Allison is a jack of (almost) all trades. We have been lucky to have her with us and watch her grow in her skills over the years. This talented girl has trained with us to reach her goal of becoming a technician. After much hard work and determination, she has met that goal. It takes a lot to be a Grand Paws technician! She and her boyfriend, Nick now have 4 kitties, Ricky, Roscoe, Schitzo and Ziggy. She is the ultimate cat lover. Just ask to see pictures of them and she will be happy to oblige. When Allison is not working, she tries to spend time in the kitchen, whipping up vegan recipes and then works those calories off by being on the trails hiking (when the temperatures aren't too high). She also love yoga and uses it a relaxation. She's anything but boring and we love having her smart, witty, personality with us.
Ambur has called Grand Paws Animal Clinic her home away from home since September 2015. If your pet has had the benefit of a stem cell procedure, you've already met. Ambur has a eye for detail and is very passionate about her job as a veterinary technician. Growing up in Yuma, Ambur knew from a young age she wanted to become a veterinarian. Her life revolved around animals. When she was 9 years old, she became involved in 4H, where she spent years raising sheep and pigs. Entering high school she knew she wanted to continue to be involved in working with livestock and FFA (Future Farmers of America) helped teach her how to raise production steer, eventually granting her a monetarey award for raising a Grand Champion. This award started to prepare her savings account for college. In 2002, she was granted the title of Rodeo Queen, which doesn't just mean she has a pretty face. She had to pass through several categories including speech, modeling, horsemanship and an interview. A rodeo queen is a female representative and "face" of the sport of rodeo for her region. Ambur was also involved in the National Barrel Horse Association, as a competitive barrel racer. She participated in the World Youth Finals located in Mississippi and placed 1st for the state of Arizona. When Ambur was 18 she started a job working at a small animal practice where she went through hands on training to prepare her to become a veterinary technician. Once fully trained, she worked there for 2 years and got her start as a technician. In 2006, Ambur moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado to pursue her degree. She graduated from Colorado State University in 2011 with her Bachelor's Degree in Business and Animal Science. After graduation, she relocated back to Yuma and worked as a technician. Throughout her life, her now husband, Kenny has been a constant fixture. Ambur and Kenny grew up together, as their families had been long time friends . Over the years, their relationship progressed. They moved from childhood friends, to navagating the path of dating, to deciding they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. In 2015, just a few months after Ambur began her career at Grand Paws, she and Kenny married. They share their Wittman home with Ambur's step son, Ryder, 5 dogs and 11 horses. Ambur has not given up her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She has worked hard to acquire more hands on experience in the field she loves and plans to enroll in the veterinary program at the University of Arizona. Some day she will be Ambur Brown DVM.
Many of you have met Audrey at the front desk or have had the pleasure of speaking with with her on the phone. She has been a member of our crew since we opened the doors at our new location in 2014 and her bubbly personality makes her perfect for this position. Because of her compassion and love for animals, she has quite the menagerie of pets at home; with 4 cats, 3 ferrets and 1 very handsome dog, she has her hands full! Audrey and her husband, Andrew enjoy speding time with each other and with their son Denver, watching movies and playing outside when the weather is cool enough. Along with being an animal lover, she is also a great musician. Even though she is deaf in one ear, she taught herself to play the piano (entirely by ear) and is working on learning to play the banjo.
Beryl has been a technician for over 20 years, making her one of our more “seasoned” staff members. She has done a little bit of everything in the veterinary field; starting as a kennel assistant and moving up to manager in a clinic, working at the SPCA and at an exotic pet shop in Virginia and then moving to Arizona. She was the only veterinary technician on staff at the World Wildlife Zoo for 10 years and then she took a 3 year trip to Africa, to do conservation work with Cheetahs. Beryl helped to raise orphaned and abandoned cheetah cubs, sometimes releasing them back to the wild or, for those unable to be released, sending them to zoos such as the San Diego Zoo. She also appeared on a television show called The Cheetah Diaries.
After a trip back to the states, she decided she wanted to stay and took a job at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. She then decided to move back to Arizona and returned to work at the World Wildlife Zoo after that she transferred to the Phoenix Zoo and worked as a Senior Keeper. Whew! That's a lifetime of work right there! That's where Grand Paws comes in. She has been with us since 2015 and we are lucky to have her and all of her experience.
Meet Elsa! Elsa is one of our skilled technicians and has been a part of our Grand Paws family for almost a year. She started her furry family by raising potbelly pigs while living in Virginia and also worked as a horse trainer in a show barn. She decided to make the switch over to working with small animals at a local Virginia veterinary clinic and moved to warm, sunny Arizona in 2016 with her dog Dixie in tow. She has since added to her family, a pit bull named Domino. Elsa has been a technician for over 6 years and cannot imagine having a career that doesn't revolve around animals. Her dream is to some day own her own horse farm and rescue senior dogs who need loving homes.
Meet Kat. Kat started with us as a technician in December of 2016. She began her work in veterinary medicine while she was in high school, took a few years off and then jumped right back in. Although she leads a pretty quiet life with her boyfriend, her teenage son, 3 cats, 1 dog and 2 tortoises; there is more than meets the eye with this girl. At night and on the weekends, she's the lead singer in a local band and is a pretty accomplished pool player. In 2015 she made it to the BCA Nationals in Las Vegas, which is the largest pool tournament in the world. Next time you're in, maybe she'll belt out a tune for you.
Kelly is another one of our very talented technicians, who has been with Grand Paws for nearly 3 years. She has always been surrounded by animals and her love for them started at an early age growing up near the cornfields of Northern Illinois. Dogs, cats, gerbils and other small animals graced her home and large breed animals filled the barns she frequented. Kelly started working with horses at a farm when she was 14 years old and began showing Morgans Saddleseat. She pursued 4H and FFA throughout high school. When she was 18 she began working as a kennel assistant at a local veterinarian and decided veterinary medicine was where her passion was. She then went on to college at the University of Illinois, earning her Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science. In 1999 she moved to Florida and worked as an intern Animal Presentor at Animal Kingdom around the Tree of Life. After graduation she moved back to Illinois to pursue her career as a veterinary technician at a local clinic. Six months later, she followed her dream to work at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, where she handled small mammals, giraffes, wolves and pachyderms (such as elepahnts, rhinos and hippos). After 3 years, she decided to return home and resumed work in Northern Illinois. Kelly met her husband, DJ and they decided to move to Surprise in 2007 to raise their family. When she's not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two young children, Jackson and Olivia. You can find them outdoors, hiking, traveling and enjoying nature.
Marquelle is a true, native Arizonian. She has lived here her entire life and we have been lucky to have her as a receptionist at Grand Paws since 2016. Her quirky, off-beat humor just adds to our funny crew. She loves to spend time outdoors hiking, biking,canoeing and traveling with her boyfriend and her dog Dakota. She enjoys everything from exploring Alaska to visiting farmer's markets on her days off. She shares her home with her cat, Charlotte who often supervises while Marquelle cooks and does yoga. Her adventurous spirit leads her to fly away to different places with her boyfriend who is a pilot. You'll have to ask her about it the next time you're in.
Our technician assistants play an integral role here at Grand Paws. They are vital to the flow of the clinic and they are essential to providing and predicting what our doctors, technicians and patients will need either in an exam room or during surgery. Natalia is part of our very important group of assistants. Natalia knew from a young age that she wanted her career to involve working with animals. As with many of us in this field, her love for animals coupled with her interest in biology and medicine is what led her to the veterinary medicine profession. Natalia began her career as an extern at a local emergency facility right after high school and received her Veterinary Assisting Certificate in 2015. Since then she has worked hard to earn her Associate's of Science Degree through Glendale Community College. She joined our Grand Paws family as an assistant in 2017 and is working to complete her Associate's of Arts Degree. While her husband, Ivan finishes up his 4 year contract in the Army, Natalia is living at home with her parents and two younger brothers. Living away from him is hard, but she is focused on school and work and has a goal in sight. She plans to transfer to ASU to work on her Bachelor's of Science Degree later this year. And eventually, pursue her Degree in Veterinary Medicine. In her spare moments, she spends time with her guinea pig and her 13 year old family dog named Paper. Her newest addition, Nana is a poodle mix and will soon try to run the household. Hiking and reading are the things she loves most to do for her quiet time. Her dream is to work in the field with wildlife and raise a family with Ivan. Natalia is kind and soft spoken, so you may not hear her, but know that she helps to keep our wheels turning. She is surrounded by so many different personalities at Grand Paws and fits just perfectly with all of them. We are so lucky to have her and we can't wait to watch her dreams come true.
When you walk through the doors at Grand Paws, Shannon's face is one of the first you may see. Always ready with a smile and a greeting, we are so lucky to have her.
Shannon grew up in the sub tropical weather of the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia. The warm, humid, lush hills of the coastal city are what she calls home. Hanging out at the beach and caring for the dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish (and even a kangaroo!) that she had as family pets are some of her best memories of her time in Australia. When Shannon was 17, her family moved to Arizona and she began volunteering at the Prescott Zoo; cleaning cages and working the concessions. She then worked as a receptionist at East Maryland Animal Hospital in Phoenix and married her husband, Kevyn in 1997. She moved back to Australia during the spring of 1998 and took a few years off to raise her daughters, Camryn and Rayann. In 2004 she jumped back in and took a job as an assistant at a local clinic. 1 year later she delivered her third daughter, Isabelle. She reentered the work force 1 ½ years later, working for a family owned small animal practice. Eventually, that practice was bought out by a corporation and sadly, Shannon left. She began work at a Specialty Practice and then transferred to a veterinary distribution company while still in Australia.
In 2011, she and her family moved back to the United States to be closer to her husband's family. She took all of her skills she had learned up to this point and found work at an area veterinary practice as a jack of all trades for 3 years. Finally, finding her Grand Paws family in 2015. Luckily Shannon is very versatile, because life was about to throw her a curve ball.
In March of 2016, Shannon was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. AML starts in the blood forming cells of the bone marrow and can quickly move into the blood and other parts of the body. After months of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, her leukemia is now gone and she came back to Grand Paws in November of that same year. Yay!
Shannon has had a few small set backs, but is now on her road to recovery with the help of a whole foods, plant based diet and her loving, supportive family. Her dream is to move to Portland, Oregon once all of her children are grown. She will then be back into the comfortable surroundings of green trees and sprawling valleys, with the sea air blowing around her. She enjoys cooking and learning new recipes to support her healthy lifestyle that is now helping her to heal.
Next time you come in, stop by and say hello to her, she'll be happy to chat right back.