Deirdre Brandes, DVM
Dr. Deirdre Brandes is a native of San Diego. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Nutrition at the University of California at Davis and went on to earn her degree in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University in 1999.
After veterinary school, Dr. Brandes returned to San Diego and worked in various practices before founding Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital in 2005, with her husband, Dave Oei. Her focus is on providing compassionate, high-quality veterinary care for all pets. She especially enjoys surgery, dentistry, and dermatology.
Dr. Brandes feels fortunate to have a connection with this amazing community by caring for its families’ beloved pets. She has remained active in the community throughout her life by volunteering at animal shelters, schools, and with animal rescue groups. She loves teaching school kids about being a veterinarian.
When she is not at the veterinary hospital, she is happiest spending time with her family, enjoying nature, and playing soccer. (RSF vet trivia: Dr. Dayton and Dr. Brandes played varsity soccer for Torrey Pines High School and now play together in a league again).
Her pet family includes her rescue dogs, Stanley and Gromit, laying hens, and many fish.
Anaika Dayton, DVM
Dr. Anaika Dayton obtained her veterinary degree from University of California at Davis in 2001 after completing her Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Biology at University of California at Berkeley. Fluent in Spanish, she has traveled worldwide working with wildlife and domesticated animals.
Dr. Dayton worked in veterinary clinics in Oceanside and Orange County before returning to her hometown of Solana Beach and becoming a member of the team at Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital. And for a piece of trivia: Dr. Dayton and Dr. Brandes played on the same varsity soccer team during high school!
Dr. Dayton has been with our practice since its beginning in 2005. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine and especially appreciates an integrative approach and a whole-animal, whole-family perspective. She’s pictured left, with Hobart.
Sophie Steele, DVM
Born in Argentina, Dr. Sophie Steele was raised in France, Hong Kong and Brazil. In high school, her parents relocated to the San Francisco area, where they settled permanently. Dr. Steele attended the University of California at Davis where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences in 1995, then completed her veterinary degree (DVM) also at U.C. Davis in1999.
While at U.C. Davis, Dr Sophie met her husband Brad, a southern California native who is also a veterinary doctor. Shortly after graduation, the Steeles were married and spent the year traveling and participating in veterinary research projects in southern Africa. After returning, they moved to the San Diego area and Dr. Steele worked as an associate doctor both in San Diego where they have been practicing ever since. They have two boys, Colin and Samuel.
Dr. Steele has a special interest in soft tissue surgery, dentistry and ophthalmology. She is fluent in French, English, and Portuguese; and speaks a little Spanish. When not working as a veterinarian, Dr. Steele spends her free time in her garden or on travel adventures with her family.
Meghan McIntosh, VMD
Dr. Meghan McIntosh grew up in Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Johns Hopkins University. While at Hopkins, she competed for the varsity soccer team. (Fun fact: she is in the NCAA record books for scoring two consecutive goals in a span of 10 seconds!) After hanging up her cleats, she traveled up the eastern seaboard and attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Her post-graduate training included completing a highly competitive rotating internship in small animal internal medicine, surgery, and emergency and critical care at the New England Animal Medical Center in Boston.
Dr. McIntosh believes strongly in community outreach and has volunteered for various animal health and welfare organizations such as the Native American Veterinary Services, Greyhound Pets of America, Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) in South Africa, and others. In her free time, Dr. McIntosh enjoys hiking, reading, and devouring any type of dessert. You may see her zipping around Solana Beach on her electric bicycle, Bullet.
Tara Haley, DVM
Dr. Tara Haley studied at Cornell University Veterinary School with Dr. Brandes, where they both graduated in 1999. Dr. Haley has since worked in Southern California, providing high quality veterinary care for dogs, cats and small mammals. She has strong interests in internal medicine, ultrasound, dermatology, and behavior, while also carrying a particular fondness for senior pets. We believe you will be delighted by her warmth and the attention she will give you and your pet.When not at the hospital, she spends time with her husband, daughter and beloved pets. She enjoys traveling, baking, reading and going to the beach.
Dave Oei, Advisor
Dave has taken the long road to working at a veterinary hospital. Originally a graduate from UC Davis with degrees in Biochemistry and Psychology, he’s worked after college as a network administrator, computer programmer, software configuration manager, and marketing product manager. Several of the companies he’s worked for include Websense, Inc. and EMC.
Along the way he became an inventor, and completed an MBA at San Diego State University with a thesis in the subject of International Accounting.
Currently, he oversees marketing, finance, information technology, and human resources for the hospital.
When he’s not working, Dave can often be seen chasing after his two sons and putting the finishing touches on a book based on stories he once told them. His random musings can be found on Twitter: @daveoei.
Sarah, Registered Veterinary Technician, Hospital Manager
Sarah was born in Philadelphia after part of her family moved to the United States from England. She was raised in San Diego and will never leave! She is very close with her family and continues to visit Europe whenever she gets the chance. Sarah has always had a strong passion for the veterinary field. She grew up with dogs, cats, birds and pocket pets and knew from a young age that helping animals was her future. She started volunteering at small animal clinics at a young age and is now one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians. She became California board certified in 2007. With the experience and extensive technician skill training this hospital has provided since early 2007, she is now the Hospital Manager and is thrilled to see how this hospital has grown throughout the years. Sarah is the proud owner of a Shepherd Mix named Raleigh, a cat named Ryder and a Sun Conure named Papaya. In her spare time, she loves spending time with family and friends, visiting the beach, kickboxing, watching movies and listening to music.
Robin, Hospital Manager
Robin was born in Mt. Vernon, New York but has lived in Southern California since she was a little girl. She studied Animal Science at UC Davis and has put her degree to good use. She has worked in the veterinary business for 30 years and has held many different positions in small animal hospitals throughout Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego County. She has two pets: Buttercup the Maltipoo and Buddy the Australian Cattle Dog. In her free time Robin likes to spend time with her dogs, play guitar and read.
Jennie, Veterinary Technician
Born and raised in Del Mar, Jennie graduated from Francis W. Parker High School and went on to pursue a double major in Animal Science and Exercise Biology from University of California, Davis. While attending UC Davis she discovered her passion for horse polo and quickly became the captain of the Women’s Varsity Horse Polo team. She knew she wanted to work with animals since she was a little girl, and enjoyed growing up with a menagerie of animals, including goats, sheep, llamas, horses, donkeys, chickens, dogs and cats. Jennie plans to go back to school to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. She has a mischievous Catahoula Leopard Dog named Brodie and a quarter horse, Curley, who currently resides at UC Davis.
Natasha, Veterinary Technician
Natasha started at Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital as a receptionist in February 2013 after graduating UC San Diego. Since then she has cross trained with the doctors and staff to work in the back and shift her focus to veterinary care. She is currently enrolled in the Veterinary Technician program at Penn Foster College to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. She is pictured with her sweet and sassy pomeranian mix Frankie.
Jacquie, Registered Veterinary Technician
Jacquie was born in Chicago, Illinois but relocated to San Diego just before she started kindergarten. Due to the beautiful weather, she has not left since. Jacquie originally obtained an Associates Degree from Palomar College, where she began the nursing program. However, after volunteering at the Escondido Humane Society, she decided she wanted to be an animal nurse. She restarted school and graduated from Mesa College with an Associates Degree in Animal Health Technology. She received her Registered Veterinary Technician license in 2013. Her favorite classes in veterinary technician school were clinical pathology, surgical nursing, and pharmacology. In her spare time Jacquie enjoys hanging out at the beach, interior design, yoga, snorkeling, hiking, going to the zoo/safari park, and spending time with her family and friends. Jacquie’s pets include Scrappy, a rescued Cock-a-Poo (not pictured) from Mexico, four beloved cats, and fish. In the future Jacquie hopes to gain experience with lions, tigers, and marine mammals.
Jacqueline, Office Specialist
Jacqueline Cossette was born and raised in North Dakota, but has lived in San Diego since the early 90’s. She holds a deep love for and has always been surrounded by pets. She previously worked in the hospitality industry with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts before joining the pet care community at Dexter’s Deli, Del Mar, the local original health food store for dogs and cats. Cossette loves working at Ranch Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital for the daily interactions with animals and their people. She loves witnessing the bond between these wonderful pets and their very special pet parents. In her free time Cossette enjoys petsitting, beach walks, reading, music, movies, and hanging out with family and friends.
Rozel, Veterinary Technician
Born and raised in San Diego, Rozel always knew she wanted to work with animals. She was surrounded by pets and grew up watching Animal Planet, which sparked her passion for veterinary medicine. She graduated from the Veterinary Assistant program at Pima Medical Institute in 2017, after which she began working at Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital. She plans to go back to school to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. In her spare time she loves to bake, go to the beach, watch scary movies and try new foods!
Victoria, Office Specialist
Victoria was born and raised in Northern California, but in 2011 she heard the call of the ocean and relocated to San Diego, where she attended San Diego State University and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She has been an owner and lover of animals her entire life. As a child she hoped to become a veterinarian, and though her life took her on a different path, she was recently inspired to enter the veterinary industry following the adoption of her 4-year-old Spaniel mix Indiana (pictured). The patience, understanding and love that arose from caring for a rescue dog encouraged her to pursue her passion for animals. Victoria lives in a home full of boys: Indiana, her husband TJ and his Morkie mix Blink. Victoria loves going to the beach, exploring hiking trails and tackling Tough Mudder obstacle course races. She is a creative writer at heart and hopes to publish her own book someday. She plans to explore more opportunities to work with animals in the future.
Nic, Veterinary Technician
Nic grew up with no less than 8 pets in his household at any given time. He had Pointers, Greyhounds and Great Danes, all of which were foster failures. His cats were all adopted. Although he was told that they were all spayed and neutered, one of the females escaped and returned with 6 kittens (one of which he kept). Nic has also owned fish, rabbits and snakes! He was previously interested in biomedical sciences and human anatomy, but his love for animals led him down a veterinary career path. He moved from Santa Barbara to San Diego in November 2018 and started his job at Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital. In his spare time Nic enjoys swimming, surfing, water polo, beach volleyball and spearfishing.
Hannah, Veterinary Technician
Hannah moved here from a small town in mid Missouri shortly after graduating college in 2017. Hannah knew she wanted to make a career out of her love for animals. She began her journey at Helen Woodward Animal Center where she worked in the foster department. She cared for many orphaned animals and rescued her very own cat, Pretzi. She joined the family at Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital in Spring 2018 and has enjoyed every minute! In her free time, Hannah likes visiting local coffee shops, hiking, and playing board games with her friends and family.
Stephen, Veterinary Technician
Stephen was born in Santee and moved to Colorado with his family as a child. He is a graduate of Colorado State University with a bachelor’s in Zoology. His furry family includes a young dog named “Baxter” and two senior cats, “Fingers” and “Pepsi.” Stephen started working at Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital in September 2019 when he moved back to California. He has worked in a variety of Animal Care positions including Humane Societies, Emergency Medicine, Zoos and Aquariums. Stephen enjoys surfing, paddleboarding with Baxter, hiking and camping.
Desiree, Veterinary Technician
Desiree was born on the East Coast, but has also lived in Texas, Germany and Missouri throughout her life. She always knew she wanted to work with animals. In 2016 she graduated from William Woods University in mid-Missouri with a major in Biology Pre-Vet. Shortly thereafter she moved to San Diego. She has worked at several other veterinary clinics, including an equine veterinary practice, prior to starting here in 2020. In her free time she enjoys hiking with her Samoyed Mushu, cuddling with her cat Izzy, playing soccer and running.