- The Owners
- Veterinary Assistants
- Kennel Assistants
- In Memorium
- Clinic Critters
Verne Thacker, DVM (large animal) and Connie Ganter DVM (small animal) are the proud owners of Village Veterinary Clinic. VVC is a full service large animal and small animal practice. Both doctors are graduates of UC Davis Veterinary School of Medicine. The doctor’s purchased the clinic in October 1999 after moving back to Lompoc from Oregon to be closer to family.
They are active members of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the California Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Thacker is a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Society of Medical Theriogneology.
Marie, Lexie, and Lucas, like their parents, are very involved in school, sports, and extra-curricular activities. The young Thacker’s interest in animal husbandry has led them to Lompoc 4H and FFA with the goal of raising a locally bred and born Black Angus Beef Herd. Their endeavors have garnished their family prizes at the Santa Barbara County Fair with their animals. You may one day see the Thacker children take over the practice, as all have interest in Veterinary Medicine.
Donating time and funding to Central Coast organizations such as VIVA, CAPA, Lompoc School District Career Day, Lompoc 4H and FFA, and job-shadowing programs is a family commitment. Dr. Thacker is also involved with AYSO (youth soccer) as a coach and referee. Dr. Ganter donates time to working with local organizations such as Guide-Dogs-for-the-Blind, Shadows Fund and Care 4 Paws.
Family pets include “Murphy” (Border Collie Mix), “Toad” (French Bulldog) and one cat “Evie”. Their large animal family consists of horses, goats, cows and their mini horse “Snookie”.
Dr. Julie Deter, DVM
Dr. Ganter’s associate joined Village Veterinary Clinic staff in May of 2009. She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis (Sacramento) and her BS in Aquatic Biology from US Santa Barbara. While an undergraduate at UCSB, she was a lab assistant and research scuba diver.
Dr. Deter hails from La Canada (in the LA area) where her family still lives. Dr. Deter is an active member of the California Veterinary Association and the American Veterinary Association.
Favorite past-times include hiking the hills above Santa Barbara, scuba diving through the kelp forest of the Channel Islands and diving along the coral reefs of Maui and Lanai looking at all the rainbow colored fish. Ventura and the Central Coast are the Doctor’s picks for surfing. She enjoys reading American fiction and non-fiction.
Pets include 4 cats, “Lou Man”, “Boris”, “Bane”, “Imelda” and her American Staffordshire Terriers “Charlee” and “basil”.
Dr. Erin Belleville
Dr. Erin Belleville earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in May 2020 with mixed animal emphasis and focus on zoo medicine. She graduated with a BS degree in Animal Science from Cal Polytechnic State University in 2011, during which time she spent two summers as a marine mammal training intern in Bermuda and San Diego working with dolphins, sea lions, and a green sea turtle. After Cal Poly, she worked as a zookeeper in Paso Robles, and then as a marine mammal trainer in Florida.
After returning to California in 2014 to complete her prerequisite studies for vet school, Dr. Belleville worked as a small animal veterinary technician prior to starting veterinary school in 2016. She was a member of the UC Davis VERT (Veterinary Emergency Response Team) and spent the summer of 2017 in Namibia at Cheetah Conservation Fund working with cheetahs, African Painted Dog pups, goats, and their Anatolian Shepherds. She also spent her fourth year veterinary externships at the SF Zoo, Sacramento Zoo, and White Oak Conservation in Florida.
In her free time she enjoys horseback riding, water skiing, and hiking with her three adopted pups: 8-year-old chihuahua mix Poppy, 12-year-old chihuahua mix Jasper, and 7-year-old Heeler/Kelpie mix named Jackson.
Practice Manager/Veterinary Assistant
Coming to us from Montecito Animal Hospital in 2004, Meghan brings a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of veterinary hospital operation. This experience has made her an in valuable addition to our clinic family.
She is originally from Los Alamos, and now lives in Lompoc with her husband and 2 handsome boys. In her spare time she enjoys camping at Jalama Beach, walking and hiking with family and dogs, bike riding, and watching her boys play sports..
Meghan’s pet family includes, “Rue” (French Bulldog), 2 cats “Darth” and “Snips” and 9 chickens.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Joining the team in fall of 2014 Luis came with ten plus years of veterinary technician experience. Luis was born in Santa Barbara, but grew up in Jerez, Zacatecas Mexico. He graduated from Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, and went on to get a B.S. Degree in Animal Science at Cal Poly Pomona. He became a Registered Veterinary Technician in 2008.
Luis enjoys spending time with his family and drawing.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Joining our team in January of 2012 Kristina is now a integral part of our staff . Raised in the small town of Los Alamos she graduated from Righetti in 2008. She spent a lot of her free time involved in Righetti High Schools Future Farmers of America, and Cinco Campanas 4H. After high school she decided to continue her work with animals, working at the Orcutt Vet Hospital & the Santa Ynez Humane Society before joing the VVC team.
In her free time Kristina enjoys riding one of her 6 horses, off road racing, working on race cars & trucks, and hanging out with friends & family. Her growing pet family includes over 60 animals, including 9 cows, 2 pigs, 14 chickens, 4 ducks, 5 dogs, 16 cats, 2 lizards, 2 rabbits, 1 snake and a 80 gallon fish tank with multiple fish. Her handsome German Shepard “Dozer” is a frequent visitor to the VVC clinic.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Joining our team in 2010 Chelsea brings spirit and spunk to the team. After graduating from Cabrillo High School in 2009 she started Allan Hancock majoring in biology. Her plans for her future include continuing her education and becoming a large animal veterinarian.
Chelsea enjoys spending her free time hiking in Santa Barbara, camping at the lake and volunteering. She donates her time to different organizations including The North County Rape Crisis Center, the homeless shelter, and VIVA. Her pet family includes her “Dorkie”, “Bentley”, “Skeeter” her Yorkshire Terrier, and a playful kitten named “Ygritte”.
Registered Veterinary Technician
While in high school Jeff started with us in 2008 working in the Kennel. After graduating he attended UCSB graduating in 2013 with a B.S in Microbiology. While on breaks from school Jeff worked as a veterinary-assistant at the clinic. He is making future plans of attending Veterinary School. He hopes to come back to the Central Coast and become a small animal veterinarian.
In his free time Jeff hangs out with his rescue dog “Achilles”. This handsome pit bull enjoys playing ball and taking walks around the neighborhood.
A graduate of San Jose State, Michelle started with VVC in July of 2009. She is a much needed addition to our staff. She comes to us with 1 year of substitute teaching under her belt.
Born and raised in the land of pineapples, plumeria, poi and surfing, Oahu, Hawaii, is her birthplace. Most of her family and friends are still on the islands.
Michelle is an amazing cook, she spoils the clinic with her yummy treats! She enjoys spending time in her garden and is always bringing in her homegrown seasonal veggies for staff to share. You can find her hiking with her Black Mouth Cur Mix “Samba”. She also shares a special bond with Dr. Ganters dog “Murphy”.
With her upbeat attitude and passion for animals Shyanne fit right in with our technicians. Shyanne grew up in Washington and did not move here until high school. She is currently enrolled in the RVT program at Allan Hancock and will graduate June of 2020.
In her free time, she loves hiking, camping, backpacking, yoga and snowboarding. She also has a love for travel and recently traveled to Spain. Her pet family includes the adorable “Sully” a short haired cat.
We could probably list Marie’s hire date as October of 93, which is also her birth year. Growing up in the clinic she knows this place as her second home. During high school, she worked in many areas of the clinic gaining knowledge and growing her love for animals. After graduating from high school, she attends her parent’s alma matter, UC Davis. She has worked at various animal-related jobs including UC Davis Dairy, Alamo Pintado Equine ICU, and PETS Hospital. Her future plans include taking her Registered Veterinary Technician exam, staying local to raise a family, and obtaining more tiny goats. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, painting, reading, and raising Angus Cattle. Marie’s pets include “Oakley” the Itty Bitty Pitty, “Babs” & “Betty” her Pygmy goats, and “Chuckles” the Angus Steer.
Nancy joined the kennel team in March of 2021. She was raised in Lompoc and graduated from Lompoc High School. Her past work experience in the restaurant industry shows in her awesome client service skills. In her spare time, she loves to cook, bake, read, learn new languages and you can often find her dancing while cleaning. Her favorite local restaurant is Sake Sushi and her favorite dessert is Pistachio Ice Cream. Her pet family includes two cats “Lucifer” and “Hades” named after two of her favorite Disney movies.
Esther joined the kennel team in the spring of 2021. Her positive attitude and passion for animals made her a valuable addition to the team. Esther was born and raised in Lompoc and graduated from Lompoc High School. When she isn’t working Esther loves to travel, she hopes to get her passport soon and venture out of the country. She also enjoys hiking, spending time with family, dining at her favorite restaurant “Zaytoons” in Santa Barbara. Esther’s fur family includes two dogs, “Dexter” and “Friday.”
We were so happy to welcome Sarah to our team in the summer of 2021. She has years of animal experience including working at animal services and managing a boarding facility. Sarah grew up in West Virginia until the age of 10 when she moved to Alaska! Sarah is a huge movie buff, in her spare time she loves watching movies with her fur family! Her favorite movie is “Moulin Rouge!” You can also find her doing DIY projects on her home. Her fur family includes four fabulous cats: “Murdoc” “Gypsy” and her tortie triplets, “Jin” “Jade” and “Joy!”
Trinity joined the kennel team in the summer of 2021. She fits in great with her upbeat attitude, love for pets and her experience with both large and small animals! She has worked closely with horses and even has four herself! Trinity grew up in Paso Robles but attended and graduated Santa Ynez High School. When she isn’t at work she loves to draw, spend time with her siblings and ride horses. Her plans for her future include finishing her general ed at Allan Hancock and applying to UC Davis in hopes of becoming an equine vet. Her pets include her dogs “Rip” and “JR”, a snake, cats “Rys” and “JT” and her four horses.
An integral part of our reception staff, Sarah came to us in the autumn of 2007. Currently a LVN she continues to work for us while going to school.
Sarah loves spending time with her daughter taking frequent trips to their favorite destination Disneyland. You can always find Sarah with a camera in her hands ready to snap a photo in a moments notice.
Her pet family includes her gang of cats, “Snickers”, “Bella” and “Milo” as well as two Rottweilers named “Brody & Katy” and a Yorkie named “Emmy”.
With past veterinary experience Deanna was a perfect fit when she joined our team at the start of 2015. Her upbeat personality and amazing customer service skills make her a great addition to our reception team.
Deanna was born and raised in Lompoc, and plans on raising her two kids here as well. In her spare time she enjoys going to the lake, working out at the gym, seeing movies and taking her two kids to their various sports practices. Her fur family includes “Mia” a Chihuahua mix and her Staffordshire Bullterrier “Euro”.
Taylor joined our team in the summer of 2019. She had worked for three years as a veterinary assistant at another clinic, so with her knowledge she was a valuable addition to the team. Taylor grew up in Lompoc and loves to volunteer with for local organizations such as Care4Paws and the local animal shelter. You can find her helping at pet adoption events around the community.
In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and her “zoo” of pets. Her “zoo” consists of ten pets! Including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, a rabbit, and a hamster!
Crystal has been with the VVC team since 2007! She helped the clinic transition over from the previous clinic site across the street to the “new” clinic! Crystal has worked at numerous veterinary hospitals in the area and the Santa Barbara Humane Society. She was born and raised in the Santa Ynez Valley and plans on staying put for the foreseeable future. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, BBQ-ing, going to the beach, and spending time with her husband, family & friends. Her pet family includes two blue nose Pit Bulls “Shya” & “Chief”. Crystal’s favorite place to eat is the “Cracked Crab” in Pismo Beach and you can catch her enjoying her favorite dessert a Root Beer Float!
The entire staff at the Village Vet is grieving the loss of one of our dearest family members.
Kelly “Granny” Simmons, was a cherished member of our family for over 10 years, and will be greatly missed by all.
With his amazing ninja skills, you will most likely find Murphy sneaking into the lobby. With his ability to open all the clinic doors you can never be sure where Murph is exploring. He loves taking hikes with Michelle, and spending time with his best friend and brother Toad. We wish we had as much energy as this spunky boy.