Our Practice

We are a full-service animal hospital providing comprehensive pet healthcare services in Capitola, CA. Our veterinarians offer a wide variety of medical, surgical, and dental services. Our hospital has advanced equipment and technologies, including comprehensive in-house testing for accurate diagnosis, digital x-ray, surgical suites, dental suites, and a pharmacy. We are committed to providing quality care at every stage of your pet's life. From routine preventive care to early detection and treatment of a wide range of conditions and diseases, we have the expertise to provide the highest standard of care for your pet. We also serve Santa Cruz, Opal Cliffs, Soquel, Live Oak, and Twin Lakes.

  • Dr. River May, DVM

    DVM

    My name is Doctor River May and I am honored to be the Medical Director of Capitola Veterinary Hospital. I’d like to introduce myself and present my goals as your veterinarian.

    I have always been close to animals. In fact, my first memory is of a territorial black rooster whose aggressive attitude taught me to respect the animals on our family farm. The pets I grew up with gave me an appreciation for the immense value and depth of the human-animal bond. I was twelve years old when our family moved to California and I caught my first wave in front of Jack O’Neil’s house a few months later. Shortly after high school, I began my studies at UC Santa Cruz where I earned a degree in Molecular Biology. I cherished living by the sea and working in local veterinary hospitals, a marine biology laboratory, and a wildlife rescue center. Eventually, I left for Veterinary School dreaming of returning to the warmth and beauty of Capitola.

    I graduated from The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1998 and began my career in a Bay Area specialty referral hospital. Working with board-certified veterinary specialists for over ten years allowed me to hone advanced skills including endoscopy, ultrasound, critical care, and surgery. My desire to work closer to home compelled me to start my own practice in Capitola.

    Capitola Veterinary Hospital combines friendly, professional, and compassionate service with advanced medical skills. Our progressive philosophy emphasizes preventative medicine to keep your pet healthy. Ongoing facility upgrades and continuing education allows us to offer better quality and more comprehensive services. We strive to accomplish growth while minimizing our environmental impact. I accept the privilege to care for your animals as an honor and look forward to meeting you.

  • Shelly

    RVT + Hospital Manager

    Shelly is our Hospital Manager and RVT.  She grew up in Santa Cruz and has worked on the central coast in the veterinary field for over 25 years. She has experience with both small and large animals. Shelly received her RVT license after attending the Hartnell College Animal Health Technology Program. In her spare time she enjoys riding her horses, and spending time with her husband and their four legged family.

  • Ariana

    RVT

    After graduating from UCSC with a BS in Biology, Ariana decided to go to Europe to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian. Studying abroad was one of the most rewarding experiences she’s had and highly recommends it to anyone exploring the idea of going abroad!
    Now, happy to be back home in California, she is working on earning her ECFVG certification. She is grateful to be working with an incredible team of doctors and staff at CVH who share the same compassion for animals as she does.

  • Victoria

    Veterinary Assistant

    Victoria (Vic) is one of our Veterinary Assistants, who is a 5th generation local, born and raised in the heart of Santa Cruz, CA. Her love for animals started at the very early age of 5, where she then grew to dream of working in the veterinary field one day. Vic started her animal career in the equine industry as a trainer/coach for Hunter Jumper and Show Jumping horses. Upon becoming a successful coach, she then quickly broadened her love for animals from horse training to becoming a Veterinary Assistant which has currently lead to her career at Capitola Veterinary Hospital. Her love, compassion, and pure kindness for life has pushed her to strive in her career at CVH to fulfill all her patients well-being needs and necessities. She is bound by her loved one, Ricky, and her furr-son, Diesel. They advocate in Pit-bull awareness, enjoy hikes throughout the local scenery, long walks on the beach during the evening sunsets, and always love eating at Santa Cruz’s tastiest craft food spots. She hopes to one day work independently in the animal world but until then, she loves and appreciates every moment spent at Capitola Veterinary Hospital.

  • Georgia

    Client Service Representative

    Georgia has worked in the animal care and veterinary field for close to 20 years. She has had a love for animals since babyhood! She grew up in Sonoma County with many animals, rode horses, and “showed” pets in 4-H. She has lived in Northern California and Southern California, but absolutely adores the Central Coast! She and her chef husband Ken and son have lived in Aptos for about 4 years and love the climate, the warm friendly people, and all of the amazing recreational fun and natural beauty this part of the world has to offer. She loves to spend free time with her guys, going on hikes, reading, playing softball, exploring the local beaches, listening to hard rock music, and playing with her 3 silly fur kids, Posey, Maizie, and Billie!

  • Anastasia

    Veterinary Assistant

    Anastasia grew up in Pennsylvania but spent 6 years living near Tacoma, WA before moving to California.  She’s always had a love of all animals and has worked in animal care at a pet store, a vet clinic, and as a foster for a local cat rescue.  She and her husband currently share their home with four cats, a snake, and a guinea pig, but they’ve also had rats, mice, rabbits, hedgehogs, bearded dragons, hamsters, and fish, most of which have been rescues.

    Anastasia recently graduated with a BA in biology where she focused on wildlife management and ecology and is currently considering going back to school to get her veterinary technician license.  In her free time, she loves to read, hike, drink way too much coffee, bake, and play roller derby.

  • Sarit

    Veterinary Assistant

    Sarit grew up in the Bay Area and not too long ago fell in love with Santa Cruz. While previously working for an Equine Veterinarian, she found a love with the veterinary industry. In her free time she can usually be found at the barn in Soquel riding her pony Muse.

  • Shauna

    Veterinary Assistant

    Shauna grew up in Los Gatos and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a major in sociology. While attending UCSC, Shauna discovered her love for working with animals while she volunteered for several organizations, including The Marine Mammal Center, Ca Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the UCSC Long Marine Laboratory. At The Marine Mammal Center, Shauna had hands-on training while rescuing and rehabilitating sick and injured sea lions, seals, otters, and dolphins.

    For the CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Shauna had the opportunity to rehabilitate two porpoise calves with pneumonia, by helping them swim in a pool and monitoring their vitals and progress. Shauna also assisted in elephant seal pup research for the UCSC Long Marine Lab. She monitored, weighed, and measured the pups for elephant seal research. After college, Shauna worked for Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends), which is a Co-Management partner for California State Parks. Shauna worked at various state parks and beaches in Santa Cruz County. While working for Friends, Shauna met her husband, Joe (a State Park Peace Officer Captain).

    Shauna then went on to become an Animal Control Officer for Santa Cruz County. As an Animal Control Officer, Shauna rescued domestic and wildlife animals, and worked with sick, injured, and aggressive animals. Shauna also enforced the laws regarding animals. Shauna transferred positions to become an Animal Health Technician for the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, where she took care of all the animals in the shelter.

    Shauna then got the opportunity to work at Capitola Veterinary Hospital, and she’s so happy to say she’s the longest running employee (working since 2013) due to the amazing compassion and care from Dr. May and her wonderful manager and coworkers. Shauna lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband Joe, twin teenagers Austin and Logan, and six-year-old Orion. Shauna also has three fur daughters: rescues- kelpie/shepherd mix Sierra and black lab/pit bull mix Sonoma, and the newest member of the family, yellow lab Shelby.

  • Hannah

    Veterinary Assistant

    Hannah has had a love for animals since she was born. After experimenting in other careers, it wasn’t until her pitbull passed away that made her decide she wanted to take care of animals and finally found her purpose in the veterinary field. Starting in emergency veterinary medicine, she has learned compassion, patience and an immense amount of knowledge and training. She grew up in San Jose but always had a passion for the ocean and loves living in Santa Cruz. In her free time, she loves swimming, water coloring and spending time with her boyfriend.

  • Mandy

    Client Service Representative

    Mandy was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. She has always had a love for animals of all sizes and has had a passion to help and care for both animals and people. After working as a medical assistant for a few years, she decided to join the veterinary field starting out at an Emergency Veterinary Hospital for a little over a year, then finally found her place at Capitola Veterinary Hospital.