Our Veterinary Staff
The staff at Circle of Life Animal Hospital is made of dedicated animal lovers who care for your pets as if they were our own. We invite you to meet our veterinary hospital team below:
Certified Veterinary Technicians
Melissa has been in the veterinary field for more than 25 years. She earned her A.S. with honors in veterinary technology. In addition to being one of our Certified Veterinary Technicians, she is also one of our hospital’s Critical Care Coordinators and in charge of advanced dental training/continuing education. Melissa excels in anesthesia and dentistry and has a special interest in preventive care, pain management, and emergency medicine. (Melissa also works on Sundays and holidays as a level 2 emergency technician at Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Tampa.) She has been instrumental in developing our state-of-the-art in-house laboratory and is currently working hard on writing templates for our new Paper-Lite software system. Her own pets include Noodle, a miniature Dachshund; Petunia, a pug mix; Popit, a Yorkie poo; Butternut, a pygmy goat; and Squash, a pygmy goat. Melissa is married with 2 children. When she isn’t at work, she enjoys scuba diving, underwater photography, and wildlife observation.
Lisa has been a veterinary technician since 1981 and a Certified Veterinary Technician since 1983. She is also our hospital’s Nursing Care Coordinator and technical “cat whisperer!” Lisa’s patience and ability to calm, medicate, and pull blood from unwilling cats is truly amazing! She was nominated for Technician of the Year and was on the cover of Veterinary Technician Magazine in January of 1995. She enjoys giving extra nursing care to our hospitalized patients so that they can get better quickly, and she also loves being able to assure owners that their pets are receiving the best care that can be provided. Lisa has a son who is an Eagle scout who graduated from FSU with a master’s degree in accounting. He is a graduate of Jesuit High School. Her pets include Stitch, Chloe and Pogo, three Chihuahua rescues. When she isn’t working, Lisa enjoys golfing, cruising, walking around flea markets, most pro-sports, college football, and traveling.
Alisha joined our team in June 2015, fulfilling her dream to help animals in need. Her own pets include a cattle dog named Bo, two DSH cats named Sally and Jack, a clownfish named Sharkbait, and a hedgehog named Pikachu. When she’s not at work, she enjoys hunting, fishing, watching hockey (go Bolts!), and going to Disney.
Erica joined our team in February of 2016 and attends Hillsborough Community College to study zoology. She loves working with the animals and helping to make those that are sick feel better. An interesting experience she has had includes treating a Sandhill crane that flew into a powerline. She loves animals and her own pets include Frank, a Dachshund; Suey, a bulldog mix; Creature, a domestic medium haired cat; Monster, a Maine Coon; and Simba, a skinny pig. When she isn’t working, she loves binge-watching Netflix.
Sarah began working as a veterinary technician 11 years ago in Chicago, IL, where she gained most experience, and has also worked as a tech in Georgia and Florida. Since she was a little girl, Sarah knew that working with animals was her calling. She always brought home strays and volunteered at the Humane Society of Chicago. Sarah’s cache of experience includes working in day practice, ER, and exotic animal care. She has 2 domestic shorthair cats named Cash and Boniface, and a Pit Bull named Dex. Sarah is currently working on going back to school for Animal Behavior.
Zakiya joined our team in winter of 2017, looking to settle down her fast-paced life. She is very excited to be a part of our veterinary family, having known since she was a little girl that she wanted to spend the rest of her life taking care of animals. She graduated high school as a veterinary assistant, and became a trained veterinary technician not long after. 7 years later, Zakiya has played a part in virtually every aspect of the veterinary field, from kennel technician, to marketing, to practice management, she has done a little bit of everything. While she loves animals, she does not have any of her own. She has a little girl who fills her days with laughter and love, keeping her hands full in her free time. She loves to spend time with her daughter outdoors, or snuggled at home eating ice cream and watching movies.
Amani recently joined our team in May 2017, and she is loving it! She enjoys the behind the scenes work dynamic that ensures the safety and care for all of our furry patients that come in to our practice. Amani graduated from Tampa Bay Technical High School with a certification in Veterinary Assisting, and is currently attending the University of South Florida to pursue her veterinary education. When she isn’t working she enjoys late night gaming with friends, delving into the world of makeup, and binge watching TV shows with her mom.
Client Care Coordinators
Brenda has been in the veterinary field for more than 20 years, and she has been with Circle of Life Animal Hospital since the beginning. She has helped in all aspects of building and advancing our clinic for over 15 years and she loves the camaraderie that the employees and doctors share at the hospital. Brenda is married with one son and her pets include Maggie, a Jack Russell and cats Chicky, Grayson, Baby, and Li’l Man. She loves spending time with her family.
Shannon joined our team in December 2015 after attending ATA and earning her education as an X-ray technician. She loves animals, enjoys working with them, and is excited to pursue a career that is all about them! She has 3 cats, Creepy, Itty Bitty Kitty, and Formula One, Jackson a mini horse, and of course Halo, the new Great Dane in her life. When she isn’t working, Shannon loves horseback riding, boating, and spending time with family.
Sylvia joined the Circle of Life Animal Hospital team in May 2015. Although she initially earned a degree in childcare management from Hillsborough Community College, she decided to shift gears and work with animals. She’s always loved being around animals and helping them and their owners, a role that she now fulfills as our receptionist. Sylvia and her husband, Eric, have two children: a son named Gianni and a daughter named Scarlett. They also have two pet children: a Boston terrier named Maynard and a Chihuahua named Maya. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the movies, and participating in outdoor activities.
Michelle joined the Circle of Life team as a receptionist in March of 2017, and she is currently working toward obtaining her Veterinary Assistant degree at Ashworth College. She loves animals, and it only seemed natural to her to pursue a career in the veterinary field so she could work with them every day. Before coming to our practice, Michelle received lots of hands-on experience at a humane society, where she worked as a vet tech for four years. She loves being part of our team and working with the clients and their pets each day. In her free time, Michelle enjoys spending time with her Great Dane named Mavrick, and her Scottish fold named Bagheera; and making homemade clocks.
Baloney & Chedda
Meet Baloney and Chedda! Even though we don’t treat pocket pets, we do love them! Jenna (our technician) took them in as pets and we all fell in love with them so much, they now reside at Circle of Life Animal Hospital. They’re very active and growing girls who are super sweet and love to be held.