The staff at Circle of Life Animal Hospital is made of dedicated animal lovers who care for your pets as if they were our own! We invite you to meet our veterinary hospital team below:
Melissa has been a Credentialed Veterinary Technician at Circle of Life Animal Hospital since 1999. She has been a part of the Veterinary Team for over 30 years. Melissa graduated with Honors from St Petersburg College in 1991 with an Associate in Science degree in Veterinary Technology now known as the Veterinary Nursing Program. Upon passing the Veterinary Technician National and State Board Exams in 1991 she became a Credentialed Veterinary Technician. She maintained her Credentials for 28 years by attending National Veterinary Conferences annually as well as attending Webinars. Melissa has always been committed to continuing education and is constantly learning new skills and protocols in Veterinary Medicine. She is one of our hospital’s Critical Care Coordinators and is in charge of advanced dental training/continuing education. Melissa excels in anesthesia and dentistry and has a special interest in pain management, emergency medicine, and preventive care. (Melissa is also on staff at Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Tampa where she is a Level 3 Technician with the Emergency Service.) She has been instrumental in developing our state-of-the-art in-house laboratory and advocating for advances in pain management and nursing care of our patients. Her pets include Noodle, a miniature Dachshund; Petunia, a pug mix; Popit, a Yorkie poo; Butternut, a pygmy goat; and Squash, a pygmy goat. Melissa is married with 2 children. When she isn’t at work, she enjoys scuba diving, underwater photography, along with kayaking and wildlife observation.
Lisa has been a veterinary technician since 1981 and a Registered Veterinary Nurse since 1983. She is also our hospital’s Nursing Care Coordinator, Medical Director, and technical “cat whisperer!” Lisa’s patience is what drives her superpowers of being able to calm, medicate, and pull blood from unwilling cats. She was nominated for Technician of the Year and was on the cover of Veterinary Technician Magazine in January of 1995. She enjoys giving attentive nursing care to our hospitalized patients so that they may get better quickly, and she also loves being able to assure owners that their pets are receiving the best care that can be provided. Lisa has a son who is an Eagle Scout who graduated from FSU with a master’s degree in accounting. He is a graduate of Jesuit High School. Her pets include Stitch, Chloe, and Pogo, three Chihuahua rescues. When she isn’t working, Lisa enjoys golfing, cruising, walking around flea markets, most pro-sports, college football, and traveling.
As a child, Jamie always played with the animals on her farm. Her experience working in the veterinary field started in 2003 and has continued ever since. During her time in the field, she has owned her own dog kennel, her own pet-sitting business, as well as a walking and training business. The most rewarding part of her position is learning and gaining experience in animal medicine while helping and watching animals be saved by the miracles of her veterinary family.
She has three children: Preston, Sicily, and Silas, and a step-son as well named Luis. Her pets include a puppy named Luigi, as well as Lady, a Shih-tzu who brings sass to the family. When she has free time, Jamie enjoys the beach, being in the pool with the kids, going to Busch Gardens with the family, and attending church. She also enjoys seafood, Christian books, and spending time with her family.
Ibram graduated from veterinary school in Egypt in 2012. He loves wildlife, which is the reason he chose this career path. While in Egypt, he had his own veterinary clinic where he worked as a vet for 4 years before he and his family came to the US.
At home, he and his wife, Amany, have three children: Emma, Marco and the newest addition to the family, Levi! In his spare time, he enjoys listening to music, photography, and fishing.
Isbi joined our team in April 2019. She graduated from Keiser University in October of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences, with magna cum laude honors. Isbi has been in the veterinary field for 6 years and has always had a strong interest in medicine. She loves working with all kinds of animals whether big or small, domestic or exotic. She also enjoys being a part of her patients’ medical journeys, whether for wellness care or a sick pet, as well as building great client relationships. Throughout her years in the veterinary field, she discovered she has a strong passion for anesthesia, with special interests in dentistry and orthopedic surgeries. In fact, she plans to go back to school to earn a Master of Science in anesthesiology at Nova Southeast University here in Tampa. Her goal is to become an anesthesiologist assistant. In addition to her veterinary schooling, she is currently enrolled in an online class to learn American Sign Language.
At home, Isbi has a rescued Golden Retriever/Cattle dog mix named Royalty aka “Cookie Dough.” She certainly lives up to her name! If she’s not in the clinic, you can always find Isbi by the water; she loves any outdoor water activity including jet-skiing, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, etc. She also loves movies, arcade games, baseball, volleyball, traveling, learning about different cultures, and spending time with her friends and family.
Julie has joined us with a freshly printed AS concentrated on Veterinary Technology. A childhood full of all kinds of exotic pets and care for strays foreshadowed Julie’s entry into Vet Med! She graduated with honors and is obtaining more experience under her belt with us, while she studies hard for her Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Julie cherishes the human-animal bond (whether it is owner-pet or technician-pet) and loves every chance she gets to apply knowledge from her studies to real-world cases under the guidance of our Senior Technicians here at Circle of Life. Knowing that she’s provided the best care possible definitely takes the cake for Julie! And...puppies and kittens. Because who doesn’t love puppies and kittens?! Whatever free time she finds, Julie likes to write, read poetry (or books of all sorts), and play some video games. Want to smile a little? Check out this poem that lifts her spirits every once in a while, “The Orange” by Wendy Cope.
Amani joined our team in May 2017, and has been loving it! She enjoys the behind the scenes work dynamic that ensures the safety and care for all of our furry patients that come into our practice. She recently became the anonymous face behind all of our social media pages and discovered a love of veterinary digital marketing! Amani graduated from Tampa Bay Technical High School with a certification in Veterinary Assisting and is currently attending the University of South Florida to pursue her veterinary education to become a veterinarian. When she isn’t working she enjoys late-night gaming with friends, delving into the glittery world of makeup, and binge-watching TV shows with her mom.
Brenda has been in the veterinary field for more than 20 years, and she has been with Circle of Life Animal Hospital since the beginning. She has helped in all aspects of building and advancing our clinic for over 15 years and she loves the camaraderie that the employees and doctors share at the hospital.
Shannon joined our team in December 2015 after attending ATA and earning her education as an X-ray technician. She loves animals and enjoys working with them enough to pursue a career that is all about them! She goes home to Itty Bitty Kitty (a cat), Jackson (a mini horse), Ivy (ANOTHER mini horse) and of course an affectionate three-pound Sphynx dubbed "Jimmy Wrinkles". When she isn’t working, Shannon loves all her furry and not-so-furry animals and enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Sylvia’s background includes a degree in childcare management, but it was her deep love for animals that led her to use her skill in the veterinary field. She finds her career to be most rewarding, particularly the connection and bond shared between owners and pets—and her role in strengthening that bond! You can regularly hear her laughing and interacting upfront with all our clients!!!
She is married to Eric Miller and has two beautiful children and two wonderful stepchildren. Her four-legged children include a Pitbull, Gaia; a Boston-Terrier, Maynard; and a Chihuahua, Maya. She loves being with her family and is proud to be a wife and mother. When she’s not at the hospital, you can find her enjoying the outdoors, whether at the beach, by the pool, in parks, or traveling.
Mary began her Pennsylvania veterinary career straight out of high school. Once she graduated ( Go 83’ Brown and Gold Rockets! ), Mary was working in an animal hospital for about a year before the big decision was made in 85’: Move to the Sunshine State. Life unfurled its plan for Mary and she found herself working as a receptionist at yet, Tampa Bay Animal Medical Center, for two years before switching it up and working as an MRI Technologist for 18 years (in the human field of medicine).
Mary had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom to her two children (Sam and Hanner) and she snatched the chance right up. To this day they will always be her greatest life achievement; with every milestone celebrated with her husband and life partner of 20 years, Wayne Babst! Now that Hanner and Sam are a little bit more autonomous, Mary has decided to take a blast to the past and work with an animal hospital once more as a receptionist. In her spare time, Mary loves to cook, take a leisure walk, and go biking. She can also be found giving her two Dobies (Fritzi and Whipper) some lovin’!