Dr. Megan Dispenza was in the seventh grade when she first came across the idea of becoming an animal doctor. She took an aptitude test, which stated that she was meant to become either a landscaper or a veterinarian—Dr. Dispenza happily chose the latter! By the time she was falling in love with the sciences a few years later, her mind was made up. Dr. Dispenza hasn’t looked back since and is now proud to serve the area’s pets and animal owners as an Associate Veterinarian. Dr. Dispenza grew up on a dairy farm near Lake Erie in northern Ohio, where her early experiences in agricultural education laid the foundation for her eventual career in animal healthcare. Her professional education led her from Ohio to Arizona, and eventually here to California—Dr. Dispenza first started helping out with surgery cases here at the Animal Medical Center of Redlands a few years ago, and is now a full-fledged member of the hospital family and can be found tending to pets’ needs here at the clinic two days per week. As a vet, Dr. Dispenza especially enjoys dermatological work and the immediate relief it can provide her patients. She also loves surgery—orthopedic and soft-tissue procedures are her favorite—and working with particularly difficult behavioral cases. Most of all, Dr. Dispenza enjoys using her skill set to improve the lives of not only pets but the loving owners who care for them as well. When time permits away from work, Dr. Dispenza enjoys exercising, cooking, and enjoying her favorite plant-based dishes, and spending quality time with her family and pets at home. She has two wonderful sons and also shares her life with multiple horses and dogs, a know-it-all cat, and a long-lived fish.
Dr. Louis Burch grew up in Little Rock Arkansas and lived with his grandmother and grandfather. His grandfather, Dr. Gebauer, was a PhD bacteriologist and had a great influence on his life and even though he died when Dr. Burch was young he contributed significantly to him becoming a veterinarian. His grandfather was multitalented and always encouraged Dr. Burch to follow in his footsteps. He introduced Dr. Burch to innumerable hobbies one of which was model airplane building. At that time building models required some modicum of manual dexterity. Later that skill benefited him immeasurably with good eye/hand coordination which greatly contributed to his ability to perform surgery. Since early childhood Dr. Burch has always been deeply connected to animals of all kinds. Back in the day (1950) one could order exotic animals of all kinds from Florida. Being a kid, he thought this was a great opportunity to start his own personal zoo! One afternoon after another lovely day at school, his grandmother met him at the front door tapping her foot and saying “there is a 2’ alligator in my kitchen sink!” He was very excited that his alligator had arrived but somehow his grandmother did not share his enthusiasm. However, she finally put her foot down after his 24 snapping turtles arrived and then he proceeded to dig up the backyard to make a proper pond for his new pets. His grandmother’s house was constantly overrun with dogs, cats, bantam chickens, pheasants, pigeons, hawks, owls, frogs, lizards and yes numerous snakes which he kept in his room. As you might imagine most of his meager allowance was spent on buying food for his growing “zoo” and as he reflects back on it, that money was money well spent. Dr. Burch knew from a young age that his calling was to become a Veterinarian. He did, however, encounter a few obstacles along the way. As an example, when he consulted his “esteemed” guidance counselor during his senior year of high school and confided in her that he wanted to be a Veterinarian, she said “oh honey, you are not near smart enough to be a Veterinarian but you might be able to drive a truck or something like that”. His reply was “Just watch me”. He enrolled at the University of Arkansas in pre-Veterinary Medicine and after two years was fortunately selected as one of the 3 out-of-state applicants to attend Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine. He graduated from Veterinary school in 1963 during the Vietnam conflict and was “invited” by his local draft board to do his part for the “peace effort”. Fortunately, he only had to spend a short time in the jungles of Vietnam to care for and treat the injured sentry dogs. (The less time he spent there the better as far as he was concerned!). He was pleased to return to the states with both his life and some semblance of sanity. (As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.) Dr. Burch served his country for 15 total years as an Air Force Veterinarian—he was stationed in Germany, China, Colorado, Texas, and Japan—before deciding to settle in California and launch his career in private practice. He purchased a small free-standing building in downtown Redlands and set about remodeling it into a veterinary clinic; after many laborious hours and a large bank loan, Dr. Burch opened the doors for business! On opening day, his only patient was a sick goldfish in a milk bottle—even though his grand opening was somewhat anticlimactic, the clinic soon outgrew its facility, and Dr. Burch purchased a 5,000-square-foot building a short distance away. The Animal Medical Center of Redlands has been at this location for 38 years, and likely to stay here! For Dr. Burch, the greatest joy of his work is the ability for him to make a difference in the quality of life for both pets and their owners. Making a positive impact for as many patients as he can is a dream come true! Even after 55 years, Dr. Burch still enjoys coming to work every single day to help others live happier, healthier lives. Even though Dr. Burch devoted his entire adult life to the practice of Veterinary Medicine, he found time to pursue several diverse hobbies. He collects old caterpillar tractors (approximately 100) which range in size from a D8 (60K LBS) to a CAT10 (which fits easily in the back of a pickup truck). He also has a collection of radio-controlled boats (approximately 50) and radio-controlled tanks which weigh up to 250lbs each. Another one of his hobbies is collecting antique cars and trucks. The oldest truck he owns currently is a 1916 Pierce Arrow which was used in WWI. Maintenance of all of these treasures (some would say junk) is almost a full-time job and keeps him out of trouble. When he isn’t maintaining his diverse collections or tending to pets’ needs here at the hospital, Dr. Burch can be found spending quality time with his family. He and his wife, Darlene (Head Veterinary Assistant here at the Animal Medical Center of Redlands!) have two children: Nicole, who serves as the clinic’s Hospital Administrator, does everything necessary to make the hospital run smoothly. Brandon is currently in his third year of college and “may” become a veterinarian in due time. His son-in-law, Levi, works as a Veterinary Assistant and is also on duty 24/7 (Would this be called a family-centered business?) Yes!!!. As a hobby, Dr. Burch’s wife and daughter raise show sheep which most would consider a full-time job seeing as the flock is almost up to 100 head. Dr. Burch and Darlene share their home with many pets: a Bernese Mountain dog; an Akbash; a French Bulldog; a Miniature Pinscher; a Chihuahua (which was found in Fontana with a shattered pelvis); a Dachshund mix; and about 100 koi fish ranging in size from 8”-2’ which happily live in Nicole’s old swimming pool much to her chagrin.
Veterinary medicine is truly in Nicole’s blood—she’s the daughter of Dr. Burch and Darlene, and has quite literally grown up here at the hospital. She’s known that she wanted to work hands-on with animals ever since she was a little girl. Now, Nicole has been serving the pets and animal parents of the Redlands area for over a decade! A Redlands native, Nicole grew up raising livestock in the 4-H organization and was only 13 years old when she first started working here at the hospital. She began as an Animal Care Provider before becoming a Veterinary Assistant, then served as a Client Service Representative until she took on the role of Hospital Administrator in the spring of 2014. Nicole’s favorite part of her job is working alongside her compassionate, skilled team to better the lives of the community’s families—knowing that she’s able to make a true impact is an ultimate reward! Nicole and her husband—the Animal Medical Center of Redlands’ very own Levi—share their lives with their beautiful daughter, Hadley, and a number of pets. They have four French Bulldogs named Maggie Mae, Hennie, Herbert, and Hazel; a pair of Bernese Mountain dogs who go by Alexa and Delilah; and two rescued cats named Penelope and Meredith Grey. Outside of work, Nicole likes clay-pigeon shooting with her husband, fishing, and visiting the zoo or Disneyland on weekends off. She also shows sheep and miniature cattle across the country alongside her mother—their crowning achievement so far was winning Supreme Champion Ram at the San Diego County Fair!
For Levi, veterinary medicine is truly a family affair—his wife, Nicole, is the clinic’s Hospital Administrator, and he’s Dr. Burch and Darlene’s son-in-law! He couldn’t be happier to use his skill set to better the lives of pets every day. Levi even plans on advancing his animal-care journey in the future and hopes to become a veterinarian himself. Levi is originally from Rosamond, California, and began his veterinary career at a farm, where he loaded hay and feed for large animals. It was there that he first met Nicole, who introduced him to small-animal medicine. When Nicole asked if he would like to come work alongside her and her family here at the Animal Medical Center of Redlands, Levi didn’t hesitate! He’s been a member of the team since the summer of 2014 and serves the area’s pets and animal parents as a Veterinary Assistant. Medically, Levi is fond of orthopedic surgery and also likes the challenges associated with internal medicine cases. Most of all, he loves knowing that he’s made a lasting difference—nothing beats the look on a pet owner’s face when they’re reunited with their beloved companion! Levi and Nicole have a wonderful daughter, Hadley, and also share their home with six dogs and a pair of cats. At least four of the dogs come to work with Levi and Nicole every day! When time permits between his duties here at the hospital and busy family life, Levi likes to fish and go clay-pigeon shooting in the great outdoors.
Darlene has felt a special bond with animals ever since her earliest days. She was only 10 years old when she started raising and showing cattle and sheep in the 4-H program, and it only deepened her appreciation and respect for the earth’s creatures. For Darlene, another career path simply wasn’t an option. She’s now enjoyed a nearly 40-year career in animal medicine and hasn’t regretted a single moment! Darlene was born in Arizona but moved to Redlands with her family at the age of four. She was only 15 when she started working full-time as a dog groomer, and it wasn’t long before she took another position at a nearby boarding facility. When Darlene was offered a role at a local veterinary hospital, she jumped at the chance to learn more about animal healthcare hands-on. Next, Darlene transitioned to a bird-only practice for a short time before joining the team here at the Animal Medical Center of Redlands. She’s been here ever since! Darlene still spends much of her time away from work showing livestock, often alongside her daughter. She also loves to spend quality time with her family and pets at home. She and her husband—owner and chief veterinarian of the Animal Medical Center of Redlands, Dr. Louis Burch—have two children, Nicole and Brandon, as well as two wonderful grandchildren named Ezekiel and Hadley. The animal portion of the family includes more than 90 sheep, a bull, two calves, two miniature Zebu cows, seven dogs, a cat, a macaw, and two desert tortoises.
Mayra grew up in Corona, California, but spent countless hours on her family’s ranch in beautiful Oaxaca, Mexico during her childhood years—there, she helped to care for everything from horses, cows, and dogs to goats, chickens, sheep, and pigs. It wasn’t difficult for her to develop a passion for animal care early on in life! Mayra’s laser focus hasn’t wavered, and she now cares for pets every day as a member of the hospital family. Mayra has worked in the veterinary field for over five years, and was thrilled to join the Animal Medical Center of Redlands team in the fall of 2017 as a Client Service Representative. One of her favorite parts of the job is working alongside a team of animal-lovers just like herself, and she especially likes to form relationships with the area’s pet owners over time. In her time away from work, Mayra enjoys visiting amusement parks, zoos, and aquariums with her children, and she also loves to show her kids her family roots on trips to Mexico. She and her two sons, Damian and Adrian, share their home with a pair of loveable dogs. Candi is a cuddle-loving Yorkshire Terrier, and Tank the Mastiff is a gentle giant who likes to think he’s a five-pound puppy.
When Becky first stumbled into the world of pet grooming, she had no idea that it would change the course of her life. As fate would have it, she fell in love with the field and has been doing it ever since—Becky is now proud to have been bathing and grooming pets professionally for more than 30 years! Becky grew up in Fontana, California, and started at her very first pet shop there in 1985, working as a dog bather. She quickly worked her way up to a grooming position and remained there for many years. Next, she worked at another local pet store before securing her first job in a veterinarian’s office. Becky joined the Animal Medical Center of Redlands family in 2007 and has been making the area’s pets look and feel their absolute best ever since. When she isn’t sprucing up pets here at the hospital, Becky enjoys spending quality time with her three children and three wonderful grandchildren. She also shares her life with many pets. Becky has five Chihuahuas—Squirt, the spoiled brat of the bunch; Baby Girl, who likes to bully her canine brethren; Otis, the eldest who prefers hiding under blankets; vocal Pixie, who barks at Becky whenever she wants something; and outdoors-loving Snickers—as well as a pair of Boxers named Bentley and Roxie, a cat, and two turtles.
Animal Medical Center of Redlands
340 North 6th Street
Redlands, CA 92374
For general information, questions, appointment requests, call us at:
Monday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Tuesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Wednesday 7:30am - 12:00pm
Thursday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Friday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Saturday 7:30am - 12:00pm