014, after being a regular relief veterinarian for several years.  Dr. Hoppe graduated from the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 and completed her internship at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in New York, New York in 2007.  After 3 years with a Manhattan-based practice, Dr. Hoppe moved to San Francisco in 2011 and immersed herself in the...

Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Hwang grew up in Los Angeles, then moved north to earn a B.S. in Biology at Stanford University.

Dr. Hwang graduated from Tufts University Vet School in Massachusetts in 2002, then completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York. Prior to joining our staff at the Pacific Heights Campus in September of 2006, she worked as an emergency veterinarian at a specialty and...

Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. James joined our veterinary team in August 2000. After growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, Dr. James completed her undergraduate studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She earned her D.V.M. in 1999 from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Before coming to the Pets Unlimited Care Center on our Pacific Heights Campus, Dr. James performed her internship at the Veterinary Medical...

Dr. Kate Kuzminski
Director, Shelter Medicine, Mission Campus

After completing a Bachelor of Science and Master of Agribusiness Management degree from the University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario, Dr. Kuzminski worked as a policy advisor on animal welfare issues to the Minister of Agriculture. Realizing she could play a much more active role in this area, Dr. Kuzminski entered veterinary school and graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1999. After 7 years of companion animal practice,...

Dr. Christina LaCerda
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Christina La Cerda was born and raised in Ohio, where she attended Oberlin College and received her BA in Biology. She worked as a research assistant at the Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, OH before moving on to furrier patients. She graduated from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. After a brief stint working in private practice in the Pacific Northwest, she settled in the Bay Area, and has...

Dr. Caroline Li
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Caroline Li joined the SF SPCA Veterinary staff in October, 2013. She is a member of our General Practice and Emergency Services Teams. After attending college at Rutgers University in native New Jersey, she worked for the USDA and an environmental consulting firm. 

She arrived in the Bay Area in 2006, via a cross-country journey with her cat, Atticus and Cocker Spaniel, Diego.  While preparing for her veterinary studies...

Dr. Echo Love
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

The youngest of seven children, Echo Love grew up on a small family farm in New Hampshire. She spent her undergraduate years at Dartmouth College, where she majored in Biochemistry with a minor in Studio Art. After college, she travelled and worked as a veterinary technician in Chicago.

Love graduated with highest honors from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. She moved to San Francisco to be...

Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Lundy received her Bachelor’s and veterinary medicine degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996.

Dr. Lundy joined the Pets Unlimited (now SF SPCA) veterinary team in 2006 and has special interests in surgery, emergency and critical care.

Outside of work, she is a national class runner, having competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials, 2007 Pan American Games, and in the 2005-2009 World Mountain...

Dr. Anne MacFarlane
Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. MacFarlane grew up in Michigan and received her Bachelor’s and Veterinary degrees from Michigan State University.

After enduring enough snow and ice for one lifetime, she headed south to Atlanta, GA, where she practiced small animal medicine for 11 years. After growing tired of affordable housing, she decided to throw caution to the wind and head west in July of 2006 to join the veterinary team at our Pacific Heights...

Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

After growing up in a quiet suburb just outside of Boston, Laurie completed her undergraduate degree at Syracuse University.  She then went on to earn her veterinary degree from Ross University with the completion of her clinical year at Louisiana State.

Laurie originally joined the Pets Unlimited team in 2007 as a full-time staff member and, after a brief leave, returned as a part-time veterinarian dedicated to our PAWS...

Dr. Sheryl Owyang
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Sheryl Owyang has been a member of the SF/SPCA veterinary team since 1994.  She is a 1993 veterinary graduate of UC Davis.  She completed a one year small animal internship at NC State and has been at the SF/SPCA ever since. Over the years, Dr. Owyang has witnessed tremendous advancements in veterinary medicine that have improved the lives and quality of care of our patients.  She feels fortunate and proud to be a part of the SF...

Dr. Marica Patchett
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Marica Patchett is originally from Santa Barbara, CA. She received a B. S. degree from UC Berkeley in Molecular Environmental Biology with an emphasis in Insect Biology. She continued her work and studies in agricultural entomology both at UC Berkeley and at the USDA for a number of years. She then changed her focus from insects to more furry critters and attended veterinary school at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine....

Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Sierra was born and raised in the small San Joaquin Valley town of Madera, CA.

After earning his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at UC Davis, he stayed in Davis for Veterinary School, graduating in 2004.  He then completed a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group in Ventura.  He joined Pets Unlimited as an associate veterinarian in May 2007. Dr. Sierra...

Dr. Matthew Toscano
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

After receiving his undergraduate degree from The State University of New York at Albany, Dr. Matthew Toscano worked for several years as a veterinary assistant and technician.  His first job as a kennel worker at a shelter in upstate New York is where he realized his passion for shelter medicine.  While working in different animal hospitals he continued to volunteer for many shelters and animal welfare groups.  He attended Ross...

Dr. Jena Valdez
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Jena Valdez joined the staff of the San Francisco SPCA Veterinary Hospital in June of 2013. Dr. Valdez is a Colorado State University graduate and has a rich veterinary background which includes small animal practice in the Bay Area and volunteering for RAVS (Rural Area Veterinary Services). She is a current volunteer veterinarian for our local PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support) chapter. Her special interests include feline...

Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Villard graduated from U.C. Davis in 2003 after completing a Master of Science in Biology at Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature at U.C. Berkeley.

Dr. Villard worked as a Veterinary Technician at Pets Unlimited for several years prior to veterinary school where he developed his interest in emergency veterinary medicine.  After working at Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital for his first...

Dr. Sam Zaplinski
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Sam Zaplinski is thrilled to be part of our team and mission at the SF SPCA.  Her primary focus is general  practice  and she loves to spend time getting to know her clients and their pets.  Her interests include internal and emergency medicine, preventive medicine, and public health.  Dr. Zaplinski is originally from the East coast but has lived and worked in the Bay Area now for over 6 years and absolutely loves it.  She...

RVTs - SF SPCA Vet Hospital Mission Campus

Registered veterinary technicians (RVTs) assist in the delivery of medical care to patients at the SF SPCA Hospital. RVTs provide nursing care and assist in medical treatments, animal handling, and procedures as directed by staff veterinarians.

SF SPCA Hospital Staff - Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs) - Pacific Heights Campus

Registered veterinary technicians (RVTs) assist in the delivery of medical care to patients at the SF SPCA Hospital. RVTs provide nursing care and assist in medical treatments, animal handling, and procedures as directed by staff veterinarians.

Veterinary technicians are the primary medical care providers for shelter animals and patients at the SF SPCA Shelter Medicine and Spay/Neuter Clinic, which may number up to 500 animals at any time. RVTs provide nursing care as directed by staff veterinarians and oversee the work of the veterinary assistant staff.

Animal care associates (ACAs) provide 24-hour animal care and maintain sanitary, safe and pleasant surroundings for the animals getting ready for adoption and those having spay/neuter surgery.

SF SPCA Client Service Representatives (CSRs) - Mission Campus

Client service representatives (CSRs) engage clients and the general public in-person and by telephone for the Veterinary Hospital, Shelter Medicine Program, Spay/Neuter Clinic, Community Cats Program, pharmacy, and reception kiosk. CSRs provide administrative support to the medical staff.

SF SPCA Client Service Representatives (CSRs) - Pacific Heights Campus

Client service representatives (CSRs) engage clients and the general public in-person and by telephone for the Veterinary Hospital, Shelter Medicine Program, Spay/Neuter Clinic, Community Cats Program, pharmacy, and reception kiosk. CSRs provide administrative support to the medical staff.

Animal care associates (ACAs) provide 24-hour animal care and maintain sanitary, safe and pleasant surroundings for hospital patients, staff and the public.