SUPPORT STAFF AT PETCHESTER VETERINARY
"There are no ordinary cats." ~Colette
"Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God". ~Leo Buscaglia
All of our staff are kind, talented individuals who not only love their work but are committed to providing the best of service and the best of care to both you and your pets. Our technical staff is comprised of licensed veterinary technicians who are educated in all the veterinary techniques including, but not limited to, proper animal restraint, animal husbandry, venipuncture, catheter placement, anesthetic monitoring, pain management, clinical laboratory techniques, animal dentistries, and intra-operative and post-operative care.
PAUL STAAR, BS, LVT
Head Veterinary Technician and
Paul Staar has been a licensed veterinary technician (LVT) for more than fifteen years. He graduated in 1998 from Mercy College with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Veterinary Science. He has many years of experience as head technical manager, and has served as a mentor to technical students from Mercy College and Westchester Community College. Paul has expertise in feline and canine dentistries, is a skilled surgical assistant, and has a special interest in abdominal ultrasound. Paul also organizes the pain management protocols of the hospital. Paul has volunteered his technical services to spay and neuter programs of Bully Baby Rescue. In addition to his work in the animal health field, he also is a New York State licensed real estate agent. When he is not working, he loves fishing, golfing, and spending time with his wife, two children, dog, and two cats.
DIANA BARANSKI, BA
Diana Baranski began her career at Petchester Veterinary in August, 2017. Since a young age, she always had a love for animals. She currently has two beautiful dogs: Ace and Chip. Diana has a passion for learning, embarking on new adventures, and teaching peers. Diana brings positive energy and bubbly enthusiasm to her job as receptionist at Petchester. Her strong work ethic combined with her ability to multitask within a fast paced environment ensures that all clients and patients are treated with meticulous care. Diana attended Iona College and earned a Bachelors of Arts in Education. She is currently pursuing a degree in Mathematics at Mercy College as she aspires to become a financial advisor. She loves spending time with family and friends, enjoying the beach, traveling to new places, and exercising with her loving pups!
Bessy Gulch was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States at the age of sixteen. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in 2002. She loves working with animals and began her career as a kennel attendant in a Westchester veterinary hospital for four years. She then moved to working as a pet-sitter/dog walker for eight years. Along with pets, Bessy also has a special way with children and has worked in childcare for many years. She gives her all in everything that she does. Bessy lives in Yorktown Heights, New York with her husband, son, three dogs, and four cats. Her hobbies include cooking and reading.
Petchester Clinic Cat
Sal is our orange tabby who started working at Petchester when we first opened in December 2013. It was one of the coldest winters in recent memory, and he was rescued by our client, Pat Fallon. Pat was a true humanitarian, and tragically passed away a couple of years ago. Sal was severely matted and had multiple bite wounds, infections, and almost lost his right ear. He was treated and neutered at Petchester, where he has now slimmed down and patrols the entire hospital. He always finds the highest place to monitor the comings and goings. He can be met in the waiting area, and has been known to be protective of staff members when they encounter a fractious cat.
Petchester Clinic Cat
Tony began working at Petchester since 2016. He is a snow shoe Siamese. Tony is originally from a beautiful Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan Tragically, he was given up for adoption because his owners felt animals were like a commodity and they preferred to have a dog. Luckily for Tony, he was picked up at ACC shelter in Manhattan by Cat Assistance founder Sarah Hart. Tony was obese and had trouble urinating due to bladder stones, so after Petchester removed his bladder stones surgically, Petchester and Tony decided that they would forge a mutual relationship . He has since lost at least 5 pounds on his special diet, and he prefers to sit in the treatment area of Petchester, where he lives a very sedentary life and purrs all day long waiting to be petted.
CINDY CAFAGNA, LVT
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Cindy Cafagna developed a deep love for all animals at an early age. Growing up in a household with pets ranging from ferrets and rabbits to cats and dogs, it is no surprise she decided to pursue her passion by becoming a veterinary technician. Cindy worked at a veterinary practice as a kennel attendant for six years before starting her career as a licensed veterinary technician. With over three years of technical experience, Cindy has extensive understanding of surgery protocol, monitoring and anesthesia, and dental cleanings. When she is not at the beach or traveling, you can find Cindy shopping, exercising and spending time with her family and friends. Currently, Cindy resides in Yonkers, NY with six adopted cats, a cockatiel, and two adopted pit bulls, one she rescued and nursed from 2 days old.
YESSENIA BARRERA, BS, LVT
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Yessenia Barrera is a NYS Licensed Veterinary Technician from the Bronx. While receiving her Bachelor's in Health Science at Mercy College, she obtained her Associate's Degree in Veterinary Technology at Cedar Valley College. Yessenia has a passion for helping animals that went beyond her two dogs and one cat. A hard worker, Yessenia divided her time when in school between working and caring and fostering animals. From treating an epileptic pet rat named Leo, rehabilitating a guinea pig named Timmy, or finding a cockatoo under a car, her determination to ensure an animal’s health is of the utmost importance and her passion from the moment she was asked what she loved to do. Starting as an animal assistant and receptionist, the doctor's and technicians at Petchester Veterinary encouraged Yessenia to pursue her passion for animals and to continue with her education to become a Veterinary Technician. When not working, Yessenia enjoys hiking, playing flag football, playing guitar, fruit picking, and spending time with her family, including her pets.
Animal and Adminstrative Assistant
Cayla Santiago is currently a student at SUNY Purchase completing a bachelors degree in Psychology. She has always had a love and passion for animals including her dog Austin. Along with pets, she has much love and admiration for children. Cayla loves working with her peers and communicating with all of our clients and pets. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her dog and spending quality time with her family and friends.
Jordan‘s passion for animals started from early childhood. She grew up in a household with a Tabby cat and Dalmatian. Jordan also had a special interest in horses and rode equestrian for several years. After graduating high school she attended Make Up Designory in NYC where she learned how to do make up for print, television, and events. Jordan then went on to work with Bobbi Brown and NARS cosmetics where she focused on doing makeup for weddings and other special occasions. Jordan loves doing makeup but also felt a strong connection with animals and wanted to transition towards working with them. Jordan has great customer service and communication skills and enjoys building relationships with our clients here at Petchester. Jordan lives in Crestwood with two dogs of her own, a Belgian Malinois named Xena, and an American Bully named Dexter. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her dogs, family and friends, and relaxing on the beach.
Petchester Clinic Cat
Jimmy came to Petchester via Sarah Hart of Cat Assistance. He is a grey tabby and was happily working and lounging at Petchester when he started limping on his right front leg. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his right front leg amputated. He has since been thriving, is pain free, and has shown no cancer recurrence. Of all the staff at Petchester, it seems that Jimmy has enjoyed having the animal hospital locked down from Covid, as he has been enjoying napping and sunbathing under the skylights in the dog section of the waiting room.