Our Veterinarians

Dr. Craig W. Sandler
Owner, Veterinarian
Dr. Craig Sandler’s passion for animal care stretches back as far as he can remember—he was only 12 years old when he first began volunteering in the veterinary field. By the time he was a teenager and witnessed his horse struggle through various health issues, he knew that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of animals and the people who cared for them. For Dr. Sandler, a career as a veterinarian was the natural choice!

Dr. Sandler is originally from the New York City suburbs, and came to Jacksonville for his first Associate’s job in 1987. He fell in love with the city and simply never left! Dr. Sandler founded Lakewood Animal Clinic in 1994, and has been serving the area’s pets and animal owners here ever since. He’s particularly fond of dermatology work and preventative medicine, and has a special place in his heart for holistic medicine after alternative therapies helped his own dog to live a happy, normal life.

Dr. Sandler and his wife, Natalie—herself an employee of Lakewood Animal Clinic!—have three children and share their home with a pair of loveable dogs and six cats. When he has spare time between work and family life, Dr. Sandler loves listening to music and attending the theatre, cheering on his favorite football teams, traveling, and hiking and camping in the great outdoors.
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    • Joseph Roland HiladoJoseph Roland Hilado

      Dr. Sandler and his staff are very caring and compassionate. I wouldn't go anywhere else.

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    • Nykol KingNykol King

      Great customer service, Dr. Sandler is awesome!

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    • Caroline SampsonCaroline Sampson

      We've had fabulous care here! Dr. Sandler has helped us with new animals, old and dying animals, well-animal care, and reassessment of sick animals.

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    • Chris CantilloChris Cantillo

      Lakewood is the best place in the 904 to take your pets. I've personally known the doctors & staff since I was 14 years old and still to this day take my pets! I recommend if you live in the 904 or just passing by and you need your pet looked at for sure hit them up

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    • Valerie LorbisValerie Lorbis

      Dr. Sandler and his staff are awesome! My corgi would probably disagree. He's a handful. Needs to be muzzled & sedated for the sake of everyone's safety and sanity.

      I came in for an appt., signed the usual sedation forms, but asked that they avoid using any if at all possible. They whisked him away to the back to complete his exam.

      I braced myself for the sounds of shrieking, overturned tables, an unmuzzled Cuzo-like corgi gone rogue. With the occasional barks from other canine visitors/boarding, it all seemed too quiet.
      About 20 mins later, my vet tech (Tammy, I think) returned to update me.
      "WE DID IT!"
      Blood work done, nails clipped, ears cleaned. There were patches of fur stuck to her cheeks... But the team left unscathed!

      That wasn't always the case with past visits. Mojo once had a stress-induced episode of canon butt. He was not scheduled for anal gland expression. In trying to hoist him up to an exam table, he not only pooped MY pants, but his writhing around resulted in aerial backsplash. On Dr. Sandler's pressed shirt. And face. His poker face is bar none, seriously.

      TLDR;
      Everyone here is incredibly caring, personable, dedicated, and PATIENT. Dr. Sandler addresses all your concerns/questions, explains treatment plans and options, provides referrals to behavioral issue gurus, and is never pushy or dogmatic (bah-dum-tss).
      If your companion has allergies, that's his thang, so definitely see him. Even if your furry, fuzzy angel isn't so much of an angel towards them, they all will treat him/her like one. & That means a lot to me. :)

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    • Carol OwensCarol Owens

      I've taken my pets to Dr. Sandler for years. The staff is amazing & so is Dr. Sandler. The office is always clean, there is no horrible odors & they've always treated my furry ones with the kindness & love they deserve to be treated with!

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    • Caryn Hirsch ZetterowerCaryn Hirsch Zetterower

      Thanks Dr Sandler and staff for making sure our new rescue cat , Jamie, received amazing care. Dr Sandler always takes the time to explain options and he has a good bedside manner.

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