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, her husband and daughter are the guardians of a Calico Torti rescue named Pixel. Dr. Killian is proud to be part of the Bay Area’s animal welfare community.  She continues to find inspiration in the committed staff, volunteers and supporters of the SF SPCA.

Dr. Killian received her DVM from Texas A &M University in 1999....

Dr. Jeannine Berger
Vice President of Rescue and Welfare

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. Since 2011, Dr. Berger has overseen all aspects of clinical...

Elizabeth Roberts, DVM
Director of Shelter Medicine

Dr. Elizabeth Roberts joined the SF SPCA in 2015 and became the Director of Shelter Medicine in 2016.  She is a 2005 graduate of U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.   Dr. Roberts received a Masters of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heath with a concentration in infectious disease in 2006.  She has a background in medical/surgical outreach to under-served communities, and has worked as a...

Director of Community Medicine

Dr Jena Valdez fell in love with the Bay Area as an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley. She is a graduate of Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and is an active volunteer with RAVS, or Rural Area Veterinary Services, a non-profit group which provides veterinary care to underserved areas. Her professional interests include feline medicine, pain management and acupuncture. She is a...

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 year-long clinical rotations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before completing a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery...

Randy Bowman, DVM
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....

Elena Chatcuff, DVM
Staff Veterinarian

Dr. Elena Chatcuff is a San Francisco native that earned her B.S in Animal Science at UC Davis in 2009 and D.V.M. from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. She completed her clinical rotations at Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine. 

Dr. Chatcuff joined the SF SPCA as a veterinarian in May 2018. She feels fortunate to be a part of this amazing organization and the supportive community of animal lovers...

Vanessa Chen, DVM Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian

Growing up, Dr. Vanessa Chen moved around, spending time on both the East and West Coasts of the United States, in addition to Asia. After studying Neuroscience at Amherst College, she graduated from UC Davis Veterinary School and completed a rotating internship at Washington State Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Since relocating to the Bay Area, she has focused on the practice of emergency and critical care medicine. She is excited...

Jamila Cherry, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Jamila Cherry is originally from Oakland, CA. She graduated from Florida A&M University with a BS in Animal Science and went on to earn her DVM degree from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Cherry completed a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship in Sacramento, California. She is primarily interested in emergency medicine as well as integrative medicine. In her spare time Dr. Cherry is a...

Richard Chu, DVM
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 Pacific Heights) veterinary team in August 1999 and has an...

Dr. Eric Eisenman, Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian

Dr. Eric Eisenman completed his Bachelor's of Science in Biology at University of Oregon and his DVM and Master's of Preventative Veterinary Medicine degrees at the University of California–Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Eric is the Founder & CEO of International Veterinary Outreach (IVO), a 501(c)(3) animal welfare advocacy organization that investigates local public health needs as well as develops and implements...

Keith Farquhar, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Keith Farquhar is a native of Montana and earned his bachelor degree from Montana State University and his DVM degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2002. Prior to joining the San Francisco SPCA, he worked in private practices in the Bay Area, as well as the Sacramento region.

Prior to attending veterinary medical school Dr. Farquhar served as a police K9 handler in Montana. When his K9 partner...

Dr. Murali Gadde
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Murali Gadde 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 veterinary medicine 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 enjoys road trips,...

Kathy Gervais, DVM
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 for two years with a veterinary practice in Angel's Camp located in the Sierra Foothills.

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

Betsy Goldenberg, Betsy Goldenberg Magen
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...

Roger Helmers, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

On May 1, 2010, Dr. Helmers re-joined the SF SPCA Mission Campus 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...

Gina Henriksen, DVM
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...

Dorothy Hoppe, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Dr. Dorothy Hoppe was born in Poland and moved to the US at the age of 9. She spent most of her life in Florida.

Dr. Hoppe received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from New College in Sarasota, FL. After completing an initial year of medical school at the University of Florida, she realized veterinary medicine was her calling.  Dr. Hoppe worked as a veterinary technician for several years and graduated from Tufts University...

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...

Polly James, DVM
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 (now SF SPCA Pacific Heights Campus), Dr. James performed her internship at the Veterinary Medical and...

Amie Knieper, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

 Dr. Amie Knieper grew up in Texas and attended veterinary school at Cornell University in upstate New York before relocating to the favorable climate of the Bay Area. She especially enjoys treating cats and takes pride in the fact that her days are spent improving the lives of her patients.  Dr. Knieper is a staff veterinarian for the Pacific Heights Campus, seeing only feline patients 4 days per week at our Feline Wellness Center...

Dr. Orsolya Kuti
Staff Veterinarian

Dr. Kuti grew up in San Diego, and moved across the country to study Cognitive Science at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. She spent time living on the East Coast as a researcher in the field of neuroscience and genetics before returning to California to attend the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where she developed an interest in surgery, population health, and feline medicine. Before joining the SF SPCA, she spent three...

Lacey LaVigna, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Lacey LaVigna grew up on a ranch in the North Bay and was exposed to many species of animals early in life.  This sparked her love and interest in all aspects of animal health and welfare.  With this in mind, she set off to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.  After completing an undergraduate degree in biology from Univeristy of California, San Diego, she earned her veterinary degree at St. Matthew's School of Veterinary...

Michelle Lawson, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Michelle Lawson is originally from the Chicago area and is formerly an environmental chemist. She relocated to Oregon to pursue her degree in veterinary medicine at Oregon State University.   Dr. Lawson graduated in 1997 and practiced veterinary medicine in Portland for 15 years.  She was a resident of Chico, California for a few years before joining the SF SPCA team in 2016. Dr. Lawson is a practitioner at the Pacific Heights...

Resident in Behavior Medicine

Dr. Liu originally hails from the Bay Area anddeveloped a passion for behavior and training when she struggled to manage her own dog’s aggression many years ago. This journey took her from UC Berkeley, where she worked in an animal cognition laboratory as an undergraduate, to vet school at Cornell University, where she was awarded a scholarship for her efforts to improve animal behavior education.

Dr. Liu has a particularly...

Echo Love, DVM
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...

Chris Lundy, DVM
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 Pacific Heights Campus) 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...

Anne MacFarlane, DVM
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...

Sheryl Owyang, DVM
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...

Lauren Park, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Shelter Medicine

Lauren Park majored in Psychology at U.C. Berkeley. After college, she did research and clinical work with adolescents diagnosed with ADHD and other conditions. She became interested in veterinary medicine when she was exposed to the emotional and physical benefits provided her client's by their participation in animal assisted therapy. 

She graduated with highest honors from U.C Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 and...

Dr. Jill Pomrantz
Internal Medicine Specialist

Dr. Pomrantz earned her veterinary degree from the University of California, Davis. She completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and then returned to UC Davis for a residency in small animal internal medicine. Before coming to the SF SPCA, Dr. Pomrantz worked at Columbia University’s Institute of Comparative Medicine as the Chief of Comparative Medicine and was the...

Layton Reid, DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Pacific Heights Campus

Having grown up on a cattle farm in rural Nova Scotia, Canada,  animals have always been a very big part of Dr. Reid’s life.  He attended the University of New Brunswick,  graduating with a degree in Biology in 2001.  He went on to receive his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Prince Edward Island- Atlantic Veterinary College in 2005.  Deciding to head for warmer weather, he began practicing general and...

David Sierra, DVM
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. Wailani Sung, Veterinarian, Behavior Department
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

As one of 74 board-certified veterinary behaviorists in the United States, Dr. Wailani Sung has a passion for helping owners prevent or effectively manage behavior problems in companion animals, enabling them to maintain a high quality of life. Dr. Sung obtained her master’s degree and Doctorate in Psychology, with a special interest in animal behavior from The University of Georgia. Upon completion of these graduate programs, she...

Stefanie Thielemann, DVM
Staff Veterinarian

In April 2017, Stefanie joined SF SPCA as a part time employee after six years of working as a relief veterinarian.  She graduated from Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. After graduation, she worked at local private practices in the central valley of California, where she lives with her husband, Roger Helmers (also a veterinarian at SF SPCA).  

Stefanie has a long history with the SPCA.  She...

Philippe Villard, DVM
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. Emily Young
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Emily Young grew up in England, Hong Kong and Spain but returned to the United States for her undergraduate education at Tufts University in Boston, MA, graduating in 2009. She fell in love with New England (even the snow!) but moved to Philadelphia for veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania, from which she graduated in 2014. After veterinary school she moved out to California for an internship in small animal...

Dr. Sam Zaplinski, Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian, Mission Campus

Dr. Sam Zaplinski has been part of  our team and mission at the SF SPCA since 2012.  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 loves living and working in the Bay Area.  She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine...

Mission Campus Hospital Technicians

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.

To learn more about the role of RVTs at the SF SPCA, click here.

Tech Team Pac Heights Campus SF SPCA

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.

To learn more about the role of RVTs at the SF SPCA, click here.

Spay Neuter Medical Team SF SPCA

The Spay/Neuter Clinic provides high volume, high quality, (HV/HQ) surgical care for over 9,000 patients annually.  Highly skilled veterinary technicians provide exceptional medical care working in partnership with top-notch, specialized veterinarians. The SF SPCA Spay/Neuter clinic is the gold standard for HV/HQ spay/neuter services. Clients include shelter animals, public community members, SF Animal Care and Control, and rescue...

Shelter Medicine Medical Team SF SPCA

SF SPCA Shelter Medicine staff veterinarians,  registered veterinary technicians (RVTs), veterinary assistants, and animal care associates (ACAs) maintain sanitary, safe and pleasant surroundings for shelter animals.  The Shelter Medicine Staff provide 24-hour medical and maintenance care for animals prior to their transfer to the Adoptions Center.

CSR Team SF SPCA

Client service representatives (CSRs) engage clients and the general public in-person 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.

CSR Team Pac Heights Campus SF SPCA

Client service representatives (CSRs) engage clients and the general public in-person 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.