Meet Our Staff

Dr. Linda Colburn, Veterinarian/ Owner


Dr. Colburn is California native, who had been making her way eastward for the last 25 years before returning to her roots. She spent junior high and high school in Leadville, Colorado. Her bachelors degree in biology was earned at Hastings College, Nebraska. Dr. Colburn enjoyed veterinary school in the beautiful island of Grenada at St. George's University, with the clinical year completed at University of Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude in 2007. One year of advanced training as an intern was completed at the Center for Specialized Veterinary care in Long Island. After working in general practice and emergency on the east coast for the last seven and a half years, she returned to Grenada as a visiting professor for a few months. Now Dr. Colburn is happy to be back in California, close to family. Her approach to veterinary medicine is that she is a pet’s advocate and her goal is to work within a pet “parent's” means to achieve the best possible healthcare outcomes. When she's not working, she enjoys spending time with her schnoodle named Romeo, playing word games, climbing, and exploring outdoors. 

Dr. Norm Smith, Veterinarian


Dr. Smith has called the Morongo Basin home since 1962. He attended school in Yucca Valley from kindergarten through 12th grade. After high school, he attended Cal Poly Pomona and graduated with honors, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. Culminating his academics in 1987, he graduated from the school of veterinary medicine at U.C. Davis as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Compelled to serve the High Desert communities he had grown to love, Dr. Smith returned to Yucca Valley and started an equine ambulatory practice in 1990. Within two years, the practice developed into a small animal hospital and still maintained the quality equine service. Dr. Smith and his wife Shara have two sons, Camron and Taylor, and enjoy the fresh air and wide open spaces that living in Yucca Valley allows. Their two dogs (Mia & Oliver) and two cats (Ricky & Julius) complete the family.  

Heather Stafford, MBA, Practice Manager


Heather's love for animals began at an early age. She began volunteering at Northridge Veterinary Clinic in Yucca Valley when she was just 11 years old. Through the years, she worked as a kennel attendant, lead receptionist, veterinary assistant, Clinic Administrator, and is now our Practice Manager. She has worked in both general practice and orthopedic specialty hospitals around the country. Heather earned her AA in General Studies in 2008, BS in Business Accounting in 2011, and MBA in 2017.  She joined our team in April 2012 and has proven to be a hardworking, dedicated individual. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her daughters and fundraising for the Lupus Foundation of America.  

Technician Staff

Jenny Orr, RVT, Lead Technician


Jenny has been a California Registered Veterinary Technician since 2010. She has been a member of the high desert for almost her entire life. As a child she grew up watching her father, a game warden, rehabilitate wildlife. This gave her the inspiration to form a career in veterinary medicine. She started her career working for a veterinarian in Joshua Tree, CA who treated wildlife and exotics, as well as domestic small animals. While employed there, her love for working with animals grew tremendously. In 2000, she began working for Dr. Norm Smith and has since worked her way up to the position of lead veterinary technician. Jenny is dedicated to providing animals with the best care and love possible. She has developed an interest in animal behavior and has attended seminars to further her education and training on dealing with patients who have behavior problems. Jenny resides in Yucca Valley with her son Bryce, two dogs (Riley and Evie), and three cats (Kuma, Toby, and Persephone). In her spare time, she enjoys training her dogs, gardening, cooking, baking and spending time with her family and friends.   

Linda, Veterinary Assistant


Linda has lived in the High Desert since 2003. She previously hailed from the Palm Springs area where she was raised around horses, dogs and cats. She formed a career in veterinary medicine, working at Palm Springs and Desert Animal Hospitals for a combined total of 16 years. Linda has greatly enjoyed working with animals in the veterinary field. She joined the team at Companion Animal Clinic in 2006 as a veterinary assistant. Linda currently resides in Yucca Valley with her son Casey, three dogs (Dozer, Chevy and River) and two cats (Kitty and Pinecone).

Megan, Veterinary Assistant


Megan is an animal enthusiast and devoted pet owner. With a natural desire to nurture and heal, she has been in the animal medical related field for five years. Megan graduated from the Bel-Rea Institute of Veterinary Technology in 2008 with an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences. It has truly been wonderful being involved in a career field that she absolutely loves. She has a few pampered pets of her own: a Great Dalmatian mix named Peaches and an incredible Arabian Mare named Ari. 

Kylie, Veterinary Assistant


Debbi, Veterinary Assistant



Debbi has dedicated her life to animal care in many forms! In addition to being a vet assistant, she has worked with everything from giraffes to rattlesnakes as a zoo keeper, has helped pets find new homes while working in a shelter, and has cared for and trained a variety of horses both here and on the east coast. In her spare time she teaches riding lessons and works with her own horses for fun and competition. If she's not at work or the barn, she can usually be found watching a live band somewhere! Debbi's home herd consists of small dogs, cats, a tortoise, and two horses. 

Sierra, Veterinary Assistant


Bethany, Veterinary Assistant


Joanne, RVT


Reception Staff

Erin, Reception Supervisor


Erin met Dr. Norman Smith when he was out on a ranch call to care for her horses in the fall of 1994.  Shortly thereafter, she became one of Companion Animal Clinic's receptionists, learning her skills on the job.  Her love of animals has kept her in the veterinary field all this time.   Erin took some time away from Companion Animal Clinic to explore other options but she has returned to where she calls "home".  Because of the family-oriented atmosphere and the warm welcome of our clients, she is here to stay!  In her free time, she enjoys her three adult children and five grandchildren.  She enjoys working out at the gym and hanging out with her husband of 35 years.  Erin's fur baby is her Shih Tzu "Oscar" and her not-so-fur baby is a bearded dragon named "Whip".

Audriana, Client Services Coordinator


Audriana was born in Arizona and raised most of her life in California.  She moved to the High Desert in 2011 while focusing on college full-time.  Audriana graduated college with a BS in Business Administration in April 2015.  Since then, she has been happily married with three children: one boy, two girls, and two fur babies.  She has a canine named Bella and a feline named Midknight.  In her free time, Audriana enjoys spending time with family, doing crafts/decorating, and exploring the outdoors.

Brittany, Client Services Coordinator

Megan, who was born and raised in central Illinois, moved to the Hi-desert in 2015. Since exploring


Brittany is originally from Vermont, but has lived in various places around the United States throughout her lifetime. 

She and her husband, Jeff, recently moved to Joshua Tree. 

They enjoy their time with their five fur-babies which include a Great Pyrenees mix named Bentley, two Chihuahua mixes named Jackson and Rosie, along with two black cats named Frankie and Freya. 

Brittany joined the Companion Team in the early fall of 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys walking and hiking with her dogs, weekend beach trips in the summer and also cooking, but mostly eating. 


Cindy, Client Services Coordinator


Cindy recently rejoined our team at the beginning of 2019.  She’s been a veterinary receptionist for 6 years and loves interacting with the clients and pets.  She’s been married to her husband, Rob, for 10 years and she also does the administrative work for their home business.  In her spare time she loves to oil paint, bake and spend time outdoors.  She also loves spending time with her 3 cats, Little Bit, Gracie and Thomas.  All 3 of her cats are rescues. Thomas, the most recent addition, was rescued here at Companion Animal Clinic.  She and her husband own 2 acres in a wooded hilly area in Iowa and eventually plan on building a home there.

Kennel Staff