OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

Open 7 Days a Week

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Santos

Dr. Robert Santos, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Robert Santos was born in Turlock and raised on a dairy farm. His deep love of animals led him to Wheaton College for his undergraduate work and then on to Purdue’s School of Veterinary Medicine (1991). His wife Kristen received her doctorate in education. They have two sons, Nickolaus and Teddy and a daughter Phoebe. They all live on their thirty acre ranch called, Einstein Acres that is completely run on solar power. Since 1991, Dr. Santos has been a part-time instructor as MJC, teaching Animal Health and Animal Behavior. His community activities include serving on the Turlock Historical Society (1993) and the Chatom School Board (1995). He is the Past President of Turlock Downtown Association and was President for NSJVMA (Norther San Joaquin Veterinary Medical Association). He is now the Co-Chair for the Turlock Centennial Committee, and elected to the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) Board. He also is involved in Carnegie Arts Foundation, Turlock Rotary Noon Club, Turlock Masonic Lodge III 395, and Turlock Exchange Club. He created Vet Club for the local children with interests in animals and also does numerous speaking engagements throughout the year for clubs, 4-H groups, schools and various educational groups.

Dr. Doug Marks, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Marks was born in Nebraska and grew up in North Dakota, Illinois, New York, and Alabama. After graduating high school, he attended Auburn University where he completed his undergraduate studies and earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Immediately after completing school, Dr. Marks moved to Turlock and worked at Olive Animal Clinic in 1977 before opening a clinic in Patterson. Dr. Marks became partners with Dr. Santos in 2003. He is now “Mostly Retired,” but helps Monte Vista primarily with rescue surgeries in his free time. Dr. Marks married his wife in 1971 and raised three sons in Turlock. They are now privileged with two grandsons. They have had many pets over the years including dogs, cats, horses, goats, and hamsters. He has been a member of Monte Vista Chapel for over 35 years, participates in the Turlock Rotary, and has been a Scoutmaster for over 20 years. He teaches pharmacology for veterinary technicians at MJC and enjoys all outdoor activities.
Dr. Marks
Dr. Avalle

Dr. Mary Avalle, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Mary Avalle was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She left for what was going to be only 4 years when she went to college at the University of Georgia and hasn’t made it back yet.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree she went on active duty in the U.S. Army. She was assigned to a base in California and realized this was where she wanted to settle down. Through her association with the armed forces she has lived in and been to exciting places like Honduras, Italy and Louisiana.

After graduate school in Michigan where she obtained a Master of Science degree and after working in research for a few years, she finally got down to the business of veterinary medicine and graduated from the University of Missouri in 2005 with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Avalle made it back to California and worked primarily with dairy cows for a few years before making the transition to small animal medicine.

Dr. Brandon Barrett, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Barrett received his bachelors in Biology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1997. He then received his doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis in 2001 and has been working at Community Veterinary Clinic ever since.

He treats both small animals (dogs and cats) and exotic species (birds, reptiles, amphibians, rodents, rabbits, etc.)

Dr. Barrett and his wife Tonia, a local photographer, are both from Turlock. They share their house with their son Grayson, their dog, two cats, two chinchillas, two birds, a bearded dragon, and several fish.

Dr. Barrett is involved with teaching Vet Club for local children along with Dr. Santos and is an instructor at MJC teaching, Surgical and Dental Procedures.

You can also visit Dr. Barrett at: www.turlockvet.com

Dr. Lee

Dr. Lee, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Lee is a Central Valley native, born and raised in Stockton. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UCLA and then graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She has been working at Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital with our dedicated and talented team ever since graduation.  From a young age, Dr. Lee has always had a passion for science and animals. She loves her calling and strives to improve her skills to help her patients live longer, happier lives. During vet school, she spent time doing cancer research, volunteering at low-income spay and neuter clinics, and had the opportunity to travel to Honduras to provide veterinary care to under-served areas. Dr. Lee has an interest in soft tissue surgery and also minimally invasive diagnostic tools, undergoing additional hands-on training in the use of the endoscope. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga, and gardening. One of her favorite past times is walking with her Jack Russell Terrier, Wally, and his Chihuahua sidekick, Cookie.

Dr. Renae Estrada, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Estrada grew up in the Central Valley city of Denair. She earned her undergraduate degree at UC Davis and proceeded to attend the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She has been practicing at MVSAH since 2008 and has a special interest in surgery and ultrasound. Renae had the unique experience of working with Dr. Santos at our sister hospital, CVC, when she was in junior college.  Outside of her professional life, she has two daughters, Avery and Cora. She also has three dogs, Ralph, Spencer, and Jasmine, and four cats, Murphy, Jack, Darcy, and Lily. Dr. Estrada enjoys camping, kayaking, and hiking in her spare time.
Dr. Estrada
Dr. Davis

Dr. Chelsea Davis, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Chelsea Davis was born and raised locally in Turlock. She attended Fresno State University where she earned her BS in Animal Science. Following her time at Fresno, she graduated from Ross University as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her clinical year at Purdue University and has been practicing at MVSAH since 2017. Chelsea currently lives in Turlock, and together, her and her boyfriend have three cats, Monroe (3 legged), Lena and Nala, and a Corgi named Kiwi. In her spare time, she trains and competes in dog agility with Kiwi and her parents’ Corgi, Kate. She enjoys golfing, camping, and beach trips. While attending vet school, she was scuba certified and was able to dive with sharks.

Dr. Villegas, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Villegas was born and raised in a small farm town of Tanhuato, Michoacán, Mexico. His passion for animals began from his exposure helping his father care for the family farm.

Dr. Villegas left Tanhuato at a young age to pursue higher education, which led him to Mexico City. While there he attended College of Science and Humanities to obtain his bachelor’s degree in biology. He then went to the National Autonomous University of Mexico (U.N.A.M.) and completed his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.

Upon completion of his doctorate degree, Dr. Villegas moved to the state of Oaxaca to practice veterinary medicine and work for the federal government coordinating preventative care. Pursuing new opportunities lead him to the state of Chiapas where he worked in an animal diagnostics laboratory and taught microbiology, hygiene, and zootechnics at Autonomous University of Chiapas (U.N.A.C.H.). He obtained his license to practice in the United States through the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates at Oklahoma State University.

Outside of work, Dr. Villegas enjoys spending time with family, running, gardening, and traveling.

Dr. Villegas
Dr. Snable

Dr. Snable, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Zack Snable was born and raised in Modesto, and his interest in veterinary medicine started when bringing family pets to Dr. Santos in the 1990’s. He left the Central Valley to attend college at Yale University, then Ross University for veterinary school and the University of Florida for clinical training. 

After practicing in Ventura for the last 11 years, he returned to the Central Valley to work with Dr. Santos at MVSAH and raise his young family. His wife Andrea, daughter Emma, son Evan, and their 3 deaf Cavalier King Charles spaniels are happy to now call Turlock home. 

When not working, his main passion is saltwater fishing- after living at the coast he is now excited to learn what the Central Valley has to offer for freshwater angling. He also enjoys gardening, fossil hunting and woodworking.

Dr. Benson

Veterinarian

Dr. Benson grew up in Castro Valley and then left to attend UC Davis to complete her undergraduate degree. She later attended Midwestern University in Arizona where she became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She has a special interest in exotic animals and behavior medicine. She is fear free of all animals! Ashley has also spent time volunteering at the Oakland Zoo. Benson began her veterinary career at MVSAH in July of 2020 and has recently moved to Turlock. She belongs to the California Veterinary Medicine Association and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. She has eleven pets of her own including two dogs, Sophie and Mel, five snakes, two lizards, and two rats. On her time away from the hospital she enjoys playing video games.
Dr. Benson
Dr. Higgins

Dr. Higgins

Veterinarian

Before attending Cal Poly in San Luis Obisbo where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Sisi grew up in Modesto. She spent several years working as a veterinary technician before studying to become a veterinarian at Ross University. She completed her clinical year at Colorado State University and has partially completed her acupuncture license from the Chi Institute and will be attending rehab training to receive her certification. She enjoys rehabilitation, sports medicine, and nutrition. Dr. Higgins joined the Monte Vista team in January of 2021. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with her niece and nephew. She is a trained opera singer and loves ballroom dancing. She has three Pomeranians named Nala, Micha Mia, and Little Bear. Dr. Higgins also loves to work with K9 units and fostering relationships with our furry protectors and their handlers.

Dr. Ekman

Veterinarian

Dr. Ekman