Our Staff

The staff at Capitola Veterinary Hospital are caring and competent. We are dedicated to ensuring the health and comfort of your beloved companions. Marissa, our hospital manager who oversees day to day business operations. Melodie and Kailey, our client service representatives who are in charge of keeping things organized and making sure our clients’ and patients’ receive the best customer service experience possible.  Shelly and Ashley, our two Registered Veterinary Technicians are in charge of providing top notch patient care with the assistance of  our four veterinary assistants, Shauna, Samantha, Yasmin, & Deanna. Dr. May, Dr. Volat, and Dr. Mitchener are grateful to work with such a competent and compassionate team.


Marissa & Hansel

Marissa is a native Californian who grew up raising horses, riding horses and taking an in depth interest in animals at an early age. Marissa sought education in veterinary service shortly after graduating from high school, which began with the Vet Technology program at Yuba College in Marysville, CA. In 2011, Marissa was awarded Certification as a Veterinary Practice Administrator by Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. She began her career in veterinary medicine in 2003 and has been working as both a practice owner and practice manager since 2007. Some highlights of her career have included dental work on a Bengal Tiger and rescue work with orphaned black bears. Marissa and her husband live with their family of six dogs, three cats and two horses.


Shelly & Rose

Shelly grew up in Santa Cruz. She has worked on the central coast in the veterinary field for over 25 years. She has experience with both small and large animals. Shelly received her RVT license after attending the Hartnell College Animal Health Technology Program. In her spare time she enjoys riding her horses, and spending time with her husband and their four legged family.



Shauna, Sierra, & Sonoma

Shauna graduated from UC Santa Cruz, where she began her interest in animal rescue. She volunteered for the Marine Mammal Center, CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and the UCSC Long Marine Lab, where she had years of hands on experience with seals, sea lions, sea otters, and dolphins. After college, Shauna became an animal control officer for Santa Cruz County. After two years as an officer, she transferred positions to become an animal health technician for the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. Shauna is excited to expand her career in the veterinary field. Shauna and her husband, Joe, have just welcomed baby boy, Orion and have two twin boys, Austin and Logan. Shauna and Joe also have two furry four-legged children, their two rescue dogs, Sierra and Sonoma. When Shauna is not working, she spends her time hiking with her dogs, attending her sons’ sporting events, and being surrounded by her amazing family and friends.


Melodie & Nemo

Melodie grew up in Grass Valley, a small town in the foothills of Northern California. She loved growing up with the family cats, and took on the role of the family ‘veterinary assistant’ when any of them were sick. Her family calls her the ‘animal whisperer’ because it always seemed that Melodie could create a special bond with any animal she came into contact with. Not only did she love the furry pets in her life, she also loved marine mammals, dolphins being her favorite animal of all. Her dream, since she was a little girl, was to become a ‘Dolphin Trainer’! With this goal in mind, she earned an AS in Natural Sciences, and then moved closer to the ocean to earn a BS in Biology at CSU Monterey Bay. While in Monterey, she started volunteering at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories with rescued and unreleasable California Sea Lions, learning how to become a marine mammal trainer. Melodie also wanted to get experience in the medical side of animal care, and started working in the veterinary field as a Client Service Representative. Melodie is looking forward to learning more about all   aspects of animal care, husbandry and training. In her free time, Melodie likes to cuddle with her rescued cat, Missy, and her high school sweetheart.


Deanna & Gibbs

Deanna graduated from college at a DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois with a BS in Biology. After school, she worked at small animal practices in Chicago as a veterinary assistant. She recently moved to the Santa Cruz area in August with her boyfriend, and she is excited to start a new adventure working in Capitola. Deanna has 2 cats, Gibbs and Buttercup. In her free time, Deanna enjoys reading, going to the beach, and spending time with her family and boyfriend.



Ashley & Boomer

Ashley graduated from the Carrington College Veterinary Technician program in 2015, passed her Veterinary Technician National Exam in 2016, and recently passed her California Veterinary Technician Exam to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. Ashley has worked as a veterinary assistant since 2014 and truly loves her job in the field of veterinary medicine. Her love for animals is an important part of her life and has influenced her to dedicate her life to providing the best veterinary care possible. She has several beloved furry family members that consist of a horse named Thomas, a dog named Boomer, and a cat named Oscar. In her free time she enjoys taking long trail rides with Thomas or long walks on the beach with Boomer, as well as spending quality time with family and friends. Some of Ashley’s other favorite things to do are watching movies, swimming, camping, and lots of other outdoor activities.


Samantha, Bravo, & Rosie

Samantha grew up in Santa Cruz before attending UC Davis to study animal science. She held internships in several departments at the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital during her undergraduate education, as well as in small animal veterinary clinics in Ireland and Australia. Samantha also interned in a surgical research facility at which she viewed trials of novel surgical techniques and gained experience working with large animals. She graduated in June, 2018 with a B.S. in Animal Science with a specialization in companion and captive animals. She is passionate about the field of veterinary medicine and inspired by viewing the impact veterinarians make in the lives of both clients and patients. Samantha is excited to continue her veterinary experience at Capitola Veterinary Hospital. She enjoys spending her free time with her cat named Bella and loves to travel.



Kailey grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Lake Michigan inspired her love for marine animals. She moved to California to attend University of California Santa Cruz and graduated with a B.S. in Marine Biology in 2018. She has been volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center for two years and enjoys every moment of working with the sea lions and seals! She also enjoys scuba diving and is a master diver and scientific diver. In her off-time, she hangs out with her guinea pig and friends.



Celene Vega and EstrellaCelene Vega was born and raised in Watsonville, CA and is one of seven siblings! She’s currently working toward graduating from the Central Coast College Veterinary Assistant Program and is the first to graduate in her family! White attending school, it put her passion and talent to work: from working with cats and dogs to small and large barn animals. She enjoys every minute spent and it has given her a completely different feeling about working with a variety of animals. Ever since she was a little girl she has wanted to help sick or injured animals. She would always be the first one to make sure her dogs, at the time, had everything they needed – including the best veterinary care. Now that she’s older, nothing has changed! She currently has two dogs of her own: a pit bull named Max and a chihuahua mix named Estrella. She also helps her boyfriend take care of his pit bull named Kush. All three dogs have a very special place in her heart. During her free time, she likes to spend time with her family, boyfriend, and four-legged babies! Becoming a part of the Capitola Veterinary Hospital family has given her so much joy and a chance to start her new adventure!