The Council

Phillip Raclyn, DVM CVA
Founder and Chief Executive Officer:

Practicing since 1986 in the Greater New York Area. Co-Owner and Director of VETSnyc (Riverside Animal Hospital, Riverside Veterinary Group, Yorktown Animal Hospital, and Mobile Vet Express).

Dr. Raclyn has appeared on television innumerable times (you can see some here at our hospitals website .)

He has been quoted innumerable times in newspapers and magazines ranging from The New York Times, The Daily News to Cat Fancy.He has been a contributing editor to two books on raising pets holistically (Keep Your Dog Healthy the Natural Way and Keep Your Cat Healthy the Natural Way). He was honored by JASA (Jewish Association Serving the Aging) for his charitable contributions in helping senior citizens keep their pets healthy.

Dr Raclyn was recently chosen after a nationwide search to star in a pilot show for the A & E network. The filming of the pilot concluded last year, but the project is still sitting on a shelf at A & E.

He is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist with advanced training in Chinese Herbal Medicine and Veterinary Forensics. He is also a member of the AVMA, NYSVMA, NYCVMA, IVAS, AAVA and numerous other veterinary and animal related associations. Dr Raclyn was also recently chosen to participate as a core member of the AVMA Panel on Depopulation.
Sylvia Bedford Guaus, DVM MS PhD, Dip.ACT
Chief of Theriogenology, Breeding and Reproduction

Dr. Bedford is a specialist in reproduction. She obtained her DVM in 1991 from the University of Barcelona, and completed a MS in Reproductive Physiology from Colorado State University (1993). She underwent specialized veterinary residency training in Large Animal Internal Medicine (Tufts University, 1993-96) and Animal Reproduction (University of Pennsylvania, 1996-98), and became a specialist in reproduction by the American College of Theriogenologists in 1997.Between 1998-2004.

Dr Bedford Guaus was a lecturer by the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, meanwhile completing a PhD in basic reproductive physiology. In 2004 she became an Assistant Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University where she divided her time among teaching, clinical and research duties.

Since February 2013 she is a postdoctoral researcher at the CMR[B], a research center working on Stem Cell Research, whose main goals include understanding the basic mechanisms of initial development and organogenesis, as well as the application of the cell lines derived from stem cells to diseases and regenerative medicine in which there is a loss of cells (degenerative diseases).

She is a dog lover and excited about the opportunity to share her dog reproduction knowledge and expertise to support this project.
Albert Ahn, DVM
USDA and FDA Liaison

Dr. Ahn graduated from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine with a DVM degree. Following an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, he completed a small animal medicine residency at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine Foster Hospital for Small Animals.

An experienced veterinarian and a seasoned industry veteran, Dr Ahn has since held several senior managerial positions at Sumitomo Corporation of America (formerly JW Childs), Merial (a division of Merck and Sanofi-Aventis), and Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. (a division of Colgate Palmolive). In June 2008, AB Science launched the US division of its company under the leadership of Dr. Ahn, president of U.S. operations.Dr Ahn has extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies, starting with his work with Frontline, then Vectra, and more recently, KinaVet.

He is our liaison with governmental agencies, including the USDA.
Lisa Boyer, DVM
Breeder Education and Certification

Dr Boyer is an Emergency and Critical Care veterinarian who has extensive experience treating sporting dogs with both Western and holistic veterinary medicine. She is also an avid dog breeder.... breeding Wirehaired Pointing Griffons. In fact, she's an AKC Breeder of Merit! You can see more about her breeding activities here: .

She is also an AKC Delegate working closely with the AKC to preserve purebred dogs. Dr Boyer writes for several Sporting Dog publications, including a monthly column for North American Versatile Hunting Dog Magazine for whom she is a Contributing Editor. She has written extensively, and has well over 40 published articles with such diverse topics as Breeder Ethics, Sporting Dog Health, Health Issues Related to Breeding and many more.

Dr Boyer, with unique experiences as a veterinarian and a breeder is in charge, with Dr Bedford Guauss, of our training programs. More specifically, she'll be working on our Master Breeder program.
Jean Dodds, DVM

Dr. Dodds received the D.V.M. degree with honors in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto. In 1965, she accepted a position as a Research Scientist with the New York State Health Department. In 1980, she also became Executive Director, New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services. 1986 when she moved to Southern California to establish Hemopet (she is currently the President of Hemopet), the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals.

Dr. Dodds is very well-known for her minimum vaccine protocols and as Co-Trustee of The Rabies Challenge Fund. She has authored several articles such as "Changing Vaccine Protocols". Dr. Dodds co-authored "The Canine Thyroid Epidemic: Answers You Need for Your Dog", which was rewarded the Dog Writers Association of America, Best Care and Health Book for 2011 and the Eukanuba Maxwell Canine Health Award. Her second book, Nutrigenomics: Foods that heal your dog, was published in January 2015.

      • 1974: Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year, AVMA Annual Meeting
      • 1977: Region I Award for Outstanding Service to the Veterinary Profession from the American Animal Hospital Association
      • 1978 and 1990: received the Gaines Fido Award as Dogdom's Woman of the Year
      • 1978: Recognition of Special Contributions to the Veterinary Profession from the American Animal Hospital Association
      • 1984: Centennial Medal from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
      • 1987: Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academy of Practice in Veterinary Medicine
      • 1994: Holistic Veterinarian of the Year Award from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association

In 2011, Dr. Dodds released NutriScan, a food sensitivity and intolerance diagnostic test for dogs. NutriScan tests for twenty of the most commonly ingested foods.
Laurie Coger, DVM CVCP

Dr. Coger is a veterinarian, breeder (Australian Shepherds), trainer, and author. She is an honors graduate of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, majoring in Animal Science, with a special interest and advanced training in nutrition. She received her DVM degree from Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Her “real world” experiences in veterinary hospitals both large and small, housecall practice, and shelter medicine have broadened her skills and knowledge. She regularly integrates chiropractic, low level laser, herbal, nutritional, and physical therapy techniques into her treatment plans. Her first book, “Vaccines Explained: The Wholistic Vet’s Guide to Vaccinating Your Dog” is currently available on Amazon. She's been featured in USA Today, Dogs Naturally Magazine, Pet360, PetMD, and numerous nationally known blogs and websites. She has been nominated for a Dog Writers’ Association of America award for her work in the Australian Shepherd Journal.
Jason Berg, DVM, DACVIM/Neurology

Dr. Berg is the co-founder and staff neurologist and internist with Animal Specialty Center. Prior to founding ASC, Dr. Berg developed a referral hospital within County Animal Clinic. Concurrently, they established Animal MR, a mobile MRI service for specialty veterinary hospitals. They were the first veterinarians to provide MRI services for the New York metropolitan area.In 1997. Dr. Berg completed his rotating internship in medicine and surgery at The Animal Medical Center in NYC. In 2000 he completed a dual residency in both neurology and internal medicine. He is board certified in both of these specialties.

Dr. Berg has published numerous articles pertaining to veterinary neurology and has presented at professional conferences around the country. He completed a training program in veterinary acupuncture with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 2001 and has been providing acupuncture to his clients ever since.

Dr. Berg has spearheaded collaboration with a large number of rescue organizations. He believes it to be a duty as a veterinarian to help the less fortunate. He has been the recipient of numerous accolades for his work by the rescue community, including guest of honor at Cat Assistance and Pet Adoption League's Wags & Whiskers Gala and the 'Hope Award' presented to him by The Husky House, among others.
Justin Ward, DVM RCVS
Australia / New Zealand

Dr Ward qualified as a vet in South Africa, and left African shores in 2000 to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK, and spend the next 5 years working around the UK and traveling around the world. After working in practices in Sydney and the Gold Coast, as well as starting a practice in Coomera, Justin decided he wanted to offer high quality veterinary care, from new well equipped premises, with a solid dose of good old fashioned customer service. Reedy Creek Veterinary Surgery opened its doors in May 2012, and has grown tremendously in size and staff ever since. With ongoing corporatisation of the industry, Justin wanted to focus on building a highly skilled, compassionate team, with a focus on the wellbeing of the pet, and build life long relationships with customers.

It was Dr Ward who brought it to the attention of The Veterinary Council for Breed Stewardship that the Puppy Mill problem exists in Australia and New Zealand as well, and he wanted to be on the forefront on any action that could change that.
Karen Helton Rhodes, DVM, DACVD

Dr. Helton Rhodes practices as a board certified veterinary dermatologist in the tri-state region. Her dermatology training started at the Animal Medical Center in NYC as an intern and dermatology resident.

She stayed in New York as head of the department of dermatology at The Animal Medical Center for 13 years. While at the AMC, she also held the position of Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at New York University Hospital.She then moved her practice across the river and opened Riverdale Veterinary Dermatology in northern New Jersey.

She was the recipient of the Merit Award from the VMA of NYC, the Clendenin J. Ryan teaching award, and is listed as one of the “Best Veterinarians in New York” by New York Magazine.

She continues to lecture both nationally and abroad and has authored numerous refereed veterinary medical journal articles, research abstracts, and textbook chapters.Dr. Helton-Rhodes’ most current textbook is “The 5-Minute Veterinary Consult- Clinical Companion in Small Animal Dermatology” which is published in 7 languages.

Her most recent venture is the development of a new company, Canine Skin Solutions, Inc., with partner and fellow dermatologist, Dr. Terri Bonenberger. They have designed an informational website ( for pet owners and formulated a novel skin-care line of topical products for pets. They also have an educational Facebook page and interactive group for Canine Skin Solutions, Inc.
Martin Randell, DVM, DACVIM

Dr Randell grew up in Queens and Long Island, NY. He received a BS in Biology from Cornell University in 1972 and an MA in Neurobiology and Animal Behavior from UCLA in 1973. He achieved his DVM degree from the University of Missouri in 1979. Dr. Randell pursued an internship in small animal medicine and surgery followed by a residency in internal medicine and neurology at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. At the AMC he was also responsible for the care of exotic pets. After leaving the Animal Medical Center he was the staff internist at County Animal Clinic in Yonkers, NY.

In 1984 he joined Somers Animal Hospital, soon becoming a partner.

Dr. Randell achieved Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1985. As well as specializing in internal medicine, he has expertise in gastrointestinal endoscopy and ultrasonography and continues to care for pet birds, reptiles and small mammals. Dr Randell is licensed in wildlife rehabilitation.
Douglas Wyler, DVM

Dr Wyler is a founding partner of The Animal Medical Hospital and Bird Clinic, and in Queens Trylon Vet Care and Whitestone Vet Care. He is a graduate of Cornell University and The University of Bologna Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Wyler, residing in nearby Rockville Centre, has been practicing here over 25 years. He has had extensive post graduate training in surgery, both soft tissue and orthopedic, as well as radiology, dermatology and internal medicine. In addition, in 1999 Dr. Wyler completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society's course in Acupuncture.

Dr. Wyler has played an active roll in organized veterinary medicine. He was

  • President of the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association from 1996-1997
  • Chairman of the Ethics Committee
  • Chairman of the New York State Board for Veterinary Medicine

He is the recipient of numerous State Society and Regional Awards for Service to the Profession, and remains an active member of The American Veterinary Medical Association, as well as the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association.In addition, Dr. Wyler is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association's Leadership Advisory Council. Finally, Dr. Wyler is also an educator. He taught pet owners about pet care for over 18 years as an adjunct lecturer at Molloy College in the department of continuing education. He is also a visiting professor of Veterinary Surgery at the University of Bologna (Italy) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine since 1999.
David Bessler, DVM

Dr. David Bessler was born and raised in Rockland County New York. He received his bachelors in Animal Science from Cornell University in 1999, and his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from The University of Pennsylvania in 2003.

He completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at The Center for Specialized Veterinary Care on Long Island and remained there for two years as the Director of Emergency and Critical Care.

Dr. Bessler then headed the emergency service at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Manhattan where he worked for 8 years.In January of 2014 Dr. Bessler became the owner and medical director of The Veterinary Emergency Group which was founded by Westchester’s community of veterinarians over 25 years ago to provide high quality emergency veterinary care after hours and on weekends.
Beth Hirschfeld, DVM CVA VMO

Dr. Hirschfeld is the president of Hirschfeld Veterinary Consulting, Inc. She currently works as the veterinarian for Flamingo Gardens Wildlife Sanctuary in Davie, FL, Billie Swamp Safari in Clewiston, FL and as a per diem surgeon for the Humane Society of Broward County, Humane society of Greater Miami and for other private clinics and rescue groups. She is also called to consult and do special surgeries for local exotic pet owners, wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife centers. Dr. Hirschfeld has appeared on various TV shows and news clips, most notably Swamp Men's most wanted episode.

She is an IVAS Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist.

She is the President of the Florida Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (, veterinary consultant and volunteer for Meals for Pets (providing pet food for homebound seniors and terminally ill individuals).

Dr. Hirschfeld sits on the advisory board of the Miami/Dade veterinary technician program and was a veterinary medical officer for the National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT 3) which is one of five nationwide federal disaster response teams. NVRTs are federally deployed to help support the veterinary infrastructure to care for exotic, wild and domestic animals in times of disaster or epidemic outbreaks.

When not flying around (she is a licensed pilot) or embarking on her outdoor adventures, Dr. Hirschfeld can be found in Hollywood, FL where she lives with her rock star crew: dogs Brady and Teddy, a resident ocicat, Luke and sweet orange tabby Romeo.

  • American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV)
  • Wildlife Disease Association (WDA)
  • AVMA
  • FVMA
  • International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS)
  • Association of Veterinarians for the Environment (AVE)
  • American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AAWV)
  • National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA)
  • International Wildlife Rehabilitators Council (IWRC)
  • International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine (IAAAM)
  • PADI Divemaster
  • Society for Aquatic Veterinary Medicine (SAVM)
  • Volunteer veterinarian for NOAA/NMFS.
Keith Niesenbaum, VMD

Dr. Niesenbaum has been in small animal practice since graduating from The University of Pennsylvania with his VMD from the Veterinary College, class of '84. Shortly after arriving on Long Island, he started a house call practice which expanded to his current practice situation.

Dr. Niesenbaum owns
  • The Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital in Garden City Park
  • The Great Neck Dog and Cat Hospital
  • The Farmingdale Dog and Cat Clinic

    • He still enjoys the extended client contact afforded by house call practice and carries that philosophy over into his in office practice.Dr. Niesenbaum is a member of the AVMA, NYSVMS, and LIVMA where he currently serves as president of the executive board.
Terri Bonenberger, DVM, DACVD

Dr Bonenberger is a graduate of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and completed a residency and clinical fellowship in dermatology at the University of California, Davis. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology since 2000,

Dr. Bonenberger practiced full-time as a clinical dermatologist since her residency and joined IDEXX laboratories in March 2012.She has authored numerous articles on small animal dermatology and lectures both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Bonenberger currently provides consultation services for veterinarians in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Dr. Bonenberger continues to practice part-time in Charleston, South Carolina & Savannah, Georgia
Carl Singer, DVM After completing his Bachelor’s at UC Berkeley, Dr. Singer went on to receive his Doctor of Veterinary medicine from UC Davis. Upon graduating, Dr. Singer worked at a veterinary practice that included over 6 doctors. For the next ten years he developed his knowledge not only inclusively on dogs and cats, but also with rabbits, hamsters, birds and other exotic animals that fascinated him.Dr. Singer juggles the many tasks of having a family, enjoying personal hobbies, practicing veterinary medicine, and owning a veterinary clinic.

Dr Singer manages licensees for the Hayward and Oakland Animal Shelters. He also holds a seat on the CVMA Legislative committee, where he discusses and votes on policies that affect the veterinary community.
Jane Kosovsky, DVM

Dr. Kosovsky performs the major orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries for many of the larger hospitals in NYC. A graduate of Ohio State University Veterinary School, she completed her veterinary internship at the Animal Medical Center and then her Surgical Residency at the Animal Medical Center as well. "All I do is surgery, and many of them every day," says Dr. Kosovsky. She performs surgery in a dozen different clinics in Manhattan.
Laurie Coger, DVM CVCP

Dr. Coger is a wholistic veterinarian, dog owner, trainer, and breeder. She is an honors graduate of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, majoring in Animal Science, with a special interest and advanced training in nutrition. She received her DVM degree from Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Her “real world” experiences in veterinary hospitals both large and small, housecall practice, and shelter medicine have broadened her skills and knowledge. She regularly integrates chiropractic, low level laser, herbal, nutritional, and physical therapy techniques into her treatment plans. She is a staunch advocate of raw, natural diets. Her first book, “Vaccines Explained: The Wholistic Vet’s Guide to Vaccinating Your Dog” is currently available on Amazon. She is well known in the media, having been featured in USA Today, Dogs Naturally Magazine, Pet360, PetMD, and numerous nationally known blogs and websites. She has been nominated for a Dog Writers’ Association of America award for her work in the Australian Shepherd Journal.
Karen Louis, DVM, Ph.D

Most veterinarians are pretty smart. You have to be to get into veterinary school (if you didn't know, it's harder than getting into medical school). Then again, there are some people who are just over the top in terms of intelligence and education. Dr Louis first earned a Ph.D in molecular cell biology at Washington University School of Medicine. Then she adopted two rescued dogs. After becoming more involved with dog rescue, she realized veterinary medicine would be the best career for me. After being accepted into multiple veterinary schools, she chose University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2004. Her favorite areas of medicine are dermatology and internal medicine.
Affiliated Council Members
Steven Kasanofsky, DVM CVA CVH  Steven Kasanofsky, DVM CVA CVH

Practicing since 1985 in the Greater New York area, he is the Co-Owner and Medical Director of VETSnyc (Riverside Animal Hospital,Riverside Veterinary Group, Yorktown Animal Hospital, and Mobile Vet Express).

He is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture and also certified through IVAS in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine.He has also appeared in print and on television a multitude of times, including Animal Planet, the New York Times, and on local NYC news stories many times.
He was recently one of the runner ups for the title of America's Favorite Veterinarian.
He is a member of the AVMA, NYSVMA, NYCVMA, IVAS, AAVA and numerous other veterinary and animal related associations
JaJa Tsai, DVM, CVA JaJa Tsai, DVM, CVA

Dr. Tsai is one of the few veterinarians who has experience as a breeder. You can look at her photo and guess which breed she's passionate about.
Dr. Tsai is also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, and a wonderful, compassionate veterinarian. Her many special interests and talents include Chinese Herbal Medicine & TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Animal Behavioral Problems, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Reproduction, Dermatology, Dentistry, Internal Medicine, Ophthalmology, Preventative Medicine, Oncology, Geriatrics, and of course Acupuncture.

  • International Veterinary Acupuncture Society
  • American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture
  • Past Treasurer and Past President - Metropolitan Veterinary Medical Association
  • Morris County SPCA
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • NJ Veterinary Medical Association
  • , International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management
Deborah Charles, DVM Deborah Charles, DVM

Dr. Charles first graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M in 1979 with a degree in animal science. In 1981, she graduated cum laude with a degree in veterinary science. After receiving her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M in 1983, Dr. Charles joined the Casa Linda Animal Clinic team in Dallas, Tx, where she's been ever since.

For more than 25 years, she has enjoyed many long-term relationships with our clients, their families, and their pets.Dr. Charles holds interests in challenging internal medicine cases and working with behavioral issues in dogs and cats. As one of the top wellness doctors in the nation, she enjoys every aspect of pet development, from puppy- and kittenhood to the senior years.
Philip Freedman, DVM Philip Freedman, DVM

Dr. Freedman has been a familiar presence as a veterinarian on the Upper West Side of Manhattan since 1981.

He owned and directed the Ansonia Veterinary Center on W. 75th St. for 20 years from 1987 to 2007, where he and many other veterinarians provided excellent and compassionate care.

From 2007 on he has been the Chief of Medicine at Riverside Veterinary Group. Dr Freedman graduated from The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979. He currently lives Jersey City, along with two rescued cats Eli and April, and four cantankerous goldfish that are trying to outgrow their large tank.
Keith Gordon, DVM Keith Gordon, DVM

Dr. Keith Gordon has been practicing Veterinary Medicine for thirty years. For twenty three years, he owned his own practice, All Pets Animal Hospital in Staten Island, NY before merging with a newer state of the art facility, Bay St Animal Hospital where he currently practices.

Dr. Gordon also started and runs a veterinary business called House Calls for Pets. He has always had an interest in treating arthritic animals and in 2009 was certified to perform Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine.

He has recently joined the Medical Advisory Board of Nutra Pharma.
Bonnie Bragdon, DVM Bonnie Bragdon, DVM

Dr Bragdon has a wide breadth of experience within the industry of veterinary medicine. From 1999 – 2000 she practiced mixed animal medicine in rural setting. Performed surgery and diagnosed and treated dogs, cats and horses.

From 2000-2002 she directed shelter operation and law enforcement activities for Augusta Richmond County Animal Services, so she has first hand knowledge and experience with the overpopulation problem.

She recently left her position in business development to create an animal health care products company. That company is due to launch their first product third quarter of 2014.Dr. Bragdon also works as a consultant. Her professional experience has included business development, marketing, managing and owning a small business, managing a government agency, and practicing small animal medicine. S

he currently also has started and continue to moderates the Facebook group "Under the Microscope: Professional Issues in Veterinary Medicine"
Georgia Weber, DVM Georgia Weber, DVM

Dr Weber grew up in Brisbane, Australia, in a family home that backed onto bush land. The possums, wallabies and birdlife that busied themselves outside my bedroom window endlessly fascinated me. So many of "my childhood photos involve me feeding the kookaburras, and I was always trying to rescue baby birds that had fallen out of those tall gum trees."

While she initially pursued a career in music, a growing concern for animal welfare and adoration for her Chihuahua, Princess Veronica, drove her to commit herself to a career that would improve animal health and well-being.She graduated from her veterinary studies at the University of Queensland, Australia, with first class honors. An internship then drew her to Melbourne, Australia, where she continued to work afterwards in general practice. She has a strong interest in pain relief in animals, which culminated in a paper published in the Australian Veterinary Journal in 2012. As a clinician she is interested in medicine, critical care, behavior and palliative care.She says, "I feel privileged each day at work to be able to contribute to animal health and witness the wonderful bond between pets and their owners. I made the move to Manhattan in March this year.

"I have strong feelings that Puppy Mills should not be allowed to exist. I also do not believe the pet stores should be able to sell dogs and cats. People should rescue or go through a registered breeder that doesn’t compromise animal health and welfare. These are things that we are working to legislate back home in Australia"
Dennis Leon, DVM  Dennis Leon, DVM

Voted Best Veterinarian in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the readers of Long Island Press, he earned his veterinary degree from Cornell University in 2001.

Following his veterinary education, Dr. Leon worked in a busy multi-doctor practice in Hayward, CA, where he also served as a veterinary consultant to the City of Hayward Animal Services Bureau, Hayward Animal Shelter, Alameda County Animal Control, and San Leandro Animal Shelter. He moved back to his hometown of New York City in 2004 and worked as a relief veterinarian at several small animal hospitals in Manhattan before taking over Levittown Animal Hospital in 2005.

Dr. Leon's professional interests include preventative medicine, anesthesiology, pain management, kidney disease, behavioral medicine and obesity treatment.In 2014, he completed the requirements for becoming a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist via the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in Coral Springs, Florida.He has served as director of the Southside Community Center Healthy Pet Clinic, which provides wellness care to pets of low-income families in Ithaca, NY.

Dr. Leon has also served on the Board of Directors of For Animals in the Hospital (FAITH), an organization developed to defray the costs of medical care for homeless and abandoned animals.He currently splits his time between New York and Las Vegas.
Lauren Bowling, DVM Lauren Bowling, DVM

Currently living in Korea, Dr Bowling is a graduate of Washington State University.

She previously owned Bloomington Cat Hospital, in Indiana. She has worked as both an emergency veterinarian, relief veterinarian, and as an associate veterinarian.

Quoting from the City of Bloomington web page... "Dr. Bowling is equally cherished for her selfless contributions like serving on two MCHA puppy mill rescue teams and leading Vet evaluations for hundreds of animals in dismal conditions. Dr. Bowling not only donated her time during these physically and emotionally draining raids, but has also served as an expert witness for testimony to the Indiana House of Representatives for the proposed legislation to reduce on puppy mills and animal cruelty in Indiana."

Member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinary News Network, and American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Mary Finley, DVM CVA CVH Mary Finley, DVM CVA CVH

Dr Finley graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine 1982. Dr Finley received certification in Veterinary Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

She has worked extensively with local wildlife rehabilitation organizations and served on the Board of Directors for Lafayette Animal Aid, a local no-kill animal shelter located in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Dr Finley is currently owner of Carencro Veterinary Clinic in Carencro, Louisiana.
Fredrick Zborowski, DVM Fredrick Zborowski, DVM

Dr. Zborowski (aka Dr “Z”) graduated from the University of Naples Veterinary School in 1993. He is a native New Yorker and attended undergraduate school at Brooklyn College. Dr. Z briefly practiced in Italy before returning to the states. He then went on to Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine where he spent a year learning basic surgical techniques as well as performing more advanced surgeries, including various techniques of fracture repair. He also improved upon his clinical skills at Tuskegee.

After completing his internship in clinical medicine and surgery at Tuskegee, he came to Oregon where he practiced at Companion Pet Clinic (CPC), first in Gresham then in Beaverton. He furthered his career at the Raleigh Hills Veterinary Clinic in Oregon (now a VCA) before purchasing his own clinic in 2001.

Dr. Z became the proud owner of Companion Pet Clinic Salmon Creek to offer affordable quality pet care. On a daily basis he lives by the founder's motto "No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted."
Joseph Zuckerman, DVM Joseph Zuckerman, DVM

Dr. Zuckerman received his Bachelors in Science in Marine Biology from Farleigh Dickenson University in Teaneck N.J. He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in Basseterre, Saint Christopher. His senior year in veterinary school was spent doing clinical rotations such as medicine, surgery and anesthesiology at the University Of Minnesota School Of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Zuckerman is a former adjunct professor of comparative anatomy at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.,

Dr. Zuckerman is on the advisory board for the Animal Welfare League and frequently provides services and consultations with animal rescue organizations such as Pet Rescue and Adopt-A-Dog.
Pam Schott, DVM Pam Schott, DVM

Dr. Schott grew up in Bergen County, NJ, has been practicing medicine and surgery - small animal and exotics - for 27 years, in Northern NJ. She graduated from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell in 1987, after receiving a BS with distinction in all subjects from the Cornell College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Biochemistry.

She is active in animal rescue work, in anti-puppy mill advocacy, and as a volunteer for spay/neuter projects.

Recently participant in diagnostic ultrasound training through Sound-Eklin, active member of and VIN (Veterinary Information Network). Special interest in soft tissue surgery as well as exotics. Practice website Animal Hospital of Sussex County
Michelle Brownstein, DVM Michelle Brownstein, DVM

I am proud to be a member of a profession dedicated to the health and welfare of animals.

I was born and raised in Rochester, NY and returned after finishing my education to begin practice. My goal was to stay in large animal practice but a back injury altered that path. So, I have been practicing small animal medicine and surgery exclusively since 1986.After so many years in practice, I enjoy each day as much as the first. One decision that I have chosen is to remain the sole owner and practitioner. This enables me to meet each patient and make the pet’s health a vital responsibility. Furthermore, being solo allows me to continue to add a personal touch to a cat or dog’s health care whether it is just a follow-up call after an operation or comforting a bereaved client who has lost their pet.

Dr. Brownstein is a member of the Genesee Valley Veterinary Medical Association, the New York State Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians
Lauren Smith, DVM Lauren Price Smith, DVM

Undergraduate degree from UC Santa Cruz in Neuroscience and Behavior. Earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine from UC Davis. She has been with Banfield Pet Hospital since 2010 and with the Santa Cruz Team since opening in 2011. She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and two dogs Phoebe (12) and Rocco (8).
Mary Battistella, DVM, CVA Mary Battistella, DVM, CVA, CVH

Dr B is a 1983 graduate of Auburn University and has been practicing integrative medicine since 1992. She incorporates acupuncture, chiropractic, Chinese herbal medicine, homotoxicology and nutrition into her small animal practice. Dr. Battistella owns and operates Kowaliga Whole Health Pet Care in Eclectic, Alabama and also does integrative work in the Birmingham, AL at Riverview Animal Clinic. She completed IVAS certification in acupuncture in 1994, and herbal certification in 2000. She has completed the IVAS herbal, BEVAS herbal and Mona Boudreaux and Gary Allen’s course in 1998 and 1999. She now continues herbal studies with Jim Skoien, OMD and with Dr. Shen Xie. Dr. Battistella has published an Atlas of Scalp Acupuncture of the Dog, Cat, and Horse with contributions from Dr. Buxton of Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine. She has recently presented on Veterinary Acupuncture and Herbs at the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) Congress, the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (AAVA) Congress, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, the International Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Congress in Beijing, and the North American Veterinary Conference. Dr. Battistella is also is a part of the Integrative Medicine program at the Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine and is on the teaching staff at Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese veterinary Medicine
Rebecca Weitzner, DVM Rebecca Weitzner, DVM

In the world we live in, there are people who are natural “healers” and innate “givers”. They’re born to help people, or help animals. Dr Weitzner is the epitome of this. Veterinary Medicine, in fact, is her second career. Her first career was that of a psychiatric social worker, a profession that just embodies empathy and caring. But as much as she loved doing that, she came to realize that her real passion was for pets (and their humans). Compassion, caring and empathy are traits that just can’t be taught. People are, or they aren’t… and Dr Weitzner is as empathic, caring and compassionate as one can hope for in a veterinarian. The clients at Yorktown Animal Hospital are lucky to be served by her.

One Comment to The Council

  1. Great project! Let me know what I can do to help.

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