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Meet Our Caring La Crescenta Veterinarian Team

Our experienced team here at Crescenta Cañada Pet Hospital truly cares about our patient's health. We have been serving the La Crescenta community and the surrounding areas since 1958. Please read our brief profiles below to gain a better idea of who we are, and to get a feel for our passions as well as our high-level of veterinary expertise.

"As a long time client over a period of many years, I am always confident that my little pet friends will always receive the best of care. The CC team as a whole has seen me through the tough times with my pets and the easier times. Always caring.
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Dr. James Speas - Medical Director

Dr. James Speas (J.D.) was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming. Coming from a family of longtime ranchers and having been exposed to the challenges and satisfaction of practicing medicine, a career as a veterinarian was a logical choice for him. Dr. Speas graduated from Colorado State University in 1984. His first veterinary experience was in a mixed large and small animal practice in Salida, Colorado. He then practiced in several small animal and mixed practices in Wyoming and Colorado.

In 1995, Dr. Speas and his family relocated to Southern California and he took over Crescenta Cañada Pet Hospital. Dr. Speas has a variety of interests in veterinary medicine. He has a special interest in surgery and enjoys the challenges of internal medicine cases. Additionally, he enjoys seeing the unique and exotic cases, such as pocket pets and reptiles. Dr. Speas is very proud of the quality of service his team provides and is constantly looking to enhance the quality of life of pets and pet owners.

Dr. Monika Wehbe - Veterinarian

Dr. Monika Wehbe grew up in the La Crescenta Valley and, at a young age, her love for veterinary medicine was evident. She has always been known for her compassion for animals and her dedication to their well-being. She worked as a veterinary technician while attending California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. After she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, Monika left Southern California for veterinary school. Monika received her Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of California, Davis, where her emphasis included dogs, cats, and horses. She is especially interested in preventive medicine, ultrasound, and radiology.

Monika began working at Crescenta Cañada Pet Hospital in 2008. She is excited to be working in her home town where the caring atmosphere, excellent staff, and amazing clients and patients have provided an unforgettable experience. She currently lives in Pasadena with her husband and three young children. Their four-legged family includes a cat and dog who were both adopted through UC Davis adoption programs.

When away from the hospital, Monika enjoys spending time with her children and playing soccer.

Dr. Brett Leonard - Veterinarian

Dr. Brett Leonard was born and raised in Titusville, Florida, which is located adjacent to NASA / Kennedy Space Center. He received his B.S. in Animal Biology from the University of Florida while concurrently working as a veterinary assistant in small animal private practice. Dr. Leonard then relocated to Southern California to attend the Western University of Health Sciences and completed his veterinary medical degree in 2013. During his clinical coursework, he participated in many Southern California specialty hospitals and two on the east coast including Manhattan, New York, and Boston, Massachusetts.

In his spare time, he likes to surf the many different beaches Southern California has to offer, stays active playing tennis and racquetball, and has recently begun playing the guitar. His medical interests include dentistry and diagnostic imaging.

Dr. William Widdop - Veterinarian

Dr. Bill Widdop, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, founded Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital in Cordova Tennessee in 1988. This four doctor AAHA certified hospital continues today, serving companion pets.

In May of 2017, Dr. Widdop moved to Glendale to join his wife and kids who have been living here since 2010. Bill is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and enjoys Small Animal Medicine, Surgery, Dentistry and Dermatology cases. He completed a small animal internship at Louisiana State University and has practiced with companion animals throughout his veterinary career. Active in organized Veterinary Medicine, he is the recipient of the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association’s Young Veterinarian of the Year Award and the Shelby County Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian of the Year Award.

Outside of Veterinary Medicine, he enjoys marathon running, having run over 20 marathons, including five Boston Marathons. He also enjoys painting, house projects and life in Southern California with his wife, their two children, a rescue dog, and a cat.

Dr. Fiona Dodson - Veterinarian

Dr. Fiona Dodson grew up in the Crescenta-Cañada Valley area and with CCPH as her family’s veterinarian! She graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, in the UK in 2017, and subsequently spent a year as an equine veterinarian in California. She is greatly honored to have the opportunity to come back to her roots, to serve her community and be a part of the team that has not only cared for her own pets her whole life but also to care for her friends and neighbors’ pets too.

Dr. Dodson shares her home with a Collie Mix and a sport horse. Her free time is spent hiking with her dog, riding her horse and running. As a pet owner, she understands wanting the best possible care for our furry family members and it is her goal to provide care for every patient to the absolute best of her ability.

Dr. Laura Beyer, DVM - Veterinarian

Dr. Laura Beyer was 12 years old when she raised a baby mockingbird that fell out of its nest. She hand raised it until she released him/her in her backyard. It was so gratifying to help and save an animal in distress that she then decided to become a vet.

Dr. Beyer is a graduate of UC Davis and her goal with every patient is "If they are sick, make them well. If they are well, keep them well. If they are in pain, make them comfortable. When all else fails, I will do no harm." Her own fur-family includes a beagle named Maggie and a cat named Scribbles.

Veterinary Technicians

Jackie Stryker - Registered Veterinary technician

Technician Manager

Jackie is also a native to Crescenta Valley and has grown up with CCPH because her father is Dr. Speas. She is honored to serve the community she is a part of. From a young age, she has always loved helping animals.

Jackie’s goal is to help create a calm and stress-free environment for each patient while offering the best medical assistance possible to the doctor. Outside of work Jackie and her husband are kept busy with their two sons and a cat who the boys adore.

ELISABETH BINKLEY - Registered Veterinary Technician

Technician Supervisor

Elisabeth is one of our Certified Veterinary Assistants. She has always had a strong connection and a great amount of respect for animals. She takes pride in being able to help them when they’re in need.

Her fur-family includes one dog, a Chow Chow, Shepherd, and Pitbull Mix as well as a Russian Blue kitty. Elisabeth’s mantra is that you won’t change the world by saving one animal. But you will change that one animal’s world.

Ivonne Garrido - Registered Veterinary technician

Ivonne graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2017 with a Baccalaureate of Science in Animal Health Science. She earned her Registered Veterinary Technologist license in March 2018. She experiences joy in applying her skills and knowledge to everyday cases but for Ivonne, the true reward comes when she sees beloved patients receiving the care they deserve.

Growing up she was not allowed to have any pets, but now she has two dogs and one cat whom she adores. The mantra she lives by is “She believed she could, so she did.”

Jennifer Strong-Pardus - Registered Veterinary technician

Since she was a small child, Jennifer knew she would always work with animals. Her journey began at the Pre Veterinary program at UC of Santa Barbara, where she was privileged to work at the Santa Barbara Zoo. It was through working at the Zoo and a local Petco Pet Store that Jennifer discovered her true passion was most fulfilled by becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician.

The next step in her journey was to study the Registered Veterinary Technician Program at Pierce College. She started at CCPH as a kennel attendant and is now a Registered Veterinary Technician. She finds inspiration daily through helping our patients and her philosophy is to “Lead by example if you want others to follow.”

Veterinary Assistants

Qaisia Boone - Veterinary Assistant

Qaisia became a Veterinary Assistant because she has a strong passion and love for animals. She wants to help them in any way she can. Her goal for every patient is to make them feel as comfortable as possible, help them improve their health and quality of life. She also likes to give extra TLC when pets are not feeling well and hospitalized.

Her family consists of her parents, three siblings, close friends and her precious dog, Ella. The philosophy that she strives to live by is that everything she does, she does it with everything she has, otherwise it’s not worth it.

Seza Atamian - Veterinary Assistant

When Seza was young, she discovered that Veterinary Medicine makes a difference not only in animals but in humans. Furthermore, it impacts not only the community but the health of everyone worldwide. She knew even as a child that she wanted to make a difference in this field. Her goal with every patient is to maximize comfort and to offer reassurance because she also hates being outside of her comfort zone.

Her fur-family includes two lovely English Pointers, Willow and Copper and two horses, Rosie and Paddy. Her mantra is to always look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel and what is meant to be will be.

Stephanie Haendle - Veterinary Assistant

Stephanie has always loved animals but didn’t pursue animal medicine until she rescued a feral kitten and nursed it back to health. After that she decided she wanted to nurse animals for a living. Stephanie’s goal is to treat every patient like it’s her own pet and to make sure the animals feel loved and comfortable.

Stephanie lives with her husband, her two cats, Bechamel and Casper and her German Shephard/Husky mix, Excalibur.

Her fur-family includes two lovely English Pointers, Willow and Copper and two horses, Rosie and Paddy. Her mantra is to always look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel and what is meant to be will be.

Brittany McEvoy - Veterinary Assistant

Brittany will be attending Western University College of Veterinary Medicine in August of 2020. She applied to veterinary school because she enjoys the challenge of diagnostics as well as the satisfaction of helping pets feel better. Brittany’s goal with every visit is to aid clients fully address concerns for their pets and answer questions thoroughly.

She enjoys watching pets on their journey to happier, healthier lives. Her family includes one wonderful husband and two little stinker cats, Fred and George.

Melissa Briley - Veterinary Assistant

Melissa became a Veterinary Assistant because she wanted to be able to be the voice of the animals she treats. Her goal with every patient visit is to make the pet as comfortable as possible and to reassure the owners that their pets will be cared for with compassion and love. She understands that while pets are with us, we are responsible for their care and safety and she takes it very seriously.

Her family includes her parents and her chi-weenies Duke, DJ and Smokey. One of Melissa’s favorite quotes is by Jorge Luis Borges. “So, plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers."

Client Service Team

Carla Viana

Carla grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and always had pets. Her home consists of her family, children and a fluffy dog. After volunteering at a veterinary hospital in high school, Carla was hooked and has worked in the Veterinary world ever since.

When not working or being a very involved mother, she helps the Monarch Butterfly population by raising caterpillars at home.

Mary Measures

Mary joined our team in 2009 after 25 years in the Film and Animation Industry. A graduate of the Art Center College of Design with a BFA in Illustration, Mary worked in traditional animation on hundreds of commercials, short films, and feature animation releases. As a hand-drawn animation transitioned to computer-generated animation, Mary’s career transitioned from drawing animals to helping animals and their families. Mary is always ready to cheerfully help clients on the phone, at the counter, and in the exam rooms.

She has been a lifelong owner of a menagerie of animals and was involved in Pitbull and Rabbit rescue. Her credo has always been to follow your dreams. Please Adopt, not shop for your next best friend. When not working at CCPH she enjoys spending time with her ponies, horse, mule, cats, dogs, and bunny.

Amy Garcia

Amy’s passion for all furry animals guided her into the Veterinary world. Her favorite part of the job is being there to support clients with sick pets and watch as our team can oftentimes heal many of them. She loves seeing them transform back into loving, spunky and healthy pets.

She is very thankful for her own furry babies, two feisty chihuahuas, as they complete her family. Amy truly believes the best therapist has fur and four legs.


Jessica Speas

Jessica Speas has literally grown up at Crescenta Cañada Pet Hospital (her dad is Dr. Speas). Growing up, she worked in many different areas of the pet hospital and she quickly understood the importance of the human-animal bond. Jessica never thought about a career as a veterinarian but knew that she could do more as an administrator.

In 2002, Jessica became the hospital administrator and oversees the daily operations of the pet hospital. In February 2010, she was awarded the designation of Certified Veterinary Practice Manager with the Veterinary Hospital Management Association. In 2012, Jessica was awarded the designation of Professional in Human Resources and received a California specialty designation in 2013. Outside of the pet hospital, Jessica is a sports fan and enjoys spending time near the beach. Jessica's dog June Bug can often be seen at the pet hospital - she spends most days in her office.

Cristina Martin - Office Manager

Cristina’s passion for animal welfare started at a very early age. She grew up on a small, personal ranch in New Mexico and her family had everything from the typical barnyard animals to the more exotic like emus and rehabilitated barn owls. She was torn between going into a profession that she almost seemed born to do or trying something completely ludicrous like acting. Insanity won and she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. After coming to her senses and missing the constant interaction with four-legged creatures, Cristina started working as a receptionist at an exotic animal clinic. The rest has been a fantastic journey as she has learned so much and grown as a person in this amazingly rewarding field. It is also a tale of caution to others, do what you are good at, not what looks good at the time.

From guiding new puppy and kitten owners through scheduling their first appointment to longtime owners that need help navigating our online pharmacy, her goal is to help our clients give the best care they can to their furry family members. Cristina feels accomplished at the end of the day when she has helped clients in gaining the information necessary to make sound decisions for their family.

Cristina’s family includes 3 dogs, 2 cats and a 35-year-old Mississippi Mud Turtle named Turtle.

Megan HArmon - Front Office Supervisor

Megan has been working professionally with animals for over 14 years in varying fields, including doggie daycare, dog bathing, dog walking, pet sitting, assistant to a pet photographer, and most recently in veterinary medicine. She started her veterinary career cleaning kennels and is now the Front Office Supervisor for CCPH.

She has three dogs of her own, a Pit Bull mix, a Chihuahua and a Maltese. As well as two red-eared slider turtles.

Have questions for our veterinarian team? Please don't hesitate to give us a call at (818) 248-3963!

Why Choose Crescenta  Cañada Pet Hospital?  

  • Nearly 60 Years Caring For Pets

  • We Are Open 7 Days A Week

  • Highly Rated By Our Clients

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