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. Chelsea Dauer, DVM


Dr. Dauer’s love of animals began at an early age, while growing up in Los Osos.  She is a 2006 graduate of Morro Bay High School and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business in 2011 from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  She was an active member and held offices in many clubs and enterprises at Cal Poly including Equestrian Team, Thoroughbred Enterprise, Bull Test and Foaling Enterprise.

After graduation from Cal Poly, Dr. Dauer lived and worked at Large Animal Practice in Los Osos, gaining invaluable experience working with the three veterinarians and staff at the practice.  She graduated from St. George’s University School of Veterinarian Medicine in Grenada with a doctorate in Veterinarian Medicine in January 2017.  While at St. George’s, she had unique and exciting opportunities of hands-on experiences in the field of veterinary medicine.   She volunteered for One Health Once Medicine clinics, which provided free medical exams and vaccines to the local Grenadian animals.  Dr. Dauer also volunteered as a research assistant with Ocean Spirits working with the endangered leatherback sea turtles.  After three years at St. George’s University, she was accepted to Virginia Maryland School of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia for her fourth clinical rotation year.  There she gained a wealth of knowledge and opportunities in the emergency clinic, large and small animal care, and a wide variety of off-site externships in Virginia and California.

Locally, Dr. Dauer has been a member of Coast Mounted Assistance, a volunteer organization, which is involved with trail maintenance, assisting in search and rescue and patrolling Montana de Oro State Park on horseback.  She is also a member of HEET, Horse Emergency Evacuation Team, a volunteer organization, whose members work closely with Cal Fire and other organizations in emergency situations, particularly rescuing and caring for horses and livestock in affected fire areas.  She enjoys riding her two horses, hiking with her dog and playing tennis and soccer.

Dr. Dauer is excited to be with Bear Valley Animal Clinic…seeing “old” friends and meeting new clients and their cherished furry family members!

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. 


Find us on the map

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