Have you noticed more and more dogs wearing backpacks lately? More than just a fashion statement, backpacks offer the perfect place to stow water for a long walk and give working breeds a sense of ...View Article
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Meet the Doctor and Stellar team!
Dr. Sheri Szachacz
I was born and raised in Commack, New York. I've always wanted to be a veterinarian - when the other kids were playing with Barbie Dolls I was catching toads on the miniature golf course; when they were hosting pretend tea parties I was looking at murky pond water under a microscope. I even tried to hatch an egg in the couch cushions (didn't work!). I attended University of Florida for undergraduate school and earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree in Microbiology. During my undergraduate years I worked in the Wildlife Ward of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH), now called the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Florida. I trained with some outstanding exotic animal veterinarians - we treated everything from eagles, owls, snakes, turtles and alligators all the way to elephants, bats, bears, and large cats. It was fascinating and fueled my passion for animal medicine. I also discovered that I was allergic to deer, rabbits, cows, and cats... I took a lot of Benadryl in those early years! I graduated from UF VMTH in 1996 with a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. I originally planned to go back to New York to practice but friends and family kept me in Florida. I practiced in Gainesville for several years then relocated to Jacksonville in 2000. I've been with Harbour Place Animal Clinic ever since. I enjoy this city and it's multiple cultural facets - you can kayak the St John's River, enjoy wonderful performing arts, listen to the symphony, watch a Jaguar game, go to a festival in Five Points or a farmer's market on Beaver Street.
I have a home close to the clinic that I share with my four year old Lhasa Apso Matisse. My hobbies include anything that has to do with water (boating, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, even standing in the rain), travelling, photography, and gardening - I love getting my hands dirty and growing my own produce. I also consider myself a "mild" expert on plants and tomatoes.
Lexi Bollinger - Reception
Lexi was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri but has been living in Jacksonville for almost 4 years now with her family. She loves the warm weather, (rather than snow!) and the beach. She has one fur baby at home named Roman, he is a Labrador retriever mix breed with LOTS of energy! Lexi started off as a kennel technician and has worked her way up! She enjoys her job and meeting all the new furry faces, especially the puppies/kittens! She hopes to one day become a veterinarian and open her own clinic to care for all furry friends!
Lakishia Hawkins - Kennel Technician
Ms. Hawkins relocated to Jacksonville from Charleston, SC in late 2007.She has a huge passion for animals and has grown up with dogs, cats, hamsters, fish and turtles. Ms. Hawkins is currently enrolled in animal husbandry classes and aspires to be a Veterinary Technician. Her job duties include watching over the boarded animals at the clinic, making sure their stay is as close to home as possible! She loves spending extra time with them - long walks for the dogs and hands-on play time with the cats. She feels it is very important to establish a wonderful relationship with the pets that come through our doors so they have a home away from home when their parents travel. She looks forward to meeting you and your furry family!
April Dean - World Class Groomer
April is from Birmingham, Alabama and has been in Jacksonville since 2011. She has been grooming here at Harbour Place Animal Clinic since around that same time frame and is also our Human Resource Officer. She has two children, both boys, ages twenty-one and seventeen. She has two dogs, a Chocolate Lab "Tide" and a Cavalier King Charles "Arthur", and a ferret named "Pepper". She has been in the grooming field for ten years and loves it. Not many people can say they love their job but she can - she grew up in a house full of animals, everything from dogs, cats, ferrets and even a goat! The only thing she never had were snakes (her Dad and her absolutely do not like them!) She is extremely patient and gentle with her grooms and especially enjoys grooming cats.
John Nawoj - Technician
John is originally from New Jersey and has been with HPAC since 2013, starting out as kennel staff and working his way up to animal technician. He is a real animal lover and has many pets of his own at home.
Jessica Conner - Technician / Receptionist
Jessica was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She has been married to her husband Jeremy since 2013 and they recently relocated to Jacksonville because of his job in the Navy. She enjoys living at the beach instead of just vacationing there once a year! She has one furry creature, a cat named Leroy Brown who loves chasing bugs. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, riding bicycles, and getting sun near any body of water (as well as swimming in said water!). This is her first experience working in a clinic environment but she has always been interested in the veterinary field. She really enjoys being part of the great team at HPAC.