Countryside Animal Clinic

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Team

Veterinarians

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Dr. Richard E Dunn, DVM

Dr. Dunn is a native Floridian from Daytona Beach, Florida. He graduated from Florida State University with a BS in Biology in 1977, and received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida in 1981. Following graduation, he worked in a mixed animal practice in Monroe, NC before returning to Florida to work in a mixed animal practice in Belleview, FL. Dr. Dunn and his wife Diana started Countryside Animal Clinic in 1984 in the old Beverly Hills shopping plaza. The practice grew from its original 1,000 square foot leasehold to the current 4,000 square foot building 10 years later.

Dr. Dunn and Diana have three adult children who grew up with the clinic, as well as two granddaughters. They have 2 dogs, Caesar (a yellow lab) and Cleo (a short-haired black & tan dachshund), two cats (Chester and Moe), and Merlin, a South American Redfoot tortoise.

Dr. Dunn’s hobbies include fishing, reading, exercising, spending time with the family, and “spoiling” his granddaughters. He has a multitude of fond clinic memories, but some of his favorites are helping animals with unusual problems, like the cow that was shot by a bow and arrow, retrieving a needle from a cat’s stomach non-surgically, reversing a cat in renal failure, helping a dog hit by lightning and treating a traveling circus elephant for pneumonia.

 Dr. Dunn and Diana are most proud of and grateful for the exceptional team they have at Countryside. It is a truly unique and talented group of people who work well together as a team, who enjoy what they do, and who derive their greatest satisfaction from helping their clients' pets live long and happy lives!

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Dr. Michele K. Farrar, DVM

Dr. Michele Farrar is a native of the New River and Shenandoah Valleys of Virginia and attended Virginia Tech for her undergraduate degree in Animal Science with a minor in Biology. After working for a number of years as a veterinary technician she decided to pursue her lifelong dream and returned to school at Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2009 with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.

She and her husband, Dan, moved to Citrus County in 2010 so that she could pursue her desire to provide quality veterinary medicine in a mixed animal practice at Countryside Animal Clinic.

The Farrars have two pugs, Auggie and Lilo. They have recently acquired two well-fed goldfish who are as yet unnamed. The fish are the latest in a long line of exotic pets which have included other fish, a degu, a pygmy hedgehog, and a Nanday Conure.

Dr. Farrar’s experiences in veterinary medicine have covered a variety of species. Her more memorable cases have included the bull terrier who ate a nebulizer and a pair of jeans, the python who suffered from a cold, a rabbit in kidney failure, the flying squirrel who was neutered, a neurologic goat, a cat who had a huge fishing lure caught in her upper lip, and an adopted wild pig with a milk jug ring wrapped around her foot.

Dr. Farrar’s hobbies include drawing (pen and ink and colored pencil), baking, reading, biking and kayaking. She and her husband are also avid Virginia Tech Hokie fans.

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Dr. Leigh Ann Collins, DVM, CVA

Dr. Collins is a Florida native who graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. She received her CVA (Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist) from the Chi Institute in 2008. Dr. Collins joined our team in May 2015 and her special interests include client education, acupuncture, and geriatric medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family (husband, Jeremy, and children, Kinsley and Carson), her two dogs (Petey and Gracie), ZUMBA, yoga, and pilates. Dr. Collins loves helping people by helping their animals. Her favorite quote is "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." - Theodore Roosevelt.

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Dr. Victoria Schad, PhD, DVM

Dr. Victoria Schad was born and raised in upstate New  York. She obtained her MS and PhD (Immunology) from the University of Rochester Medical School. Dr. Schad moved to Boston, Massachusetts to pursue a career in biomedical research, including HIV, allergy, and transplantation. She obtained her DVM from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and worked in mixed animal practice in southeastern Massachusetts prior to moving to Florida. Currently, Dr. Schad owns 3 cats (2 are diabetic), a parakeet, an eastern painted turtle, and many fish as pets. Dr. Schad is a naturalist, she loves Florida’s flora and fauna, especially the nature coast. She enjoys kayaking, swimming, birding, gardening, and spending time outside.

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Dr. Ashton Smith, DVM

Dr. Smith grew up in West Tennessee. She attended the Mississippi State University where she earned her degree in animal and dairy science. She then continued to earn her degree at Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine. She is passionate about working with both large and small animal patients. Dr. Smith and her daughter recently moved to the Sunshine state and settled in Citrus County.

She has a golden retriever named Shadow, and long-haired kitty named Sassy. In her spare time, Dr. Smith enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family.

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Dr. Veronica Buhler, DVM

Dr. Veronica Buhler is a Citrus County native. She was born and raised in Inverness and attended Citrus High School. At the University of South Florida she earned a BS in integrative animal biology with a minor in chemistry. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia where she graduated with honors.

She has recently returned to Citrus County with her husband (Wayne) their dog (Sylo) and two cats (Mia and Motta). She is excited to once again live near her extended family and to provide quality veterinary service in her hometown.

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Dr. Kendal Roweton, DVM

Doctor Kendal Roweton joined the Countryside team in Fall of 2019. He is native to Southwest Missouri. He studied at the University of Missouri where he earned his Veterinary License in 1986. He worked for mixed practice with a special interest in Livestock Production Medicine. He continued to entertain this part of his career between 1986-2019.

Doctor Roweton and his wife Terri decided to move and make the Sunshine State their home. Family is a very important part of his life. He has seven children and nine grandchildren whom he enjoys spending quality time with. What veterinarian wouldn’t have animals right? His furry children include two horses, two dogs, a cat, and pigeon named Gus. Gus is a retired racing pigeon who bonded with the Roweton family. Whenever he has spare time, he enjoys playing a game of golf or fishing on a boat.

With a passion for mixed animal practice, Doctor Roweton will also see cows. His journey in Florida has been a welcoming experience and he looks forward to treating pets, large or small.

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Office Managers

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Ambry Giattino

Ambry was born and raised in Watkins Glen, New York. She moved to Florida in her early teens. The first animal hospital she worked in was in Coral Springs. Ambry began in the kennel and worked her way up to practice manager. She has had the pleasure of working in many specialty practices and emergency hospitals. Her husband is a firefighter for Marion county and their family includes their three children, six dogs,and two cats. Ambry has brought wonderful leadership and experience to our practice and we are thrilled to have her as a part of our team.

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Samantha Irizarry

Samantha was born in North Miami, Florida. She has five sisters and one brother. Her father wanted to raise his family in the country, so they decided to move to Citrus County. She grew up on a farm and loved helping animals. She obtained her Associate’s degree in Animal Science at College of Central Florida. Her passion for animals led her to the doors of Countryside Animal Clinic in Fall 2012. Starting as a kennel technician, Samantha took on any new responsibility with stride. She respected every position and humbly assisted any way she could.

Samantha had married her middle school sweetheart February 2015. Her and her husband Orlando, welcomed their first child, Nathan, at the end of that same year. Samantha enjoys spending time with her family and pets. She has an American bully named Grizzly, a cat named Chandler, and a special needs cockatiel named Grandpa. In her spare time, she prefers to be outdoors and enjoying the warm Florida weather.

After several years being on the Countryside team, Samantha feels at home. She feels rewarded by the wonderful staff, clients, and patients. Her aspirations are to continue to grow with her team and see where this journey takes her. 

Floor Supervisors

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Cathy Rivera

Cathy was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived in Puerto Rico until the age of 10.  Her family then moved to Orlando where she lived until the age of 23. She came to Citrus County 11 years ago and attended the College of Central Florida for an associate’s degree in paralegal studies.

Cathy joined the Countryside team on October 10, 2011, and brings excellent customer service, veterinary medicine knowledge, and technical skills to the clinic.

Cathy has one son, Elias, and they live with Keegan, her significant other since 2010. Keegan and Cathy are expecting a baby girl, Scarlett Marie, due in November 2013. Their four-legged family members include a chihuahua named Joey, a hound mix named Cyrus, two cats named Felix and Sexy, and three turtles.

Cathy’s hobbies include scuba diving, fishing, boating, and reading. Her fondest memory while working in the animal care field was when a client rescued 3 baby raccoons to be fostered by the local wildlife rehabilitators.

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Casey Neel

Casey was born in Fort Lauderdale but moved to Lecanto in the second grade because her parents wanted to be closer to their extended family.  A graduate of Lecanto High School in 2011, Casey now attends the College of Central Florida, working towards obtaining her bachelor’s degree in business. 

Casey and her long-term boyfriend recently moved to Ocala with their toddler Logan. Casey and Brandon enjoy raising Logan alongside their two dogs Diggs and Cooper. 

Casey shares a special interest in fitness health. If she is not working out in her spare time, Casey is enjoying the company of her friends and family.

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Marie Scott

Marie Scott has been part of the Countryside team for four years. She has a vast knowledge in veterinary medicine and excellent technical skills. She is also a floor supervisor and takes pride in providing excellent customer service. Marie was born and raised in Citrus County. She lives with her mother, father, and sister. She also lives with Gabby the lab, Yoko the shorkie, Noodles the daschund, Yoyo the tabby, Meow Meow and Shadow the calicos, Chester the domestic long hair, and Smokie and Miss B (foster fails) the black kitties.

Marie’s hobbies consist of napping, painting, drawing, and enjoying adventures at Disney. Her special interests are dealing with feline patients, especially those with catitudes. She has embraced Countryside’s Fear free philosophy and makes sure each patient that she encounters has a stress free experience.

Marie attended the Academy of Environment Science and has future goals of either becoming a certified veterinary technician or a veterinarian. She aspires to specialize in veterinary hospice care. 

Chief Financial Officer

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Robin Stokes

Robin was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, but grew up in Citrus County. She graduated from the University of Florida in 1998, with a Bachelors’s degree in Accounting. She joined the Countryside Animal Clinic team in 2004, bringing an invaluable wealth of financial knowledge and expertise to the clinic.

She is married to Stephen, and they have two children, Lauren and Austin. Their family pets include one pit bull named Chance and four horses, Wally, Zippy, BB, and J Jay.

Robin’s hobbies are horseback riding, showing horses, and boating.

Client Care Specialists

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Angela Deczynski

Angela, better known as Ang to her friends, was born in Brooklyn N Y. She made a pit stop in New Jersey for 15 years before moving to Florida in 2013. After working on Wall Street for 10 years, she decided to change careers and work with the furry animals that her family knew she would always end up doing. As a child she would bring home all the birds that flew into the school windows; never to fly again. There were also a few stray cats and dogs, as she would rescue them and say to her parents “but they don’t have anywhere to go”.  Her experience expands over 3 decades with emergency, technician, kennel, grooming, and reception.  She has taught obedience training and worked privately as well.  She enjoys interacting with the clients and prefers to be upfront where it all begins.  Ang joined the Countryside family in October 2016.  Her most memorable time was when a horse (miniature pony of course) walked into the clinic and had to get his hooves wrapped so he could walk and the countless goats and pigs that she sees. She currently resides in Homosassa with her husband John, Labrador Jerzee, and cat Baker. She has 2 children and 1 stepson. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, gardening, swimming in her pool, and riding her motorcycle with her husband.

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Deena Laurance

Deena has been a part of the Countryside team since 2015. Her bubbly personality and kind spirit create a welcoming presence for clients and patients. She has parents who live locally and a brother who lives in Idaho. Her fur children include a three-year-old Frenchie named Pink and a fourteen-year-old English Bulldog named Chopper. If she isn’t going out with friends from work, she is staying home enjoying the company of her pets. She received her education degree in Largo Florida where she spent most of her life before moving to Citrus County. Deena has made a family with Countryside, and she looks forward to growing with the team.

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Suzanne Tobin

Suzanne is a Client Care Representative at Countryside Animal Clinic. She joined our team with experience in equine massage therapy and a passion for large animal. Spending most of her career working in large animal medicine, Suzanne wanted to venture into a mixed animal practice to expand her knowledge. Suzanne was thrilled to learn about the different species Countryside treats. Although, learning about small animal medicine, Suzanne hasn’t abandoned her talents for massage therapy. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa and eventually settled in Citrus County. It brings her joy to go horseback riding, play water sports, attend theme parks/live theater, traveling, and nurturing her garden. She loves caring for her fur family. She has two horses, one donkey, two cats, and one dog. Her future goals are to compete in horse shows and finish DIY projects around her farm.

Shanna Cortese

Shanna was born in upstate New York, raised in Coral Springs, and moved to Ocala in 2004. Shanna currently lives in Beverly Hills and loves it! She enjoys spending time with family, going to the beach and listening to music.

Shanna has been married to Wendy for 10 years. They have two dogs (Tucker and Charlie) and two cats (Karma and Madyson). Shanna started working in this profession 32 years ago. She started working at a one doctor practice as a kennel attendant, reception, and then a technician. She worked at that practice for two years and then moved on to Coral Spring Animal Hospital. Coral Springs was a fourteen doctor specialty practice. Shanna joined Countryside Animal Clinic’s team in 2019.

Angelika Paino

Angelika has been in the veterinary profession for over 20 years. She is well versed in all areas of veterinary medicine. She grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to Florida with her mother, father, nephew and Sophia the miniature schnauzer. Angelika joined the Countryside team in 2019.

When Angelika is not working she enjoys spending time with her nephew, visiting different beaches, traveling, horseback riding, and learning about Scottish history. Her future goals are to learn how to scuba dive, paddle board, and to find ever lasting love! 

Certified Veterinary Technicians

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Vicky Stephens, CVT

Vicky was one of the first technicians hired on at Countryside in 1985 in the small shopping plaza across the street. After 6 months of employment, Vicky obtained her veterinary technician credentials and became licensed. Vicky is one of Countryside’s main surgery technicians.

Vicky and her husband live in Ocala on a small cattle farm. Vicky is a huge Florida State fan and enjoys watching them play. Vicky has 3 cats, Junior, Sylvester, and Shelly.

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Jamie White, CVT

Jamie lived in upstate New York as a child on a horse and poultry farm. She moved to Brooksville, FL in the 1970’s with her family and met her husband Pete in high school.

Jamie received her AA degree and continued her education at St. Petersburg Community College, graduating as a Certified Veterinary Technician. She joined the Countryside team in 2006, and brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to the clinic.

Jamie and Pete have one daughter Leah. Their four-legged family members include 4 horses, 1 cat named Oreo, 2 Anatolian Shepherds (siblings that guard the goats), 20 registered pygmy goats, and two Chihuahuas!  Jamie shows her goats and has won many awards, the latest award earned with a goat named Heavenly Blessings Moonlit Summer, who achieved permanent Grand Champion status.  In the goat world, this is the equivalent to winning the gold in the Olympics!

Her hobbies include quilting, gardening, and basket weaving.

Jamie’s favorite clinic memories were the clinic scavenger hunt, and when a choked horse sneezed all over the Doctor and then recovered nicely.

Veterinary Technicians

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Carey Heinzman

Bio coming soon.

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Donna Posa

Donna is one of the few employees who started working for Countryside when it first began. She was hired on in 1991. Donna is a very passionate technician who has connected and maintained many long term relationships with our clients.

Donna and her husband live on a 20-acre farm in Citrus County with their boxer Wrangler, Cane Corso Twilight, and 4 feline friends. Donna has a daughter who is a medical assistant and a son who has been an active Marine since 2007.  

Donna loves to take vacations on the beach and her future goals are to continue working at Countryside until she retires.

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Kayla Hitchcock

Kayla graduated from Crystal River Highschool in 2013. She is passionate about animals and patient care. With knowledge for exotics and small animals, Kayla is willing to help anywhere she can. She is currently focusing on her career and learning skills while on the job. She likes to go shopping, fishing, playing PS4, and listening to music. She also loves spending time with her little nieces. Besides having a love for animals, Kayla enjoys going to historical sites and traveling. When Kayla isn’t tending to clinic animals, she is caring for her pets at home. She has two dogs, one pig, and one cat. Her future goals are to travel more, become a certified veterinary technician, and move up in the workplace.

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Mark Ready

Mark was born in Brevard County and attended Valencia Community College for two years. Tracy is his longtime girlfriend, who is now a teacher at Citrus Springs Middle School. Their four-legged family members are 2 labs, Chloe and Benny, and Jeremiah an American Pitt Bull Terrier.

He has lived in Citrus County since 2006, and enjoys sporting events, AKC hunt tests, basketball, and football. When not working at Countryside, Mark stays busy working as a referee for high school sports events.

His favorite memories are working with exotics in the past, from big cats to monkeys, but mainly enjoys helping animals and meeting their owners.

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Melanie LaRue

Melanie began her journey with Countryside in February 2016. She has 12 years of expierence in many areas of veterinary medicine such as companion, exotic, and zoo animals. Melanie grew up in Miami, Florida, but lived in North Dakota, and Delaware for 10 years.

Melanie has 3 dogs at home: Banshee, Shyanne, and Precious.

She is currently spending all her extra time fixing up her new house.

Melanie says her favorite part of veterinary medicine is working emergencies. Seeing critical patients come through the doors, and leaving better make it all worth it.

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Morgan Yerke

Morgan was born in Michigan and traveled to the United States with her parents and sisters for most of her childhood. She resides in Citrus Country with her fiancé and two dogs, Mipha and Basch. Morgan attended Central Florida and obtained an Associates in Art and also attended the Florida International Teaching Zoo.

Morgan has been part of the Countryside team since 2016. She has been in the profession for 14 years. She is a very diverse technician and wears many hats. She is an excellent dental technician and currently is the clinic’s inventory manager.

Her special interests are clay work and digital media. Morgan’s future goals are to continue to grow with the profession and possibly obtain her certification as a technician.

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Stephanie Brennan

Stephanie was born and raised in Inverness, Florida, and is attending Penn Foster College for Veterinary Technology. She joined the Countryside team in 2012 and has a black and white Havanese named Rico Torres. Her hobbies include working Sudoku puzzles, and her most memorable experience so far at Countryside has been caring for a beautiful dachshund named Tinkerbell. The most rewarding part of her job is helping animals and working with our amazing staff.

Taylor Desmond

Taylor is a veterinary technician at Countryside Animal Clinic. She has strong ambitions to pursue her dream of becoming an equine veterinarian. With special interests in large animal, small animal, food animal, and orthopedic medicine, her options are endless. She graduated from Warner University in 2016 and is currently obtaining her prerequisites at the University of Florida Gainesville. From there, she will continue her aspirations to become a large animal veterinarian. She is extremely motivated with anything she sets her mind to. Juggling school, full-time occupation, and raising a family has been an arduous, yet rewarding endeavor. Taylor and her boyfriend Sam, raise their daughter and tend to their five dogs and horse named Dixie. Taylor enjoys spending time with her daughter Rilee Jo, riding horses, and continuing her education. One day, Taylor would love to own a full functioning farm for equine and cattle medicine.

Edward Daly

Austin Ridge

Austin was born and raised in Citrus County. After graduating high school, Austin obtained a job here at Countryside Animal Clinic. He has been with Countryside for 5 years.  In 2019 Austin graduated from the Withlacoochee Technical College Police Academy and was hired by Ocala Police Department.

On Austin’s days off from OPD he works at the clinic. Austin has two horses (Dexter and Roo), a donkey (who is nameless), a cow (Dryfus), two goats (Pearl and Otis), and five dogs (Bently, Kilo, Dixie, Daphney, and Bella). Austin’s hobbies are working on the farm and his future goal is to become a Property Crimes Detective.

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Amy Burnett

Amy grew up in South Caroline and moved to Florida was she was thirteen. She lives with her mom, two domestic shorthair cats, and a ball python. Amy started her journey to become a certified veterinary technician at St. Petersburg a year and a half ago. She will complete the veterinary technology program at the end of 2020.

Amy enjoys reading and playing video games. Her special interests are reptiles and she hopes to specialize in exotics.

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Cazi Hockenbury

Cazi joined Countryside with an ambitious attitude. She is like a sponge soaking up any information she can learn to better assist patients. She graduated Lecanto Highschool before obtaining her prerequisites at College of Central Florida. She graduated the Certified Veterinary Technician program at St. Pete College in December 2019. She will be taking her CVT state exam Summer 2020. Her long-term goals are to become a licensed veterinarian. Her ultimate dreams are to own her own business while running a farm and rehab/sanctuary that benefits all animals. Cazi has three pets; a Pitbull named Hunter and two kitties named Maui and Keanu. She enjoys listening to music, traveling, riding, mudding, and being on the water. Her special interest include rehab, surgery, exotic, zoo medicine, and anything that promotes helping/healing animals. We are excited to have Cazi on our team and look forward to all she may do.

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Kelly Hideriotis

Kelly joined the Countryside team in 2018 with an extensive background in wildlife rehab. She attended Keene State College where she earned her B.S degree in biology. She was born and raised in Massachusetts. Kelly continued working with animals throughout her career. She moved to Florida in 2012 where she decided to settle down with her two rescue kitties. When she’s not spending time with her fur-children, Kelly is either drawing or hiking. Her goals are to help save animals one step at a time.

Sara Loebl

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Lauren Stokes

Lauren began her journey at Countryside June 2019. She is currently attending the College of Central Florida and Lecanto High School. She enjoys raising steers for the Citrus County Fair and showing them across the state at local prospect shows. The livestock consists of swine, cattle, and equine. When she is not showing livestock, she enjoys showing her personal horse at County, District, State, and Regional levels of 4-H competitions. Lauren is ambitious and will accomplish anything she sets her mind to. In her spare time, Lauren is involved in Varsity Cheerleading, Varsity Girls Flag Football, National Honor Society, FFA, 4-H, Equestrian Rider, and livestock entrepreneur. Her ultimate dream is to raise her own large cattle corporation and selling prospect calves across the state.

Groomer

Kristine Bragen

Kristine joined the grooming department at Countryside Animal Clinic in December 2016. She loves her patients and clientele. She was born and raised in Maine. There, she attended Southern Maine Community College. After many years of living in the snow, she and her husband were ready to move to warmer weather. They decided to pack up and settle down in Citrus County, Florida. She enjoys spending time with her husband horseback riding, fishing, and cooking. It’s always a treat when their three lovely daughters come down to visit from up North. They share the love caring for their three cats, three dogs, and four horses. Countryside is appreciative to have Kristine on the team, and they especially love her yummy homemade desserts she brings in. Kristine looks forward to the day the only decision she’ll have to make is which horse to ride.

Kailen Price

Kailen was born in Gainesville, Florida. His immediate family lives in Ocala. At home, he cares for his senior dog named Basch and parrots. He loves photography, biking, hiking, grooming, and video games as hobbies. He shares a special interest in Asian Freestyle techniques and grooming competitions. Kailen received his Associates in Arts from the College of Central Florida. He is passionate about his grooming patients and continues to learn different fear-free skills to provide the ultimate experience. His future aspirations are to become a master groomer. Working at Countryside, Kailen is already making grooming strides. In addition to careful handling, he provides several different services such as nail painting, pet-friendly coat coloring, stencil work, and more. Kailen is excited to see how far he can go in the grooming industry.

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