Archive for the ‘Staff Bios’ Category

Meet the Trainer: Ami Jones, MS, KPA-CPT

May 30, 2012

Ami Jones, Dog Trainer at Animal Hospital of PolarisAmi always had an affinity working with animals from the time she was young.  In college, she diversified her studies (psychology, biology, ecology, anthropology) so that she could have a more well-rounded approach to understanding animal behavior.  She worked with various species and even served as the director of research for an advanced tropical ecology field school in Costa Rica.  There, she was able to release three rehabilitated black handed spider monkeys into their native habitat. In graduate school, Ami wanted to continue this multi-faceted approach and therefore earned a Masters in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior.  Her Masters project & thesis focused on the types of bonds exhibited between group members of social species.  She studied how these bonds are formed and maintained over time, and even examined how triadic interactions affect dyadic dynamics.

Well over 50% of the animals surrendered to shelters are there because of behavioral problems.  Knowing this, Ami further diversified her studies and earned national certification as a dog trainer.  Ami wanted to utilize her knowledge about the behavior of social species, bonds and how animals learn best in order to help pet owners obtain the healthiest relationship possible with their pets.  Her ultimate goal is to help bridge the human/pet communication gap.  She wants to help owners and their pets create and maintain a strong, secure and healthy bond throughout the duration of their lives.  This is why Ami only uses force-free methods and positive reinforcement training.  On the plus side, it has also been shown to be the most effective method of training that exists!  She offers puppy and adult classes, private lessons and more.

Learn more about our exciting new dog/puppy training courses on this blog or give us a call at (614) 888-4050.


Meet Lizzy Brunello … Groomer for Animal Hospital of Polaris!

March 9, 2012

Lizzy Brunello - Groomer for Animal Hospital of PolarisOn Wednesdays this March, be sure to schedule a groom with Lizzy for 10% off your groom!  Your furry friends will absolutely love her!

Lizzy, what roles have you held at Animal Hospital of Polaris?
I’ve been a doggy daycare attendant, boarding attendant and now I’m a groomer.

How long have you been with Animal Hospital of Polaris?
Two years now.

What is the hardest part of your job?
In daycare, watching the dogs behavior toward other dogs, and making sure they are minding their manners and being nice to one another.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have three dogs.  Chico the Chihuahua, Dash the Maltese mix, and Tinkerbell the Yorkie.  They are so much fun, and have a lot of energy and personality.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I like to write (i.e. quotes, messages, and inspirational life lessons).  Writing is my best way of expressing myself.

Any grooming advice for pet owners?
For your pets that have long hair, it is very important if you are bathing at home between grooms to brush and comb them out before and after their bath.  This is to prevent the hair from tangling or “matting” as we call it.  In doing this, it will not only help our your groomer but it will help prevent them from having to be shaved.  If you need tips on how to brush out your furry friend, please do not hesitate to ask your groomer!

Thanks, Lizzy!

Get to know Valerie of Animal Hospital of Polaris!

February 22, 2012

Valerie has been the Compliance Coordinator for over three years at Animal Hospital of Polaris.  You may have seen her working hard behind-the-scenes to help keep the clinic stocked and running smoothly.

Valerie, what do you enjoy most about your role?
I like meeting new people.

Do you have pets?
Peanut is eight years old.  She is a longhaired, black cat.  Finn is three, and a shorthaired, black, male cat.  Amhurst is four and a half.  He’s a male, retired racing greyhound.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I am a music teacher.  I love to spend time with family and friends.

If you see Valerie in our lobby or back offices, be sure to say “hi!”

Amy Jones is the newest addition to Animal Hospital of Polaris!

February 8, 2012

Amy Jones, Veterinary Assistant at Animal Hospital of PolarisWelcome Amy Jones; one of our newest team-members at Animal Hospital of Polaris!  Her welcoming smile and friendly personality make her a great addition to our team.

Amy, what do you enjoy most about your role as a Veterinary Assistant?
I like working with all the animals and helping them to get better.

Do you have pets?
Yes, one dog, a puggle named Pumpkin. She’s fun and full of energy!  We are usually always together.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I was a dolphin trainer for eight years and worked as a great apes keeper for a year.

Introduce yourself to Amy next time you’re in!

Meet Ashley Ashbrook, Boarding Tech at Animal Hospital of Polaris!

January 18, 2012

Ashley Ashbrook, Boarding Technician at Animal Hospital of Polaris

Ashley Ashbrook has a demanding job.  She is a boarding technician at Animal Hospital of Polaris.  It’s her responsibility to provide individual attention to each of our doggie daycare and extended stay visitors.  It isn’t easy getting to know each pet’s wants and needs, but it comes naturally to Ashley.

Ashley, what do you like most about your job?
I like getting to know the animals on a very one-on-one level, making sure I make them happy and understand the need that each one requires.  I love forming the “unspoken bond” and watching how much owners really love their pets.

What is the hardest part?
Seeing the sick or injured pets is hard.  I do my best to get their mind off of it.  Also, seeing pets go home.  But, I’m very glad they all have such great owners who bring them to AHOP!

Do you have pets?
I have two pets. Mine is a Papillion named Gizmo.  He is the best!  My husband’s dog is a Chihuahua mix named Bo.  They both love to play!

Do you have a favorite pet?
My favorite pets are my own, but each dog/cat has a spot in my heart.  I love wolves and Huskies.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I have a daughter that’s two years old.  I love how well she also bonds with the animals.  During my free time I enjoy helping out local dog shelters.

Be sure to say “hi” to Ashley next time you are at Animal Hospital of Polaris!

Meet Apryl Barton, DVM – Veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Polaris!

January 5, 2012

Dr. Apryl Barton, Veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Polaris

Apryl Barton, DVM is Associate Veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Polaris.  Apryl is extremely dedicated to her craft, and strives to provide the best possible care for pets and their owners.  She genuinely cares for every animal that comes through the door, which makes her an extremely valuable addition to the Animal Hospital of Polaris team.

Apryl, what do you like most about your job?
I love working with dogs and cats every day.  I also have the privilege of getting to work with the wonderful group of people that make up the staff at AHOP.

What is the hardest part?
There’s not a switch to turn my brain off at the end of my shift, so even though I may not be working, I’m always thinking about cases I’ve seen and trying to think of what else I need to do, what I might have forgotten, researching different diseases and treatments.

Do you have any pets?
Yes!  Kael is a four-year-old orange and white tabby cat.  He’s my first “baby.”  Bowser is a five-year-old Miniature Bulldog.  He was rescued after he ate a corncob and had an intestinal obstruction.

What is your favorite animal?
I love tigers, but if I had to choose between cats and dogs, I’m a crazy cat lady even if I only have one.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
-I love cardiology.
-My hobbies include travel, reading, watching movies and TV.
-I would love to take piano and photography lessons.
-I loved living in Louisiana!  The culture and food were amazing. Go LSU Tigers!

When did you decide to become a veterinarian?
I always knew that I wanted to work with animals, but initially wanted to study animal behavior.  Through my undergrad coursework and after researching graduate schools for behavior, I decided to change my path to veterinary medicine.

What education/experience has brought you up to this point?
I worked with zoo and exotic animals throughout my undergraduate studies and when I decided to pursue vet med, I thought that I wanted to be a zoo vet.  After working at an excellent small animal practice before and throughout vet school, and after enjoying canine and feline medicine, I changed and decided to become a small animal practitioner.  After vet school I had the great fortune of doing a general small animal rotating internship at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine where I got additional training in emergency and specialty medicine.

What makes a good veterinarian?
My top priority is patient care; at the end of the day, I want to know that I did everything I could to help the patient I saw.  This may be as simple as trying to get a healthy pet that is in for their annual exam to be less anxious about being at the clinic, but every patient has their own unique needs that I try to pay attention to and address.  Being able to have a conversation and help my clients understand why I’m recommending certain things is also crucial.  Our pets are members of our family, and I want my clients to go home with the knowledge they need to understand how they can best take care of their family.  I also feel it is important to keep up with current procedures and therapies so that I can offer you the most up-to-date and best service possible.

What is the most important thing a pet caretaker can do in order to have a good relationship with a veterinarian?
Communication!  If my clients don’t understand something I’m talking about, I hope they will ask me to explain things differently, or provide them with reading material or reliable websites with the information they seek.  It’s important for a veterinarian and a client to discuss a treatment plan together so that their pet gets the care they need and that the client is comfortable with the services performed.

What are some misconceptions you’ve heard about veterinarians and vet care?
I hear from people occasionally that “If you want to make a lot of money, be a veterinarian,” or “Veterinarians recommend vaccines that aren’t necessary to take our money.”  I can assure you that neither of these statements is true.  The cost of veterinary school and the subsequent monthly loan payments are higher than most people (including most of my family members!) ever imagined, and our average national salaries are not as high as people think.  This is not a field anyone should go into if their goal is to make lots of money.  There is always debate, even amongst veterinarians about how often vaccines are needed, and there is no exact answer.  We recommend them based on our individual assessment of your pets’ risk and needs.

Any advice for pet owners?
Please use caution when trying to diagnose your pets from the Internet.  Every pet is different, and many websites are not accurate or up-to-date on their recommendations.  If you have concerns and want the best for your pet, call you veterinarian.

Please say “hi” to Apryl next time you visit Animal Hospital of Polaris!

Get to know Animal Hospital of Polaris’ Ami Jones!

November 1, 2011

We’re proud to have amazing staff members at AHOP!  This month we’re putting the spotlight on Ami Jones.  Ami is a Customer Service Representative, and a soon-to-be Behavior Trainer which will allow her to teach classes and provide consultations!  Ami has had some awesome experiences with all sorts of animals, and was kind enough to share a few stories with us.

Ami, what do you like most about your job?
The staff and clients are extremely friendly.  Every day, every situation is different and it keeps things interesting.  My true love is helping owners with behavioral issues and helping them with their dog’s manners.  This ultimately helps increase their bond and seals a healthy relationship throughout their lives.

What is the hardest part?
When bad things happen to good people and/or their pets.

Can you share a funny story from your time with AHOP?
Several!  I got my head accidently shaved when I was holding a particularly squirmy dog for the groomer.  Also, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “eliminated” on. 🙂

Do you have pets? 
Yes!  I have two kitties.  Mamma is a 14 year old, beautiful long-haired cat who loves to mother me.  She still tests my bath water with her paw before I’m “allowed” to get in.  Amiri is my male cat.  He’s 10 years old, and is definitely the spoiled prince of the house.  I’ve had so many pets over the years; it would take forever to list them!

Favorite pet?
All of them!

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I have a Masters in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior with an emphasis on primatology and animal behavior.  I studied bonding patterns for my thesis, and I’m currently getting my certification as a Karen Pryor Certified Dog Trainer.

No animal adventure is too much for me!  I’ve personally released three rehabilitated black-handed spider monkeys back into the jungles of Costa Rica and cage dove with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa!

Next time your at AHOP, be sure to say “hi” to Ami!