We put your pet’s health first!
Dr. Kim Bercovitz, D.V.M.Dr. Kim Bercovitz is Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital’s Practice Owner since January of 2018. She is an East Bay native, having grown up right here in Hayward, California and attended 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.
One of the most common things we hear is about Dr. B’s incredible bedside manner. She truly cares about both her patient’s and her client’s well-being, while also practicing the best medicine.
Dr. Rene` Gandolfi, D.V.M.Dr. Rene Gandolfi, founder of Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital, brings extraordinary experience and resources to the hospital. Dr. G, as we fondly call him, graduated 2nd in his class at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981 and continues to attend their yearly symposiums. After his graduation, he began to serve the Castro Valley Community since 1987.
Dr. Gandolfi is a board-certified specialist in Canine and Feline Animal Care, recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, and is a recognized expert in exotic species, including ferrets, bats, and fish. He attended the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine in 2014 and became certified in Veterinary Acupuncture. He routinely lectures on a variety of subjects at veterinary symposiums 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 it’s 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 also conceived and acted as Veterinary Director of the 1991 Oakland Firestorm Lost Pet Hotline. Before becoming a veterinarian, he taught high school Chemistry, Astronomy, and Algebra.
Today, Dr. G is moving his main focus over from General Western Veterinary Medicine to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and is only accepting new patients for TCVM. However, he will continue to see his existing patients for Western Medicine, as well as remain as one of our Veterinary Surgeons on staff. Dr. G has always been interested in his professional growth and is very excited to embark on this new journey in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Karen Harper, D.V.M.
Dr. Karen Harper grew up in Fresno County. She grew up around A LOT of animals her entire life, and 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 Area since 2000.
When not helping to improve the lives of animals, she is at home with her husband of 18 years, her 15 and 12-year-old daughters, her three cats and a mouse. Dr. Harper joined our team in 2015 as a relief doctor for Dr. Gandolfi one day a week. When the opportunity presented itself to have her join us full time in 2018, she took it. And we are so very thankful she did. She is incredibly thorough and kind, always giving her all to every case she works with.
Dr. Melissa Hardy, D.V.M.
Dr. Hardy earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Purdue University, College of Veterinary Medicine. Since moving to California in 2010, Dr. Hardy has been involved in the East Bay community by volunteering and/or working with, Fix Our Ferals, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, Solano Feral Cat Group, Tri-Valley Fix Our Ferals, VIP Pet Care, Vetco, and Human Society Veterinary Medical Association-RAVS.
Dr. Hardy has 4 dogs and two parrots. She enjoys hiking and has backpacked locally in Yosemite National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Other leisure activities include spending time with friends and family, gardening, fishing, fine dining, and exploring California (she loves Big Sur!)
She takes a special interest in French Bulldogs due, in part, to her own Frenchie, Zoe, and also appreciates taking care of geriatric patients. She is an avid dental care enthusiast and enjoys soft tissue surgery.
Our support staff:
Each of our staff members has a 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.
Marci was born and raised in Castro Valley and has been working in the veterinary field since she was 16 years old! She had been a Registered Veterinary Technician for years, having worked with several of our staff and Dr. Bercovitz at another clinic. She came to Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital along with Dr. B in 2011 but wound up moving to Yuba City after a few years. Now, several more years later after making the move, she makes the long commute to be CVCAH’s Practice Manager.
Marci resides in Yuba City with her husband of 16 years, and her two boys: Calvin, 14 years old, and Jason, 11 years old. And let’s not forget all of the different animals she has! They currently have four cats: a 5 and ½-year-old Domestic Shorthair named Spider Crab, two 4-year-old Domestic Shorthairs named Ninja and Mr. Squee, and lastly a 1-year-old Domestic Shorthair named Goonie. Not to mention all the kittens she is constantly fostering and finding wonderful forever homes for.
But it’s not just cats that reside in Marci’s household. She also has 7 Tarantulas: A Chilean Rose Hair, a Mexican Red Rump, a Chilean Copper, a Green Bottle Blue, a Brazilian Red and White, a Chaco Golden Knee, and a Curly Hair Tarantula! She also has a Veiled Chameleon, a Leopard Gecko, two Box Turtles, and wild toads in her backyard.
When she’s not at CVCAH, she’s working at the Yuba City Animal Shelter or going to business school. Marci is one of the hardest workers we have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Our team has only grown and improved with her leadership. Look forward to the many more positive changes she will bring to our practice!
Registered Veterinary TechnicianAmie 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 ten 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.
Veterinary TechnicianAngie 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 ten different critter children. They have two 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.
Veterinary TechnicianNicole, 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 four 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.
Veterinary TechnicianLily was born in Castro Valley but grew up in Hayward. She is a graduate of Mt. Eden High School and has been in Veterinary Medicine since 2012. She is currently enrolled in Penn Foster to get her license to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. The love and concern for animals’ well-being must run in her family. For she has two sisters who both also happen to work in the veterinary field, one of them being our RVT, Amie! She has two fur babies, a 6-year-old Chihuahua Mix named Ladybird and a 6-month-old Domestic Long Hair Kitty named Yumi.
Lily is really interested in Animal Dentistry and Surgical Procedures. Once she becomes a Registered Veterinary Technician, she will be able to be more involved in such procedures. She loves horror movies and musicals and is really interested in painting, sewing, crafting, and drawing. Her creative side was so strong that she originally thought she wanted to be a tattoo artist. However, her love for animals was even stronger.
We are very excited to have Lily on our team! Her love for animals shows at each and every appointment. She already knows so much but is always willing to learn more. We feel her attention to detail combined with her concern for animals, and friendly disposition will make any pet owner feel confident in trusting her with their pet.
Veterinary TechnicianRebecca was born in Hayward, CA and graduated from Hayward High School in 2008. She then went to San Jose State University for four 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 four years. She hasn’t lived a day in her life where she didn’t have a pet and had cared for some 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 two 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.
Veterinary AssistantJackie 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.
Veterinary AssistantAlex is new to our team. She was actually born and raised in Los Angeles. She was accepted to and attended UC Davis for Animal Biology. She has one kitty named Ainsley, is the youngest of seven kids and has a twin sister. Her ultimate goal is to become a veterinarian. When she is not working hard at school or with our team, she loves to bake. She is quick to learn and always willing to jump right into anything we present her with. We hope our clients and patients love her just as much as we do!
Kennel TechnicianMarianne 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 had 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.