Dr. Tammy Mendez
Growing up on a farm in Southern Iowa, Dr. Mendez is all too familiar with animals of all sizes and has been involved in the field of veterinarian medicine for over 20 years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and graduated Cum Laude from Kansas State University with her Doctorate in Veterinarian Medicine. Meeting her husband at Cal Poly, Larry, a fifth generation Lompocian, they naturally settled in the Lompoc Valley to raise their family. They purchased Animal Care Hospital in January 2008, and she quickly emerged herself in the community becoming involved in many local organizations such as, Lompoc Business Women’s Network, Lompoc Chamber of Commerce, CAPA (Companion Animal Placement Assistance) and VIVA (Volunteers for Inter-Valley Animals). Voted the #1 veterinarian in the 2009 “Best of Lompoc” poll by the Lompoc Record, Dr. Mendez spends her free time with her husband, two children, Lawson and Emery Rose, the family dogs Izzy and Oliver, and their horse Gunner. As a family, they enjoy getting away and spending time outdoors camping.
Dr. Rachelle Wemmer
Dr. Rachelle Wemmer was raised in the small town of Quincy in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Craving warmer climates, she moved to the central coast for undergraduate studies. She attended the University of California Santa Barbara, where she studied Biology and Psychology. During that time, she began volunteering with a variety of animals including cats, dogs, sea lions, sea birds and even elephants and giraffes at the zoo. She also began working at a local pet clinic which further developed her passion for animals. She was soon admitted to the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2012.
After graduating, Dr. Wemmer underwent an additional year of extensive training through the internship program at Animal Specialty & Emergency Center in West Los Angeles. It was there, that she was exposed to a variety of complex cases and further developed her skills in critical care and emergency medicine.
Dr. Wemmer was happy to return to the central coast following her internship. While working in Santa Barbara, she met her boyfriend, a Lompoc local. Dr. Wemmer was fortunate enough to join the team at Animal Care Hospital in December of 2014. When not at work, she can be found nursing sick sea lions back to health and spending time with her fiancé and three cats.
Dr. Katherine Bennett
Dr. Bennett is originally from Aberdeen, Washington. She grew up in a family of English teachers, and originally attended college with an acting scholarship and intentions to teach abroad. While in college, she became strongly drawn to Veterinary Medicine and received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Washington State University in 2000. Both during college and after graduation, she then worked in a number of veterinary clinics that offered different medical techniques and specialties, ranging from Washington State to New Jersey.
She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University in May of 2008 and worked for 8 years in Wenatchee, Washington. There, she emphasized teaching methods of preventive medicine to the community and pursued innovative healing techniques including laser therapy. She also aided in her clinic’s efforts in working with the local animal shelter to provide the highest quality medicine to any animal in need. She is excited about experiencing California’s central coast. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, fishing, and trying her hand at cooking and gardening.
Debbie has been working in the veterinary field assisting in all aspects of veterinary care since 1997. She has always had a love for animals, big and small.
Tiana has been in the veterinary field for over 2 years and is working towards her RVT license. Originating from a small town up north called Cottonwood, she has been in the local area for about 5 years. On her days off, she enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and working out.
Having been in the veterinary world for 4 years, Tasha has had the joy of working in both emergency medicine and general practices. She’s from a small town in Kansas and lived half her life in Oregon before settling in Lompoc 2 years ago. During her time off she enjoys going to the beach, playing board games and spending time with her husband and 3 children.
Catrise has been working in the veterinary field since 2015. Moving to the Central Coast from the Central Valley, she has been here for almost 7 years, joining the ACH team in February of 2018. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach and relaxing with family and friends, including her fur babies Kingston, Liam, Boots, Max and Mya. She is currently working towards RVT license, and hopes to finish with school soon.
Cameron has been working at Animal Care Hospital for 1 year, and is currently working towards becoming an RVT. She has three pets; her two dogs Bubba and Mack, and her cat Phil. During her time off, she enjoys going on adventures, traveling, and taking her dogs to the beach.
Joining our team in 2016 after working on her high school senior project with us, Parris has had many experiences working with animals through various volunteer programs. She has volunteered at La Paws animal shelter for 5 years working with rabbits and dogs, and volunteered at Shadow’s Fund for 4 years. . She enjoys riding her horse, Jahob, on her free time as well as going to beach to surf, doing gymnastics and cheerleading and American Kenpo karate (or kickboxing). Though this is her first experience working in the veterinary field, she hopes to gain knowledge to become a veterinary technician.
Brian has worked for Animal Care Hospital for 15 years but has been caring for animals for most of his life. As a child he helped his older brother maintain a freshwater aquarium, a hobby he adopted himself when he was old enough. He also helped with the Cabrillo Aquarium in the facility’s early stages, which lead Brian to acquire a job at Pet Paradise of Lompoc. During the fifteen years of working at Pet Paradise he was exposed to many types of animals and their care and worked there until the owners retired. As a hobby, Brian currently has a large collection of Day Geckos that he breeds and enjoys. In his spare time he likes to cycle and is a current member of the Lompoc Valley Bicycle Club, Village Dirtbags, and Lompoc Valley Distance running club. Brian loves the people he works with and caring for their client’s furry family members at Animal Care Hospital.
Growing up in this beautiful small town of Lompoc, Michelle has always had a passion for animals and the medical field. She previously worked as a certified nurse assistant, but is extremely excited to explore the veterinary field as she has always wanted to as a little girl. Currently, she is attending Alan Hancock College working towards her RVT license. She is a fur momma to one handsome maltipoo named Randy. On her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, hiking and hanging out with friends and family, especially Randy.
Ashley moved to Lompoc from Boston in 2016 and has spent many years volunteering and working in the animal world. She is currently finishing up her Bachelor’s in Business Management at Arizona State University. She recently adopted a dog named Rain, whom she adores. On her time off she enjoys taking her fur baby to the local dog parks and beaches.
Having worked in the veterinary field since 2007, Kristina has shifted in various aspects from kennel to reception and technician. Hailing from the city life of San Bernardino, she came to Santa Barbara for schooling. She has lived in Lompoc for over 7 years with her fiancé, their border collie, Albus, and three cats, Nina, Donovan and Mayuri.
Cristina (known as Tina by friends and family) was born and raised on a ranch here in Lompoc. Working with animals has always been in her nature growing up. She has been with the Animal Care Hospital team since October of 2015. In her spare time, she enjoys heading to the park with family, and getting manicures with her sisters.