Corey Delsa has been a member of our team since 2007. He was in the waiting room one day when one of resident cats was quite smitten with him and chose him to work with us. Corey is currently pursuing a double degree majoring in computer programming and graphic design at Tulane. He also has a passion for music and produces computer generated music with the program Reason. He has made numerous recordings including some played on WTUL. He is the proud owner of Snuggles and Minnie, cats adopted from our hospital.
Susie Little began her animal career in 1972 at Zelcorkern Stables in Jefferson, La where she worked with saddle horses, grooming and assisting the veterinarians at the stable. Since then she worked as an animal technician at Broadmoor Animal Hospital, the Louisiana SPCA, and Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter. She has been with us since 2008 and brings 42 years of animal experience to our practice. She is the proud owner of Pitout the love bird and cats Screamers and Bemine. As she lovingly cares for them, she also lovingly cares for her 88 year old Mother, Ida, who is a total sweetheart. She also gives special care to our resident felines.
Bruce Lutrell has worked with animals most of his life. He began a job at the Louisiana SPCA Hospital in 1984 where he met and worked with Dr. McSweeney as a kennel attendant and vet assistant. Bruce and his family kept in touch wiith Dr. McSweeney when the Animal Medical & Surgical Hospital opened in 1992. Bruce followed and joined our hospital team in 1997 and has been working with us for the past 17 years. Bruce’s mother passed away a few years ago, and he now lives with the McSweeneys. Bruce loves all kinds of music especially classical. He is also a huge football fan and loves to coach from the couch. His assistant coach is Cheeto his orange tabby.
Brittany LaFosse Meyer graduated from UNO in May 2014 with her bachelor’s degree in biology. Her daughter, Caylee Elizabeth Meyer, just turned three in February of 2015 and she is expecting her second child in late August of 2015. Brittany has been a part of our team since 2009 and brings nine years of hospital experience, working closely with our doctors, clients and their beloved pets. She is working to one day be accepted into the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. She and her husband, Andrew, live in Covington with their daughter, Caylee, their dogs, Dave and Cal, and their cat, Marty.
Ashley Taranto is a Metairie native who whose family lived in Jackson MS for many years. From a young age she has been passionate about animals. She worked at The Fish Bowl in Jackson at age 14 working with fish, reptiles and other small animals. Two years later she began working as a veterinary assistant and knew she had found her calling. Ashley returned home to Metairie last year and worked as an ER technician for a twenty-four hour veterinary hospital working the overnight shift. We are happy that Ashley has come back home and joined our team as she brings six years of animal experience to our hospital. “I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier working anywhere else and I’m more than happy that I decided to move back home. “ Ashley’s favorite roommate at home is Denali, her Bandogge Mastiff.
Victoria Roper is a fifth generation New Orleanian whose life reflects her dedication to animals. She is pursuing a bachelor of the science, natural Resource Ecology and Management Program in Pre-Veterinary Wildlife Medicine and hopes to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. She has completed an animal husbandry internship at Jerome Walker’s Organic Dairy Farm in Franklinton raising jersey bull calves, and a ten week internship at Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, California which focused on rehabilitation, husbandry and handing techniques of California sea lions, Northern Elephant Seals and Harbor Seals. She also has experience from the Louisiana SPCA and LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Victoria comes to us after completing an internship as an endangered seabird technician with the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project with the State of Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife. She lived on Kauai for six months, and during her summer semester assisted in research and management tasks for the recovery of Kauai’s endangered seabirds the Newell’s shearwater and Hawaiian petrel. Currently, Victoria lives with parents in Franklinton and helps manage her family’s business, Stoney Point Farm, which sells local sustainably grown chemical free produce and local honey. You can find her family’s business on goodeggs.com which is an online farmers market now serving the New Orleans and surrounding area. We are delighted to have Victoria’s passion for animals positively influence our hospital.
Casey Avants is a returning staff member who originally worked with us in 2005, helping us get back on our feet after hurricane Katrina. With a degree in American Sign Language, she is currently pursuing a nursing degree at Charity School of Nursing. Casey has always been devoted to animals, and she can often be found cuddling with our patients and boarders. When not studying and working, Casey is busy entertaining her two year old son, Ramses, and a multitude of pets including dogs, cats and aquatic frogs.
Crystal Hayes has been working with animals since 2006. She has worked in the veterinary field assisting in the treatment and rehabilitation of small pets, exotics and zoo animals. Having recently moved from Miami, Florida, Crystal brings a vast knowledge of veterinary dentistry and emergency medicine to our hospital. Crystal also volunteered her time at the at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, Florida, to further the conservation of and education regarding North American wolves.
After the AMSH has closed their doors for the day, we are proud to say that Crystal laces up her roller skates and takes to the track as a Big Easy Rollergirl, competing in national roller derby game play. For more information about the team and its 2015 schedule, please visit bigeasyrollergirls.com .
Mason Williams is in his second year working at our hospital. He is a senior about to graduate from Holy Cross High School. At Holy Cross, Mason is a member and senior captain of the wrestling team. He is also a member of the beach volleyball team and participates in peer ministry. Mason has always grown up around animals with his family, so the clinic was a perfect fit for him. At home, Mason has two cats, one he adopted from our hospital last year as a small kitten.
Samantha Dubuisson is a lifelong animal enthusiast who has dedicated her life to the field of animal rescue. She graduated from Cabrini High School in 2013 and attended LSU in 2014 studying Animal Sciences. Samantha hopes to return to LSU to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine after she obtains her Animal Science degree. She has previously worked with Med Vet and Metairie Small Animal Hospital, and is thrilled to be working as a new technician here. She has also worked with many animal rescue foundations throughout her animal career including the LASPCA, Animal Rights for Life, ARNO, Jefferson SPCA and Spaymart. Samantha is passionate about TNR (trap, neuter, return), feral cat rehab, and animal behavior/training. Samantha loves her menagerie of pets at home that consists of her two cats Oreo and Athena, her dog B.B., her two crested geckos Ren and Jupiter, her two rats Ebony and Ivory, and a colony of hermit crabs. How is that for diversity!
Much to her Mother’s dismay, Mandi Kihnemann began bringing home various types of critters as a young child and has loved animals as long as she can remember. She always knew that she wanted and needed to work with animals as her career. She began her journey into animal care as a bather at a local pet salon where she eventually learned to groom cats and dogs and gained six years of grooming experience. Mandi began pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian last year and is currently majoring in Veterinary Science and Technology at Delgado Community College. She hopes to eventually attend LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
Mandi’s best friend and companion in life is Max, her five year old miniature schnauzer. Her family also consists of her loving and supportive boyfriend, Tyler her black and white cat, Amoo, and her corn snake named “Snake.” In the past she has had many different types of pets including birds, frogs, lizards, rodents and even snails!
“I’ve loved every moment working here at the Animal Medical & Surgical Hospital thus far and I feel blessed to have this opportunity to learn and grow as a person and animal caregiver. Everyone here has quickly become like a family to me and I couldn’t be happier.” Mandi will always be an important asset to our clinic family and we are very thankful for her.
Chance DeMonte is a senior at Holy Cross High School. He graduates in May and hopes to attend LSU this fall. Chance has always loved animals and hopes to be a veterinarian one day. “Working at a vet clinic is one of the best jobs I can think of because I can’t see myself working somewhere without animals.” Chance owns a large Dogo Argentino mastiff named Blue who has been a patient at our hospital since he was a puppy, so we got to know Chance as he and the Blue were frequent visitors over the years. Chance has been an assistant with our hospital since June of 2015.