Dr. Sheryl Eckstein
Dr. Eckstein is a Southern California native and has lived in Ladera Ranch since 2004. She received her B.S. in Biology at Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. She took over ownership of Rancho Viejo Animal Hospital in 2012. Her work experience includes general practice and shelter medicine. She especially enjoys internal medicine and rescue work.
Dr. Eckstein is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, California Veterinary Medical Association, and the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association. She currently shares her home with her husband, 2 children, 3 dogs, and a hairless guinea pig. She and her family are also the proud owners of a sweet and slightly stubborn Morgan horse named Doc. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the dog park, going to the barn, watching movies, listening to music, watching soccer, and taking care of her family and pets, great and small.
Dr. Lara W. Alkofer
Dr. Alkofer grew up outside of Charleston, SC. She received her Bachelor of Science in biology from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. She worked at San Diego’s Scripps Research Institute as a research assistant, which led to her desire to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. She practiced in small animal emergency and general medicine practices in Eastern Washington for 6 years & has worked in Orange County since 2003. She joined the Rancho Viejo team in 2014. In addition to general medicine, she especially enjoys surgery & dentistry. Dr. Alkofer works in our hospital on Mondays and Tuesdays and when she is not working, she enjoys spending time in the gorgeous Southern California outdoors with her husband and children. We are happy to have such a kind, caring, and experienced veterinarian as a member of our team.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Robyn has been a Veterinary Technician for over 20 years, and a Registered Vet Tech since 2009. Robyn has been with Rancho Viejo Animal Hospital since it opened in 2010. She is passionate about her job and truly enjoys working with pets. Robyn enjoys all types of movies and music.
Veterinary Technician Assistant
Cathy has been a part of our team since 2012 and working with animals since 2009. She is very passionate and enthusiastic about her job. In her free time, she enjoys spending time and coloring with her 2-year-old son.
Hannah has been part of our team since 2017. She has been working with animals for 3 years since graduating from a local high school. In her free time, she enjoys going to Disneyland, hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with her dog and cat.
Amanda joined our RVAH family in 2016. She is a current student at the local community college and is planning on becoming a veterinarian in the future. She lives in Mission Viejo with her 3 dogs, cat, and tortoise.
Heather recently joined our team in 2017. She has worked in veterinary hospitals for 5 years. In her free time, Heather enjoys working with her rescue dogs and surfing our beautiful beaches.
Veterinary Assistant (Summer Intern)
Emma joined the RVAH team in 2017 and interns at the clinic during the summer and on holiday breaks. During the year, she goes to college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studies Animal Science. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym and spending time with her friends and family. In the summer, Emma lives in Trabuco Canyon with her two loving Boxer dogs.
Jhaymie is the newest member of our staff and has been with our team since 2018. She is currently attending college and would like to major in Animal Science. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading and being with all her pets. She is happiest when there is an animal around.
The Office Dog
Since adopting Enzo at 10 months old in 2015, he has become much more social and comes to work every day with Dr. Eckstein and hangs out (i.e. sleeps) in the doctor’s office. He loves to go to the dog park to see his friends and roll in the grass. He has food allergies among other things and eats a special diet. He is afraid of the Albertson’s delivery trucks, the mop bucket, and wet floors.
The Office Cat
We inherited Biscuit in 2018, at 19 years old, she is looking pretty good. She lost one eye to a Coyote a long time ago, which we believe may have contributed to her feisty nature. Besides a mild hairball issue, she is in pretty good health and is settling into her new retirement digs quite nicely.
Max passed away in 2016 at the ripe old age of 16 years old. He was the best “Office Cat” we could have ever asked for. He fit in perfectly with our hospital, wandered around happily, did not mind dogs, shared a bed in the office with Enzo, Dr. Eckstein’s dog. He kept us all smiling. He was a blessing and we were happy to give him the comfortable retirement he deserved.