Our caring and compassionate veterinary care team!
Meet the veterinarians and medical staff at North Shore Animal League of America’s Pet Health Centers! We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens! Please call us at 516-883-2000 to speak to one of our caring veterinary staff members!
Dr. Mark Verdino
Senior Vice President and Chief of Veterinary Staff
Dr. Verdino joined our medical team as Senior Staff Veterinarian and his passion, and commitment to improving animal health and welfare has been evident from the start. In 2011, Dr. Verdino assumed the role of Chief of Veterinary Staff. In this role he has focused on expanding the capabilities and scope of medical care at the Alex Lewyt Veterinary Medical Center.
Dr. Verdino holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Fairfield University, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from New York University, and earned his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining NSALA, he worked in private practice at both Caring Hands Animal Hospital and Old Dominion Animal Health Center in Virginia. During that time, he worked closely with the Animal Welfare League of Arlington on medical cases.
Prior to achieving his veterinary degree, Dr. Verdino worked in investment management for the Goldman Sachs Group. Ultimately, his love of animals drove him to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and animal welfare.
His professional interests include soft-tissue and orthopedic surgery, pain management, rehabilitation, and alternative medicine. Dr. Verdino attended the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is certified in veterinary acupuncture. In his spare time, he enjoys biking, skiing/snowboarding and spending time with his wife and two children. He also has two lovable yet not-so-smart pugs.
Dr. Marina Tejada
Supervising Veterinarian – Medical Center
Dr. Tejada graduated from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. She has been at North Shore Animal League America since 2012, serving as a Supervising Veterinarian since 2014. Her special interests include surgery, emergency response, shelter medicine, and mentoring veterinary students.
She is a Maddie’s Fund Shelter Medicine Fellow at Cornell University for 2017- 2018. In her free time, Dr. Tejada enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending quality time with her adopted rescues- three cats and two dogs.
Dr. Gerard Laheney
Senior Veterinarian – Shelter Medicine
Like many others, Gerard wanted to be a vet since the young age of 9. Having grown up in Port Washington, he learned from an early age of the North Shore Animal League as his family adopted their first of many animals in 1978. At the age of 15, and just recently having spoken with a friend of the need for a job, Gerard received a letter from North Shore recruiting local high school students. Gerard spent all of his high school years working as a kennel associate and later on the rescue team, and developed a passion for fostering neonate puppies. He went on to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and received his BS in Animal Science (Pre Vet) and attended veterinary school at the University of Liverpool, UK graduating with a BVSC/MRCVS in 2001. He spent a year in private practice and found the most fulfilling aspect of this job was his contracted work with a local municipal shelter. In 2003, Gerard decided to ‘return to his roots’ and pursue a career at North Shore in Shelter Medicine. In 2007, Gerard was named a Senior Veterinarian and is primarily responsible for the intake of hundreds of animals weekly and managing the health of the 300-400 adoptable animals at North Shore.
Gerard currently shares his home with a rescued Catahoula, “Finn“, and a one-eyed cat, “Frisbee“.
Dr. Erin Carney
Dr. Carney graduated from the Royal Veterinary College of the University of London in 2012. Upon her return to the states, she began her career at North Shore Animal League America as part of the internship program for new graduates. She is currently a staff veterinarian with special interests in surgery and shelter medicine.
In her free time, Dr Carney enjoys traveling and spending quality time with friends, family and her fur babies, Toby and Misha.
Dr. Nicole Cerniello
Dr. Cerniello joined North Shore Animal League America as a Staff Veterinarian in 2017. Dr. Cerniello received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical rotations at Louisiana State University. While passionate about all aspects of veterinary medicine, Dr. Cerniello has special interest in emergency/critical care and soft tissue surgery.
Dr. Illoneete Cohen
Dr. Cohen graduated from St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, and completed her clinical training at UPENN. She then completed a 1 year rotating small animal internship at the ASPCA in New York City. She has since been working at North Shore Animal League as a staff veterinarian. Her special interests include surgery and internal medicine. In her spare time she enjoys playing video games and board games. Her and her husband share their home with their two rescue pets Tiger Lilly and Jack Sparrow.
Dr. Juliana Dunlop
Dr. Dunlop grew up on Long Island and received her undergraduate degree from CUNY Queens College and veterinary degree from the St. Matthew’s University in Grand Cayman. She completed her veterinary clinical training at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the North Shore Animal League team in July 2015, she practiced at a veterinary hospital in Oyster Bay, NY. Dr. Dunlop’s special interests include surgery, preventive care and dentistry.
When not at work, Dr. Dunlop enjoys the beach and snowboarding. Her family consists a wonderful husband, a Pitbull mix, Bruno, a Rottie mix Bear, a Chihuahua mix, Scooter and two cats, Casper and Tony.
Dr. Atlee Douglas
Dr. Douglas grew up on a farm in the Caribbean. The primary crops were bananas and coconuts. They also produced chickens, as well as honey bees and sheep. His bachelor’s degree is in tropical agriculture. He came to the United States in 1981 after working as an agriculture officer on the Caribbean island of Dominica and then attended veterinary school at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Dr. Douglas worked as a small animal practitioner in Brooklyn for two years before joining the staff at North Shore Animal League in 1990. His primary focus at the League is high volume Spay/Neuter.
Dr. Amanda Fischer
Dr. Amanda Fischer earned her bachelors degree in biology/animal physiology from Cornell University. She continued on to complete her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Science degrees at Cornell. After graduation she joined the staff at North Shore Animal League America as the Shelter Veterinarian Intern, and stayed on as an Associate Veterinarian. She has special interests in shelter medicine, ultrasound, and exotic animal medicine.
Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her three cats, dog, and turtle.
Dr. Katherine Shores
Dr. Shores first discovered her love for shelter medicine as a veterinary technician at a Chicago animal shelter. She then went on to earn her D. V. M. from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical year at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. During school, she participated in low-income and spay/neuter clinics, both in the Caribbean and Costa Rica. She is passionate about shelter medicine and also has a strong interest in dermatology, ophthalmology, and surgery. In her free time, Dr. Shores loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.
Dr. Paul Thiergardt
A native Long Islander, Paul Thiergardt, DVM, studied biology at the University of Southern California, and Hofstra University, at the undergraduate and graduate level. After working for many years in human medicine at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Dr. Thiergardt was admitted to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1988.
In 1988, Dr. Thiergardt began his career at North Shore Animal League America, and private practice at the Shirley Veterinary Hospital. in 1989. In 2007, he left private practice and was instrumental in the infancy and development of the Wellness/Pet Health Center at North Shore Animal League America.
In his leisure time, Dr. Thiergardt enjoys gardening, motorcycling, and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Katarina Valen
Dr. Valen received her DVM degree from The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. Upon graduation she completed two year long specialized internship training programs, one in small animal medicine and surgery at the ASPCA Animal Hospital in NYC and one in shelter medicine as the recipient of the Petring Grant at the North Shore Animal League America. Following the completion of these programs, she entered into nearly a decade of private practice focusing on small animal medicine and surgery. While she enjoyed being part of the beauty that is the human-animal bond, she ultimately missed the global impact shelter like North Shore Animal League America offer and is glad to have returned.
Dr. Gamal A. Yousry
Dr. Gamal A. Yousry, DVM, is a graduate of Cairo University in Egypt and holds a Master Degree in Microbiology from Long Island University Brooklyn. Dr. Yousry attended Tufts University for a duration of a year to obtain the A.C.F.V.G degree to finalize the ability for Veterinary practice in the United States. He then went on to serve an externship at the University of Tennessee training in internal medicine and surgery of small animals.
Dr. Yousry has been practicing Veterinary Medicine since 1978, the last 8 years at the renowned North Shore Animal League America located in Port Washington, after serving 20 years of practice and ownership at Lawrence Animal Hospital, the oldest acclaimed veterinary hospital in Queens. Dr. Yousry’s practice centralizes around Vaccination against diseases, medication against suffering from infections or illnesses, performance of minor to complex surgery and conduction of diagnostic tests such as X-ray, EKG, ultrasound, and laboratory work. Yousry is also a worker at the City of New York in Veterinary public health services.
Yousry recently received the Veterinary Merit Award at the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City, presented to members in recognition of their significant contributions to the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City and the advancement of the veterinary profession.
Dr. Kaitlyn Zaino
Dr. Zaino was born and raised on Long Island. She attended Stony Brook University for her undergraduate degree in developmental biology. She received her veterinary medicine degree from Ross University in St. Kitts and completed her clinical training at Tufts University. Shortly after graduation, she joined North Shore Animal League team as a staff veterinarian. Although Dr. Zaino loves all aspects of veterinary medicine, she really enjoys neurology as well as educating clients about their beloved companions. In her free time, Dr. Zaino enjoys kickboxing, cooking and baking. She also loves spending time outside hiking and kayaking. She currently has two rescued cats, Milton and Grace who have their own special needs.