Staff

       Meet the amazingly talented and friendly staff of Santaluz Animal Care!

  • Laura Greenlee Johnson
    D.V.M., M.A, Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
    Owner

     Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    I earned my D.V.M. degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2002, and have been practicing veterinary medicine in San Diego since 2003. As well as practicing small animal medicine, dentistry and surgery, I am a practitioner of veterinary acupuncture, certified through the Chi Institute. Additionally, I am now a certified Fear Free Practitioner, and am working toward getting my entire staff and clinic certified as Fear Free as well.

    Prior to going to vet school, I graduated from UCSD Muir College with a degree in Biology with an emphasis in Animal Physiology and a minor in Physical Education in 1991. I concurrently earned an AA in Psychology from San Diego Mesa College. While in graduate school, I
    also worked for several years in health research, on combined health studies at UCSD and SDSU. In 1998, I earned my Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from SDSU, then decided to go back to school again to pursue my degree in Veterinary Medicine.

    Currently my husband Brian and I are happily married parents of 3 young boys: Nate, and his twin brothers Blake and Luke. We have been Poway residents since 2013 and we are all native San Diegans. As a real lover
    of nature and all things animal, veterinary medicine was truly a calling for me! My hobbies include cooking and baking, scuba diving, enjoying a glass of mostly red wine, gardening, dabbling in various art media - currently working in stained glass, and also managing our Poway home and mothering my boys.

    My parents live close by and they watch the boys when they are not in school, while my husband and I are working. Our animal/pet family members include
    3 cats (Shady - a silver bengal, and his younger companions Domino and Dice, brothers who are black & white and white & black), and one dog (Kirin - a 12 year old GSP), and (thanks to my oldest son…) ball pythons named Cobra and Kah (who is currently incubating a clutch of 5 eggs), a bearded dragon (named Lizzy Jordan), a leopard gecko (named Sunbright Blue Stripe  (named by the twins who could not agree on 1 name),
    box turtles named Kimmy & Jimmy, and 2 red eared sliders who live in our back yard pond with the Koi
    there. If that was not enough, we also adopted a 10 year old Sulcata tortoise named Bondo, who had been hit by a car and repaired with, you guessed it - bondo, before we adopted him from the San Diego Turtle and Tortoise Society, of which my son Nate and I are members.

    My veterinary special interests in general small animal medicine include, dentistry, dermatology, endocrinology, preventive, behavioral and geriatric medicine. I also enjoy performing some general surgeries like mass removals, spays, neuters, abscesses and hematoma treatment, and laceration repairs — but I prefer to leave
    the orthopedic and more advanced soft tissue surgeries to the boarded surgeons. I have become more interested in Complementary Medicine over the years and am certified in Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture, which I like to practice as an adjunctive to standard veterinary medicine rather than instead of it. I am interested in the more modern Complementary Modalities as well, like Cold Laser (PBMT), Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Stem Cell Therapy, and Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) as well. I really love seeing what these non-invasive treatment modalities can do to help manage chronic arthritic pain in dogs and chronic conditions like renal disease in cats. I practice high quality veterinary medicine and love to educate my clients on pet health-related issues, to help them make the best decisions for their pet’s health care. I currently treat cats, dogs, rabbits, and the occasional hamster or rat, but I am learning more and more about herptile medicine also (reptiles, including turtles and tortoises, and amphibians).

    Starting Santaluz Animal Care has been a dream come true for me. During my 17 years in the field, I have developed my own philosophy of veterinary
    practice and now have the chance to finally implement it. So far the response has been very affirming that the differences we have focused on here are not only very well received, but they are truly appreciated, by both our pet patients and their humans!  

    Fear Free
  • Clara Saxton
    RVT
    Hospital Manager

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    I have always loved animals and this love has allowed me to be actively involved in the
    Veterinary Field for over 40 years as a Veterinary Assistant and Veterinary Technician. In 1989 I
    graduated from Colorado Mountain College with an AAS in Veterinary Technology. I currently
    maintain credentialing in 2 states-Idaho where I was a Certified Veterinary Technician instructor
    and California where as an RVT I have been employed in various practice types prior to joining
    Santaluz Animal Care. I am Fear Free Certified and bring experience in General Practice, ICU,
    Emergency Medicine and Shelter Medicine.
    I live in my childhood home with my mother Beth, 3 dogs; Magic-
    Mom’s Toy Poodle who was rescued in Idaho, Comet-a Boston
    Terrier rescued here in San Diego, and Skye an Australian Shepherd,
    along with 3 rescue cats-Rowdy, Minx and Munchie.

    When I’m not at Santaluz Animal Care caring for your four-legged family members, you can find
    me, along with Comet and Skye running or paddling at Fiesta Island, running around an Agility
    Course, or curled up by the fire at Big Bear Mountain after a long mountain hike.

    Fear Free
  • Kate Napier-Hammond
    Veterinary Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    I have been a Veterinary Technician since 2000. Five years ago I took time off to raise my
    daughter Grace. Now that she is in school, I thought it was time to get back to my passion.
    Taking care of animals and helping to provide them with a healthy long longevity. I spent my
    years in the business focusing on Veterinary dentistry. I strongly believe that a healthy mouth
    is the key to a long happy life.

    We recently had to send our beloved Sierra over the Rainbow Bridge, and after having pets
    all my life we decided as, as a family, to take a little break and catch our breath until another
    angel is brought to us. My husband has owned his own IT business in the Del Mar area for
    over 18 years, and is lucky enough (for me anyways) to mostly work from home, which makes
    it so easy for him to really be involved with our family as a devoted husband and father.
    When I am not working at the clinic I am volunteering at my daughter’s school, or taking her to
    all of her after school activities such as ballet, gymnastics, tap dance, and even piano
    lessons. We are quite a busy family.

    I have worked with Dr. Greenlee-Johnson for many years and am so excited to have this
    opportunity to work with her again on this new adventure. It is going to be amazing!! I look
    forward to meeting you and your furry (or not so furry) adorable treasures!!

    Fear Free
  • Amy Hunter
    RVT
    Lead Registered Technician

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    I have been in the Veterinary field for 25 years. I graduated with a degree in

    veterinary assisting in 1994 and received my  RVT in 2010. I am a RVT in 3 states,
    California, Arizona and Oregon.
    I  like spending time with my boyfriend a photographer, hiking, going to museums
    and baking and decorating cupcakes.
    When I was growing up here in San Diego I was in 4-H and FFA.  I showed pigs
    and beef cattle at the Del Mar Fair.
    I have 2 sons,  27 yrs old and 22 years old, that live in Arizona. I try to see them
    as much as she can.

    I cannot tell you excited I am to be part of this amazing team here at Santaluz Animal Care and cannot wait to me you and your loved ones!

  • Angela Pejakovich
    Groomer

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    I am originally from the east coast and have been in the grooming profession for close to 30 years. I ran my own grooming business for over 20 years on the east coast. Dogs have always been a huge part of my life! As far back as I can remember I have always lived with a dog or multiple dogs in my home.Before grooming,  training and showing dogs became an enormous part of my life, I attended college and studied special education.  Five years ago,  my family and I decided enough was enough with hurricanes, rain storms, blizzards and snow.  We are now considered east coast transplants and love the constant sunny weather of San Diego.


  • Haley Mullins
    Room Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    I grew up in San Diego with a busy household of 5 siblings and lots of pets. In 2018, I earned my Bachelor's degree in Animal Science from California State University, Chico with goals of a career in large animal medicine. My favorite large animals to work with are Jersey dairy cows. I have recently moved back to San Diego to work as a veterinary assistant. My goal is to get my Registered Veterinary Technicians license in the next couple of years. In my free time, I enjoy going on walks with my German Shepherd, Maia and Labrador mix, Lana. I also like to watch movies with my two kitties Sid and Nancy. I love spending time with my niece, Ellie, by going to the San Diego Zoo or watching her favorite cartoons.

     I am looking forward to helping you and your pets with their needs! 

  • Jamie Cobb
    Veterinary Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    I have been in the veterinary field for 8 years, obtaining my Veterinary Assistant Certificate in 2011. I am a mother to a geriatric chocolate lab, Riley, a bengal cat, Moonshine, and the wildest of the bunch: identical twin humans, Jake and Alex. I am married to my middle school sweetheart, Sean, and we enjoy an active lifestyle together. We love hiking, running, swimming, and both watching and playing all sports. I am currently in school working towards being a Registered Veterinary Technician. The love I have for veterinary medicine makes working at Santaluz Animal Care feel exciting and rewarding.

  • Jessy Jackson
    Room Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    Hi! My name is Jessy, born and raised in North San Diego County. Once a former recreational baton twirler for 10 years, I have moved on into the work of my dreams, the veterinary field. After completing the Veterinary Assistant program at Mira Costa Community College in Oceanside in 2017, I dove headfirst into the field looking for work until I found Santaluz Animal Care. After spending some time as a room/veterinary assistant, I aspire to go back to school to become a registered veterinary technician and eventually move on to become a DVM. I also have a pet of my own, one chihuahua- terrier mix named ChoHee and have owned dogs, cats, and birds in my past. My favorite dog breeds are Tibetan Mastiff, Doberman, and German Shepherd.

    In my free time I enjoy listening to music and spending time with my family. I occasionally go to K-Pop events such as concerts, meet and greets, and festivals with my best friends. I also enjoy going for a drive in my car, with my favorite passenger, ChoHee.

    While moving towards my goal, I work here at Santaluz Animal Care, eager and  willing to learn and be helpful in any way possible to make the experience not only great for your pet, but for you, the owner, as well. I am excited to meet all of you and your pets and to fulfill all their veterinary needs.

  • Kim Gilden
    Veterinary Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    Advocating and caring for animals has been my life’s work, and has taken me into a variety of exciting animal welfare organizations.  I began rescuing injured wildlife and strays as a child, and followed that passion into college - graduating summa cum laude with a degree in Biology. After college I spent several years directing a wildlife rehabilitation clinic in Massachussets. Since then I’ve held positions in Zoos and Aquariums - working with a variety of native wildlife, exotic wildlife, and endangered species. I spent several years in animal sheltering and rescue organizations, and recently have been focused on private veterinary practice - becoming a certified Veterinary Assistant in 2013. I am also proud to have become a Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional in January of 2019. This certification has allowed me to combine my belief in the humane treatment of animals, with my passion for assisting in their health and medical care. The compassionate, fear free, and innovative model at Santaluz Animal Care has been an answer to my dream of working in a dynamic, values-based practice. At home, I am owned by three animal kids: My BFF - a 16-year-old Lhasa-Poo named Teddy; Bebs the bunny; and Scamp the cat.

    Fear Free
  • Lisa Gibbs
    Grooming Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    Hey y’all! My name is Lisa and I’m from Jackson, Ga. I moved to San Diego two years ago to live with my boyfriend and have loved it here ever since. I grew up taking care of animals and have always had a pet or two. I’ve always had great respect for animals and never met a dog I didn’t like. I spend most of my time reading, painting or hiking outdoors. I am so proud to be Fear Free certified and strive to give your pet the best sPAW experience!

  • Lynn Sawyer
    Grooming Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    Hello from Lynn Marie at Santaluz!

    I have worked in many different career fields. I then found my way back to my first love- animals.

    Dr. Johnson’s vision of Fear Free, latest technology and Eastern medicine that is Santaluz Animal Care is truly one-of-a-kind. 

    Every member of our Santaluz staff is incredible. The dedication and love to all animals touches your heart.

    I am so very proud to be a part of Dr. Johnson’s team.

    A unique fact about me?  I Love Cats! Like, a lot!


  • Maria Sumrall
    Room Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    My name is Maria I’m a native from San Diego, I graduated from Pima Medical Institute and have been in the veterinary field for 7 years. My dream has always been to take care of animals since I was a little girl. I have at the moment a 6 year old chihuahua named Chapo who was left abandoned at the previous hospital I worked for. He has been an amazing addition to my family he loves his greenies, the dog park, taking naps, and playing with his  Yoda doll. When I’m not at work I love to take hikes, reading, comic books, baseball games, and coffee. 

  • Taynyia Garcia
    Veterinary Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    Hello, I am Taynyia (said Tonya).... Before coming into the Veterinary field in 2015 I spent 10 years in the US Navy where I met my husband of 16 years and then I worked as a civilian giving back to the military with the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program. I have 3 wonderful yet challenging kiddos...haha and a cute Shih Tzu puppy named Greta. I am currently enrolled in the Veterinary Technology Program with San Juan College to  finish my Associates Degree and become a Registered Veterinary Technician and hope to be licensed at the end of 2020. I have known since I was in elementary school that I have always wanted to work with animals. What made me want to be in the animal field? Well, when my aunts dog was pregnant  I had told her she needed to make sure to tell me when the dog was ready to have her puppies and once it was time for her to have her puppies I did not leave her side.  I spent every moment with her and her puppies that I could. I was just always drawn to animals. When I finally decided to make my dream become my reality, it was the best decision I ever made. I love what I do and I could not ever see myself working in any other field.

    A fun and silly little fact about: when I was in the 9th grade I dissected a snake in my backyard to find out what the bludge was in its stomach....(a frog) Haha

  • Teresa O'Shea
    Room Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

    My name is Teresa Oshea and I am a Room Assistant at Santaluz Animal Care. I have worked
    in the Industry for the last 5 years. I completed Veterinary Assistant Training at Miracosta
    College receiving my Veterinary Assistant Certificate. I have a passion for animals and happy to
    be part of The Santaluz Animal Care Team.

  • Veronica Aspeytia
    Room Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional

  • Victoria Valentine
    Grooming Assistant

    Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional