Southwest Region awards San Marcos veterinarians first-ever Health Services Award

Stacy Haynes - 760-901-4307
March 11, 2019
Oceanside, CA

Canine Companions for Independence national board of directors has chosen veterinarians from each of the organization’s six regions to receive the first annual Health Services Award. The Southwest Region, with a campus located in Oceanside, California, chose Dr. Thomas and Dr. Riehl of Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo in San Marcos.

Dr. Thomas and Dr. Riehl have provided veterinary care for all the animals at the Southwest Region campus, including Johnny the campus cat and Stu the campus rabbit, since they started AVC in 2015. They have taken time out of their hectic schedules to become certified in PennHip, a program which evaluates the quality of the hips in dogs, and became accredited to administer health certificates, all to help Canine Companions. They are available 24/7 to answer any question the vet technician may have and they will review x-rays taken on campus at no charge. They go above and beyond the call of any veterinarian; Dr. Riehl has fostered many of Canine Companions’ released, recovering, or retired dogs in her own home, sometimes for weeks at a time, to keep them out of the kennel until the perfect forever home is found. Dr. Thomas and Dr. Riehl also see many staff dogs, puppies and graduate dogs, at a discounted rate.

Dr. Sunshine Riehl received her BS from Loyola Marymount University. After college she worked as a veterinary technician, small animal research biologist and high school biology teacher. She then went to vet school at UC Davis. Dr. Riehl completed a small animal internship at Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic in Northern California, where she fell in love with surgery and emergency medicine.

Dr. Paula Thomas received her bachelor's degree in Animal Physiology from University of California, San Diego. She then went on to UC Davis for veterinary school where she graduated in 2007. She completed her internship training, along with Dr. Riehl, at Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic in the Sacramento area.

“Working with Canine Companions for Independence has been an incredible honor for us,” said Dr. Thomas and Dr. Riehl. “We have been overwhelmed by the compassion, kindness and generosity within the Canine Companions community and are grateful to help support this amazing team of people and dogs. We hope to provide exceptional healthcare for Canine Companions dogs for many years to come and look forward to many successful graduations!”

We commend these outstanding veterinarians and thank them for all they do for Canine Companions.