Meet Our Staff

  • Dr. Joni Samuels
    Dr. Joni Samuels, Founder

    Dr. Joni is originally from the Midwest but has lived in the Santa Ynez Valley since 1979. She is a 1977 graduate of Michigan State University. She founded Buellton Veterinary Clinic in 1981 with just one part time employee and has watched it grow into the full service hospital it is today. Although she remains the business manager of the clinic, Dr. Joni is looking at “semi-retirement” and works only 1-2 days a week, mostly in the business office. She is eternally grateful to all the clients over the last 40 years who have entrusted her and the clinic staff with their pet’s well-being.

  • Mary Margaret
    Dr. Mary Margaret Gross, Veterinarian

    Dr. Gross graduated from the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. After practicing for 22 years in Las Vegas, she is happy to join the BVC family in 2019. She continues to expand her knowledge and understanding of veterinary medicine, including alternative approaches. She feels comfortable in either the exam room or surgery room. Outside the office, she enjoys doing sports with her dog, 'Justy', reading, hiking and watching movies.

  • Kate-Napawan
    Dr. Kate Napawan, Veterinarian

    Dr. Kate Napawan joined BVC in June of 2021. She moved to our beautiful part of the world from Iowa where she graduated from Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. She is comfortable both in the exam room and the surgical suite and is expanding her skills in the area of ultrasound. She shares her home with her husband and 5 adorable small dogs. In her spare time she loves hiking, traveling and photography. She has a personal goal of completing the 52 Hike Challenge which has her completing a new one-mile hike weekly for a whole year. 

  • Tina
    Dr. Tina Taylor, Veterinarian
    Dr. Tina Taylor has over twenty-two years of clinical experience as a small animal practitioner. She is a Regents Scholar from UCSB with a degree in Biological Sciences, and a 1992 Wilson Memorial Scholar from UC Davis with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she gained experience in Northern California before returning home to Santa Barbara County in 1998. Dr. Taylor became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 2003. In 2007, she completed her Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. She furthered her interest in analgesia in 2009 with Certification in Veterinary Pain Management through the International Veterinary Pain Management Society. Dr. Taylor recently completed the Don Low Fellowship in Internal Medicine at UC Davis. Outside the office, she enjoys training for triathlons and playing with her horse, rabbit, hens, cat and her two dogs, Petunia and Linus.
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    Sandra Hecker, Registered Veterinary Technician

    Sandra joined Buellton Veterinary Clinic in December 2018. She comes to us with 12 years of veterinary technician experience. Sandra completed the alternate route program at Allan Hancock and in 2017 she passed her board exam to become a licensed RVT. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters and three dogs, 'Oz' 'Lucy', and 'Roscoe'. 

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    Luis De la Cruz, Registered Veterinary Technician

    Luis joined Buellton Veterinary Clinic this year as Technician Assistant. He has completed the Registered Veterinary Technician Alternate Route Program at Allan Hancock College and is working towards taking the Exam to be an RVT. He is also working on a Bachelors in biology. In his free time he likes spending time with family and his two dogs Charlie and Coco. 

  • Araceli Razo
    Araceli Villa - Veterinary Assistant

    Araceli joined BVC in 2018. She finished the RVT program at Allan Hancock College in 2020. She also has her associate's degree from Allan Hancock College.  Villa plans on working towards being able to sit for her RVT exam and obtaining a bachelor's in Animal Science. She enjoys spending time with her family and pets; a dog named Koko and 2 cats Sonic and Zara.

  • Daisy Vigil
    Daisy Vigil - Veterinary Assistant

    Daisy joined BVC in 2022. She finished her Veterinary Technician program at Allan Hancock in 2019. Daisy's plan is to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. She also has her Associates from Allan Hancock College. Daisy enjoys hiking, reading, horror movies and collecting horror props and pins. In the future daisy would love to own a big piece of property and raise cows, pigs, dogs and LOTS of cats. She is married and has two pets, a beagle Tobias and a spicy orange kitty named Freddie. 

  • Karina Nunez
    Karina Nunez - Veterinary Assistant

    Karina joined BVC in 2021. She finished the RVT program at Allan Hancock in 2018. She has her associates from Allan Hancock College. She also is a licensed nail technician. Karina enjoys nail art, baking and spending time with her nephews. Karina also enjoys spending time with her little dog Yumi. In the future she would like to travel out of the country. 

  • Brianne
    Brianne Gonzales, Client Care Representative

    Brianne has worked in the veterinary field since 2001. She joined the Buellton Veterinary Clinic in February of 2005. In the time that Brianne has been with BVC, we have watched her develop her knowledge and skills both in customer service and product knowledge. In her spare time she is also involved with C.A.R.E. 4 Paws,  an active advocate for reducing overpopulation of animals. She especially enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog Lemmy.

  • Michelle Cardenas
    Michelle Cardenas - Client Care Representative

    Michelle joined BVC in 2019. She enjoys hiking, traveling, sight seeing and spending time with her family and dogs 'Penelope', 'Charlie' and her bird 'Rita'

  • taylor wise
    Taylor Wise - Client Care Representative

    Taylor joined BVC in 2022. She has worked in the veterinary field since 2018 and has always had a strong passion for animals. Taylor has a degree in Animal Science from Modesto Junior College. She enjoys thrifting, traveling and glamping. Taylors hopes to hit the lotto in the near future. She is married with 4 pets. Three dogs: Major, Ramsey, Brock and 1 cat named Teagan.

  • Julie
    Julie Esola, Groomer
    Julie, our Senior Groomer has been working at Buellton Veterinary Clinic since 1995 and has earned an excellent reputation for her work. She has over 20 years experience grooming animals in addition to having worked as a veterinary technician. She is also a Behavior Certified Companion Animal Hygienist and is our resident puppy trainer. Julie has completed advanced training in behavior issues and is also available for consultations
  • Elizabeth Mello
    Elizabeth Mello, Grooming Assistant

    Elizabeth joined BVC in 2023. Elizabeth is a hard worker and brings positivity to our grooming department. She has studied Korean at SBCC and enjoys collecting photocards and pet sitting. In the future she would like to get in to grooming professionally. Elizabeth has two dogs named Zoe and Daisy and a step-dog named Gavroche. 

  • Stacie
    Stacie Morris, Bed & Breakfast Boarding Staff

    Stacie has been a part of BVC’s Bed and Breakfast team since 1992. Her compassion and love for animals appears so natural that the work doesn’t even seem to be an equation - although we do appreciate the fact that she is a bit of a “neat freak”. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, biking and all things leading to a healthy life style.

  • Niccole Julien
    Niccole Julien, Bed and Breakfast Boarding Staff

    Niccole joined Buellton Veterinary Clinic in May 2021. She is passionate about animals and shows that through her kindness to all the pets that come in for baths. Niccole’s goal is to continue learning about animal care so she can one day open her own rescue. Niccole loves to go dancing, work in her garden and hike out in nature. Niccole has 4 rescue dogs, 1 rabbit and 1 chicken who she loves all very much. 

  • Jami Graham
    Jami Graham - Bed and Breakfast Boarding Staff

    Jami joined BVC bed and breakfast in 2023. She has attended Allan Hancock and received her associates degree in social and behavioral science. Sha has also completed the Veterinary Technician Program in 2021. She is working towards becoming a Veterinary Assistant. She has a side job pet sitting and dog walking. Jami has lived in Germany and has been to 13 countries. She enjoys traveling and seeing new things and places. 

We welcome new clients!!