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Dr. Rene` Gandolfi, D.V.M.
Dr. Rene Gandolfi, founder and chief veterinarian at Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital, brings extraordinary experience and resources to the hospital. Dr. Gandolfi graduated second in his class from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981 and attends their yearly symposium; he has served the Castro Valley Community since 1987.
He is a board-certified specialist in Canine and Feline Animal Care (American Board of Veterinary Practitioners) and a recognized expert in exotic species, including ferrets, bats and fish. He is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture, having attended the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine in 2014. Dr. G routinely lectures on a variety of subjects at veterinary symposia and conferences and is a strong advocate for the legalization of ferrets in California.
Dr. Gandolfi is one of the founders of Fix our Ferals, an all-volunteer spay and neuter clinic for homeless cats, and served as its Veterinary Director for over 12 years. He taught the critical care course for the RVT program at Western Career College, and sat on the College's advisory board.
He conceived and acted as Veterinary Director of the 1991 (Oakland) Firestorm Lost Pet Hotline.
Dr. G shares a house with his "owner", Cricket, a tortoise shell cat from Fairmont Animal Shelter. Prior to becoming a veterinarian, he taught high school (Chemistry, Astronomy and Algebra). Dr. Gandolfi is very interested in the professional growth of his staff, and approaches every situation with integrity, and compassion.
Dr. Kim Bercovitz, D.V.M.
Dr. Kim Bercovitz is an East Bay native, growing up right here in Hayward, California and attending Moreau Catholic High School. From there she went to the University of California at Davis where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. As an undergraduate, Dr. Bercovitz demonstrated the combination of intellectual curiosity and a desire to be of service by acting as a peer counselor, studying American Sign Language (ASL), and doing research using a goat model for human Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Expanding on her interests in medicine and animal care, she then went on to receive her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. Ever a local gal inside she returned to Castro Valley to establish her practice in the field, helping animals and their human caretakers alike.
Dr. B as her clients like to call her, lives in Castro Valley with her husband, two children and four dogs. Dr. B volunteers with Early Alert Canines and in her free time enjoys camping, reading with her book group, and spending quality time with her “fur” and “not-furred” kids.
Dr. Karen Harper, D.V.M.
Dr. Harper has been with Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital since October 2016. She grew up in rural Fresno County and around A LOT of animals. She always knew she wanted to work with them. Dr. Harper later attended UC Davis as an undergraduate studying zoology, and then went on to receive her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and has been practicing in the East Bay since 2000. She currently lives with her husband, two daughters, 3 cats, and a mouse!
Each of our staff members has variety of domestic as well as exotic pets of their own at home. (We tried to get them to pose too but their agents wanted too much money for a photo shoot.) For you, our client, this means that they have personal experience in the care, needs and handling of your special friend.
Rebecca, Lead Veterinary Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant
Rebecca was born in Hayward, CA and graduated from Hayward High School in 2008. She then went to San Jose State University for 4 years majoring in Biology/Zoology, however classes were difficult to get, so she ended up moving back home.
Rebecca had no choice but to love animals, since her mother was the office manager of a veterinary hospital since she was born. She has fond memories of practically growing up at a vet, so of course there was no other career path she could take. While still in high school, she was able to be a part time receptionist at another animal hospital in Castro Valley and remained there for 4 years. She hasn't lived a day in her life where she didn't have a pet and has cared for a number of different animals, from cats and dogs, to a rabbit named Chewy, and several different kinds of fish. She was especially close to a Siamese cat named Mokey, who was adopted as a kitten from in front of a pet store when she was 2 years old and was her best friend for over 17 years. She currently has 3 fur babies: Nikki, a French Bulldog and Pug Mix, Sammy, a Shih tzu and Maltese Mix, and Oliver, a Shih tzu.
Rebecca joined our team along with Dr. Bercovitz in August of 2012, as a file maintenance clerk. However, when it got busy she would also lend a hand as a veterinary assistant. Showing dedication, diligence, capability and the eagerness to take on new responsibilities, she was then assigned to receptionist. She enjoys working at the animal hospital and making clients and their pets feel at home.
Jacquelyn, Veterinary Receptionist
Jacquelyn recently joined our team in May 2017. Originally born in Orange, CA, she moved to Boise, ID at 8 years old and attended Eagle High School and College of Western Idaho. Then, because of a wonderful job opportunity for her fiancé, the two of them moved to Castro Valley in April 2017.
Outside of Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital, Jacquelyn lives with her boyfriend and a 4 year old female black Labrador retriever Mix named, Dutch. She loves to bake and decorate cakes. Her favorite sport is soccer, having played since she was 10 years old. She also really enjoys hiking, dirt biking, traveling, and has been to Japan and all over Europe.
When it comes to Veterinary Medicine, Jacquelyn likes to learn as much as she possibly can. Whether it be learning about the process of vaccine boosters for puppies and kittens, or the different illnesses certain species are pre-dispositioned for, she likes to fully understand as much as she can about our pets. Jacquelyn loves to meet new clients, their pets, and creating a positive experience for them at our hospital. She does her best to be warm and welcoming, so that both people and animals can feel comfortable and at ease here at CVCAH.
Savannah, Veterinary Receptionist
Savannah has also recently joined our team in August 2017. She was born in Fremont and raised in Newark, CA with her mom, dad, and brother. She has three pets at home; a one year old German Shepherd named Kona, a Siberian Husky named Kobe, and a 16 year old Orange Tabby Cat named Sunny. In her spare time, Savannah enjoys educating herself about canine nutrition, especially for her German Shepherd, Kona.
Amie, Registered Veterinary Technician
Amie was born in Hayward, but grew up in various cities all around the Bay Area. Her love of pets came at an early age when she went to work with her aunt, a groomer at a veterinary hospital. There she was able to watch her first Ovariohysterectomy, or Spay, at just 10 years old. Since then she has always been drawn to caring for pets. Amie joined the veterinary field in 2004, and has had the joy of rescuing all types of critters, including a squirrel.
In 2010, she decided to take her career a step further and obtained a degree in Veterinary Technology. She passed the California Registered Veterinary Technician State Board Exam the following year and joined our team in April of 2015. She currently resides in Castro Valley with her 1 and 1/2 year old son, Ethan, and a sassy 7 year old cat named Bumblebee. When she's not hard at work taking care of patients, she enjoys camping and fishing with her family, traveling, and of course, going to Disneyland.
Amie has shown great listening skills that provide our clients with the comfort of knowing their pet is going to be properly cared for. She assists Dr. Gandolfi in surgeries, as well as does our Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatments, or COHATs. Her knowledge and friendly disposition have given clients the reassurance they need when making the sometimes scary decision of putting a pet under anesthesia.
Angie, Veterinary Technician
Angie and her husband of 20 years have been residents of Castro Valley for the past 17 years. She has always loved animals since she was a child, being that she grew up with every type of critter you can imagine, from Horses to Lizards.
Angie and her husband currently have over 10 different critter children. They have 2 wonderful Labradors, named Rig and Moose, a 50 pound African Sulcata named Sammy, 2 Box Turtles, 3 Red Eared Sliders, several different fish and Koi, and a beautiful chicken named Booty. When Angie is not at work assisting doctors in the exam rooms, and helping Dr. Gandolfi in surgeries, she is an avid hunter and outdoors-woman, spending most of her spare time camping and hunting big game all across the United States.
Angie has been with Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital since 2007. She is dedicated to and does an excellent job of making sure all patients, no matter big or small, are taken care of and given the love they deserve away from home.
Nikki F., Veterinary Technician
Nicole, or Nikki as we fondly call her, was born in San Francisco, CA and lived there up until she was 12 years old. She moved with her family to Fremont, CA in 1993 where she remained until 2000 when she moved to the Central Valley. She is a mother of 3, and grandmother of 2, with her eldest son serving our country as a U.S. Marine. She is also the mother of a "fur baby" named Sally, a shih tzu.
Nikki has always been around animals. Her mother Betty, an avid dog and cat lover, rescued their first family dog in the late 70’s in San Francisco. This beautiful Irish Setter named Tara Jean O’Hara lived a long and loved life. Since then, Nikki has had a strong desire to work with animals. She has rescued and fostered many animals since 2000, fostering for Bay Area Boxer Rescue and NorCal Boxer Rescue. In 2001, Nikki took a huge leap and started her own Boxer/Boston Terrier rescue in the Central Valley called Round 2 Rescue. The rescue helped her land a job at a veterinary clinic in Newman, CA where she took her rescued dogs for vet care. She began working as a kennel technician in 2002 and worked her way up to vet assistant where she continued to work for this small and large animal practice for 4 years. She then decided to leave rescue and the veterinary field in 2005 to pursue other opportunities. After graduating from Marinello Beauty School with a degree in Cosmetology in March of 2011, Nikki had the desire to get back and do what she loved and that's helping animals.
Nikki joined our team here at Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital since June of 2011. A bit rusty in the beginning and scared people would not accept her tattoos, Nikki has proven that her ability to catch on quickly, combined with her desire to learn, helps her provide great customer service to our clients and their pets.
Jackie, Veterinary Assistant
Jackie was born in Walnut Creek but raised in Castro Valley. She recently graduated from Castro Valley High School in June of 2017 and has been with us ever since. At home she has MANY different kinds of animals including three Staffordshire Bull Terriers named Chili, Crystal, and Rosie, a Blue Iguana named Bronson, two Bearded Dragons named Blaze and Daisy, and six birds! Her family is starting an aviary with two Parakeets, two Red Rump Parrots, one Canary, and one Rosy Bourke. But that's not all; Jackie also has four fish tanks and an entire room dedicated to snakes, two leopard geckos and a tree frog!
Growing up with so many animals, Jackie naturally wanted to look into working in the veterinary field and loves it! When she is not helping doctors in the exam room, she enjoys playing soccer and softball, playing as keeper and catcher.
Marianne, Kennel Technician
Marianne grew up here in Castro Valley, and has always loved the small town feel of it. She also knew she would always wind up working with animals and has been in the Veterinary Field since 2001. She came over with Dr. B from another hospital in 2013 and has been diligently doing maintenance at the hospital ever since.
Although Marianne loves all animals, her favorite animals are cats. She loves their personalities, even when they're a little bit spicy. She has her own cat, a Torti named Neko, and while she is a lovable sweetheart at home, she turns into "Mr. Hyde" when taken anywhere else. Outside of animals, she loves movies and books, and has an extensive library of both.
Marianne works hard to give the hospital it's impeccable appearance, by taking care of the plants in the front of the hospital and backyard, cleaning and disinfecting rooms and floors, as well as helps decorate for the holidays. When we get a little shorthanded, she is also able to assist as a veterinary assistant by helping hold animals for vaccinations or blood draws, calming and relaxing animals while doing so.