Our animal clinic couldn’t be more proud of our dedicated team of veterinarians and staff, possessing decades of combined experience and the utmost dedication toward pet happiness and wellness! For pet owners from Safety Harbor, Florida and beyond, our entire staff is happy to deliver our comprehensive range of services for the betterment of your pet!
Don Woodman, DVM
Don knew he wanted to be a veterinarian even when he was in middle school. He had read all of the James Herriott books several times by the time he was just 12 years old. He got his first job at a cat clinic when he was 15, and this confirmed that this was the career he wanted to pursue. He did his undergraduate work at New College, Sarasota Florida. He was accepted to Virginia Tech’s School of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 1995. After graduation, he relocated to the Clearwater area and began his career. On March 1, 2001, he became the owner of the Animal Hospital of Northwood. Dr. Woodman is married, has 2 boys and shares his home with 5 cats, 1 black lab, Shirley (she failed seeing eye dog school), Hermes (the Eurasian Eagle Owl), and a variety of other temporary house guests.
Brian Marsh, DVM
Dr Marsh graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida but he postponed advanced studies to help support his family. For many years with his beloved wife Sharon, they fostered and adopted out many stray cats and kittens while caring for many outdoor cats to be spayed, neutered and vaccinated. It was through these experiences and lifelong interest in science, health, psychology, and medicine that after 13 years at the same job Dr Marsh decided to go to vet school. While in vet school Dr Marsh studied under Dr Woodman at our hospital, and Dr Woodman was honored to write him letters of recommendations. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and spent some time at various other clinics before coming back to the area and joining our team. Dr. Marsh has always enjoyed canine companionship ever since he can remember and considers practicing veterinary medicine a deep honor and a privilege. Dr. Marsh has two grown stepchildren who now have beautiful children of their own, a Sheltie named Joseph, his 4th Shetland Sheepdog and 4 cats: Kiwi, Rodeo, Midnight, and Duke. He enjoys exercise, nutrition, and is an avid automotive enthusiast.
Teresa Smith, DVM
Dr. Teresa Smith graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College, in Guelph, Ontario, in 1997. She is both a Canadian and American citizen but moved to Florida to escape the cold Canadian winters. After a tough year working with cows and horses at a mixed animal practice in South Carolina, she moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. The fast-paced, high tech clinic offered lots of learning experiences, but Dr. Smith found that she wanted to practice the same high-quality medicine at a slower pace, and moved to the west coast. Her areas of veterinary interest include; dentistry, surgery, and ultrasound.
Dave Slaby, DVM
(Retired April 2021)
Dr. Slaby graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1978, and took a position in a small animal medicine and surgery hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. Within 6 years there came an opportunity to start the Animal Hospital of Northwood in Safety Harbor in 1984. Along the way the Slabys were blessed to have a handsome son, Chris, who unfortunately chose to move to Texas for greener pastures. After seventeen years of practicing as a sole practitioner, Dr. Slaby decided to sell the practice to Don and Susan Woodman. “I must say the change was good for my family, the practice and my extended family; my clients. Not only has their enthusiasm and new ideas with Dr. Woodman stepping in as the new director and owner of the Animal Hospital of Northwood, but I found a new joy in just practicing veterinary medicine. Technology and medical care advancements have exploded exponentially and I find it stimulating to have the time to soak it all in. I thank Dr. Woodman for allowing me to continue practicing where those extended family members still come in after 25-30 years. We work well together and pet owners know their family pets will be treated with the same care and concerns as our own pets.” Since transferring ownership of The Animal Hospital of Northwood in 2001, Dr Slaby continues to provide relief services in the hospital.
Susan Woodman, CVT, Business Manager
Susan originally is from Long Island, New York. While her roots can sometimes be heard in her speech; she has lived in the Safety Harbor area since she was in middle school. She graduated as a Veterinary Technician in 1992 from St. Petersburg College. Her mother still likes to tell the story of when she was 5 years old she wanted an elephant as a pet and could not understand why this was not possible. Susan enjoys working with all animals, both domestic and exotic. She has raised several tiger cubs, a lion, leopard and cougar. Both she and her husband have a Raptor Education program they take to Pinellas County Public Schools to teach children about wildlife and conservation. In addition, she pursues her interest in Falconry, and is a certified Florida Wildlife Rehabilitator.
April Allen, Practice Manager
April grew up in Ohio, but attended college in Gainesville, Florida. She is an alumnus of Santa Fe Community College and has an Associate Degree in Zoo Animal Technology. She worked as a zookeeper for several years with a variety of animals before finding her way into the veterinary field. April has worked at the Animal Hospital of Northwood for 9 years, starting as a technician and then being promoted to office manager. In her spare time, she is an avid Buckeye football fan, enjoys visiting zoos and aquariums and spending time in the pool. She has 3 cats: Smokey, Bruno, and JJ Swat. She likes to play games with her family and take her little girl to Disney!
Catharine Gordon, Lead Receptionist
Catharine grew up in Iowa. After graduating high school she decided to move South Carolina where she attended Coastal Carolina University and received her Bachelors of Science in Marine Science with a focus on marine biology. After graduating in 2016, she moved to Florida still searching for that warmer weather year round. Catharine has worked in a number of animal facilities including the Myrtle Beach State Park Nature Center, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and the Florida Aquarium. She has a passion for all animals whether they live on land or in the ocean. Catharine has a sweet kitty named Stella. In her spare time, Catharine enjoys attending any and all sporting events, visiting Mickey Mouse at Disney, cooking, and patrolling Pinellas County beaches for sea turtles nest and their hatchlings.
Susie Watson, Receptionist
Susie was born and raised in Clearwater, Florida. She graduated St. Petersburg College’s Veterinary Technology Program and passed state and national certifications in 1985. Following graduation, Dr. Slaby (who established the Animal Hospital of Northwood) hired Susie as a technician, a position she thoroughly enjoyed due to the variety of skills utilized, the level of responsibility placed on her, the friendship of her co-workers, and the wonderful interactions that place with clients and their pets. Susie and her husband, have two children, and numerous pets. After the birth of her children she transitioned into the receptionist position so she could work part-time. Outside of work, Susie loves being with her family. She is active in her church and looks forward to opportunities to travel.
Natalie Kwiatkowski, Receptionist
Natalie grew up in Chicago but grew tired of the cold winters, so she exchanged them for our Florida beaches a few years ago! After spending time in car dealerships, like her family before her, she decided to look for a new path working with animals! After all, Natalie had wanted to be a veterinarian when she was a kid. Natalie wins the prize among the staff members with the largest dog, her dog Bella is a Great Dane! Bella is in charge of the schedule and likes to take frequent trips to the dog park to see her friends. She also enjoys the warm sun and likes going with Natalie to the beach.
Jackie Paparella, Receptionist
Jackie is a native Floridian who loves the Buccaneers! Her and her husband have two cats and a dog. They enjoy fishing and have 5 fish tanks at their house! They love creating underwater habitats and have even started growing their own aquatic plants for their pet fish! Jackie thought she wanted to be a veterinarian when she was growing up but loves getting to meet and bond with everyone from our front desk.
Kate Cooper, Remote Receptionist
Kate worked at our hospital from 2015-2019 when her US Coast Guard husband got orders that moved them to North Carolina. With advancing technology, we were able to reunite her with our team during the pandemic as a remote employee! When you call our office now, Kate is connected to our phone tree from North Carolina! She shares her home with her husband and three dogs. Kate is a “home body” and enjoys relaxing at home, crafting and watching reality tv.
Debora Zarr, Lead Technician
Deb was born in Argentina and moved to the United States 19 years ago. She has been a veterinary technician for 16 years and recently celebrated 6 years with the Animal Hospital of Northwood. Deb is married, has a daughter and a son, a Chihuahua (Coco), a cat (Tiggy), and a rabbit Simba. In her free time, she enjoys working out, cooking and exercising her artistic abilities with her daughter. She is extremely passionate about caring and providing for animals.
Wendy Sinclair, CVT, Technician
Wendy grew up in Louisville Kentucky. In 2004 she graduated with an associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology from Brevard Community College. Wendy has always had a heart for animals, and has worked in small animal medicine since 2004. She moved to the Safety Harbor area with her husband and son, they love to spend time with their three dogs (she has one of every size)!
Ashley Viney, Kennel Technician
Ashley was born and raised in Ohio, but grew tired of the freezing weather so she moved to Florida in 2015. Originally she went to college for Early Childhood Education but discovered that path wasn’t what she wanted. Ashley had always wanted to be a veterinarian ever since she was a little girl and applied at our hospital after making the move to Florida. Ashley loves being with her family of two children, fiancé, and three dogs. In her spare time she enjoys going to the local parks, festivals, yoga and working on handmade jewelry and home decor.
Tanya Kelley, Kennel Technician
Tanya was born in India and moved to Florida when she was 18 months old. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Animal Biology at the University of South Florida. Tanya has loved animals for as long as she can remember. She currently has 2 dogs- Gotham and Aja, 2 cats- Raven and Ginger, and 5 hamsters. In her free time she likes to take her dogs on different nature trails and binge watch TV shows and movies on Netflix.
Alexis Matthews, Kennel Technician
Alexis grew up in Alabama and remains an Alabama Crimson Tide football fan. She has always wanted to be the President and is a current student at HCC working towards an Associate of Arts degree and expanding her American Sign Language vocabulary. She enjoys camping with her teenage son. They like to explore the various parks and nature preserves that Florida has to offer. They have three cats: Dahlia, Pepper, and Salt and a Guinea Pig named The Dude.