I grew up on Long Island, born and raised on the north shore in Nassau county. I’ve lived many places, from North Carolina, to the Caribbean, to Texas, and no where feels more like home than Long Island, New York. At the house where I grew up in Great Neck we had a pond, woods and a runoff river that headed to the L.I. sound. I started at a young age bringing home baby turtles, abandoned baby birds and squirrels. I would care for them and release them back where I found them. My parents are animal lovers, so they allowed me to bring these creatures into the house and helped me care for them. According to them, they knew I would be a veterinarian by the time I was 2 years old.
I grew up with dogs, cats, and other creatures. My mother was involved with feral cat spay, neuter and release organizations, so we had a colony of strays that we fed every night. I was shown through my mother’s actions how to care for these stray cats. They were all spayed or neutered, had heated sleeping boxes and had access to fresh water and food. Of course when you start feeding cats outside the other wild life gets wind and they all come to take part in the nightly buffet. So every night we put out food for the cats, and then round two was for the raccoons and opossums. My sister and I would watch them– they all had names, and we would get excited if something new showed up.
Before becoming a veterinarian I went to art school, and then culinary school, but neither of those things made me as happy as the time I had spent as an assistant in animal hospitals. I was finally talked into applying to vet school by one of my mentors when I was about 29 years old. It was going to be a big commitment as I needed to finish undergrad before applying. I was finally accepted by Ross School of Veterinary Medicine, and started veterinary school when I was 32 years old. I moved to the beautiful island of St. kitts for almost 3 years and then to College Station, Texas where I did my clinical year. After graduating, I returned to Long Island – where I have always felt most at home.
I currently live in Huntington with my family, our 2 dogs and 5 cats. We also have a 165 gallon reef tank, with live coral and beautiful salt water fish. Learning about coral has been an amazing undertaking that my husband and I started about 4 years ago. There is so much to learn about the life that is in our oceans. My husband and I also enjoy exploring Long Island, traveling abroad when we can, and staying home with our amazing pets.