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Meet Our Staff


Dr. Craig Evans, DVM

Though he was actually born in Bakersfield (father was working there after a stint in the air force) Dr. Evans considers himself to be the 5th generation, Santa Cruzan, as his mother’s side of the family was heavily involved in the agriculture in the Santa Cruz area.  He spent a great deal of his childhood in cowboy horsemanship, especially team roping, and won team roping Championship saddle at the Santa Cruz County Fair in 1989.  Dr. Evans attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and received a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Biological Sciences in 1982 and was also involved in horse training classes and the Quarter Horse Project there. Dr. Evans received his veterinary doctorate at UC Davis Veterinary School in 1988.  Practicing briefly in Merced and Fortuna, he finally settled in Santa Cruz and has been here practicing steadily since 1991.  He has two children currently attending Scotts Valley High.  Outside of work he enjoys golfing, fly-fishing, camping, and a guilty pleasure of Xbox gaming (though pretty bad, he still enjoys titles like Skyrim and Diablo). Dr. Evans enjoys his job and is often referred to as the gentle giant (he is a big guy) and is known to sit on the floor with his patients.  He has been an advocate for Project Purr from its inception and has always managed to offer some form of assistance to the feral cat program they run.  With a very practical mindset towards animal care, Dr. Evans makes sure everyone gets what they need to keep their critters happy and healthy.  His veterinary interests include general practice, pet care, and surgery. If he were to win the lottery he would still practice and simply offer his expertise for free.Dr. Evans is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Dr. Hilary Stern, DVM

Dr. Hilary Stern has a particular interest in exotic animals and enjoys providing medical and surgical care for parrots, rodents, ferrets, chickens, reptiles, amphibians, rabbits, and more. Since joining the Animal Hospital of Soquel, Dr. Stern has become Santa Cruz’s sole exotics-only veterinarian. Dr. Stern attended Yale University as an undergraduate, graduating magna cum laude as a pre-med student with a degree in History. Instead of becoming a physician, however, she chose to focus her medical training on birds and other unusual animals. She worked with orphaned harbor seals at the New England Aquarium and then at the Wildlife Clinic at Tufts University’s School of Veterinary Medicine before attending veterinary school. She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of California at Davis, where she was a Regent's scholar and co-president of the Avian and Exotics Medicine Club. Since graduation, Dr. Stern’s primary focus has been on medical care for exotic pets. She worked for 8 years at the all-avian veterinary clinic For The Birds in San Jose and for 7 years at the Avian and Exotics Clinic of Monterey. She has presented at national veterinary conferences on medical conditions in birds and is an active member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Small Mammal Veterinarians, and the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians. 

Dr. Stern works closely with the rabbit rescue group, The Rabbit Haven, providing medical care and spay/neuter services for hundreds of rabbits in our community. Dr. Stern lives with her husband and two children in Soquel. They share their home with a bunny, two parrots, a snake,  and seven chickens.

Dr. Justin Cupka, DVM

Dr. Justin Cupka grew up in Virginia and attended Unity College in Maine, where he graduated at the top of his class with a degree in Captive Wildlife Care and Education, with a focus on wildlife and zoo
medicine health. After returning to Virginia for some prerequisite coursework at Virginia Commonwealth University he made his way to California to study Veterinary Medicine at the University of California Davis. While there he focused his learning on Zoo, Exotics, and Wildlife medicine, and simultaneously fell in love with the state. After graduation, he spent a year seeing dogs, cats, small mammals, birds, and reptiles in Oakland before moving to Santa Cruz. Dr. Cupka has a special interest in reptiles, conservation medicine, and behavior in all species. Before graduation, he was involved in research of fungal diseases of amphibians and training programs to help make shelter dogs more adoptable. Outside of his professional life, Dr. Cupka enjoys kung fu, gardening, hiking, camping, and a variety of arts and crafting. He shares his home with an Argentine Black and White Tegu, several breeding pairs of snakes, and a goofy Doberman mix named Tonks.

Practice Manager

Michelle grew up in Santa Cruz, attended UC Santa Barbara and JFK University. With her master's degree in Holistic Health Education, she worked in the Bay Area in non-profit Health Education for many years. She has been in the Veterinary field for 9 years, several of those at a 24 Hour Emergency Hospital. Helping animals and their people is what she loves to do. Her family includes two teenage daughters, two sweet pit mixes, and two crazy cats.

Veterinary Technicians & Veterinarian Assistants

Liz has been a veterinary technician since 1998 and an RVT since 2002. She has always worked with cats, dogs and all sorts of exotics. She loves the variety and challenge that comes with getting to help all sorts of different animals, including wildlife. Liz loves having a house full of animals and currently shares her space with a husband, two teenagers, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 10 chickens and 3 ducks.

TeraTera was born in Grass Valley California and raised with a dog and two rabbits. She graduated from the University of Santa Barbara in 2012 with a Bio-Psychology degree. After living and working in Colorado, where she cared for a bearded dragon, she decided to move back to California to be closer to the family. Tera began her career caring for  animals at a dog-sitting business in Boulder Creek, which leads her to the position of lodging assistant at AHOS. Tera is currently training as technician assistant, with a goal of becoming a veterinary technician. Her dog ACE often accompanies her to work.

aliciaAlicia is currently attending Foothill college and plans to graduate in June with a registered vet technician license. She loves being around animals and being able to help them in any way possible. She treats every animal as she would her own pets. Alicia is excited about her veterinary career field and the different opportunities and learning it offers. She is also looking to further her experience and specialize in rehabilitation and behavior.


Megan started her career at the Santa Cruz SPCA and after 5 years decided she wanted to become more involved in the medical aspect of saving furry lives. Megan is a recent graduate of the veterinary technology program at foothill college, where she received her RVT license. Megan's favorite things in life are family and friends, with her son Ryan being at the top of that list. In her free time she sleeps, obsessively watch Grey's Anatomy, and works out in the gym.


Alex has worked as a veterinary assistant for over a year and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her family and friends. 


is a Santa Cruz native with a long time love of animals. She graduated in 2013 from Shasta College with a Associate's in Veterinary Technology. 


Haleigh is a Certified Veterinary Assistant and certified in animal first aid and CPR. She is working toward obtaining her RVN license and FEMA Certified Animal Emergency Responder. She enjoys microbiology, marine biology and astronomy. Haleigh volunteers with the Humane Society and in her free time loves to cook, camp, travel and work on her jeep for off-road adventures. She shares her home with a one-eyed kitten named Echo.


Reina is a huge animal lover and came to the hospital with one job in mind, to make all that come through the doors feel welcomed and loved. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, she is a certified Vet Assistant and plans to further her career in the veterinary field at AHOS. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her pup Ava to the beach and spending time with her family and friends.

new-employeeComing soon.

KorriI’m Korri and this is Rowen, my pup. My passions include: Training my dog new tricks, learning, embroidery, reading, hiking, martial arts and playing video games. His passions include: playing, running, playing some more, and just being with momma.The Animal Hospital of Soquel has taught me so much and given me the opportunity to make my dream a reality. My coworkers and I are here sharing the same passion for animal care. We are here to help!

Mikayla Ellis Cannon

Mikayla bio coming soon.

Kelsey Kelsey bio coming soon.

Andrea bio coming soon.Andrea

Lodging Attendants


Lodging Supervisor

Mariah was born and raised in California, where she spent much of her childhood on a farm  surrounded by an array of animals. She started working at a young age and quickly found that working closely with animals was her passion. Mariah has worked in a kennel setting for over six years, is CPR certified and has trained in canine body language. In her free time she enjoys camping, hiking with her dog, drawing and meeting new dogs.


Emily was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest.  Her love of the outdoors and animals began at a young age with her beloved blind sheepdog Taffy.  In 2012 her entire immediate family relocated to Santa Cruz.  Once in sunny California she adopted her beautiful cockapoo, Biscuit. You might spot her around town riding her bike while pulling Biscuit in a trailer. Adopting Biscuit lead her to start a successful dog-sitting business.  For over three years she housed and loved many dogs.  In December 2018 she began working for the lodging department here at the Animal Hospital of Soquel.  In her free time she hangs-out with her three young nieces, trail runs, fishes, and does many crossword puzzles.

brandeeBrandee was born in Southern California and moved to Felton 10 years ago. She has been in the animal industry for the past 10 years, working at the SPCA as a shelter coordinator and at Bed, Biscuits for five years and Canine Corral. She is happy to be here at the Animal Hospital of Soquel doing what she loves most.

mikeIn 2002, Mike left the world of high tech and found a true passion in working with animals. I worked at Humane Society Silicon Valley for 12 years where I was the Manager of Animal Care and I had a lead role in working with the onsite Doggie Daycare, Boarding and Grooming services I pride myself on looking at every animal as an individual and doing everything I can to ensure they’re happy and comfortable at their home away from home.  When I’m not looking after the awesome animals at AHOS, I spend my time with my two- and four-legged family which includes my fiancé, three daughters, four cats, and one super-special dog.


Amy graduated from Beugay’s School of Dog Grooming in Los Altos, CA in 1992. She went on to apprentice with a certified master groomer for the next year then continued to work with and learn from many talented groomers in the Los Gatos/Saratoga area for over 20 years. She joined our team at AHOS in January 2015. In her spare time, Amy enjoys spending time with her family and 3 dogs.

Hospital Assistant

Brianna has worked at the Animal Hospital of Soquel for over four years. She has been a life-long caregiver for animals and is dedicated to providing excellent care for our lodging guests. Brianna's interest in pampering pets extends to our Spa, where she assists our talented groomer with bathing, mani-pedi's, brush-outs, and other beautification services.

Client Service Representatives

Coming Soon: David and Amber

KimMy name is Kim. I am a Santa Cruz local, born and raised. I love animals. I have 2 parakeets, 3 cats, and one german shepherd. I spend most of my free time out with Lobo, my 3 year old german shepherd. You may have seen us out and about together. I am always looking for ways to learn and grow.

AmberAmber bio coming soon.


 I’ve worked in both the human and animal medicine for most of my life. I have two dogs and 4 cats.. I also enjoy camping with my three daughters so we can enjoy the wildlife we can’t have at home.