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VIN CE Shelter Medicine Conference - Speaker Biographies
July 14, 2021 (published) | October 4, 2021 (revised)


VIN CE Shelter Medicine Conference 2021

September 24-25, 2021


Jon Geller, DVM, DABVP

After working as an emergency veterinarian for 20 years, Dr. Jon Geller is now the Founder and National Director of The Street Dog Coalition, which provides free medical care to pets of those experiencing homelessness. The Street Dog Coalition has volunteer veterinary teams in over 50 US cities.  Dr. Geller graduated from CSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995, and became board-certified in Canine and Feline Medicine by The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 2010.

Zarah Hedge, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine Practice)

As chief medical officer, Zarah Hedge oversees a team of over 20 veterinarians who provide lifesaving specialized surgeries, progressive treatments and long-term care and rehabilitation for animal patients in the care of San Diego Humane Society. She brings more than a decade of experience and is a graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, where she also worked as an assistant professor from 2021-2019. Her interests include community cats, infectious disease, spay/neuter and accessible veterinary care.

She also continues to serve as a reserve field veterinarian for Rural Area Veterinary Services, a program of The Fund for Animals. Four weeks per year, she travels to provide direct veterinary care to Native American reservations, including spay/neuter surgeries and preventive services. Zarah enjoys beach life, cycling, photography and spending time with her 16 year old golden retriever named Pez and five cats (two of which are tripods), Nica, Nora, Lilian, Mr. Cuddles and Ricky Bobby.

Erin Katribe, DVM, MS

Erin Katribe earned her DVM degree from Texas A&M University in 2009. Following graduation, she moved to Austin, Texas, where she practiced both emergency and critical care and shelter medicine. Dr. Katribe moved to Kanab, Utah, in 2017 and began working at Best Friends Animal Society’s sanctuary. She became Best Friends’ Medical Director in 2018 and completed her master’s degree in Shelter Medicine through the University of Florida the same year. She serves on the Association of Shelter Veterinarians board of directors, and she currently lives in Texas where her focus is on strategic national and regional work to increase lifesaving in animal shelters. She recently completed a year as interim medical director for Palm Valley Animal Society in Edinburg, Texas.

Stephanie Janeczko, DVM, MS, DABVP, CAWA

Stephanie Janeczko completed her DVM in 2004, and a master’s in epidemiology and residency in shelter medicine in 2009 all at Cornell University. She is board certified in Shelter Medicine Practice and Canine/Feline Practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, and is also a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator. Stephanie was a member of organizing committee for a shelter medicine specialty and currently serves as regent for the specialty. She is also a board member of the New York City and state veterinary medical associations, and a former board member and past president of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Stephanie is the Vice President of Shelter Medicine Services at the ASPCA, where she is responsible for leading and ensuring continuity across the organization’s national shelter medicine work and within its direct care programs as well as overseeing the Julie Morris Shelter Medicine Residency as Program Director. She has a particular interest in infectious disease and in the welfare of cats.

Emilia Wong Gordon, DVM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine Practice)

Emilia Wong Gordon serves as the Senior Manager, Animal Health for the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals where she provides animal health support, training, and oversight to 36 sheltering branches province-wide. She also teaches veterinary students, participates in community partnerships and outreach, and volunteers with several groups focused on animal welfare, One Health, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in veterinary medicine.

Alexandre Ellis, DVM

Alexandre Ellis obtained his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Montreal in 2016. He then completed a small animal rotating internship in private practice at the DMV Center in Montreal. In 2017, he started a shelter medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which he completed in 2020. He currently works as a shelter consultant with his company and is also a sessional instructor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary where he teaches Principles of Shelter Medicine to 4th-year veterinary students. His interests include infectious disease management, population management and capacity for care, and teaching.

Brenda Dines, DVM

Brenda Dines grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana for her Bachelor's in Animal Science and also for her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, graduating from veterinary school in 2015. After graduation Dr. Dines pursued a career as a shelter veterinarian in Northwest Indiana. It was here that she first got to know the University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program, who helped her work through a flu outbreak. She started her shelter medicine residency in August 2016 and her interests included infectious disease management, community outreach, behavior in shelter settings and capacity/animal flow through shelters. She completed her residency in 2020 and now spends time in private practice, shelters and doing consultation work for shelters. When not working, she is on the volleyball court or trying to find something to binge on TV.