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!

Team member Dr. Don Woodman the owner of Animal Hospital of Northwood

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.

Dr. Dave Slaby examining a cat

Dave Slaby, DVM

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.

Dr. Teresa Smith examining a small dog

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.

Team member Susan Woodman

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.

Team member April Allen

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!

Team member Catharine Gordon

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.

Team member Susie Watson

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.

Team member Debora Zarr

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.

Team member Wendy Signclair

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)!

Team member Melissa Harris

Melissa Harris, Technician

Melissa is a new technician for us but has been in the veterinary field for 16 years. At home, she has a house full with three dogs, two cats and two teenage boys! After living in Georgia for several years, Melissa and her family decided to move back to Florida to avoid the cold weather. You might find her out on the boat or socializing at local festivals since she loves to be outside in our beautiful sun as much as possible.

Team member Brooke sharpe

Brooke Sharpe, Kennel Technician

Brooke was born and grew up as a local in Clearwater! She attended Ave Maria University then transferred to State College of Florida on a softball scholarship. After many injuries being an athlete, Brooke decided to change paths and pursue veterinary medicine. She is now a student at SPC to become a CVT! Brooke has three dogs: a pit/lab mix named Ellie and two frenchie puppies Louie and Lucy. She enjoys spending time with family, going to the beach, shopping and boating.

Team member Ashley Viney

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.

Emma Chernault, Kennel Technician

Emma grew up in North Carolina and misses the snow over the last 5 years that she has lived in Florida.  Emma would like to continue her education and become a large animal vet.  She grew her love for horses when she learned to ride.  She has a golden retriever named Drogo, a dachshund named Lucas and a cat named Nala.  You might find her soaking up some rays at the beach or hanging out with friends in Tampa.

Emily Ballard, Kennel Technician

Emily was born and raised in Florida. Ever since she was three, she has wanted to be a vet! Emily is a student, currently attending SPC to become a CVT. Emily has three dogs: an Australian Shepherd puppy named Loki, a Dachshund named Oliver, and a German Shepherd Mix named Lexie. In her free time she enjoys working out, reading, painting and going for walks in parks with her dogs.

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.