National Veterinary Technician Week

VetCor has over 1,300 technicians, and we would like to take a moment recognize them this National Veterinary Technician Week for all their hard work and dedication!

Here are just some of the reasons why we love vet techs:

  1. They get their hands dirty – figuratively and literally – and get the hard work done every day to ensure the health and wellbeing of patients in their care.
  2. They are strong. Not only can they wrangle large and fractious pets, but they also provide warm hugs and kind words during some of the most emotional moments of a pet parent’s life!
  3. Vet techs are team players. Without their help, veterinarians couldn’t do their jobs. But their work doesn’t stop there – you will frequently see a tech answering phones or stepping up to help other teams in their practice when needed.
  4. They’re smart cookies! Did you know that vet techs are required to learn about the anatomy of many animals, even if their practice doesn’t treat them? They need to be quick and think on their feet, learn new tricks on the job, and often take courses and exams to continue their education.
  5. They are passionate about pets. Whether it’s a dog, a cat, a hamster or snake, vet techs are animal lovers, and provide compassionate care to every pet that they see.

Each day, our technicians help our practices to provide quality care, compassionate medicine, and tailored client education to ensure all of our pets live long and happy lives. Please join us in thanking them for all that they do!

Our teams are back at it again and making a difference within their communities through volunteer work, training, and doing the right thing for people and pets in need.

We take great pride in the connections made within the VetCor family, as well as out in our practices’ local communities, and are excited to share a few of our favorite moments from this September!


While we deal with an overwhelming hurricane season, we are reminded of how important disaster planning truly is. And with September being National Preparedness Month, we wanted to sit down with some VetCor family members who’ve dealt with disasters to get their advice on protecting themselves, their staff, and patients during potential crises.

practice-plan-prepareDr. Chad Harris, Chief of Staff at North Austin Animal Hospital in Austin, TX and Vice President of the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation, says that making sure you can always communicate with your team is key. Prior to Hurricane Harvey, he reached out to all his staff and checked with them to make sure they were ready with adequate food and water, and that they had a safe place to ride out the storm.

As many pet owners were forced to evacuate before the hurricane, many of our Houston practices reached out to their clients to provide information and help them get their pets out safely before the storm hit. We are so proud of our teams for working together and on their feet during such a hectic time, to ensure the wellbeing of all the animals in their care.

Preparing your practice to withstand emergencies and disasters is also something to think about, even if you’re not in a high-risk area. Chief of Staff at Countryside Veterinary Hospital in Chelmsford, MA, Dr. Dawn Brooks, suggests keeping emergency boxes on hand. To deal with power outages, she suggests storing battery-powered camping lanterns and head lamps, extension cords, flashlights, and even construction spot lights, and checking batteries twice a year.


Jennifer Cwiklinski is a Veterinary Technician and Client Care Specialist in Brick, NJ.

With all the good work that they do to save abandoned animals, it’s no wonder I ended up at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital in Brick, NJ a few years ago. Majik, my female black and white cat, was found on the doorstep at Bricktown Vet right after my father-in law passed away. He was a magician, so we named her in honor of him.

Jen, Vet Tech at Laurelton Veterinary Hospital in Brick, NJStanley is my male Maine coon cat mix, weighing in at 20 pounds. He was a hit by car at six months old and was also dropped off at Bricktown Vet. No one wanted him, so I took him home. He thinks he is a small dog and absolutely adores me!

My furry family also includes Benjamin Buttons, a male golden retriever (and the best part of my heart), and Penelope, a female golden that I adopted from Golden Rush Kennels in NJ. No one wanted her either because she potentially had a heart condition, so I surprise, surprise – I took her home! There is nothing wrong with her now and her condition is no more.

Caring for animals isn’t just what I do – it’s who I am. All of my knowledge comes from hands-on experience since my schooling pretty much stopped after high school. I enrolled in the local community college with hopes of becoming a teacher. I only survived two semesters before realizing it was not for me. In 2010, I enrolled in the veterinary assistant program at the Stratford Career Institute. I have learned so much and continue to learn new things every day. I am currently still doing the online course (yes, 7 years later!)


back to vet school

At VetCor, we truly believe our motto "We hire great people. We buy great practices." Without the terrific people who make up our practice teams, including students and externs, we wouldn't have the exceptional reputation across the country that we have today.

Facilitating skill development and career growth is another one of our mantras, and an important part of our Life at VetCor program. That's why we are proud to announce the following staff members who joined us as part of our Summer Jobs and Externship programs that will be returning to veterinary school in the fall:


Dr. Michelle Rudd is a veterinarian at Crofton Veterinary Center in Crofton, MD. She is also a wife, mother, and die-hard Washington Capitals fan.

I joined Crofton Veterinary Center as a full-time associate veterinarian in August 2014. I graduated from Kansas State University in 2000 and completed a small animal internship at VCA Veterinary Referral Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Dr. Rudd with her childrenI live in Howard County, MD with my husband Joe and our two children Joseph (a.k.a. Tank), who is 12-years-old (going on 30) and our 10-year-old daughter, Bryn. We have a wonderful dog named Racer-X and a sweet cat named Moon, both rescue animals from hospitals I have worked at. Recently, our son adopted a red-eared slider turtle named Bertha.

We like to spend our free time watching Washington Capitals hockey games, hiking, and playing with our animals. Bryn enjoys karate and is working on her green belt, while Tank is a wrestler for the Howard County Vipers travel team. Between practices, matches, and homework (ugh!) life can be very hectic. Everyone at Crofton Veterinary Center understands the need to practice high-quality medicine and the importance of family and life away from work. Being a VetCor hospital, we are encouraged to build our hospital in the way that allows us this balance.


The VetCor Family continues to grow as we add six new additions to the corporate team! It is our pleasure to welcome the following:

  • Lisa Burris - Acquisition Manager, FL
  • Shaw Kaneyasu-Speck - Corporate Counsel, MA
  • Deanna Morton - Senior Accountant, MA
  • Raquel Kruse - Hiring Specialist, CHI
  • Justin Costa - Marketing Recruitment Specialist, MA
  • Kelsey Gainor - Digital Marketing Associate, MA

We are thrilled to have these awesome individuals on board. We know that they will help us to continue to provide the highest level of support and expertise our practices have come to expect from us.

We'd also like to congratulate the team members who are advancing their careers and taking on new roles:

  • Melanie Meyers - Regional Support Assistant to Regional Manager
  • Jay Mahon - Regional Support Assistant to Regional Manager
  • Debra Cirlincione - Regional Support Assistant to Regional Manager
  • Chris Rachwal - Hospital Manager to Regional Trainer



As you know, our Life at VetCor program shows our strong commitment to each employee's professional success, personal wellbeing and company connection. Our overriding view is that if we all do the right thing in our daily actions with patients, clients, coworkers and beyond, we will collectively succeed.

Every day we're amazed at the examples of connections we've seen from our teams and out in the field! From showing employee appreciation and networking, to giving back to the community, here are some of our favorite examples of connections this month.


I joined Fresh Pond Animal Hospital as the Hospital Manager in March 2016. My background is actually in the dental field. I felt like I needed a change, and when the opportunity arose, I know it would be something I’d enjoy because I’ve always loved animals.

Harrington with JaxinMy favorite part of coming into work every day is absolutely the staff. I’m so lucky to be able to collaborate with such a driven team and Chief of Staff who truly love what they do. I also enjoy working in the vet industry because I don’t have to deal with human health insurance companies! As a bonus, the animals that come in are a daily treat.

It's been a crazy first year, and things are going to get even more exciting as we undergo renovations on our facility. I can’t wait for us to have the increased ability to see more emergency and critical care cases. Being a VetCor hospital, you are allowed build the business the way you see fit, to your town, clients and to what you envision it to be. The staff are happy, the clients are happy, and the practice is reaching goals that haven’t been met in quite some time. The combination of employee experience, persistence, and teamwork has made these positive changes possible, and for that I’m truly grateful.

I don’t have any pets of my own right now. I’ve wanted a dog for years, but a busy schedule prevented that from happening. I hope now that I’m in this field I’ll get the opportunity to get a an Akita puppy – although my 9-year-old son, Jaxin, does keep me busy and on my toes!


We got to sit down with Dr. Kristin Junkas, Chief of Staff at Wright Animal Hospital in Des Plaines, IL, to talk Life at VetCor, her pets, hidden talents and more.

Did you always know you wanted to be a veterinarian?
Dr. Junkas with canine friendsI have always had an interest in science and a love of nature and animals, but I didn’t initially know that I wanted to be a vet. I began as a Chemistry/Biology double major in college and spent my sophomore year summer taking Physics. I had to find a job and ended up working with a small town veterinarian over that summer and it changed my whole career aspiration. I fell in love with everything that he was doing and decided to pursue veterinary medicine. I applied to multiple schools and was accepted to Iowa State – and the rest is history!

What species of animals do you treat?
At Wright Animal Hospital, we see primarily cats and dogs, but have recently added an associate that has an interest in exotics. I’m looking forward to expanding this area within the practice! Changes are a fact of life in any medical field, and part of what keeps the job exciting and challenging. You can never get completely comfortable in a routine because we learn more about the biology of taking care of animals all the time.

How did you end up working for VetCor?
I was an associate veterinarian at the practice for eight years before the transition to VetCor, so I got to see all of those great changes as well. VetCor has provided me with the support to not only grow the practice and the overall environment for our clients and staff, but also to grow my own career. I became Chief of Staff two years later!


Our new Life at VetCor Program is all about elevating our employees through their professional success, individual wellbeing, and community connection. This spring, we’ve seen so many wonderful examples of connections within the VetCor family, as well as out in our practices’ local communities!

Dan, Steve, Peter and Jess from the home office visited New York for a regional Life at VetCor Meeting. They even took an obligatory selfie with Regional Manager Jill, and Parkside Veterinary Hospital's Dr. Meyer and Jeanine! After all, you know what they say…selfie, or it didn’t happen!

VetCor Selfie

We love seeing our VetCor family members get together for networking and leadership meetings. We know that we can do more for our internal community and purpose when we work together. But Life at VetCor doesn’t stop there – it extends to our local communities, too.

We believe in “doing the right thing,” for our co-workers, patients, clients and beyond – and doing good is never something our practices shy away from.


My veterinary story started very similar to so many. From the age of four I knew I wanted to work with animals, and I couldn't imagine a career without them.

Katie Carpenter, VetCor Regional Manager & CrossFit CoachI went to veterinary technician school in upstate New York at SUNY Canton. They offered a 2+2 program with a Bachelor’s in Veterinary Services Management, so I stayed for that after technician school. I quickly realized that I enjoyed the management end of the field, and went on to get my Master’s in Business at SUNY New Paltz.

Upon getting into the MBA program in 2008, I was hired as the Hospital Manager at New Paltz Animal Hospital, one of the practices in the VetCor family. At the end of 2010, I was promoted to Regional Manager and worked with hospitals in NY, NJ, CT and MA. While I enjoyed the ever-changing challenges and successes in my new role, I was over the winters in New York. In 2014, VetCor approached me with an opportunity to relocate to Charlotte to work in VetCor’s Southeast Region. I jumped at the opportunity to stay with the company AND enjoy warmer weather. Turns out, winter is much more tolerable in North Carolina!

My role as a Regional Manager is full of so many unique challenges and successes. I couldn't imagine a job where I did the same thing day in and day out! Each day, I get to support practices and people to further their growth and development, while learning something new every day. VetCor has allowed me to grow in my own career over the years, and take on so many new responsibilities that I am truly proud of. In the coming months, I will also be adding to my VetCor repertoire by taking on a project specialist role that I’m really excited about.


We are thrilled to share that 32 VetCor team members have been accepted into veterinary school, and will be hitting the books this fall. Please join us in congratulating:

  • Allison Wright (Illinois), Fresh Pond Animal Hospital, Belmont, MA
  • Andrea Franco (Ross University), Kindness Animal Hospital, Wheaton, MD
  • Anna Richards (Kansas State), Barnstable Animal Hospital, Hyannis, MA
  • Annika Gibbs (Minnesota), Littleton Animal Hospital, Littleton, MA
  • Vet School AcceptanceAriel Ferri (St. George), Green Bay Animal Hospital, Wilmette, IL
  • Brittany Devlin (Illinois), Goosepond Animal Hospital, Monroe, NY
  • Dan Martin (Ross University), Pet Shield Veterinary Hospital, North Branford, CT
  • Daniel Gornick (Michigan State), Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital, Washington, PA
  • Danielle Overton (Mississippi), Northwood Oaks Veterinary Hospital, Gainesville, FL
  • Dena Letot (Michigan State), Seidl Veterinary Hospital, Hastings, MI
  • Elisa Loke (Ross University), Panther Creek Pet Clinic, Woodlands, TX
  • Elizabeth Laquidara (Tufts), Hudson Animal Hospital, Hudson, MA
  • Elizabeth Mortimer (RVC), Basin Run Animal Hospital, Colora, MD
  • Erin Sweney (Ross University), Somerset Veterinary Group, Bridgewater, NJ
  • George Shichen (Midwestern University), Fort Plain Animal Hospital, Fort Plain, NY
  • Greg Kidd (Tuffs), Goffstown Animal Hospital, Manchester, NH
  • Jack Tribble (Illinois), Hillcrest Animal Hospital, Rockford, IL
  • Karina Payerhin (Virginia-Maryland), Stratford Hills Veterinary Center, Richmond, VA
  • Kathryn Rasp (Tufts), Fresh Pond Animal Hospital, Belmont, MA
  • Kelly Chamberlain (UCD), Countryside Veterinary Hospital, Chelmsford, MA
  • Kelsea Patterson (Tennessee), Bay View Veterinary Clinic, Mukwonago, WI
  • Kristen Bruenstein (Auburn), Edwardsville Pet Hospital, Edwardsville, IL
  • Kristen French-Kim (OSU), Panther Creek Pet Clinic, Woodlands, TX
  • Krysta Quale (Wisconsin), Middleton Veterinary Hospital, Middleton, WI
  • Laura Eldridge (Oregon State), Northwood Oaks Veterinary Hospital, Gainesville, FL
  • Marissa Courtemarche (Lincoln Memorial), Wilton Animal Hospital, Wilton, NH
  • Maya Halaly (Florida), Oaks Veterinary Hospital, Gainesville, FL
  • Monica Vogel (Purdue), Greylock Animal Hospital, North Adams, MA
  • Russell Desmond (Virginia-Maryland), Indian Valley Animal Hospital, Souderton, PA
  • Sarah Fischer (Wisconsin), Silver Spring Animal Wellness Center, Glendale, WI
  • Sarah Loprete (Cornell), East Fishkill Animal Hospital, Hopewell Junction, NY
  • Taylor Reale (Tufts), Muddy Creek Animal Care Center, Rowley, MA

We are invested in the success of our employees, and are so proud of each and every one of you. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to start your journey toward a rewarding veterinary career, but we hope that having the entire VetCor family cheering you on makes it a little easier!

Congratulations are also due to all of your teams for continuing to help shape the future of veterinary medicine. We know you have helped support these talented students learn through real life experience and encouraged them as they applied to veterinary school.


I grew up in a fairly remote part of northern Wisconsin – on a fishing lodge. The winters were long and quiet. My dog was my constant companion. I learned early on just how much pets bring to someone’s life. It seemed only natural to follow a path of animal care.

dr-bev-hollis-hiking-dogI’ve been in the veterinary industry for 27 years now. I received my undergraduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and George Mason, and my veterinary degree from the University of Tennessee. I joined VetCor in 2011 when the practice I was working at as an associate, Ashburn Village Animal Hospital, was acquired.

We saw almost immediate upgrades to our facility and equipment, enjoyed relief doctors from other “sister practices,” and had far more opportunities for employee development once VetCor was involved. VetCor also made it very clear from the beginning that they valued my education and experience as a practitioner and gave me the autonomy that I think we all want (and fear we’ll lose) when we join a corporate group.

Beyond the amazing family of animal care professionals I have had the honor to meet and become friends with, I have enjoyed wonderful benefits not previously offered by the original owner of my practice. I also have had the opportunity to transition to a senior management role that I love – working now with other practices to support their doctor and leadership teams.


We caught up with Cathy Doucette, CVT, in our latest Q & A session to get her thoughts on the veterinary industry and the transition to becoming a VetCor hospital. She has been a technician since 1998, and Head Technician at Kingston Animal Hospital in MA since 2006.

hm-kingston-cathyHow did you know that being a vet tech was the right job for you?
I have always had a love for animals. Growing up, we basically lived on a mini farm with chickens, rabbits, pigs, ducks, geese, cats, and dogs. But my passion for science and problem solving also played a huge part in my decision to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. I'd be a forensic scientist in another life because I love solving mysteries so much!

What kinds of changes have you noticed in the veterinary industry over the years?
Two things come to mind: the wonderful advances in pain management for pets, and the progression of the veterinary technology career as a respected profession.

Tell us about your practice.
We are a small animal and exotics practice on the South Shore of Massachusetts that has been open since 1947. VetCor purchased Kingston Animal Hospital in November 2015.

What was that change like for the practice?
Most of the staff at Kingston Animal Hospital had been working here for 10+ years, so things had gotten a little stale. VetCor came in with a new set of eyes and added some structure for us. We are working much more efficiently now. They also plan to provide facility improvements later this year!

How has being a part of VetCor been for you?
I have a big interest in management, and after we became a VetCor hospital, I’ve been given more opportunities to explore this side of the business. I even plan on spending some time helping out in the main office one day a week soon.


Amber Hansen is Practice Support Coordinator at VetCor and proud mama of Ted, a 3-year-old Siberian cat who is incredibly social, loves having his teeth brushed, and is trained to fetch, sit, stay, lay down and high five.

Amber Hansen back in her vet tech daysLike most, if not all of the people at VetCor, I was "bitten by the animal bug" at a very early age. I initially aspired to be a marine biologist, until I found out that you actually get little to no interaction with the animals in that field.

As I struggled with deciding on a career path, I also considered technology because it runs in the family. My late grandfather was a key person in the history of the personal computer. He designed Intel's first product and the world's first 64-bit SRAM memory chip in 1969. However, I wanted to stick with my love for animals, so I pursued veterinary medicine.

I now have over 12 years of veterinary industry experience. Beyond the obvious passion for animal care, I have also enjoyed watching the industry grow, in part due to the emergence of the "Human-Animal Bond," and advances in biotechnology that have amplified our knowledge, testing, and treatment options.

I started out as a Veterinary Technician and worked in private clinics for seven years. Early on, I felt quite content with the idea of being a technician forever and didn't have the desire to become a veterinarian. A few years later, I became a Certified Veterinary Technician, and shortly after got engaged, moved, my commute became a disaster, and I was burnt out. I figured that if I was going to look for a new job, I should move on to something else. VetCor ended up being the perfect fit – I could stay in the industry I loved, but do something a little different.



As our network of exceptional practices grows, our team of great people who support them is growing, too!

It is our pleasure to welcome two new Acquisition Managers, Bryan Brackett and Tracy Reed, and two new Regional Managers, Ryan Jackson and Dan Monforton, to the VetCor family.

They all join us with an impressive array of veterinary industry experiences, including roles ranging from Veterinary Technician at a private practice, to Director of Sales at Pet Health Network, to General Manager at multiple VetCor hospitals, and more.

Congratulations are also in order for a few team members who are advancing their careers at VetCor and taking on new roles to better serve our practices. 


VP Operations Sean SornsinAn Insider's Perspective by Sean Sornsin

Sean Sornsin is a Vice President of Operations at VetCor. He has been in the veterinary field for 13 years and has held titles ranging from Technician, to Practice Manager, to Field Trainer, Field Director, and even Consultant.

In February of 2016, we partnered with our first practice in Kentucky, Elk Creek Animal Hospital. It is a beautiful facility in suburban Louisville, filled with a dynamic, energetic and loyal staff. Elk Creek has been a labor of love for owners Dr. Alex Shelly and his wife Jessica since they started it in 2004 and built it from the ground up – literally. Jessica told me that her kids, as youngsters, slept in chairs as the Shelly’s built the place and the additions over the years. It’s a place their entire family very has memorable shared experiences, and where the kids grew up.

As a Regional Manager at VetCor, I’ve been a part of over 20 site visits and closings for new partnerships. When I sat down with Jessica after arriving for their site visit, I asked the normal questions, “How’s everyone doing with the news? How’s the team?” Her response made me chuckle, “My team is great,” she said. “They are excited. My kids are the ones that are worried.”

Jessica explained to me that her three sons had been getting dropped off by the school bus every day at the hospital. Upon hearing that Mom and Dad were selling it to someone else, they were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to be dropped off after school like they always had been. Coming to the Elk Creek Animal Hospital was a huge part of their day. It meant getting the chance to see the staff and pets, to be around Mom and Dad, eat any leftover treats from the break room, and just mingle around the Elk Creek family. It was like their second home.


Kaity Blackburn dog BreezewayThis picture shows me with one of the first animals I remember interacting with as a kid – a Dalmatian named Breezeway who lived next door. I’m happy to confirm that Breezeway chewed those sticks I fed him thoroughly, with no foreign body surgery needed!

I’m very lucky to have a family that supported my natural curiosity from a young age and exposed me to the kindness and companionship that everyone in the veterinary world knows our pets provide. Special shout out to my Mom for all the Saturdays walking rescue dogs at our local animal shelter together, and to my Dad for teaching me the science and art of aquarium set ups!

Fast forward to adulthood, and my interest in animals and science never waned. I graduated from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada where I combined studying animal biology and business and worked in research at Ontario Veterinary College in the pathobiology department. Later, while volunteering at the Toronto Humane Society, a former TNR (trap, neuter, release) cat with a laid back attitude adopted me as his owner and now enjoys a spoiled life indoors.

When the time came to transition back to the United States after being on an extended work permit at a marketing business, I narrowed my job search to animal-related industries. The folks at VetCor and I decided we were a great fit for each other, and everyone I met through the process was very helpful and engaged as I navigated moving home to the Midwest. I have felt welcomed with open arms (and paws!) to this special organization from the start.


A Look into the Life of Melanie Meyer, Hospital Manager at East Town Veterinary Clinic

If I were to tell you one thing about myself it would be that I love people, even the difficult ones. I always silently chuckle when I interview someone for a position at our practice and they say they were drawn to the position because they would rather work with animals than people. It's rare we see a Golden Retriever walk in unsupervised, so good thing for me I love both people and pets!

HM Melanie Meyer dog BuddyI have been the hospital manager at East Towne Veterinary Clinic in Mequon, WI and a part of VetCor since 2006. Previously I owned a small family business, which can be tough. I ultimately wanted to use my strengths on something I was more passionate about while still being able to do some of the things I love, like building client relationships, creating social media and marketing initiatives, and helping to solve problems to make people’s lives better. I am so thankful I found what I was looking for, and more.

I have built many great friendships at East Towne Veterinary Clinic, some I know will last a lifetime. The way my team shares the workload always brings a smile to my face. Everyone is willing to pitch in, no one is too good to scoop the poop or pick up a phone call. Our three clinic cats Otis, Tonto and Tate (aka Tater Tot) always add an element of sass, cuteness, and adventure to our days.

I have a special interest in marketing and social media. I’ve really enjoyed being able to share the things I’ve learned with other Hospital Managers and having the freedom to collaborate with them and engage with the many other talented professionals within our family of hospitals.


We are thrilled to introduce our three new VetCor Talent Recruiters - Carol Seiler, Jess Bird, and Lindsay O'Grady who along with Lauren Owens, form our growing recruiting team to better serve the needs of our hospitals.

Carol Seiler

Carol has been with us since Mountain Shadow Veterinary Hospital in Schuylkill Haven, PA, joined VetCor in 2000. She went on to become a VetCor Regional Trainer for Pennsylvania and New Jersey practices, and four years ago she became a Regional Manager for those regions.Carol’s outgoing and approachable personality makes her a natural fit for our Talent Recruiting team.


  • Carol enjoys being outside and especially enjoys to kayak and hike. Her spring goal is to walk the Pennsylvania portion of the Appalachian Trail!
  • Carol's favorite hiking buddy is her Boston Terrier, Lola. Perhaps "hike" is an ambitious word - Lola really likes to walk or be carried!
  • Carol and her husband will be "checking one off the bucket list" this year by visiting Europe and sailing in Greece.
  • She has two grown sons who she loves to spend time with, but the real "favorite" is her grandson, Jack.


Jess Bird

Jess has been a technician since 1999. She began her career with VetCor as Hospital Manager at Barnstable Animal Hospital in Hyannis, MA. Prior to VetCor, her career also included being the surgical floor Supervisor/Department Head at a 24-hour emergency specialty hospital, and managing recruiting and HR for 5 practices in Cape Cod, MA. We are happy to have her friendly character and HR experience as part of our Talent Recruiting team.


  • Jess basically owns a small farm! She has four dogs: 2 Frenchies, Frances Bean and Beatrice, a hound mix, Scup, and a border collie mix, Angie. Plus she has a variety of ducks and chickens and a bunny named Princess Ella.
  • In her spare time, Jess is an avid downhill skier and equestrian.
  • Jess competes in the Tough Mudder races and enjoying paddleboarding with the Frenchies.
  • Jess loves spending as much time as possible with her husband, Rob, and daughter, Avery.


Lauren Owens

For the past four years, Lauren Owens has been the sole Talent Recruiter for VetCor. She has built an incredible foundation for the VetCor Talent Recruiting team, and we look forward to seeing her, Carol, Lindsay and Jessica continue to build strong relationships with key veterinary schools, grow our externship programs, and assist each VetCor practice with all of their recruiting needs.


  • The apple of Lauren's eye is her adorable, red-headed, 2-year-old daughter, Ava.
  • She's a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies fan.
  • Lauren is a great cook! Her crowd-pleasing dish is chicken piccata.
  • Lauren has a secret obsession with British TV shows including the Great British Bakeoff, Call the Midwife, Downtown Abby and Broadchurch.


Lindsay O'Grady

Lindsay started with VetCor as a Hospital Manager at Brackett Street Veterinary Clinic in Portland, ME in 2011. Before that, she was a specialty tech at MSPCA-Angell in Boston, MA, and a Surgery/ECC tech at the same Cape Cod emergency hospital as Jess. Over the years, Lindsay has worn many hats at VetCor, including Regional Manager, Acquisitions Manager, and she has also worked on special practice development projects that tie a lot of those departments together. Lindsay’s natural networking skills and great relationships with our existing hospitals makes her the perfect addition to the Talent Recruiting Team.


  • Lindsay’s two young boys, Rory and Seamus, always keep her on her toes. When she’s not wrangling the boys, she is playing with her two dogs, Clementine and Rooney.
  • Lindsay, a native New-Englander now living in Texas, actually misses the snow and winter sports season (snowboarding primarily) of New England!
  • In the past 10 years, Lindsay has lived in 5 states but regardless of where life takes her, she has always represented her favorite sports teams; the Red Sox and New England Patriots.

Dr. Jennifer Zilinksi with DogHi Everyone! My name is Jennifer Zilinski and I am an associate veterinarian at Falmouth Animal Hospital in Falmouth, MA. I graduated from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008, and did my internship at New England Animal Medical Center before migrating down to Cape Cod’s wonderful beaches 6 years ago when I came to work for VetCor.

I really like working for VetCor because you get all of the benefits of a big company – management support, a network of colleagues from which to bounce off ideas, and opportunities for mobility – but we are still able to practice the kind of progressive medicine that we believe in. There are no scripts to follow, and we can integrate changes easily as veterinary medicine evolves. I strongly believe in practicing the best medicine I can, and VetCor allows me to do that.

One of my favorite parts of coming to work is puppy kisses! It never gets old. I also truly cherish the long-term relationships I get to create with clients and their pets in general practice. We have the best staff at this hospital (not that I am biased or anything…) and I really do feel like we are one big family. We try to do several social events during the year outside of the office to keep the bonds strong. Our next adventure is trying to book a sunset cruise out of Hyannis this fall. I can’t wait for that one!


Dr. Portnoy with GoatsAnna Portnoy, DVM, is  Chief of Staff at Riverside Animal Hospital in Rhode Island. 

In 1999 as I was turning 40, I decided to change my life and go to veterinary school.

Once I made the decision to go to vet school, I went straight to night school (I had never taken a pre-vet science class before) and got a job as a technician in a friend’s animal hospital. My wife Sis and I sold our business and house and moved to Canada. I graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College at University of Prince Edward Island in 2007, and then moved back home to New England (I missed my family and of course, the Red Sox).

I have been with VetCor since September of 2012, first as an associate veterinarian and now as Chief of Staff at Riverside Animal Hospital in Rhode Island. I have always felt very supported by VetCor. Having spent most of my adult life reinventing myself, it was a huge relief knowing that the people I was working with were supporting me and helping me to reach my goal.

Last year, I attended the Chi institute to start my certification program in veterinary acupuncture. VetCor supported me during the program and connected me with another Chief of Staff within the network, Dr. Mark Russo of Kingston Animal Hospital, who became my friend and mentor throughout the certification program and beyond. It has been a very gratifying experience and I love seeing the wonderful results with my patients using that treatment.

I have had many different careers, but I am lucky to say that I love the one I have now. With the exception of a few days (don’t we all have them?), I love coming to work. I work with a great team, interesting clients and patients, and there is always something new every day. Riverside Animal Hospital is mostly small animals, but we do see a fair amount of goats, sheep and cattle. Some of the most interesting things I’ve had to do on the job include treating a sheep with a broken leg, and performing ruminant c-sections.


We spoke with Regional Manager Karen Laurinas from St. John, IN to get the scoop on her career, life at VetCor, and the really important choices she makes in everyday life (like Pepsi or Coke).

Regional Manager KarenWhere did you go to school and what did you study?
I graduated from Purdue University in 2003. I have a dual degree in Marketing and Business Management with an emphasis in Human Resources.

What inspired you to get into the veterinary industry? I was intrigued by the opportunity to pair my love for animals with my love for management. I enjoy working with pets and people.

What’s your favorite part of coming to work every day? My favorite part has to be the team atmosphere. Everyone has a strong desire to put their all into their job, and it creates a wonderful environment for everyone.

How did you come to join VetCor? I was the Hospital Manager at a practice purchased by VetCor in May 2013. After several months, I found myself assisting other hospitals in our region that didn’t have a manager in place. I did this for a few years before being promoted to Regional Trainer in October 2015, and then ultimately promoted to Regional Manager at the end of 2015. VetCor has given me the opportunity to expand my role and meet many new people. The team approach that VetCor employs innately makes me feel great pride. I truly feel like part of a family!


Dr. Tania Germann snuggles dogMy name is Tania Germann, and I have been a small animal veterinarian since 2009. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always been very intrigued by the art of medicine and the fact that we can help sick animals. I volunteered at a small animal hospital in high school, and it was all history from there!

I am originally from Hawaii, received my undergraduate degree at Colorado State University, and then I obtained my DVM degree from the Veterinary School of Budapest in Hungary. It was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed the international education I received. There, I was able to see a lot of interesting diseases that we (thankfully) do not see in the United States.

I have been with VetCor since 2013, and it has been a very positive and rewarding experience. They have been the only corporation I have ever worked for, but it has never felt like a “corporate experience.” It is more like a big family who always has your back and is always available for assistance in any moment of a crisis. I first joined VetCor as an Associate Veterinarian at Ashburn Village Animal Hospital, and then accepted the Chief of Staff (COS) position. I accepted the COS position knowing that I would definitely receive the guidance and support that I needed for the VetCor team.


Intern Zach DarschHey there everybody. I’m back again on the VetCor blog, but this time bearing some bad news. My time as an intern at VetCor’s home office has officially come to an end.

Where has the summer gone? It feels like just yesterday I was strolling into my first day at the office, and now today is my last as the Marketing Intern. These past three months with VetCor have been an awesome experience for me, and one I will truly miss while sitting in class listening to professors read off PowerPoint slides. Except for the postcard reminders – I may not miss tearing those.

The marketing team provided me with a good mix of work, so I never found myself getting bored at my desk. As I touched on before (link), I spent a good chunk of time updating and adding content to all of our practices’ websites to improve their visibility on Google and enhance the user’s experience. Along with that, I have created social media calendars, updated Yelp, Facebook, and other online profiles, and familiarized myself with Google Analytics.


Hi everyone! My name is Chad Harris, and I am the Chief of Staff at North Austin Animal Hospital in Austin, Texas. I am also one of VetCor’s newly appointed Chief of Staff Advisers.

Harris Family with lion cubBelieve it or not, I grew up in Odessa, Texas on an exotic animal rescue/private zoo. We had more animals than anyone I’ve ever known. They ranged from basic barnyard animals to African lions. As you can imagine, this is what inspired me to work with animals for the rest of my life. (Thanks, Dad!) I graduated from Permian High School in 1999, which people get totally excited about because it is THE high school from the book and movie, Friday Night Lights. I then eventually made my way to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed my rotational year at the University of Minnesota.

I started working for VetCor at North Austin Animal Hospital immediately after graduating veterinary school in June 2012 as an associate veterinarian. It was the best decision I have ever made. NAAH was the only VetCor practice in Texas when I was hired, and I was extremely excited to meet so many likeminded people within the company ranging from regional managers to people that had titles such as CEO and COO.


Hello, everyone. For those who don’t know me, my name is Zachary Darsch. I will be a senior at Suffolk University in Boston, MA this fall, and am currently a Marketing Intern here at the VetCor home office for the summer.

Zach enjoys a donut while plotting marketing strategies.So far, my time in the position has been very enjoyable. I am keeping busy with a variety of projects and have felt very welcomed by the great people around the office. I have learned many things so far, some expected and some unexpected.

First off, I have learned that it’s hard to maintain a diet during the office birthday season with all the cake, ice cream, donuts, brownies – you name it – being consumed almost every week (although I’m not complaining). In order to counteract these sweets, I have joined the office Wellness Walks to get some fresh air, stretch my legs, and debrief on everyone’s favorite show Game of Thrones.