About Pine Animal Hospital

Your neighborhood Long Beach pet hospital

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Steven Manyak, DVM – “Dr. Steve”

Lead Veterinarian
I’m always looking for new treatments and technology, or simple dietary adjustments that have a big impact on my patients

Dr. Steve grew up with a lot of animals in the house: cats, dogs, lizards, cockatiels, chickens, guinea pigs – you name it. As is the case for many children, they were more than just animals to him – they were playmates and friends (and sometimes partners in crime). However, one experience in particular turned him on to practicing medicine. When Dr. Steve was about 8 years old, he woke up to find his beloved dog Lucy (a Beagle-Basset Hound mix) convulsing. The only person who was home was his 84-year-old grandma who did not drive. Helpless, Dr. Steve held Lucy, trying his best to keep her comfortable. Unfortunately, Lucy died in his arms that day, and he made a vow to devote himself to learning medicine so that he would never experience that kind of awful helplessness again.

During and after college Dr. Steve conducted extensive medical research, participating in studies that have led to groundbreaking advances in treating blood and bone cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. With his family’s insistence, he then attended medical school, where he continued to be involved in cardiovascular research in addition to his general medical studies. Although he was intellectually challenged by human medicine and medical research, Dr. Steve felt something was missing. His heart was still drawn to helping animals. Following some soul searching, he decided to switch paths and attend veterinary school.

After working at several veterinary hospitals, Dr. Steve decided to open Pine Animal Hospital with the goal of providing the best possible experience for clients, along with the best possible care for their pets. When he is not at the hospital, Dr. Steve enjoys spending time with friends, playing tennis, hanging out on the beach, and playing with his dogs Mia (a Beagle) and Ollie (a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel).

Melissa Whitaker

Manager

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Melissa began her career in veterinary medicine in 2001 at a veterinary hospital in her hometown of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. In 2004, she moved to Long Beach and continued to work as a veterinary receptionist and was promoted to manager. Her favorite part of her job at Pine Animal Hospital is helping people’s pets stay happy and healthy. She also loves getting to know the clients – other animal lovers are her favorite people! She spends her free time with her son Preston.

Melanie Straughn

Technician

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Melanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and Communications from Whittier College. After spending time working in the performing arts and fashion industries, she felt that there was a career out there that would be more fulfilling. As a life-long animal lover, Melanie turned to the veterinary field. She is a proud graduate of the Registered Veterinary Technician Program at Mt. San Antonio College. One of her favorite things about working at Pine Animal Hospital is providing care and comfort to both animals and their owners. Melanie is a native Southern Californian. In her spare time she enjoys visiting Disneyland and hanging out with her best friend, Zoey, an Alaskan Malamute.

Tina Montoya, RVT

Head Technician

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Tina has worked in the veterinary field for over 25 years. One of Tina’s many passions is contributing to the well-being of all animals. She became a registered veterinary technician (RVT) after graduating from Mount San Antonio College. In her free time Tina enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her three dogs, Dexter (a Yorkie), Lady Bug (a Poodle), and Sterling (also a Poodle).

Angela Bustamante

Technician

Angela grew up with many pets, and always knew that the animal care field was for her. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in zoology in 2014 from UC Santa Barbara, and is currently enrolled in the Veterinary Technician degree program with Penn Foster College. While Living in Santa Barbara, Angela was working for an emergency animal hospital, as well as volunteering with the giraffes and gorillas at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Here in Long Beach, her favorite part of her job is all the different pet personalities she gets to meet and helping make sure they stay happy and healthy.

Ivana Escobedo

Receptionist

Ivana has been very passionate about animals since she was a little girl. She is currently attending Cypress City College as a student-athlete playing her 2nd year of sand volleyball and working hard on her goal of transferring to a 4 year university to hopefully become a Veterinarian herself. Ivana’s goal in life is to travel the world and help rescue endangered species and rehabilitate them. She has been rescuing unwanted animals for several years. Her household currently consists of 2 dogs(Cookie & Allie) and 3 cats(Luke, Leiah,& Nala).

Sandra Robles

Technician

Sandra has been in the Veterinary field since 2005. Growing up she had a pet chicken, tortoise, and parakeets, she always wanted to have dogs and cats but was unable to because of allergies. As an adult Sandra chose to work with dogs and cats anyway because they are wonderful animals and she loves helping with their wellbeing. She can’t imagine doing anything else for the rest of her life.

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