Meet Our Doctors
Dr. Natasha Clarke grew up as an outdoor enthusiast with a love of all animals, not just the ones we commonly see at Valley Center Veterinary Clinic. She worked in the rain or snow at poultry farms, swine farms, a pine marten sanctuary, and even supervised a wild animal park.
Her father was in the military which taught her the discipline she needed to make it into the veterinary profession. Her mother stayed at home and taught the values of love, compassion for all life, and what it means to help others in need.
Guided by her heart and these valuable skills, she applied to vet school after completing an animal science degree with a minor in business.
She studied at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Canada where she was given the small animal surgery award from her professors. After graduating in 2005, she completed an intensive one-year internship in Los Angeles where she gained considerable experience working alongside various specialists. She then moved to San Diego where she worked as an emergency veterinarian and expanded her abilities by learning ultrasound and surgical laser skills. She purchased Valley Center Vet Clinic in 2010.
Her compassion isn’t only for animals, though. Dr. Clarke is passionate about movements that reach out to and support the homeless, the poor, and the forgotten. She loves to read and practice meditation, and enjoys hiking and deep, meaningful conversations.
She is excited to bring her personal and professional skills to Valley Center. Driven by a passion to provide the best care for her patients, Dr. Clarke strives to treat your pets like her own. She is known to be caring, knowledgeable and thorough with every animal that walks through the doors of the clinic. She has four pets of her own, and a beautiful baby girl. She says “They are always reminding me to be patient, loving and compassionate. Their love is unconditional – as mine should be to others.”
Dr. Elizabeth Benson grew up in a small town along the Chesapeake Bay. From the time she was a small child, she dreamed of helping to comfort and heal all animals. She moved to New England where she graduated from the University of New Hampshire and then completed a degree in Veterinary Medicine at Atlantic Veterinary College. Here she was awarded the Compassion Award from her professors.
Following veterinary school, she completed an internship where she was given the opportunity to practice with board-certified surgeons and internal medicine specialists.
She believes all veterinarians need to offer a peaceful transition for pets in their last moments. So she created an at-home pet euthanization service called Paws Into Grace to help provide pets with the opportunity to leave us with grace and dignity while surrounded by those they love most. Paws Into Grace has grown to include home hospice pet care which offers nutrition counseling, acupuncture, grief resources, and pain management for our aging pets.
She was trained by the Chi Institute of Florida to perform animal acupuncture in 2014. Equipped with this ancient Chinese practice, she has been helping animals throughout Valley Center, Escondido, and San Diego.
Dr. Amy Ito grew up in South County, San Diego and graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 1996. She received her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from The University of California, Davis in 2001, and then went on to complete a one-year internship in medicine and surgery at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego. During this year she gained invaluable experience in areas of internal medicine, surgery, neurology, ophthalmology and emergency medicine. She became a member of our team in 2011.
Dr. Ito has been a Valley Center resident since 2004 and loves that she can serve her own community by caring for and treating animals in need. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, along with her dogs and her kitty, Yoda. She works every Monday and looks forward to meeting both you and your pets.
With three amazing vets at Valley Center Veterinary Clinic, you don’t need to spend time on Google searching for “best veterinarians near me.” You found them!