Meet the Team at The Pet Hospital of Tierrasanta
Get to know the team at our San Diego, CA veterinary hospital. We’re dedicated to providing your pets with state-of-the-art, compassionate veterinary care.
Dr. Michelle D’Angelo was born and raised in San Diego. After getting her bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Cruz, she continued on to veterinary school at UC Davis and graduated in 2006. She loves treating her canine and feline patients and has a particular fondness for old cranky pets.
In her free time, Dr. D’Angelo often travels, escapes to Disneyland, or plays word games on her phone. She has a fantastic shelter mutt named Homer and two wonderful cats, Gidget and Bacon.
Dr. Kazumi Arai Leon is a highly accomplished veterinarian originally from Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from a prestigious veterinary school in 2000, Dr. Kazumi specialized in researching marine mammals through extensive fieldwork along the Japanese coast. Following the devastating 2011 Tsunami disaster, she demonstrated her unwavering commitment to animals by volunteering as a rescue vet. In 2014, Dr. Kazumi relocated to San Diego to unite with her fiancé and pursued further professional growth. She completed an internship at the esteemed San Diego Humane Society, focusing on shelter medicine and gaining valuable expertise in caring for animals in shelter environments. Beyond her veterinary career, Dr. Kazumi nurtures a range of hobbies. She finds culinary expression through cooking, embarks on enriching travels with her spouse, and derives peace and harmony from practicing the Japanese Tea Ceremony. At home, she shares her life with the delightful company of her two and two-thirds cats, embracing the joy and comfort they bring. With her exceptional background, boundless dedication, and steadfast commitment to animal welfare, Dr. Kazumi continues to excel in the veterinary field, providing outstanding care to pets and their devoted owners.
Dr. Neilson was born and raised in San Diego. “Cat” being her first word, Dr. Neilson’s parents knew she would work with animals before she knew herself. When she wasn’t in school, she could be found playing volleyball and working at San Diego’s Safari Park as her first job. This is where her passion for animals and conservation really took off.
After high school, Dr. Neilson set off east, attending Amherst College for her undergraduate degree. She then went to Tufts University, where she earned a master’s in science in Conservation Medicine. Massachusetts apparently was not far enough east for her, so she moved across the pond and attended the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. She graduated in 2019 with her B.V.M.S. (same as D.V.M., only British). During her time there, she participated as a student researcher for the Scottish Wildcat Action Plan, a conservation organization working to protect the remaining population of Scottish Wildcats.
Between her experience at the Safari Park and involvement in the Wildcat conservation, Dr. Neilson initially thought she would become a zoo veterinarian. Fortunately, the sweet smiles of small animals beckoned her instead. After spending a year practicing in Phoenix, Dr. Neilson returned to sunny San Diego and started at one of our sister clinics Academy Animal Hospital in August 2020. In 2022 Dr. Neilsen Joined The Pet Hospital of Tierrasanta helping out one day a week, until she finally decided to split her time between the 2 clinics evenly.
Dr. Neilson has two cats, Mobi and Jack. Mobi was born and raised in Scotland and meows with an accent. Jack is as orange as the pumpkin he was found behind as a kitten and has classic second-child syndrome (basically, he’s the baby, and he knows it.) In her free time, Dr. Neilson enjoys volleyball, glass fusing, and cosplaying. She views the San Diego Comic-Con as an Olympic sport, and her cosplay talents have been featured on multiple Comic-Con stages.
A San Diego native, Brittany has been working in the veterinary field since she was 17 and has been a part of our team since 2013. Outside the hospital, she spends time keeping up with her daughter, two Chiweenies (Baby Dog and Dash), and her newest rescue, Foxy the chihuahua.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Originally from Atascadero, CA, Tiffany has been living in San Diego for seven years and has been with us for three years. Tiffany graduated from San Diego Mesa College’s Animal Health Technologies program in 2015 and is now a registered veterinary technician at The Pet Hospital. She and her husband welcomed their first fur baby Tucker, a German Shorthaired Pointer, in January 2020. So she spends her days off at the dog parks and beach or takes him hiking.
Native to San Diego, Isela has been in the veterinary field since 2015. She came to us after working at the animal shelter and other private practices. When she is not working hard at the hospital, she takes care of her two fur kids: Mia, the Jack Russell Terrier, and Jayden, the lab-pitbull mix, two years old. She also loves spending time with her family and friends. Isela is working on furthering her career in the veterinary field by taking her boards to become an RVT.
Jacqueline was born in San Diego, and her love for animals started as a kid when she would bring strays home. She attended school at PIMA medical institute in the veterinary assistant program and graduated in 2014. Jacqueline did her externship at Lakeside veterinary hospital and moved on and did some work at a groomer as a bather. She now works at both WAG hotels and the pet hospital. Jacqueline’s free time is spent hanging out with her 9-year-old daughter and 6-year-old miniature Dachshund.
Sarah has been a part of The Pet Hospital family since May 2021 and has worked in the veterinary field since 2007. Sarah graduated from SDSU in 2007 with a master’s degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Sarah and her daughter love spending time at home with their 4 fur babies, Blue the sweet Staffordshire Terrier, Pepper Poppet, the cutest Frenchie; Zoe Zombee, the baby Sphynx; and Flash Gordan, the chubby Maine Coon. Sarah’s hobbies include collecting dolls, Acutonics (an energy-based non-invasive treatment like acupuncture), and Entomology (the scientific study of insects).
Cindy graduated from PIMA in 2016 and started her Vet Tech career at an emergency animal hospital. She loved the variety of animals that she cared for and the quick pace. After four years, she switched to general practice. Cindy recently joined The Pet Hospital of Terrisanta where she loves her friendly coworkers and clients.
Cindy and her husband share their home with an active 2 ½-year-old Dalmatian named
Ember. Cindy relaxes with outdoor gardening, indoor plants, and online gaming.
Born and raised in San Diego, Angela has worked with animals since she was 19. She has done most of her work with parrots, waterfowl, dogs, and cats. Angela worked as a Veterinary Assistant/Receptionist for six years before deciding to work solely in reception. Angela spends time with her fiancé and two boys when she is not at work. Angela has no pets but always keeps her eye out for her subsequent rescue.
Originally from Colorado, Cyra grew up in a small farm town where her love for animals began. Cyra joined our team in July 2021 after working as an assistant manager at a dog groomer and, before that, as a cashier at Petco. Cyra and her wife have another full-time job taking care of their 9 fur babies when she is not working. Three cats; Skipjack, Mackerel, and Anchovy, along with six dogs; Flying Dutchman (Giant Schnauzer), Mako Shark, Mama Odie, Tornado Potato, Tsunami (all French Bulldogs), and Ween Bean (Chihuahua). Cyra also enjoys reading, Dungeons and Dragons, magic gatherings, board games, and video games.