PAMELA BENDOCK, VMD

OWNER

Pam knew she wanted to be a veterinarian at age four. After receiving undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, she completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center. Pam's desire to bring high quality veterinary care to one of Boston’s favorite neighborhoods led to the founding of Back Bay Veterinary Clinic in 2000. With a big heart and a soft touch for her patients and their families, Pam leads the team and constantly strives to bring the highest quality and most progressive care to the practice. Outside the office, Pam can be found with her two daughters, husband, their menagerie of pets and enjoys equestrian sports, gardening, yoga and exercise. A foodie by heart, Pam's always in pursuit of the next best bakery, ice cream shop or artisanal offering.



What inspired you to work in the veterinary profession?

My desire to become a veterinarian first became evident at four years of age. My dog had found a baby cottontail rabbit in our yard and we did our best to try to save it. I can vividly recall the compassion of Dr. Fred Merz, who tried to gently explain the possibility of saving this rabbit was slim and even our best might not be good enough. The kindness he showed to both this small creature and to me was something that has stuck with me forever. While the bunny did not survive, the lesson and the feeling has. It has constantly fueled my desire to try and help, to try and make a difference to those creatures who cannot speak for themselves. In that i find incredible satisfaction and fulfillment.

What is your favorite part about your job?

I've got a few favorite parts of my job as a practice owner. The first is creating a culture of excellence. Our industry is driven not only by medicine, but customer care and experience. My overarching goal is to have each client leave the practice feeling as if we exceeded their expectations in care and service. While that goal is not always attainable, we strive to make each day the best it can be for our patients, their families and ourselves. And when we don't, i take it very much to heart, and do my best to set things right. I love watching the organized chaos of a neighborhood clinic, with everything buzzing at once and everyone doing exactly what they need to so that we may keep the day running and provide care for those who needs us, whenever they need us. And i also, love observing the extraordinary bonds that form between team members and i'm proud to say that many of them form lifelong friendships under the roof of this practice.

If you didn't work in the veterinary medicine what would you be doing?

If i wasn't me, i'd be Joanne Chang. I love everything about Flour and baking is my therapeutic release. There's something about the aroma, the use of the hands and the creation of yummy baked goods that makes me really happy. Perhaps that comes from my innate desire to see others joyful, which is not always possible in my role, but seems much easier to achieve when you're creating good food. How could you not be happy about a chocolate chip cookie. Or a peanut butter cookie, or carrot cake, or cinnamon bun



EMAIL: drpbendock@backbayvet.com

ERIN CAREY, DVM

MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Dr. Carey grew up in Connecticut and came to the Boston area for her undergraduate education in cognitive neuroscience at Harvard. After working in finance and health economics for 10 years, she returned to school at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and graduated with her DVM in 2015. She has a special interest in dentistry.



What inspired you to work in the veterinary profession?

Visiting St. Thomas in 2010 and realizing that the most exciting part of the trip was seeing and interacting with all the animals there, including the many roaming island cats, mating iguanas, and friendly sea turtles.

If you could have any talent what would it be and why?

Playing the cello. I've never picked up a bow in my life but wish to learn someday!

If you could only eat one food forever what would it be?

Tacos. No contest.

What is your favorite part about your job?

Getting to know the quirks of all the owners and pets that come through the office and become part of our family.



EMAIL: drecarey@backbayvet.com

Kacey Tiersch

Veterinary Nurse, CVT

What inspired you to work in the veterinary profession?

Knowing that I am able to help and advocate for my patients every day is what inspired me. Nothing is worse than seeing a pet sick or in pain, but it makes me feel great knowing that i am able to help them feel happy and healthy again and seeing how appreciative and happy the owner becomes.

What is your favorite part about your job?

The people I work with!! Even though some days can be sad/tough, my team always knows how to keep the positivity going.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Graduating form Mount Ida's veterinary technician program and later becoming a CVT!!

Andreia Stiffler

Veterinary Nurse, CVT

What inspired you to work in the veterinary profession?

I grew up with dogs, chickens and fish and we got our first cat when I was in high school, so I always loved animals. It was after one of my dogs got hit by a car and I saw up close all the care involved in his recovery that I decided I wanted to car for animals.

If you woke up as an animal tomorrow what would you be and why?

A cat because they are smart, graceful and independent.

What is your favorite part about your job?

What I love most about my job is that I get to help the animals. Cuddling all the puppies and kittens is a very close second :)

Rachel Lambert

Veterinary Nurse

What is your favorite part about your job?

My favorite part is helping a sick animal feel better and seeing how thankful the owners are to both myself and the doctor on the case. Knowing that I'm helping an animal get better is by far my most favorite part about this job.

What is your idea of paradise?

My idea of paradise would be somewhere quiet, mostly hidden away surrounded by wildlife and with the most important people in my life.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment is not only getting through college, but getting through as a student athlete on the deans list. The amount of late night study sessions after practice or a game were definitely difficult but I proved to myself that I could get through it.

Kaitlin Aftosmes

Veterinary Nurse

If you woke up as an animal tomorrow what would you be and why?

I would be a capybara because they love vegetables, sunbathing and swimming just like me!

If you had a super power what would it be?

Teleportation! That way I could visit my family in other states.

What is your favorite part about your job?

Being able to build relationships with clients and pets and providing them with the best possible care!

Eileen Leavey

Veterinary Nurse

What is your idea of paradise?

Lounging by the ocean with the sun shining, a good book and yummy food.

What is your favorite part about your job?

Being able to advocate for patients who are truly unable to do so themselves. I also love being able to interact with people (both coworkers and clients, alike) that are just as passionate about animals and their well-being.

If you didn't work in veterinary medicine what would you be doing?

If I didn't work in veterinary medicine I would probably be working in marine biology and/or conservation or in human medicine in some capacity.

Gabriella Araya

Veterinary Nurse

If you had a super power what would it be?

I would want the ability to talk to animals

If you woke up as an animal tomorrow what would you be and why?

I would most likely be a cat because of how much I love to sleep!!

If you didn't work in veterinary medicine what would you be doing?

I would love to work in the art field, creating cartoons.

Katie O'Gara

Veterinary Nurse

What is your favorite part about your job?

I truly enjoy working with anesthesia and surgical cases. I find that there is a special bond that is created between myself and the clients and their pets. Being able to help educate owners and treat their furry family members will always be dear to my heart.

If you didn't work in the veterinary medicine what would you be doing?

Working as nurse anesthetist.

If you could only eat one food forever what would it be?

Most definitely would be tacos or maybe sushi or maybe chocolate.... I can't decide!

Kristine Hughes

Practice Manager

A member of the Back Bay Vet Team since 2010, Kristine was asked to help manage our organization in 2014. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Psychology, Kristine has worked in general practice and emergency medicine for several years. A diligent worker with tremendous ability to manage even the most difficult of situations, Kristine will gain your trust from your first meeting. When she is not advocating for the animal and human health community, you can often find her enjoying the outdoors, cooking, or planning a fun trip.

Shari Wrighti

Customer Service

Our very own southern belle is originally from Dallas Texas. She attended Texas Womans University and majored in Kinesiology. Prior to joining the BBVC family she worked at the Texas Coalition for Animal Protection where she helped navigate forever homes for less fortunate animals. Shari is a world traveler and spent a year in London with her fiancé. She enjoys cake decorating and was a competitive gymnast for several years in her youth.

Katrina Kohler-Tiedeman

Client Service Rep

When are you the happiest?

Anywhere in nature!! I love to hike, kayak and bike.

What inspired you to work in the veterinary profession?

I loved Farley, the neighbors golden retriever. The older I got the more attached I became to Farley and even considered him my best friend. Unfortunately, Farley was diagnosed with cancer when I was in 6th grade. Once I found out, I organized a garage sale and all proceeds went towards his care. A few months later he lost his battle with cancer but I never forgot my first experience and loving an animal.

If you could only eat one food forever what would it be?

Watermelon!

Nadia Kelley

Client Service Rep

If you woke up as an animal what would you be and why?

A dog, so that i can sleep all day!

When are you the happiest?

When I am with my dog Rylee. He is the love of my life!!

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Getting my dog's Instagram @rylee_gram to over 500 followers!

Kate Fry

Groomer

Described as a Groomer Extraordinaire, Kate Fry has been with Back Bay Veterinary Clinic the longest and is a huge asset to the practice. With the patience of a saint and a talent for bringing out the best in each of her clients, Kate can be found happily ensconced in creating her latest masterpiece behind the scenes of 288 Newbury. Her following is wide and appreciative, and prance out of the practice looking great and feeling even better! Born and raised in New York City, Kate graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1985 with a BA in Theatre and Writing. She attended the New York School of Dog Grooming in 1991, worked at Amsterdog Groomers in New York and joined our team in July 2001. She enjoys writing, reading and photography ~ and music keeps her going throughout each day. Off hours are spent with husband Jeff and son William, both of whom find ways to make her laugh.

Dr. Graham Sager-Gellerman

Veterinarian

Dr. Graham Sager-Gellerman graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. His clinical interests include preventative health care, pain management, dermatology and nutrition. He has a commitment to effective communication, and values a strong doctor-client relationship. When not at the clinic, Dr. SG spends his time hiking, cooking, following baseball and hanging out with his adopted dog Lily.



What inspired you to work in the veterinary profession?

I have always been fascinated by science and passionate about public health. I get so much joy in helping others and love working as part of a team. Veterinary medicine offers it all: innovative medical approaches, the prevention and management of infectious disease, incredible client relationships and unparalleled teamwork.

If you woke up as an animal tomorrow what would you be and why?

A llama. They are fluffy, graceful, and hilarious.

If you had a super power what would it be?

A lobster roll would magically appear when I snapped my fingers.

Dr. Sharon King

Veterinarian

Dr. King grew up on Cape Cod and obtained her undergraduate degree at UMass Amherst. She spent a few years conducting immunology research here in Boston before continuing her education at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship at Oklahoma State University before moving back to Massachusetts in 2014. Her special interests in veterinary medicine include avian/exotics medicine and emergency/critical care medicine.



If you could have any talent what would it be and why?

To play the fiddle! Because it has an amazing sound and would take me one step closer to having a family band.

When are you the happiest?

When I’m with my husband and kids doing any outside activity.

If you didn't work in veterinary medicine what would you be doing?

Performing on broadway :)



EMAIL: drsking@backbayvet.com

Dr. Suzy Pence

Veterinarian

Dr. Suzy Pence is returning to Boston after spending the last many years in AK, CA, VT and WA; She graduated from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has special interests in end of life care, pain management and alternative medicine. She has recently completed a course in small animal acupuncture and is very excited about bringing this modality to BBVC.



When are you the happiest?

My happiest moments come when I am out in the beauty of nature; Hiking or snowshoeing a mountain, kayaking quiet waters, biking along the coast or sitting and meditating in a meadow.

What is your favorite part about your job?

If asked this question when I was first entering the profession, I would have answered my favorite part was coming to a successful diagnosis that lead to the recovery of my patient. And don’t get me wrong, that is still wonderful! However, my answer has shifted over the years. Quite surprising to me, a favorite part of my job comes from my cancer patients and end of life care. And a large reason for this is the relationship I forge with my patient’s companion people. I am humbled by the trust placed in me and honored that individuals allow themselves to be vulnerable in my presence as we discuss difficult topics or say goodbye to beloved friends. My chosen profession to care for animals, has lead me to be much more compassionate toward my own species.

What is the funniest moment in your life?

One funny moment came when I was working in Fairbanks, Alaska with caribou. The summer prior to being hired full time at the Large Animal Research Station I was an intern and bottle raised a caribou calf; her name was Eider. We were inseparable. After my internship I left for several months and returned the following spring. I wasn’t exactly sure she would remember me but when I called her nickname “Sweetie Pea”, out into the field, she picked up her head and started sprinting toward me! No longer the 40 pound calf, instead a 120 pound adult with growing antlers..... I thought for sure she was going to tackle me! Luckily, she pulled up short and merely danced around me. Made me laugh and melted my heart!



EMAIL: drsuzypence@backbayvet.com

Dr. Tess Gannaway

Veterinarian

Dr. Tess Gannaway hails from nearby Providence, Rhode Island. She attended Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City for her undergraduate degree. After graduation she returned to the area and attended Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. During her time at Tufts she traveled to various continents to study disease transmission between humans and animals with a focus on the burgeoning interdisciplinary concept of "One Health" and gender. After graduating veterinary school she completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship in Tucson, Arizona with a focus on emergency medicine and trauma. Although she fell in love with the desert she returned home to the East Coast to be closer to family. Dr. Gannaway's special interests include emergency medicine, zoonotic disease and palliative/end of life care. Outside the clinic she spends her time running, swimming and going on adventures with her geriatric desert poodle Creature who you can see wandering around the clinic on any given day living the life.



If you could only eat one food forever what would it be?

Anything that is a carbohydrate or a made of sugar!! Icing comes to mind...or challah bread...

If you woke up as an animal tomorrow what would you be and why?

My tiny white rescue poodle Creature - who lives a very cushy retirement here at Back Bay. She is showered with affectionate and love by the staff and clients constantly. She also naps 95% of her work day. It's quite a step up from being homeless in the Arizona desert!

When are you the happiest?

After a nice long run taking a hot shower, eating some sort of carbohydrate (told you!) and watching TV with my human and animals (while most likely promptly falling asleep after the first challenge of Master Chef Junior is announced...)



EMAIL: drtgannaway@backbayvet.com

Teresa Fardella

Veterinary Nurse, CVT

If you could only eat one food forever what would it be?

I could eat ice cream everyday forever.

If You woke up as an animal tomorrow what would you be and why?

If I was an animal i would be a cat so I could sleep for 16+ hours a day and only wake up to eat.

When are you the happiest?

I am happiest when I am in ballet class or performing onstage.

Madison Bridge

Veterinary Nurse

If you could only eat one food forever what would it be?

Salmon!!

If you woke up as an animal tomorrow what would you be and why?

I would be an Orca because they are highly intelligent and they are very family orientated.

If you had a super power what would it be?

I would choose teleportation because I love exploring new places.

Sylvia Olejnik

Veterinary Nurse

If you woke up as an animal tomorrow what would you be and why?

Either an elephant or a lion (it depends on the day!) Elephants are so patient but lions are so fierce; both qualities which I like!

What is your greatest accomplishment?

I graduated valedictorian of my high school class... It was a pretty big accomplishment!

If you didn’t work in veterinary medicine what would you be doing?

I would open up a bed and breakfast and serve brunch to people all day long... My grandma lives in this big house in Poland which would be the perfect venue.... (Hm, it’s like I’ve seriously considered this or something? )

Mary Moseley

Client Service Rep

If you woke up as an animal tomorrow what would you be and why?

If I woke up as an animal, it would probably be a cat – my cat, specifically. He spends his days eating, sleeping, lounging, enjoying attention, and occasionally playing. What more could you ask for?

When are you the happiest?

I’m happiest when I’m exploring a new place – or relaxing at home with my cat and a good book!

If you had a super power what would it be?

The power to talk to animals (or to fly!).

Katherine Wheeler, DVM

VETERINARIAN

Dr. Katherine Wheeler is from Cambridge, MA. She completed her undergraduate degree at Colorado College and graduated from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, earning the Academic Achievement Award and admission into the international veterinary honors society, Phi Zeta. After veterinary school, Dr. Wheeler completed a community medicine small animal rotating internship at the Angell Animal Medical Center. Her interests include surgery (soft tissue and select orthopedic procedures), ultrasonography and internal medicine.



If you could have any talent what would it be and why?

I wish I was a talented artist - either drawing or painting or even working with clay.

If you could only eat one food forever what would it be?

Definitely ice cream and cheese. Is that 2 foods? Let's just say dairy then. I could live on mint chocolate chip ice cream and stinky cheese.

When are you the happiest?

Vermont in the fall with my family picking and pressing apples on our farm.

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