Veterinary Support

  • Technician Supervisor

    Marilu Gonzalez

    Originally from Watsonville, California, Marilu moved to Phoenix in 2000. She has been working in the field since 2007. When she was a kid, her family adopted many puppies, however they didn't know how to take care of them properly, this eventually inspired Marilu to enter the field! She enjoys hiking, camping, biking, shooting, and watching movies. She has 3 dogs an Akita named Churro, a dachshund named Gomez, and a Presa Canario named Papa Midnite! She also has 2 cats, a ragdoll named Sasha and a Devon-Rex named Morgana! Her favorite animals are dogs. She lives her in Arizona with her husband and two boys!


  • Technician

    Rachel Bender

    While growing up Rachel's family moved around a lot with the military, so she has lived everywhere, from New Mexico to Japan, and Alaska to Panama! She has been in the field since 2013. Rachel's interest in veterinary medicine has a tragic beginning as her childhood dog passed away and no one knew why. This tragedy inspired her to become a technician and help save other pets! She loves to ride horses and play the violin. One day Rachel would like to get into sports medicine for sport horses and race horses, and eventually she would like to own her own race horses. For now though, she has 4 rats named Malachi, Amos, Aria, and Kiella. Rachel come from a big family with 6 younger siblings her parents have fostered! Rachel and her husband are also foster parents!


  • Technician

    Alex Escobar

    Alex grew up in sunny Los Angeles! He has been working in the field of veterinary medicine since 2008. He decided to enter the field because he loves working with animals. Alex enjoys reading, playing sports, and spending time with his family! Alex wants to own his own doggy day care center one day! He has one dog at home, a little Chihuahua named Rambo. His favorite animals are lions, and his favorite breed of dogs is Boxers! He use to have a fancy rat!


  • Technician

    Roxana Gatch

    Roxana grew up down south in Savannah, Georgia. She moved to Arizona in 2011. Roxanna entered the field of veterinary medicine through the United States Army where she served as a veterinary technician for the military’s working dogs.  She has been working as a technician since 2008. Rox enjoys snowboarding, hiking, spending time with friends and family, going to the movies, and watching her favorite TV show Stargate Atlantis. She has one dog named Daisy aka Foofers! Her favorite breed of dogs is Doberman Pinschers. Roxana is currently going to school to become a registered nurse!


  • Technician

    Jeanette Lightbourne
    Veterinary Tech School: Kaplan

    Jeanette is a proud former resident of Chicago, Illinois. She has wanted to be a veterinarian or zoologist since before she could spell them, and has always loved animals. She graduated from Kaplan College in December of 2013 with her associate in Animal Science. Before joining our team she worked in a number of jobs from receptionist to hospice care before she decided to further her education. Jeanette was previously a volunteer zoo keeper at the Phoenix Zoo. She is learning to sail with her husband and dreams of sailing to Hawaii. She has 2 cats named Sam and Tabitha and one dog named Gracie. Her favorite animal is a liger, half lion, half tiger. She loves going to visit her Grandmother and Grandfather a couple of times a week; they mean the world to her!


  • Technician

    Erin Schimmelman

    Erin joined the El Mirage family many years ago, in 2004. She works part time now, spending most of her time raising her 3 beautiful babies and taking care of her many adopted cats and dogs.


  • Technician

    Harold Smyth

    Harold grew up in Snohomish, Washington. He entered the field due to his lifelong curiosity surrounding animal science. He received his Bachelors in Animal Science after 4 years at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After graduating he worked at VCA Family Animal Hospital in Pearl City, Hawaii for 7 months. He returned to the mainland and began working with us in August of 2015. He has one dog named Tron living with him in Arizona, and has 2 dogs and 2 cats back home in Washington. Harold’s hobbies include reading, playing video games, hiking, cooking, photography, hunting, and fishing. He is the tallest employee at 6’ 5”; he performed at Carnegie Hall in high school, and his favorite animal is a dog. One day he hopes to go to vet school to finally become a veterinarian. 

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