JENNA GILLESPIE

CLINIC ADVISOR/MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST

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Jenna supports our team behind the scenes.  From UC San Diego, Jenna has an M.A. in Literature and Ph.D. (all but dissertation) in Disability Studies. She also has a Masters in Social Work from Syracuse University.  Jenna kept herself grounded throughout her schooling by volunteering at the Whatcom Humane Society, the San Diego Humane Society, and the SPCA of Tompkins County.  She is thrilled to be working with such an extraordinary group of gifted humans who care ethically, creatively, and generously for their animal patients. 

Because animal related professionals regularly experience grief, stress, and trauma in their work, Jenna is here to make sure our compassionate crew continue to stay healthy as a group.  Jenna provides assistance with parsing and lessening compassion fatigue, encouraging productive discussions, accommodating grief, facilitating conflict, and managing stress.  In her spare time Jenna enjoys reading, art museums, hanging out with her most excellent friends, and playing board games with her husband and two kids.  They live in Medford with their two ridiculous Basset Hounds, Pearl and Harvey. 

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CATHY SYMONS, CVT, CCRP

Cathy is a pug enthusiast and a certified veterinary technician who has been practicing in Massachusetts for over 25 years.  After fifteen years, in small private practice she went on to study canine rehabilitation at the University of Tennessee.  In 2003, Cathy was one of the first thirty-six people in the country to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner.  Shortly thereafter, she was instrumental in establishing the Sterling Impression Animal Rehabilitation Center of New England, and now does private consulting.  Cathy is also the author of Blind Devotion: Enhancing the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired Dogs.  She was inspired to write this book after her first pug, Booda, lost his sight at the age of seven.  Cathy resides in the New England area with her husband and their pug, Mac.

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LAURIE LEVINE, LMHC

LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR

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Laurie is dedicated to supporting us humans through the journey of grieving the loss of a beloved animal companion.  Her work is informed by her own experiences, the guidance of mentors, and all she learns from those she is honored to serve.  Laurie trusts that when we have a dedicated space and relationship that can hold and listen to what is in our hearts and minds, that grieving can become an affirming, healing journey of valuing the unique life, bond, and passing of our beloved.  From her first memories, Laurie’s life has been enriched by the mischief and wisdom of dogs and cats, from Bambi – a Jack Russell Terrier – to her current cat companion, Pearls.  Additionally, she volunteers at the MSPCA Nevins Farm Adoption Center, and leads their monthly Reading Program.  Laurie offers individual counseling by appointment and grief support groups on the last Monday of the month (excluding major holidays).  Laurie is also available to support those who are anticipating a loss or are grappling with the stress of caregiving.  Laurie has been featured in Psychology Today and on the PetAbility podcast.  Laurie can be reached at missmypets@gmail.com or 781.350.8219

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SAM HANKEY, CVT

Sam is a certified veterinary technician, a certified small animal massage practitioner, a Reiki master, and trained in Acupressure and Tui Na massage.  In her spare time Sam enjoys the outdoors, yoga and baking. She lives in Somerville with her French Bulldog, Bohi.  You can learn more on her website and she can be reached at healingwithsamh@gmail.com.