One wouldn’t guess that the charming little 100-year old bungalow at 6911 La Jolla Blvd. has been home to one of La Jolla’s leading animal hospitals since the 1970s, but the weathered blue and white sign out front represents a long history. Windan’Sea Veterinary Clinic has been a highly regarded animal hospital in La Jolla for more than 40 years, and is still providing premiere medical care for pets throughout San Diego. The Blue Book sat down with Nessa Franco, Hospital Administrator and the woman who keeps things running smoothly, to get a little inside information on everything that’s made the clinic what it is today.
The Staff Behind Windan’Sea
The clinic employs three veterinarians, all of whom are highly educated – Dr. Spengel, Dr. Stuart, and Dr. Raichel. Dr. Stuart has her Master’s in immunology and Dr. Raichel, who is now the medical director and took over the Clinic in 2011, has quite the rap sheet. She graduated from CSU with a Master’s in anatomy and has also worked in marine mammal medicine. She’s the proud owner of three cats, a dog, and a bird; her love for animals clearly goes beyond the hospital!
Each professional has a range of experience, which adds to the clinic’s overall expertise: Nessa has been working in the industry for 14 years and has a background in biochemistry. Nessa and most of her coworkers have several pets themselves – they understand the incredible amount of trust each client places in the doctors to take care of their beloved family members.
A Cut Above the Rest
There are a lot of veterinarians to choose from in the San Diego area – so what makes Windan’sea Vet Clinic different? The answer was clear from the second I stepped foot into the clinic: the passion Nessa and her coworkers feel for what they do is almost palpable. The dedication to their “kids,” or patients, is clearly a large part of their practice, resulting in an unparalleled combination of stellar education and incredible energy. Each doctor truly cares about their patients, are invested in the clients, and thinking about their patients’ cases 24/7. Nessa compares their practice to pediatrics: the patients don’t have a voice, much like children, so a lot of the job is being an advocate and figuring out how best to help them.
Inside the Clinic
Windan’Sea is a full service vet, meaning they provide preventative checkups, perform surgery, have a full dental service (including X-rays and teeth cleaning), and keep specialists like cardiologists and radiologists on call so they can come in and treat your pet if he or she needs specialty care.
The clinic is also very active in the community – they make it a point to participate in a lot of events around La Jolla and San Diego. The staff participated in the Doggie Dash 5K this past Sunday (the run raises money for FACE Foundation, which provides financial assistance to animal owners who are unable to cover the full cost of their pets’ critical or emergency veterinary care). In the past, they’ve participated in fundraising/charity auctions at schools in the community such as Bishops, High Tech High, JCC, and Bird Rock Elementary.
A Bright Future Ahead
What’s next for the clinic? The goal is to turn the whole facility into a cutting-edge vet clinic within the next few years, starting with a recently purchased state-of-the-art ultrasound machine as well as a brand-new X-ray system that only a few other specialty hospitals have. Stay tuned for updates!
Though there are no typical days at the clinic and certainly no ordinary routine, Nessa wouldn’t trade her job or her staff “family” for the world. From the days with three major surgeries to those with simple preventative checkups for a few long-term clients, each one provides an opportunity to help an animal and care for them when they cannot care for themselves. Windan’Sea has won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Pet Hospital/Vet the past four consecutive years – which is no surprise considering the caliber of its staff, facilities, and most importantly, the relationship between each employee and their clients.
Windan’Sea is open from 7:30am to 5:30pm Monday – Friday. Visit their website for more information and to book an appointment.
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