Have you noticed that your pet seems to develop jaws of steel when it's time for a dose of medicine? As you struggle to pry apart your furry friend's teeth, you know you only have one chance to dr ...View Article
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Penelope A. Porter, DVM, Business Owner/Veterinarian
I grew up in Central Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University in 1969. I was one of the first six women to graduate in Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State. The world has changed a great deal since then.
I moved to Tucson, Arizona, to take a job at Valley Animal Hospital where I worked for two years then bought a small practice in Green Valley, Arizona. In 1973 I opened Ajo Veterinary Clinic at its current location. The Southwest side of Tucson has been very kind to my business and me over the past 38 years. I enjoy the challenges of the varied cultures and cases.
I have two dogs of my own, 2 shepherds. I have a passion for old houses and live in a historic home in downtown Tucson.
Peter Jezyk, VMD, PhD
I grew up in Massachusetts and got my BS and PhD from the University of Massachusetts. I started my professional career as a biochemist and taught at the Medical College of Virginia. I then had a change of heart and started veterinary school when I was 31. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, I joined their faculty in the section of Medical Genetics and became tenured. My academic career was productive and I authored over 60 original articles in the scientific and medical literature, and was an invited speaker at numerous veterinary conferences. In 1986, my wife, also a veterinarian, became ill, so I took a part-time position and left to run her practice. We “retired” and moved to Tucson in 2002. I have been a member of the Ajo Veterinary team since September of 2004.
I enjoy practice and the chance to interact with the clients and their animal companions. My wife and I have 5 dogs, 1 old cats, and 2 pet birds, and our newest additions are 3 silky chickens that are our family. My avocation until recently was power lifting and I set a number of world records for my age and weight class.
Kate Clark, DVM, Relief Veterinarian
I was raised in Huber Heights, Ohio and graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. I started my career at Casa Grande Animal Hospital after graduation then moved to Oro Valley Pet Clinic in 1997. I have been helping Ajo Veterinary Clinic and other Tucson clinics as a relief veterinarian since 1999. I enjoy working with this staff, clients and special pets that we get the privilege to see at this clinic. I have spent some time as an adjunct professor at Pima Community College teaching in the Veterinary Technology Program. It was a wonderful experience working with the future technicians that will be helping our profession.
In the hours not spent at clinics practicing medicine, I enjoy quilting. I have made over 350 quilts. Some have been shown at the Arizona Quilters Guild show in Phoenix. No ribbons have been won yet, but I keep striving to improve my technique. I have donated some of my quilts for raffles as fundraisers for local charities. The joy on the face of someone receiving this kind of hug is worth all the time I put into the quilt. My husband and 2 cats patiently wait on dinner while I finish “just one more seam”!
Courtney Vick, DVM
I grew up in a small town in northern Iowa, fairly close to Minnesota. My mother encouraged me to read James Harriot when I was a child (Bonnie Big Day and Blossom Comes Home remain favorites). I wasn’t quite on the Veterinarian train track until a little later in my life. I attended the University of Iowa and studied German, History and Foreign Language Education. I greatly enjoy languages and learning, but teaching young children was not for me. A particularly energetic, but allergic Border Collie - Australian Shepherd Cross excited my interest in animals and medicine. I later attended Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
I enjoy reading – different genres, but mostly historical fiction and mysteries. I also enjoy watching lots of different types of movies while crocheting. I am by no means as prolific as Dr. Clark, but I can live in hope, right? I moved to Arizona in 2014, and recently moved somewhere I can have a garden after a long time of not being able to have one, so am eager to learn more about Southwest gardening.
Sandra Ward, Office Manager
I have had the daunting job of office manager at Ajo Veterinary Clinic since 1998. I help with everything from paying bills, implementing telephone and computer sets, or helping the reception staff and everything in between. I often find myself in the role of surrogate mom to orphaned puppies and kittens that have shown up at the clinic. The late night feedings pay off when I can watch ‘my babies’ grow up to be a loved member of a client’s family. My downtime is enjoyed helping friends and family, cooking and spending time with my husband and our pets – a mix of pugs and cats.
Valorie Lawson, Veterinary Receptionist
I am originally from San Diego, California. I started in the Veterinary field as a technician, due to hand surgery, I was no longer able to perform the duties for that job. So I turned to the next best thing, veterinary receptionist, where I can still enjoy a special bond with clients and their pets. I moved to Tucson with my husband in 2004, so that I could be closer to my two children, and now my two grandchildren. I have worked for Ajo Veterinary clinic off and on for over 10 years. I have two herding dogs, Dixie and Echo along with one very large and in charge Main Coon cat named The Dude, who yes is in charge of the whole house. In my spare time I love cooking, gardening, reading and of course playing with my dogs.
Sara Martinez, C.V.T./ Office Manager
I was born in San Diego, CA and moved to Tucson when I was 11 years old. I am a 2001 graduate of Pima Medical Institute. I began working for Ajo Veterinary Clinic in 2001. In 2006 I earned my Certification as a Veterinary Technician. I enjoy the challenges and rewards of helping our clients keep the furry members of their family healthy. I have a weakness for older dogs and orange cats. When not reading or spending time with my family, I enjoy Tucson’s diverse music scene. More recently I have returned to school to study business to become a more successful practice manager.
Leilani Lopez, Veterinary Assistant
I was born and raised in Tucson and attended PMI’s Veterinary Assistant program and graduated in 2009. I have enjoyed being in the Veterinary field and hope to enroll in the Veterinary Technician program this fall to become a certified technician. I live with 2- Two legged daughters Emily and Alice and 2 – Four legged animals Tyson and Charlie and their Daddy, Jesse. I love anything to do with the great outdoors, animals and family.
Sabrina Romero, Veterinary Assistant
I was born and raised in Tucson, Az. I graduated from Pima Medical Institute in 2010 with a Veterinary Assistance Certificate. I have been working in the veterinarian field ever since, and I love it. Working with animals is very rewarding. I have a soft spot for pit bulls; they have a way of stealing your heart. On my down time I love spending time with my two children Zoriah and Noah.
Wendy Gaytan, Veterinary Assistant
I live in Tucson with my husband, who is in the U.S. Air Force, with our daughter. I enjoy working with animals and have been a technician since 2006. I have worked in specialty and emergency care, however I always come back to general practice. I enjoy the bonds that are created with Pets and their owners. I have 3 dogs of my own, and enjoy spending time with my family on my time off.
Andrea Villa, Veterinary Assistant
I was raised in Tucson, Az. My love for animals led me to the veterinary field. I attended Pima Medical Institute for their Veterinary Assistant Program. I have been working towards my associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology, which will lead me to the goal of becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician. I have two awesome dogs at home named Sophie and Panda. In my down time I enjoy family time, and spending time with my dogs.
Dani Tapia, Veterinary Assistant
I was Born and Raised in Tucson, Az. I am a graduate of Pima Community College, Veterinary Technician Program, with an Associates of Applied Science. I have always had a love for animals, and find that providing care to our clients and their pets is very rewarding. I consider the staff here at Ajo Veterinary Clinic my second family and look forward to coming to work.