MEET OUR CARING TEAM!
As La Quinta’s only boutique veterinary practice, our goal is to not just meet, but exceed your expectations in caring for your cat, dog, or exotic pet.
Dr. Kathryn Carlson, DVM
Dr. Carlson's Bio
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Education: UC Davis 1991
I Am a Vet Because…I love interacting with my patients and their significant others. Keeping that bond connected is my life’s passion.
My Favorite Part of the Workday is… When I see a new pet from a previous client whose pet has passed. The happiness is so contagious.
What Inspires Me… The strength and purpose of the Human-Animal Bond. The feeling I get when it is obvious I made a pet or client happy! Also, the satisfaction of solving a hard case after hours of hands-on medicine, client education, and referral consultation.
The Pet I Will Never Forget… Stevie Wonder; a 6 week old Blind Doxie puppy that I was supposed to euthanize, and instead was able to pick from half a dozen other clients wanting the precious pup. He lived a long happy life.
I Could Not Do My Job Without… My clients and staff. They are the real heroes.
Things I Value Most… Honest communication, my clients that understand how hard this profession is and the hard work that goes into saving lives and stamping out disease.
Something People Don’t Know About Me… I am a certified Reiki practitioner, I am a rabid baseball fan, and I LOVE Country western music!
I Relax By… Reading on my front porch with my dogs, and spending quality time in Montana with friends.
Dr. David Jeffrey, BSc BVMS
Dr. Jeffrey's Bio
I’m originally a South African immigrant into the US but I grew up in Southern California. I got my veterinary degree in Western Australia and while there I had some amazing opportunities to work with native wildlife and companion exotics. During my 5 years in Australia, I worked as a SCUBA instructor during the summer and whale shark swim/dive tour guide during the winter. I love all water sports and I have some experience and interest in fish medicine. I am also a licensed venomous snake handler and have experience with venomous snake surgery and medicine.
Hometown: Lake Forest CA
Education: BS University of California Irvine
BSc BVMS Murdoch University in Western Australia
I Am a Vet Because…Unfortunately, there can only ever be one David Attenborough. Growing up I always wanted to be a zoologist traveling the globe and making documentaries on all the amazing critters from the depths of the sea to the deepest jungles. My love of anatomy and biology in high school placed me on the path to study human medicine but fortunately, I saw the light and after my first shift cleaning out kennels at a vet hospital I was hooked.
My Favorite Part of the Workday is...The initial excitement and anticipation of looking at my appointment list first thing in the morning. What old friends will I be seeing today? What new friends will I be making? What interesting cases will I be seeing?
What Inspires Me...Any of the numerous and amazing people out there working toward improving animal welfare and health.
The Pet I will never forget…Bo the Columbian red-tailed boa constrictor was my first pet that I hadn’t caught in my parents’ backyard. I wasn’t allowed to have a dog, so when I was ten my father brought home a little baby snake that I instantly fell in love with. Since then I’ve kept numerous varieties of snakes, lizards, fish, cats, and of course my two wonderful little dogs.
I could not do my job without...The love and support of my amazing wife and family, and the assistance of my talented colleagues.
Things I value most…The opportunity to work in a field that I love and that I find so rewarding.
Something people don’t know about me...I was born in South Africa, I’m a certified SCUBA instructor, I’m a licensed venomous snake handler, and I used to sing in a band.
I Relax By…The happiest place on earth for me is at least 60 feet under the sea…either that or relaxing on a white sand beach after the dive
Dr. Rachael Jeffrey, BSc BVMS
Dr. Jeffrey's Bio
Dr. Norm Smith, DVM
Dr. Smith's Bio
Dr. Smith is a native Southern Californian who was raised in the desert since he was four years old. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Cal Poly-Pomona and graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary of Medicine with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1987. Compelled to serve the desert communities which he had grown to love, Dr. Smith returned to start an ambulatory equine practice in 1990. Within two years the practice expanded into a small animal and equine practice in the High Desert. After building a large and successful practice, the time came to move on and he sold it in 2017. In late 2018, he began working at Village Park Animal Hospital and therein has found a very comfortable and compatible environment alongside the caring, knowledgeable and skilled doctors and support staff of this excellent animal hospital.
Time away from the practice finds Dr. Smith flying his airplane, enjoying watersports, Jeeping, hiking and traveling. These activities are shared with his family and close friends. Spending quality time with his family is of the utmost importance.
Motivated by lifelong compassion toward and connection with animals, he feels that his calling in his chosen profession is to be a “voice for the voiceless” and to strive toward effectively communicating the daily needs and struggles of animals to their human companions. He is dedicated to a lifelong commitment to delivering high quality and compassionate veterinary medicine and surgery to his voiceless patients.
Dr. Megan Rioux-Forker, DVM
Dr. Rioux-Forker's Bio
Although born in Hawaii, Dr. Megan Rioux-Forker spent most of her formative years on a small farm in the Pacific Northwest with a variety of animals including horses, goats, sheep, rabbits, ducks, chickens and of course dogs and cats. Living with a dog trainer, Dr. Rioux participated in obedience to the Open level and agility with several of her dogs, including a border collie who was definitely both smarter and more agile than she was!
Dr. Rioux spent about 7 years before veterinary school traveling- living in a multitude of places including Ireland, Italy, Canada and Morocco. She found that no matter how far afield she ventured and how foreign it felt, it was the human-animal bound that filled in the gaps – whether a camel owner in Moroccan souk or a kitty in a Tuscan villa.
She attended Veterinary school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, where she contributed to her educational expenses by working in pandemic H5N1 avian influenza research and testing in the United States and Indonesia. Upon graduation, Dr. Rioux spent 6 years practicing medicine north of Toronto and then in the Pacific Northwest – initially working on horses (and the occasional circus animal or water buffalo), however she eventually transitioned into mixed animal practice, where she found a love for the internal medicine of small animal practice. Dr. Rioux moved to small animal medicine full time in 2018, although she still occasionally sees horses at the Polo Club for former clients.
Dr. Rioux’s professional interests include internal medicine, zoonotic diseases, pain management and the human-animal bond. She’s also particularly interested in Working Equid work – primarily working upon donkeys and mules that provide a source of horsepower (literally) for developing countries.She’s worked on veterinary projects in Egypt, Costa Rica, Mexico and has volunteered as an instructor to teach veterinary students to castrate mustangs on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon.
In her spare time, Dr. Rioux enjoys riding her horses, coffee, traveling to places she can’t pronounce, running and learning new languages (she speaks 5 with varying degrees of efficacy but always loves to give it a whirl!)
Aquapaws Rehabilitation Technician
Veterinary Technician & Pharmacy Assistant
Lead Veterinary Technician
Come See Us!
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
51230 Eisenhower Dr.
La Quinta, CA, 92253
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Have a question for our team? Complete the form below and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible! If you need immediate assistance, please call us directly at 760-564-3833.