- Veterinary Surgery
- Veterinary Critical Care
- Veterinary Ophthalmology
- 24-Hour Vet
- Emergency Veterinary Clinic
- Small Animal Vet
- Veterinary Euthanasia
- Veterinary Medical Specialties
- Veterinary Surgery
Dr. Kenneth Bruecker
A San Fernando Valley native, Dr. Bruecker attended Pierce College then received his bachelors degree in Animal Science from the University of California at Davis.
He then entered the University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1983. After one year of general small animal practice in San Fernando, Dr. Bruecker completed an additional year of clinical internship at the West Los Angeles Veterinary Medical Group. He received his master of science degree at the completion of a three year surgical residency at Colorado State University and moved back to Ventura County in 1988 to establish specialty veterinary care. Dr. Bruecker is the Medical Director and Chief of Surgery at VMSG. He is also the Chief Medical Officer for Symphony, a specialty practice management company.
Dr. Bruecker has also been providing regular surgical support for practices in the state of Hawaii since 1996.
A Board Certified Surgeon, Dr. Bruecker's primary clinical interests are spinal surgery, sports medicine/orthopedics (including arthroscopy, TPLO, TTA, cementless total hip replacement and limb deformity correction), minimally invasive surgery (such as laparoscopy) and peri-operative pain management. Wobbler syndrome of Doberman pinschers is his special area of expertise and interest. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters on Wobbler syndrome, treatment of intervertebral disk degeneration and spinal fracture management. He has been an invited speaker throughout the United States, Latin America, South America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific on a variety of topics in orthopedics, neurosurgery and pain management. He is an active participate in working groups on elbow dysplasia, shoulder injuries, advanced techniques in small animal arthroscopy and cranial cruciate ligament repair. Dr. Bruecker was the first to offer TPLO surgery, TTA surgery, cementless hip replacement, arthroscopy and laparoscopy to owners of pets in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, as well as to the State of Hawaii. He has been an innovator in the development of new surgical techniques and orthopedic implants.
Dr. Bruecker is a past program chair of Neurosurgery for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a past program chair for the technician program for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He served as the orthopedics program director for 2004 and 2005 for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He was also program director for orthopedics, pain management and anesthesia for the 2006 American Veterinary Medical Association annual symposium. He is a past Executive Board Member for Veterinary Orthopedics Society (2004-2007).
Due largely to his commitment to education and training, Dr. Bruecker was selected as the Veterinarian of the Year for the State of California by the California Veterinary Medical Association in 2004.
Dr. Bruecker, his wife and sons are owner/operators of avocado and citrus farms in Ventura County. They enjoy golf, scuba diving, sea kayaking, mountain biking, snow skiing, snow boarding, tennis and home winemaking. They especially like spending time at home on the farm with family and pets.
Dr. Rich Mills
A Cumberland Rhode Island native, Dr. Mills attended The University of Rhode Island where he received a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. He then entered Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1998. Dr Mills was then accepted into a one year rotating small animal medical and surgical internship at Denver Veterinary Specialists. Following his internship he started a three-year Small Animal Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care residency in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After completing his residency in 2002 he joined a large multi-specialty hospital in Southern California where he successfully participated in training numerous emergency and critical care residents who now practice throughout the country.
In 2005 Dr. Mills opened an emergency, critical care, and internal medicine practice in Culver City at City of Angeles Veterinary Specialty Center. This practice has since expanded to include Surgery and Cardiology. In addition to mentoring the current residents at his practices Dr Mills is Chief of Staff and President of Advanced Critical Care Los Angeles. Over the last three years Dr Mills started and developed specialty centers in the suburbs of Seattle and Portland. His practices employ over 20 board certified specialists and over 170 staff members. Dr. Mills lectures at international veterinary conferences, local chapter veterinary meetings and conducts clinical research. Dr Mills has also published articles on noninvasive cardiac output monitoring.
A Board Certified Criticalist, Dr. Mills’ primary clinical interests are sepsis, shock, mechanical ventilation, and gastrointestinal diseases. Dr Mills performs endoscopic, laparoscopic, and thoracoscopic procedures. Dr Mills primary caseload include critical care referrals as well as severely ill internal medicine based patients. Dr Mills has a large number of patients owned by the referring veterinary community. He enjoys working on and is honored to work with the personal pets of many referring veterinarians.
Dr Mills remains active in the college of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care where he has helped develop the specialty examination for several years. He has also been on other administrative boards for the College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Dr Mills also is a clinical instructor for third and fourth year Veterinary students from Western University in Pomona Ca. (2008-current)
Dr Mills won an award from Auburn University in 2008 as an up-and-coming veterinarian in the community.
When Dr Mills is not caring for patients he enjoys time with his family. He and his wife Demi have two sons who keep them busy with soccer and taekwondo as well as other sports. They enjoy vacations together, fishing, and any beach/water activities. An important part of their family is their four-legged love, a yellow lab named Bailee.
Dr. Diane Bassman
A North Wales Pennsylvania native, Dr Bassman attended the University of Pennsylvania where she received a BA in Biology. After undergraduate she worked for several years in New York doing research in the fields of oncology and urology where she participated in research and has published in human medical journals. During this time period she applied to veterinary school and moved overseas to study Veterinary Medicine in Ireland and Scotland.
Dr Bassman then earned her Veterinary Degree from the University of Glasgow in 2009 and moved home to the United States where she was accepted into a rotating small animal medical and surgical internship at Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group (VERG) in Brooklyn, New York. After completion of the internship, Diane accepted a position at VERG as an Emergency clinician. Throughout her education and training, she had a strong interest in Emergency Medicine and Cardiology. The following year Dr Bassman applied to a Small Animal Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Residency through VMSG and was accepted. She is happy to join the team at VMSG in August of 2011 as an Emergency and Critical Care Resident.
Outside of the clinic, Diane enjoys running, reading, playing sudoku, cooking, cheese, and traveling. As a new resident of California, she just may give surfing a try.
Dr. Claude Lessard
Dr. Claude Lessard obtained her veterinary degree in 2006 from the University of Montreal in Canada. During veterinary school, she worked as a technician in general practive and was actively involved in the school shelter. She also completed externships in exotic, wildlife, and zoo medicine. After graduating, she moved to California and completed a small animal rotating internship at Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group in Ventura. She clearly found her niche in emergency medicine during that year and, after her internship, she was offered a position as a permanent emergency staff doctor. She jumped on the opportunity to do what she loves and to get strong mentorship by the Critical Care Specialists at VMSG Ventura.
For 3 years, her position has involved emergency receiving, emergency procedures, monitoring and care of critical patients, and helping to train and teach the interns. She has gained knowledge and specialized skills from working in close collaboration with the Critical Care specialists, and alongside the other specialists including surgeons, internists, an oncologist, and radiologists. She has pursued additional training attending multiple conferences, including the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium. She is a member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. The odd hours and pace associated with emergency medicine suits her well and she is driven by the continuous challenges that this field brings.
After years in Ventura, the opportunity to start the Emergency department of the new VMSG in Orange County is just the challenge Dr Lessard has been looking for. She is excited to move south and work with new veterinarians, while continuing to be part of the VMSG family.
Dr. Brooke Jensen
Dr. Brooke Jensen grew up in Denver, Colorado. She received a BS in Biology, with an emphasis in anatomy and physiology, at Colorado State University in 2000. During the summer after graduation she researched and photographed humpback whales off the coast of Boston. She returned home to continue her education at Colorado State and obtain her veterinary degree in 2005. Dr. Jensen completed an internship with Veterinary Medical and Surgery Group (VMSG) in Ventura, California. At VMSG she had the opportunity to work with board certified emergency/critical care and internal medicine specialists as well as surgeons, an oncologist and radiologists at VMSG. She was selected from her intern class to be retained as an emergency doctor allowing her the chance to further develop under the guidance of multiple specialists, with whom she is still in close contact. Dr. Jensen was offered a position as a staff emergency doctor at VMSG, helping to teach and train nine interns, furthering her professional growth. That year truly defined her love of emergency and critical care medicine. She is passionate about emergency care and she feels privileged to be part of this exciting endeavor at the new Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group - Orange County, and to bring her knowledge and skills to the area.
Dr. Holly Hamilton
Dr. Hamilton received her DVM from the University of Wisconsin in1989 followed by a year in a small animal private practice. She completed a one-year small animal internship at Washington State University. She went to Auburn University in 1991 and completed an ophthalmology residency and Masters degree. In 1995 she accepted a faculty position in ophthalmology at Louisiana State University. She has been in ophthalmology private specialty practice since 1999 in both Colorado and California. Holly has published several articles and book chapters in both small animal and equine ophthalmology.
Dr. Renee McCarthy
Dr. Renee McCarthy is a southern California native, born and raised in Trabuco Canyon, California. She knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, and started working at a veterinary hospital in high school. During undergraduate and veterinary school she remained in California, receiving her BS in Animal Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and her DVM degree in 1999 from UC Davis. After veterinary school Dr. McCarthy returned to southern California and worked as a general practitioner for 8 years in Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo, before moving to Hawaii in 2007. In Hawaii she worked at the only 24/7 emergency hospital on the island of Oahu, where she realized she had a strong interest in caring for the critically ill and trauma patients. Although she thoroughly enjoys the close relationship with clients that is developed from being a primary care veterinarian, she finds it very fulfilling to be able to help people and pets through difficult times. After 4 years spent in Hawaii broadening her emergency medicine/surgery knowledge she returned home to south Orange County to be near her family and friends. Dr. McCarthy is excited and proud to be a member of the VMSG-OC team, and is looking forward to the new challenges it will bring.
While not in the clinic Dr. McCarthy enjoys spending time with friends, family and her cat and dog kids. She loves travelling, reading and spending time outdoors. She loves all animals but has a special place in her heart for Chihuahuas, which is probably why she has 4 of them, including a tiny three pounder named Gidget.
Dr. Julie Flood
Dr. Julie Flood was born in Germany (yes, she was an Air Force brat), but spent most of her life in Virginia. She has always had an interest in caring for animals. As a child she collected injured bugs, turtles, snakes, and lizards that she found and put them in her doll buggy (no pun intended!) rather than the intended dolls. She worked at a stable during high school caring for and feeding horses before and after school. After high school, she earned an associate degree in Applied Animal Science, became a certified veterinary technician, and worked as a veterinary technician for 9 years before deciding to further her education. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1989 and her veterinary degree from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1994. She then worked in a general practice in VA Beach, VA for 9 years
In her quest for more knowledge she pursued a residency in internal medicine which she completed at OSU in 2006. She has written or co-authored several articles in a variety of veterinary journals. She enjoys most aspects of internal medicine including gastroenterology, endocrinology, immune-mediated and infectious disease.
Moving to Southern CA in 2006 with Dan, her long time companion and fiancé of 10 years, she worked as an internist in a specialty practice for approximately 2 years. She has been working as an internal medicine consultant for both VCA Antech Diagnostics and Advanced Veterinary Analysis Laboratory for the last 2.5 years. Dr. Flood joined VMSG-OC in July 2010. She continues to serve as a medicine consultant while building up the VMSG-OC internal medicine department.
After settling into the California life, she decided to volunteer as a foster parent for the Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue League, but failed FOSTER 101 as she ended up adopting the first 3 mature dogs that came to live with her (Rosko, Spree, and Krystal). She also has 2 cats (Dumdora and Radar) who are none too pleased with the new additions.
She loves to roller-skate, bike ride, play ping pong, watch movies, read, play Wii, spend time with the grand kids, and take the dogs to the dog beach in her spare time. She also enjoys country dancing and wishes there were more places to practice her rusty moves.
After incessantly bragging about how great life was in CA, she finally convinced her parents to move from their retirement home in North Carolina to where they now live about 1 mile away. Life is good! Now she just has to work on getting her brother here!
Dr. Brett Kantrowitz
A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Kantrowitz received his undergraduate degree in Biology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. He completed his veterinary degree and radiology residency at UC Davis separated by private practice experience in a small and large animal practice in Loomis, California.
He joined the faculty at The Ohio State University in 1986 as an Assistant Professor of Radiology. He was instrumental in integrating the small animal ultrasound program with the surgical and medical clinicians at The Ohio State University. He returned to Southern California to develop a consultation and referral practice in small animal radiology and ultrasound. Dr. Kantrowitz is a Board Certified Radiologist. He evaluates every radiograph, ultrasound, CT image, MRI image produced at VMSG.
He moved to Ojai with his family in 1993. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters devoted to small animal ultrasound and radiology and is a frequent speaker at veterinary conference and national meetings.
His personal interests include spending time with his wife and 3 children, enjoying many outdoor activities including horseback riding, bicycling on both road and mountain bikes, soccer, and the arts.