Experts You Can Trust Your Pet With

To operate a 24 hour facility you need a great team, and a lot of them. Taylor ER Veterinary Emergency Hospital has a wide variety of staff in various departments including Kennel Attendants, Technician Assistants, Registered Veterinary Technicians (R.V.T.’s), Veterinary Assistants, Receptionists, Department Managers and of course our Veterinarians.

Craig Brooks, DVM

Owner ~ Medical Director

Dr. Craig Brooks was raised in the Central Valley of California in the apricot capital of the world, Patterson. His family farmed (you guessed it) apricots and he had the privilege of growing up with many different animals on the farm. He was an avid FFA member and enjoyed caring for and showing animals. His desire to become a Veterinarian arose in Jr. High, and with hard work and perseverance he realized his dream when he graduated from UC Davis in 1986 as a veterinarian.
Dr. Brooks owned and operated a mobile veterinary practice for his first 10 years out of school. He opened Taylor Veterinary Hospital in 1996, building a full in-house equine and small animal hospital facility. Now he was able to provide the quality veterinary medicine he so desired in the setting of a full service hospital. His current focus is small animal orthopedic surgery, equine surgery, and practice management.
Dr. Brooks and his wife Samantha have been married for over 33 years, have five wonderful children and 5 grandchildren. His faith and family, he would tell you, are the two most important things in his life. Horses and caring for them will however take a close 3rd.

Amber Smith, DVM


Sylvia Cushman, DVM


Dr. Sylvia Cushman has been with Taylor Veterinary Hospital since 2015. She had known since the 6th grade that she wanted to work with animals, and in 2000 she started working as a kennel technician at Olive Animal Clinic where she was trained on-site for technician duties. In 2005 she graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in animal biology, and in 2008 she graduated from Cosumnes River College in Sacramento with an associate’s degree in veterinary technology. From 2009 to 2014 she worked as an RVT at an emergency hospital in Wisconsin, which became a part-time position in 2011 when she began attending the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grenada. After graduating from St. George’s in 2015 with her DVM, she made the decision to come back to California after reading about a practice that was looking for a small animal emergency veterinarian intern. She has since become a staple in our overnight emergency practice, and is one of our most experienced emergency surgeons. When she isn’t working, she attends veterinary conferences all over the country, avidly collects and watches movies, and tackles home improvement projects on her house in Turlock. She also likes going to see her family in Wisconsin on holidays so she can enjoy some real Wisconsin cheese. She has three pets – Sophie, the three-legged pit bull Dr. Cushman rescued when she was 8 weeks old; Lestat, a 13 year old Ragdoll mix who likes leaving his stuffed animals in random places around the house; and Ophelia, a Tortoiseshell brought home from Grenada who is in charge of the house and is not afraid to remind you of it.

April Grothe, DVM


Dr. April Grothe graduated from Oregon State in 2011. She spent 6 months working at a spay and neuter clinic in Southern California before moving to Utah. After working in general practice for a year and a half she accepted a job working for the government. She spent three years working with contract working dogs (CWDs) in Afghanistan and Iraq. After returning back to the US she accepted a job in South Lake Tahoe, CA where she resides today. In 2017 she switched from general practice to emergency. Outside of work she enjoys skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, camping, and remodeling her house.

Leslie Ahluwalia, DVM


Dr. Leslie Ahluwalia grew up on the east cost and the Midwest before completing her bachelor's degree at University of Wisconsin. She attended and graduated veterinary school at University of Wisconsin Madison and upon graduation she worked in equine medicine, both in private practice and on the race track. She and her family later moved to California where she shifted fields and began practicing small animal medicine. In 2014 she began working at Taylor Veterinary Hospital and in January 2020 became a full time associate veterinarian. Her main areas of interest are wellness and preventive care in addition to a specific focus on ultrasonography. In her free time she enjoys running with her children as well as spending quality time traveling with her husband and two children.

Marisa Brooks, DVM


Dr. Marisa Brooks was born and raised in Merced County. Her undergraduate degrees were completed in Animal Science and Contemporary Leadership at the University of California, Davis. She then attended veterinary school at Western University of Health Sciences and graduated in 2015. Dr. Marisa moved to Massachusetts and completed a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship at New England Animal Medical Center in 2016. During her internship she developed interest in emergency medicine. She continued practicing emergency small animal medicine on the east coast before recently deciding to move back to the Central Valley to be near family. Outside of work, Dr. Marisa enjoys exploring the outdoors, learning to play the guitar, gardening and spending time with her family. But most of all, Dr. Marisa loves quality time with her beloved dog Clover, who she rescued as a puppy.

Mike Stanford, DVM

Veterinarian & Certified Acupuncturist

Dr. Mike Stanford is our Certified Acupuncturist for our dog, cat and horse patients. He started working with Taylor Equine Hospital in 2017 as an equine veterinarian and has also taken on administering acupuncture treatments for our small animal patients. Dr. Stanford grew up in Cape Cod Massachusetts and attended the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine for his veterinary degree. He has been practicing equine medicine for 19 years and in 2018 completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society Certification course where he learned acupuncture for dogs, cats and horses.

Christa, Practice Manager

Christa Carlos

Practice Manager

Christa was raised in Hughson, CA where she continues to live and raise her family. She is the daughter of the practice owner and has therefore been immersed in practice since childhood. She began working as a front desk assistant in high school and continued to move up in the business from receptionist, to head receptionist, to assistant manager, and now practice manager. She continued to work at Taylor Vet while completing her bachelor’s degree in Communications at CSU Stanislaus and graduated in 2012. Being that the practice started being built when she was 6 years old, she has grown up with the business and been a major part of the evolution of Taylor Vet and the 24 hour emergency care it now offers. Her favorite things to do while not working are cabin trips with her family, skiing, and walks to the park with her husband, children and dogs Everest and Sky.

Jana, Office Manager

Jana Stanford

Office Manager

Kim Morris, RVT

Head Veterinary Technician

Kim Morris was raised in San Jose and has always has a passion and love for animals. After graduating high school she studied Zoology at San Jose State and then completed her schooling at Hartnell College where she obtained her veterinary technician degree. During her studies at Hartnell she volunteered at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with their Sea Otter Rehabilitation program. In 1999 Kim and her husband moved to the Central Valley and settled their roots in Turlock. She began working for Taylor Veterinary in 1999 and has been with us ever since. She has grown with our practice and has been a big part making us the 24 hour emergency hospital that we are now. When she is not working, she is spending time with her husband and watching their son play baseball and football for Pitman Highschool. She has 2 cats, Ely and Jazz, a dog River and an African Spurred Tortoise Leo.