Dr. Ken M. Upton, Medical Director
Dr. Upton received his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois in 1989. He has lived in San Diego since graduating. In addition to providing general veterinary care, his special area of interest is performing soft tissue and orthopedic surgery. Dr. Upton is a member of the San Diego County Veterinary Medical Association, California Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
In his spare time, Dr. Upton enjoys spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and children, Dylan and Lauren. Dr. Upton, also makes time for boating, surfing, snow skiing, and hiking with his dog "Kirra".
Dr. Michelle Schexneider, Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Schexneider fell in love with Veterinary Medicine while working as a Registered Veterinary Technician in a small animal clinic after college and decided to go back to school to become a doctor. She received her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA in 2007. She completed a one-year surgical and medical internship at the Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Irvine, CA and joined the Pacific Pet Hospital team in August 2008. She is inspired daily by her 2 dogs - "LT," a Golden retriever mix, and "Evander," a westie mix.
In her spare time Dr. Schexneider enjoys dinner parties and BBQs, traveling, and boating on the Colorado River with friends. She loves hanging out with her very supportive husband Will and her adorable son who keeps them plenty entertained.
Vivian Toral, RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician)
Alicia Nieto, Veterinary Exam Room Nurse
Alicia first began working at Pacific Pet Hospital in 2003. She chose a career in Veterinary Medicine due to her love and compassion for animals. Alicia enjoys caring for her own pets at home, "Othello"; a Shar Pei mix, and her two tortoises.
Alicia graduated from Bonita Vista High School in 2001, and then from Pima Medical Institute in 2003. When Alicia is not working with animals, she enjoys going to Disneyland, the Zoo, Seaworld, and spending time with Arlo; her husband, and Isabella and Estafania; her two daughters. Although Alicia has a love for all animals, she has a special love and interest in the almost extinct Sea Turtle.
Amy Garcia, Veterinary Nurse
Amy has been part of the Pacific Pet Hospital team since June 2006. Animals have always been a part of her life and she could not imagine doing anything else with her life. Amy has two pets at home, a Chihuahua named "Biki" and a poodle mix named "Picaro".
In her spare time, she loves to read, play video games, and spend time with friends. Amy graduated from Hilltop High School in 2005. She then completed the Veterinary Assistant program from PIMA in August of 2006.
Debbie Whitney, Receptionist
Debbie has been working at Pacific Pet Hospital since 1995. Debbie chose the veterinary field because of the unconditional love she can give and receive from the animals that are hospitalized. Debbie majored in Advertising and graduated from San Diego State University in 1999. In her spare time Debbie enjoys shopping at Macy's and spending time with her nephew.
Karla Castaneda, Receptionist
Karla joined the Pacific Pet Hospital team in February of 2010. She has always had the passion to work with kids and animals. After previously working as a receptionist for a pediatrician's office for six years, she decided to cross over into animal healthcare which she greatly enjoys.
She has a husband, Hugo, and two daughters, Kaylin & Kamryn. In her spare time, Karla enjoys reading, going to the beach, bowling, BBQ's, and any quality time she has with her family. Even though she doesn't have any pets at this time, she would one day love to have a Great Dane.
Julie Burgess, Veterinary Support Nurse
Julie began working for Pacific Pet Hospital in July 2012. Having a rewarding career and taking care of animals is Julie's passion. Knowing that taking a trip to to the Veterinarian can be a stressful experience for a pet, Julie's aims to make the patients as comfortable as possible and treats every pet as she would treat her own. Julie graduated from Bonita Vista High School and has been in the Veterinary field for the past 10 years.
In her spare time Julie enjoys swimming, wakeboarding, playing pool, and listening to live music. Julie also enjoys spending time with her "animal children". Currently Julie cares for Kona and Whinnie (Boxer sisters) and a rabbit named Roy.
Janet Blake, Veterinary Exam Room Nurse
Janet joined our team in August 2013 after “dabbling” in various other careers like massage therapy, forensics, and prison guard. She realized animal care is what she actually desired, as she has a passion for ALL animals. She feels her main purpose is to help as many animals as possible. She loves being part of a “life saving” team in the veterinary field.
Janet graduated Pima’s Veterinary Assistant program in 2008. Her first veterinary job was in San Felipe, Mexico at a non-profit animal rescue. She is currently enrolled in an online veterinary technician program helping her to become a RVT. Her ultimate career goal is to become the ASPCA rep on movie sets and TV shows.
Janet is an only child, but her friends are like brothers and sisters to her. She has a poodle named Snooks and lives with two rad roommates. She reads up on all things metaphysical, collects crystals and gem stones, has beach time with her dog, attempts fitness and yoga, cooks, sees movies, watches her favorite show “Workaholics,” and is the biggest James Franco fan of all time. She would like her clients to know she loves all animals and their pets are her priority.
Ruthie Ryan, Receptionist
Ruthie joined our team in May of 2013. She loves being around animals every day. She loves building relationships with clients and their pets. She prefers being the receptionist because she can provide comfort to our animals without having to be the one to do the "dirty work" that the doctors and technicians get to do. She has a beautiful daughter named Bea who is sassy but sweet like her momma. Ruthie does not have pets right now, but in her lifetime has had every animal you can think of as a pet. Animals have always been a part of her life. Her favorite was her dog Oreo who was her baby.
Ruthie loves to paint abstract and draws. She's obsessed with fashion, so she finds excuses for retail therapy from time to time. She spends time with her daughter and nephews a lot. Family is everything to Ruthie. Her mom is her best friend. She loves the Chargers and never misses an episode of General Hospital. She'd like her clients to know she will treat their pets as if they were her own and will make them feel as comfortable as they can be. Never be afraid to ask her anything - if she doesn't know the answer she'll find someone who does.