Veterinarians in Avon, CT

Dr. Corey Shagensky, usda accredited veterinarian in avon ct

Dr. Corey Shagensky, DVM

Dr. Corey Shagensky is the founder and owner of Progressive Animal Wellness (PAW). He has been practicing veterinary medicine since earning his degree from Cornell University in 2004. Dr. Shagensky has served as co-medical director and Chief of Staff of Farmington Valley Veterinary Emergency Hospital since 2008.

A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, Dr. Shagensky says that his experience owning a pet as a young boy helped spark a love for animals as well as a sense of compassion for his clients and their pets. “As a kid, I had a mutt I loved dearly and who sometimes managed to run off before bed,” he says. “I remember quite clearly the sense of relief and warmth that would come over me each time he came home. Remembering that fear and uncertainty helps me connect and empathize with clients who may be experiencing the same emotions over a sick or injured pet.”

Prior to veterinary school, Dr. Shagensky attended College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry in 1996. After college, he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a social justice volunteer organization in Seattle, Washington, and worked as a counselor at a homeless shelter. He then moved to Boston where he worked at Massachusetts General Hospital conducting human diabetes research while he completed his veterinary school prerequisites at Harvard University.

Dr. Shagensky completed his veterinary internship at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in Rhode Island where he performed rotations through all clinical specialties. Upon completion of his internship, Dr. Shagensky returned to Connecticut, making his way to a veterinary day practice in Farmington, Connecticut, as his professional home. Before long, he was approached by the BrightHeart network of national specialty hospitals to be Co-Medical Director and Chief-of-Staff at the Farmington Valley Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Avon.

Despite the rewarding nature of emergency medicine, Dr. Shagensky missed the opportunity afforded by private practice to cultivate and maintain lasting relationships with owners and their pets. “Opening a private practice is a journey that has led me full circle,” he says. “I want to teach owners to better care for their pets and I want to be part of a team of caregivers, along with pet owners, that helps pets lead the healthiest lives possible; from preventive care to the inevitable difficult decisions.”

Dr. Shagensky is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), American Animal Hospital Association, and the Avon and West Hartford Chambers of Commerce. He is also a USDA accredited veterinarian and is certified to complete health certificates for international travel.  As a member of the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology, Dr. Shagnesky is particularly interested in dermatology, as well as endocrinology, oral health and preventive medicine.

Dr. Shagensky lives in West Hartford with his wife, Jen, their two children, and Gertie, a mix he rescued from the SPCA while at Cornell. According to Dr. Shagensky, Gertie’s adoption fee was “the best seven dollars I ever spent.” An avid road bicyclist and gardener, Dr. Shagensky also enjoys cooking, baking, sailing, playing guitar, and trying to read as many classic books/novels as he can.

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Dr. Kim Rio, usda accredited veterinarian in avon ct

Dr. Kim Rio, DVM

Dr. Kim Rio grew up in Berlin, CT. While attending Berlin High School she worked for a local veterinarian, which convinced her to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. She attended Smith College, majoring in Biology and English. After graduation she spent several years working in a human medical research lab and for a small animal practice prior to attending veterinary school. After graduating from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, a research project at Hawk Mountain brought Dr. Rio northeastern Pennsylvania. Upon completion of the project she stayed on in Pennsylvania, working at a 4 doctor AAHA accredited hospital for several years.

Upon her return to Connecticut, Dr. Rio began working for the Connecticut Humane Society. She spent over ten years there, working both in the shelter and in their public clinic. There she developed a commitment to reducing pet overpopulation, and to helping rescue pets find forever homes that continues to this day.

Seeing a need for more personalized care, Dr. Rio established a house call practice, providing in-home care for dogs and cats. This allowed her to develop a deeper appreciation for the importance of the human animal bond. She simultaneously maintained her house call practice while providing relief services to several small animal practices. In addition she maintained her commitment to reducing pet overpopulation by working with several high volume spay and neuter organizations.

Looking to get back into clinical practice full time, Dr. Rio has found PAW to be an excellent fit. She values the combination found at PAW of high quality medicine with the same commitment to personal client communication that she valued within her house call practice.

Living once more in Berlin, Dr. Rio resides with her partner, George, and their 2 dogs, 3 cats (all rescues) and an iguana. Outside of her dedication to pets, she enjoys running, cycling, yoga, and visiting Colorado as often as possible."

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Dr. Suzanne Gerber, usda accredited veterinarian in avon ct

Dr. Suzanne Gerber, DVM

Dr. Suzanne Gerber was born in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and already knew at age ten that she wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up. Her love of animals and love of caring for others did not waver over time. Dr. Gerber obtained her bachelor’s degree in Animal Bioscience from the Pennsylvania State University, graduating with High Distinction and Honors in Veterinary Science. She went on to get her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.

Dr. Gerber practiced small animal medicine in Pennsylvania for one year before marriage brought her to New England. She enjoyed working in general small animal practice for 14 years in Connecticut and Massachusetts before she had the opportunity to broaden her expertise at the Veterinary Emergency Center in Canton. While she enjoyed the challenge of emergency cases and the learning experience the setting provided, she found that she missed the long-term relationship with her patients and their human caregivers.

Dr. Gerber was thrilled to join the team at PAW. She values the special combination of appreciation of the human-animal bond and client communication, a commitment to a team approach to veterinary medicine, and a very high standard of medical care.

Dr. Gerber now lives in Canton with her husband Dan, her two children, and a very silly cat named Georgia. She likes to hike and letterbox with her family and loves all things nature (her children raised caterpillars to butterflies and tadpoles to frogs, even if they weren’t exactly thrilled about the prospect to begin with). Other highlights of her life are enjoying her husband’s fantastic cooking, singing (both choral and in a local band), and reading books when she can actually steal a few quiet moments.

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