Our Staff
Candice Denham-Soquena, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Denham has had a passion for medicine from a very young age. She grew up in Missouri and later moved to Oklahoma where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Science and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Oklahoma State University. After graduation, she joined Kailua Animal Clinic in 2007. Dr. Denham's medical interests include naturopathic medicine (Chinese herbal medicine and nutritional therapy), ophthalmology, and ultrasound.

Dr. Denham is married to Thomas Soquena and just recently welcomed their second son Jakob into the world. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her sons Nicholas and Jakob.

Jill Yoshicedo, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Yoshicedo is a 2009 graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts. She grew up both in Kailua and on Maui, and is excited to have returned home to join the Kailua Animal Clinic team. Dr. Yoshicedo particularly enjoys exotic animal medicine, from rabbits and rats to cockatoos and chameleons. In addition to caring for goats and pot-bellied pigs, she serves as one of the island's few fish veterinarians. Other interests at work include soft tissue surgery, ultrasound, and dentistry. She currently serves as Executive Vice-President of the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Outside of the clinic, Dr. Yoshicedo enjoys exploring what remains of Hawaii's natural beauty, vermicomposting, and getting involved in Hawaiian conservation efforts from household waste reduction and supporting local agriculture to repopulation of native plants and animals. She is also compelled to advocate for social and environmental justice. Dr. Yoshicedo has an indoor cat and a rotating assortment of exotic animal fosters.

Jessie Krause, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Dr. Krause graduated in 2011 from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Truman State University, where she was a 2007 valedictorian. After graduation from vet school, Dr. Krause completed an internship at Coral Springs Animal Hospital, a busy general practice and referral center outside of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She spent the next 5 years working on the Big Island at Kona Veterinary Service in Kailua-Kona. Her professional interests include internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and clinical pathology. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent on the water in an outrigger canoe.

Brenda Smith, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Smith graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. She has practiced in Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and American Samoa. She is licensed in Veterinary Acupuncture and enjoys practicing complementary medicine. She also enjoys spay/neuter projects, local and international. When not working, Dr Smith likes traveling, paddling outrigger canoes or SUPs, hiking, biking, and yoga. She has a partner (Tim), two cats, and four chickens at home that constantly entertain her.

Pua Kirkhill, Hospital Manager
Pua was born and raised in Kula on the island of Maui. After graduating high school, she moved to the San Francisco Bay area to attend Menlo College, where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business. Pua has been a part of Kailua Animal Clinic since 2009. She enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, especially by hiking, going to the beach, barbecuing, and traveling.

Jeanie Blanchette, Office Manager
Jeanie is mainland born and raised. She attended the University of Nebraska with her undergraduate aspirations in Business Administration. She brings 20 years of experience in corporate team building, training, and development, and a decade of practical experience working in veterinary hospitals. As a lifelong animal lover, she keeps her two dogs and cat close by and is a volunteer at the Hawaiian Humane Society. Her hobbies include golf, SCUBA, working puzzles, and travel.

Laura Kahili, Office Assistant
Laura was born in Germany but grew up in Kailua. She is a graduate of Seattle University and has been with Kailua Animal Clinic since 2008. She loves surfing and playing with her three rowdy kittens. She can also be caught taking various art courses in town and making all sorts of crafty things including, but not limited to, knitting and crocheting.

Kiersten Kuwaye, Lead Veterinary Assistant
Kiersten was born and raised in Kailua, Hawaii. She recently graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science. She brought home from Oregon her bunny Bambam to join her pets here in Hawaii, including a Norwich Terrier named Pebbles and a goat named Bella. When not at work, she enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with her family and friends.

Kyri Hirata, Receptionist
More to come on Kyri...

Kelli Valdez, Receptionist
Kelli is a true island girl, born and raised on the windward side of Oahu, in both Kailua and Waimanalo. Kelli comes from a family of animal lovers whose pets have included bunnies, guinea pigs, Coconut the turtle, and many dogs - Mikiala, Pali, and Tuggz, to name a few. Today Kelli is a proud mommy of her little 4 lb, 4 year old chihuahua named Canolli. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying the beach on a hot sunny day, taking evening walks around Keolu Hills and Enchanted Lake with Canolli, or strolling around Target (her happy place).

Rebekah Lee, Receptionist
Rebekah was born and raised in Honolulu, but currently resides in Kailua. She recently graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a BA in English. While she and her in-laws have been clients of the clinic for many years, it wasn't until 2017 that Rebekah officially joined the KAC team as a receptionist. Since then, she has continued to learn and grow through her daily interactions with co-workers and clients, and enjoys meeting every face -- human and animal alike -- that comes through the clinic. When not at work, Rebekah can be found with her head in a book, watching the latest Game of Thrones episode with her husband, trying out one of the many new eateries on the island (to say she loves food would be an understatement), or playing with her three cats: Uki, Mapo (Maya Popoki), and Bukowski.

Christina Green, Veterinary Assistant
Christina was born and raised in Kailua. She attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa and graduated with a bachelors of arts degree in Sociology in 2016. She enjoys being outside hiking in the mountains or swimming at the beach. She currently has two dogs, a blue heeler/border collie mix named Bandit and a chihuahua/min pin mix named Cassie, as well as a parrot named Gruffy.

Taylor Gonzalez, Veterinary Assistant
Taylor grew up in Massachusetts with cats, dogs, hamsters, and ferrets. She moved to Hawaii in 2016 and is currently in school to become a certified positive-reinforcement dog trainer. When not at work, she enjoys hiking and going to the beach with her 2-year-old Husky-Malamute mix named Kai.

Nicole Viena, Veterinary Assistant
More to come on Nicole...

Cody Russell, Animal Care Attendant
More to come on Cody...

Darla Richards, Animal Care Attendant
More to come on Darla...

Sydney Borton, Animal Care Attendant
More to come on Sydney...

Erika Richardson, Animal Care Attendant
More to come on Erika...

Jessica Garcia, Receptionist
Jessica is from Aspen, Colorado. She enjoys snowboarding and cross country skiing, but moved away from the snow to Oahu in 2018. Here she loves hiking and going to the beach. She considers herself a food snob and enjoys good wine.

Kendra Kyles, Receptionist
Kendra was born on Oahu but raised in Hilo. She graduated with the class of 2018 from Waiakea High School. She has grown up around animals her whole life as her mother runs the rescue Aloha Ilio Rescue. Kendra moved back to Oahu in 2018 where she joined the Kailua Animal Clinic family. Kendra enjoys going to the beach, eating, and of course, receiving puppy kisses.

Cheynell Kapololu, Receptionist
Cheynell was born and raised in Kailua, and attended Kalaleo High School. She has two puppies: Kaya, an American bulldog and blue heeler mix, and Mimosa, a pocket American bulldog. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out at the beach with a fresh spicy ahi poke bowl and an ice cold Arizona tea while watching her pups run around in the sand!

Katie Mckee, Receptionist
More to come on Katie...

Noah Makela, Veterinary Assistant
More to come on Noah...

Jack, Clinic Cat
Jack came to Kailua Animal Clinic as an orphaned kitten seven years ago, and has since made himself right at home. He spends his days laying about the clinic and pouncing on KAC staff members. Don't let his handsome good looks fool you; he prefers the company of cats over people and is often a complete grump. His favorite things are eating, sleeping, playing with catnip, and drinking running water from a faucet.



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Last updated 2019 February 14.