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Our Team

A love for pets, a passion for helping others, and a commitment to serving the community—that’s all in a day’s work for our veterinarians and staff members at Back Bay Veterinary Clinic. Get to know their stories and contact us for an appointment soon! We can’t wait to meet you.

Veterinarians

Veterinarians in Boston: Pam Bendock

Pamela Bendock, VMD (Owner)

Pam knew she wanted to be a veterinarian at the age of 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 most exceptional and progressive care to the practice.

Outside the office, Pam can be found with her two daughters, husband, and their menagerie of pets. She enjoys equestrian sports, gardening, yoga, and exercise. A foodie at 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 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 that 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 have 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 by 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 do so that we may keep the day running and provide care for those who need 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 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 a cinnamon bun?

Veterinarians in Boston: Erin Carey DVM

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 attended the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and graduated with her DVM in 2015. She has a special interest in animal 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 I 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.

Veterinarians in Boston: Tess Gannaway DVM

Tess Gannaway, DVM

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, Dr. Gannaway 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 her family. Dr. Gannaway can treat a variety of pets including birds, and her special interests include emergency medicine, zoonotic disease, and palliative/end of life care. Outside of 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 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 affection 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 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 falling asleep after the first challenge of Master Chef Junior is announced...)

Veterinarians in Boston: Sharon King DVM

Sharon King, DVM

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 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 bring me one step closer to having a family band.

When are you 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!

Veterinarians in Boston: Suzy Pence DVM

Suzy Pence, DVM

Dr. Suzy Pence returned to Boston after spending many years in Alaska, California, Vermont, and Washington. 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 completed a course in small animal acupuncture and is very excited to introduce this modality to Back Bay Veterinary Clinic.

When are you 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 that my favorite part was coming to a successful diagnosis that led 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, my 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 led me to be much more compassionate toward my own species.

What was 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 by her nickname, “Sweet Pea,” out in the field, she picked up her head and started sprinting toward me! No longer a 40-pound calf, but 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!

Dr. Graham Sager-Gellerman

Graham Sager-Gellerman, DVM

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.

Veterinarians in Boston: Katherine Wheeler DVM

Katherine Wheeler, DVM

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 honor society, Phi Zeta. After veterinary school, Dr. Wheeler completed a community medicine small animal rotating internship at 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 happiest?

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

Staff

Kristine Hughes

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, she has worked in general practice and emergency medicine for several years. A diligent worker with tremendous ability to manage even the most difficult 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.

Veterinarians in Boston: Kacey Tiersch

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

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 care 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! 🙂

Veterinarians in Boston: Teresa Fardella

Teresa Fardella, Veterinary Nurse, CVT

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

I could eat ice cream every day 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.

Gabriella Araya

Gabriella Araya, Veterinary Nurse, CVT

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.

Veterinarians in Boston: Kaitlin Aftosmes

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!

Veterinarians in Boston: Eileen Leavy

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.

Veterinarians in Boston: Katie O'gara

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 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!

Veterinarians in Boston: Madison Bridge

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 are very family-oriented.

If you had a super power what would it be?

I would choose teleportation because I love exploring new places.

Veterinarians in Boston: Nadia Kelley

Nadia Kelley, Veterinary Nurse

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

A dog, so 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!

Veterinarians in Boston: Mary Moseley

Mary Moseley, Veterinary Nurse

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!).

Veterinarians in Boston: Katrina Kohler-Tiedeman

Katrina Kohler-Tiedeman, Director of Client Services

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!

Kate Fry

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 they 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 her husband Jeff and son William, both of whom find ways to make her laugh.

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