Ariel was born in New Haven and raised in West Haven with three dogs — a golden retriever and two Shih Tzus. She’s wanted to work with animals since she was in kindergarten and previously worked as the Animal Manager at Petco. Now, her favorite thing about working in veterinary medicine is being involved in making sure that animals are safe and healthy. Ariel is a self-proclaimed dog person, and has three dogs, two rabbits and a leopard gecko at home that she treats like her own children. When she isn’t at work, Ariel can usually be found walking her dog or spending time with friends.
Maddie was born in South County, RI and spent the first few years of her life living in Westerly with her mom. She spent the rest of her childhood in Groton, where she still lives now. She grew up with a family dog, Clara, who was the sweetest yellow lab and would sit with her in a little foyer room at her grandmother’s house. Over the years, Maddie has had a variety of animal, including a frog named Peep and a hamster named Ivy, as well as her family’s beloved cat, George, who has been with them for 16 years now. When she was younger, Maddie wanted to be a zookeeper working with big cats, especially cheetahs. She also wanted to be a singer, but stage fright got the best of her and she decided to work with animals who would never judge her for hitting the wrong note!
When Maddie started working at Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook, she dove head-first into learning about the veterinary field and obtained her Pet CPR certificate and has recently started to learn more about the surgeries we conduct. Her favorite thing about veterinary medicine is of course interacting with all the animals, but also the rewarding feeling of helping save a life. Maddie currently lives with two cats, George and Pepper, as well as a dog named Fig Newton, a bearded dragon named Thorn, and a betta fish named Ernie. When she isn’t working, Maddie enjoys hiking with her boyfriend and relaxing with her animals. Her guilty pleasures include singing, of course, and also playing Animal Crossing!
Ashley was born in New Haven and raised in East Haven. She grew up with many pets, including two cats named Tiger and Sheldon, a hamster, and a hermit crab. As a child, she changed her mind every week about what she wanted to do when she grew up, but what made her finally choose her career in veterinary medicine was working in our doggy daycare. She realized that she wanted to work with animals in some capacity for the rest of her life, and trained as a veterinary receptionist right here at Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook! Her favorite thing about her job is seeing pets leave our hospital healthier than when they came in.
Ashley loves all animals, and has six cats: Momma, Buddha, Spaghetti, Munchkin, Fat Fat and Jackson. She does have a dog, too, named Peach! Ashley and her boyfriend also just recently welcomed their first child on New Year’s Day. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and going on day trips. Admittedly, her guilty pleasure is working when she should be relaxing — which is just another testament to how much she enjoys her job!
Hayley was born and raised in Deep River with a dog, a cat and a horse. She wanted to be a veterinarian as a child, and for a time that changed to archaeologist, but the pull toward veterinary medicine was strong and she ultimately became a veterinary technician at Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook, where we taught her everything she knows about veterinary medicine!
Hayley’s favorite thing about working in the veterinary industry is helping and educating pet owners in their time of need, and helping animals to feel better and be healthy. When asked if she’s more of a dog or cat person, Hayley’s answer was that she is an all animals person — but she does share her home with two dogs and a cat, as well as her parents and an older sister. When she isn’t working, Hayley enjoys hiking or walking with the dog, relaxing outside at home, photography, helping her mom with her candle business, reading and learning new things, home improvement, and going to breweries with her family.
Gail was born and raised in Tiverton, Rhode Island, with cats and dogs. She holds an associate's degree in Veterinary Technology from New Hampshire Community Tech, and previously worked at Four Paws Veterinary Services in Mystic, Dover Veterinary Hospital in Dover, NH, and Great Bay Animal Hospital in Durham, NH. She loves the variety of skills needed to work in veterinary medicine — you don’t just do one thing all day!
As a dog person, Gail shares her home with her English Bulldog, Sheamus, and her American Staffordshire Terrier, Riddell. Gail is married to Tim, and when she’s not working, she enjoys doing house projects, hiking with the dogs, camping, kayaking, watching any New England sports teams, and hanging out in the yard by the fire pit with friends and family. Her guilty pleasure is watching reality TV.
Meghan Van Wart
Meghan was born in Bristol and grew up in Farmington with two cats, Bud and Buckwheat, and a golden retriever named Shadow. She’s wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as she can remember, and started working at our kennel in 2018. In March of 2020, Meghan began to train with us as a veterinary assistant. She loves observing and learning about more complicated procedures like exploratory surgeries.
As both a cat and dog person, Meghan enjoys spending time with her pet family which includes a lab mix named Nova and two cats named Gus and Link. When she isn’t working at the hospital, she makes bandanas and bow ties for dogs and cats, and also enjoys hiking with her dog and practicing pet photography. Her guilty pleasure — when she has time — is video games.
Kaylee was born and raised in Branford, CT with a unique menagerie including two cats, 12 hermit crabs and fish! Ever since she was a toddler, Kaylee’s family knew she would do something with animals. From an early age she wanted to be a veterinarian, and once she learned what a technician was, she honed in on it as a career. Kaylee holds a BS in Veterinary Technology from Mount Ida College where she received hands-on experience with the animals that lived on campus, as well as exposure to six internships. She then went on to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. Prior to joining the team at our hospital, Kaylee spent time at Ridgehill Animal Hospital, Canyon Creek Animal Clinic and East Shore Veterinary Services. Her favorite thing about veterinary medicine is teaching other technicians and assistants as well as communicating with clients about their pets’ care.
Kaylee describes herself as a dog person, but she loves cats too! She currently shares her home with three dogs and a cat, as well as her four year old daughter, Madison. When she isn’t working, she loves to hike — and her guilty pleasure is Dairy Queen!
Kathy was born in New York and raised in Miami around dogs, rabbits and birds, and has always wanted a career working with animals for as long as she can remember. She learned everything she knows about veterinary medicine right here at Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook! She started with a part-time front desk receptionist position 16 years ago. Eventually, she transitioned to full time, then front office management, then assisting, and then gradually worked her way up to lead technician and now helps with management whenever needed. Prior to entering the animal field full-time, Kathy did night audit and accounting at an oceanfront timeshare resort in Palm Beach Florida for four years. But with a passion for animals, she also worked at the Pitbull Rescue/animal hospital as a hobby part-time to be around them. Ultimately the hospital offered her a full-time position, and she took it and never looked back!
Ashley was raised in Clinton, CT with a cat and three dogs. For a time she wanted to be a hairstylist when she grew up, but eventually, she realized she didn’t actually enjoy doing hair for others (just her own!). So, she made the transition to veterinary medicine and learned the tricks of the trade here at Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook. As a receptionist, Ashley enjoys communicating with our clients and occasionally peeking in on surgeries to learn more about animal medicine. Ashley shares her home with her fiancé and two young children. In her free time, she plays with her kids, goes to the beach and visits family whenever she can.
Erin was born and raised in Canton, CT and has spent her life around cats. Sheba was the first cat she ever knew — she was part of the family before Erin was born — but she wasn’t very nice! After Sheba, though, her family adopted two lovable brother cats named Tigger and Saber. Erin has always enjoyed drawing cartoons and being creative, so as a child she wanted to be an artist. But animals fill her heart with so much joy that she couldn’t ignore the calling and joined us in 2015 as a kennel assistant. During that time, she took a 6-month Veterinary Assistant certification course at Middlesex Community College. She began to cross-train in the hospital and ultimately transitioned away from our Inn & Spa and became a full-time veterinary assistant for our doctors. Currently, Erin is attending the Veterinary Technology program at Middlesex Community College and expects to graduate in 2021 with her associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology.
Erin feels that helping animals is the greatest gift you can give by being a voice for those who do not have one. Veterinary medicine is also ever-changing and ever-growing, and as such she feels that no matter how many years you have been in the field, you can always learn something new and grow every day. Erin currently shares her home with her dog Zoe and in her spare time she enjoys yoga, painting, wine tasting and going to the beach. And, as much as she hates to admit it… her current guilty pleasure is TikTok.
Emily was born locally in Connecticut and was exposed to animals at a young age; She grew up with two dachshunds, a miniature pinscher, four cats and many birds and reptiles. Not surprisingly, Emily’s dream career has always been in the veterinary industry and has enjoyed her training as a veterinary assistant at Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook. Prior to joining our team, Emily’s most recent experience in animal care was at Mystic Aquarium. These days, she loves learning about all of the different surgeries we conduct and the medications we can prescribe to treat our patients.
Emily’s more of a dog person, but as an animal person in general, she does love cats too! She currently shares her home with her boyfriend of nine years as well as three huskies, a bearded dragon, a leopard gecko and a gargoyle gecko. In her spare time, she loves playing Animal Crossing and going hiking!
Juliana was born and raised in Massachusetts with pets of all kinds, from dogs and cats to hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, frogs, fish and rabbits. She’s always wanted to work with animals, but also holds a double BA in psychology and English as well as a minor in philosophy. Previously in the retail industry, Juliana made the transition to veterinary work through her time volunteering at shelters and rescues. She has also fostered pets.
Juliana’s favorite thing about veterinary medicine is the daily opportunity to meet new animals and form loving bonds with them. She shares her home with her own dog and cat, and when she isn’t at work, she enjoys art, music, photography, films, hiking and writing. Her guilty pleasure is ice cream.
Lidia is 13-year-old domestic orange cat that has lived at the hospital for 12 years. We took her in when her previous owner could not pay for her expensive eye surgery, due to her entropion. Entropion is when the eyelid curls in onto the eye and the hairs rub against the cornea. After numerous surgeries to repair her eyelids and then eventually remove her eyelids, Lidia continued to struggle, so we had to remove her eyes completely. Now she is much happier and gets around exceptionally well despite her blindness. She loves the routine living here with her best buddy Ferris and we love our special, sassy girl.
Ferris is a 16-year-old tabby cat that has lived at the hospital for 15 years. He was found outside as a feral cat and brought in to be neutered and vaccinated, when he tested positive for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). This means he gets sick more often than other cats, so the hospital decided to keep him. We later found out that he is also prone to urinary blockages, so he is also on a special diet. Staff have tried to take him home before, but he was never happy or comfortable. He truly loves living with his best friend Lidia at the hospital, and we feel so lucky to have our old man!