Dr. Allyza, Our First Future Vet…


We first met Allyza in 2015 when Dr. Olivia Petritz spoke at her elementary school in South Central. In addition to bringing along several species of exotic animals, Dr. Petritz talked to the kids about conservation, how to treat animals, and what it’s like to be a vet.

After the presentation, Allyza introduced herself to Dr. Petritz and her love for animals was made immediately clear. Allyza was star struck and even asked Dr. Petritz to autograph her veterinary Lego set guidebook and her veterinarian Barbie doll!

In March 2016, we invited Allyza to join our Los Angeles hospital as a “doctor” for the day to encourage her love of animals and furthering her education. Upon arrival, Allyza was greeted by Hospital Manager Jason Bitting, who gave Allyza her very own white lab coat complete with her name embroidered on the front.

She and her mother were then taken on a tour of the hospital, finally landing in our Exotics department, where she was reunited with Dr. Petritz, her assistant Rosa, and Dr. Karen Schachterle. There, Dr. Allyza listened to the heartbeats of a tortoise and bird and had many of her questions about our patients, school, and veterinary medicine answered. We also traveled to some of our other departments and learned about endoscopy in Internal Medicine, MRI in Neurology, and made our way back to Exotics to check the expiration dates on food for our patients and look at some of the tools used in surgeries. She then had pizza for lunch and was presented with a year-long membership for her family to the LA Zoo and ended her day by saying goodbye to all of the patients.

We are so lucky to have been able to spend quality time with Allyza and help foster her love for veterinary medicine. We hope she continues to pursue her passion and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her!

Shannon Brown








Dr. Petritz’s Lecture was a Hit and Included a Special Guest!


Dr. Olivia Petritz gave a hit lecture on the common diseases of backyard poultry twice in April, once in our Los Angeles and once in Woodland Hills. In addition to preparing a very interesting lecture, Dr. Petritz was also able to set up a microscope under which our guests were able to look at different species of chicken lice! The biggest surprise came from her lecture in Woodland Hills though, where Dr. Martin Dinnes was one of our attendees.

Dr. Dinnes has an incredibly impressive veterinary career that spans over 50 years, including creating innovative medical protocols for zoological animals. He invented and developed the Telinject system for remotely injecting reptiles, mammals, and birds, making for a quick and safe method to deliver medication to exotic animals. Dr. Dinnes was also one of the eight veterinarians chosen by the American Veterinary Medical Association to form the American College of Zoological Medicine.

We were so very honored to have such a prestigious veterinarian in our audience that night, not to mention the very reason zoo and exotic medicine exists! We would like to thank Dr. Dinnes for all of his contributions to veterinary medicine and for attending our continuing education lecture.

If you would like to attend a lecture at our hospital, please contact Jillian Kassel at for more information.



Dr. Olivia Petritz with Dr. Martin Dinnes

Rockin’ and Rollin’ with our Client Care Rock Stars…


We celebrated the tremendous efforts of our receptionists, doctor’s assistants, charge coordinators, and phone operators last week with a whole rockin’ variety of activities and treats!

All of our Rock Stars received their “band shirts” at the beginning of the week and were able to wear them for each shift while they wrote encouraging messages on our gratitude wall, ate ice cream, enjoyed Olive Garden, played basketball and NBA Jam, and rested while watching movies and eating popcorn.

We love our Client Care team and are so thankful for each and every member and their contributions to our hospitals, patients, and clients.

(Click on the below images for a larger view…)


We’re Hiring and Went Back to School to Recruit!

We would like to thank Pierce College and Mount San Antonio College for allowing us to participate in their job fairs this month. We saw many college students who were very interested in getting started in the veterinary industry.

If you’re interested in working at any of our four locations, please send your resume and cover letter to



It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Super Fred!

Fred is a fantastic little dog who came in on emergency at ACCESS – San Fernando Valley after he was attacked by a coyote. Fortunately he made an incredible recovery from some very serious injuries, making it clear that he certainly is Super Fred, as per his nifty new bandages!


Meet Dr. Stefanie Owczarczak…

It’s pronounced ‘Owe-char-check.’

We are pleased to announce that Stefanie Owczarczak, DVM has joined our team at ACCESS – South Bay. Click here to find out more about Dr. Owczarczak.


A little about ACCESS – South Bay…

Earlier this year, ACCESS was pleased to be able to purchase the Emergency Pet Clinic of South Bay (EPC).

While we will focus on continuing to provide the exceptional ER care and overnight emergency services EPC has been providing since 1974, we plan to add specialty services for primary veterinarians and the local community.

We look forward to updating you as the practice develops, and ask that you never hesitate to contact us for more information. We’re here for you. (Find out more here…)


What came first, the chicken or the egg?

In this case, it was the chicken!

Dr. Olivia Petritz met a new feathered friend while she was in for an exam when all of a sudden, the chicken laid an egg! Don’t worry, this chicken was not exposed to a male, which means this was not a fertilized egg.


Max the Terrific Tripawd…

Max is a lovable Pit Bull mix who came into our Los Angeles emergency room after being hit by a car in early 2016.

Luckily, Max was okay except for his front leg that was very badly injured. After the careful evaluations by our specialists and learning about all of their options, Max’s parents decided that the best course of action would be to amputate the leg. Even though Max’s injury was serious, he never lost his sweet and upbeat demeanor! Max wagged his tail during his examinations and gave kisses whenever he could. Before surgery, Max was snuggled by doctors and staff members and given medication to keep him comfortable.

The surgery was performed by one of our board-certified surgeons, Dr. Kim Carey and was very successful. After his procedure, Max was kept in our emergency room for 24×7 monitoring where he was given medication, love, and when he was ready, food. Our staff and Max’s family worked together to make sure Max healed up appropriately and learned how to walk on three legs safely.

In no time Max was up and running and we were thrilled to see him doing so well when he came back to us for a recheck!




Tails from the road… a Bison!

What do you get when you cross an animal and some rocks? Animals Rock, of course! 🙂

The ACCESS crew was recently visiting vets in the rural areas of Agua Dulce and Acton, and came across some cows, bulls, and a bison, who was not camera shy at all. Buffalo Bill, (that’s what I imagine his name to be) also seems to enjoy playing soccer in between his “being a bison” activities.

We then moseyed down the road, and stopped by the beautiful and natural Vasquez Rocks!  A must see in LA county if you’ve never been. Plus, you could almost see Rafiki in the distance holding up Simba.

It was very Zen, being that the ACE crew is normally around city slickers all day.

Jillian Kassel
Director of Community Relations | ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospitals




Puppies, puppies, and BAERs, oh my!

We recently saw a litter of six snuggly Dogo Argentino puppies for BAER testing with Dr. Jeremy O’Neill.

BAER stands for Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response and is a hearing test that works by using acupuncture size needles and veterinary ear buds to detect the electrical activity in the cochlea and auditory pathways in the brain.

The testing only took a few minutes for each pup, who were held and comforted by our gentle staff members the entire time. Just before their test, the puppies all needed a quick bath as they had gotten messy before they arrived, making for one very eventful day in the neurology department!

If you have any questions about your pet’s hearing or overall health, be sure to contact your primary veterinarian.


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South Bay

2325 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90501

Tel: (310) 320-8300 - Fax: (424) 293-7254

Los Angeles

9599 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Tel: (310) 558-6100 - Fax: (310) 558-6199

San Fernando Valley

20051 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Tel: (818) 887-2262 - Fax: (818) 704-0323

Central Valley

4300 Easton Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93309

Tel: (661) 281-1320 - Fax: (661) 302-4193

Click here for maps (and to find directions)