Our Team

Michael Gorra, DVM

Michael Gorra, DVM

Dr. Mike grew up in Washington, CT, attending Judea Nursery School, Washington Primary and Shepaug Valley Middle and High Schools. He is a graduate of Colby College (Class of 1992 and where he met his wife Michelle) and Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine (Class of 1997). After vet school, he completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Veterinary Specialists of South Florida in Cooper City, FL before spending 5 years in North Carolina. It was in North Carolina where Michelle and Michael’s 2 daughters, Madeline and Abigail were born. He worked in emergency and critical care at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas in Cary, NC and was also the staff veterinarian for 3 years at the Carnivore Preservation Trust, which is a rescue and captive breeding compound for exotic cats and other carnivores such as tigers, leopards, jaguars, servals and binterongs. In 2003, Dr. Mike and his family returned to his hometown to work with his father, Dr. Ferris Gorra, at Aspetuck Animal Hospital and took ownership of the practice in 2005. In addition to taking care of the areas pets, Dr. Mike is also the head coach of the Shepaug High School Varsity Ice Hockey team. He is a member of the board of the Shepaug Friends of Music as well as the Village Improvement Society in Washington. As well as hockey and soccer, he enjoys playing tennis and golf and in his spare 15 minutes per week, he has been known to help his wife, Michelle, in the garden.

Patricia Grinnell, DVM, CVA

Patricia Grinnell, DVM, CVA

Dr. Trish graduated from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. She practiced small animal veterinary medicine in Chapel Hill, NC for nine years before returning to the Northeast to join Aspetuck Animal Hospital in 2006. She became a partner in January of 2012. Dr Trish is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and has a special interest in Chinese Herbal Medicine. She lives with her family in New Milford and is an active member at the First Congregational Church in Washington. Interests outside the clinic include singing, volunteering with the New Milford Lions Club, watching her two kids grow and develop as wonderful, independent individuals.

She also shares her home with two French Bulldogs,Trey and Pickles, and three cats, Mufasa, Patches and Mota. Together, her bunch makes a very peaceable kingdom.

Tabitha Stillo, VMD

Tabitha Stillo, VMD

Dr. Tabi grew up in a small suburban town called West Caldwell in New Jersey.  She has always wanted to be a veterinarian, in fact, her pre-school time capsule said that it was her dream job.

She grew up with 5 Shih-Tzus, so they truly have a special place in her heart.

Dr. Tabi received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at North Carolina State University with a minor in nutrition. After completing her undergraduate studies, she took two years to gain valuable experience as a technician to develop her technical skills prior to attending the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

From there, she acquired expertise working in shelter medicine where she developed her surgical skills.

Dr. Tabi currently resides in New Milford with her husband, two mix breed rescue dogs, Blakeslee and Barnegat, and her senior cat (that she has had since middle school) named Michael.

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and backpacking with her dogs, fishing with her husband, and gardening. 

Nancy Stevens

Nancy Stevens

Practice Manager

Nancy has successfully managed veterinary practices for over 20 years and brings a wealth of experience in human resources, practice management, legal compliance, IT and marketing.  She is passionate about animal welfare and holistic care.  As an accomplished equestrian, she won numerous awards on her beloved thoroughbred, Chaz.  She also enjoys sanctioned-bowling, gardening, hiking and spending time with her family.  An avid catch-and-release angler, on weekends she can often be found on the lake in the Adirondacks with her husband, Mike, and Yorkie, Sam.

Kristen Bradle, CVT

Kristen Bradle, CVT

Kristen graduated from Northwestern CT Community College Veterinary Technology Program in 2005. While attending this program, Kristen completed an externship at Aspetuck Animal Hospital and was hired in January 2005 as a certified Veterinary Technician. Kristen currently holds the position of Head Technician. She has special interest in ultrasonography. Kristen has 3 dogs, Kayleigh-Jade, Bubba and Jack. Kristen’s hobbies include hiking with her dogs, boating, and spending time at the beach.

Lara Barr

Lara Barr

Lara began her career at Aspetuck Animal Hospital working as a kennel attendant while attending Shepaug Valley High School. During high school, Lara completed a home study course in animal science. Lara has been at technician at Aspetuck Animal Hospital since 2003 and has a special interest in our feline patients as well as in surgery. She chose this field because of her love of animals and her gentle ways and patience make her a perfect fit! In her time away from work, Lara enjoys horseback riding. Lara also owns two cats, Andy, who she has raised since he was 4 days old, and Thor, a three legged feline who was rescued from a traumatic injury. Lara also enjoys being outdoors hiking and pet-sitting for many of our clients.

Emma Lord

Emma Lord

Emma joined the Aspetuck Animal Hospital team in April of 2014.  She had previously worked at Aspetuck Animal Hospital in our boarding kennel during high school and then left upon graduation to pursue other endeavors.  Emma has spent the last 5 years at Union Savings Bank in New Preston, CT, making her a familiar face in the community.  An animal lover, she regularly volunteers her time with the Passion for Paws Rescue in New Milford, CT.  She has three furry family members of her own, Gus, a German Shepherd mix and two cats, Timmy and Jackson.  She usually has a foster or two running around her home in Roxbury as well!  In her free time, Emma enjoys hiking local trails and cooking for family and friends.  Emma and her husband, Christopher, have two daughters, Ava and Anna.

Kira Taylor, CVT

Kira Taylor, CVT

Kira graduated from Northwestern Connecticut Community College Veterinary Technology Program in May of 2016 with A.S. in General Studies, A.S. in Veterinary Technology, and a Marketing and Sales Certificate.  Kira completed her first externship at Aspetuck  in the summer of 2015 and has since joined our team as a full-time Certified Veterinary Technician. Although she has always had an interest in working with animals, it was during her involvement with her high school FFA that she decided she wanted to turn this passion into a career. In her free time, Kira enjoys camping, fishing, and most importantly spending time with her friends, family, and fur children: a cat named Lola, an Aussie Mix named Buddy, and a Lab Mix named Porkchop.

Nicole Smith

Nicole Smith

Head Technician

Nicole started working for Aspetuck in 2011 as a Veterinary Technician. Her love for animals started at a young age, with a special interest in horses.  She began her career in the veterinary field at an animal hospital in Massachusetts, where she started as a kennel attendant and gained the knowledge and skills necessary to advance into the medical setting. Her passion and drive to always learn more has allowed her to take advantage of many opportunities for expanding her knowledge base and she has an especially strong understanding of anesthesia safety, obedience training, Fear Free Practices, and Low Stress Handling.  Nicole’s love for animals is especially evident when she speaks of her own pets. In addition to finding joy in working with animals, Nicole adores spending time with Scott and their daughter, Makayla, born in June of 2014. 

Laura Uzzilia

Laura Uzzilia

Laura joined the staff at Aspetuck in June 2018 as a Veterinary Assistant. Laura grew up with a passion for animals and even at a young age helped find homes for feral cats.  When she was 14 years old, she started pet sitting, and throughout high school she volunteered at cat shelters. Laura has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and is currently on track to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in Veterinary Technology.  Prior to working at Aspetuck, she worked for five years in kennel settings, one of which was also an animal hospital. When not at work, Laura gives loving care to her three dogs and hedgehog who share her home.

Cailie George

Cailie George

Cailie or “Cay” as she is known to her family and friends, joined Aspetuck in January 2020.  She received certification as a Veterinary Assistant through Texas A&M’s distance education program while attending UCONN and is a graduate of Nonnewaug High School where she studied Animal Science. 

Prior to joining Aspetuck, Cay worked as a veterinary technician for The Cat Clinic located in Danbury, CT.  

Having joined as a Kennel Assistant right before the COVID pandemic, Cay’s technician skills became quite apparent during this busy time.  Her flexibility and previous technical skills allowed her to quickly move into a Technician Assistant role.  Cay is currently training for a permanent spot on our Veterinary Technician team. 

Cay, a native of Connecticut, grew up around horses and large animals.  She has been riding since she was 8 years old.  When she’s not honing her vet tech skills, Cay can be found hiking, fishing, hunting, working on her car with her boyfriend, Franklin, or snuggling with her cat, Remington! 

Sandi Berry

Sandi Berry

Sandi returned to our team in April 2019 with a wealth of professional experiences in the veterinary field. For over 30 years, she has maintained various roles within an animal hospital setting, including receptionist, technician, and practice manager. She possesses a  well-rounded knowledge of veterinary medicine and client care, and we are thrilled to have her back in our practice serving our patients and clients! Sandi lives in Washington with her dogs, Zoey and Ruger, and cat, Diesel.

Chelsea Martin

Chelsea Martin

Chelsea has been a part of our team since April 2017, and has proven to be an indispensable addition to our kennel staff. She now serves as the Kennel Manager.  After living and attending college in Cape Cod for four years, she graduated in 2016 with a Liberal Arts degree.  Prior to working with animals, Chelsea worked mainly with children in daycares and special education school settings. After working at a doggie daycare for about one year, Chelsea accepted a position at Aspetuck. While she loves all of our boarding pets, she is especially enamored with the cats and older dogs who stay with us. She enjoys spending her free time at home watching movies with her two adopted cats Mouse and Gouda. She also loves going on road trips with her friends and family. In loving memory of Starla.

Kevin Espitee

Kevin Espitee

Kevin joined our kennel staff in the summer of 2009. Kevin has been a tremendous addition to the Aspetuck Animal Hospital staff, bringing with him many years of experience working at a doggie daycare. Kevin loves spending his days with our boarding pets and ensuring that each and every one of them is happy and enjoying their stay! He has a very outgoing personality and enjoys meeting and talking with our clients. Kevin also assists the technicians when needed and helps around the hospital with handyman jobs. During his time away from work he is busy raising his two sons, Mason and Jake. They enjoy spending time outside, swimming in the lake, and hiking on the family property with their dogs.

Mariana Freitas

Mariana Freitas

Mariana joined Aspetuck in December 2020.  She grew up with a passion for animals and science.  Her strong interest in these areas led to her participation in Nonnewaug High School’s National FFA Organization program.  While in this program, she continued to explore ways to expand her knowledge and grow her skills, and through the FFA, she was able to secure a volunteer position with the Animal Welfare Society, eventually being promoted to a paid position, where she remained for over 4 years. 

Mariana is committed to pursuing her passion for working with and helping animals.  After graduation, she volunteered for the practice for several months prior to joining us as a full-time Technician Assistant.  She aspires to continue working in veterinary medicine with the goal of becoming a Veterinary Technician. 

In her free time, Mariana likes to watch movies with family and friends and is currently teaching herself to play the piano.

Karson Joyner

Karson Joyner

We welcomed Karson to our reception team in July of 2020! When he is not busying himself at our front desk, he manages his own pet sitting business. After 8 years of experience with his own business and working at a local doggie daycare, he brings to us his knowledge and experience in animal care. Outside of work, Karson is often studying for his professional writing degree and dog training certification. During his downtime, he can be found lounging around with his three guinea pigs or exploring new hiking trails with his two puppies.

Meghan Sandrib

Meghan Sandrib

Meghan became part of the Aspetuck team in February 2021.  As a Veterinary Technician Assistant she is working in a career that fulfills her passion to help animals needing tender loving care.  Meghan attended the University of New Hampshire small animal care program and received her certification as a veterinary assistant at Tunxis Community College.  She has worked or interned at various animal hospitals, grooming shops and rescue centers in Litchfield County, including an internship with Doc Gorra while in high school.  Meghan enjoys summer swims and running for fitness, but really loves spending time with her family and dog Riley, an energetic Brittany.  

Monkey

Monkey

Monkey is our resident clinic cat. He enjoys “assisting” our doctors and staff in their daily duties as well as helping our patients feel more comfortable during their hospital visits.

In loving memory of Chester

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