Meet the Doctors

Our Dedicated Group of Professionals

We believe you should expect the very best for your pet. At Gruda Veterinary Hospital, you can have confidence that your pet is receiving the highest quality compassionate veterinary care. Our doctors are highly trained and experienced, and are available to answer your questions about a range of concerns and conditions. Most of all, Gruda Veterinary Hospital’s veterinarians and staff truly care about you and your pet, and want you to have the best experience possible.

Robert A. Gruda


Dr. Gruda graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. Dr Gruda was born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico. He attended New Mexico State University for his undergraduate studies from 1983 to 1986.

Immediately following graduation from CSU, he returned to Las Cruces. He practiced there until 1994, when he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1994 he worked in Santa Fe as an associate veterinarian for a local veterinary practice before opening Gruda Veterinary Hospital in 2001.

Dr. Gruda lives south of Santa Fe with his wife, Treva, and their four boys. When he is not at work he spends most of his time with his boys, two dogs, and one cat. He enjoys the outdoors, including camping, boating, fishing, and golf.

Dr. Gruda enjoys practicing all kinds of veterinary medicine for cats, dogs, and other small animals. He also devotes a significant amount of time on the surgical aspects of the practice.

July 2021 – After 30+ years in the veterinary profession providing excellence in general practice and surgery, Dr. Gruda is steering his focus solely on surgery and oncologic conditions. Being a respected leader in the community, Dr. Gruda recognizes the need to offer his skill and expertise primarily in these areas of veterinary medicine for our community and the surrounding areas. Dr. Gruda understands the stress on a family when a pet is in need of specialize care. He will provide a personalized treatment plan, allowing you to give the best care for your canine and feline family members.

Kimberly A. Freeman


Dr. Freeman earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida in 1997. She has practiced small and large animal medicine as well as emergency/critical care in New Mexico and Arizona over the last 18 years.

She was afforded the opportunity to study Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture while on the flexible emergency schedule and received her certification in 2006 from the Chi Institute in Florida. Since then she has attended courses in Advanced tongue and pulse diagnosis as well as food therapy through the Chi Institute and is scheduled to be an instructor for the 2016 Basic Mixed Animal Acupuncture course this spring. She has recently earned a Foundations of Herbalism certificate; a nine-month long intensive course in Western Herbs taught by Milagro School of Herbal Medicine. Locally, she engages in a stimulating combination of Eastern and Western practice at Gruda Veterinary Hospital.

She is very interested in internal medicine, pain management, preventative medicine and food therapy using Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Herbalism techniques.

When not practicing veterinary medicine she is hiking, learning crossfit, traveling or making medicine with her sweet puppy Grace.

Lesley Gonzales


Dr. Lesley Gonzales graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine after attending New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro for her undergraduate studies. While she grew up in several states including Colorado and Alaska, Dr. Gonzales fell in love with New Mexico after attending NMT where she met her husband, a local rancher.

Dr. Gonzales is particularly focused on all aspects of surgery as well as the challenging internal medicine cases.
She is a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners but loves taking care of all patients coming into the hospital including rabbits, ferrets, and the occasional goat. She enjoys getting to know the people bringing in their critters and strives to provide personalized, quality veterinary care for each and every animal she meets.

Lesley lives outside of Santa Fe with her husband Jason and their two dogs and two cats. During her free time,
she enjoys spending time with her husband and pets, catching up on sleep, reading, and hiking.

Lily Brown


Dr. Lily recently got married and is now Dr. Brown. Congratulations, Dr. Brown!!

Dr. Brown grew up on a small ranch in Taos, New Mexico. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Morehead State in Kentucky. During her time in Kentucky, she competed as an NCAA Division I soccer player. Following graduation, Dr. Brown spent time in South Africa volunteering for Wildlife Vets. This experience spurred a passion for national and international animal welfare and conservation.

Dr. Brown graduated from Colorado State University with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. During her four years in Veterinary school, Dr. Brown worked as a technician for one of the most elite Equine Sports Medicine groups in the nation. Additionally, she pursued her passion for travel and international work though extensive involvement in a Rural Veterinary Group (RVETS). Through RVETS Dr. Brown had opportunities to work in numerous rural areas in the United States, as well as Mexico, providing medical and surgical care to patients in need.

Dr. Brown enjoys all aspects of Veterinary Medicine, but has special interests in surgery, internal medicine, acupuncture and pain management.

Jillian A. McGregor


Dr. McGregor recently graduated from Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine after receiving her Bachelor’s degree from Pacific University. Her interests in veterinary medicine are surgery, acupuncture, cardiology, and preventive health. She studied acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine through the Chi Institute in Florida. Although primarily focused on dogs and cats, she will always be fond of pet chickens and goats.

Dr. McGregor grew up in the Bay Area of California and spent several years in Oregon before moving to New Mexico. As a recent transplant, she is excited to explore all that Santa Fe and Albuquerque have to offer. When she is not working, you can find her relaxing at home with her husband and two small dogs, hiking, doing hot yoga, or at a local brewery.

Melissa Dalton


Dr. Dalton graduated from Colorado State University after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of New Mexico. Her interest in becoming a veterinarian was sparked at a young age as she grew up surrounded by the many animals her family kept. She has always been particularly interested in the relationship people and animals share.

Born and raised outside of Santa Fe, Dr. Dalton was eager to return to her hometown to serve the local community. Her professional interests include surgery, preventative care and pain management, with an emphasis on the human-animal bond. During her free time, Dr. Dalton enjoys spending time with family and friends, being in the mountains and DIY home renovations.

Melissa Dezendorf


Dr. Dezendorf was born and raised in Homosassa Florida. She graduated from LSU after completing her undergraduate studies at University of Florida and Northwestern State. Dr. Dezendorf moved to New Mexico in 2019 with her husband, Joey and her son, Ely. Her fur family consists of three dogs: Daisy, Francis and Twitch, and one cat, Gus. In her free time, she really enjoys reading and hiking. A fun fact about Dr. Dezendorf is she used to work as an assistant archaeologist for the city of St. Augustine! While Dr. Dezendorf is also a Certified Canine Rehab Therapist, her main interests in veterinary medicine are internal medicine, geriatric wellness and dermatology.

Caroline Fenlon


Natasha Stanke


Originally born and raised in Santa Fe, Dr. Natasha Stanke has returned to share her surgical expertise with her home community. Dr. Stanke had her sights set on veterinary medicine since the age of ten with her first experiences with veterinary medicine observing at local clinics. Her first jobs as a veterinary assistant were at the Santa Fe Emergency Clinic and Gruda Veterinary Hospital. After graduating from Santa Fe High School, Dr. Stanke studied undergraduate Biology (with a minor in scuba diving) and attended veterinary school at the University of California, Davis. Following graduation, she set out to gain advanced training in surgery with a one-year general internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA, a one-year surgical internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego, CA, and a three-year residency at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa, FL. Dr. Stanke has been board-certified in small animal veterinary surgery since 2015. As a surgeon Dr. Stanke has practiced in many hospitals across the country.

In 2020, at a time of wide-spread uncertainty, Dr. Stanke returned home with three goals. She wanted to live closer to her family, she wanted to use her professional talents to help the community, and she wanted to fly hot air balloons. She has certainly attained her goals by strengthening family bonds, performing hundreds of surgeries to help the animals of New Mexico and surrounding areas, and becoming a world-ranked competition hot-air balloon pilot, earning US Open Nationals 2023 Rookie of the Year and a second-place finish at US Women’s Nationals 2023. We are so happy to welcome Dr. Stanke back to the Gruda Veterinary Hospital to continue her mission of providing high-quality surgery to the community.