Dr. Van Maele grew up in Michigan and attended Michigan State University for both her undergraduate work and veterinary schooling.
During vet school she worked with the World Health Organization doing research on food borne illness in Thailand and working at the first elephant hospital. After graduating in 2005, she moved to sunny San Diego and completed a rigorous surgical/emergency internship. She has worked at several emergency animal hospitals with multiple specialists on staff throughout San Diego. For many years she worked with and learned from a talented boarded surgeon. She loves being a veterinarian and maintains special interests in small animal surgery, emergency and internal medicine.
Aside from veterinary medicine, Dr. Van Maele is a very passionate traveler. Some of her favorite adventures include visits to monasteries and orphanages in Tibet and Thailand. She has enjoyed volunteering her veterinary skills with stray dogs and cats all over the world; and helping orphaned elephants and orangutans in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. When not being a vet or traveling, Dr. Van Maele enjoys living simply, spending time with her dogs at the beach and gardening with her chicken “Butters.”
Dr. Mitchell Ferenstein
Dr. Ferenstein received his Bachelor degree in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 2002. He went on to obtain his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed his clinical rotations at Oklahoma State University. In his first year, Dr. Ferenstein worked as a general practitioner full time while working emergency relief shifts on his free days. Dr. Ferenstein then decided he should further his veterinary knowledge and joined a rigorous 1- year rotating internship with surgical emphasis at a Specialty Clinic in San Diego. He has special interests in emergency medicine, orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries.
Dr. Ferenstein has always been an avid traveler with a passion for wildlife rehabilitation. He has spent numerous months backpacking around the world working with primates. Some of his favorite experiences have been working at the Orangutan Care Center in Borneo with Dr. Birute Galdikas where he was able to treat and release endangered orangutans back into the jungle. In addition, he has participated in numerous other programs including the release of spider monkeys and capuchin monkeys in Bolivia. When not working or traveling, he spends his free time with his border collie mix named Oso, surfing and running.
Dr. John Traversi
Dr. John Traversi hails from Attleboro, Massachusetts. He came to San Diego 15 years ago to train dolphins for the United States Navy. After a fulfilling career with the Navy, Dr. Traversi decided to go to veterinary school. He graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. Upon graduating Dr. Traversi became a veterinarian for the National Marine Mammal Foundation.
Dr. Traversi began his career with companion animal medicine while working for the national marine mammal foundation. After only a few short months of working with dogs and cats, he realized that was in fact his calling. Since 2012, Dr. T has been working full time in the OB/Point Loma area serving the needs of local dogs and cats. His primary focus is patient care and client communication. His favorite part of working at San Diego Bay Animal Hospital is that he is able to practice all aspects of Veterinary Medicine including surgery, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and preventative medicine.
When not working as a Veterinarian, Dr. T enjoys spending time at dog beach with his own three rescue dogs, practicing yoga, and volunteering.
Dr. Allison Luecking
Dr. Allison Luecking moved from Denver, Colorado last year to join our team as one of our primary veterinarians! She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2006. In 2011, she completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Colorado State University, accomplishing her lifelong calling to become a veterinarian and animal healer. Dr. Luecking enjoys practicing all aspects of veterinary medicine, with a special interest in oral and soft tissue surgery, internal medicine, pain management/hospice, physical therapy and integrative medicine. She is also certified in veterinary medical acupuncture. In her free time Dr. Luecking can be found rock climbing, snow boarding, and hiking with her beloved border collie, Pilot, and aussie/healer mix, Captain.