Dr. Kecia Valdez, DVM

Founder and Owner
Kecia Valdez, DVM is the founder and owner of Lathrop Veterinary Center as well as our sister hospital Jules Veterinary Center in Tracy California and Arroyo Veterinary Center in Livermore, CA. Dr. Valdez was born in New Mexico and moved to Colorado to attend Colorado State Vet School. Her original dreams consisted of becoming a human doctor but a small schnauzer puppy quickly changed her mind. After becoming a concerned pet owner, she knew that becoming a veterinarian was her true calling. Kecia graduated with honors and was inducted into Phi Zeta, a veterinary honor society. Her medical interests include dentistry, soft tissue surgery, helping control the pet population and of course schnauzers. When she is not busy with her patient’s medical cases, Kecia enjoys spending time with her three children Isabella, Francisco, and Sergio. She also finds herself lost in a good book regularly and taking as many pictures as she can.

Years in Practice:
21
Education:

Colorado State

Interests:

Owner and Veterinarian


Abe Valdez, MSEE

Founder and Owner
Abe Valdez is the founder, owner, and hospital administrator of Lathrop Veterinary Center as well as our sister hospitals Jules Veterinary Center in Tracy and Arroyo Veterinary Center in Livermore. He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and completed his Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering. Not only does he oversee many important aspects of the hospital, but he is also an Architect and Systems Engineer for Collinear Networks. Abe can be quite the jokester but always knows when it is time for business. He loves spending time with his three children Isabella, Francisco, and Sergio. You can also find him on one of his mountain biking adventures.

Years in Practice:
17
Education:

New Mexico State University

Interests:

Founder & Owner


Dr. Juli Hilbert, DVM

Dr. Hilbert joined our team as an Associate Veterinarian In June 2016. After growing up in Florida, she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Florida in 2008, and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University on Saint Kitts in the Caribbean in 2012. She resided in Chicago where she completed her internship as an E.R. Veterinarian and then went on as an Emergency Service Veterinarian at a referral teaching hospital. She then came to California when her wife Mary received a job opportunity she couldn’t pass up and now they both reside in the central valley. The Hilbert household includes an array of animals, all rescues. There is an array of orange tabby cats – Pizmo, Bella, Finn, and Parker; a tri-pod English Bulldog named Gunter, a Maltese mix named Corky, and 2 Pomeranian mixes named Porsha and Missy. Dr. Hilbert has always been into water sports and enjoys kayaking, snorkeling, water skiing, and her new favorite hobby is jet skiing here in our Delta. Dr. Hilbert loves to travel and explore new places and cultures, one of her most favorite places to visit is Machu Pichu. She looks forward to researching advances in veterinary medicine, including soft tissue surgery, endocrine diseases, and of course building long lasting relationships with our clients and their pets we love and care for.

Years in Practice:
3
Education:

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Interests:

Associate Veterinarian


Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM, CCRP

Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM joined our work family in August 2016 after graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in London, England. Dr. Kong was born and raised in the Bay Area and received her Bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, but decided to go abroad and enjoyed 4 years in London for veterinary school. Dr. Kong then attended University of Tennessee to complete her Certificate in Canine Physical Rehabilitation. When Dr. Kong first joined our team, she fell in love with a patient of ours, a sweet little puppy who had numerous health complications and no family to love him. Dr. Kong knew right away that he was hers and she was his and his new name would be Apollo. Apollo ended up having to have his leg amputated and continues to need medical treatment but we’re happy to report that little Apollo and Dr. Kong are now inseparable. Dr. Kong enjoys spending her time with Apollo but also loves being with friends, trying new foods, watching movies, and traveling. Dr. Kong is interested in learning more about exotic animal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and physical therapy. Dr. Kong strives to build lasting relationships with our clients and providing the best possible care for their four-legged family members.

Years in Practice:
3
Education:

Royal Veterinary College

Interests:

Associate Veterinarian


Terra Kim

Terra joined our team in October of 2011 as a Client Services Representative. She came to us with management experience so it wasn’t too long before she was promoted to supervisor, and then eventually to Practice Administrator for all three of our veterinary hospital locations. Terra started working in the veterinary world in 2004 as a DVM Assistant while attending college and has worked her way up, learning everything she could along the way. Terra grew up in Sacramento, CA and attended CSU Fresno and then CSU Sacramento, where she graduated with a BS in Micro Cellular Biology. Terra has a passion for animals, her grandmother being her most important role model. Growing up, her grandmother was always caring for sick or injured animals, so naturally Terra ended up with a career where her same passion and love can be put to good use (and hopes that her grandma would be proud). Terra has volunteered and fostered for countless rescue organizations and she’s bottle fed more orphaned kittens than she can count. Now Terra spends all of her free time with her husband Kurtis and their little boy, Connor. Terra has a mixed breed named Pinky, and two cats named Timmy and Cali and a fish named Killer.

Years in Practice:
9
Education:

California State University, Sacramento

Interests:

Practice Administrator


Tira Marchiondo

Once in awhile you will see Tira working at the front desk, but she spends most of her time behind the scenes, helping all of our employees with human resources and employee benefits. Tira is Dr. Kecia Valdez’s sister and is obviously a big part of our work family. Like Dr. Valdez, Tira has a special place in her heart for animals and she is an advocate for pets that need veterinary care. Before moving to California from Colorado, Tira was a full time dental hygienist and now she splits her time with helping all of us and dental hygiene work.

Years in Practice:
18
Interests:

HR Manager


Jessica Reed, RVT

Jessica joined our Veterinary Nurse team in January of 2012. She is a graduate of Western Career College with her AS in Veterinary Technology. Shortly after graduation Jessica took her state boards and became an RVT (registered veterinary technician). She has a fascination with physical therapy in the veterinary world and looks forward to furthering her knowledge so she can apply it to our patients. Jessica and her husband have a full house with an array of personable pets and 2 cherished little girls.They share their home with Shelby the œChiweenie, Max a Chihuahua mix, and her cats named Groot and Sally. In their free time they love to work on vintage cars, garden, and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Years in Practice:
8
Education:

Western Career College

Interests:

Registered Veterinary Technician


Lisa Lipman, RVT

Lisa Lipman joined our nursing team in October of 2013. She graduated from Carrington College in the Spring of 2014 with an associate’s degree in animal science. Lisa and her boyfriend and 2 little boys share their home with Daisy Doodle, a Golden Retreiver mix that she adopted from our local shelter. In her free time she likes to spend time with her boys and outdoor activities with her family. Lisa has also volunteered by fostering animals and helping to find them their forever homes.

Years in Practice:
6
Education:

Carrington College

Interests:

Registered Veterinary Technician


Noelle Nolte, RVT

Noelle joined our team as a Registered Veterinary Technician in July 2016. She attended Tracy High School and then San Joaquin Delta College. From there, Noelle enrolled in the Veterinary Technology program at Carrington College where she graduated with honors and a 3.7 GPA in January 2015. Noelle has also volunteered a lot of her time to animals and caring for them (one of the many things that we love about her!). She volunteered over 100 hours at the Sacramento Zoo as a Keeper Aide Volunteer and volunteered with Animal Rescue of Tracy as Head Junior Volunteer for almost 4 years. When Noelle isn’t working at Jules and Lathrop Veterinary Center, you can find her fishing, riding dirt bikes, camping, going to the beach, and watching movies. Noelle and her husband share their home with a black lab named Axle, a pitbull mix named Ryat, two cats named Mindy and Mo, a rabbit named Tyla, and two geckos. Noelle’s future goals are to work with exotics at a zoo.

Years in Practice:
4
Education:

Carrington College

Interests:

Registered Veterinary Technician


Cheney Cejka

Cheney joined the team as a Kennel Technician in May of 2014. She came to us with 14 years of experience providing excellent TLC to shelter animals. While working in the shelter system, she was able to create bonds with many of the animals and help teach them manners so they had a better chance at finding their forever home. Although she successfully helped adopt out numerous animals, there was one mixed breed named œMillie, who stole her heart. Cheney and her family moved from Wisconsin in 2013 and have settled into the Central California lifestyle by going on hikes. In the future Cheney would like to build on her Associates degree in Arts and Science by returning to school and becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician.

Years in Practice:
6
Education:

Palomar College

Interests:

Lead Kennel Technician


Roxanne Sanders

Roxanne joined the team in January of 2014 to help keep the office aspect of the hospital organized. She previously worked in the veterinary field as a technician; after retiring she decided she missed being in a hospital setting. Roxanne has always had a passion for animal rescue and does whatever she can to rehabilitate and adopt out animals to loving homes. Roxanne and her husband have their days filled with love from five dogs (Pookie, Twiggy, Luna, Ginger and Stanley), five cats (Diane, Fred, Blinky, Scat, and Baby), three parrots (Susie, Rosie, and Casey), a box turtle named Myrtle, and a handful or grandchildren. Roxanne enjoys spending as much time as she can with her family and pets, reading, hosting dinners, and going to the movies with her husband.

Years in Practice:
5
Interests:

Office Assistant


Stephanie Mercado

Stephanie joined our team as a Technician Assistant in February of 2016. As a student of the Veterinary Technician program at Carrington College, she was placed with Lathrop Veterinary Center for an externship rotation. After working with the team, we knew Stephanie would be an asset and invited her aboard. Even though Stephanie was born in Tracy, she spent most of her life in Puerto Rico where her family is from. She graduated from high school in Stella Marquez Salinas Puerto Rico and from CABA, an art school in Puerto Rico. After graduation, her family made the move back to Tracy. Shortly after, Stephanie enrolled at Carrington College. In the future she looks forward to graduating and earning her RVT. Her hobbies include spending time with Max, her adorable terrier mix, drawing and painting, listening to alternative rock music, and learning about cars.

Years in Practice:
3
Education:

Carrington College

Interests:

Technician Assistant


Kimberly Gray

Kim joined our work family in September of 2018 but we’ve known Kim for years through all the rescue work she has done. Kim has volunteered her time and resources to the Tracy Animal Shelter and local rescues for over 30 years and she is a pillar in our community. Kim, along with her family, are always helping animals in need. Kim hopes to one day start a sanctuary for senior pets that are surrendered to the shelters, so they can live out the remainder of their lives being loved and well taken care of. Kim has her own menagerie of pets that were unable to find homes because of a medical or behavioral condition and she is also always fostering pets that are looking to find forever homes. Kim has dedicated her life to helping and saving pets that are in need and we are proud to have her on our team.

Years in Practice:
1
Interests:

Kennel Supervisor


Caitlyn Bruzdzinski

Caitlyn joined our team in November of 2017 as a Kennel Technician but now you may also see her at the front desk. Caitlyn attends Modesto Junior College and is an Animal Science/Poultry Science major. She has two dogs named Sam and Maya, eight cats named, Bandit, Asterid, Justin, Porthos, Monkey, Torch, Sydney, and Katie. Caitlyn also has a bunny named Fran and a guinea pig named Ginny. Caitlyn has always grown up with a house full of animals since her mom is an RVT, so she is familiar with our veterinary world. Caitlyn also heads the Poultry Science Group at MJC and hopes to one day work for the USDA.

Years in Practice:
3
Education:

Modesto Junior College

Interests:

Client Services Representative/Kennel Technician


Taylor Gray

Taylor joined our team in September of 2018 and works in our boarding lodge as a Kennel Technician. Taylor has a Bachelors of Science degree in Bio-engineering from University of the Pacific and has quite the house full of pets. Her pets consist of four dogs named Snoopy, Sweetie Pie, Bear, and Lucy, two cats named Hunter and Ricky, and a Betta fish named Marty. Taylor’s oldest cat, Ricky had to have his leg amputated a few years ago and so Taylor designed and created an automated feline prosthetic leg custom for Ricky. That inspired Taylor and now her future goal is to design and create feline and canine prosthesis. In Taylor’s free time, she likes to read, play with her dogs and cats, and workout.

Years in Practice:
1
Education:

University of the Pacific

Interests:

Kennel Technician


Chrissy Muscarello

Chrissy joined our Client Services team in October of 2016. Chrissy is originally from Chicago, Il but she is now a California girl who loves warm weather. In 2007 Chrissy completed the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World Orlando and dedicated 10 years of hard work to the hospitality industry. Chrissy then went back to school where she graduated with honors in 2016 as a Medical Office Specialist and we were excited to welcome her to the team! Chrissy loves to do arts and crafts, attend concerts, and hang out with her husband, Johnny, and their three cats named, Bellamy, Penny, and Girlfriend, and their two dogs named Tessie and April.

Years in Practice: 3

Client Services Representative


Robyn Modderman


Robyn joined our Client Services team in May of 2019. Robyn grew up in Tracy went to Kimball High School. Robyn shares her home with a motley crew of pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Robyn has a hedgehog named Mr. Wilson, a snake named Scarlett, and two cats named Darby and Max. She also has two dog nephews named Riat and Axle that she loves like her own. In Robyn’s free time, she likes to attend concerts and plays with her sister and mother and loves to do anything outdoors by the water.

Years in Practice: 1

Client Services Representative


Kelsie Camarena, RVT


Kelsie joined our team in March of 2019, bringing years of veterinary experience with her. Kelsie graduated from Carrington College with her Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology in 2016. Kelsie and her family share their home with a tuxedo cat named Smitty Kitty, and she enjoys spending time with her husband and their kids. Kelsie has a passion for photography, and she has wanted to work with animals since she was seven years old.

Years in Practice 1

Registered Veterinary Technician

Carrington College