Joanna grew up in a suburban neighborhood in San Jose when it still had open orchards and remnants of its agricultural origins. She has been obsessed with horses and 4-legged animals, as well as the desire to live on a ranch since age 9, pleading to her parents to get them to sell their home and buy horse property. Her family finally bought her a horse when she turned 11.
Her first job was at age 15 as a stall cleaner, where she drove a tractor and where her horse was boarded. This first job made Joanna feel like she was in heaven. Her second job was as a “kennel kid” at a veterinary hospital in San Jose. She has worked in the veterinary field ever since and has probably held every position with the exception of being a veterinarian.
After receiving a Biology degree at San Jose State, she went on to become a licensed veterinary technician at Hartnell College. At the same time, she met her future husband who lived in a “wonderland” she had not previously discovered on her treks from San Jose to the beaches. He lived in the place where Joanna felt like she “belonged” – the Santa Cruz mountains.
Thereafter, she left the suburbs of San Jose behind and has lived in the mountains for over 30 years.
Over 20 years ago, Joanna joined the team at Felton Veterinary Hospital with a feeling that she had found another “place where she belonged.”
Working with an incredible and dedicated staff in the small and unique community where she lives, she has still found time to raise her children, and she has set her professional roots as deep as her community roots.
When Dr. Robert Atton built a beautifully designed and spacious hospital 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 quality care.
All these years later, with our home in the mountains, property to landscape and garden, in the company of pets, a job I still love in a community I have become a part of, I feel like all my longings as a little girl in the suburbs of San Jose have been fulfilled. And, of course, when I am riding my horse through the amazing trails of Henry Cowell State Park, I feel like the luckiest person in the world.