Dr. Taemi Horikawa received her veterinary degree from the University of California, Davis and completed a rotating internship in Pittsburgh, PA and a comparative ophthalmology residency in Rocklin, CA. After her board certification, she has practiced and lectured in Northern California and Western Australia.
Dr. Horikawa is thrilled to be back in California and call the Santa Cruz/Aptos area her new home. She enjoys all aspects of ophthalmology but has special interests in minimally invasive procedures as well as cataract and glaucoma surgeries. She has had the pleasure of working closely with local wildlife and small animal rescue groups and SPCA throughout her career and is looking forward to serving the Santa Cruz/Aptos community. Dr. Horikawa also serves as a board member of the ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation and is committed to improving your pet’s eye health by advancing vision science and education.
Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, hiking, windsurfing, salsa dancing, and spending time with her husband and two senior cats who have traveled the world with her.
Dr. Lavallée received her veterinary degree from Montreal University in 2006 followed by a small animal internship in 2007. For ten years, Dr. Lavallée has worked in emergency medicine in referral centers in Montreal area. In 2018, she started an ophthalmology internship at the University of Saskatchewan. She has completed an ophthalmology residency with Dr. Gratzek in January 2023 and will be sitting for the board certification exam this summer.
Outside of work Dr. Lavallée enjoys hiking, yoga, travel, and spending time with her husband and two children.
Dr. Ann Gratzek received her BS in Microbiology with General Honors from the University of Georgia and after serving in Liberia as a teacher in the Peace Corps, she returned to Georgia for veterinary school. After two years in general practice in Minneapolis, she completed her internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Kansas State University followed by an ophthalmology residency at the University of Georgia. She started practicing in 1994 in the Monterey Bay area.
Dr. Gratzek typically sees dogs, cats, horses, birds and rabbits but has worked with all species including amphibians, reptiles, marine, zoo animals and wildlife. She has corroborated with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Long Marine Lab,local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation groups. In addition, she consults regularly with industry in the Bay Area.
Dr. Gratzek has retired from full-time work but still practices as a relief ophthalmologist at OforA and sees our beloved equine patients. She enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, and spending time with her family.
Dawn worked for a large emergency clinic for over 20 years working reception, operations, and finance. Dawn studied accounting at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA. She joined Ophthalmology for Animals, Inc. after taking a break to have a family. Dawn enjoys horseback riding, snowboarding and spending time with her family and friends.
For Rachel, living in Aptos is the perfect balance of her love for marine life and forest trails. Before moving to Aptos and joining the O4A team, Rachel worked in both community relations and fundraising for the NHL and as the head of patient care at a holistic chiropractic office. On weekends. she loves walking to Rio Del Mar beach with her two dogs Dallas and Dakota, exploring the tide pools in Capitola, creating new succulent and plant arrangements, and volunteering with Native Animal Rescue.
Lead Technician, Registered Veterinary Technician
Jodi has been in veterinary medicine for over 27 years. She graduated from Hartnell College with her degree in Animal Health Technology. Jodi has worked in multiple specialties including oncology, internal medicine, cardiology, surgery, and emergency medicine. She is married with 2 children and 1 dog. When not at work, Jodi enjoys taking her Australian Shepherd Oakley to training, camping with her family, off-roading, and reading a good book.
Diego is a Registered Veterinary Technician with 23 years of experience in the veterinary field. The first 2 years of his career were spent working at a local animal shelter, where he learned all about animal care and began to develop his medical skills. He then started working at a very busy mixed practice in Santa Cruz, where he continued to grow as a veterinary assistant in general practice and then joined the Animal Health Technology program at Foothill College in Los Altos, CA. After earning his AS in Veterinary Technology, he worked in internal medicine and oncology for 8 years, then joined Ophthalmology for Animals. He enjoys all aspects of his job, especially educating our clients and helping them better understand how to care for their pets.
Outside of work, Diego enjoys kayaking, hiking locally and in beautiful Lake Tahoe, cooking, riding his motorcycle, traveling, and spending time with his wife, three kids, and their energetic husky mix named Sora.
Amber was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. She has a life-long love of animals and is passionate about helping animals and their “humans”. Amber graduated from Hartnell College with an associate degree in Veterinary Technology and became a Registered Veterinary Technician in 2000. She has over 22 years of experience shared between general practice, emergency medicine, and specialty surgery. She is especially proficient and skilled with anesthesia. Amber enjoys spending time with her teenage son and her friends. Her favorite pastime is spending time in nature, as well as painting, hiking, biking, gardening and cooking. She has an adorable cat named “Zorra” and a very sweet Leopard Gecko named “Kappy”, which is short for Kaepernick.
Reyna was born and raised in Salinas and has always loved animals. She graduated from Hartnell College and completed the Animal Health program in 2010, then became a Registered Veterinary Technician. Reyna has worked in small animal general practice since graduating college and started working in ophthalmology in 2018. She is bilingual and enjoys helping people learn and understand how to care for their pets. She has a merle chihuahua named Lucy who is the light of her life and spoiled as can be. Outside of work she loves to travel and spend time with friends and family.
Christa is a native Santa Cruzian and a dog lover. She has been an integral part of the OforA team for over 3 years. She enjoys creating a stress-free environment for our patients and incorporates spa music, where appropriate, to help them relax in the examination rooms. She is currently working on obtaining her esthetician license and hopes to one day own her own spa (for people). Outside of work, she enjoys being outdoors, dancing and spending time with her family including her adorable children, corgis and a cat.
Will be available soon.
Ophthalmology for Animals was established in 1998 by Dr. Ann Gratzek to meet the needs of the Santa Cruz and Central Coast Areas for a veterinary ophthalmology specialty practice.
Dr. Taemi Horikawa met Dr. Gratzek over 10 years ago and became enchanted with the clinic and this community during her many visits to Ophthalmology for Animals. Dr. Horikawa is honored to be the next owner of this wonderful practice and is dedicated to continuing Dr. Gratzek’s legacy of excellence and compassionate care for our community.