Dr. Robert Atton was born on the west side of Santa Cruz in the 50s when Santa Cruz was still a sleepy little beach town.
He was fortunate to be born into a family who loved animals.
While attending Cabrillo College, Bob began volunteering at a veterinary hospital in Santa Cruz where he had the opportunity to work with veterinarians and nurses on nighttime emergency shifts, and in surgery, radiology, and in the ICU.
With his schooling and his experiences volunteering, he decided he wanted to become a veterinarian.
Upon finishing his degree in Biology at UCSC, he went on to obtain his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from UC Davis.
Never one to do things the easy way, Bob attended UCSC and veterinary school while being married and raising children. Read more about Dr. Atton here
Dr. Jennifer Keil has lived in the San Lorenzo Valley most of her life. After graduating from San Lorenzo Valley High School, she went on to Cabrillo College to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology with a minor in psychology at UC Santa Cruz in 1998. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UC Davis in 2002. Dr. Keil first began working at Felton Veterinary Hospital in 1989 as kennel staff, moving up to a nursing poisition once she finished high school, continuing through college and during school breaks throughout veterinary school. She also worked as an emergency veterinary nurse at Pacific Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service in Capitola and at United Emergency Animal Clinic of South San Jose. Upon completion of her DVM degree, she worked for 2 years at Ocean View Veterinary Hospital in Pacific Grove before returning to Felton full time. Read about Dr. Keil’s experience at Felton Vet and her love of animals here.
Dr. Calvert received her BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UC Davis in 1991.
She spent many years developing her exotics experience working in exotics hospitals, zoos, and attending exotics conferences.
Dr. Calvert is one of the few veterinarians in our area with exotics experience – and treats reptiles, birds, rabbits, rodents, and ferrets, as well as cats and dogs of course.
Many appreciate that Dr. Calvert is a good listener and teacher, as well as empathetic and supportive.
Dr. Calvert appreciates the variety of her patients, since each individual is different. She enjoys improving health of animals as well as relieving suffering. Read more about Dr. Calvert here.
Joanna has been obsessed with horses and 4-legged animals, and wanted to live on a ranch since age 9 while growing up in the suburbs of San Jose. Her family finally bought her a horse when she turned 11. She received a Biology degree at San Jose State, then went on to become a licensed veterinary technician at Hartnell College.
“When Dr. Robert Atton built a beautifully designed and spacious hospital in Felton 7 years ago, I was so proud to belong to a team that could offer our community not just a special group of doctors and support staff, but an incredible facility where our clients could bring their pets for care.”
Jill Bender was born in Los Gatos and grew up in Santa Cruz. Her desire and love of caring for animals began when she was young. She grew up spending summers and holidays with her grandparents on their cattle ranch in the Central Valley. Jill graduated from Santa Cruz High School and attended Cabrillo College. She has worked in Santa Cruz and the San Lorenzo Valley for over 25 years as a Veterinary Nurse, professional dog and cat groomer, and pet sitter.
“I love the variety of animals we see in our hospital: the reptiles, birds, rabbits, ferrets, cats and dogs. I have a soft spot and special way with the little dogs (the little spunky rascals). I am proud to be part of the caring team here at the Felton Veterinary Hospital. Felton is such a beautiful place to come to work, and our clients are special and down to earth.”
Growing up on the East Coast, Heidi often daydreamed about living in Sunny California. Finally in 1991, she and her husband picked up and moved to Santa Cruz and have lived here since. As a later-in-life career change, Heidi decided to attend Hartnell College for the Animal Health program, and became a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2002.
“While I respect and admire all animals, I admittedly feel the strongest connection to dogs, and continue to be in awe of the relationships we are able to form with creatures so different from us. I do enjoy working with a variety of species to keep work exciting, and we are fortunate to work with “exotics” here at Felton veterinary Hospital. On any given day, we can hear Parrots squaking, and guinea pigs squeeking in the exam room. Although the reptiles and snakes are quieter, they are a thrill to work with as well.”
Juli grew up in the SF Bay Area. She attended college in San Luis Obispo where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Large Animal Sciences. She went into the veterinary world 15 years ago and became a Registered Veterinary Technicia (RVT) in 2009. Juli’s life outside of work is filled with animals both large and small. She has worked with livestock in school and afterwards as a Large Animal Veterinary Technician.
“I am very comfortable with Livestock and hope to have some of my own one day. I love living in the San Lorenzo Valley because nature is close to my heart and it’s where I feel at home. Felton is very much a part of SLV living and community and this is the community where I want to help in the animal world.”
When Nancy was old enough to start working, she got a job cleaning cages at the local animal hospital. She has worked at animal hospitals from New Jersey to Kansas to California. Before moving to California, she worked for an animal sanctuary caring for abused and abandoned exotic and circus animals. When she moved to Santa Cruz, she started working with Dr. Atton in Ben Lomond. After he took over Felton Veterinary Hospital went to work for him and has been part of the staff at Felton Veterinary Hospital ever since. She currently works one Saturday a month as a Veterinary Nurse and during the week she works as a “human” Case Management Nurse elsewhere.
I was born loving animals. It started with the family collie dog who slept in my crib with me when I was a baby. There has never been a time in my life when I didn’t have some sort of animal or multiple animal companion (s).
I love working here and consider Felton Veterinary Hospital, it’s doctors, nurses, and other staff as my “animal” family. Everyone here is kind, compassionate, and they love what they do. They take great care of, and love, all of my animals.
Justin is currently working on finishing a BA in Mathematics and will minor in Physics at UCSC in June 2014. He went to SLV high and has been working in the veterinary field since he was a teenager. He’s beeen working as a vet assistant for about 4 years. He loves the reward of helping the animlas through the healing process.
“Seeing the animals heal and bonding with them is priceless. Sometimes there is nothing that can make me smile and laugh like the animals can. Working at Felton Vet gives me a sense of connection to the local community. That is where I feel I can do a genuine service. It’s also a very nice place to work. My coworkers are great, and so is the facility.”
Justin’s favorite pastimes include playing and listening to music; baseball, math, physics, cooking – mostly Italian food, and gardening.
The Santa Cruz mountains are Nancy’s home. As a child her favorite toy was a telephone, many years later she is still “playing with the phone” while being a receptionist at Felton Vet Hospital. She feels very lucky to work and live in her home town. Some of the many things she loves about her job is seeing long-time patients with their children, who grow up, marry, and bring their own pets into the clinic. Her favorite things to do while not working at Felton Vet include gardening; growing veggies and flowers; spending time with family and friends; pet sitting; fostering kittens; playing board games and playing with her dogs at the beach.
Adventure and a gypsy spirit led Antonia to sail around the Pacific, live in a small Alaska town and even a small stint in Brooklyn, New York. However, she is happy to be back in the Santa Cruz Mountains which she calls home. Her rescue dogs, Gidget and Caliope keep her busy with walks. They also enjoy having a garden to lay around in; the same garden where Antonia enjoys growing veggies and flowers. Antonia enjoys all things outdoors (camping, kayaking, backpacking). Long winters in Alaska introduced her to quilting which rounded her indoor textile interests. Animals have always been in her life. She has volunteered for shelters across the country, and has fostered numerous dogs and cats; even a litter of possum pinkies. Antonia is so happy to have found her place in the family at Felton Veterinary Hospital.
Veterinarians: Robert Atton, Jennifer Keil, Kathy Calvert
Receptionists: Nancy Easter, Antonia Kwalick, Sara Blackstorm, Alyssa Guillen
Nurses: Joanna Primeau RVT, Jill Bender, Elaine Dale, Heidi Miller RVT, Juli Jaworski RVT, Justin Lake, Nancy Wilburn, Amalia Zamora, Keri Bergquist
Kennel Attendants: Emily Chambers, Ashley Baker, Jessica Ellis, Lucy Busnardo, Samantha Braverman, Sara McCobb, Willa Pawlak