Medical Director, Veterinarian
Efrain Vassallo, D.V.M.
Dr. Efrain Vassallo was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and is fluent in Spanish and English. He knew from a young age he wanted to become a veterinarian. Dr. Vassallo said the movie “Jurassic Park” was what first interested him in animals and science.
“I was amazed by the biology and science, so for the longest time I wanted to be a paleontologist,” Dr. Vassallo said. “But then I realized all those animals were dead, so I switched goals after that.”
Dr. Vassallo started his education at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez as a pre-Vet student before graduating from Lousiana State University in 2016 with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. During his time at university, Dr. Vassallo worked with an orthopedic surgeon in Puerto Rico, and at private practices in Las Vegas and Texas. Most of his externships were small animals, but he has some experience with farm animals.
“I really like interacting with clients and pet owners, so that’s why I prefer small animals,” Dr. Vassallo said.
During his externship in Las Vegas, Dr. Vassallo saw that there were better opportunities to learn more about animal medicine and decided to relocate to Nevada. He is interested in surgery, internal medicine, and working with “misunderstood patients.”
In his spare time, Dr. Vassallo enjoys exploring the Las Vegas area, trying different types of food, reading, working out, and traveling to places like Zion National Park and Phoenix. He and his girlfriend have a Greyhound named Callie, a three-legged cat named Squanchy, a Pitbull-mix named Groot, and a senior cat named Hagrid.
Assistant Medical Director, Veterinarian
Krystal Chinchilla, D.V.M.
Dr. Krystal Chinchilla was born and raised in Northwest Indiana. Throughout her childhood, she grew up with a variety of animals, including two dogs, three birds, two mice, two hamsters, 12 cats, and several fish.
She attributes her desire to become a veterinarian from an early age to this “zoo.” She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science with minors in Biology and Philosophy from Purdue University in 2016. During her undergrad, she studied abroad in Ireland for six months, where she began working in a parasitology lab.
Dr. Chinchilla continued working in parasitology labs during both her undergraduate and veterinary schooling, producing two peer reviewed publications, and one poster on her research. She graduated with her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 2020.
It was at Iowa State that Dr. Chinchilla met her husband, who was an international student from Costa Rica studying livestock genetics.
After graduating, Dr. Chinchilla, her husband, and their four pets made the cross country trek to Las Vegas to join the team at Aliante Animal Hospital in June 2020.
Her main interests in veterinary medicine include parasitology, internal medicine, and ophthalmology. At home, she has two dogs named Tico and Finn, and two cats named Millie and Squid, who are her world.
During her free time, Dr. Chinchilla likes hiking, baking, and drawing/painting.
Joshua Scharf, D.V.M.
Dr. Joshua Scharf grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, and is the middle child of three brothers, alongside numerous pets including dogs, cats, rats, sugar gliders, hamsters, and chameleons.
He found out at a very young age his passion was helping animals. Dr. Scharf completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Prior to starting veterinary school, he worked as a zookeeper, caring for large hoofstock. While working at a zoo, he met his now fiancé. Dr. Scharf received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Virginia-Maryland College 2020. His professional interests include pathology, internal medicine, and neurology.
Dr. Scharf has three dogs at home named Dekker, Summer, and Ghost, all with tons of personality. During his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, hiking, playing board games, and spending time with friends and family.
Brian Redmond, D.V.M.
Growing up near Boise, Idaho, Dr. Brian Redmond, and his dogs would watch countless hours of Animal Planet and be enamored by wildlife expert, Steve Irwin. From an early age, Dr. Redmond was deemed the neighborhood’s favorite and most trusted pet sitter, which strengthened his interest in animal compassion. This advocacy continued into his teenage years as he repaired a bird sanctuary, helping him become an Eagle Scout.
Dr. Redmond graduated from Brigham Young University—Idaho with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Organismic Biology. During his time as an undergrad, he shadowed local veterinarians and interned with Yellowstone Bear World. It was during his internship that he gained a unique experience working with black and grizzly bears, wolves, deer, elk, bison, and countless other species. Dr. Redmond went on to attend Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine (Go Cougs!). In 2020, he completed his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. His interests in animal medicine include anesthetic management, dentistry, and cardiology.
Dr. Redmond and his wife are proud parents of two children, with one on the way. He is also teaching his children to love and care for animals. In his free time, he likes to kick back and watch a good college football or basketball game or engage in a competitive card or board game with friends and family.
Larissa Muñoz, D.V.M.
Dr. Larissa Muñoz is a Las Vegas native and a former extern of Craig Road Animal Hospital, and currently interning at Aliante Animal Hospital.
From a young age, Dr. Muñoz knew she wanted to work with animals. Her mother encouraged her to try different career paths, including architecture, golfing, and dancing. But Dr. Muñoz said she always found her way back to veterinary medicine.
“I’ve always been an animal lover since I was little and I’ve always been drawn towards studying veterinary medicine in my later years of schooling,” Dr. Muñoz said.
She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from St. Matthew’s University in the Cayman Islands. She completed her clinical year at Washington State University in Spokane, Washington. Dr. Muñoz received her Bachelor’s in Veterinary Science from the University of Nevada, Reno, and obtained her MBA in Health Care Concentration during her first three years of vet school.
During her studies in Reno and the Grand Cayman Islands, Dr. Muñoz volunteered at local animal shelters. She also volunteered for local shelters in Las Vegas. Dr. Muñoz trained puppies for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Program, which she said was her favorite experience during her undergrad.
Dr. Muñoz said she’s most interested in cardiology cases and enjoys doing surgery. Outside of work, Dr. Muñoz enjoys playing golf and was on her high school’s golfing team for four years.
She has two, 3-year-old chocolate labs named Bonnie and Clyde who are the light of life.
Carlos Baez, D.V.M.
Dr. Carlos Baez is a graduate of Ross University and is from Caguas, Puerto Rico. Dr. Baez grew up in Puerto Rico and slowly realized he wanted to work in veterinary medicine. He said that taking his family’s dogs to a local vet office was what first interested him in animal medicine.
“I began shadowing at that same clinic and I was there for a good three to four years before applying to vet school,” Dr. Baez said. He said he first worked as a kennel assistant, making sure that the animals were being taken care of before he started working as a veterinary assistant. Dr. Baez said that gaining experience at the animal clinic helped cement his desire to become a veterinarian.
Dr. Baez attended the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey where he majored in Natural Sciences. He continued working at the animal clinic during the weekends while in school. After graduating, Dr. Baez applied to several veterinary medical schools in the United States mainland but was not accepted. Dr. Baez applied to Ross University a year later and was accepted.
During his time at Ross University, Dr. Baez did all kinds of volunteer work. He volunteered for a conservation program in Guatemala that helped rehab and reintegrate animals into their natural habitat, as well as a mongoose research project in St. Kitts and Nevis, where Ross University is located. Dr. Baez also volunteered for a veterinarian in South Africa that tracked and moved animals and visited various dairy farms checking cows and other animals.
Dr. Baez said he’s most interested in surgery, dermatology, ophthalmology, cardiology, and internal medicine. He also said he’s really interested in treating heartworms and heartworm medication.
Dr. Baez is engaged to Dr. Ciara Peace, who works at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital. Together, they own four cats, a Pomeranian, and a ball python. In his spare time, Dr. Baez enjoys watching Netflix, traveling across the country, and hiking.
Shreya Gowda, D.V.M.
Dr. Shreya Gowda is a graduate of Michigan State University and is from San Jose, California. Dr. Gowda said she knew from a young age that she wanted to become a veterinarian.
“It was always one of those things,” she said. “My sister wanted to be a lawyer, and I always wanted to be a vet, so that’s how people differentiated between us.”
Growing up in the Bay Area, Dr. Gowda didn’t have many pets due to her mother’s allergies and her dad being uncomfortable around most animals. Her family did own a pet rabbit, but it was kept outside. Dr. Gowda said she would love to have pets of her own one day now that she’s relocated to the Las Vegas area.
She received her Bachelor’s in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Master’s in Lab Animal Science from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Gowda worked for a couple of years at local animal clinics in the Bay Area before attending Drexel for her Master’s.
Dr. Gowda has volunteered with the Oakland Zoo and has worked in shelter medicine. She did an externship at an emergency hospital in San Diego while attending Michigan State, as well as other clinics throughout California. Dr. Gowda said she’s really interested in exotic pet care and dentistry.
In her spare time, Dr. Gowda enjoys a good Netflix binge and describes herself as a homebody.