Our Staff

The staff at Capitola Veterinary Hospital are caring and competent. We are dedicated to ensure the health and comfort of your companions.  Shauna, Katharine, Mackenzie, and Ori are our client service representatives in charge of keeping things organized and making sure our clients’ and patients’ needs are met.   Neal, Anthony, Cheryl, and Melissa are our veterinary nurse/technician staff members.  Shauna and Katharine also frequently assist the technicians in caring for patients.  Dr. River May and Dr. Katie Volat are grateful to work with such a competent and compassionate team.


Neal is our operations manager and one of our most senior technicians.  His many years of carpentry experience help keep the hospitals many systems running in top form.  He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has lived in Santa Cruz for over a decade.  His family members include a dachshund named Scooter and a cattle dog named Kona. Neal enjoys hiking with his dogs and wife Amy, playing guitar, camping, and fishing.  He is a graduate of Carrington College’s veterinary technician program!  


Anthony has over 8 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine and it shows in his ability to work with even the most reluctant patients.   Anthony also takes care of our inventory and has great ability to fix just about anything.    If he isn’t catching waves here in the Santa Cruz area, you most likely will find him up in Tahoe – either hiking or snowboarding. He has great respect for nature and is happy to be part of an environmentally friendly veterinary hospital.  Anthony is progressing through school with the goal of becoming a veterinarian.  Anthony shares his home with his two cats, Tuxie and Tawny,  and his fiance, Sumer.



Melissa has been a veterinary technician for over 10 years and loves being a part of the team at Capitola Veterinary Hospital. She grew up in the bay area and graduated from University of Oregon in 2002 with a degree in biology. She took a job as a kennel assistant while trying to determine her career path and ended up falling in love with the veterinary field and quickly decided she wanted to become a technician. She became a registered vet tech in California in 2010.  Melissa provides meticulous nursing care for her patients and she can often be seen cuddling with them when they need it!   She is also our staff supervisor.  She is happy to be settling in Santa Cruz where she can enjoy all of her hobbies including hiking and moutain biking.  In powder season she can be found pursuing her passion for skiing. Until recently she had a sharpei mix named “Sobi” who was her best friend and hiking/backpacking companion. Now she enjoys spending time w/her shared family pets include ”Jazmine”, a fun loving boxer mix, and “Freddie Five Toes” an extremely affectionate poly dactyl cat.



Katharine grew up in Davis, CA and developed a love for animals from an early age. She moved to Santa Cruz to attend Cabrillo College and enjoy the beautiful beaches and redwoods. Katharine hopes to transfer to UCSC to finish her undergraduate degree and then apply to veterinary school. Katharine started at our practice volunteering as an intern, and now she is one of our most experienced client service representatives.  She has had years of experience working with horses and has cared for a variety of animals. Katharine finds working with animals and people who love animals very rewarding. In her free time she enjoys going to the beach, running, hiking, knitting, playing video games, and playing with her rescue dog, Daisy. She also lives with her boyfriend and their two cats, Bidam and Wiggles.



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 Game, 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 currently lives in Capitola with her husband, Joe, and twin boys, Austin and Logan. Shauna and Joe also have three furry four-legged children: dogs, Sierra and Sonoma, and cat Fluffy (all rescue pets). 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.


Mackenzie grew up in Orange County and recently moved to Santa Cruz with her husband, Kevin after spending a year in San Jose. She graduated from Chapman University with a degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Mackenzie has been blessed to have ridden horses since she was seven years old and even rode professionally for some time. She has always been surrounded by dogs, cats, and horses at the barn and in her home. Mackenzie and her husband, Kevin, are the proud owners of a Boston Terrier named Lola who they consider to be their “fur” child. Her horse, Chamberlain, is back in Orange County and very missed but well taken care of. In her free time she loves going to the beach, stand up paddle boarding, horseback riding, and spending time with her friends and family. Mackenzie is happy to have settled in Santa Cruz with her small family and looks forward to everything that this beautiful beach town has to offer.


Orianna moved to the Santa Cruz mountains with her family when she was eight years old.  She grew up surrounded by nature and enjoyed hiking in the Redwoods, playing on the beach, and being able to walk everywhere in a small, friendly community.  Animals have always been a huge part of her life as her family included horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, fish, birds, and various other small pets.  She currently lives in Santa Cruz with her wonderful boyfriend Isaac and their very sweet Queensland heeler named Ruby.  After spending four years working as a dog groomer, Ori feels very fortunate to be a part of the Capitola Veterinary Hospital team where she can continue to share her love of animals.



Cheryl has loved animals from a very early age, and has been working in the clinical veterinary field since 2009. She grew up in the Bay Area and is currently attending classes to complete her prerequisites for veterinary school. A NorCal girl through and through, when she’s not in class, at work, or with friends and family, she’s up in Tahoe or outdoors somewhere on her motorcycle or hiking with a furry friend. Cheryl loves the sustainable mentality of the Santa Cruz County area and is looking forward to getting involved and being a valuable member of the community.