Debi Watanabe, DVM

Dr. Watanabe’s father is a retired police detective. While Debi was growing up, he always cared for animals, taking in neighborhood strays, injured birds, etc., encouraging Debi’s interest in a career as a veterinarian. Debi and her husband are currently “owned” by 2 dogs (Cayenne and Angus), 2 cats (BooBooKitty and Booger), and Bubba the rabbit. She loves to hike and travel. Although a self-described couch potato by nature, Debi is addicted to Zumba, Latin and world music based dance fitness.
  • 2014 co-founded SCSAC
  • 1996-2014 Small Animal Internship at 24-hour emergency and specialty hospital, then veterinarian at a variety of practices
  • 1995 Colorado State University, DVM
  • 1991 University of Hawaii at Manoa, BA Zoology
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Ila Davis, DVM, PhD, DACVIM


Dr. Davis decided to become a veterinarian at the age of 10 years, just after reading “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriott. She began ‘hanging around’ the veterinary clinic in her home town, working on her best friend’s family dairy and ’rescuing’ and ‘rehoming’ dogs in her home town. She worked two jobs during college; one to pay the bills (at a department store) and one to pursue her dream (at a veterinary hospital).

Dr. Davis was determined to get into UC Davis Veterinary School and succeeded on her second attempt. She worked at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital while in veterinary school. As a newly graduated veterinarian, Dr Davis returned to her hometown of Fallon, Nevada for a year to join a very busy (and very mixed) mixed animal practice for a year. This practice also provided services to Churchill Animal Protection Society (CAPS), a fledgling humane organization that provided the first non-euthanasia option for Fallon’s many stray and abandoned dogs and cats.

Dr. Davis pursued training in Food and Large Animal Medicine at Iowa State University and achieved Board Certification through the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. A move to Tennessee provided few opportunities for mixed animal practice but an excellent opportunity for advanced training. With a concentration in Immunology and Immunotherapy, her PhD and Post-Doctoral training prepared Dr. Davis for the many medical challenges facing sheltered animals.

Ultimately, academia lost out over hands-on veterinary medicine and by the time she returned to CA in 2001, she’d settled in to the challenges of private small animal practice and shelter medicine and surgery full-time. In addition to working at SCSAC, Dr. Davis is still Veterinarian In-Charge at the City of Salinas Animal Services Shelter, providing medical care for sheltered animals as well as spay/neuter services for The Community Cat Project. Dr. Davis enjoys a quiet ‘country’ life, her family, friends and her many 2 and 4 legged animal companions.

  • 2014 co-founded SCSAC
  • 2001-present Salinas Animal Shelter, Veterinarian in Charge
  • 2005-2012 Monterey County Animal Shelter, Staff Veterinarian
  • 2001-2004 Harden Ranch Veterinary Hospital, Salinas, Associate Veterinarian
  • 1999-2001 Humane Society of Tennessee Valley, Knoxville, Supervising Veterinarian
  • 1998-2001 Emory Road Animal Hospital, Maynardville, TN, Associate Veterinarian, Small Animal Practice
  • 1998-2000 OakRidge National Laboratory, OakRidge, TN, Department of Molecular Biology, Radiotherapy Division, Post-Doctoral Fellow under an awarded grant from the National Institute of Health, Department of Allergy and Immunology
  • 1998 University of Tennessee at Knoxville, School of Microbiology, PhD Immunology
  • 1993-1994 Iowa State University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Clinical Instructor, Large Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • 1991-1993 Iowa State University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Residency, Large Animal Internal Medicine
  • 1990-1991 Iowa State University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Internship, Food Animal Medicine
  • 1989 UC Davis, DVM
  • 1985 San Jose State University, BS Molecular Biology
  • 1979-1985 Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital, Menlo Park, CA and Valley Large Animal Hospital, Morgan Hill, CA, Animal Care Technician
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Ashley Amaral, DVM

Dr. Ashley Amaral grew up immersed in a Central Coast ranching family. It was the early exposure to animals that shaped her future career path. After graduation from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2011, Dr. Amaral started her career in an ambulatory equine practice. She then made the switch to small animal medicine and has not looked back. Dr. Amaral and her husband, Luis, have three sons. She enjoys horseback riding, hiking, and weekend trips to the family ranch. Dr. Amaral has a special interest in emergency medicine and dentistry, and believes that veterinary care should not be intimidating. Strong relationships between veterinarians and clients enable the highest quality of care be provided to pets, and she strives to create a comfortable setting for both pets and clients alike.
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Consulting Veterinarians

Steinbeck Country Small Animal Clinic maintains ongoing consulting and referal relationships with board-certified veterinary specialists in:
  • Cardiology
  • Dentistry
  • Dermatology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Opthalmology
  • Physical Therapy
  • Surgery
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