Vets

Susan Kelleher, D.V.M.

Dr. KelleherDr. Kelleher is originally from Buffalo, NY. Don’t worry Dolphin Fans, she doesn’t know football well and roots for anybody who scores! She received her Bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Chemistry and Biology from Alfred University in 1990 and went on to veterinary school at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

While in high school and college Dr. Kelleher volunteered at the Buffalo Zoo and gained extensive experience by working closely with the bird keepers. Throughout veterinary school, she was very active in the avian, exotic and wildlife program and spent a lot of time volunteering at the Clinch River Raptor Center. Towards the end of her senior year of veterinary school, she spent two months working with Dr. Jeff Jenkins in San Diego as a student extern.

After graduating from veterinary school, Dr. Kelleher fulfilled her dreams of being warm in the winter by moving to Florida in August of 1995. She spent her first 3 1/2 years in small animal practices in South Florida. As time went on and her following of avian and exotic pets grew, she decided to “take the plunge” and start her own practice. The result…Broward Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital. This has been a dream come true: a quiet atmosphere where Dr. Kelleher can focus all her attention on the special needs of unique pets.

Dr. Kellehere with her daughtersIn addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Kelleher enjoys spending time with her daughters Elba and Claire, her son, Myles and husband Greg as well as the family's furry, feathered and scaly pets. Her pets include a cat, William, an 90lb African Spur Thigh tortoise named Durda, Xander a Blue and Gold Macaw, an English Budgie, Nathanie (sorry, no partridge in a pear tree!) She also enjoys baseball, gardening, reading, knitting, biking, geocaching and sewing. She hosts veterinary students from both the USA and abroad for externships at the clinic and is a well known lecturer at both national and international veterinary meetings.

MaggieMany of you who have been clients here for a long time may have noticed that somebody is missing....Maggie.  Maggie was Dr. K's constant companion.  She came to the clinic daily with Dr. K and enjoyed both giving and receiving attention.  Maggie was with Dr. K since June 26, 1990.  She helped children get over their fear of dogs, helped with "grief counseling", keeping tired toddlers occupied while their parents focused on their pet's needs as well as keeping people company when Dr. K got behind in appointments.  Maggie passed away February 23, 2007.  She was just 7 weeks shy of her 17th birthday.  She is greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Dr. K is available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday for appointments and consultations.

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Santiago Díaz, D.V.M.

Dr. Díaz is originally from Colombia but came to the United States seven years ago to pursue his dream of becoming an exotic/wildlife veterinarian. In Colombia he volunteered at two different zoological institutions and a rehabilitation center for wildlife. In the United States, he attended Florida Atlantic University for his undergraduate studies and worked with us for two years as a veterinary technician.

Then he moved up to Gainesville to start veterinary school at the University of Florida. During the summer of his first year in veterinary school, he conducted a research project with a scholarship that he obtained from the Morris Animal Foundation which is only given to 25 students from veterinary schools around the United States. With the help of his mentor he developed a serology test to detect tuberculosis in captive Asian elephants. He went to the Merck Merial conference in July of 2008 and to the Morris Animal Foundation conference in May of 2009 to present the results of his project. At the latter conference, he was awarded third place in the wildlife category. Besides the prestige of earning an award and receiving much needed scholarship funds, these conferences were of great benefit to him additionally by introducing him to experts in the zoo medicine field and in building great contacts for his future professional career.

Dr. DiazThroughout vet school, Dr. Díaz was deeply involved with the wildlife club, he held the wetlab coordinator, speaker coordinator and club’s president positions. He was also the vice-president for the Reptile and Amphibian club, the Lafeber student rep, and the founder and president of the Anesthesia club.

At graduation he was awarded the Treasure Coast Exotic Bird Club and the Kaytee Avian & Special Species award for his interest in exotic and wildlife species and his involvement with these species during veterinary school.

Dr. Díaz is fluent in both English and Spanish and likes to spend his free time with his animals which include a dog, Mateo, a ball python, Matú, A leopard gecko, Eragon and his two pet rats, Ramón and Pedro.

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Lauren Thielen, D.V.M.

Dr. Thielen is originally from Fort Worth, Texas.  Because of her love of exotic animals, she came half way across the country to join the Broward Avian and Exotic team as our new intern.  In 2009 she received her Bachelors of Science at Midwestern State University, located in Wichita Falls, TX. From there she went to veterinary school at Texas A&M University, graduating in the class of 2013.  Her career goal is to become a board certified specialist in avian medicine, enabling her to continue to provide exceptional quality medical services and compassionate patient care to all exotic  species.

Dr. LaurenDr. Thielen has always had an interest in exotic animals. She worked as a veterinary technician for an exotic animal clinic for 5 years. During that time she was given the opportunity to participate in wildlife rehabilitation which is one of her many passions.

During veterinary school, Dr. Thielen was very active in the Zoo, Exotic, and Wildlife Club. She held the officer position of small mammal chair, coordinating lectures and practical labs for veterinary students. Additionally she served as the Oxbow Small Mammal Nutrition student representative. During her senior year she spent 6 weeks externing in the animal health department at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. She also traveled to the Tambopata Research Center in Peru to live in the rain forest and conduct field research on the macaws in that area. As a veterinary student her job each day was to climb the 100 foot trees and enter the nest of the macaw pair to examine their chick daily, collecting data and providing veterinary care as needed. At graduation she was awarded the Kaytee Avian and Special Species award for her interest and contribution in avian research and medicine during veterinary school.

In addition to practicing medicine Dr. Thielen enjoys spending time with her two rabbits, Penelope and Benjamin, and cat Theo. She also enjoys running, rock climbing, skiing, and just about anything the great outdoors has to offer.

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