Karen Novak, DVM

Veterinarian/Practice Owner

Dr Novak first came to the Mendocino Coast in 1980, working for the Department of Fish and Game as a Fisheries Biologist. Always having had an interest in medicine and a close connection with animals, she decided to pursue a Veterinary degree and shortly after was accepted into the University of Wisconsin Veterinary School, Madison. Upon completion of her veterinary degree, she returned to the Mendocino Coast and worked in Fort Bragg for 16 years. Wanting to start an integrative practice where she could offer any modality that would contribute to the health of her patients, she opened Village Veterinary in 2010 where she could offer a blend of conventional and holistic medicine.

Dr. Novak has continued pursuing her interests in non-domestic animals through her work as the Veterinarian for The B. Bryan Preserve in Point Arena, working with Zebra, Giraffe and Antelope. In her down time, she is surrounded by too many animals, 4 dogs, 4 cats, 8 llamas, 4 alpacas, chickens and 1 husband. She has 2 beautiful daughters whom she adores. Everyday, she feels thankful to be able to work in this beautiful area with an incredible staff, clients and their beloved pets.

Barbara Weiss, DVM


Dr. Weiss grew up in Morgantown WV. and moved to California after graduating from Brown U in Providence, Rhode Island in 1981. Her main interests are medical science and the outdoors. The former led her to a PhD in Physiology and Pharmacology from UCSD in 1990 and a DVM from UCDavis in 2002. The latter led to her move to Mendocino in 1999 and on-going work with the Mendocino Land Trust. She started working as a vet locally in 2006 and has been part time at Village Vet since Dr. Novak opened in 2010. Dr. Weiss tries to use her understanding of biology, disease and treatment to improve her patients’ lives. She lives with her husband, 2 dogs, and a boa constrictor.

Mona Whitaker

Office Manager

As a little girl growing up on the Mendocino Coast, Mona developed a love of nature and animals, both wild and domestic, and a belief that our natural earth and its living creatures should be protected and cared for. After high school graduation, Mona moved away to earn a degree in Business Management with an emphasis on Medical Office Administration. She kept strong ties to her home-town, later moving back and fulfilling her dreams of becoming a wife and mother. In 2000, she began working at a local veterinary office where she met and worked closely with veterinarians including Dr. Novak. This position gave way to a passion of working in the animal-medical field, being able to help people help their animals and witness first hand the human and animal connection. When the stars finally aligned in 2010, Mona continued on with Dr. Novak as she opened her long-envisioned practice, Village Veterinary. When not at the practice, Mona enjoys spending time with her husband and their 3 boys, her mom, being outdoors, hiking, backpacking, visiting National Parks, photography, scrap-booking and Zumba Fitness. Mona and her family are the pet parents of a dog named Jaida, 2 cats Star and Sunny and 2 rabbits Bobo and Momma Bunny.

Gwyneth Moreland Hinkle, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Born and raised in Mendocino, Gwyneth Moreland Hinkle has been working with Dr. Novak since 2001. Gwyneth attended Bel-Rae Veterinary Technical Institute in 2005, where she did an internship at Littleton Large Animal Hospital and graduated in 2005.

Gwyneth enjoys working with companion animals, but has a passion for caring for small ruminants such as goats and sheep.

When she’s not at the office, she is a mother of two boys and a professional musician. You can catch her playing both local and regional shows with her husband, Skyler or with the bands Foxglove and The Mendocino Quartet. Her last two solo albums have registered on the the Folk Radio airplay charts and you can hear a selection of her songs playing when put on hold with the office phones.

Skyler Hinkle

Veterinary Technician

Skyler Falcon Hinkle was born during a geomagnetic storm that caused a major power outage throughout all of Siberia. Raised by muskoxen in the mountainous regions of Tibet, Skyler developed an innate bond with the animal kingdom and a fondness for lichen stew. After stowing away on a halibut trawler, Skyler found himself cast upon the shores of Mendocino, where he was officially adopted by Dr. Novak who took pity in his pitiful state. Skyler has been at Village Vet ever since, and with his high spirited demeanor, quick witted sense of humor, and boisterous charisma, he elevates any experience one might have in the Veterinary setting beyond expectation. A talented musician and song writer, he enjoys life to the fullest with his wife, Gwyneth, their 2 boys, 1 horse, a German Shepard and Hound dog.

Nancy Mokry

Veterinary Technician

Nancy has been with Village Vet since the very beginning and has had the pleasure of working with Dr. Novak since 1999! Passionate about animal well being and comfort, she brings a level of experience and skill that keeps the practice in great shape. Nancy is especially good with small breed dogs (she has a soft spot for Chihuahuas).

Allison Ross

Veterinary Technician

Allison is a proud local having been born and raised in Elk, Ca. She grew up riding horses with her parents on their Guest ranch. After graduating from Mendocino High School, she received an Associates Degree in Equine studies from Feather River College in Quincy, Ca. She moved back to Mendocino shortly after where she worked for Fort Bragg Feed and Pet. Spending her free time riding and training her young horses. Having an interest in Veterinary Medicine, she was welcomed by the Village Vet crew in spring of 2016 and has become an essential team member. She lives with her fiance Collin, 2 horses, 2 dogs, 3 guinea pigs and a partridge in a pear tree.

Alexa Miller

Kennel Assistant

Alexa is a junior at Mendocino High School. She has been working at Village Vet since 2018. Since she was little, her life’s dream has always been to go to college to become a veterinarian. Alexa has a stellar attitude, a great work ethic and is a natural when it comes to handling animals, big and small. Alexa spends her free time riding her young horse and competing in horse shows. She loves animals and can’t wait to become Alexa Miller, DVM.


Clinic freeloader

As the most important member of the Village Vet team, Eloise’s duties consist mainly of keeping her coworkers in line. The most vital duty at the office (filling her food bowl twice daily) is a complex procedure and must be observed with the strictest of protocol. She has been on a diet and meow weighs in at 12 lean mean feline pounds of pure muscle. She hopes to someday reach her fighting weight of 9 pounds, but alas, she does love her food bowl. Rest assured that under Eloise’s watch, your furry children will receive the absolute best of veterinary care, as long as all of the assorted canine patients stay away from her sacred food bowl.


Natalie is the person at the party that is hanging out with the host’s dog. Growing up in Santa Cruz, Natalie always had a deep interest in medicine, spending time volunteering at human hospitals, the ASPCA, and local feral rescue operations. Academically, she pursued creative work, graduating from San Jose State University with a BFA in Spatial Art (Ceramics) in 2017. After moving to Comptche for an Artist-in-Residency program in 2020, Natalie spent two years making pottery and working as a full-time shepherd, goat doula and farm hand to the 280 sheep and 100 goats at Navarro Vineyards/Pennyroyal Farm in Boonville. During the many pensive hours under the open sky with the sheep, goats and dogs, she decided it was time to formally pursue the challenge and excitement of animal work in a veterinary clinic setting.

When not at the clinic, Natalie attends Veterinary Technician school, runs Love Ceramic Art, and works with a crew to fire large wood-fueled ceramic kilns. She also spends time hiking, singing, playing piano and homesteading with her husband Thomas, their big orange cat Mufasa and their mischievous house rabbits Kokopelli and Flip Flop.


Makaylin Nelson was born and raised in Fort Bragg. She grew up around animals whether it was cats , dogs, chickens, ducks, hamsters and horses. As a sophomore in highschool she knew she wanted to pursue a career in helping animals. When she graduated she got the opportunity to experience that dream at village veterinary. She has been training and becoming a part of this team since August 2022 and she has brought her enthusiasm and energy into helping and caring for animals.


Krista spent most of her life living in Santa Rosa but visiting Fort Bragg as often as she could. She worked for 12 years at 2 senior living communities as a concierge.

Almost ten years ago she moved to Fort Bragg to be closer to her family, all of whom are long time residents. She worked at Detrick Veterinary Hospital until they closed and joined our team over a year ago.

Krista has two cats and considers herself an avid Bibliophile. One of her favorite parts of the job is spending quality time with in house cat, Eloise.