Dr. Dondi Dahlgaard hails from the sunny state of Florida, where she was born, raised, and completed her undergraduate and graduate study. She received her DVM from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and completed a one year rotating internship at Friendship Animal Hospital in Washington DC. After finishing her internship, Dr. Dahlgaard began her career in veterinary emergency and critical care, first in Atlanta, GA at Cobb Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center, then continuing on at SouthPaws Veterinary Referral Center. At home, Dr. Dahlgaard has a 10 year old son, 4 dogs, 9 horses (4 of those are minis) and 1 sheep (she was an orphan). In her spare time, she enjoys working on the farm, trail riding, and is learning how to team rope. Dr. Dahlgaard joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Todd Phillips graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989 and has practiced small & exotic animal medicine for over thirty years. After graduation he moved to the sunny beaches of Galveston, TX for three years of enjoyable coastal living. Next, he spent a year in Dallas, Tx working split-shifts at two different clinics before moving to San Antonio, TX where he has practiced for the last twenty plus years as a relief doctor and associate at multiple hospitals. Dr. Phillips enjoys dermatology, behavior, and preventative husbandry as well as the more challenging medicine cases. Knowledge can empower people to make choices in the best interest of their furry/scaly friends, and he is always interested to learn new information and share it with pet caregivers. When not helping patients and their pet parents, Dr. Phillips enjoys spending time with his wife, recently retired, or his son, a recent Texas A&M Aerospace graduate. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, fishing, kayaking, and volunteering for various charities and organizations. He and his wife have one pet, Sushi cat, down from a previous high of six pets of various species. Dr. Phillips joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Christine Garvey was born and raised in Western New York. She received her Bachelor's degree and DVM from Cornell University. After completing two surgically intensive internships in California, Dr. Garvey relocated to the Pacific Northwest to start her career in general practice.She moved back to Western NY to be closer to family and has since worked in shelter medicine and general practice. Outside of work, Dr. Garvey enjoys trail running, horseback riding, and hanging out with her partner Derek, greyhound Cami and kitty Bridget. Dr. Garvey joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Tammy Brodie earned her veterinary degree from Michigan State University in 1988. She has worked as a small animal, pocket pet veterinarian for over 30 years and owned her own practice for 22 years. She especially likes dermatology, behavior, and making sure her clients understand what is happening with their pets.so they may have the best possible relationship with them. Dr. Brodie currently works as a relief veterinarian and enjoys mission/humanitarian work and traveling with her husband and two Belgian Tervurens, Fizz and Frank. Dr. Brodie joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Jennifer Algarin earned her veterinary degree from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. Upon graduation, Dr. Algarín moved to Texas and practiced in a specialty emergency hospital and then transitioned into small animal general private practice. In August 2018, Dr. Algarín moved back to Auburn, AL and since then she has been working as a full-time relief veterinarian in the state of Georgia. Her main interests include preventative care, client education, and dermatology. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Dr. Algarín lives with her husband, their son, 4 dogs and a cat. They are getting ready to welcome their second child at the beginning of October 2021. Dr. Algarín joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Chelsea Monroe was born and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. From an early age, veterinary medicine was always her passion. She graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara where she graduated with honors with a double major in Psychology and Business Economics. She then went on to the University of California San Diego to complete her Pre-Medical/Veterinary Requirements. Dr. Monroe spent the next few years at the University of Sydney in Australia getting her Veterinary Medical degree before returning to Hawaii. Once back in the islands she started working as an associate veterinarian at a small animal clinic on the island of Maui. Her interests include dermatology, animal behavior, and internal medicine. She spends her free time exploring the island and ocean with her husband, children, their dog Wall-e, and Maine Coon cat, Madmartigan. Dr. Monroe joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Maggie Peitzmeier grew up outside of Omaha, Nebraska. She has always loved working with animals and her dreams of being a surgeon were first documented in kindergarten with a drawing of performing surgery on a dog. Dr. Peitzmeier attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she competed on the equestrian team and received her Bachelor’s in Animal Science. She then completed veterinary school through the University of Nebraska / Iowa State University program. After graduation, Dr. Peitzmeier completed an internship and surgery residency in Ocala, Florida and became board certified in large animal surgery. She has practiced in the California Central Valley since 2016 and is currently working in small animal emergency medicine and surgery. Outside of work, Dr. Peitzmeier enjoys riding her horse, hiking with her dogs Phoebe and Frank, working out, and cheering on Husker football. Dr. Peitzmeier joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Jenny-Ree Hedges received her veterinary degree from The University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. Upon graduation, Dr. Hedges then moved to London where she worked as a general practitioner for 3 years before returning to the United States and settling into practice in the greater Boston area. Dr. Hedges grew up in New Jersey and worked as a veterinary technician in both New Jersey and New York before attending vet school. Dr. Hedges is interested in all aspects of general practice, but has a particular passion for the management of chronic diseases and senior pet care. Dr. Hedges enjoys spending time with her husband, their two young daughters, and their Jack Russell Terrier, Pudge. Dr. Hedges joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Danelle Okeson is a 1996 graduate from Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship in zoological medicine and has worked at both small and large zoological parks for the last 25 years. Dr. Okeson has a passion for exotic animal medicine, feline medicine, and wildlife conservation. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, hiking and walking outdoors, and driving her 1965 Mustang convertible. Cats (both large and small) are among her favorite animals and she currently shares her home with her adopted silver tabby domestic shorthair cat, Snowflake. Dr. Okeson joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Angela Haese graduated from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Since graduation, she has worked in a small animal private practice in the suburbs of Houston, Texas and enjoys volunteering at the local wildlife rehabilitation center. Her veterinary interests include client education, preventative care, and internal medicine. In her free time, Dr. Haese enjoys chauffeuring her children to their various sports and activities, riding her horse, traveling with her family, and running. She and her husband have two children, a geriatric Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, two rescued cats, three hermit crabs, and an ornery horse. All are loved dearly. Dr. Haese joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Janice Thomas left cold Cleveland, Ohio and headed south for warmer weather and less snow! She completed her medical studies at Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. Since then, she has practiced in Florida, where she adopted her dog Desi (Arnez)! In October 2017, Dr. Thomas moved to North Carolina. Although a “city-girl” at heart, she has developed an appreciation for the city of Raleigh’s relaxed nature and outdoor activities! When not working you can find Dr. Thomas rehabbing a vintage find, shopping for shoes or meeting people, ready to share some good news! “My passion for pets started when I was young, after I noticed a bird hobbling, in an empty parking lot. The wing of the bird was injured, so I ran home with the bird in hand, dedicated to nursing it back to health. At age 4, I told my family, ‘I am going to be an animal doctor!’” Dr. Thomas joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Marlene Anschultz graduated from Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. Prior to veterinary school, Dr. Anschultz was a veterinary technician for 12 years, working in academia, private practice, and research. After completing her DVM she began to work in both small animal/exotics practice and doing locum work in many surrounding emergency facilities. She enjoyed establishing relationships with not only her fur/feathered/scaled patients but also the clients themselves. Dr. A happily lives with her loving husband, 2 children, and an array of rescued critters, which include two 120 lb tortoises. Her professional interests include client education, exotic medicine, end of life prep and procedures, geriatric, and hospice care. Dr. A is a certified acupuncturist, and is a member of AVMA, CVMA and SCCVMA. When not working she can be found hiking, kayaking, reading, farmer’s market shopping, and spending time with her family. Dr. Anschultz joined FirstVet in 2021 and is super excited for this avenue of engagement with clients, including being accessible in an innovative way.
Dr. Ashley Barnett earned her veterinary degree from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. After completing veterinary school, she returned to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky where she has worked as a private practice veterinarian focusing on dogs, cats, and several exotic species. She takes a special interest in internal medicine cases as they truly challenge her in this ever-evolving field. Her family currently includes her loving husband, her beautiful 4 year old son, 6 frisky dogs, and 4 always demanding kitty cats. She and her husband will be welcoming their second “two-legged” child at the end of November 2021. She has truly enjoyed watching her son develop such a strong human-animal bond and looks forward to watching their second child bond with their furry four-legged children. Dr. Barnett joined First Vet in 2021, and she is very excited to have the opportunity to help families with their furry family members in their time of need.
Dr. Marie Rush graduated from Auburn University with a BS in Animal and Dairy Science and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1998. She completed a rotating medicine and surgery internship at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York City, followed by a residency in clinical zoo and wildlife medicine and surgery, with focus training in advanced diagnostics imaging. She has worked at several zoos, served as faculty at two veterinary schools, multiple mixed animal veterinary practices, and has worked with wildlife field conservation and disease research in multiple countries. Dr. Rush has been serving as a full-time member of the staff imaging team for Antech Imaging Services since 2015 working exclusively with zoo, exotics, and wildlife species diagnostic imaging and case consultation for referring veterinary colleagues. She continues to enjoy working as a consulting/relief zoo veterinarian, visiting professor for veterinary school programs, and continues to work in clinical practice with small and exotic animal species medicine and surgery. Dr. Rush joined FirstVet in 2021
Dr. Amanda Gross received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. She has since practiced both small animal and exotics medicine in North Carolina, and has a special interest in internal medicine, behavior, toxicology, and dentistry. Dr. Gross is a Fear Free Certified Practitioner, and is passionate about preventative medicine and client education. In her spare time, Dr. Gross enjoys reading, rock climbing, and hiking with her dog, Sam. Dr. Gross joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Jessica Scholl graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M University-College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. After graduating, she worked 2 years in a busy mixed animal practice outside of Dallas. There, she saw dogs, cats, horses, alpacas, llamas, pigs, cattle, small ruminants, and the occasional chicken. Dr. Scholl has also worked for over 5 years in small animal emergency medicine near Dallas. Currently, she works as a small animal veterinarian while continuing to pursue equine medicine. Dr. Scholl has a passion for low stress cattle and equine handling, ultrasonography, equine reproduction and emergency medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys working on her farm, reading, traveling, and spending time with family. Dr. Scholl joined FirstVet in 2021 and is excited to be a part of the Firstvet team!
Dr. Caitlyn Ramaeker earned her veterinary degree from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. After graduation, she moved to Minnesota for a year where she completed an equine internship. Following her internship, Dr. Ramaeker moved to a mixed animal practice in rural Illinois where she worked on a wide variety of animals including dogs, cats, cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. She has especially enjoyed building the equine clientele at the clinic but also loves the variety of mixed animal practice and building relationships with clients and their pets. In her free time, Dr. Ramaeker enjoys spending time with her husband and chocolate lab, hiking, and cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones! Dr. Ramaeker joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Lauren Aderholdt graduated from Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011 and pursued additional training as a small animal intern at Virginia Tech’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. After completing her internship, she practiced small animal medicine outside Denver, Colorado for five years. After getting married, Dr. Aderholdt relocated to Dallas, Texas where she has continued treating dogs and cats in general practice. She enjoys educating clients about the best preventive care choices for the furry members of their families. When not at home with her two cats and dog you can find her running after her toddler. Dr. Aderholdt joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Julie Blalock graduated from North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. She spent her first few years out of veterinary school in a mixed animal practice, learning how to work on a wide array of pets and farm animals. After getting married and starting a family, she shifted to mostly working on dogs and cats, although she still enjoys seeing the occasional horse or chicken. She has a special interest in geriatric pets, pain management, dental care, and wildlife. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Blalock likes to spend time with her husband and 3 kids, and their array of pets, which currently include an old rescued beagle, a few rabbits, and a number of chickens. Dr. Blalock joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Carrie Daly graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2009. She has had an eclectic career since then, having lived and worked in Hong Kong, Minnesota, Oregon, and now Colorado. She has experience in emergency medicine, shelter medicine, wildlife medicine, general practice, and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in conservation medicine. She loves all animals, but is particularly fond of opinionated older cats. Dr. Daly has 3 human children, as well as a goofy dog named Mabel, a lovely cat named Meredith, and a very naughty cat named Harriet Lilith Nicklenut. For these reasons, she considers herself to be both a manager and a purveyor of chaos! In her free time, Dr. Daly enjoys outdoor time with her kiddos, writing poetry, running trail marathons/ultramarathons, international travel, snowboarding, unsuccessful attempts at meditation, and above all else - a good long nap. Dr. Daly joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Chung-Hsuan Yu graduated from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Since graduation, he has been practicing veterinary medicine as a small companion animal general practitioner. He has practiced in Orlando, FL, Nashville, TN, and now in Dallas, TX. Besides preventive medicine, general surgery and medicine, he is specifically interested in cardiology and surgery. Dr. Yu recognizes the importance of clear client communication in order to be on the same page when it comes to taking care of your loved ones (the furry ones). He is fluent in English and Mandarin. During his spare time, Dr. Yu enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and cycling. He has two well-loved little trouble makers at home, a white cat named Tofu and a Beagle named Boba. Dr. Yu joined FirstVet in 2021, and is excited to be a part of the team!
Dr. Praadnya Shah earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College in Canada. Prior to that, she attended University of California, Davis and earned a Bachelor's degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavioral science. After graduation, Dr. Shah moved back to California to practice small animal medicine. She has a strong interest in animal behavior, welfare, is a Fear Free Certified Veterinarian and implements low stress handling in her practice. She enjoys working in small animal medicine, urgent care, and shelter medicine. Away from work, Dr. Shah enjoys good food, travel, and spending time with her golden retriever puppy, Zui. Dr. Shah joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Ambika Vaid graduated from Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2019 and has a special interest in surgery and herbal medicine. On her days off, Dr. Vaid will volunteer at the Silicon Valley Humane Society to help with surgeries and likes to spend time with her two pups at home – Boomer and Xena. Currently, Dr. Vaid is earning her certification in Chinese Herbal Medicine and hopes to integrate it into her daily practice. Dr. Vaid joined FirstVet in 2021.
Michelle Brownstein is a 1986 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to receiving her DVM, Dr. Brownstein received her BS with Honors from Cornell University in Animal Science in 1976. She received her MS in Dairy Immunology from The Ohio State University in 1978. Dr. Brownstein practiced large animal medicine after vet school and focused primarily on dairy cattle. After a back injury curtailed her large animal career, she pursued the challenges of small animal medicine and surgery. For the last 35 years, Dr. Brownstein has been the sole owner of the Henrietta Animal Hospital in Upstate NY. She is active in community projects and established the Pets in Need Clinic in 2008 following the stock market and housing crash. Her goal was to help people who had fallen on hard times during the economic downturn. She has one son, Isaac, and currently has 2 dogs and one cat. Dr. Brownstein is an avid fly fisher and is active in Trout Unlimited. Leisure time is spent pursuing elusive trout. She also is an active swimmer and cyclist. Dr. Brownstein joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Sarah Derksen earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University. A love for animals and helping them inspired Dr. Derksen to become a veterinarian. In middle school, when her own pet became ill, she realized she wanted to learn as much as she could about veterinary medicine. After graduation, she pursued continuing education in dental radiography, soft tissue surgery, anesthesia, and emergency medicine. Dr. Derksen is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AZVMA). Her favorite thing about being a vet is being in a position to truly help her patients, bond with them, and watch them grow. She also enjoys spending time with her amazing clients and staff. Dr. Derksen has a daughter, Ali, and 2 pets: a dog named Skye and a parakeet named Kiwi. Her hobbies include hiking, swimming, spending time with family and friends, and watching movies (her favorite is Tommy Boy). Dr. Derksen joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Jessica Lowe graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to that, Dr. Lowe attended the University of Maryland, College Park where she earned her first degree. She has a diverse background, working in small animal medicine, emergency veterinary medicine, exotic medicine, lab animal medicine and public health veterinary medicine, for over 10 years. Dr. Lowe has a special interest in feline medicine and internal medicine. She has 2 cats at home and enjoys outdoor biking and traveling. Dr. Lowe joined FirsVet in 2021.
Dr. Patricia Banks graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. After graduation she worked in emergency and critical care before opening her own practice in 2001. She currently owns a small animal practice in Houston, TX where she focuses on internal medicine, geriatric health care, soft tissue surgery, and preventative care for dogs and cats. Dr. Banks loves cooking, quilting, gardening and spending an afternoon at the park with her pups. She lives in Houston with 2 dogs and 4 cats. Dr. Banks joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Kim Cross graduated from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Houston, TX and first started practicing in a rural mixed practice in Hondo, TX outside San Antonio. There she saw medical cases, surgeries, and emergencies for just about everything in dogs, cats, horses, cattle, deer, occasional alpaca, occasional pigs, etc. After 2 years, she transitioned to small animal medicine and has been practicing with corporate and private veterinary practices in Texas and Maryland. Dr. Cross relocated to Maryland with her husband (who was formerly in the US Air Force) in 2014 and has resided there ever since. Dr. Cross recently transitioned to a self-employed relief (locum) veterinarian. Her veterinary interests include client education/ communication on just about anything, as well as oncology, preventative medicine, end of life care and palliative care, and dermatology. She also loves to ensure each client can find the right specialist and/or get the answers or resources that they need. Prior to the pandemic, Dr. Cross loved to travel. She enjoyed going to state/national parks, beaches, mountains, road trips, and visiting family and friends or other sights. She hopes to get back to traveling more as the world opens up. Dr Cross also enjoys just spending quality time with her family, as her 3 young boys are at such a fun age, love exploring, and keep her and her husband on their toes! Dr. Cross joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Monique Lewison obtained her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and Husbandry with high honors and then went on to realize her childhood dream, graduating from the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. Since then, Dr. Lewison has had a mobile mixed animal practice in Northern Israel, worked in mixed and small animal practices in New York State, Chicagoland (where she also spent several years as an at home euthanasia veterinarian), Seattle, and East Tennessee. In 2013 she became an IVAS certified veterinary acupuncturist, and in 2015 she completed her veterinary chiropractic certification at the Healing Oasis in Wisconsin. Dr. Lewison is especially interested in animal communication and is dedicated to client education and holistic preventative care. She loves helping people better understand their pet’s issues and how to best care for them. She is currently following her husband’s dream (and now hers) of sailing around the world. While they organize to refit their 41 foot sailboat (in Kent, UK), care for her elderly mother in Israel, and care for their homestead in the foothills of the Smokies in Tennessee, Maximus, her rescued cat waits patiently for her to return from her travels each time. Dr. Lewison joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Ava Lemme is a 2016 graduate from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine located on the island of St. Kitts in the West Indies. After graduation, she spent several years working as a shelter veterinarian in the Seattle area. While she was there, she became very fond of working with homeless senior pets and providing critical care to neonatal puppies and kittens. She is excited to be a part of the Firstvet team to continue to make a difference in the lives of families and their pets. Dr. Lemme lives in Myrtle Beach, SC with her husband (also a veterinarian), their son, and their rescued island mutt, Otter. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside with her family (especially at the beach), bike riding, painting and embroidery. Dr. Lemme joined Firstvet in 2021.
Dr. Leah Talesnick is a 2015 graduate of Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a post-graduate internship and worked as an emergency veterinarian at one of the largest emergency/specialty hospitals in the country. Dr. Talesnick now works as a general practitioner at a non-profit private practice that is dedicated to community outreach for an underserved community. She also works with a rescue that takes animals from natural disasters worldwide and high-kill shelters. Dr. Talesnick has been a contributor to NPR’s podcast Talking Animals. She has a special interest in pain management, quality of life, alternative and physical therapy and is certified as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and Boston Terrier. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr Talesnick enjoys cooking and playing tennis. Dr. Talesnick joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Carmen Scippa received her veterinary degree from St. George's University in 2015. She then moved to New York City where she worked as a general practitioner for 5 years. She is currently working as a full-time relief veterinarian with small animal clinics and shelters in both New York and Texas. Dr. Scippa has a special interest in general surgery and senior care. In her free time she travels often and loves combining veterinary volunteer work with seeing new countries whenever possible. Dr. Scippa joined First Vet in 2021 and is excited to help families with their pet's veterinary needs.
Dr. Sandy Rosete earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1996. Upon graduation, Dr. Rosete returned to her adopted home state of New Mexico, where she practiced small animal and exotics medicine. In her long career, Dr. Rosete also practiced in Nevada, Hawaii (which was awesome!) and Northern California. In 2013, Dr. Rosete purchased a veterinary hospital, which allowed her to develop a deeper bond with the community and more effectively meet the needs of pets and pet parents. In her spare time, Dr. Rosete enjoys spending time with her husband, their newly adopted special needs dog, Sonrisa, and their two cats, Timmy and Millie. She enjoys hiking, biking and spending time taking in the beauty of nature. Dr. Rosete joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Allison Schwartz graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. She completed a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery rotating Internship at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in NJ. Since completing her internship, Dr. Schwartz has enjoyed being a small animal general practitioner, with a special interest in dentistry, pediatrics, and surgery. In her free time, Dr. Schwartz enjoys baking, cooking, reading, and of course spending time with her husband and young son. Dr. Schwartz joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Cathryn Doyle earned her veterinary degree at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2013 and also earned a Masters of Public Health from Virginia Tech University in December 2013. She then went on to train in a small animal rotating internship in Virginia Beach, VA from 2014 to 2015 before making her way into working as an Emergency and Critical Care veterinarian since 2015. Dr. Doyle has a keen interest in wildlife and conservation medicine and spent much of her time during her veterinary training learning and working at various zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centers. In her spare time, she enjoys snuggling up with a good book and her rescued cat, Edana, as well as taking in spectacular views while hiking atop the Rocky Mountains. Dr. Doyle joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Cindy McCauley graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. She knew from a very young age that she had a strong connection to animals and wanted to help them. So, it was no surprise that at eight years old her life would be changed by helping to pour blue antiseptic on an injured rooster. At the time, she had no idea what that “blue stuff” was, but can still remember where she was standing and what she was wearing. During her high school years, Dr. McCauley’s passion to help animals and advocate for their needs grew even stronger. Now, after more than 25 years in practice, she is still grateful to spend her life doing something she loves with people who all feel the same way! Dr. McCauley’s favorite part of being a veterinarian is that it allows her to make a difference. Whether it is preventative health care to keep animals healthy, helping a new life enter the world, performing a life- saving surgery, or assisting an old friend to pass with peace and dignity, she gets to make a difference every single day. Dr. McCauley feels blessed to have a supportive husband, daughter, son, and four-legged fur baby that understand her commitment to this career. Dr. McCauley joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Rebecca Lu graduated from Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Shortly thereafter, she and her husband moved to Maine, where she took part in a modified internship practicing alongside board certified Veterinary Internal Medicine and Surgery Specialists. Prior to having children she and her husband moved back to the Midwest to be closer to family. Dr. Lu's areas of particular interest are preventative care, feline behavior, dentistry, general surgery, wound care and integrative medicine. Dr. Lu is a Fear Free Certified practitioner. She and her husband have three children, a lab mix, 4 cats, 3 ball pythons, and a tarantula. When not practicing veterinary medicine she enjoys spending time with family, cooking, traveling, and volunteering with the Medical Reserve Corps of Greater Kansas City, and Heart to Heart International. Dr. Lu joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Heather Newett received her veterinary degree from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She is a small animal practitioner and equestrian for fun! For the past 5 years, Dr. Newett has worked at a small, private clinic in the Denver area. She also does part-time relief work for a larger corporate practice. Along with her DVM, Dr. Newett has a Bachelor’s degree from Wilson College in Pennsylvania and a Master’s of Public Health from UC Berkeley in California. She is currently working on her Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture through Chi University. During her free time, Dr. Newett loves camping, river rafting, and traveling with her veterinarian husband. Dr. Newett joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Zack Beresin received his veterinary degree from The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. Following graduation, he completed a rotating internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware. Since completing his internship, Dr. Beresin has worked as a small animal general practitioner in Ohio and New Jersey. His veterinary interests include preventative care and client education, radiology, dermatology, and surgery. Dr. Beresin’s undergraduate degree is in Environmental Studies, and he is still passionate about environmental conservation and sustainability. Outside of work, Dr. Beresin enjoys exploring the outdoors, including hiking, biking, camping and travel, cooking, listening to music, and most of all, spending time with his family. Dr. Beresin joined Firstvet in 2021.
Dr. Peregrine Wolff graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984. She has worked with zoo animals, wildlife, horses, farm animals, llamas, alpacas, and mini pigs. In addition to working with FirstVet, Dr. Wolff works for an international organization involved with wildlife health and conservation. She also sees farm animals and mini pigs for veterinary care. Dr. Wolff is particularly interested in improving husbandry and nutrition to prevent common health problems. She is an avid bird watcher and enjoys hikes and beach days with her dogs, Jasper and Charlie. Dr. Wolff joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Kayla Hyre acquired the interest of helping animals during high school while working at a local veterinary hospital, where she grew up in Louisiana. She went on to obtain her Bachelor of Science and then pursued her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University and graduated, with honors in 2016. For the past 5 years, Dr. Hyre has worked as a small animal general practitioner in both Las Vegas, NV and Ruckersville, VA, before moving to Singapore in 2021. Her professional interests include dentistry, dermatology and internal medicine. Through her special interest in the veterinary mission field, she has traveled to Haiti and Honduras multiple times. In her spare time, Dr. Hyre loves to spend time with family and friends, travel to new locations with her husband, and play tennis. She and her husband live with their shepherd mix pup Luna. Dr. Hyre joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Maggie Doley graduated from Virginia Tech College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. She moved to the west coast of Florida 7 years ago and lives in the Tampa Bay area. Dr. Doley has over 12 years of small animal (cats and dogs) experience in emergency, critical care, clinical medicine and surgery working in private and corporate veterinary practices. Soft tissue surgery and educating clients about the care of their pets are her favorite aspects of vet medicine. Prior to becoming a vet, Dr. Doley was a middle school Science and English teacher. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking with her son, traveling, and reading history and authors related to her travels. Dr. Doley joined FirstVet in 2021.
Dr. Sara Johnston graduated in 2003 from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, and worked in a rural mixed animal hospital, where she had the opportunity to work with several species of animals including horses, donkeys, cattle, and goats, along with small animals and pocket pets. Originally from Greenville, SC, she now practices small animal medicine and surgery, with a special focus on feline medicine, in the Myrtle beach area of SC. Her dog, Pinky, was rescued from the side of the road about ten years ago, and she and her mom enjoy spending time on the beach. Dr. Johnston joined FirstVet in 2021 and is excited to be a member of the team!
Dr. Danielle Woolf received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. Since graduating, she has practiced small animal, emergency and exotics medicine in New York City. Her veterinary interests include internal medicine, dermatology, surgery and dentistry. Dr. Woolf is currently living in South Africa to spend time with family and to do volunteer work. Dr. Woolf joined FirstVet in 2021 and is excited to help with your pet’s care!
Dr. Julie Napier graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. She started work in a small animal, exotics, and emergency practice, with the intent of becoming a zoo and wildlife veterinarian. She spent almost 20 years in a variety of zoological institutions and did field work around the world including South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar, and Belize. Dr. Napier has a passion for animal welfare and conservation. Although she is no longer practicing in the wildlife field, she continues to be involved, writing book chapters and journal articles. She takes in senior dogs (over the years she has rescued 19 to date), has remained active in small animal medicine, and continues to consult in exotic pet and wildlife medicine. Dr. Napier joined FirstVet in September 2020.
Dr. Denise Michanowicz graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. After 26 years of practicing as a small animal veterinarian, Dr. Michanowicz’s wide range of veterinary expertise includes everything from new puppy/kitten visits to emergency & sick patients. She has been a practice owner and currently works as a locum veterinarian on a small island in Denmark. More than anything, she enjoys promoting the human animal bond between pets and their families. Dr. Michanowicz lives with her husband, 3 teenagers, and 3 cats - Moodie, Garfield, and Domino. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her family, outdoor activities, and gardening. While English is her first language, she is fluent in Italian, along with an intermediate ability in Danish. Dr. Michanowicz joined FirstVet in September 2020 and is excited to be part of an additional method to help families with their pets’ veterinary needs.
Dr. Eve Cohen received her veterinary degree from St. Matthew's University in Grand Cayman in 2014 and spent her clinical year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She then completed a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery rotating internship at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in New York City. Dr. Cohen has been a small animal general practitioner in NYC, Long Island, and Bluffton, SC. Her special interests include anesthesia and pain management, geriatric care, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Dr. Cohen is a classically trained violinist and violist and also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing from Skidmore College. She lives in Bluffton, SC with her fiance, 3 rescued cats and a toy poodle - all named after musical references. Dr. Cohen joined FirstVet in 2020.
Dr. Tina Pilgram graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Since then, she has worked in the Houston, Texas area as a small animal and exotics veterinarian in private practice. Dr. Pilgram especially enjoys working with ferrets, rabbits, pocket pets, reptiles and chelonian species. She has a special interest in educating owners about the importance of diet and husbandry practices for their exotic pets. Dr. Pilgram’s other passion includes helping pet families care for their senior cats and dogs, emphasizing health and quality of life. In her spare time, Dr. Pilgram enjoys scuba diving, reading, gardening, various art projects, and traveling with her boyfriend. She currently has 2 cats, a red-footed tortoise, and a high energy dog! Dr. Pilgram joined FirstVet in 2020.
Dr. Diane Givler received her veterinary degree from Ross University in 2008 and spent her clinical year at LSU (Geaux Tigers!). She is originally from Pennsylvania, and has practiced small animal medicine in Rochester, NY, Columbia, SC, and Southport, NC. Dr. Givler has worked in small private-owned hospitals, large corporate hospitals, and on a non-profit surgically-equipped spay/neuter RV. Most recently she has been self-employed as a relief veterinarian and is currently living on a 58 foot sailboat with her husband, two dogs, and one cat. Dr. Givler joined FirstVet in 2020.
Dr. Sheena Haney earned her veterinary degree in 2010 from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. After completing veterinary school, she moved to SE Idaho where she worked as a small animal veterinarian for 5 years. During this time, she enjoyed building relationships with her patients and their humans. After the birth of her second child, she and her husband decided it was time to move their family back to their hometown in Southern Oregon. Since then, Dr. Haney has worked as a general practitioner and emergency veterinarian. Her professional interests include dentistry, wound management, and geriatric care. Dr. Haney is a Fear Free Certified Practitioner and a member of the OVMA and AVMA. When not at the clinic, she enjoys brief moments of quiet reading, writing, and finding new ways to wear out her two young children and a three-legged Border Collie. Dr. Haney joined FirstVet in 2020 and looks forward to helping families take an active role in their pet’s healthcare.