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FIRST EXAM FREE! for First Time Clients (max value $53) *excludes emergency visits, exotic pets and avian pets.

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Meet Our Staff


Dr. Craig Evans, DVM

Though he was actually born in Bakersfield (father was working there after a stint in the air force) Dr. Evans considers himself to be the 5th generation, Santa Cruzan, as his mother’s side of the family was heavily involved in the agriculture in the Santa Cruz area.  He spent a great deal of his childhood in cowboy horsemanship, especially team roping, and won team roping Championship saddle at the Santa Cruz County Fair in 1989.  Dr. Evans attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and received a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Biological Sciences in 1982 and was also involved in horse training classes and the Quarter Horse Project there. Dr. Evans received his veterinary doctorate at UC Davis Veterinary School in 1988.  Practicing briefly in Merced and Fortuna, he finally settled in Santa Cruz and has been here practicing steadily since 1991.  He has two children currently attending Scotts Valley High.  Outside of work he enjoys golfing, fly-fishing, camping, and a guilty pleasure of Xbox gaming (though pretty bad, he still enjoys titles like Skyrim and Diablo). Dr. Evans enjoys his job and is often referred to as the gentle giant (he is a big guy) and is known to sit on the floor with his patients.  He has been an advocate for Project Purr from its inception and has always managed to offer some form of assistance to the feral cat program they run.  With a very practical mindset towards animal care, Dr. Evans makes sure everyone gets what they need to keep their critters happy and healthy.  His veterinary interests include general practice, pet care, and surgery.  If he were to win the lottery he would still practice and simply offer his expertise for free.Dr. Evans is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Dr. Hilary Stern, DVM

Dr. Hilary Stern has a particular interest in exotic animals and enjoys providing medical and surgical care for parrots, rodents, ferrets, chickens, reptiles, amphibians, rabbits, and more. Since joining the Animal Hospital of Soquel, Dr. Stern has become Santa Cruz’s sole exotics-only veterinarian. Dr. Stern attended Yale University as an undergraduate, graduating magna cum laude as a pre-med student with a degree in History. Instead of becoming a physician, however, she chose to focus her medical training on birds and other unusual animals. She worked with orphaned harbor seals at the New England Aquarium and then at the Wildlife Clinic at Tufts University’s School of Veterinary Medicine before attending veterinary school. She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of California at Davis, where she was a Regent's scholar and co-president of the Avian and Exotics Medicine Club. Since graduation, Dr. Stern’s primary focus has been on medical care for exotic pets. She worked for 8 years at the all-avian veterinary clinic For The Birds in San Jose and for 7 years at the Avian and Exotics Clinic of Monterey. She has presented at national veterinary conferences on medical conditions in birds and is an active member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Small Mammal Veterinarians, and the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians. 

Dr. Stern works closely with the rabbit rescue group, The Rabbit Haven, providing medical care and spay/neuter services for hundreds of rabbits in our community. Dr. Stern lives with her husband and two children in Soquel. They share their home with a bunny, two parrots, a snake,  and seven chickens.

Dr. Justin Cupka, DVM

Dr. Justin Cupka grew up in Virginia and attended Unity College in Maine, where he graduated at the top of his class with a degree in Captive Wildlife Care and Education, with a focus on wildlife and zoo
medicine health. After returning to Virginia for some prerequisite coursework at Virginia Commonwealth University he made his way to California to study Veterinary Medicine at the University of California Davis. While there he focused his learning on Zoo, Exotics, and Wildlife medicine, and simultaneously fell in love with the state. After graduation, he spent a year seeing dogs, cats, small mammals, birds, and reptiles in Oakland before moving to Santa Cruz. Dr. Cupka has a special interest in reptiles, conservation medicine, and behavior in all species. Before graduation, he was involved in research of fungal diseases of amphibians and training programs to help make shelter dogs more adoptable. Outside of his professional life, Dr. Cupka enjoys kung fu, gardening, hiking, camping, and a variety of arts and crafting. He shares his home with an Argentine Black and White Tegu, several breeding pairs of snakes, and a goofy Doberman mix named Tonks.

Dr. Amanda Blom, DVM

Dr. Amanda Blom is a skilled veterinarian with a special interest in parasitology, diagnostic imaging, and clinical pathology. A graduate of the Ross University of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Blom researched and taught veterinary parasitology and tick-borne disease before moving to California in 2016 to practice medicine.  Her professional interests include diagnostic medicine and the challenge of complex cases.  Outside of the clinic, Dr. Blom enjoys lounging with her two cats, exploring the Redwood forests, and engaging in a number of artistic hobbies.

Veterinary Technicians & Veterinarian Assistants

Natasha loves working with animals and has been a veterinary assistant for years. During her free time, she enjoys riding her horses, spending time with her puppy, going to the beach, and going to the mountains.

Priya's lifelong passion for animals stemmed from her childhood growing up on a mini-farm with a cow, goats, dogs, cats and a variety of geese, chickens, and ducks. She loves caring for animals of all shapes and sizes. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking adventures with her pup Apollo and reading with her kitten Artemis.

Kat is a veterinary assistant who started her training in 2009 and since then, has been working and learning every day. She has always had a love for animals and can now care for them too. When she's not taking care of patients, she enjoys a belly dancing and taking her dog Marley for walks through the forest.

Liz has been a veterinary technician since 1998 and an RVT since 2002. She has always worked with cats, dogs and all sorts of exotics. She loves the variety and challenge that comes with getting to help all sorts of different animals, including wildlife. Liz loves having a house full of animals and currently shares her space with a husband, two teenagers, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 10 chickens and 3 ducks.

Tera Reason Tera was born in Gras Valley California and raised with a dog and two rabbits. She graduated from the University of Santa Barbara in 2012 with a Bio-Psychology degree. After living and working in Colorado, where she cared for a bearded dragon, she decided to move back to California to be closer to the family. Tera began her career caring for animals at a dog-sitting business in Boulder Creek, which leads her to the position of lodging assistant at AHOS. Tera is currently training as technician assistant, with a goal of becoming a veterinary technician. Her dog ACE often accompanies her to work.

Alicia coming soon.
Megan coming soon.
Jenna coming soon.
Yuliana coming soon.

Practice Manager

Heather began her ten-year career working with animals at a non-profit rescue organization in Southern California. After several years, she decided to move back to Northern California to be closer to the family. Upon landing in Santa Cruz she worked with an emergency veterinary hospital for four years, before joining Animal Hospital of Soquel. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, live music, camping and snuggling with her dog Lulu and kitties Mia and Lyra; all rescues of course.

Lodging Attendants

Lodging Manager

Samantha was born and raised in Santa Cruz. She has a deep love of and compassion for animals and loves caring for them. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends, family, and coaching a local youth cheer-leading team.

Troy coming soon.

Reina coming soon.

Faith coming soon.


Amy graduated from Beugay’s School of Dog Grooming in Los Altos, CA in 1992. She went on to apprentice with a certified master groomer for the next year then continued to work with and learn from many talented groomers in the Los Gatos/Saratoga area for over 20 years. She joined our team at AHOS in January 2015. In her spare time, Amy enjoys spending time with her family and 3 dogs.

Hospital Assistant

Brianna has worked at the Animal Hospital of Soquel for over four years. She has been a life-long caregiver for animals and is dedicated to providing excellent care for our lodging guests. Brianna's interest in pampering pets extends to our Spa, where she assists our talented groomer with bathing, mani-pedi's, brush-outs, and other beautification services.

Client Service Representatives

Client Service Supervisor

Brandy was born and raised in South Carolina; came to us with an extensive history in general practice along with emergency medicine. She is currently our CSR supervisor and hopes to continue with AHOS for many more years to come.

Annie loves meeting new pets and greeting old friends every day. It's especially exciting at Animal Hospital of Soquel because of the unique variety of animals we encounter. Having many years of customer service experience, veterinary care is her favorite care. Annie is also a human massage therapist (and avid pit bull smoocher).

Angela coming soon.

Melissa coming soon.
Tiffany coming soon.