Get to know the amazing team of Tell Tail Veterinary Urgent Care.
Our Team of Professionals
Meet our amazing team of doctors and staff that will be providing expert veterinary care to your pets. To view a bio, simply click on an image.
Dalia was born in New York but spent her childhood in California. She entered the veterinary field in 2016 where she quickly found her passion for helping animals. This year, Dalia completed the rigorous RVT program and is hoping to take the VTNE soon.
Outside of work, Dalia enjoys hiking, going on adventures, and her new hobby of rollerskating. She is also a part of a tight-knit family with which she spends a lot of time with. Her four-legged family consists of 4 cats, named Blackie, Mocha, Cremita, and Cheetah, and 2 dogs, named Cheesecake and Aries. She also cares for her betta fish named Blue.
Erika grew up in San Diego, calling Logan Heights and Barrio Logan her home. She graduated from PIMA Medical Institute with honors and is going on her 5th year in veterinary medicine and her 4th year as an RVT.
When she’s not at work, Erika loves hanging out with friends, cooking, hiking, and spending time with her two cats, Kitty and Bagheera. She is also hoping to do some more traveling this year as well! Erika is a first-generation Mexican-American, with most of her family living in Mexico. However, she does have her mom, two younger brothers, one older sister, and 12 nieces and nephews here in the US as well as her wonderful friends whom she calls her chosen family.
Maribel grew up here in beautiful San Diego. She attended Mesa College and received her associate’s degree in Animal Health in 2019. Since then, she has worked in the veterinary field, specializing in radiation and imaging. She has a special love for working with cancer patients during their treatment.
Outside of her professional life, Maribel enjoys training her dog, bowling, playing soccer, and watching TV. She is particularly interested in true crime, Disney movies, and telenovelas. Her family consists of one brother and two sweet pups, a shepherd mix named Dior and a dachshund mix named Phoebe.
Dr. Cody was born and raised in Wisconsin and attended undergraduate and veterinary school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Although Madison is an amazing place, she needed to escape the cold and snow and upon graduating, Dr. Cody relocated to San Diego for a one-year rotating internship (with Dr. Hackett!) in 2007 and has never wanted to leave since. After completing her internship, she has spent many years as an emergency and critical care clinician at a local emergency and specialty hospital. Her medical interests include trauma (she was nicknamed the “plastic surgeon” at her previous practice for laceration repairs), acute illness, and the treatment of toxicities. She is excited to bridge the gap between emergency medicine and general practice as an urgent care veterinarian.
In her free time, Dr. Cody enjoys taking Spanish classes to maintain her fluency and traveling (usually to Spanish-speaking countries). During the pandemic, she picked up the hobby of completing jigsaw puzzles and now competes in team competitions. At home, Dr. Cody spends time with her husband, two cats, and two dogs.
Gaby grew up in sunny Moreno Valley. She completed her assistant certificate in 2015 and quickly transitioned to technician school. She’s worked in the veterinary industry for 6 years, focusing her attention on emergency medicine.
When she’s not caring for animals at work, Gaby loves to hike, go on road trips, visit Disneyland, and go to the beach. At home, she has two siblings, two nieces, and 1 nephew.
MJ grew up in Rancho Cucamonga. She earned her degree in Art Education before deciding to chase her dreams of caring for animals. She entered the veterinary field in 2018, and quickly completed San Diego Mesa College’s Animal Health Technology program in 2019. Shortly after, MJ passed her VTNE and became a Registered Veterinary Technician. Since then, MJ has gained experience in general practice as well as radiation and oncology.
When she’s not caring for animals at work, MJ enjoys spending time with her family and being an aunt. She also loves hiking, drawing with charcoal and pencil, working on her family tree, and learning to speak Danish. While she currently does not have any pets of her own, MJ has a fur nephew named Tucker, an Irish cream golden retriever who loves collecting pine cones on his walks.
Dr. Perez grew up in Northern San Diego County. She completed her undergraduate at SDSU with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2013. After working as a veterinary technician for 10 years at general practice and ER, Dr. Perez set her sights on veterinary school. She graduated from St. George’s University, Grenada Magna Cum Laude in 2022. In addition, Dr. Perez attended the Chi University of Acupuncture as well as completed wildlife externships in Kenya and South Africa.
In her spare time, Dr. Perez enjoys traveling and Hawaiian dancing, which she has done for 19 years. Her furry family consists of Marley (15 year-old bichon frisé), Appa (10 year-old chihuahua/shih tzu mix), Dion (3 year-old jack russel/lab/american bulldog mix), Cloudy (11 year-old bichon frisé), Nossa (6 year-old mini schnauzer), and Yato el Chico Vato Gato (3 year-old orange tabby). Dr. Perez and her husband love taking their dogs on their hiking adventures.
Dr. Brida spent her childhood assisting in an animal hospital where her father worked as a veterinarian. During her studies, she explored exotic pet medicine, spending off-campus rotations at the Dallas Fort Worth Zoo and the Indianapolis Zoo. Upon completing her DVM degree from Purdue University in 2012, Dr. Brida found her passion for emergency medicine, where she has been working ever since.
At home, Dr. Brida has two children and a lovable cockapoo named Wally. Her hobbies outside of work include playing the piano, exercising, traveling, and spending time with her family. Dr. Brida’s experience in emergency medicine and compassionate care make her an integral member of our team of skilled veterinarians.
Dr. Hackett has been practicing veterinary medicine in the San Diego area since 2007. Dr. Hackett grew up in Colorado surrounded by dogs, cats, bunnies, and a box turtle she rescued after it was run over by a tractor. She dreamed of becoming a veterinarian as a young girl. Now that she has realized this dream, she understands the human-animal bond and focuses her efforts on optimizing her patients’ health and quality of life. Dr. Hackett has a special interest in preventive care, dentistry, surgery, urgent care, and internal medicine (especially diabetes). After graduating from Colorado State University, Dr. Hackett moved to San Diego to fulfill an internship with VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center. Here, she gained vital experience in emergency medicine, internal medicine, and soft tissue surgery which she uses every day in urgent care to safely care for her patients.
Dr. Hackett loves the outdoors. When she’s not surrounded by animals, she’s in the ocean, the trails, or in the mountains. She’s also incredibly attached to her cat Nelson.
A Southern California native, Dr. Henry knew from a very young age that she wanted to be involved in emergency medicine.
She started her career in Colorado as an emergency medical technician and then as a paramedic working on ambulances, helicopters, and Learjets.
After more than a decade, Dr. Henry decided she wanted to do more and combined her love of emergency medicine with her love for animals, pursuing her veterinary career at Ross University in St. Kitts, West Indies. Dr. Henry completed her clinical year at the University of Illinois before returning home to California. She worked in primary care medicine for a year until feeling the call to return to her emergency medicine roots.
Dr. Henry enjoys playing softball, golf, scuba diving, and reading in her spare time. She shares her home with a standard dachshund named Dodger.
Dr. Whitford spent several years as a field biologist before finding her way to veterinary medicine. She elected to attend Massey University in New Zealand as a way to spend time in a unique and beautiful place while studying. After an unexpected child (or two) made their appearances, she returned to her hometown in rural East County San Diego, and became officially licensed in California in 2020. She is excited to start out her career working with the talented team at Tell Tail, where the focus is on helping pets and their people with urgent issues.
RVT, Cat-Friendly Certified
Shirley has lived in Guam, the Philippines, Japan, and Hawaii before calling San Diego her home. She graduated from the Mesa College Animal Health Technology Program and received her RVT license in 2002. She has worked in the specialties of Emergency, Dermatology, Surgery, Opthalmology, and most recently, Oncology. In the past, she has taught the Junior Veterinary Program for kids at Palomar College, where she enjoyed passing on her knowledge to the next generation.
When she is not at work, Shirley can be found maintaining her Saltwater reef tank, doing photography, or paddleboarding.
Lorraine was born and raised in San Diego. She has worked in animal care for the past 19 yrs. She is married and has two grown children. She enjoys going golfing and attending Padre games with her husband. Lorraine loves taking her four pugs to the beach and other dog friendly establishments.
RVT, Cat-Friendly Certified
Mariana grew up in Tijuana Baja California, and has been working with animals since 2014 in Southern California. Mariana became a registered veterinary technician in 2018. Her passion is surgery and dentistry, and she is always eager to learn more in these areas so she can provide the best care possible for your pets. Mariana brings compassion and experience to the Tell Tail team, along with positivity and an upbeat attitude.
When she is not at work, Mariana enjoys time outdoors at the beach with her dog Teddy, swimming, hiking, and spending time with her cat Coral.
Mia grew up in sunny San Diego before pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development at Cal State San Marcos. She entered the veterinary field in 2019 and quickly became a lead CSR at a Veterinary Emergency Hospital.
In her free time, Mia loves to hike, line dance, go to concerts, and spend time with her family and friends. She has a 2-year-old lab mix named Paisley who loves going to the beach and playing fetch as well as a 3-year-old orange Tabby named Tay.
RVT, Cat-Friendly Certified
Krissy was born in Nevada, spent her childhood in Arizona, and settled in Oregon for college. During that time, she entered the veterinary field and found her passion for helping companion animals, exotics, and wildlife. Krissy is a registered veterinary technician and has worked and managed veterinary practices in Arizona, Oregon, and California. She has a special love for geriatric and special needs animals and their resilient spirits.
In her spare time, Krissy loves to travel and camp with her family, hike, play board games, and do volunteer work. She’s been married to her wife for 19 years and has an 11-year-old daughter. Additionally, she has two dogs: Piglet, a mixed breed dog who loves to play soccer, and Dave, a black lab who never stops making her laugh.
Bela was born and raised in San Diego, surrounded by birds, cats, dogs, and reptiles. She has been in the animal care field for 3 years and obtained her veterinary assistant certification in 2019 from PIMA Medical Institute.
When she’s not at work, Bela enjoys traveling, exploring new eateries, and spending time with her friends and family. At home, she has two very vocal and friendly cats, Opie and Jax, and Mister, a very handsome and sweet pitbull. Bela’s animal experience and excellent communication skills mean your pet is in great hands, starting at the front desk.
Makaela spent her early years in Lompoc, California before relocating to San Diego. She pursued an education in emergency medicine at Allan Hancock College, graduating as a certified EMT. In 2020, she began working in the veterinary field where she combined her love for helping both animals and people.
When she’s not at work, Makaela enjoys hanging out with friends, being outdoors, visiting family, and going to concerts. She has a border collie mix named Mia and a grey and white cat named Ember. You can find Makaela bringing her lively and fun-loving energy to the front desk.
Tess was born in Texas but spent most of her childhood in Jamul, California. She graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution before entering the veterinary field in 2020.
Outside of work, Tess spends most of her time-making art, hiking, camping, and hanging out with friends and family. At home, she has two Shih Tzu mixes, Harry and Oreo, as well as a freshwater aquarium home to Dave the betta fish. From check-in to check out, you can count on Tess to take care of the needs of you and your pet.
Animal Care Attendant
Makayla grew up in Poway, California. She is currently attending San Diego State University working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Following her graduation, Makayla plans to apply for vet school to further her knowledge of veterinary medicine.
Makayla’s hobbies include horseback riding and hiking with her dogs. She also enjoys training her two dogs, Cody and Rio, in scent detection. Her passion for animals shines through as she looks after the patients staying in the clinic.
Victoria grew up here in San Diego. She graduated from Chico State University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science. After 4 years of working in the veterinary field, Victoria started looking into RVT programs to further her training in vet med.
In her free time, Victoria enjoys spending time with her baby boy and binge-watching TV. She also has 4 dogs: Milo the chihuahua, Chapo the English bulldog, Santos the husky/Akita mix, and Zuko the German shepherd mix. Victoria’s professional and educational experience is a great addition to our excellent team of technical staff.
Sierra grew up in beautiful and quaint Mammoth Lakes, California. She has been working with animals for 4 years and is pursuing certification as a Registered Vet Technician. She is also exploring the idea of going to vet school.
In her spare time, Sierra enjoys exploring the ins and outs of San Diego and spending time with her pets. Her furry family consists of a jack russell terrier named Rambo, a shepherd-husky mix named Rye, a Bengal cat named Rey, and a greek tortoise named Hank. Sierra’s bubbly and kind personality creates a welcoming environment where pets feel safe and secure.
Tedi was born in Houston, Texas, and has lived in several different cities around the country before residing in San Diego. She has been in the veterinary field for a year now and is finishing up her undergrad in preparation for vet school.
In her free time, she loves to meditate, read, spend quality time with friends, travel, and try new things. Tedi also enjoys taking her goofball mastiff-lab mix, King, on adventures. Tedi’s vibrant sense of humor and kind nature brings comfort and assurance to nervous clients and patients.
Kylie grew up in Bakersfield and moved to Huntington Beach with her family when she turned 17. She has been working in the vet industry for 5 years. Kylie started as a receptionist but quickly moved to the back and became a vet assistant.
She enjoys spending time with her pets, going to pet-friendly establishments, trying new places to eat, spending time with her husband and friends, and binge-watching TV shows. Kylie grew up in a family of 4 kids. She is the second oldest. She and her husband are newly married and have 1 cat and 2 dogs. They are Winston, a 9-month-old Boxer, Baily, an 8-month-old domestic short hair, and a new Great Dane puppy coming soon.
Alexa grew up in El Centro, California, before moving back to sunny San Diego for high school. After completing the veterinary assistant program, Alexa advanced to the veterinary technician program at Pima Medical Institute, where she is currently studying. She has been working in the veterinary field since 2019.
Outside of work, Alexa loves traveling, spending time with friends and family, eating at restaurants she’s never tried, and taking her beagle-chihuahua mix to places he can get his energy out. Her caring and fun personality is a pillar of support in our wonderful team of treatment staff.
Veterinary Assistant, Cat-Friendly Certified
Angel was born and raised in San Diego. He attended Universidad De La Salle Bajío in Leon, Mexico where he graduated veterinary medicine and zootechnics. He is working on validating his degree in the United States to one day become a DVM.
He considers himself a foodie and enjoys exploring and trying new restaurants. Angel also enjoys cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. He plays guitar, reads comics, and enjoys video games for fun. He grew up with an older sister and a younger brother, so he is the middle child. Now, he is a father to two amazing dogs, Toto and Trapo. Toto is his schnauzer, and Trapo is his chihuahua mix he adopted while studying in Mexico. Trapo has non-ambulatory paraparesis, so he rolls around in his wheelchair from time to time.
Tina is from Orange County but she spent a lot of years in the California Desert until she moved to Hawaii before arriving in San Diego. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Health Science and a Master’s degree in business. She has been working in the animal field for over 21 years. Tina has worked as an animal control officer for a shelter in California, an Animal Care Manager for the Humane Society in Hawaii, and she has managed several veterinary hospitals throughout the years.
Tina shares her home with her husband and 2 bulldogs who traveled from Hawaii with her. In her spare time, Tina likes to go to concerts and festivals, spend time with her dogs and attend baseball games.
DVM, Diplomate, ACVS
David Demner, DVM, Diplomate, ACVS (Board certified veterinary surgeon) graduated from the National University of Colombia in 2003. Upon graduation, he joined their soft tissue surgery department for advanced training in surgery for two years and then became an assistant professor. David moved to California and after a rotating internship, he completed his residency in surgery at a private practice in Southern California. He passed the certifying examination and became Board Certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and after 5 years of working as a surgeon in a private practice, he founded Veterinary Mobile Surgical Specialist –VMSS. Dr. Demner’s vision is to offer excellent care to patients that need surgical care at a reasonable price. He enjoys all aspects of surgery, but his specific interests include orthopedic and soft tissue surgery.
Dr. Render grew up dreaming of becoming a zoo veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo. Cardiology pulled on his heartstrings after having the opportunity to work with great mentors; all of whom are cardiologists. The zoo and exotics veterinary field is still near and dear to his heart, as Dr. Render enjoys evaluating the hearts of all animals, big and small.
Dr. Render enjoys all aspects of small animal cardiology with particular interests in congenital defects and cardiac tumor evaluation. When not treating patients, Dr. Render enjoys watching sports and movies OR movies about sports, all things comedy, and cooking shows
Dr. Cecily Bonadio
Dr. Bonadio is our MOVES veterinary internal medicine partner in the San Diego area, available to perform consultations and advanced internal medicine procedures at Rancho San Carlos Pet Clinic. Dr. Cecily Bonadio obtained her veterinary degree from UC Davis in 2010 and then completed her Internal Medicine residency at UC Davis in 2015. She obtained board certification in 2016 and, after a brief time in Berkeley, decided to settle in San Diego, CA. Endocrinology and auto-immune disease are her favorite parts of Internal Medicine. Cecily is also interested in the management of chronic disease, geriatric medicine, endoscopy, and ultrasound. Dr. Bonadio enjoys explaining all of the options involved in the care of her patients and deciding which is the best choice for her clients. Cecily loves living in sunny San Diego and, when she is not at work, can be found either at the beach with her two dogs, Zach and Olive, or in Ramona with her horse, Skylar.
Dr. Tracy Nicole Frey was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and is a 2002 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her surgical training in New York and New Jersey and has been practicing in Southern California since 2009 with an emphasis on soft tissue and emergency surgery. Dr. Frey is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Dr. Frey is the sole traveling surgeon and founder of SoftSurg Incorporated, and has also been a relief surgeon for a number of specialty practices throughout California. Dr. Frey enjoys all aspects of soft tissue surgery, particularly gastrointestinal and oncologic procedures. She has a special interest in pain management and critical care and will work closely with owners and referring veterinarians to provide the utmost compassionate care for her patients.
Dr. Frey’s little princess is a gorgeous Pomeranian named “Pouf!” whose favorite hobbies are spinning in circles, playing fetch, and barking at all the cars on neighborhood walks in her pretty pink buggy!
Dr. Laura Halsey
Practice Owner & Medical Director
Dr. Laura Halsey grew up in San Diego and was inspired to become a veterinarian as a way to combine her love of animals and science with her passion for wanting to create positive change. After graduating UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010 she returned to San Diego to complete a rigorous internship in emergency and specialty medicine. She has been in practice around San Diego working in both general practice and emergency settings. Dr. Halsey seeks to evaluate the patient as a whole and has a special interest in surgery, pain management, ultrasonography, and emergency medicine.
Dr. Halsey shares her home with her husband, two human children, three dogs (Huxley, Nellie, and Quila), and a 21-year-old cat (Annie) who is credited with inspiring Dr. Halsey to become a veterinarian.
Ashley grew up in Alpine, CA. She has two associate degrees, one in psychology and another in social and behavioral sciences. She entered the veterinary field in 2020 to pursue her love for helping animals.
Outside of her passion for animal care, Ashley loves sewing, macrame, and taking care of her many houseplants. Her furry family consists of two parvovirus survivors, Marshmellow, the fluffy and sassy poodle/spaniel mix, and Kit, the ‘cat-like’ chihuahua/terrier mix.
Brianna grew up in Chula Vista. She began working as a veterinary receptionist, where she fostered her passion for helping pets and pet owners for over 2 years. In addition to her love for veterinary medicine, Brianna is currently studying chemistry.
Brianna also enjoys crocheting, knitting, and hiking. At home, she cares for her german shepherd/husky mix, Roman, shepherd/husky mix, Kakashi, dachshund/basset hound mix, Penny, and her newest addition, a female bearded dragon.