Meet the APH Team
Laura Wagner, BVetMed, MRCVS
I was born and raised in San Francisco and moved to Alameda ten years ago with my husband, a native Alamedan. We have two young boys, a lab-pointer cross named Cash, and two geriatric cats, named Herc and Aloysius. I received my degree in veterinary medicine from the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London in 2005. I love spending time outdoors. In years past, I was part of a collegiate rowing team. These days, I spend my free time hiking and exploring the Bay Area. I have three 14’ers under my belt: Mt. Shasta, Mt. Whitney, and Mt. Langley. And, I hope to do more! My most recent endeavor was becoming the owner of Alameda Pet Hospital. I am excited to be in this new role serving our amazing clients and patients.
Karen Buchinger, DVM
I sold Alameda Pet Hospital to Dr. Wagner at the end of 2020, after owning it for 23 wonderful years. Now I can focus on being a general practitioner to help all the dogs and cats that need us, and in my new spare time I plan to resume hobbies long-forgotten. I grew up in California and have always had animals around me. It seemed natural I should become a veterinarian. I enjoy spending time with my partner, playing with our dogs and cats, and being outdoors. I also love to travel and see new places.
Kristen Harris, DVM
I grew up in the Central Valley with cows in the backyard, cats in the house, and a constant rotation of neighborhood dogs. After graduating from Stanford I attended UC Davis, focusing on dermatology and surgery. I practiced for six years in Marin County where I handled everything from semi-feral barn cats to champion show dogs, caring for both pets and their families. My husband and I live in Alameda with our two children, two cats, and an English Setter named Ozzie.
Customer Service/Reception Staff
I have been living in Alameda for many years. Part of my family are 3 young kitties who turn my house upside down and my Greyhound Darcy. In my free time Darcy and I go on long walks and road trips. I enjoy being around cats and dogs and working at APH.
I’m a Bay Area native and have been working in the veterinary field for more than 30 years. I’ve treated injured pelicans and sea lions with the Marine Mammal Center, made therapeutic shoes for the resident owls at the Lindsey Wildlife Museum, and trained service dogs for Canine Companions for Independence. I currently share my home and heart with my wife, three very silly cats, and a rescue Chihuahua/Terrier mix named Jojo.
I was raised with many different animals such as rats, a rabbit, birds, snakes, a pot-bellied pig, cats, and dogs. I’m notorious for rescuing strays and injured animals. While growing up I volunteered at the Lodi Animal Shelter and all around town for pet adoption events, and it has remained firmly rooted in me to find my way back to helping animals. In my spare time I like to get outdoors with my husband to explore the bay, go to hockey games, and take camping/off-roading trips. I’m very fortunate to be part of the APH family and look forward to many years with them!
I grew up in Alameda and love being a part of this community. When I’m not working I love to take my dog hiking in the Oakland Hills or to the dog park in Alameda. If you see us be sure to say “hi”!
I worked in the high-tech industry for the past 30 years and finally decided I needed a job that would make me happy AND contribute to the community. What better way to do this then to spend each day surrounded by animals and animal lovers? It's a real treat working with such talented and compassionate people, and getting to know the patients and their humans. When not working, I enjoy singing old jazz standards, teaching ballroom dancing, and participating in Toastmasters.
I have worked at APH for over 15 years. I also teach music at Las Semillitas Cooperative Preschool in Alameda, Oakland Garden School, and Fun Time Daycare and Little Inti Daycare-Preschool, both in El Cerrito. I have my own Afro-Peruvian band. We perform a variety of Latin and Afro-Peruvian music at restaurants, private parties, and other venues, including La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley. And I’m an active member of the Sanctuary Felicedad in Peru, where I help raise funds to rescue, feed, and treat homeless dogs and cats. My love of animals, though, always brings me home to my dog, Guapo.
I am relatively new to working at the hospital, but I have been around pets and animals for most of my life. I enjoy meeting and taking care of all the different dogs and cats that come to stay with us. Making connections with the animals in order to make their stay more pleasant and building relationships with their owners gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I have three cats and a dog at home that act like a pack of rascals, but I love them so much I wouldn’t have them any other way.
Veterinary Nursing Staff
I am a New Jersey transplant who originally went to school for the sciences. I started working in the local shelter my senior year at Monmouth University and never looked back. I have been a technician now for 20 years (!) and know I have the best career in the world. I share my home with my wife, her middle-aged cat, Pancake, our no-eyed cat, Mattie Ross, and our tripod border collie mix, Dottie the House Elf.
My life revolves around animals and helping them. I could not have chosen a better career for myself. I enjoy every minute of working at APH. My first memories as a child were of bonding with furry friends. I have a variety of pets: dogs, cats, ducks, and even reptiles. I love them all equally. Working at APH allows me to bond with more animals every day.
I’ve been working at Alameda Pet Hospital for over 10 years now, and I am proud to be a veterinary technician. I consider myself to be a cross between Ace Ventura and Dr. Doolittle, due to my humorous personality and love for all animals. No job is better than mine; I get to play with everyone’s pets all day. When I’m not at work, I’m out enjoying life with my family and friends.
I’ve been a vet tech since I was 15½ years old—and I’m old now. I love being a tech because it’s a great job. I’ve worked in emergency clinics to day practices, and I’ve learned a lot of things from each one. I’ve also been to school throughout the years. I have one dog: a Pit Bull named Leonightis, and a Thoroughbred named Baby Root. I think APH is by far the best place I’ve been a tech at yet. I’ve been here 9½ years. Still one of the best vet hospitals ever.
When I was 8, I informed my mother that I wanted to be a vet but couldn’t because I ate meat. My mom still reminds me of it weekly. I’ve always been interested in a field where animal wellness was a focal point, but, life happened. I married an active duty Coast Guardsman and moved from my small island in Alaska to several different states, landing in Alameda in 2019. I was lucky enough to break into the veterinary field shortly after moving to California and have been making a career of it since. In my free time, I operate a small vintage clothing business, command a room with my karaoke skills, and hang out with my family, which includes my boxer, Bane.
For as long as I could remember, I’ve loved animals. I grew up with a big family that had all sorts of pets from dogs and cats to the less usual turtles and chinchillas. Anytime a new veterinary show aired, it became a special event for my mom and l, so it was only natural I ended up here. These days, outside of work I am busy with the loudest black kitty who covers me in specks of grey hair. Joining Alameda Pet Hospital has been has made me so happy and I’m thankful to be part of this team.
At Alameda Pet Hospital we provide compassonate, professional veterinary care for both you and your pet. We strive to provide high-quality medical guidance to educate you about pet care for the entire life of your pet. We try to treat your pets as if they were our own.