Dr. Ellie Johnson
DVM, Practice Co-Owner
One of my fondest childhood memories is of Dr. Ernie bumping down our New England farm driveway in his El Camino. As our farm’s vet, he was a regular visitor who primarily cared for our horses but also was kind enough to care for my pet ladybug (yes, an actual ladybug) when she wouldn’t roll over. I was probably 4 or 5 at the time and thought she was just sick. I looked up to Dr. Ernie and I knew he could fix her, so when he had to take her back to his office for proper treatment, I was very grateful! At that young age, I decided that I wanted to be just like him – El Camino and all!
Well, here I am now, living my dream! Of course I didn’t end up with an El Camino, (and I am okay with that!) but I am so glad that I pursued my dream to become a veterinarian. I moved out here from the East Coast to attend UC Davis and fell in love with California, so I stayed. I’ve been here at Woodland Vet Hospital for almost 2 decades now! One of the things I find most rewarding about my work is helping BOTH the patients AND their owners. Veterinary medicine is not just about taking care of animals. It is about helping people too. My goal for every appointment is to try to meet the needs of patients and their owners.
After that first ladybug, I have had many wonderful personal pets. Currently, I have a dog named “Emmelie”. She is an 2 year old Whippet who always makes me laugh! I also have a very special horse named “A la mode.” We have been together since the moment she was born. I am a dressage rider and I also really enjoy natural horsemanship. A la mode is a great partner for both of these disciplines. I hope to someday be able to perform at the highest level with her but no matter how far we get, it has been a wonderful journey.
When I am not in the office, I’m at home running my small farm with Emmelie’s help.
Dr. Keith Rode
DVM, Practice Co-Owner
I grew up wanting to be a veterinarian since before I can even remember (according to my mom), and while many kids want to be a veterinarian but ultimately change their minds, I never moved on from the dream. While I don’t know what it was that specifically sparked my interest, I know that there were plenty of life experiences along the way that helped solidify it: going with my childhood pets to their veterinary exams, reading (and re-reading) all of the James Herriot books, taking pre-veterinary courses at the farm at Vintage High School in Napa, and watching a presentation by the first veterinarian in space, to name a few.
Because of my interest in becoming a veterinarian, pursuing college at UC Davis made perfect sense for me. As an undergraduate there, I majored in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior; but beyond that, I wrote a weekly column for the student newspaper, sang in the University Chorus and the Liquid Hotplates a cappella group, acted in a production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, found a nerdy interest in linguistic anthropology, and met the woman that would become my wife. I went straight from undergrad into veterinary school at UC Davis, where I graduated in 2006. Some of my most unique and memorable veterinary school experiences include traveling to Mexico and central Africa to provide veterinary services to isolated villages and spending one month in Washington, DC, in a governmental relations externship with the American Veterinary Medical Association. My wife and I got married at the beginning of my senior year of veterinary school.
I started working at Woodland Veterinary Hospital just after graduation, and I am so pleased to have called WVH my work home ever since. I love living and working in a small town (not unlike the Napa of my youth), and I enjoy having both my established clients and patients (who I see around town regularly) as well as meeting new ones. I believe in WVH so much that I became a co-owner of the business in 2012, which means that I will be here for the foreseeable future. My work interests are varied, and include surgery, dentistry, and endocrine diseases. I feel very fortunate to enjoy what I do for a living, and to be enthusiastic about the place where I work and my work “family.”
Outside of work, I enjoy sports (I’m a diehard San Francisco Giants and 49ers fan), reading, crossword puzzles, travel, playing on a trivia team, and singing when I can. I really enjoy being involved in different avenues of service as well. I have been an active member of the Woodland Sunrise Rotary Club since 2009, and served as its president in 2016-17. While I have had many great memories from Rotary, one significant passion of mine is supporting Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. I have also been involved in the veterinary community at the local and state level. I have been president of both the Sacramento Valley Veterinary Medical Association and the California Veterinary Medical Foundation. I am currently president of the California Veterinary Medical Association representing thousands of veterinary professionals across the state; I am very honored and humbled to have been elected into this position. Through CVMA I have developed a passion for legislative advocacy on issues that affect animals, animal owners, veterinarians, and small businesses.
My wife, Jen, and I have two children: Abigail wants to be a marine veterinarian someday, and Noah wants to be the first person to set foot on Mars. Jen taught kindergarten for several years (including at Maxwell Elementary in Woodland), and now stays home with the kids and volunteers extensively at their school. We have two cats, Apollo and Dobby, whom we adopted as kittens from the Yolo SPCA in 2020.
I truly hope that my excitement for my career is shown in the interactions I have with each patient and client. I look forward to working at Woodland Veterinary Hospital for many years to come!
Dr. Leslie Holeman
DVM, Associate Veterinarian
I grew up in a small, semi-rural town near Fresno, CA with a variety of pets (hamsters, rats, fish, frogs, birds, cats, and dogs). Like many young girls, I dreamed of being a veterinarian because I loved animals, loved science, and wanted to save every lost or injured creature that came my way.
In college at UC Santa Cruz, my focus turned to molecular biology, and I spent years after college working in the biotechnology field.
As an adult, I still love animals, but that alone isn’t what made me revisit that dream of being a veterinarian. Believe it or not, I became a veterinarian because I wanted to work with people. I love getting to know clients and their pets, and sharing my knowledge to help people keep their pets happy and healthy.
My goal with every patient visit is to empower you (the client) with the knowledge you need to make the best decisions for your pet and your family. I appreciate the variety of being a general practitioner, where a typical day can bring new puppy/kitten exams, medical and surgical cases, preventative care, emergencies, and more.
After coming to this area for vet school at UC Davis, I liked it here so much that I decided to stay and raise my family here as well. Over a decade later, I’m still in Davis with my husband, two sons, two cats, and three chickens. Our family is in constant debate about whether or not we should add a puppy to our crew!
When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my family, volunteering at my kids’ school, biking around town, and enjoying our community. I love music, books, and the outdoors.
I’m happy to be working with everyone at Woodland Veterinary Hospital, especially you and your pets!
Dr. Jill Mikovich-Haight
DVM, Associate Veterinarian
Unlike many of my veterinary colleagues, I didn’t start out wanting to be a veterinarian. I’ve loved animals my whole life, but being a vet didn’t occur to me until I was in college at UC Davis in the late nineties. I got a job working at a feline research colony on campus the summer after my second year and I fell in love with the cats (I considered myself a total dog person until the summer of 1996) and with drawing blood, giving medications, and learning about all of the diseases that the veterinarians were studying. When I decided to apply to vet school, all of my friends said, “Well of course you should do that! We’ve always thought you should be a vet!” To which I said, “Why didn’t you tell me??”
What I didn’t know about being a veterinarian on that fateful day in the fall of 1996 (when I realized what I wanted to do with my life) was how much I would end up working with people on a day to day basis, and how important my relationships with my clients would become. I believe in a team approach to patient care and want my clients to be as comfortable as possible with every step in the diagnostic and treatment process. I want them to understand what is going on, no matter how complicated. I love it when I see the lightbulb of understanding go on in peoples’ eyes when I’m explaining something. My favorite areas of veterinary medicine are dermatology, internal medicine, and feline medicine, but I also love preventive care! There’s nothing better than finishing up a puppy’s series of DHLPP vaccines and knowing that they are protected from some of the most horrible diseases out there.
I started working at Woodland Vet Hospital in the summer of 2019, and am so happy to be part of the WVH family – a place that has been a part of the community I’ve lived in since vet school, but have never really been a part of until now. When I’m not at the clinic living and breathing veterinary medicine, I’m at home with my husband, Jacob, and our collection of animals. We have two dogs: Dudley, a long-haired dachshund; and Piper, a golden retriever. We also have four cats: Sabrina, who we call The Kitten because when we adopted her eleven years ago she was the youngest of the bunch by far; Scarlett, a feisty tortoiseshell; Jasper, a handsome and talkative Bengal; and Cleo, a fluffy brown tabby. When I’m not working or at home playing with the “children,” I love to hike, read, shop, spend time with friends and family, and go to the movies.
Dr. Lynae Shubin
DVM, Associate Veterinarian
For as long as I can remember, animals have always been my one constant passion. We always had pets growing up, and we fostered many dogs over the years, several of whom ended up finding a permanent home with us. Our pets were part of our family and we took them everywhere. My family was very outdoorsy and we frequently went hiking, camping, and backpacking, usually with our dogs. In addition to companion animals, I always loved watching wildlife out in nature. In high school, I started shadowing every Saturday at my family veterinarian’s practice. From that experience, I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. I got my Bachelors at UC Davis in Animal Sciences with a minor in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology. During undergraduate, I worked and volunteered doing wildlife research with UC Davis, and worked many animal care jobs, including at a marine mammal center, a raptor center, and the zoo. I was lucky enough to go straight from undergrad to vet school, also at UC Davis. While in vet school, I worked with a few non-profits setting up field clinics in rural Nicaragua and providing free vet care to pets of the homeless in Sacramento. I also did some research work for UC Davis and had the opportunity to live in New Zealand doing dolphin research and Ireland doing seal research for a few months each. After graduating vet school, I worked as a vet in Sacramento before coming to Woodland Vet Hospital. On my days off, I still enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, and of course spending time with my dog and family. I also like baking, cooking, and collecting houseplants.
Being a veterinarian is a very rewarding career overall, although as you can imagine, there’s some tough days as well. We get to see so much variety day to day, from new puppies getting their first vaccines, managing chronic pain in older patients, upset stomachs, itchy skin, and maybe a dog bite or two. My favorite part of veterinary medicine is the variety and that I still get to learn something new every day. For every patient, I strive to make the experience as stress-free as possible. My own dog is nervous around new faces, so I try to treat every pet like it’s my own. This led me to become Fear Free Certified in 2019. I love working as a team with owners to address their pets’ issues. We wouldn’t be able to diagnose and manage patients without owners diligent monitoring at home, consistently giving medications as prescribed, and making sure to come back on time for rechecks. At the end of the day, it’s so rewarding to see patients improve and the joy that it brings to their owners.
Dr. Taylor Wright
DVM, Associate Veterinarian
Becoming a veterinary had always been a life goal of mine (except for the brief period of time when I was obsessed with wanting to work at a grocery store). From a young age, I have always loved animals. In high school I had an internship at another veterinary clinic in Woodland. For me, this confirmed that this was definitely the field for me. I am originally from Woodland (Go Woodland Wolves!), but did my undergraduate degree at Colorado State University. I came back to California to attend veterinary school at UC Davis. I have a special interest in surgery, but I truly enjoy all aspects of general practice and the vast variety of cases we get to see. I have three dogs: Rufus (an Italian mastiff), Maible (a pitbull mix), and Reba (a bloodhound). I have family in Woodland and all around love this town. Outside of work, you will likely catch me at Blue Note with Reba or exiting Las Brasas with nachos.