Dr. Peter Erling and Dr. Michelle Lorenzen
Dr. Peter Erling and Dr. Michelle Lorenzen met while in veterinary school at Texas A&M University, graduating together in 2003. They have been virtually inseparable ever since.
Originally from South Africa, Dr. Peter also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Dallas. Following vet school, he completed a 1-year internship and a 3-year residency in Emergency and Critical Care. Peter was a faculty member at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and was a member of the Michael E. Debakey veterinary cardiothoracic bypass team.
Prior to entering veterinary school, Dr. Michelle obtained a Master's Degree in Anthropology, studying apes and monkeys around the world. Dr. Peter and Dr. Michelle adopted numerous geriatric and ailing pets during vet school. Early on, they recognized that their own pets were more comfortable and at ease when transitioning at home. Dr. Michelle and Dr. Peter founded Choice Veterinary Care in order to provide caring and compassionate in-home euthanasia to pet owners in Los Angeles.
Dr. Amy Stillwell-Graiff and Brad Graiff
Dr. Amy Stillwell-Graiff and her husband, Brad Graiff, partnered with Choice shortly after its founding.
Dr. Amy began her studies by earning a BS in Biology at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She went on to graduate with honors as valedictorian from the Atlantic Veterinary College, earning her DVM. She then completed a 1-year internship at the VCA WLA Animal Hospital, focused in small animal surgery and medicine. Since that time, she has continued in general practice with a strong interest in volunteer work. Her many loyal clients often speak of her exceptional bedside manner and compassion for others.
Mr. Graiff earned his BS in Accounting/Finance at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. He went on to practice accounting for 10 years before advancing into a successful career in acting and modeling. A lifelong animal lover, he adopted a puppy several years ago who was diagnosed with Parvovirus. After a long hospital stay under the care of Dr. Amy, the puppy survived. The couple quickly fell in love and they were happily married a year later. Brad is currently CFO for Choice
Anne-Marie Reikes, DVM
Southern California native, Dr. Anne-Marie Reikes grew up in El Segundo, before attending UC Davis and Loyola Marymount University for undergraduate studies. She attended Western University of Health Sciences Veterinary School and was a member of the inaugural class, earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Since her graduation in 2007, she has worked locally in Southern California as a general practitioner focused on small animal medicine. Dr. Anne-Marie’s passion for animals dates back to a young age when she completed Girl Scouts’ highest achievement, the “Gold Award”, by planning an Animal Adoption Event. She has thoroughly enjoyed the chance to love and care for her many patients and clients over the years. When not working, she loves spending time with her family and enjoys the outdoors.
Dr. Anne-Marie has had an interest in offering in-home end-of-life care for many years and is excited to join the Choice Veterinary Care team with their mission to provide peaceful moments at home.
Giselle Pomeranc-Mayer, DVM
Dr. Giselle Pomeranc-Mayer was born and raised in Miami, FL. From an early age, Dr Giselle discovered her love for animals. Her parents let her keep each little creature she found and she has fond memories of helping turtles and iguanas following Florida rainstorms. As well, her favorite elementary school teacher helped foster her interests by encouraging students to take home and care for the classroom pets. The love for animals and science that developed in this early time pointed Dr Giselle in the direction of veterinary medicine.
Starting at the age of 14, she began volunteering any free time she had in veterinary hospitals. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida International University before moving to California to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. After completing a 2-year registered veterinary technician program, she went on to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Western University of Health Sciences in 2011. Upon graduation, she moved to the South Bay, where she continued to work as a general practitioner. She came to work with Choice Veterinary Care after experiencing the loss of her amazing family member Charlie. Charlie was a Giant Schnauzer that changed her view on life and loss. She never truly felt the pain of losing a pet before this. For Dr. Giselle, Charlie was truly special.
Aside from veterinary medicine, Dr Giselle is also an accomplished dancer and has traveled to many countries. Currently, she lives in the South Bay with her husband and 2 children.
Samantha Shone, DVM
As a 6-year-old, Dr Samantha Shone saw ponies on the country lanes of Birmingham, UK and immediately developed a love for horses. She was compelled to volunteer at horse stables and a small animal sanctuary, quickly realizing she wanted to be a veterinarian. An elderly couple she met had a variety of pets and farm animals. Over time, they taught her the value of good animal care and even bought Dr Sam her first rabbit. By age 11, she saved up enough money to buy a pony from the local auction, which her elderly mentors allowed her to house on their property in exchange for help milking their goats and cleaning their stables.
Dr Sam went on to obtain her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from St George's University in Grenada, West Indies after completing her clinical fourth year at Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, Scotland. Following graduation, she earned certification as a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and completed the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam, allowing her to practice veterinary medicine in the United States. Dr Sam has extensive experience in critical care, emergency medicine, and general practice for small animals, but also enjoys working with rabbits, guinea pigs and avian species.
Fulfilling a promise to her animal advocate nana, Dr Sam is still known for her generous volunteer work, including time spent in the Singapore Zoo primate section, spay & neuter clinics, and various SPCA centers. On her days off, she enjoys riding her quarter horse and hiking with her two rescue dogs. Dr Sam knows her vocation is to help animals and their families in the most compassionate, peaceful way and is excited to offer this with Choice Veterinary Care.
Marina Yamate, DVM
A southern California native, Dr. Marina Yamate understood from a young age that healing an animal that a person loves means healing the person too. Becoming a veterinarian allowed her to have the best of both worlds; working with the animals and being able to bring peace and happiness to the people around her by helping their loved ones in need.
At the age of 15, Dr Marina volunteered in a local animal hospital, which helped her to understand what veterinary medicine was all about. While completing her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Animal Science-Pre Veterinary Medicine degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2005, she continued her work as a veterinary assistant, veterinary technician and supervising veterinary technician in many locations, including small animal hospitals, a mobile veterinary ultrasonography service, a veterinary surgical practice, and a corporate ophthalmology practice. In May 2011, she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine. As a general practitioner. Dr Marina gained experience in small animal medicine/surgery, shelter medicine and exotic animal medicine/surgery. She quickly realized her passion for emergency veterinary medicine and felt gratified in being able to diagnose and treat very sick, critical patients with the potential of making a significant difference in their recovery. Dr Marina has truly enjoyed being able to not only help animals in need but their pet parents as well.
When outside of work, Dr Marina enjoys spending quality time with her husband, Nacho and three furry kids Kalani (Bengal cat, 10 yrs), Kanoa (Bengal cat, 9 yrs) and Khloe (Terrier mix, 5 yr). Taking every opportunity that she has to be with friends and family is very important to Dr Marina, who can often be found outdoors hiking, mountain biking and snowboarding.
Elizabeth Schuh, DVM
Southern California native, Dr Elizabeth Schuh, grew up in the San Luis Obispo area before moving north to attend the University of California, Davis for both her undergraduate (2006) and veterinary degrees (2012). After completing a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Illinois, she returned to her beloved home state as an Oncology Intern with the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego.
Since this time, Dr Elizabeth has worked in both emergency medicine and oncology. As well, she has contributed as a member of the renowned veterinary clinical trials team at The Ohio State University. She is currently completing a residency with Veterinary Cancer Group, working toward becoming a board certified specialist in medical oncology. Her training and experiences make her uniquely qualified to counsel in end-of-life decision-making. Dr Elizabeth is passionate about encouraging quality of life and peaceful passing of all her patients.
Elizabeth Fredgant, veterinary assistant for Choice Veterinary Care, grew up in Los Angeles, California. After studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea for two years, Elizabeth went on to graduate with honors from UCLA, where she got her bachelors in Political Science. While she has always been passionate about her love for animals, (having many family pets throughout her life), it wasn't until 2008 that she adopted her best friend: an American bulldog named Crash. On her spare time Elizabeth enjoys dancing, watching sports, and finding new places to explore with Crash. Although she only has room for one 4 legged furry friend at the moment, she has helped find forever homes for many animals in need. Elizabeth feels very honored to be working with such a caring company and couldn't be more proud to be a part of the Choice Veterinary team.
Christina Marx, veterinary assistant for Choice Veterinary Care, grew up in a small town, in Northern Minnesota. Christina had many furry friends, including dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs and chickens. By the time she was 5, Christina already knew her love of domestic animals & wildlife would be her passion. During this time, she often assisted her Dad, a dairy research scientist at the University of Minnesota, in helping dairy cows, sheep, pigs, goats and other animals in need of their care. After graduating from Whittier College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology, Christina began work at the Los Angeles Zoo as a Zookeeper. She also volunteered her time at the Wildlife Waystation where she met others who shared her passion for animals and her desire to bring awareness of the need for their protection. Since the recent passing of Christina’s beloved sheltie, Matthew, and her dachshund, Seymour, she has taken solace in fostering as many rescues as possible. Pictured with Christina is “Mouse”, her brother’s Alaskan Malamute, who was rescued when 9yrs old. Mouse currently lives very comfortably with Christina’s family in the frozen tundra of Minnesota.
Susan Dean, veterinary assistant for Choice Veterinary Care, grew up in Southern California. Always an animal lover, Susan has been drawn to horses since the age of three and, so far, has owned five throughout her life. Of her many pets, two are rescues from the vet hospital for which Susan works. The newest addition to the family, Kobe, is a nine-year-old blind diabetic miniature poodle. Kobe’s previous family brought him to the hospital for euthanasiawhen they were no longer able to provide care for him. Susan knew Kobe could still have a happy life and, with their approval, decided to take him home. Pumpkin, a calico Persian cat, was also rescued from the hospital by Susan, when she was willing to provide the surgeries necessary to help Pumpkin recover from her ill health that her previous family could not. Susan is happy to give both Kobe and Pumpkin a forever home as part of her growing family. Susan now owns one horse, two dogs, and five cats. Working many years at numerous animal hospitals, Susan is very happy & honored to join the Choice Veterinary Care team.
Kathleen Kaufman, veterinary assistant for Choice Veterinary Care, has always had a love for Siamese cats. Throughout her childhood, her family rescued many kitties of this beautiful breed from the shelter, thankfully giving them each a loving forever home. One of her fond memories as a child was knowing that having a kitty on your lap was often a “reasonable excuse” to not get up to do chores. Currently, she has a beautiful Siamese rescue named Doris, who has been in Kathleen’s life since Doris was 2-years-old.
When not working with Choice Veterinary Care, Kathleen can often be found in the dance studio studying or teaching. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from University of California, Irvine, she danced in several modern dance companies and musical theatre productions over the years. And once upon a time, she even worked in a circus! Kathleen grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where her two adorable nieces still reside, but currently she lives in Santa Monica. One of her great desires is for all people to own their power and their beauty.
Meghan Ingstad, RVT
A Southern California native, Meghan was born and raised in Orange County. From a very young age, she knew she wanted to work with animals. As a 6-year-old girl, Meghan adopted her neighbor's pregnant cat, Pumpkin. With the help of her parents, she cared for several litters of kittens and found them forever homes. As a teenager, Meghan adopted a 7-year-old boxer named Arnold. Only a year after coming into Meghan's life, Arnold was diagnosed with cancer. He unfortunately lost his battle to survive 3 months later. Shortly after this difficult loss, Meghan was able to save the life of another boxer. Abby was only a year old when she was hit by a car and relinquished to an animal hospital, after her pet parents were unwilling to pay for treatment. Without hesitation, Meghan rescued Abby, nursed her back to health, and was repaid by 10 glorious years of unconditional love.
For 14 years, Meghan has been working in animal hospitals in Southern California. She is a registered veterinary technician with specialty training in veterinary oncology. Through the years, Meghan has helped many grieving pet parents cope with the pain of losing a furry family member. She is honored to continue supporting pet parents through this difficult time by joining the Choice Veterinary Care team.
In her free time, Meghan enjoys baking cupcakes and visiting Disneyland. She also loves spending time with her 3 nieces, who fondly refer to Meghan as "Auntie Cupcake."
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