Our Team

A group photo of the veterinarians on staff at Village Vet Clinic and a white and black dog

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”.

Team member Dr. Amy Pelton

Dr. Amy Pelton, DVM


Dr. Pelton graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, with an emphasis on small animals (dogs and cats). She has special interests in wellness and preventative medicine topics such as nutrition, behavior, and dental hygiene. She attended UC San Diego for her undergraduate studies and received a B.S. in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience. As a veterinary student at UC Davis she volunteered for spay/neuter clinics, and as an undergraduate student she was a volunteer for the San Diego Humane Society.

Dr. Pelton grew up on the East Coast and in the Los Angeles area. Having lived in both Northern and Southern California, she is excited to start a new adventure on the Central Coast.

Dr. Pelton shares her home with two rescue cats, “Sheldon” and “Scout”. She also has a chihuahua with a bigger than life personality named “Huey.”


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.


Veterinary Assistant

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”.


Veterinary Assistant

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”.


Veterinary Assistant

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.


Veterinary Assistant

Marissa joined our kennel staff in summer of 2013. Like both of her parents she was raised in Orcutt. She graduated from Righetti High School in 2010.

Marissa has great customer service skills which she accumulated while working at the Red Lobster in Santa Maria. She currently attends Allan Hancock, and plans on applying to Moorpark’s Exotic Animal Training & Management Program.

In her free time Marissa enjoys writing, she has started 8 different fantasy novels. She also enjoys volunteering at the Foster Road Animal Shelter where she helps dogs find new loving homes. She has two dogs “Lady” & “Pepper” both are 14 year old mixed breeds and two small dogs “Onyx” and “Rina”.



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”.



Starting in Spring of 2014, Crystals bubbly personality and outstanding customer service skills have been a perfect addition to the VVC front desk team. Her former work experience includes being a librarian at two local schools and working as a receptionist at another veterinary hospital.

Crystal was born and raised in Lompoc, after meeting her husband they decided to stay and raise their family. Her passions include spending time with her three children, and her granddaughter. Her missionary work has found her traveling to Nepal twice in the past two years. She has enjoyed the country so much that she plans on retiring there one day.

Her animal family includes 6 chickens, a pond of fish, a 50 gallon tank full of fresh fish, a ball python, a Shi-poo named “Lilly”, a Lhaso Mix named “Tucker”, “Tula” the Torti cat, a ragdoll cat named “Louie and “Marilyn”.



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”.



Bringing along her love for animals and her sweet personality Cierra joined the front staff team in the summer of 2017. Cierra was born and raised in Lompoc, she graduated from Lompoc in 2014 and attended Allan Hancock College. She hopes to stay in the veterinary field and has plans to attend the Veterinary Assistant program.

In her spare time she enjoys relaxing by listening to all genres of music. She has also recently taken an interest in photography. Her fur family includes a sweet Border Collie Mix named “Daisy” and a Catahola Leopoard mix named “Zola”.


Kennel Manager

Born and raised in Lompoc, she left the human field of Medical Assisting to come to VVC and run our boarding facility 11 years ago. Her family of 3 was raised here in Lompoc. Her favorite hobby is taking her 3 grandchildren on adventures. She also enjoys camping, cooking, interior decorating and especially motorcycle riding with her husband. She and her husband are members of the Lompoc Elks.

Her furry family consists of, “Boogie”(French Bulldog), a Golden Doodle named “Presleigh”, and her kitty, “Molokai”.


Kennel Assistant

Kennel Assistant- Starting in 2015, Blanca’s upbeat attitude and passion for animals was a perfect fit for our kennel team. Blanca graduated from UCSB in 2015. She majored in zoology and anthropology. Before working at the VVC she worked to restore Chumash artifacts.

Blanca grew up in Lompoc but spent many summers with her family in Mexico. When she’s not spoiling animals here at the clinic she enjoys reading, binge watching TV series, hiking, and traveling the world. In the spring of 2016 Blanca traveled to Thailand, she explored the beautiful country and ate the local cuisine. Her fur family includes a Cocker Spaniel named “Robinson”.


Kennel Assistant

Colette started with us in the Spring of 2017. Her passion for animals and calm demeanor works perfectly in our busy kennels. She was born and raised in Lompoc, graduated from Lompoc High School in 2014 and is currently taking classes at Allan Hancock College.

In her time away from work she enjoys playing tennis, watching movies and spending time with her family. Her pets include an 11 year old tabby cat named “Chanel”, a 7 year old Terrier Mix “Jersey” a 1 year old Lab named “Lola” and her Catahola Leopard mix “Hiro”. She also just added an adorable member to her fur family, a Torti kitten named “Bindi”



Starting with us at the beginning of 2015 Cody’s past grooming experience was a positive addition to the VVC groom team. Cody grew up in Sante Fe Springs and moved to Lompoc to be closer to family.

Some of Cody’s hobbies include, spending time with his family, playing with his dogs, hunting, fishing, camping, video editing and building computers. Cody’s furry family includes his dogs “Hank” a German Shorthaired Pointer, and “Lia” an American Foxhound. Cody’s favorite dog is a St. Bernard and he hopes to one day own one.


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.

One of the Clinic pets a large black dog Murphy


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.

One of the clinic pets a dog named Toad


Mr. Toad is the newest Thacker family rescue, with his loveable face and adorable kisses you will be sure to fall in love with his smushy face. You can find Toad sleeping in the doctors office or sneaking treats from Tom in boarding. With his sweet and calm demeanor he is the perfect addition to the VVC family.