About Us


Laura Fontana, DVM


Dr. Laura Fontana is originally from Hockessin, DE. Laura was always drawn to animals; family pets included dogs, cats, guinea pigs, gerbils, a bird, and a turtle. She began horseback riding at the age of 7 and at the age of 11, acquired her own horse Paint with whom she competed in Hunter and Dressage events. Originally Dr Laura envisioned she would become a human orthopedic surgeon, but she found that a career as a veterinarian would best unite her fascination with animals and her medical interests and strengths.

Dr Laura earned an Honors degree in Animal Science from the University of Delaware in 2005 and then attended the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM). After graduating from VMRCVM in 2009, Dr Laura completed an internship at Fairfield Equine Associates, a sport horse referral practice, in Newtown, CT.

Following her internship, Dr Laura moved to Northern Virginia and worked part-time for 2 equine practices. In April 2011, she accepted an Associate position with Home Veterinary Care, a full service, ambulatory small animal practice, where she greatly expanded her medical, surgical, and management experience. To fulfill a long-term dream, in 2013, Dr Laura relocated to Southern California, where she has continued to provide veterinary care to dogs, cats, and horses.

Because Dr Laura deeply values the individualized patient care and customer service that mobile practice affords, she established Signature Veterinary Services, a small animal house call practice, in March 2014. Special areas of interest include medicine, imaging, and hospice/palliative care. Outside of work, Dr Laura enjoys running, hiking, weightlifting, horseback riding, snowboarding, traveling, watching NFL games, and spending time with family and friends. She shares her home with husband Chris, daughter Letty, and 2 dogs (Sugoi and Auggie).

Dee Fontana Dee and Madison

Certified Veterinary Assistant

Dee joined Signature Veterinary Services in August 2015.  Relocating from Wilmington, Delaware, Dee is excited and proud to join her daughter Dr Laura in growing her mobile veterinary practice.

Dee has worked for many years in the human medical field; she graduated with a degree in respiratory therapy in 1982 and then entered vascular surgery practice. Initially she worked as a registered vascular technician, performing noninvasive arterial and venous testing and subsequently, she functioned as a certified professional coder.

Over the years, Dee has provided much love and care as a pet owner (of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, gerbils, a turtle, and a bird); as a volunteer feline foster through the Delaware Humane Association; and also as a pet sitter for her neighbors’ dogs, cats, and chickens. She currently shares her life with 5 cats and a horse.

Dee is pursing a veterinarian assistant degree and continues with her volunteer work at the San Diego Humane Society.  She is happy to be able to combine her love of animals with her medical knowledge so as to provide compassionate and capable care. An extra benefit is that she can do so in beautiful California – no more long, cold, East Coast winters!

Abby Van Grol 

Veterinary Assistant

Abby, a San Diego native, has always had a passion for animals. She grew up with many family pets including dogs, cats, and horses. She also participated in raising pigs for 4H and FFA.

Additionally, Abby’s small animal experience has included assisting a professional dog trainer, showing Australian Shepherds, working as a grooming assistant and kennel technician, and also working as a nursery caregiver at The San Diego Humane Society. Above all, Abby has always had an extreme interest in veterinary medicine and has most enjoyed working as an assistant in veterinary clinics.

Outside of work Abby enjoys riding horses, jogging with her dogs, and spending time with her family. She shares her home with her husband, two kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 7 chickens.

Stacy Barraza, RVT 

Registered Veterinary Technician

Having joined the team in November 2016, Stacy is Signature Veterinary Services’ newest addition. From a very early age, Stacy knew that animals were her favorite people! She became a pet owner at the age of 3 after asking for a “kitty” for a birthday present. Animals, especially the ill or broken ones, just seem to find their way into Stacy’s care.

A Southern California native, Stacy completed a year of Animal Science course work at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and quickly recognized that becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) was the best fit for her future. She soon earned a degree in Animal Science at Mt San Antonio College in Walnut, California along with a Registered Veterinary Technician Certificate in 1989.

Over the last several decades, Stacy has gained experience through working for several veterinary hospitals as well as the Department of Animal Services, providing pet sitting services, and caring for many different types of domestic and wild animals. For the last 15 years, Stacy has volunteered in the rehabilitation and release of more than 100 juvenile orphaned opossums, a skunk, 2 kangaroo rats, a deer mouse, and more.

Stacy and her husband have 3 adult children and share their home with 2 dogs, 4 cats, 6 tortoises, and 11 hens. She enjoys working and playing outdoors, spending time with her family and pets, learning new things, cooking, gardening, and anything involving time at the Colorado River.

Chris Whitson Chris and Kai

Practice Manager

Chris is originally from Mount Ayr, Iowa. He grew up on a family farm where he helped with the livestock and family pets. Highly active in sports, he graduated from Buena Vista University with a Fitness/Sport Management degree in 2007. From there, Chris accepted a management position with Anytime Fitness and trained in two locations with the long-term goal of gym ownership.

In the fall of 2008, Chris answered his calling to serve his country and joined the United States Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer. His first duty station was in Lejeune, North Carolina; in 2013, his orders brought him to Camp Pendleton. It was here in Southern California that Chris and Dr Laura met.

Chris began to assist with Signature Veterinary Services upon its inception and has thereby gained experience with veterinary house-call practice. He enjoys the unique business model while implementing and expanding his managerial skills.

In April 2015, Chris and Dr Laura married and they combined families. Their “dog-ter” Sugoi and “dog-son” Auggie are best friends and love going on runs/walks and playing in their yard. While his practice management and Marine Corps officer duties keep him very busy, outside of work, Chris enjoys spending time with family and engaging in a variety of activities, including weightlifting, football, and basketball.