Meet Our Team

Carla Smith


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Education: Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine
Hometown: Graceville, FL
Pets: Ruckus (Great Dane), Elvis and Aubie (Savannah Cats)

Dr. Smith’s career goals are to practice as a veterinarian in an environment of superior quality medicine and healthcare that also nurtures positive client communication, colleague interaction, professional achievement, and personal growth. She previously owned North Scottsdale Animal Hospital from 1996 to 2004 and opened Dynamite Animal Hospital in 2002. She began her education in 1981 at Auburn University obtaining a bachelor of science degree in Zoology, followed by a masters program in exercise physiology, and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1992.

Prior to graduation, Dr. Smith completed a preceptorship in small animal surgery in Las Vegas, NV and an externship at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, NY. Her veterinary medical career began at the world-renowned Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, MA where she completed an internship in small animal surgery and medicine. Leaving Boston, she practiced in a progressive small animal medical center in Las Vegas, NV until accepting the position of medical director and chief of surgery for The Animal Foundation International, a non-profit organization dealing with the challenges and needs of unwanted pets in our country and around the world.

In 1996, Dr. Smith returned to her long-term career goal of practicing full-service small animal medicine in private practice by opening North Scottsdale Animal Hospital and later Dynamite Animal Hospital. She sold North Scottsdale Animal Hospital in 2004 to devote more personal time to her family and focus her professional time with her clients and patients at Dynamite Animal Hospital. Dr. Smith lives with her husband, daughter, son, two Savannah cats (Aubie and Elvis), and Great Dane (Ruckus).

Lacy Kruger

Practice Manager/Nurse

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Education: Eastern Washington University
Hometown: Spokane, Washington
Pets: Maddy Bowen (Shepherd Mix), Archer (German Shepherd mix), and Mortimer (Domestic Shorthair Cat)

Lacy grew up with dogs and horses and always knew she would be in the veterinary field. During college she interned for a year at Walt Disney World as a conservationist at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where she met her husband. After finishing her degree in Biology Lacy then took the national test to became a Licensed Technician. Animals and customer service have always been a top priority for her, therefore becoming a Veterinary Technician and Practice Manager was a perfect fit. Lacy came to us, and the state of Arizona, in November 2010. She brought her love of photography to our hospital and enjoys photographing our patients “on a chair” (which you will see throughout the hospital and our social media).

After being born in Eugene, Oregon and raised in Spokane, Washington, Arizona was a big and exciting change. She and her South African husband, Jack, live with their three spoiled “children”, two rescue dogs and 1 cat. Lacy and Jack also have two little 2-legged children. In her time off Lacy enjoys exploring all that Arizona has to offer. On days off she can usually be found with her kids at the Phoenix Zoo or hiking through the beautiful desert.

Bonnie Briley

Veterinary Nurse

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Education: Carrington College Veterinary Nurse Program 2011
Hometown: Spring, TX
Pets: Buddy (Labrador Mix), Sergeant (Main Coon Mix), Aidan (Flame Point Siamese)

Being born and raised in south Texas Bonnie grew up with a love of animals both large and small. After moving to Arizona with her family she decided to make her passion and love for animals a reality and enroll in a veterinary assistant program at Carrington College, graduating in the fall of 2011. Over the last several years Bonnie has worked in many different aspects of the field from general practice to intensive care to a mobile non-profit surgical, spay and neuter bus. She has recently returned to Arizona from California, where for the last few years she has worked at one of our large sister hospitals in Oceanside. In her free time, she enjoys watching football, seeing live music, hiking and camping, horseback riding, and anything to do with water.

Marissas Harms

Veterinary Nurse

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Education: Associates in Business
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Pets: Rosie (Pitbull), Mazey (Beagle), Caveman (French Bulldog), Hobbs (Pitbull Mix), Cinder (Exotic American Bully), Sadie (Domestic Shorthair), Peanut (Domestic Shorthair)

Marissa was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. She always knew she wanted to work with animals but for some odd reason (her words) decided to get her Associates in Business to work towards becoming an accountant. After interning at an accounting firm for a year she realized it wasn’t the path for her and got a job at a veterinary hospital. She fell in love with being a veterinary technician and has been for six years now.

Marissa’s love for animals has led to her ownership of 5 dogs and 2 cats. She would have many more animals of all kinds if her fiancé allowed it. Besides spending time with her pets and fiancé, Marissa enjoys pet sitting, traveling, seeing new places, fishing, camping, and listening to country music. Her ultimate goal in life is to open her own animal rescue.

Megan MacMillan

Veterinary Nurse

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Education: BS in Natural Resource Ecology at ASU; currently receiving her CVT at Pima Medical Institute
Hometown: Anaheim Hills, CA
Pets: None at the moment

Megan enjoys hiking during her free time. As a hobby she enjoys baking complicated desserts and goes to painting classes. She plans on volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary in the future.

Virginia Panepinto

Veterinary Nurse

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Education: Penn Foster
Hometown: Queens, New York
Pets: Tails (Basenji mix), Princess (German Shepherd), and Big Boi (Domestic Short hair)

Virginia was born & raised in a big city, but would spend every summer on her grandfathers farm in Sicily, Italy where she learned how to properly care for horses and rabbits. After helping on her summer vacations for so many years, she then decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Virginia worked for Dynamite Animal Hospital in 2013 as a boarding attendant, until moving out of state for a few years, where she later returned and is now part of our team. In her free time Virginia and her husband enjoy hiking, camping, attending country concerts, and working part time at her parents pizzeria (Lorenzo’s on Scottsdale Rd).

Heather Stucks


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Education: Paradise Valley Community College
Hometown: Cave Creek, Arizona
Pets: Lacey (Pit Bull mix), Captain, Bert, Domino, and Ralphie (Domestic Cats), Jewels (Bearded Dragon)

Heather joined our team in 2011 and has 10 years of grooming experience. She owns 5 cats, 1 dog (Pitbull mix), 3 horses, and 1 bearded dragon. For fun, she plays with her pets, rides horses, and cheers on our Phoenix Coyotes Hockey team.

Jody Willson


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Education: North Park University, Chicago, IL, Midwest School of Pet Grooming, Barrington, IL
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Pets: Georgie (Pomeranian)

Jody started grooming in 2013 and joined our team in 2021. Although a Midwestern girl at heart, she spent 5 years grooming in Philadelphia, PA before venturing out to Scottsdale, AZ. She loves art, travel, and spending time with friends and family.

Debbie Sommers

Client Care Specialist

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Education: Waukesha County Technical College in Wisconsin
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Pets: Allie (Mixed Rescue), Sir Francis Dingleberry (Miniature Dachshund)

Debbie was born and raised in Wisconsin but has since moved to San Francisco and then here to Arizona. She joined Dynamite Animal Hospital in 2016 as a veterinary nurse. From 2018 to 2020 she lived in London for her husband’s temporary job position. We are happy that she returned to us in 2020 and became our lead Client Care Specialist. She has worked in the veterinary field since 2010 and prior to that, she volunteered at county shelters in the spay/neuter clinics. Debbie has also worked in insurance and investments but she is wonderful in the veterinary