During his childhood summers in Italy, Dr. Joseph saw many local cats and dogs who were afraid of humans and couldn’t receive proper medical treatment as a result. It was then that Dr. Joseph realized he wanted to work in a profession that would truly make a difference—for him, a career in veterinary medicine was the only choice that made sense!
When she was younger, Dr. Amanda Salazar’s parents leased a small pony named Treasure for their daughter to show competitively. Shortly after they brought the animal home, it became lame and couldn’t jump. Dr. Salazar spent every day going to the barn to nurse Treasure back to full health, and she never forgot the satisfaction she felt from helping to relieve her pony’s suffering. It was then that she decided that she would one day become a veterinarian!
When Aron Bhan was a young boy, he first experienced the intense bond pet owners have with their cherished pets. While young Aron was visiting his grandmother’s northern Ontario farmhouse, the area was deluged by a pouring rain storm. Seeing a small animal dart under a car for protection, Aron found a four-month-old, soaking wet puppy huddling under the vehicle. Aron ran into the house, grabbed some peanut butter and bread, and crawled under the car to share it with his new canine friend. The grateful puppy wolfed down his snack and began licking Aron’s face, making this a joyous first meeting for Aron and his beloved dog Zack!
Dr. Nicole Denouden was “playing vet” when she was just a young girl. With many dogs and cats in Nicole’s family, she often listened to the pets’ hearts, checked their eyes, brushed their teeth, and peeked into their ears. Nicole frequently accompanied her mother to the pets’ veterinarian visits, as this aspiring veterinarian wanted to learn how to provide the best possible care for her animals. Today, as the co-owner of Heartland Niagara Animal Hospital, Dr. Denouden has fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian!
Dr. Hoffele grew up in a small town in Ontario spending time at her grandparents’ farm. At a young age, she knew that she wanted to become a veterinarian. Dr. Hoffele graduated from the University in Guelph in 1988 and has had a long career starting in Hamilton, Ontario, moving to Nova Scotia and now back to Welland. She started an animal hospital in Hamilton and worked in several clinics in Nova Scotia. Dr. Hoffele was also able to work with a wildlife rehabilitation centre and some of the most unusual animals she treated there were a seal and a pelican!
Dr. Erin Hamaba’s childhood cat was her best friend in the world growing up. When her beloved pet passed away, Dr. Hamaba vowed to help other animals in whatever way she could. That’s why she decided to become a veterinarian! Now, she’s able to help pets and their owners on a daily basis as a part of the Heartland Niagara Animal Hospital team.
Dr. Olivia Mazzorato has adored the company of pets ever since she was a little girl, but she started to fall in love with the science and medicine behind veterinary care during her high school and university years. When she secured a part-time job as a Kennel Attendant, it sealed her fate—Dr. Mazzorato knew that she was destined to work with animals professionally! Now, she’s proud to care for pets on a daily basis as a member of the veterinary team here at Heartland Niagara Animal Hospital.
As a pet owner herself, Dr. Natalie Chow recognizes the many difficult choices in the road of pet parenthood and the overwhelming amount of information that’s out there. She’s always wanted to help guide others through hard choices and serve as a trusted resource for animal owners. That’s why she decided to become a veterinarian! Dr. Chow is proud to serve as a member of the veterinary team here at Heartland Niagara Animal Hospital.
Dr. Jen Kishbaugh grew up in Cheektowaga, New York, where her family kept everything from dogs, birds, and rabbits to hamsters, gerbils, fish, and even a snake. In fact, it was the hours spent learning about and caring for her very first pet, a hamster named Critter, that convinced Dr. Kishbaugh to become a veterinarian! Her passion hasn’t quit. She couldn’t be happier to help pet owners and their adorable animal companions here at Main West Animal Hospital.