The Spruce Pets Veterinary Review Board

Meet our Review Board members and learn more about our process

Meet our Review Board members and learn more about our process

The Spruce / Alison Czinkota

When it comes to your pet, you want the very best, especially in regards to their health care. We know that finding trustworthy veterinary advice online can be difficult—the internet is full of misinformation or personal opinion masquerading as fact. To make caring for your pet easier, we launched The Spruce Pets Veterinary Review Board, comprised of top board-certified vet professionals. Our goal is to provide you with well-researched, fact-checked information so you can keep your pet happy and healthy.

Who Is on the Board?

Our board boasts experts with 100+ years of combined veterinary experience and a range of specialties, like cats and dogs, horses and equine care, aquatic animals, and exotics. These members have been hand-picked based on their impressive credentials and ability to communicate sometimes difficult or dense concepts to a broad audience. 

Nick Saint-Erne
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Nick Saint-Erne, DVM

Nick Saint-Erne is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with 35 years of experience treating dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, fish, exotic pets, and zoo animals. Nick currently practices at the Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital and is a consulting veterinarian for several zoos and aquariums in Arizona.

In addition to his veterinary work, Nick has owned pet stores and has been involved in the pet industry as a technical writer for the training materials and customer pet care handouts for a major pet store chain. He has worked with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in drafting programs to improve the care of pets in pet stores and to reduce the risk of spreading zoonotic diseases.

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Nelva J. Bryant
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Nelva J. Bryant, DVM, MPH

Dr. Nelva Bryant is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a retired LCDR in the U.S. Public Health service with 27+ years professional experience. Currently working in the airline industry, her mission is to improve pet travel via promoting animal welfare, education, and veterinary oversight.

Her knowledge of veterinary pathology, infectious and zoonotic diseases, veterinary public health, the CDC’s dog importation regulations, international and national animal transportation regulations, and airline live animal transportation policies has made her an expert in the field of animal transportation.

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Monica Tarantino
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Monica Tarantino, DVM

Monica Tarantino is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with five years of experience as a general practitioner of small animal medicine. She currently works full time as a Level-2 Fear Free certified doctor at an AAHA accredited small animal hospital. Before The Spruce, Monica was a mentor for first-year Animal Medical Hospital veterinary graduates.

Monica has recently begun contributing veterinary content to a number of digital publications, and is eager to share her knowledge with a broader audience. Her interests include emergency medicine, internal medicine, geriatric pet health, and business leadership. She frequently rescues in-need pets, and owns four rescue dogs and two rescue cats with the occasional foster animal for good measure.

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Jennifer Coates
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Journalist
Jennifer Coates, DVM

Jennifer Coates is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with over 25 years of experience in veterinary care and animal welfare. Before joining The Spruce Pets, she was an associate veterinarian at Home to Heaven In-Home Pet Hospice and Euthanasia (CO), Spring Creek Animal Hospital (WY), and Petersburg Animal Hospital (VA), as well as former chief of staff at Healthy Pet Animal Hospital (VA).

Jennifer has published several books, short stories, and thousands of web articles that all relate to veterinary medicine, pet care, and the human-animal bond. She has also appeared on radio and television in her role as a veterinary consultant.

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Lauren Smith
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Relief Veterinarian
Lauren Smith, DVM

Lauren Smith is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with over 10 years of experience, and five years of experience writing veterinary content. Lauren was previously a veterinarian at Bay Shore Animal Hospital and at VCA Commack Animal Hospital.

After receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, she worked for two animal hospitals as a full-time general practitioner before starting her own business as a relief veterinarian, where she travels from hospital to hospital providing basic veterinary care to patients when their regular veterinarian cannot be there. She also has experience working in emergency hospitals providing urgent care to animal patients on nights and weekends.

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Anna O'Brien
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Anna O'Brien, DVM

Anna O’Brien is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with over 10 years of professional veterinary experience treating horses, dogs, cats, cows, camels, monkeys, honeybees, and more. Prior to joining The Spruce Pets Veterinary Review Board, Anna was an associate vet at Link Veterinary Associates, volunteer vet for Adams County Humane Society, and contributing editor for Horse Illustrated.

Anna has worked at various small animal clinics and spent a considerable amount of time as a large animal ambulatory veterinarian in central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, performing on-farm surgeries such as horn removal, abdominal surgeries, and C-sections, and working with farmers to ensure their herds are following appropriate preventative health programs.

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Joanne Intile
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary oncologist, journalist
Joanne Intile, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Joanne Intile is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with 14 years of experience as a veterinary oncologist. She currently practices as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Oncology at North Carolina State University. Before joining The Spruce Pets, Joanne was a private practice oncologist.

While working full time at her last clinic, Dr. Intile also worked as an adjunct instructor in the veterinary science technology program at Suffolk County Community College teaching veterinary practice management, clinical laboratory procedures, and pharmacology. At North Carolina State University, she trains veterinary students, interns, and residents primarily in the discipline of medical oncology, but also plays a significant role in teaching medical communication skills.

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Bartley Harrison
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Bartley Harrison

Dr. Bartley Harrison is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with over 15 years of experience in emergency medicine. He is currently working at practices across North Carolina with Emergency DVM Relief Services to provide care for pets wherever it is needed.

Due to his career in emergency medicine, he is practiced in communicating the essentials of a wide variety of medical and surgical topics clearly and concisely. He feels that informed pet owners are empowered to make the best decisions for their pet's care.

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Alycia Washington
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Alycia Washington, DVM

Dr. Alycia Washington is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and has worked as a small animal emergency veterinarian for nearly a decade. She is part of The Spruce Pets' veterinary review board. 

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Natasha Diehl
Small and Exotic Animal Veterinarian
Natasha Diehl

Dr. Natasha Diehl is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) who graduated from Iowa State University in May 2020. She completed an internship in small and exotic animal general practice and emergency medicine in California and is currently in an exotic animal speciality internship in Indianapolis. She continues to work with a team of veterinarians with a wide range of knowledge within the field and exotic and small pet ownership.

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Amy Fox
Veterinarian and Medical Writer
Dr. Amy Fox

Dr. Fox received her veterinary education at Cornell University and has 15-plus years of experience in the field. She has worked in emergency, shelter, medicine, surgery, and general medicine. Dr. Fox is passionate about client education and making sure pet parents have the most up-to-date, accurate, and accessible information to empower them as caregivers and companions.  

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dog sitting on hardwood floors illustration
Illustration: The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

Which Topics Are Reviewed?

Our editors work in tandem with our review board to fact-check and formalize our robust library of pet health articles that cover topics like diseases and conditions, spay and neuter surgeries, foods your pets can’t eat, life and reproductive cycles, behavioral issues, and treatment of injuries. Our review board assesses topics that affect your pet’s health, wellbeing, or routine so that you can feel confident in the information you’re receiving. Your pet’s health comes first, and we prioritize accordingly. 

The Life Cycle of an Article

Each article is written by one of our accredited pet experts, including registered veterinary technicians and doctors of veterinary medicine. Then, we assign the article to the best-suited veterinary review board member, based on their specialties. From there, our reviewers read each article thoroughly, fact-checking and making edits for accuracy and relevancy. They pass the reviewed article back to our editorial team to read through for grammar, style, and reading comprehension. Finally, the article receives an official stamp indicating that it has been reviewed by a member of our veterinary review board. Our review board members’ extensive training and experience paired with our editorial know-how come together to give you and your pet the answers you need.

life cycle of a pets article illustration
Illustration: The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

How Do I Know if an Article Was Reviewed?

You may notice a badge appearing at the top of some content pages. The badge signifies that a board member has reviewed and edited the article, taking special care to confirm that the information presented is both accurate and up-to-date. 

close up of veterinary page illustration
Illustration: The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

The Spruce’s Promise to You

Our team of editors and review board members strive to vet all on-site information to ensure it is as accurate and relevant as possible. And when we don’t immediately have the answer, we promise that we will research, test, and fact-check until we do. We don’t believe in diagnosing your pet over the internet, but we do believe in informing you to the highest degree possible so that you can make the best decision for your furry friend. Your pet’s well-being is important to us, and we’re here to help you resolve all your questions so that your pet can live their life to the fullest. 

Ultimately, We’re Here to Support You

We understand that your pet is a family member and a major part of your life. It only makes sense that we bring together the best veterinary experts in the industry and maintain the highest standards possible when it comes to the sources we use, our methods of staying fresh and relevant, and how we communicate our ideas to you, all in a compassionate and empathetic tone. As animal lovers and owners ourselves, we want you to feel heard, supported, and helped. 

We Appreciate Your Feedback

We are here to serve you, and we strive to provide the very best experience. If you think we could be doing better, we want to hear all about it.

If you have any questions about the relevancy or accuracy of any on-site articles, or about our veterinary review process, please email us at