Improving lives through personalized care. We treat you like family and each patient like our own pet

About Animal Care of Ponte Vedra

Our goal is to make every visit to the Veterinarian as pleasant and comfortable for you and your pet as possible. We aim to provide excellent customer service as well as medical advice you can trust. Our virtual tour is great, but we would love for you to come by and meet our staff and take a tour in person! We enjoy educating clients about their pets care, so please ask questions and we will be sure to get you the right information.

veterinary team at Animal Care of Ponte Vedra

Your Ponte Vedra Beach Veterinarians

DR. BLYTHE WATERS

DR. BLYTHE WATERS

Veterinarian

Dr. Waters was born and raised in Atlantic Beach, Florida. After graduating from Stanton College Preparatory School, she attended the University of Virginia on a Jefferson Scholarship. She taught Advanced Placement Chemistry for a year at her alma mater before attending the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation in 2003, Dr. Waters returned to Jacksonville and spent 5 years in small animal practice before taking a position at Emergency and Critical Care Pet Hospital. She spent two years seeing a wide variety of medical and surgical emergencies before opening her own hospital, Animal Care of Ponte Vedra, in 2011.

DR. ALYSHA SALAPACK

Veterinarian

Dr. Salapack is a recent graduate of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary medicine has always been a part of her life from her high school days in the FFA to the 8 years she spent as a veterinary technician prior to going to vet school. Her major interests include diagnostic imaging, surgery, and international veterinary medicine. She and her husband share their lives with 2 sweet kitties, Roo and Momma, and a 20-year-old green-winged macaw, Davi. During her spare time, she and her husband love to spend time traveling, hiking, going to the beach, and going to FSU football games.

DR. SYDNEY DAVIS

Veterinarian

​​​​​​​Dr. Davis grew up in New England, where she developed her love of animals and the ocean. She spent a decade in the professional yachting industry prior to returning to school. She graduated *summa cum laude* from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, where she completed a dual-degree program, earning both doctorate and Master of Science in Research degrees. Her work focused on metabolic and immune responses in bottlenose dolphins, and she has published two papers on her thesis work. After graduation, Dr. Davis completed an internship in emergency critical care, medicine, and surgery at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in Rhode Island. Dr. Davis enjoys soft tissue surgery, emergency, and critical care, working with wildlife, exotic animals, and international non-profit veterinary work. In her spare time, she loves spending time with family and staying active outdoors in the sunshine, surfing, sailing, and traveling.

Dr. Jodi Benitez

Veterinarian
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Dr. Benitez is originally from Cullman, Alabama. After high school, she attended Auburn University and received a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. After graduating from Auburn, she attended the University of North Florida and earned her master’s degree in Public Health. While there, she participated in research on tick-borne diseases. Dr. Benitez graduated Cum Laude from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2020. Her interests include soft tissue surgery and public health. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, three cats, and her three-legged dog.

DR. JESSICA NASH-RAO

DR. JESSICA NASH-RAO

Veterinarian

The newest member of the team, Dr. Jessica Nash-Rao, is a recent graduate who came highly recommended not just by her professors but by the Dean of Students at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary Medicine is her second career and she brings to the practice a wealth of wisdom and in-depth knowledge of the latest and greatest advancements in Veterinary Medicine. Like Dr. Waters, she shares a love of Emergency Medicine. She and her husband Dev just added a new puppy to the family, much to the delight of their two children.

DR. CARISSA HOTTINGER

DR. CARISSA HOTTINGER

Veterinarian

Dr. Hottinger was born and raised here in Jacksonville. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Florida with a B.S. in Biology and worked as a biologist for several years before attending and graduating from University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005.

She has worked with Dr. Waters on a part-time basis since 2012. She has a dog, Tulu and kitty, Meatball and in her spare time enjoys the beach, music events and traveling with her two-legged family.

JEANNE DEPAIS

JEANNE DE PAIS, CVT

Hospital Manager, Certified Veterinary Technician

Jeanne is our Hospital Manager ensuring clients and patients have an exceptional experience and overseeing operations, human resources, inventory and so much more! Her interest in animals began when she started riding horses in New York State. After studying environmental science at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, she eventually returned to her love of horses and began working at a stable in South Florida. When she moved to Jacksonville in 2005, Jeanne began working as a nurse in a small animal hospital and went on to get her Certified Veterinary Technician license. She has special interests in dentistry and anesthesiology as well as practice management. She lives in Jacksonville with her husband, Itamar, her dog Jack Jack and two cats, Bear and Buddha. Outside of work she loves to hunt down native plants for her garden and spend time exploring some of North Florida’s beautiful parks.

Kaitlin Beiser, CVT

Veterinary Technician/Technician Supervisor
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Kaitlin was born and raised in Florida. She has been in the veterinary field for approximately 10 years and started at Animal Care of Ponte Vedra in October 2019. In her free time, you can find her surfing, fishing or at the beach.

SUE BARRIS

SUE BARRIS

Client Care

Sue was born in New York but lived most of her life in New Jersey. Before moving to Florida, she worked for a veterinary hospital for five years then started her own pet sitting business. She loved and cared for her clients and pets for over five years. Since moving to Florida she began working at a veterinary practice in Mandarin where she first met Dr. Waters and Jeanne. In January of 2015 Sue decided to join them in Ponte Vedra as Head Receptionist. She lives with her husband Gustavo and their tortoise Mr. Personality. When she isn't working, her hobbies include gardening and going to the beach.

KATHY MUREN

KATHY MUREN

Client Care Receptionist

Kathy worked in the veterinary field for 12 years before joining Animal Care of Ponte Vedra in June of 2017. She lives with her husband, a 20-year-old cat, a 14-year-old Dachshund and a new addition to the family, an American Bulldog puppy. She also has 3 kids and a grandson. In her spare time, you will find her at the gym.

Shari Welnetz

Client Care Specialist

Shari was born, raised and has lived most of her life in a small town in northern Wisconsin until moving to Florida in 2017. While in her hometown in Wisconsin, Shari owned a dog grooming business and was a dog trainer. After selling her grooming business, she worked at a veterinary clinic for 2 1/2 years. Shari joined Animal Care of Ponte Vedra as a receptionist in January 2018. When she is not at work, Shari enjoys going to the beach and spending time with her two golden retrievers, Allie and Aubrie. Aubrie is a registered therapy dog and is part of Mayo Clinic's Caring Canines. Shari resides with her husband, Steve.

Jay Greco

Client Care Specialist

Jay was born into a military family. She has traveled and experienced many different cultures across the U.S. After graduating high school, Jay decided to enroll in the United States Marine Corps. After her service, she began to realize her love for animals. She adopted a German Shepard puppy named Honey! Shortly after that, Jay got her first job in the veterinary field! She has spent the last few years studying and learning all about common house pets and even some exotics! She is extremely caring and loving towards all animals. Each and everyday she strives to provide the best service and care to all patients. Currently, Jay lives with her husband and her two beautiful fur babies!

Rachel McNally

Client Care Specialist

Bio coming soon...

PAM COTTINGIM

PAM COTTINGIM

Veterinary Technician

Pam moved to Florida in 2006 from rural Illinois. She worked for Dr. Waters after moving as a receptionist and fell in love with helping animals. She has worked in all aspects of the veterinary field including military working dogs at the Mayport Naval Station. It is then she realized this was her passion and is currently pursuing to be a Certified Veterinary Technician. In her spare time between school and work she takes her lab (Onyx) to the beach where they spend hours playing ball. Her family also consists of Hitch, a rat terrier, and Mrs. Pants (her one-eyed cat!)

STephanie Ludke

STEPHANIE LUDKE

Veterinary Technician

Stephanie joined Animal Care of Ponte Vedra in July 2017. This Minnesota native is a Disney and National Parks enthusiast. When not at home with her husband and pets, she devotes her time in helping a local cat rescue.​​​​​​​

Brenna Lunsford

Veterinary Technician

​​​​​​​Brenna was born in New York and grew up in Jacksonville. She graduated from Mandarin High school in 2016 and started working at ACPV in the spring of 2017. She plans on going to vet tech school to pursue a career in this field. She lives with her two legged son, Dakota and her 4 legged son, Rambo.

Simonne Sequeira

Veterinary Technician
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Simonne is a recent graduate from the University of Florida where she studied Animal Sciences and Women’s Studies. In college, she volunteered at the Clinical Trials Department at the University of Florida’s Small Animal Hospital, helped the community out through art and taught yoga at the school’s gyms. Her goal is to become a veterinarian and work with marine wildlife. Outside of work, she likes to go to the beach, workout and go hiking. Recently, she rescued a puppy, Rookie, that was brought into the clinic in May and they have been inseparable since.

HEATHER KISER

Veterinary Technician

Heather started with Animal Care of Ponte Vedra in August of 2017. She’s always had a love for animals growing up in North Florida. During her time at ACPV, she's realized that she wants to stay in this field forever. She is planning on starting school soon so she can specialize in Animal Behavior. She lives with her boyfriend, 2 dogs and 2 cats. When not at work at the animal hospital, you can find her at the beach.

Chloe Martinich

Veterinary Assistant

Chloe was born in Orlando. She was adopted at 2 years old and moved to Ponte Vedra where she resided for 23 years. She has recently relocated to the westside with her fiancé, Jesse and stepson Tristen. She has always loved animals and has worked in the veterinary field since 2014. She joined the Animal Care of Ponte Vedra team in May 2018 as a receptionist but hopes to become a technician at some point or pursue a career in large animal medicine. She also lives with her French Bulldog, Bull, her two cats, Fiona and Little Man and her horse, Smoke.

Brenda Stancil

Veterinary Assistant

Bio coming soon...

ANITA MASSARA

Groomer

Anita Massara grew up in Syracuse, New York. Animals were always present in the family - usually dogs and cats - but over the years she rescued rabbits, sheep, and birds and also did wildlife rehab. She decided to make a career out of her passion and graduated from the New York School of Dog Grooming. Anita spent many years teaching the art of pet styling as an academy instructor for a large pet retailer before joining the team at Animal Care of Ponte Vedra. She loves making the dogs look and feel better and really enjoys bonding with each pet and making them comfortable with gentle handling techniques. Anita enjoys reading, music, the beach, and spending her time with family. She lives in Ponte Vedra with her cat, Sydney.​​​​​​​

Tabitha

Groomer

Bio coming soon...

Tracy Lorenzo

Groomer

Bio coming soon...

Jordan Duhovis

Kennel Assistant

Jordan has been with Animal Care of Ponte Vedra since August of 2018. She was born in Middletown, Pennsylvania but spent the majority of her childhood in St. Augustine. She has always been compassionate about animals and loves working with them. Growing up, she’s always had a family dog, including 2 Golden Retrievers and 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. She even had two Nubian goats named, Vincent Van Goat and Dorito. Jordan is also passionate about music and singing. She lives with her two cats, Midnight and Nikita, and a turtle named Clover. She is hoping to add a dog soon.

Ian Yacullo

Kennel Assistant

Ian has had a passion for animals since he was a child growing up on Long Island, New York. He moved to Florida in 2013. He started at Animal Care of Ponte Vedra in March 2018 and is gaining experience in hands-on animal interaction and husbandry in hopes of being employed at the Jacksonville Zoo someday. Ian also loves to travel. His favorite places are the wildest and has been to Africa twice. He also is an aspiring artist and videographer.

Lauren Walker

Kennel Assistant

Lauren was a preemie born in Denver, Colorado weighing just 1 pound 5 ounces. She has an identical twin sister and an older brother. She has lived in Colorado, North Carolina, California, Hawaii, South Carolina and finally settled in Ponte Vedra, Florida in 2008. As a child of the military she got to explore many facets of the United States. She has always loved animals and has had many small pets-mice, hamsters, guinea pigs and lots of fish! She graduated from Nease High School in 2014. She also earned an Associates Degree from Florida State College of Jacksonville. She volunteered for over 4 years at the St. John’s County Pet Center. She is extremely excited to be working with animals everyday and hopes to transition one day to a veterinarian technician.

Alysia Chalcraft

Surgery Assistant

Bio coming soon...

Sharlie Neely

Receptionist​​

Sharlie grew up in a small town in Georgia and moved to Jacksonville in 2015. Since moving to Florida, she began working at an emergency veterinary hospital. It was there that she fell in love with the veterinary field and in October of 2017, joined the team at Animal Care of Ponte Vedra. Sharlie currently lives with her boyfriend, their 3 dogs: Kaia (a Boxer), Luna (another Boxer) and Kali (the Cocker Spaniel) and 2 cats: Kenzie and Bird. When she isn’t found at work at the vet hospital, she loves spending time with her 3 dogs at the park tossing tennis balls or going to the beach.

Julia Avery