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. 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'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 BS in Business Accounting in 2011, Master's in Business Administration in 2017, and Certified Veterinary Practice Manager credentials in 2021. 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.
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, her German Shepherd named Evie, and two cats, named Finn and Persephone. In her spare time, she enjoys training her dogs, gardening, cooking, baking and spending time with her family and friends.
Linda joined the team at Companion Animal Clinic in 2006 as a veterinary assistant but 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. She loves to hunt with her bird dog, a Brittany Spaniel named Doc.
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 many years. Megan graduated from the Bel-Rea Institute of Veterinary Technology in 2008 with an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences.
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 was hired as a kennel technician during her junior year of high school. Since then, she has moved to working as a veterinary assistant and says she learns more and more every shift. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is helping patients with kidney disease have proper treatment and live a beautiful life after diagnosis. As for her own pets, Sierra has one cat, Nelly, and two dogs, Thorn and Dakota.
Ceillo has been working at Companion since she was 17 years old. She was hired as a kennel technician but slowly progressed into a veterinary assistant. Ceillo has decided to further her career in veterinary medicine and is currently enrolled in Mount San Antonio College's Registered Veterinary Technician program. While working as a kennel technician, she realized how much of a difference veterinary technicians make in their patients' lives. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine. At home, Ceillo has two dogs, Peanut and Ruger, along with tortoises.
Joanne was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in a home where animals were considered members of the family. Inspired as a child by nature documentaries and biographies of Jane Goodall, Joanne always knew her career would be in an animal field. She graduated from a university in Ohio with a B.A. in Zoology and landed a job back in California as a keeper at a local zoo. During her 20-years tending to the well-being of wildlife, Joanne developed an appreciation for the medical side of animal care. She earned an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology at Mt. San Antonio College which allowed her to obtain a license as a Registered Vet Tech. Joanne joined Companion Animal Clinic in 2019 where she continues to treat every animal as family and endeavors to make every pet’s visit as stress free as possible.
Joanne has lived in Yucca Valley with her husband since 2005. Her human family includes two grown stepsons and two granddaughters. Her animal family includes her dogs Dexter, Buddy and Louie, a cat named Zoe, tortoises, tropical fish, and a 25-year-old tarantula.
Aislinn started working as a kennel technician with us in July 2020, then moved up to Veterinary Assistant shortly thereafter. She knew that she wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine after her cat was hit by a car in 2013. She is currently enrolled at CSU Chico, majoring in Animal Sciences with the intention of going to vet school and finding her way back home to the desert. She finds equine medicine and neurology to be particularly interesting. She loves gathering information and helping to solve the "puzzle" of medical issues. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, reading, and horseback riding. She loves spending time with her brood of animals; 2 dogs named Chico and Dingo, 2 cats named Daisy and Quail, 1 chicken named Ophelia, and 1 leopard gecko named Squishy. She also actively competes with her Thoroughbred horse named Della.
Reina joined Companion Animal Clinic as a Veterinary Assistant in July 2021. She attended UC Davis and majored in Animal Science. She is a lover of all animals, including exotics. Reina has a rottweiler/husky mix named Denver, a pit bull/ pointer mix named Benji, a cat named Cow, and a cat named Snipey.
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 seven grandchildren. She enjoys working out at the gym and hanging out with her husband of 37+ years. Erin's fur baby is her Shih Tzu "Oscar" and her not-so-fur baby is a bearded dragon named "Whip".
Blake joined our team in May 2020. As a little girl growing up with all types of animals, and having a mother who had a love for veterinary medicine, Blake developed a deep appreciation and love for animals. She would one day like to have a career focusing on the medical side of working in a veterinary clinic. She's currently enrolled in college and will be obtaining 3 Associate of Arts degrees this fall: Criminal Justice, Administrative Justice, and Liberal Arts and Social Behavior Science. In her spare time, Blake enjoys off-roading, traveling, riding horses, and working on her truck. She also has a Plothound named Penny Lane.
Aria is currently enrolled in school to be a Registered Veterinary Technician and enjoys her role helping animals. She has three kitties at home: Leia, Kitty, and Ash.