Dr. Miranda Alexander

Photo: Dr. Miranda Alexander

Giving back to help animals and the people who care for them

As a young child, Miranda Alexander, DVM 1982, knew that she wanted to become a veterinarian and help animals and the people who care for them.

Alexander first remembers her fascination with animals at the age of two and has had many happy animal-related memories throughout her lifetime.

To fulfill her dream, Alexander decided to pursue a career as a veterinarian. "I was lucky to be accepted to study at the School of Veterinary Medicine. It was known for its reputation and fantastic body of knowledge,” she said. “During my sophomore year on my birthday, my younger classmates teased me about turning 30 years old. In good-natured fun, they gave me a tube of Bengay and a bottle of Geritol! I remember laughing and feeling that I was exactly where I was supposed to be and felt privileged to be there."

After graduating, Alexander did a one-year internship and then began practicing veterinary medicine in 1983. Since then she has built long-term relationships with her patients and clients in the San Diego area. She and her colleagues take great pride in personalizing pet care and treating pets as valued family members.

"One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is supporting the human-animal bond," described Alexander. "Our pets represent a direct connection with nature, and they provide non-judgemental love. They lower our blood pressure and offer us a general feeling of well-being. I have three dogs and two cats myself, and I find happiness just hanging out with them."

The experiences of her career have been very meaningful to Alexander. Grateful for the education she received, Alexander has provided a gift to the school through her estate plan as a way to say thank you.

"My career as a veterinarian has been rewarding and has helped me to be a happy and content person. This happiness flows into the rest of my life. It has really helped me find my place in this world. In looking to the future, I want to make sure that others have the same wonderful opportunity I have been given," Alexander shared.

Alexander's devotion to animals extends beyond her practice. She co-founded the St. Vincent de Paul Vaccine Program, where she has generously volunteered her time for the past 23 years. "When a small advertisement appeared in a local veterinary newsletter calling for a volunteer veterinarian to help start a new vaccine program for pets of the homeless, I jumped at the chance," recalled Alexander. “I wanted to help. Pets of the homeless provide companionship, love and they even render watchdog protection at night."

Once a month, she gives immunizations free of charge to dogs and cats of the homeless and the economically disadvantaged. Not only are her services free, she also compensates her staff to assist her and brings all the necessary medications and supplies. In 2005, Father Joe Carroll honored Alexander with the Bishop Maher Award for her tireless work in helping the community.