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Dr. Racelle LaMar

Medical Director

Dr. Racelle LaMar has lived in Santa Rosa with her family since 1968.

She is a graduate of Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has been in practice since 1983.

Dr. LaMar bought Northtown Animal Hospital in 2011 from Dr. Brown. The practice burned in the wildfires of 2017. Since then she has been helping her clients by doing house calls, ‘borrowing space’ at a local practice and the K9 Activity Club. After almost a year of searching, Guardian Pet Hospital and Northtown merged.

Dr. LaMar looks forward to many more years of helping the Sonoma County residents with their 4-legged family members. When not at work she is an avid Sharks fan and likes traveling to NHL hockey stadiums with her husband and son.

Dr. Joy Mueller

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Joy Mueller, DVM, CVMMP started Guardian Pet Hospital in 1990. She wanted to be a part of this lovely community and help your pets be a happy and healthy part of your family.

Dr. Mueller treats dogs, cats, rabbits and various pocket pets and gives personal, high quality, individualized attention to each and every one. Her emphasis is on preventative medicine to improve the longevity and happiness of your pets. Dr. Mueller is now certified in Veterinary Medical Manipulation, a gentle, hands-on “chiropractic” like adjustment of back and limbs for small animals. She has worked with Forgotten Felines for 20 years and is very experienced in cats’ special needs.Dr. Mueller also trains and trials her Australian Shepherds in agility and has done flyball, freestyle dance and canine nose work. She can help keep your competition dog at peak performance!

Dr. Hal Hawkins

Medical Director

Dr. Hawkins grew up in the small town of Bartow, Florida where he spent much of his youth playing sports, raising cattle, and working in family citrus groves. He attended the University of Florida where he obtained a degree in Animal Science as well as his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2008.

Drawn by ample outdoor opportunities he then moved to Santa Rosa to complete a small animal internship where he developed skills in surgery, dentistry, and emergency medicine while excelling in general practice. Dr. Hawkins remained at this practice for over 12 years, deepened his bond with the local veterinary community, and in the latter half gained valuable experience as the hospital director.

In 2021 Dr. Hawkins joins Northtown Guardian to focus on providing high quality compassionate care directly to his patients. With a primary goal of preventive care he is also well versed in unforeseen emergencies and can help you and your family pet through problems both large and small. He is excited to be a part of a growing team dedicated to the community and rebuilding from the 2017 wildfire.

In his free time Dr. Hawkins enjoys all things outdoors but particularly urban homesteading, vegetable gardening, backpacking, kayaking, skiing, and spending time with his family – wife Mary, and two daughters Maeve and Hazel.

Dr. Rachel Marcus

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Marcus spent most of her childhood on Bainbridge Island, Washington. She then traveled across the Sound to Seattle where she received a bachelor of science majored in Environmental Health at the University of Washington in 2009. After spending a few years working in the medical and veterinary field, she headed eastward to Pullman, WA where she earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University in 2017. She and her husband relocated to Santa Rosa afterward where they have happily lived ever since. They share their home with two dogs, three cats, and 6 hens. When not working, you may find her in the great outdoors exploring all that NorCal has to offer or tending to her flock and garden.

Dr. Marcus’s veterinary interests include internal medicine, surgery, dentistry, and behavioral medicine. She recognizes that for some pets and owners, a visit to the vet can be stressful. Through her extensive behavioral medicine background and Fear Free training, she is committed to making all pet’s visits to Northtown Guardian Pet Hospital as stress-free as possible.

Bree Gessen

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Bree Gessen is a UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine graduate and internship trained veterinarian. She has been practicing for over a decade in Sonoma County. Her interests in veterinary medicine are broad, and include dermatology, dentistry, emergency medicine, and general surgery. She especially enjoys building relationships with people and their pets from puppy and kittenhood on. Dr. Gessen is a Los Angeles native. She grew up near the beach, where she would often find (or chase) her dogs when they escaped. She is an avid snow boarder and has loved snow sports since she was a child. She enjoys succulent gardening (her husband might say she has a problem), being outdoors, and living in wine country. Her two tabby cats share their home with Dr. Gessen, her husband, their spirited toddler, a special black lab/golden retriever, and many many plants.

Elizabeth Engall

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Elizabeth Engall grew up on the peninsula then attended college at UC Davis where she studied psychology. Afterwards she worked in neuroscience where she met the love of her life and discovered her passion for veterinary medicine. Dr. Engall earned her DVM from UC Davis where she helped found a volunteer veterinary clinic in Nicaragua and served as class president. After school she moved to San Diego where she enjoyed the warm Southern California beaches, however, after having her first child and the beginning of the pandemic she decided to move home to the Bay Area. After a short time in the East Bay she settled down in Sonoma County where she lives with her husband, active kindergartener, and equally active toddler! Dr. Engall's last dog, Flash, was an amazing golden retriever who broke her heart when he left the world, but she's sure the next right pup will make its way into her life when the stars align.

Emily Lane

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Lane is a UC Davis graduate who left the Central Valley for more rain and wine in her life. During her time in veterinary school she specialized in poultry medicine, small animal medicine, and surgery. Dr. Lane loves dogs, cats, and chickens. Outside of work she enjoys quilting and hiking, although she had not yet figured out a way to combine these interests. Emily has two cats, Jon Snow and Mona, who between them have nearly every medical problem possible! She looks forward to meeting you.

Angelise Alexander

Practice Manager

Angelise is a Registered Veterinary Technician and Northtown Guardian’s Practice Manager. She has been working in the veterinary field since 1997. After moving to Sonoma County in 2000 from Southern California, she has worked at a handful of hospitals as both a veterinary nurse and practice manager. She is very excited to help lead the hospital as we continue to provide compassionate, personalized service and the highest standards of veterinary medical care. Angelise is also an instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College in the veterinary technician program; helping future technicians learn the science of veterinary medicine and the art of excellent client service. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is helping enhance and prolong the bond between owners and their pets. She is level 3 Fear Free Certified and Human Animal Bond Certified. When she’s not at work, she enjoys keeping busy with crafts, cooking, motorcycles, her two teenage sons,a Rottweiler named Luca, a long haired Dachshund named Dougie and a three-legged Sphynx cat named Opal.

Our staff

  • Niko, Lead Registered Veterinary Technician
  • Alexis, Registered Veterinary Technician
  • Amy, Registered Veterinary Technician
  • Christina, Registered Veterinary Technician
  • Rachel, Registered Veterinary Technician
  • Sarah P, Registered Veterinary Technician
  • Sierra, Registered Veterinary Technician
  • Aly, Veterinary Assistant
  • Alyssa, Veterinary Assistant, Fear Free Level 1 Certified, Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer
  • Arianna, Veterinary Assistant
  • Christine, Veterinary Assistant
  • Desi, Veterinary Assistant
  • Jill, Veterinary Assistant
  • Paige, Veterinary Assistant
  • Rebecca, Veterinary Assistant, Certified Veterinary Assistant, CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed)
  • Renee, Veterinary Assistant, Fear Free Level 1 Certified
  • Shannon, Veterinary Assistant
  • Debbie, Hospital Assistant
  • Mackenzie, Lead Client Service Representative
  • Alena, Client Service Representative
  • Andrea, Client Service Representative
  • Marcus, Client Service Representative
  • Sam, Client Service Representative
  • Sarah I, Client Service Representative

Northtown Guardian Vets