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.