Meet our Team of Talented Specialists

Doctors

Dr. Jill Williamson, Board-Certified Emergency and Critical Care Specialist, Medical Director of Emergency and Specialty Services, and AIMSS Founder

After graduating from veterinary school in Iowa, Dr. Williamson headed to the west coast and has been in California ever since. She practiced in emergency and specialty hospitals in Northern California prior to starting her ACVECC residency in 2002. Dr. Williamson completed her residency in Emergency and Critical Care at the Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of East County in La Mesa, California.

Dr. Williamson puts her advanced skills in critical care to work when a pet’s condition becomes life threatening. After making an initial assessment, she stabilizes the patient, and then provides continuous support and monitoring based on patient needs. Life-saving therapy may require IV fluids, blood or plasma transfusions, mechanical ventilation, oxygen support, surgery, nutritional delivery, and pain control. Dr. Williamson delivers cutting-edge expertise with compassion and love.

“Critical care is the core of medicine; it requires intimate knowledge of physiology. Although deeply challenging on intellectual and emotional levels, critical care can be amazingly rewarding.”

Dr. Williamson spends her free time riding both road and mountain bikes, exploring the culinary scene of Northern California, and hiking.

Dr. Dorrie Black, Board-Certified Emergency and Critical Care Specialist

Dr. Black is a fifth generation Californian, raised in Danville. After completing both her DVM and MPVM degrees at UC Davis and her small animal internship in San Diego, she went east to train in the field of veterinary emergency and critical care medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“I specialized in emergency and critical care medicine to be the best veterinarian I could be for critically ill dogs and cats. I love the variety and different things that we see every day. No one single day is ever the same. I love the collaboration with my fellow veterinarians at AIMSS and seeing my patients get better.”

Her special areas of interest include respiratory diseases, coagulation disorders, and antimicrobial therapy. Dr. Black is widely published and speaks frequently on topics in emergency and critical care.

Dr. Black is thrilled to be back home in Northern California. When she is not at the hospital, she enjoys the great outdoors, especially trail running and kayaking. Her furry companions, Chloe, Butter, and Freeway, are at her side during her many adventures.

Dr. Sophie Dennison, Board-Certified Radiologist and AIMSS Partner

Dr. Dennison performs ultrasound, radiography, CT, and MRI, providing noninvasive evaluations of the internal organs and allowing abnormalities to be identified and characterized. In many cases, the appropriate application of these scientific methods means that unnecessary surgery may be avoided.

Dr. Dennison states, “I love the hands-on approach of ultrasound services. I enjoy all aspects of diagnostic imaging and believe in employing state-of-the-art technology to achieve the most efficient and appropriate imaging for the accurate diagnosis of the individual patient.”

As Medical Director of Specialty Services, Dr. Dennison provides guidance, oversight, and quality assurance for patients under the care of the board-certified specialists at AIMSS. She promotes ongoing education of specialists to ensure that practices are based on the newest research and technology. She uses her broad range of expertise to work with the team of specialists to develop the appropriate treatment plan for optimal care.

A native of the UK, Dr. Dennison received her veterinary training at the University of Edinburgh. She completed her radiology residency at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and achieved board certification in Small Animal Radiology in 2009.

Skilled in the diagnostic imaging of domestic, avian, and marine mammal species, she is widely published and consults locally, nationally, and internationally on cross-sectional imaging cases.

When not working, Dr. Dennison enjoys skiing, playing ice hockey, and hiking. She also loves watching British TV and hanging out with her two cavaliers, Brie and Devon.

Dr. James Farese, Board Certified Small Animal Surgeon

Graduating from the University of Florida in 1994 with his degree in Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Farese completed an Internship and then a Surgical Residency at Cornell University in 1998 followed by a Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University in 2006. He was awarded Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1999 and in 2012 he was recognized by the ACVS as a Founding Fellow of Surgical Oncology. He was on the Faculty at the University of Florida from 1998 to 2011 and since then has been in private specialty practice in the San Francisco Bay area. Dr. Farese is highly skilled in all areas of small animal surgery and particularly enjoys performing challenging soft tissue oncological surgeries.