Companion Animal Relief Veterinarian - California, Guam, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, and Virginia

Who We Are

UPDATE: In mid-August I permanently relocated to Guam. I will be unavailable for work on the mainland (CA, MD, MN, VA) until after 1 January 2017 and then for a minimum of two weeks of full time work. Guam and Hawai'i clients are welcomed to contact me anytime. Due to the 14-17 hour time difference, the best time to call is after 1 PM PDT and 4 PM EDT (6:00 AM ChST) or leave a voicemail anytime with your phone and email address.

README FIRST: If you are looking for a veterinarian to examine your pet, please click here before calling.

FFVS and Dr Paul Pomes provide skilled, compassionate, and productive relief veterinary services to practices in California, Guam, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, and Virginia. Any relief DVM can keep your doors open. My goal is to build relationships between clients and your practice while promoting an enhanced standard of care that shows in above average transaction fees and client satisfaction. Because I'm based on Guam, my minimum engagement is two or more weeks of full-time work (one week minimum for Hawaii). Long-term engagements (maternity leaves, staff shortages, etc) are especially solicited. Emergency coverage - including overnight - can be provided as well. My daily rate is all inclusive and includes my compensation, travel, and housing expenses.*

I provide attractive cost-savings to your practice or corporation as an independent contractor. You pay no state or federal taxes, nor worker's compensation. I carry my own medical, disability, and professional liability insurance. Whether it's time off to recharge, conference travel, or to handle a temporary staff shortage, FFVS will provide worry-free coverage.


My availability can be checked through the calendar view at the bottom of the page. Use the blue right arrow to view future months. Entries with a time of day refer to standing events such as rounds, board meetings, etc. I am still available to work at all locations on those days.


It's my philosophy that your patients and clients come first. Subject to my professional judgment, I strive to work within established hospital protocols to maximize efficiency and meet/exceed client expectations. Your assistants and nurses know your clients best; their input and advice is always welcomed. Because I know that having other veterinarians working in your clinic can sometimes create confusion for following up cases, I want to assure you that my record keeping is complete and legible. I don't leave in the evening until everything is done: clinic record keeping, call-backs, hospital orders, etc.Pain management is an integral part of my practice philosophy. All patients will receive appropriate pre- and post-operative multi-modal analgesia including one or more of local blocks, opioids, benzodiazepines, α2 agonists, and NSAIDS. I have particular interests in dentistry, dermatology, and feline medicine. I'm competent at simple orthopedic salvage procedures (amputations, FHO).

Dental radiography is strongly recommended for extractions, especially with felines.

I will not perform ear crops or tail docks. Rear dewclaws are best removed at spay/neuter time under full anaesthesia. I will do feline front de-claws if that's what it takes to keep a kitty from being relinquished to a shelter and only after a consultation with all the household decision-makers to discuss alternatives including re-homing.

I feel the best patient care is rendered with 20 or 30 minute appointment blocks. 30 minute appointment blocks can still be very productive if I am double-booked at alternating 15 minute intervals. A thorough new puppy consultation (socialization, house training, parasites, feeding, behavior, etc) or working up a vomiting 12-yo cat within a 20 minute appointment requires your 'A' team. This team can make and read tape/scrape/smear preps, perform jugular draws, get charges entered from a treatment plan, set catheters, induce & intubate, complement/supplement the doctor's in-room client education, take standard radiographs, perform cystocentesis and in-house UA including sediment analysis, etc. The more I can delegate, the faster and more productively I can work for you. On the other hand if I'm not busy, I will help out wherever needed to get things done and everyone home on time.

I hope this gives the sense that I practice best medicine with realism. I will refer if I feel that's in the best interests of client and patient. My references will tell you that it's not something I do for trivial or closing time reasons.


Nitty Gritty

Four documents of interest:

The last must be completed, signed, scanned, and emailed to before travel arrangements are finalized. I can be contacted at either:

Non-veterinarian readers: I cannot diagnose or treat your animal without an examination, nor do I operate a clinic. My business niche is filling in at clinics with temporary staffing issues. I urge you to visit your local veterinarians and select one that's the best fit for your needs. For more general questions I highly recommend Veterinary Partner for medical and basic behavior questions, the OSU Indoor Pet Initiative for how to create an enriched environment for your indoor cat or dog, for great information on behavior & training issues, and, a must-read for feline nutrition. Recently a friend asked me how to find a good veterinarian. I took my far longer than expected response and crafted, How This Veterinarian Would Choose a Veterinarian (PDF).

I provide Information Technology consulting services based on my 25 years as a network computing and security engineer. This expertise is provided free on an informal basis when I work as a relief veterinarian. I am also available on a formal basis for larger issues such as planning a network installation or expansion, hardware/software acquisition, selecting a data services provider, switch-over from a paper-based to computer-based record system, etc. If you're unhappy with your current level of IT support, I can offer an informed assessment of your configuration with a cost-conscious improvement plan based on your requirements.

I've received several inquiries from colleagues about working in Guam, all in regard to advertisements from Wise Owl Animal Hospital in Tamuning, Guam. The owner, Dr Joel Joseph, has been the subject of four board investigations and has been convicted each and every time of incompetence, negligence, and/or unprofessional conduct. Each and every time the board's suspension orders are enjoined by the court because of minor violations of the Open Government Law or for no discernable reason. His history has been summarized by a local nurse at and is required reading for anyone contemplating working at Wise Owl Animal Hospital. My advice to colleagues is to get air fare reimbursement in advance as travel to Guam is expensive and nothing that you want to pay out of pocket. Maintain your independent contractor status. For any position anywhere I always advise obtaining the names of two previous associates to discuss their employment experiences with.

A collection of articles that I've found of interest.

Guam is unbelievably beautiful for snorkeling and sunsets. The water is 86F year round and crystal clear if the weather is calm.

* A travel expense surcharge applies to bookings less than four weeks in advance.