New Client Notes 2024

Thank you for your inquiry about our specialty services.  First of all, we are very sorry to hear that you are having a serious behavioral issue with your pet as we know how distressing that can be and we apologize for this rather standardized information but currently, this is the only manner for us to promptly get back to the numerous new clients inquiring daily about how to secure a new patient appointment.  We have been routinely seeing new patients since October (including now selected new cases and rechecks at a clinical facility near Mission Bay for fully Covid vaccinated and/or recent negative tested and masked clients) and booking new and recheck clients well into 2024. For selected urgent new cases there may be possible options for “emergency” appointments (substantial additional costs since outside clinic schedule) or being seen by our resident behavior clinician at her San Diego practice.

If you are not in our Southern California referral region or wish to see if another provider can help when we are scheduling too far out for your needs, please see this document on finding a behavioral health provider then connect with an Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) or Veterinary Behaviorist (DACVB) in your region. You can find a board-certified Veterinary Behaviorist specialist doctor at: for board-certified Veterinary Behaviorists like Dr. Melese or a provider from The Animal Behavior Society for mostly non-veterinarian professional Applied Animal Behaviorists and “behavior consultants.” Please be aware that most others offering to help your pet tend to just self-assigned description or marketing terminology since any dog trainer, pet “psychic,” animal communicator, pet “whisperer,” pet sitter, dog walker, pet groomer, pet owner, etc., can legally call themselves a “behaviorist” or an “animal psychologist” (not ethical but not strickly illegal) with “no high school diploma required” (in other words, NO education required at all, just marketing terms).

If none of these trained and credentialed professionals are available in your region or you want further options, you can look for a general practice veterinarian (not board certified generally) or non-veterinarian “affilliates” that has a special interest in seeing behavior problems that are member of the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior (not a credentialing or certifying organization with membership open to any veterinarian or accepted behavior provider that joins and pays dues) at  There are also mostly non-degreed dog trainers (a graduate level degree is NOT required for certification and membership mostly consists of dog trainers with special interest in behavior issue) certified member of The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC):

Otherwise, please explore the material in the “New Clients” drop-down tab so that you can determine if you would like to apply for a new patient appointment with our behavior clinicians in 2024.