Our Veterinarians

vet in indian harbour beachManuel J. Pepen DVM, DABVP – Veterinarian

Dr. Manuel Pepen is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, board certified canine and feline practice. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Universidad Santo Domingo and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, The American Association of Feline Practitioners, and the Veterinary Emergency Critical Care Society. Internal medicine is of special interest to Dr. Pepen.

Dr. Pepen and his wife Linda have two sons, Daniel and David. They share their household with three dogs, a cat, a Macaw and several saltwater fish. He enjoys surfing and playing classical guitar in his spare time.

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indian harbour beach veterinarianJeffrey Steven Christiansen, DVM, DACVS - Veterinarian

Dr. Jeffery Steven Christiansen is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (DACVS) and a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM). He joined Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital in September of 2014 as our dedicated surgeon.

"As a surgeon, it is most satisfying to be able to make an immediate, dramatic improvement in a pet's quality of life," he says.

Dr. Christiansen hails from Central Pennsylvania, and was inspired to pursue a career in veterinary medicine since a young age. Dr. Christiansen grew up with horses, dogs, and cats, and found himself intrigued by the care veterinarians provided for his pets. While in high school, he worked as a kennel assistant and then as a technician.

Dr. Christiansen attended Pennsylvania State University for his undergraduate degree in Animal Bioscience. He went on to attend the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine, where he graduated in 1996 as a member of the Phi Zeta Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the Brevard County Veterinary Medical Association. His veterinary interests include surgery, stem cell therapy/regenerative medicine, and stenting.

"I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to provide discounted or even pro bono care for veterans, police officers, and rescue organizations in need," he says.

Dr. Christiansen and his wife Wendy, also a veterinarian, have two children named Henry and Kate. He enjoys working as a freelance writer in his spare time, writing the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe for Marvel comics. He also likes to jog, lift weights, and play with his children. The Christiansen family has several pets, including two dogs named Consuela and Charlie; and four cats, Elvis, Lamont, Shanequa, and Yolanda.

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indian harbour beach veterinariansDaniel James Pepen, DVM - Associate Veterinarian, ABVP Resident

Dr. Daniel James Pepen has worked as a veterinarian at Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital since 2010 and is an American Board of Veterinary Practitioners resident in canine and feline practice. . His passion for animals, however, began much earlier in life. Dr. Pepen still recalls the childhood inspiration that made him begin to pursue veterinary medicine as a career.

"I remember seeing my father helping both people and their pets when I was younger," he says. "That strongly inspired me to become a veterinarian."

Dr. Pepen attended the University of Florida as an undergraduate, earning his degree in Animal Biology. He went on to complete his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2010. Before completing his studies, Dr. Pepen gained valuable experience working as a veterinary assistant at Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital, and as a veterinary technician at the University of Florida Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Pepen's favorite aspect of being a veterinarian is utilizing problem-solving skills on a daily basis to help a variety of animals and their owners. His professional interests include internal medicine and surgery. Dr. Pepen is a member and former president of the Brevard County Veterinary Medical Association. He is also a member of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association.

When he's not at our animal hospital, Dr. Pepen enjoys spending his free time surfing, reading, and traveling. He and his wife Danielle are also the proud pet parents to a cockatiel named Eduardita, two Lionhead rabbits named Jordy and Alanna, and three dogs named Whoadie, Maliah, and Sophia.

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indian harbour beach veterinariansDanielle Becton, DVM, CCRT, CVA - Associate Veterinarian, ABVP Resident

Growing up in Jacksonville, Dr. Danielle Becton knew she wanted to become a veterinarian since she was a child. Her family kept various pets, including dogs, cats, horses, snakes, mice, and other reptiles, which spurred her interest in animal care.

Dr. Becton graduated cum laude and with honors from the University of Florida, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Animal Biology. She attended the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2010. She joined Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital as an Associate Veterinarian in 2012.

Dr. Becton is a certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT) and certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA). She is a member of the Brevard County Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, the Association of Rehabilitation Practitioners, and an American Board of Veterinary Practitioners resident in canine and feline practice. Her veterinary interests include internal medicine, physical rehabilitation therapy, and integrative medicine.

Dr. Becton most enjoys "seeing patients leave (her) care looking and feeling better than when they came in." In the past, she has volunteered at a local animal shelter to socialize new intakes and worked with a pet therapy program.

At home Dr. Becton is a pet parent to several animals: Maliah, a Boxer; Sophia, a toy Poodle; Whoadie, a terrier; Jordy and Alana, rabbits; and Eduardita, a Cockatiel. Her free time is spent doing yoga, surfing, attending art festivals, and traveling.

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indian harbour beach veterinariansDiego Sobrino, DVM, CRRT - Veterinarian

Dr. Diego Sobrino joined the veterinary staff at Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital in June 2016. A Miami native, he volunteered with animals throughout high school and college. Dr. Sobrino earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences from University of Florida in 2009. After college, he went on to University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine where he earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2013.

While in veterinary school, Dr. Sobrino completed a year-long internship in integrative medicine and rehabilitation. He is certified in veterinary acupuncture, and is working on becoming a certified canine rehabilitation therapist. Dr. Sobrino is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Florida Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interests include surgery, dentistry and rehabilitation.

At home, Dr. Sobrino has a pit bull terrier mix named Eli Cash. In his free time, he enjoys kayak fishing, scuba diving, watching live music, hiking and camping.

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indian harbour beach veterinariansJames M. H. DeSimone, DVM - Veterinarian

Dr. James Michael Hector DeSimone serves both his country and animal in need while practicing medicine. Dr. DeSimone joined the Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital team in January of 2018 part time, assisting with surgeries and emergency medicine. He is also a full time Air Force Public Health Officer, and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Having graduated from veterinary school at Auburn University, Dr. DeSimone is also a member of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association.

When asked about what is most satisfying to Dr. DeSimone regarding his profession in the veterinary industry, Dr. DeSimone says, “It is the puzzle. You have to follow the clues and your training, think outside the box, determine the problem, develop the solution, and be able to communicate all that to the client in a way they can understand.”

At home, Dr. DeSimone enjoys spending time with his wife, Lillie, a fellow veterinarian, who works at Bait Coastal Animal Hospital. The two own a Border Collie named Armenti, a Border Collie and Blue Heeler mix named Daylee, four DSH cats named Spiderman, Callie, Shyanne, and Lucky. They also look after their two American Quarter Horses, named Awebie and Stenson, and their two gold fish. Dr. DeSimone spends his down time doing Crossfit, going hiking, kayaking, being outdoors, watching movies, and enjoying great food.

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vets in indian harbour beach, flCarlia Michelle Cortes-Maisonet, DVM - Associate Veterinarian

Associate Veterinarian Dr. Carlia Michelle Cortes-Maisonet is a native of Puerto Rico, and was inspired to enter the animal care field by her father. "My father being a physician sparked in me the desire to work in the medicine field, and my innate passion for animals made me realize that I wanted to work with animal species, as I was curious about the different anatomies and possibilities in the field," she says.

Dr. Cortes-Maisonet began her undergraduate studies in Natural Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico and then transferred to Louisiana State University. At Louisiana State she studied Animal-Dairy-Poultry Sciences, graduating with her bachelor's degree in 2007. She continued her education at the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama, completing her studies in 2011.

Through Community-Led Animal Welfare (CLAW), Dr. Cortes-Maisonet has volunteered her veterinary services in Johannesburg, South Africa. When hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana, Dr. Cortes-Maisonet worked with the Louisiana State University Small Animal Shelter to care for animals who had been displaced. She joined our team in July of 2015.

Dr. Cortes-Maisonet takes great satisfaction in witnessing the powerful bond shared between people and their pets. She also cherishes being a part of that bond by providing preventative pet healthcare, emergency and diagnostic services, and by advocating for her patients' well-being. Her professional interests include emergency and internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and dentistry. She is a member of the Veterinary and Critical Care Society and the American, Puerto Rico, Florida, and North Carolina Veterinary Medical Associations.

When she's not at our animal hospital, Dr. Cortes-Maisonet spends her spare time biking, hiking, crafting, traveling, and with family. She shares her home with a Jack Russell terrier named Märe, which is Italian for "sea."

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vets in indian harbour beach, flCaitlin Marie Rivera, DVM - Associate Veterinarian

Since joining the Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital team in May of 2018 as an Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Caitlin Maria Rivera has proven herself to be a great contributor to the high standards of veterinary services provided at our facility. Some of Dr. Rivera’s professional interests include avian and exotic medicine, soft tissue surgery, and internal medicine. She is always happy to help an animal in need.

“Being a veterinarian is very rewarding knowing you saved a life or improved the quality of life for the patient, and even the client” Dr. Rivera says. “It’s also very satisfying to be able to solve a challenging case.”

Dr. Rivera considers herself a CrossFit addict, rigorously training herself to keep in shape and push herself beyond her own limitations. In her spare time, Dr. Rivera enjoys working out, partaking in beach activities like fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. She also likes to hang out with her friends, family, and pets. At home, Dr. Rivera and her husband Robert are soon to have a lovely daughter named Arya Nicole, who is due in August of 2018. They have 3 cats named Misty May, Babygirl, and Loki, as well as a Chihuahua named Chewy, an African Grey named Ecko, a snake named Tina, and a hedgehog named Chia.

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