Daniel Horton, DVM

Dr. Horton was born in Salt Lake City, Utah into a family full of scientists and surrounded by animals. There was a goat, rabbits and chickens, as well as the full complement of dogs and cats. Exposure to veterinary medicine as an undergraduate at Utah State University in Logan, Utah solidified an already growing interest and led to the DVM degree (cum laude) through a combined program with Oregon State and Washington State Universities.

Working in veterinary hospitals in Idaho, in Utah, on the Navajo Reservation and in Alabama provided a wide variety of experiences. Both Dr. Horton and his wife, who is also a veterinarian, were very excited by the opportunity to return to Arizona in 1994 and have been here ever since, sharing a home in Rio Rico with 3 cats and two birds.

Professional interests include the diagnostic puzzles of internal medicine, canine and feline behavioral problems, and abdominal surgery. Other passions include rock-climbing, playing music, traveling and attending theater.

rita kester practice manager

Rita Kester, Practice Manager

Rita was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She met her husband, Dr. Horton, in veterinary school and after several years in practice, went to work for USDA, primarily on the US-Mexico border.  She retired from federal service in 2016 and has since served as practice manager. The Horton-Kester family currently share their home with three talkative cats and two very noisy birds.

Araceli Orozco, Veterinary Technician

Araceli was born in Tucson, Arizona but has lived in Rio Rico, Arizona since 1998.  She has worked at San Cayetano Veterinary Hospital since July 2004.  In addition to continuing her studies at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona, she shares her home with Amigo, a dog adopted from the Humane Society, and an Amazon Parrot named Solovino.  Ranching is a family tradition and 18 horses and around 500 head of cattle round out the animal picture.

What is it you like about veterinary medicine?

“First and foremost I love all animals. The opportunity to help pets when they are ill or injured is a blessing. I get lots of satisfaction knowing that I had a part to play in helping an animal in their time of need. To see them bounce back from a great fall is great! My heart is in it 100%.”

Norma Leyva, Office Manager, Veterinary Technician

Norma was born in Elko, Nevada. She was mostly raised in the Rio Rico/Nogales area. She graduated from Rio Rico High School in 2002. She has been working for the San Cayetano Veterinary Hospital since February 2007. Her family has always kept pets and her father makes saddles for horses. She currently has 12 cats named Lynx, Mini, Purrsy, Cinnamon, Boo, Cyan, Noche, Lovie, Sunny, Romeo, Jadie and Pebbles and 3 dogs named Lia, Petrie and Scrappy. She studied to become a dental assistant, but decided to help animals in need.

"I enjoy creating a bond between the clients and their pets. My favorite part of animal medicine is surgery. I am very grateful to be able to work in a facility where the staff is close and work well together. "

Patricia Ann Hilton, Marketing Director

Patricia (Patty) was born and raised in Clifton, New Jersey – a relatively small community just 10 miles west of New York City, with Mom, Dad, three sisters and Terry the Terrible Terrier. Patty grew up with a love of animals and was taught early on that our household pets were very much a part of the family. Throughout her life Patty has always shared her household with at least one dog.

Following graduation from Clifton HS, Patty attended Essex College in Newark, NJ as a psychology major and, after a move to Arizona in the 80’s, attended Pima Colllege in Tucson, completing her studies in Hotel Sales & Marketing. While living in Tucson she enjoyed a successful career as a Marketing Director for leaders in the hotel and resort industry with her favorite, of course, being Hilton (a coincidence).

Patty relocated to Rio Rico in 2001 leaving behind the world of business to pursue a new venture with more of a community focus working with non-profits, writing grants, fundraising, and administering several of the programs that through her efforts were funded. Her work included children’s programs in music, art, safety and animals, bringing her back to her to one of her first loves – that of animals. Living in Santa Cruz County also gave her the opportunity to add two horses to her family that already consisted of a very spoiled dog and two cats … all rescues.  In September of 2012, Patty joined the staff of San Cayetano Veterinary Hospital .

“I love my work here as it gives me the opportunity to work in an environment of not only caring for animals but working with talented people who share my passion, and helping to provide a meaningful service to the community.”

One of Patty’s goals at SCVH is to increase awareness of, and secure additional funding for, the hospital’s Silver Lining Fund, established to help pay medical expenses for indigent animals.

Joyce Roberta Enciso, Veterinary Assistant

Joyce was born in Phoenix, Arizona, brought home to Nogales, and raised. She had all of her schooling in Nogales, as well. She has 10 cats, - her daughter in law has some of hers at her place, too - 3 dogs, 5 human puppies and nothing else, yet.

"All of my training, and first real job was with Dr. Horton. He gave me an opportunity many people will never get. Over 20 years as an at-home mom made me feel I'd just arrived at the bottom of Mt. Everest, with a lot of catching up and learning to do everywhere! I appreciate Dr. Horton's patience - a good boss and teacher.

I do love all animals. I want to be a part of helping them be well, happy, have a home, be spayed and neutered, educate others about animals and hopefully see the day there are no more animals euthanized simply because they've been born. Our doctors and our team give me that motivation and inspiration every day. I see their sincerity in their caring, and it makes me feel that I am a big part of truly making a real difference."

vanessa garcia veterinary technicianVanessa Garcia, Veterinary Technician

Born and raised in Rio Rico, Arizona, Vanessa Garcia has always had a passion for helping others – especially animals.  Her career started early in 2011 by volunteering at San Cayetano Veterinary Hospital.  She graduated from high school, then went to college, earning a certificate as a Veterinary Assistant.  She then was hired as a receptionist at SCVH, and is continuing her education for a Veterinary Technician degree, hoping to graduate in 2020 with the support of her mother, father, brother and fellow staff members – whom she considers her second family.  Her current fur babies are Chip, a male miniature Welsh Terrier, four female cats, and three male cats.

micaela preciado veterinary technicianMicaela Preciado, Veterinary Technician, Receptionist

Micaela was born and raised in Nogales, Arizona and has always had a love for animals big and small, love that was passed down by her grandma after spending her childhood playing with all sorts of critters from typical cats and dogs to her miniature pig and exotic birds.  After high school she moved to Tucson where she worked at a veterinary hospital for almost 3 years but felt that she was missing family and home too much.  She came back down and found SCVH where she has been working since 2016 and feels blessed to be doing what she loves with people that share her passion while being close to home.

erika gonzalez veterinary technicianErika Gonzalez, Veterinary Technician

Erika was born in Tucson, Arizona.  Her family moved to Nogales, Arizona in 2001 and she has lived there since then.  She always wanted to work with animals and had the pleasure of working at the Santa Cruz Humane Society with the cats.  She worked in Tucson for more than a year and now has the pleasure to work with everyone at SCVH.

denise brinton receptionist

Denise Brinton, Receptionist

Denise was born and raised in Nogales, Arizona.  She graduated from Nogales High School class of 2003, and soon after began a career in Law Enforcement as a 911 Operator/ Dispatcher.  It is here she met and married Peace Officer Jeremy Brinton.  Denise exited the work force to begin a family and is now mom to Sofia Alicia and Adele Elise, step-mom to James and Justin, and fur-mom to Readi (German Shepherd) and Nicki (Long Haired Tabby).  Denise again entered the workforce when her children began school.  In her free time she enjoys crocheting, baking, and gardening.  She is currently a receptionist at San Cayetano Veterinary Hospital.

elizabeth ohrnElizabeth L. Ohrn, Receptionist

Elizabeth (elo) was born in Minneapolis, MN.  Her parents started moving when she was 6 weeks old - 8 states, 13 schools, back to Minneapolis in junior high.  She majored in Forestry, but a hiatus to earn money led her into IT.  She moved to Green Valley, AZ in 1999, and enjoyed working for custom home builders, golf courses, and being semi-retired.  Her home has always been full of animal rescues - mostly cats and dogs, but also parakeets, finches, a boa, a ferret, land snails - any critter that somebody else has cast aside.  Her main passions are to document the natural world in photos, occasionally to sculpt AZ wildlife, and to travel the world whenever possible.

Hospital Animals


Bob is a handsome brown cat who stayed at the hospital intermittently during his owner's illness, and now lives here full time. He's a bit shy, but he loves people - and has a great "purr motor" to let you know that you're scritching him just right!  Bob's favorite napping place is on the dryer where it's nice and warm, and he gets a bit miffed if the dryer is turned off.


Chuy is a black and white fuzz-ball of cat, adopted from the The Animal League of Green Valley in 2018. He arrived at TALGV in severely injured condition yet, despite all he endured, he's now a friendly hospital cat, and not at all shy - he will attack your shoes if you don't pay attention to him! He loves sleeping on the printer in the doctors' office, another source of cat-napping warmth.

The hospital is also home to two talkative parakeets, Pagliacci and Pavarotti, who keep the front desk and waiting room lively.  They often "sing along" with the office music and, once in a rare while, disapprove of a song with decidedly sharp chirps.

Besides the full-time residents, San Cayetano Veterinary Hospital often has cats and dogs that, for one reason or another, are looking for a new home.  If you are looking to adopt, SCVH can be a great place to start.

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Office Hours

Our new hours under coronavirus

Rio Rico Office


8:00 am-5:00 pm


7:30 am-5:00 pm


9:00 am-4:00 pm


7:30 am-5:00 pm


Alternating Fridays: either 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, or 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


1st and 3rd of every month by appointment