Nurses, Technicians & Assistants

Aloha StaffEvelyn R. Martinez, Veterinary Assistant

Certified Veterinary Assistant Evelyn Martinez joined the team at Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital in 2013. Evelyn is responsible for monitoring patients while they're under anesthesia, administering medications, assisting during examinations, and assisting our veterinarians whenever needed.

"We work as a family/team, it's a well-oiled machine," she says. "Sometimes there are no words exchanged, but we know what each other needs."

A sports fan, Evelyn spends her spare time playing softball, biking, or watching games on television. She has a 13-year-old Poodle named Sierra.

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Aloha StaffKarla Parquette, Veterinary Technician

With five years of experience in the animal care field, certified Veterinary Technician Karla Parquette joined our team in September of 2011. She holds an Associate's degree in Veterinary Technology and is an excellent multi-tasker.

"I like working at Aloha because we offer so many different facets of care, from CT to orthopedic surgery and many others," she says.

Karla most enjoys working with our patients and helping them transition from illness or injury to being healthy. Her responsibilities include monitoring anesthesia for surgery, drawing blood and running chemistries, monitoring and medicating hospitalized patients, assisting with CTs, and dental cleanings.

At home Karla has two dogs: a German-Australian Shepherd mix named Alex and a Chihuahua mix named Weezy. In her free time she enjoys kayaking, swimming, riding bikes with her family, and spending time with friends.

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Aloha StaffAshley Holtz, Veterinary Technician

Certified Veterinary Technician Ashley Holtz joined our team in May of 2012. With Associate's degrees in both Veterinary Technology and Sports Medicine, she has a passion for pet rehabilitation and serves as a rehabilitation technician.

"I also enjoy seeing new procedures and learning about new pets, diseases, and surgeries," she says. "We are all always learning something exciting and new! We are inspired to find our passion in our field and encouraged to become specialized, boarded, certified, licensed, or registered to make Aloha an even more exceptional hospital for our clients."

Ashley is a consultant for Bayer's Animal Sciences department and a former Paw Pals and VITAS Hospice evaluator. Outside of work, she likes to spend time with her children and family, bake, trail ride with ATVs, shoot at the range for sport, run, and stay fit. Her pet family includes two dogs, a Doberman named Boss and a Chow mix named Lobo, and three cats named Cori, Oliver and Eva.

Aloha StaffAriel Kuhns, Veterinary and Surgery Technician

Ariel Kuhns joined Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital in August of 2014. She has more than a decade of experience in the animal care field, and is certified as a Surgery Technician by Eastern Florida State College. Her responsibilities include prepping for and assisting with surgeries and monitoring hospitalized patients.

"I love working here because (Dr. Pepen) is very family-oriented and is always interested in our continuing education," she says. "I also love how much we offer for our patients."

Outside of work, Ariel enjoys supporting the Miami Dolphins by attending their games, hitting the water to kayak or boat with her family, and spending time with family friends. She has an American Bulldog, Dakota; a Dachshund, Optimus Prime; and a cat, Baby Kitty.

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Aloha StaffBrittany Johnson, Veterinary Technician

With a special interest in animal behavior, Veterinary Technician Brittany Johnson joined our team in September of 2015. She holds an Associate's degree in Veterinary Technology and is certified as a technician in Ohio.

Brittany enjoys assisting with client education and her positive attitude and willingness to help make her a valuable addition to Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital. Her job responsibilities include general nursing care, behavior research, and aiding our doctors during the diagnostic process.

In her free time Brittany enjoys visiting the beach, fishing, eating, working out, and supporting rescue organizations – especially those geared towards "bully breeds." Her own pets include an American Bulldog-Boxer mix named Arlo, a Boxer-hound mix named Keiya, a cat named Meredith Grey, and her newest addition - a Pit Bull named Remington.

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Aloha StaffMelody Basye-Allgaier, Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technician Melody Basye-Allgaier's primary passion in life is her love for animals. She has been a devoted member of our team for the past 21 years, joining the staff at Aloha in September of 1994. Some of her responsibilities at our animal hospital include performing diagnostic tests on blood work, taking X-rays, monitoring post-surgery patients, reviewing home care prior to discharge, and equipment sterilization. Melody finds all aspects of her position equally gratifying and has a special interest in cytology.

"I am very proud to work with Aloha in that we do not turn any people away, especially those in need," she says. "It is that sincere compassion that best represents who we are."

Melody donates to various animal foundations and homes and adopts kittens when she can. Melody spends as much time as she can with her grandchildren, and even recently acquired two hermit crabs for them named Cupcake and Spidey. At home Melody has two rescued pets of her own: a six-year-old mixed breed dog named Snickers and a cat named Maui. In her free time Melody enjoys working in the garden and her kitchen.

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Aloha StaffCasey, Veterinary Technician

Our staff night owl, Casey serves as Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital's overnight veterinary technician. She provides post-surgical and critical care to our patients by monitoring their vitals and well-being and running lab work. She also helps restock hospital supplies and prepare our surgical suite for the next day. "I love the cutting-edge diagnostic equipment, our rehabilitation program, and the dedication we all have to our patients and clients," she says.

Casey joined our team in April of 2015, bringing more than a decade of experience in animal care. She will soon graduate with an Associate's degree in Veterinary Technology and then plans to work toward becoming a certified technician.

At home Casey has a cat named Princess Mononoke, as well as parrots and reptiles. A lifelong learner, she spends her free time expanding her knowledge, with family and pets, and visiting Florida's natural springs.

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Aloha StaffShannon Powell, Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technician Shannon Powell joined the veterinary technician team in June 2016. She has worked in emergency and critical care prior to working at Aloha Pet and Bird Hospital. Shannon's job responsibilities include surgical and critical care of patients, lab work, vitals, patient care and treatment. She most enjoys watching critical patients getting well again. She says, "We get to see their eyes brighter and their tails wag after they have felt terrible."

Shannon has an associate's degree in general studies and a second associate's in veterinary technology. She is a certified veterinary technician. Shannon says, "I love how friendly and open Aloha is. Everyone here works so well together it makes coming to work fun and exciting."

At home, Shannon has two 5-year-old rabbits named Bonnie and Clyde and a 1-year-old pug/pit mix named Porky. She enjoys arts and crafts, particularly crocheting, macramé, knitting and painting.

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Aloha StaffColleen Gardner, Veterinary Technician

Collen Gardner is a night certified veterinary technician at Aloha Pet and Bird Hospital. She's responsible for treating, monitoring and being there for patients overnight. Colleen enjoys getting to spend extra time with the animals to make them feel comfortable. She holds an associate's degree in veterinary technology from Eastern Florida State College. Colleen joined our hospital in January 2016.

She says, "The entire staff at Aloha is amazing, especially the doctors. They are here around the clock and truly care about every patient no matter the situation."

At home, Colleen has a 1-year-old tabby cat named Paisley. She enjoys reading, painting, traveling and going to Disney.

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Aloha StaffHeather Priddy, Veterinary Technician

Heather Priddy joined the team at Aloha Pet and Bird Hospital in October 2016. She earned her veterinary technology degree from Murray State College and has worked in the animal-care field for five years. Her daily responsibilities include helping during examinations, taking care of hospitalized patients and assisting during surgery. Heather's favorite parts of the job are getting to take care of all types of animals, as well as building relationships with the hospital's clients. Her southern charm helps clients feel at peace while making sure their pets are well cared-for.

"I enjoy all the different animals we get to work on here," Heather says. "I love the family atmosphere, and how hands-on the technicians get to be."

At home, Heather has a 6-year-old Labrador named Cooper and a 3-year-old border collie named Jane. Outside of the hospital, Heather enjoys spending time on the beach with her husband, visiting state parks, bike riding with her dogs, running the Disney Marathon's with her dad and painting.

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Aloha StaffBritney Frulio, Veterinary Technician

Britney Frulio joined the team at Aloha Pet and Bird Hospital in January 2016. As a veterinary technician, she is responsible for running diagnostics, blood work, monitoring patients during surgery, and treating and nursing hospitalized patients. Britney holds an Associate of Arts degree, an Associate of Science degree, and a certification from an accredited veterinary technician program. Her favorite part of working in the animal-care field is cytology.

“Aloha Pet and Bird Hospital does everything they can for their clients and patients,” Britney says. “They go above and beyond to ensure the best customer service and they truly love what they do at this hospital.”

At home, Britney has a 5-year-old beagle/hound mix named Rusty that she adopted from a nearby animal shelter. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, spending time at the beach, going out on her boat and fishing.

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Aloha StaffMark Kulesa, Veterinary Technician/Assistant

Veterinary Technician/Assistant Mark Kulesa started at Aloha Pet and Bird Hospital in July 2016. He has been working in the animal care field for over five years. Mark's job responsibilities include helping doctors to make sure they have everything they need and taking care of the hospital's clients and pets. His favorite part of his job is interacting with people and helping their pets. Mark's wonderful and witty sense of humor, along with his big heart for anything with fur or feathers or scales, helps makes clients and patients happy.

Mark earned his associate's degree from Eastern Florida State College. He's currently working on his Certified Veterinary Technician certificate from St. Petersburg College. Mark says, "I love the amount of exotic pets that come here. Everyone has everyone's back here and we help one another. It's a great work environment."

At home, Mark has a 5-year-old Scottish terrier named Barney, an 8-year-old toy poodle named Laura, and a 2-year-old cat named Tony Stark. He spends his free time restoring classic cars, riding his Harley, reading comic books and playing video games.

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Aloha StaffLaurissa Luther, Veterinary Nurse

Veterinary Nurse Laurissa Luther keeps the staff at Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital entertained with her excellent sense of humor and liveliness. She started with us in August of 2007 and prides herself on helping in whatever ways she can around the hospital. Her favorite part of the job, she says, is "all of it." With a Bachelor's degree in Psychology Laurissa is able to understand the emotional needs of our clients and their pets.

"I love animals and this is a great workplace," she says.

Laurissa has two daughters and a handsome cat, Clay. She spends her free time with her kids, golfing, playing basketball, and cooking.

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Aloha StaffShelly Mesaros, Veterinary Nurse

Shelly Mesaros is a veterinary nurse who's been in the animal care field for over three years. Her main responsibility at Aloha Pet and Bird Hospital is assisting veterinarians. Shelly enjoys staying on her toes and seeing so many different kinds of animals. She is currently working towards a bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences.

At home, Shelly has a Pomeranian named Toby, a mix named Moose and a Belgian Tervuren named Max. She plans to add a Golden retreiver soon.

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Aloha StaffCecilia Lascody, Veterinary Dental Care

Cecilia Lascody joined Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital in 1991 and has been keeping our patients' teeth strong and healthy ever since. With a degree in Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Universidad de Chile, Cecilia is a dedicated member of our dental team. Her duties center around oral health and include prophylactic dental cleanings, dental X-rays and assisting our veterinarians with any patient who is experiencing discomfort in his or her mouth.

"Periodontal disease is very common in our patients, some of them living with very uncomfortable and painful conditions," she says. "We love to tell owners that all these painful conditions can be prevented with good oral care on a regular basis. It is very rewarding to see a pet playing normally again, free of oral pain."

Cecilia tried to be a foster pet parent to several of Aloha Adoptions' felines , but ended up adopting them instead. "I keep them all," she says. Her cats are named Rusty, Fuzzy and Carmelo. Outside of work, Cecilia enjoys reading and traveling (especially to South America to visit her extended family).

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Aloha StaffKira Parker, CVT

Kira is a certified veterinary technician and joined the Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital team in July 2016. Her responsibilities at the hospital include welcoming clients and their pets, taking pet's vitals and performing treatments. She brings a bright personality to the staff, loving to laugh and interacting with the hospital's clients and pets.

Kira holds an associate degree in veterinary technology and is certified in the state of Florida as a certified veterinary technician. She's been employed the animal-related fields for 10 years now, including being an equine technician and taking part in several externships.

"I drive all the way from Titusville because of our wonderful, caring, capable staff that creates an awesome work environment," she says. "I love how we keep up with the latest medical advancements through continuing education and access to the latest equipment and diagnostic tools. I truly enjoy coming to work."

At home, Kira has several pets: a 3-year-old "chugaweinie" Chihuahua/pug/dachshund mix named Reesee, two cats named Ms. Kitty and Sweet Pea, a 2-year-old peking duck named Noodles and a 19-year-old Appendix Quarter horse named Leggs.

Outside of work, Kira enjoys hunter/jumper horseback riding. She also volunteers with horseback riding for the disabled. She’s currently pursuing certification in Kinesiology taping.

In her free time, Kira enjoys camping, bass fishing and riding horses with her family. She also likes painting—mostly pet portraits—when she gets time to herself. Her family also gardens together, growing as much of their own food as possible.

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Aloha StaffHeather Callahan, CVT

Heather Callahan joined the medical team at Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital in March 2017. As a certified veterinary technician, she is responsible for caring for patients and providing clients with the knowledge to help their pets. Heather has been in the animal-care field for over 11 years, and her favorite part of the job is nursing sick animals and being an aid to doctors. Her greatest attributes are kindness, caring, and compassion.

Prior to joining our hospital, Heather worked as a technician PAFB, where she cared for the military community and security forces’ K9s. She holds an associate degree and is a certified veterinary technician in the state of Florida.

“I believe Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital truly value the lives of the animals they treat,” Heather says. “They are caring and compassionate towards their clients. They provide excellent care to patients, going above and beyond.”

At home, Heather has a 2-year-old St. Bernard named Opie, an 8-year-old West Highland Terrier named Nessie, an 8-year-old cat named Marley and a 3-year-old cat named Luna. In her free time, she enjoys painting, looking after her fur babies, and being a mum to her two wonderful grown-up children, Michael and Scarlett.

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Aloha StaffChelsea Culwell, Veterinary Technician

Chelsea has her Bachelors degree in Animal Science with a minor in Animal Biology. At the hospital, she helps with overnight care and ensures that every facet of the hospital is clean and organized. She has been involved with being a veterinary technician since 2013, and before that was volunteering with the South Animal Care and Adoption Center. She loves how the whole hospital staff goes “above and beyond” for every patient, every time.

She has pets of her own as well. An all-white Siberian Husky named Pearl, a chihuahua/pug mix named Pugsley and three cats: Ping, Buddy and Jack. In her spare time, she loves taking the dogs camping with her! She also enjoys gardening, surfing and staying active through weight-lifting. She loves being a part of the hospital and truly enjoys forming bonds with pets and their owners.

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Aloha StaffJessica Harmon, CVA

Jessica Harmon joined Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital in January 2017. She brings in several years of experience as a receptionist and as a veterinary assistant. At the hospital, Jessica provides excellent care to both patients and clients while also assisting the veterinarians, technicians and receptionists in any way possible. She considers herself a complete Dachshund lover, and her favorite part of the job is interacting with all of our terrific clients.

Before joining Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital, Jessica earned an Associate degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Alaska at Anchorage and a Veterinary Assistant Certification from Penn Foster.

At home, Jessica has two miniature Dachshunds named Racal and Thalia, a standard Dachshund named Rusty, a terrier mix named Buddy and a domestic medium hair cat named D’Artagnan. She enjoys hiking, volunteering, crafting with her kids and spending time with her puppies.

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Aloha StaffDanni Ensell, Veterinary Assistant

Danni joined the veterinary hospital summer of 2017, but has been working with animals for many years. Before joining the team, Danni spent time as an adoption counselor at the Brevard Humane Society in Cocoa, Florida. Danni has her Associate’s degree in veterinary medicine and is pursuing her degree in Veterinary Technology from Eastern Florida State College.

Danni has a six-year-old yellow lab mix named HollyWeen and a 1-and-a-half-year-old bling tabby named EcholoCATion (because the meows are like sonar!). She loves working at Aloha because there are new learning experiences every day and she loves being able to provide pet owners with information when treating their pets. Danni truly respects the medicine practiced at the hospital and is always ready to lend a helping hand to her coworkers. When not in the hospital, she enjoys reading, playing table top games, making arts and crafts, going to theme parks, and cheering for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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