Our Veterinarians

Alii Animal Veterinarian Dr. Whitney Pressler

Dr. Whitney Pressler joins Alii Animal Hospital & Resort after 18 years as an emergency and critical care doctor. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Tufts University followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University and North Carolina State University. Dr. Pressler has a passion for providing the highest quality of medical care and surgery in all areas but has advanced training in emergency surgery and critical care management. She has a true love of all animals, and has adopted all of her pets from unique cases. Dr. Pressler’s family includes her husband, two amazing daughters who continue to challenge and inspire her every day, two cats (Cowey and Firefox) and 3 dogs (Kainoa, Tigershark Rose Amazing Distractive Ayling, and Willow). Dr. Pressler loves all sports but soccer is her all time favorite. She loves to be out on the sailboat with her family, running a mountain with her dogs and hiking cat, doing yoga outside, or hanging with her friends discussing a great book. Dr. Pressler loves international travel and visiting her family on the east coast. Dr. Pressler’s emergency skills and positive mindset will continue to advance Ali’i Animal Hospital and Resort’s ability to help pets live their best life.

Alii Animal Veterinarian and Owner Joanna Cook

Dr. Joanna Cook was raised in Hawaii, attended Iolani and Punahou Schools and received her Bachelor of Science in animal science at UH Manoa. She attended Western University in California where she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Dr. Cook received additional training at a year-long internship at the highly regarded Wheatridge Animal Hospital in Colorado. She has practiced veterinary medicine in Hawaii since 2014. In addition to Hawaii, she is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in California and Colorado. Her passion for animals began when she was in grade school. Since then, she has been the happy owner of a menagerie of pets and rescue animals from dogs to guinea pigs to rabbits and birds. She is passionate about providing the best care for your dog or cat and informs owners of the various treatment options, including alternative medicine where these have been proven to be effective. She lives in Honolulu with her husband and two sons.

When she is not working at Alii Animal Hospital, she is spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite food is her husband’s cooking and chocolate chip cookies from the Cookie Corner.

Alii Animal's Staff

Dr. Judy Yasunaga was born and raised on the island of Oahu. After graduating from Kaimuki High School, Dr. Yasunaga attended the University of Hawaii where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology. After her undergraduate studies, she worked as a veterinary technician and volunteered at the Hawaiian Humane Society, the Honolulu Zoo, and Waikiki Aquarium for several years before trading in gorgeous Hawaii weather for frigid Minnesota winters where she attended the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she remained in Minnesota and practiced for an additional year before saying goodbye to those frigid winters and returning home to Hawaii. 

Dr. Yasunaga enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine but has a special interest in dermatology and preventive care. She believes in the importance of client education and loves partnering with owners to provide the best care for all patients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her newborn daughter, Emilia. In pre-COVID times, Dr. Yasunaga enjoyed traveling, dining out, and snuggling on the couch with her cats, Zoey and Zenji, something she still gets to enjoy from time to time. She is very excited to join the ohana at Alii Animal Hospital and looks forward to meeting you and your furry friends soon!

Alii Animal's Staff

Dr Maureen Rankin is excited to join the team at Alii Animal after practicing in California, Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. She is a twice-graduate of Ohio State University (Bachelors in Zoology m. Equine Sciences and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and has enjoyed working with all sorts of animals including small animals, pocket pets, chickens, horses, and farm animals.

Dr. Rankin was inspired at a very young age to become a veterinarian by her granddad, who was an avid horseman, rancher, and mixed-practice veterinarian. Spending time with her granddad, she fell in love with cows, and after he retired and sold his practice, she spent summers during college and veterinary school working at his former practice taking care of the hospitalized patients.

Dr. Rankin’s practice interests include dentistry, dermatology, surgery, and emergency medicine. She loves teaming up with her clients to create a personalized care plan for their pet, and seeing the difference she can make in the life of her patients.

Dr. Rankin resides in Kailua with her husband, two good boys – Trooper (Elkhound mix) and Bruno (Pit/Boxer/Lab mix), and one strange lovable girl – Pinkie (Maltese/Chihuahua mix). She enjoys walking the beach with the trio of dogs, hiking, snowboarding, snorkeling, horseback riding, and living in paradise.

Our Administrative Team

Alii Animal's Resort Director & Owner Matt Malta

Matt Malta has extensive training in administration. With over 20 years of management experience, he is excited to be the Hospital and Resort Director of Alii Animal Hospital and Resort. Matt’s managerial experience is all-encompassing, with the most recent being a Hospital Director for the largest 24-hour veterinary hospital and specialty center on Oahu. In his past, he has been in senior management for the Humane Society, a high profile technology company, and involved with training development for a large grocery chain in Hawaii. He was born in Honolulu and grew up in Kailua where he continues to raise his family. He has been a true animal lover his whole life. Much of his animal experience stems from raising dogs, fish, and birds as a child. Matt continues his passion for pets by providing the best experiences for clients and guests at Alii Animal Hospital and Resort.

Alii Animal's Veterinary Assistant

Shawna is a local of Honolulu. Growing up, she only had pet fish, but always loved animals! She attended Oregon State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in zoology with the initial thought to go on to veterinary school. After five years of being a veterinary nurse, she hasn’t thought of anything else she would rather be!

Outside of work, she loves to do anything outdoors. She brought over her dog, Samson, from Oregon, who also loves the outdoors. If it’s a nice day, you can find them hiking or at the beach, enjoying the Hawaiian sun.