CALL US AT (757) 774-7040 - Serving Hampton Roads and areas of Northeast,NC
CALL US AT (757) 774-7040 - Serving Hampton Roads and areas of Northeast,NC
How did I get here:
Many people ask me or have the following comments:
“ How do you do this every day?”
" This must be so hard for you”
“ I cant imagine how any one can do this job!”
The truth is, this is never a job, has never felt like work. Helping my patients pass peacefully in the comfort of their home, surrounded by family, is an honor and privilege to be able to assist.
Here is some background information about me:
I was born on the southernmost point in Africa: Cape Town, South Africa and I spent my first 16 years developing a passion for animals and an interest in medicine by following around the veterinarian that cared for all the many species on my parent’s farm in Namibia. I moved to the USA when I was 16, and completed my senior year of high school in south Florida, before continuing to college with a pre-vet track. During college I worked as a kennel assistant, veterinary assistant and eventually veterinary technician, and thus my appreciation and respect for medicine grew, and my love for our patients flourished.
Fast-forward to the present day I have achieved my dream of being a veterinarian; not caring for the exotic animals I grew up with, but instead focusing on more “traditional” pets, such as cats, dogs, ferrets and rabbits.
My education was obtained in Florida, a Veterinary Medicine Doctorate from the University of Florida. It was also during this time that I became a proud American Citizen and met my husband Barry, an Officer in the United States Navy.
Upon graduation, I entered a very busy general practice in Annapolis, MD. It was during these first few years I realized my interest and sense of responsibility; the support, care of my sickest, terminal, disabled and/or geriatric patients. Discussion of quality of life, the notion of “just because we can do something, doesn’t always mean we should” were words I lived by. It was an area I felt I could make the most impact and where I was needed.
Becoming a veterinarian, I never thought caring for geriatric patients, and the eventual goodbyes, as something I would want to do but more of a necessity or responsibility that came with my career. However, after witnessing a family member pass at home with the support of hospice, I realized that hospice gave both my terminal mother-in-law and our family the greatest gift – the ability for her to pass surrounded by her family in the place she felt most comfortable.
Hospice and end-of-life care has become a true passion of mine. Over the years I have been honored to help hundreds of incredible families and their beloved pets in Maryland, Rhode Island and now Virginia. Each time I have entered a home as a stranger, but left as a friend. Each family and patient has a piece of my heart and I am so thankful to have been able to help my patient pass with dignity, love and comfort. Whenever I receive gratitude from a family I am almost embarrassed, as I have only cared for their “fur baby” for a mere hour or two in the same manner that they have cared and cherished them their entire lives. For that I am thankful to my families!
The military has moved my little family all over the country. When I moved to Virginia Beach , I had very little expectation, it was meant to be just another stop in the multitude of military assignments, but it is Virginia Beach where I truly feel at home. The sense of community, the small town feel in a sprawling diverse collection of amazing cities, sites and people that make Hampton Roads. I am proud to be a local, to raise my kids here and to be part of this amazing community.
I currently reside in Virginia Beach with my husband (Barry) , two human kids (Zachary and Abigial), Four canine kids: the Golden Girls: Willow, and Zelda and my little "rotten' but cute Princess Peach the pug and her silly brother Charlie) and two feline kids ( Nemo and Red- my crazy kittens adopted locally from Billy the Kidden Rescue”). It is my honor and privilege to serve families in Hampton Roads.
~Hampton Roads Veterinary hospice and in Home euthanasia Angel Pets in Virginia Beach~
Dr. Melissa is originally from a small town in Maryland and attended the University of Maryland where she earned her bachelor's degree in Animal Science. She then took a gap year to travel before she attended the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg - Go Hokies! Dr. Melissa started her career in Emergency Medicine before she found her calling in hospice medicine. She enjoys counseling people through the grief associated with the loss of a pet, and this is something she has always felt called to do. Outside of work, she enjoys going to the beach and spending time with her husband and son, who they welcomed into the world in January 2023!
My journey and love of pets pretty much began at birth. In 2009 my dream of becoming a veterinarian became a reality! I graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The following year I did a rotating small animal internship at a busy emergency & specialty hospital in northern Virginia. After completing my internship, I worked in both general practice and emergency medicine. All of these professional experiences allowed me to explore who I wanted to be as a veterinarian and what I was most passionate about. I gained a deep appreciation for preventative care, which would later be one of the driving forces for me to begin my eastern medicine training.
In 2015 I discovered that veterinarians were practicing exclusive hospice & palliative care and almost instantly I knew I had found my calling. Being able to be a part of a pet’s end of life journey sounded incredibly special and I knew I wanted to join this group of veterinarians. For the last 7 years I have practiced exclusive hospice & palliative care and I am confident that I am doing exactly what I was meant to do. The ability to support pet families through one of the hardest decisions that they will make throughout their life is a responsibility that I take very seriously and hold dear to my heart.
Dr. Schmidt completed her undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech. She then moved overseas for vet school, graduating from the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. Following vet school, she moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to pursue an internship in Emergency and Critical Care medicine. Originally a military brat, she claims Virginia to be “home” and was excited to return to the state after her internship. Since then, she has worked in a variety of fields including, but not limited to: emergency, general practice, and shelter medicine. While many aspects of being a veterinarian are hard on the day to day basis, Dr. Schmidt finds that being able to offer families and their pets a way to say goodbye peacefully very rewarding. She understands that it is the most difficult decision to make for a pet in their lifetime, but also one of the kindest gifts you can give by helping them to no longer suffer or be in pain.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, toddler son, and 3 lovable 4-legged kids: Bonnie (her Golden girl), Tyr (her husband’s idiotic Lab), and Dempsey (their Heinz-57 foster fail). Favorite activities include outside time hiking, biking, or at the beach, and venturing to the Botanical Gardens or the Aquarium with her enthusiastic kiddo.
Being born in rural North Carolina and growing up on a family farm was the foundation for my love of animals. I was raised to respect and appreciate how animals enrich our lives in many ways. I completed both my undergraduate degree in Animal Science and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University, graduating from vet school in 2003. As a fourth-year veterinary student I fell in love with aging patients. I have sought more ways to make their lives more comfortable and have learned to appreciate the loving act of letting them pass away peacefully and with dignity. Providing this service in the family's home, while very sad, has also been rewarding to offer comfort and relief during a difficult time.
In addition to serving the community with Angel Pets, I divide my work life in different paths, working in private practice as well as for a local SPCA.
I moved to Suffolk in 2003 after marrying my husband and I am honored to be the mother to 2 kids, 2 dogs, Peanut and Millie, and 1 cat Mellow. I enjoy traveling with my family, flower arranging and spending time with friends.
Dr. Valerie grew up in Idaho where she always dreamed of on day becoming a veterinarian. She went to undergrad for neuroscience and veterinary school at Washington State University. Once in practice, Dr. Valerie realized general practice wasn't for her. Instead, she had a passion for helping the community through high volume spay and neuter services and by helping families say goodbye to their loved ones. Being able to help pets and families not experience the suffering so often seen at end of life and making those last moments as peaceful as possible is Dr. Valerie's passion for end-of-life care. Dr. Valerie has practiced in Idaho, Oregon, and Texas. She moved to Virginia to be closer to family. In her time away from work she enjoys spending time with her family including her husband; son Wyatt; two border collies Roper and Bear; three cats Buggles, Temy, and Pearly; and hedgehog Mr. Pickles. She enjoys being out in nature exploring, hiking, fishing, gardening, and baking. Thank you so much for the privilege of allowing me to help your family during this difficult time of need.
I first settled with my family in Yorktown, Virginia around the age of 2 through means of the Air Force. After growing up on the peninsula, I traveled down to Wilmington, North Carolina to attend UNC Wilmington and complete my bachelor’s degree in biology. After school, I took a gap year and worked in a small animal emergency clinic in North Carolina as a veterinary assistant under their emergency, internal medicine, and surgery teams. That following year I then traveled back to Virginia to attend the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and graduated in 2020. After veterinary school, I decided to begin her career as a small animal general practitioner back home in Yorktown. Here, I discovered how important my job is to guide families through the decision of euthanasia, as well as how humbling it is to help pets in their most needed moments. Helping nurture the human animal bond with a peaceful goodbye became a privilege and passion. Now, my family and I reside in Williamsburg, VA. When I’m not at work, I am usually spending time with my husband, Michael, our son, Grey, and our golden retriever, Bruce. Whether walking around Colonial Williamsburg or Yorktown Beach, and occasionally visiting Busch Gardens or Virginia Beach, I enjoy being outside any chance I can get.
I am a native of Norfolk, VA. I graduated from Norfolk Collegiate before getting my Bachelor of Science in Occupational Technical Studies and Marketing from ODU. Although my studies and career kept me in the business world, my true passion has always been protecting and supporting the human-animal bond. Much of my time is devoted to running Lost and Found Pets, Hampton Roads, as well as acting as a resource coordinator or source of encouragement for families with pets in distress. Helping families navigate difficult decisions and obtaining assistance has always been my true calling and I feel honored to now help in this important, although difficult chapter, of hospice and end of life care with your special pet.
When I am not answering questions, you will find me with my loving husband, daughter, and my canine rescue cuties, Dakota, Bella, Stella, Audrey and Mochi as well my feline kids, Shadow and Freda. I am here if you ever need anything - even just an ear to listen......
Kati is one of our part time BA’s at Angel Pets. She has spent the last 12 years in the veterinary field in the roles of a BA, tech, and practice manager. Recently, she has branched off into the human world as an LPN, and is perusing her RN. She has attended Tidewater Community College, The VMC School of Veterinary Practice Management, and Eastern Shore Community College. She originated in a little town called Hickory in Chesapeake, VA and has migrated up to the Eastern Shore of VA where she resides with her three children, and husband. They have two horses (Doc and Hazel), two cats (Rose and Gilbert), and dog to oversee everyone (Scarlett). On her days off she enjoys taking her children for trail rides, or hopping on the boat to catch some fish and vitamin D.
Jenna is in her last semester at the University of Maryland earning her bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. She spent her younger years growing up on a farm and since then has always had a deep love and passion for animals of all kinds. She is Dr. Melissa's little sister and is thrilled to work along side her where she is able to assist people and animals in their time of need and transition. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and close friends and teaching group fitness classes for her community.
I was born and raised in South Florida. I attended Nova Southeastern University and graduated with a B.S. and an MBA in Business and Health Service Administration. I have worked in Pharmacy for most of my career and I am very passionate about helping others. This passion has translated into my position here at Angel Pets. Outside of work, I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my 9-year-old daughter Savannah and my two chihuahuas, Krypto and Kylo.
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Serving Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, Yorktown, James County, Moyock,currituck , and surrounding areas.
Angel Pets - Hospice and Euthanasia Hampton Roads