Our Veterinarians


Bakersfield VeterinarianJennifer McGraw Aguirre, DVM

Dr. Jennifer McGraw Aguirre joined Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital in June 1998. She has a special love for cats, and commitment to their care, which was largely inspired by her work at Volunteers for Inter Valley Animals, a no kill shelter. While working there, Dr. Aguirre helped adopt out many cats and even spent two months living at the facility.

"My love for animals, especially cats, made me want to become a veterinarian," she says. "The most satisfying part of my job is spending time with the animals."

Dr. Aguirre grew up in Lompoc, CA., and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her bachelor's degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology with a minor in biochemistry. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Aguirre is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Kern County Medical Association. Her professional interests include internal medicine and surgery.

She is married to Anthony Aguirre, who is a licensed veterinary technician. They have four children. Together, the family cares for seven pets: four cats (Mongoose, Mimzy, Muggins, and Reggie) and two dogs (Baby Bear and Puppy). "My children named the dogs, obviously," she says. In her free time, Dr. Aguirre enjoys reading, sewing, camping, all her children's activities, and going to church.


Bakersfield VeterinarianMichael D. Keese, II, DVM

A Bakersfield, Ca. native, Dr. Michael D. Keese, II, joined Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital in 1999. He started in a volunteer kennel position before eventually becoming one of the hospital's owners.

When asked about what he finds most rewarding about veterinary medicine, Dr. Keese says it's "knowing that there is a pet at home that is healthier and happier because of something you accomplished that day."

Dr. Keese attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and was the president of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the California Veterinary Medical Association and his professional interests include soft tissue surgery and emergency medicine.

When not devoting time to keeping the hospital's patients happy and healthy, Dr. Keese cares for his own pets: Ranger (a German wirehaired pointer); Addison (a French bulldog); and Mango (a yellow-sided, green cheek conure). He and his wife Christy, who is a registered nurse, have three children, Merrin, Hallie, and Ryan. Dr. Keese loves being outdoors, especially hiking, fishing, and hunting.


Bakersfield VeterinarianIrene Takata, DVM

Dr. Irene Takata joined Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital in 2005. She earned her bachelor's degree in Biological Science from the University of Southern California and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

"It is satisfying to educate pet owners and treat pets using my veterinary training and experience," she says. "I am happy when a critically ill animal is treated, recovers and goes home."

Dr. Takata belongs to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, and the American Animal Hospital Association. Her professional interests include surgery and emergency medicine. She and her husband John, a physician, have three children: Jennifer, Jonathan, and Jamie. Outside work, she enjoys travel and movies. The family cares for two dogs, Julia and Jake.


Bakersfield VeterinarianJohn Allan Tolley, DVM

Dr. Tolley joined Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital's large animal practice in July 1983. He grew up in northern San Diego county and attended the University of Arizona, where he majored in agriculture and animal science and graduated with distinction. He then earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. He was a member of Phi Zeta, the veterinary medicine honor society.

Some of the childhood experiences that helped nurture Dr. Tolley's love of animals and inspire him to pursue a career in veterinary medicine include "the freedom of riding open country with my horse and dog; the love and uncritical affection of dogs; and raising and showing 4H swine for many years at the San Diego Fair."

As a large animal practitioner, Dr. Tolley appreciates "being able to employ all your intelligence, all your senses, and all your physicality on a daily basis" along with "being available to help someone make a bad day better."

Dr. Tolley belongs to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the California Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interests include dentistry, podiatry, internal medicine, and medical management of lameness.

Along with his professional memberships, Dr. Tolley is also involved with Bakersfield K9 Rescue, Marley's Mutts, and Backcountry Horseman of California. As a part of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, he participates in their equitarian workshop and attended their equitarian training mission in Vera Cruz, Mexico. He looks forward to being able to do more volunteer work with equines in Mexico and other developing countries.

At home, Dr. Tolley takes care of 6 cats, 3 dogs (Mijha, Joey, and Muffit) and 3 horses (PB, Charlie, and Gipsey). He is married to Michelle, who is a retired teacher and ranch wife. They have one daughter, Christine, who is a graduate student in education.


Bakersfield VeterinarianCharles Paul Ulrich, DVM

Dr. Charles Paul Ulrich joined Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital in 1989. A Vermont native, Dr. Ulrich says that he always wanted to become a veterinarian and feels lucky to have been able to fulfill his dream. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, and the Kern County Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interests include internal medicine, critical care, and avian medicine.

"I am very satisfied that BVH has grown to where it is today," he says. "We provide 24-hour care in a state-of-the-art facility. We have a wonderful staff and clientele — both of whom I enjoy seeing every day."

Dr. Ulrich attended the University of California, Davis where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences. In 1982, he received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University's School of Veterinary Medicine.

Outside the hospital, Dr. Ulrich takes care of a number of animals of his own: two dogs, an English Mastiff named Atticus and an Australian Shepherd named Ruby; three cats, a domestic shorthair named Romeo and two Bengal cats named Echo and Chaos; two horses, an Appaloosa named Danny, an American Paint horse; and a parrot named Icarus. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, gardening, cooking, wine collecting, and growing orchids. Dr. Ulrich is married with four adult children.


Bakersfield VeterinarianJulie E. Betts-Hislop, DVM

Dr. Julie E. Betts-Hislop joined the Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital team in May 2000 as an associate veterinarian. Growing up in Omaha, Neb., Dr. Betts-Hislop spent most of her time outside or at the stables. "I feel I literally was raised in a barn," she says. "Horses were my life, but I loved the interaction of the barn dogs and cats as well as my own pets."

Dr. Betts-Hislop attended the University of Nebraska Omaha and the University of Nebraska Lincoln and graduated with a bachelor's degree in animal science. She earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Betts-Hislop is a member of the Kern County Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association and her professional interests include internal medicine, dermatology, and ophthalmology.

"Every day is different!" she says of her experiences working at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital. "We can see some very challenging cases and to watch them improve is a great feeling. Experiencing the human-animal bond daily is wonderful."

In her spare time, Dr. Betts-Hislop enjoys riding horses, gardening, and cooking. She has a golden retriever named Ginger, a Vizsla named TidBit, two cats named Lovey and Marvin, and an Appendix Quarter Horse named Paladin.


Bakersfield VeterinarianLauren Blair, DVM

Dr. Blair joined Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital as an associate veterinarian in July 2011. A Bakersfield native, she earned her bachelor's degree in animal science from California Polytechnic State University and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College.

Prior to working at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Blair completed a small animal rotating internship at the Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group in Ventura, Ca. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and her professional interests include emergency and critical care and internal medicine.

Dr. Blair and her husband, Dr. Adam Landry, who is also a veterinarian at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital, have a son named Chase. Outside work, she enjoys spending time with family and taking her dogs, Finn, Austin, and Sheepy, on trail walks.


Bakersfield VeterinarianAdam Landry, DVM

Dr. Adam Landry has been an associate veterinarian with Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital since July 2011. Originally from Mystic, Conn., he earned his bachelor's degree in biology with a biotechnology concentration from Assumption College and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his professional interests include emergency and critical care, cardiology, and neurology.

Prior to working at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Landry completed a small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at California Animal Hospital in Los Angeles.

Dr. Landry is married to Dr. Lauren Blair, who is also a colleague at the hospital. They have a son named Chase. The family has three dogs: Finn, an Australian shepherd; Austin, an Australian shepherd; and Sheepy, a mixed breed. In his spare time, Dr. Landry enjoys running, lifting weights, and taking his dogs on trail walks.


Bakersfield VeterinarianHector Gonzalez Jr., DVM

Originally from McFarlard, California, Dr. Hector Gonzalez Jr. attended California State University at Bakersfield, then Fresno State, before moving to Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine for his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. He was recognized for his outstanding performance in equine reproduction.

His veterinary interests include all things related to equine medicine, but he is particularly passionate about dentistry, preventive medicine and sports medicine.

In his limited time off, Dr. Gonzalez enjoys anything outdoors; whether it be riding horses, spending time with his nieces and nephews, cooking, or traveling and discovering new places.