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El Cerrito Doctors & Staff

About El Cerrito Veterinary Hospital

El Cerrito Veterinary Hospital was established in the 1930s. The original hospital was not far from our current site, in a neighborhood known as El Cerrito. We have enjoyed an excellent reputation over the years, largely because our philosophy is simple: Offer the very best in veterinary care at a fair price. El Cerrito has thrived based almost exclusively on word-of-mouth marketing. We are fortunate in that many of our clients have been bringing their pets to us for decades. El Cerrito is family owned and operated, catering to cats and dogs who are important family members too, something we never forget. In the summer of 2015, after 26 years, Dr. Donna Valerie was happy to have sold the practice to Dr. Julie Massey who had been her associate since she bought the business. Several members of our loyal staff have been at El Cerrito for as long as the doctors.

Meet the Doctors

Dr. Julie Massey

Dr. Massey is the owner of El Cerrito Veterinary Hospital and has been a vital part of the El Cerrito family for more than 28 years. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Dr. Massey developed the passion to help animals from reading the James Herriot novels in grade school.  She completed undergraduate studies and earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1989. She has been married 28 years to her husband, Mike Massey, who helps manage El Cerrito when he is not working as a financial executive for one start-up or another. She has 2 sons and lives with one quirky orange tabby named Wilbur.  Outside of work, Dr. Massey enjoys hiking, reading, playing duplicate bridge and spending time with her extended family in San Diego and Wisconsin.

Dr. Nikki Kisling

Dr. Nikki Kisling was born and raised in Fresno, California. Eager to experience new places and live near the beach, she moved to sunny San Diego and studied biology at UC San Diego. While working on her undergraduate degree, she was fortunate enough to work at a local veterinary clinic, which reinforced her goal to become a veterinarian. Dr. Kisling graduated from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and subsequently completed a one-year small animal internship at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego. She has worked with various species during her studies, including dogs, cats, horses and even reptiles. She feels blessed to be in a profession where she gets to work with animals everyday and help their families! In her spare time, Dr. Kisling enjoys being outdoors with her two rescue dogs, Rocko and Samwise, while her snake, Elliot, lounges in his terrarium back home.

Dr. Sarah Tritt

Dr. Sarah Tritt is a California native, from the artist’s community of Laguna Beach. Sarah started her career as a kennel assistant at the age of seventeen, when she discovered her life’s dream of becoming a veterinarian.  She then went on to obtain her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Animal and Veterinary Sciences from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona.  Dr. Tritt was then accepted to attend Tuskegee University's School of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama, graduating in May of 2005.  We are very happy Dr. Tritt has joined El Cerrito Veterinary Hospital!  Her professional interests include surgery, radiology, geriatric and preventative medicine. Dr. Tritt is a regular volunteer with the San Diego Alpha Project, caring for San Diego's homeless and their pets. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, making jewelry, cooking and hiking. Dr. Tritt has been married to Christopher Tritt for 15 years and is the proud mother of two amazing boys, Nicholas and Simon. Her Boston Terrier named "Rocco" and her mixed-breed named “Spike” complete her happy home.

Dr. Donna Valerie - "Veterinarian Emeritus"

Dr. Valerie owned El Cerrito Veterinary Hospital for more than 26 years before turning it over to Dr. Massey in 2015. A native of Detroit, Dr. Valerie completed her under-graduate degree at the University of Michigan and earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University in 1976. While raising two daughters, Chelsea and Allison, and running a successful veterinary practice, Dr. Valerie also found time in the 1980s to appear weekly on KGTV-10 News as San Diego's “Pet Vet.” Dr. Valerie has been married for over 30 years to Mark Sauer, host of The Round Table on KPBS. Dr. Valerie has two wonderful grandchildren, and a third is on the way! Dr. Valerie lives with Mark, her 96 year-old mother Irene, as well as a ragdoll named Princess Fiona and an orange tabby named Raylan.  When not at work you will find her on the tennis court or curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and a cat on her lap.  Dr. Valerie recently retired from scheduled work at El Cerrito, but is available to help us out in a pinch!

Meet the Staff

Debbie, RVT

Debbie is a San Diego native and has worked at El Cerrito since 1982, shortly after earning her Registered Veterinary Technician degree. She enjoys taking care of animals in order to improve their quality of life. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her friends and family as well as watching TV and movies.  She also enjoys outdoor activities such as going to the beach, the zoo, and hiking.  She and husband Bruce have a daughter named Katie. She also has a terrier mix named Daisy and a cat named Zack.

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Carrie, RVT


Carrie is a San Diego native who has worked at El Cerrito since August 2000.  Carrie especially enjoys knowing that she helps improve the health of animals, particularly since they brighten our lives so much! Carrie works as a receptionist and registered veterinary technician at El Cerrito.  Outside of work she loves spending time with her two sons and watching football.  She has two cats, Peeps and Linus, and two dogs, Dharma and Audie.



Susan is originally from Montana.  She has worked at El Cerrito since October 1991.  She enjoys hiking, running, boating, golf, and spending time with her family.  What Susan enjoys most about working with animals is seeing the loving relationships people have with their pets. She lives with her husband Bill, has two grown children, Eric and Nicole.


Simon is originally from The Bronx, New York and has worked at El Cerrito since 2003. He began as a high-school volunteer and after two years became an animal technician.  Outside of work, Simon enjoys personal time with the pets he works with through pet/house sitting. He has one cat named Willow.


Angel is a native San Diegan. She started working at El Cerrito Veterinary hospital in the summer of 2015. Her background in the medical and administrative field, along with her love for people and animals led her to the position at our front desk. She has 2 daughters, Jennifer and Aleesha, a dog, Chip, and 2 cats, Junior and Oliver. They all bring great joy to her life and she appreciates every moment spent with them. Angel likes to stay active indoors and outdoors. She enjoys cooking great food, listening to good music, dancing, working out, gardening, swimming and hiking. She loves going to the beach and mountains and plans to travel the world.


Brittney started working at El Cerrito in March  of 2011. An East County native, Brittney lives with her fiance Mark and is currently searching for the right dog for her after leaving her beloved dogs, Coal and Hobbes, with her parents when she moved out on her own. Outside of work, Brittney enjoys video games, Chargers football and trying every craft brewery in San Diego. Brittney cherishes her relationships with her friends, human and furry. “I really just have no words for why I like working with animals. There's just something so special and pure about animals that humans can't even compare to. Like the coffee mug that says ‘Vet med, because humans are gross’.”


Laura is a San Diego native and has worked at El Cerrito since November 2011. Laura graduated from West Hills high school in 2008 and is attending SDSU to finish her degree in Art History.  Outside of work she enjoys trips to the beach and spending time with friends, family and her personal pets. She has a cocker spaniel named Max, a turtle named Buddy, a crested gecko name Mangos, and a hamster named Peanut.


Gino is a San Diego native that has worked at El Cerrito on and off since 2007. Outside of work he enjoys surfing, playing the guitar and spending time with his friends and family.  He has one golden retriever named Dyson.


Blanca is originally from San Diego. She attended PIMA Medical Institute to receive her veterinary assistant certificate. Blanca started working at El Cerrito since September 2015, and "I LOVE IT!". She lives with her fiance Miguel, 3 dogs, and several goldfish and parakeets. Outside of work she enjoys going to the beach to ride bikes, going for long walks and spending time with family and friends. She loves outdoor activities. "I love working with animals because knowing I am helping them in whichever way I can makes me feel good, and because I love seeing all the different breeds coming in to the hospital."


Elizabeth is originally from San Diego. She attended PIMA Medical Institute and received her veterinary assistant certificate. Elizabeth started working at El Cerrito in 2017 where her passion for caring for animals is always on display.  In the past she lived on a small ranch that stabled over 40 hourses, and there she gained the experience of helping the visiting veterinarians with anything from simple annual exams to horses with colic.  This experience solidified her desire to work with animals.  In her free time she loves to go on adventures with her little family:  her son Brayden who is almost 4 years old, and her dog Gibbs.