Meet Our Team
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
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.
Ashley MacKay, DVM, MS
Dr. MacKay joined the Aspetuck team as a part time doctor in 2017. She is currently seeing patients a couple of afternoons a week, as well as during the occasional Saturday. Including Dr. MacKay into our team of doctors has allowed us to better meet the needs of our clients. We have been able to expand our office hours while allowing Dr. Trish and Dr. Mike to maintain precious time with their families. Furthermore, by adding Dr. MacKay to our team, we are ensuring that the next time you seek care for your pet(s), you will be greeted by a doctor who knows our practice and adheres to the quality of service you have come to expect from Aspetuck.
Dr. MacKay has been in the companion animal field for over 20 years. She graduated from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (Virginia Tech) in 2011 and has gained valuable experience practicing all along the East Coast, until she settled in Connecticut. She lives in the Danbury area with her husband and their one senior dog and three cats.
Dr. MacKay also has a Masters degree in Conservation Medicine, focusing on elephant and rhino conservation in Southern Africa. This has allowed her to be a part of some wonderful African conservation efforts.
We encourage you to take any opportunity you are given to meet her. Our staff has come to know and appreciate all that she brings to Aspetuck, and we are sure that you will feel the same way!
Michelle grew up in Wisconsin and went to school at Colby College in Maine where she met her husband Michael. She graduated with a B.A. in Economics, minors in Public Policy and Education and a teaching certificate. After college she taught, substitute taught and worked in the Cornell libraries as well as completed her Masters in Education. In 2003, Michelle, Dr. Mike and their two girls, Madeline and Abigail, moved back to Connecticut to take over the family business. After overseeing the house renovations for their first year in Washington, CT, Michelle dusted off her Econ skills and became the part-time Business Manager at Aspetuck. In her “free” time she has served on the Board of Education, coached soccer, served as a member of the Judea Nursery school board, helped found a local children’s choir, served as member of the WPS PTO and as treasurer, volunteered to teach Learn to Skate and helped with other various activities that enrich the lives of children in our community. Her daughters Madeline and Abigail are currently enjoying being part of Shepaug Valley School and keep Michelle very busy with their various sports and musical endeavors. When not helping the girls, Michelle likes to participate in her own athletics playing hockey for the local women’s team, tennis in the summer and participating in the Lake Waramaug triathlon in the spring. Her dream is to play in the Pickin’ & Fiddlin’ contest in Roxbury some day.
Rebecca joined the Aspetuck Animal Hospital team in November of 2005. She was a junior at Shepaug Valley High School and eager to get into the working world. Her family is local to New Preston and had a dairy farm in the area until the late 1980’s. Dr. Ferris Gorra had been the vet for her grandfather’s dairy cows for years and they had developed a close friendship, which is how Rebecca began working as a kennel attendant in high school. Over the years, Rebecca has been trained to work in all areas of the hospital. Rebecca graduated in May 2012 with a B.A. in Business Management. She enjoys having the opportunity to put the business skills she has learned in school to work at the clinic. Rebecca lives in Washington with her two dogs, Vern & Henry.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
Jennifer joined the staff at Aspetuck Animal Hospital in August 2008 as a receptionist. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Messiah College. Prior to working at Aspetuck, she worked as a teacher in various schools in the New Milford area. During her college years, Jen did a semester-long study in Nancy, France studying the French language and culture in a university setting. Jen enjoys working in the veterinary field because of her love for animals and passion for helping others keep their pets healthy and fit. She owns two dogs, Annie and Tucker, and a cat, Samantha. In her free time, Jen enjoys relaxing with her husband, Steve, and two children, Wesley and Natalie.
Carley Thompson joined our team in October 2017 as a Kennel Technician and Receptionist and is currently our Head Receptionist. She truly loves both dogs and cats, as evidenced in her personal life and professional experiences. While working at Aspetuck, she works at a local doggie daycare. This experience led her towards pursuing a degree in Veterinary Technology, which she acquired from Northwestern Connecticut Community College. In fact, it was through her externship at Aspetuck that she obtained a position on our staff. While at work, Carley delights in seeing our boarders and can even be found spending her break time snuggling the boarding felines. While not at work, Carley enjoys spending time with her pets at home. She has four adopted cats: Tigger, Tipper, Friday, and Pizza, and two dogs: Bear and Beau. Her adventurous poodle, Bear, enjoys car trips and Carley tries to fit in one long road trip a year with her canine companion. She balances out these adventures with plenty of time relaxing and lazing around with her beloved cats.
LeeAnn recently moved to New Milford with her husband of 17 years and their five rescued dogs: Jerry, Kayla, Rylee, Candi, and Charlie. Prior to joining our team, LeeAnn worked as a receptionist/manager at a hair salon for five years. She also has expereince working with animals, having worked for 17 years at Central Animal Hospital in NY, where she helped to rehabilitate and rehome rescue animals. LeeAnn has always had a love for animals, and often goes to her family's farm in Oxford, NY to ride her horses and care for the many animals on the farm.
Angie joined the Aspetuck team as a full-time receptionist in July of 2018. She is a 2002 New Milford High School graduate with a background in college level nursing and psychology studies from Pace University. Following college, she applied her clinical nursing skills to her love for animals and began to work as a veterinary technician from 2006-2008 at a clinic in Danbury, CT. She then decided to focus on her love for psychology and customer service relations; working as an admissions coordinator, administrative assistant and receptionist for various medical and mental health facilities. After a decade of exploring many of her skills and passions, Angie has returned to where she feels her heart truly belongs; working in the veterinary field where she can help both people and animals. Angie has a true desire to help others. She loves music, hiking, spending time with friends and caring for her pets. She is most inspired by acts of kindness, spirituality and mental health. Angie resides in New Milford with her husband, Trey, their two cats, Tigerlily & Benji, and dog, Hank.
Jill joined our staff in October 2018 as a Receptionist after having worked at a 24-hour specialty animal hospital. In 2016, she completed a Veterinary Assistant program and combines this knowledge with a deep desire to ensure that our clients and patients have a positive experience. She has two cats and one dog of her own: Kitty, Oreo, and Kali. Jill enjoys nature and watching the changes that occur with each passing season.
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 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 sixteen year old cat, Starla. She also loves going on road trips with her friends and family.
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.
Jessica joined our team in October 2018 and fulfills her roles as a Technician Assistant, Kennel Tech, and Receptionist. Upon graduating from Naugatuck High School in 2011, she originally considered pursuing a career in art, but ultimately decided that working with animals was her #1 passion. Jessica loves helping animals in all aspects and enjoys expanding her knowledge regarding the field of veterinary medicine. She has one dog, named Zen, and three cats: Stark, Sir, and Captain. When she has free time, Jessica enjoys hiking, kayaking, and swimming.
Isabella is currently a sophomore at Wamogo Regional High School. As she participates in the school's agriscience program, she is also active in the FFA and plans to major in Veterinary Science in her junior and senior years. She is a member of both the Vet Science and Parliamentary Procedure CDE's (Career Development Event) and is active with the school's yearbook committee, Student Council, and the National Honors Society. Isabella loves to play soccer and serves as a captain for the Varsity Girls soccer team. Outside of school, she spends much of her time volunteering at a service dog organization known as ECAD (Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities). She also has a passion for photography, specifically pet photography. Though Isabella has no pets at home, she loves to interact with the animals in our care through her work at Aspetuck.
Bailey joined our team in spring 2019 as a Technician Assistant with an A.S. in Veterinary Technology from Northwestern Community College. She has a special interest in surgery and anesthesia monitoring. She has always had dogs as pets and grew up around cattle, sheep, and ducks. She loves small animals and large animal alike. Outside of work, Bailey loes to hike and explore with her two dogs, Mookie and Tucker.
Hayleigh joined the team in September of 2019 as a kennel technician. Before Aspetuck she worked at a local doggie daycare for seven years and just couldn’t imagine a life without working with animals in some way! Hayleigh grew up with many pets and has a love for animals of all shapes and sizes but has a big soft spot for dogs. She has a 6 year old English mastiff named Oakley who is a giant lovable baby! Although she hasn’t been with us long Hayleigh already can’t wait to see where her position at Aspetuck will take her!
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.