Meet Our Team

Dr. Laura Whitelaw, DVM

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Laura Whitelaw has always had a interest in working with animals. She decided to explore life on the east coast and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Connecticut College in New London, CT in 2012. While in school she was able to work part-time in a clinic in Mystic, CT to gain valuable experience. She then headed south and received her DVM from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, VA in 2017.

Dr. Whitelaw was an active volunteer throughout veterinary school with World Vets, a non-profit organization that provides free veterinary care internationally. She was able to travel twice to Roatan, Honduras to provide medical and surgical care to rescued native wildlife populations.  During her fourth year of Veterinary school she was able to pursue many different externships including exotic companion medicine, sea turtle medicine, primate medicine, and wildlife medicine and surgery. After graduation, she moved back across the country to Eugene, OR where she worked as an associate veterinarian at Companion Animal Clinic in Springfield, OR surrounded by amazing mentors and staff. She is now excited to be back in California providing high-quality care to the patients of Bear Valley Animal Clinic! Her passions include nutrition, weight loss, dermatology, exotic animal medicine, and preventive health.

In her free time, Dr. Whitelaw enjoys spending time with her husband and two cats (soon-to-be joined by a new dog and reptile), reading, baking, traveling, and any activity on the beach.

Dr. Susan Choy, DVM

While growing up in San Franciso, California, Dr. Susan Choy knew that she wanted to be a veterinarian some day.  She graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. degree in Avian Sciences in 1979 and with her DVM degree in 1986.  During her collegiate years she was introduced to companion birds and worked as an assistant breeder at Sonoma World of Birds.  Here she learned much about the biology and behavior of many species of exotic birds.

After leaving UC Davis, Dr. Choy worked with Dr. Brian Speer in Oakley, California, who mentored her in the practice of avian veterinary medicine.  In 1987, she moved to Los Osos and became the primary veterinarian at Bear Valley Animal Clinic, treating dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, pocket pets and assorted wildlife.  Dr. Choy has been active in the community, providing services for Pacific Wildlife, cat rescue organizations, and has served on the Board of Directors for Woods Humane Society and the Mid Coast Veterinary Association.  Her greatest work reward is the relationships she has formed with her clients and pets.

She currently juggles work and raising her family with husband/veterinarian Dr. Richard Knighton and their three very active children and numerous pets.  When not at work, Dr. Choy enjoys attending her children’s sporting events, hiking with their dogs, tending to the chickens and the garden, practicing yoga, camping, kayaking and other outdoor activities.

Living from a place of joy that is truly heartfelt, practicing gratitude, compassion, generosity and acceptance is how she maintains balance in her busy life. 


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Office Hours

Los Osos Office


8:30 am-5:30 pm


8:30 am-5:30 pm


8:30 am-5:30 pm


8:30 am-5:30 pm


8:30 am-5:30 pm


9:00 am-2:00 pm




  • "I will always be grateful to Dr. Choy and her caring staff for saving the life of my beloved beagle, Hero. Hero was critically ill with pancreatitis; Dr. Choy quickly diagnosed and treated Hero, as well as arranging for Hero's care during evening hours. She was candid and encouraging. She monitored Hero's recovery with meticulous care. The Cohen family thanks you, Dr. Choy!"
    - Jayne Cohen Los Osos, CA