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Our Location

10490 Howard Street

Mendocino, CA 95460 US

(707) 937-0300


Meet the friendly and dedicated Village Veterinary team.

  • Karen Novak,
    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.

  • Susan Engwall, DVM
    A Connecticut native, Susan Engwall has a DVM degree from Tufts University (1990), completed a teaching fellowship at Harvard University, an internship in small animal internal medicine & surgery at The Animal Medical Center (NY, NY) and is certified in bovine embryo transfer from the American Embryo Transfer Association (AETA). Dr. Engwall loves all creatures great and small. She lives on an organic ranch in Manchester with her beloved husband Grant, teenage sons Gaelen and Dalton, and a bevy of ranch animals, including cattle, chickens, ducks, a pack of high-spirited dogs, a flock of adorable sheep and some hilarious goats. Dr. Engwall is a member of the Point Arena Theater, Mendocino Arts Center and the Manchester Guild.

  • 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.

  • Tantah Karst
    Tantah was born and raised in Fort Bragg; after graduating high school she went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in Psychology with a minor in English Literature and Creative Writing. Tantah worked in human resources in large corporate settings for over a decade, as well as in marketing and manufacturing. She returned to the Mendocino coast with her family in 2014 and joined Village Veterinary in 2015. Tantah has owned a large variety of pets over the years and currently enjoys spending time with her family, 2 dogs, 2 rabbits and 1 cockatiel.

  • 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, their 2 boys, 1 horse, a German Shepard and Hound dog.

  • Laura Mello, RVT
    Registered Veterinary Technician

    Laura grew up in Lakeport, Ca. and got her start in the veterinary community shortly after graduating High School(there was a cat lover shortage). While working nights handling critical emergencies and caring for hospitalized patients (she really likes cats), She graduated from Mendocino College with a 2 year degree majoring in Biological Sciences (they didn't offer a degree program in feline sciences). Shortly after she joined the Santa Rosa Junior College Veterinary Technician program (to help more cats) and in August 2013 became a Registered Veterinary Technician. Laura became a part of the Village Vet team in 2016, enjoys working with all animals (but cats especially!) and has a beautiful daughter who is her pride and joy.

  • 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).

  • Diva Gallo
    Veterinary Technician
    Diva Gallo grew up on the Mendocino Coast surrounded by animals including donkeys, horses, chickens, cats, dogs and pet rats. She graduated from Mendocino High school and went on to receive a degree in Marine Conservation from University of California, Berkeley. After college she worked in the world of science publishing in the Bay Area until working at a desk was just too soul crushing and she escaped to embarked on a career in veterinary medicine. Diva shares her house with a tawdry tuxedo cat named Mr. Todd, a beatuiful hound dog named Talia and a curmudgeonly beta fish named Tiburon. She spends her time outside when ever possible or doing creative projects such as watercolor painting. Diva started working at Village Veterinary in 2014.

  • Haley Martin
    Veterinary Assistant

    Haley grew up in Fort Bragg, ca. and has always had a passion for the animal world. A short time after graduating from Fort Bragg High School, Haley started working for Village Vet. She is our go to girl when it comes to Herpetology, having extensive knowledge about reptiles. Among her animal crew are 1 dog, 2 rats, 1 Tegu Lizzard, a few other fluffy things and be sure check out our pictures to see Haley with a few of her 15 beautiful Python and Boa Constrictor snakes! We often call for Haley when we need special help holding an anxious pet because her restraint technique is one that makes animals feel very secure ( she just understands critters, and they understand her!). Her compassion for animal welfare and comfort make her an incredibly important team member.

  • Allison Ross
    Veterinary Assistant
    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.
  • Eloise
    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.


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Office Hours


9:00 AM-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-5:00 PM