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News and notes from San Juan Capistrano’s business community

By Brian Park

This story was updated on Tuesday, May 27 at 12:20 p.m.

New Ownership

Ortega Animal Care Center
27341 Ortega Highway, 949.487.7600,

Surrounded by officials from the city and Chamber of Commerce, as well as their staff, the news owners, veterinarians and husband-and-wife team Matthew Brehmer and Lynlee Fluent (center) cut the ribbon to the Ortega Animal Care Center. Courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce
Surrounded by officials from the city and Chamber of Commerce, as well as their staff, the news owners, veterinarians and husband-and-wife team Matthew Brehmer and Lynlee Fluent (center) cut the ribbon to the Ortega Animal Care Center. Courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce

With two new veterinarians at the helm, Ortega Animal Care Center held a grand opening and open house celebration on Saturday, May 17 to reintroduce the business to the community.

Veterinarians—and husband-and-wife team—Matthew Brehmer and Lynlee Fluent bought the practice last November. Fluent, a Dana Point native, had been working at a practice in Rancho Santa Margarita, and Brehmer worked in Mission Viejo.

The two met while attending Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and both were drawn to animals from an early age. Fluent grew up with a variety of pets and worked at several veterinary hospitals before attending Ross. Brehmer, a Minnesota native, grew up on a small hobby farm, where he helped his parents raise and care for cattle and poultry.

The couple moved to Orange County in 2010, just a few months after their engagement. Brehmer traveled back and forth from Arizona, where he was working at an equine facility before settling full time. When the opportunity to purchase Ortega Animal Care Center came their way, they jumped on it.

“We didn’t think we’d get a facility like this. We were driven by the potential for the veterinary side to grow, as well as everything an animal needs,” Brehmer said.

The Chamber of Commerce helped welcome the new owners to the community with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Brehmer, Fluent and their staff gave tours of the facility, from the hospital to their grooming and boarding service. Members of the Ark of San Juan, the local nonprofit organization dedicated to animal rescue, also attended the event with puppies and kittens for adoption.

Since taking over the 8-year-old business, the couple has introduced a few new changes. Brehmer highlighted a new state-of-the-art dental x-ray machine that he said helps vets “check for where the real disease happens under the gum lines.”

Brehmer’s areas of interest lie in internal medicine and dermatology and Fluent in soft tissue surgery and dentistry. They are currently working on developing a weight loss and rehabilitation program to help obese pets loose weight.

The center’s boarding and grooming service has also extended its hours. Grooming is now offered seven days a week, and with boarding, Brehmer said there will always be an attendant to care for the animals and that he and his wife would be on call, 24 hours a day. At full capacity, the center is able to board around 120 animals. The grooming facility has also been refurnished and includes a new mural.

Open House

Club Pilates
27184 Ortega Highway, #206, 949.257.2292,

Although they’ve been open for nine months, Club Pilates co-owners Keely Watson and Liz Wright hope to provide an introduction to their studio and the exercise with an open house on Saturday, May 24, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The event also includes discounted classes, snacks, beverages, gifts and raffle drawings. Instructors will also be on hand to answer any questions about Pilates.

Club Pilates, based in San Diego, has over 20 locations, primarily based in Southern California but also in Colorado, Michigan and Wisconsin. Locally, they also have studios in Costa Mesa and San Clemente and plan to open in Huntington Beach and Irvine. Their first international branch will be built in Australia, with no definite timeline.

Watson and Wright both worked at the Club Pilates studio in downtown San Diego before opening up in San Juan. At their open house, Wright said they hope to demystify people’s knowledge of Pilates and show how exercises can repair bodies burdened by the day-to-day.

“We live pretty sedentary lifestyles at our desk. Our spines flex forward and that does a lot of bad things to our backs, our muscles,” Wright said. “Pilates tries to reverse all that.”

While some Pilates exercises are done on mats, many require the use of machines called reformers—think rowing machines—and springboards. Trainers lead a class of clients through different motions and exercises that Wright said are appropriate for all ages.

Club Pilates offers about 70 classes a week, from 5:15 a.m. to 7 p.m., for clients of different skill levels or needs. While some may aim to burn as many calories as possible, other courses focus on restoring health and eliminating pain.

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