Our Staff

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Todd Driggers, DVM

Dr. Todd Eric Driggers grew up in a rural Indiana town, where loving animals through providing medical care became his passion. He started by caring for his pet dogs and cats as a boy, and progressed to exotic pets, such as his pet turtle named Tippy. Dr. Driggers was admitted to the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine after just two years of undergraduate study at Purdue, due to his commitment to the profession, demonstrated by his volunteerism and job at a small animal hospital in Indiana. Science, biology, and eventually medicine have been combined in his career as a practitioner of exotic animal medicine and surgery.

After graduating, he began working exclusively with exotic animals at the Avian And Exotic Animal Clinic in Indianapolis, and eventually moved to Arizona, where he started an exotic practice at Mesa Veterinary Hospital. He started a mobile practice called “Foothills Mobile Exotic DVM” in 1997 and changed the hospital name to “The Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic of Arizona” after moving into a small clinic.

He has spoken nationally and internationally at the Association of Avian Veterinary Conferences and the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarian Veterinary Conferences. He has also written several chapters in various peer-reviewed journals and books.

Dr. Driggers vacations in exotic locations around the world to view and learn about the wildlife he treats at the office. He is involved in many other activities outside work, including medical coordination for medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic through Food for the Hungry and child sponsorship advocacy. Dr. Driggers is a busy father of three and husband to his high school girlfriend, Heather. He and his family attend church at Central Christian Church in Gilbert.

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Sarah McLaughlin, DVM

Dr. Sarah McLaughlin joined AEAC after graduating from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2015. Prior to veterinary school, Dr. McLaughlin earned a Bachelor of Science from Northern Arizona University in 2008. Her professional interests include avian medicine, exotic animal dentistry, and ophthalmology. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, drawing, and taking care of her two Yellow-naped Amazon parrots and two cats.

Alyssa Scagnelli, DVM

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Alyssa Scagnelli will be joining AEAC on Monday, July 10th! Originally from New York City, Dr. Scagnelli completed veterinary school at the University of Missouri and graduated in 2015. After graduation, she completed two academic internships at the Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Veterinary Medicine. Her last year at LSU was entirely devoted to exotic pet and zoological medicine. Dr. Scagnelli is extremely passionate about reptile medicine and wishes to become more involved in local conservation efforts for various species. She also really enjoys raptor medicine and is particularly fond of avian orthopedic surgery. In her spare time, Dr. Scagnelli enjoys being outdoors with activities including: backpacking, climbing, kayaking and archery. At home, she can be found relaxing with her two (friendly) male iguanas and numerous other scaly critters.

Carissa Adams, BS, Veterinary Technician

Carissa joined the team at Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic in January of 2015 after moving from Florida back to her home state of Arizona.  She graduated from the University of Oregon (go ducks!) in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and started working in conservation and rehabilitation of Florida manatees. Participating in the rehabilitation of injured manatees is what sparked her interest in exotic animal medicine.  She became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2010 after she graduated from St. Petersburg College with her degree in Veterinary Technology. She worked as a certified vet tech for 5 years in a mixed animal practice in Florida and enjoys the variety and challenge of caring for so many different species.  Her family pet is her beloved 11-year-old Canadian Flatcoat Retriever, Bella.  In the future, she would love to own a Chinchilla, a Bearded Dragon, and possibly a lovebird.  Outside of work, Carissa enjoys spending time with her husband, Sean, going hiking, camping, and volunteering with their church.

Tim Cota, Veterinary Technician

Tim has had a lifelong passion for a wide variety of animals. From a very young age, he has had many reptiles and invertabrates that he has kept and bred. He has been a Veterinary Technician for ten years, and has contributed to many entomological studies involving scorpions, tarantulas, and many other small arachnids such as mites and pseudoscorpions. In his freetime, he likes to shoot portrait photography and spend time with his wife Andrea and 5 year old daughter Zoey, going camping, hiking, and looking for reptiles and bugs to photograph.

Sonjah Frank, Certified Veterinary Technician

Sonjah is originally from Iowa but has lived all over the Midwest. She has always had a passion for helping animals and grew up working on farms with family and friends. Her interests outside of work and volunteering at her family's church (Hosanna Lutheran) include hiking, swimming, kayaking, rafting, and camping. She graduated from Pima Medical Institute in February of 2016 as a Veterinary Technician and has now become both National and State Certified. At home she has a green cheek conure named Jimmy, a blue tongue skink, two beagles, and a cat.

Dan Scrivener, BS, Certified Veterinary Technician

Dan grew up in a military family and is a Navy veteran himself who has lived all over the world. He started his career in the veterinary field in 2000 working as a kennel technician. In 2002, Dan became a Certified Veterinary Technician. Minus the time he spent serving his country, he has been working with exotics and emergency and critical care medicine ever since. Dan has always had a passion for birds of prey and has become a licensed falconer and currently volunteers at Liberty Wildlife as an educator and medical services volunteer. He completed his BS in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology in August of 2017 and plans to continue on to his Master’s degree. Dan spends his free time out hawking and hiking with his wife Stefanie, daughter Cameron, his terrier mix Archimedes, his ferruginous hawk Quinn, and his prairie falcon Tesla.

 

Priscilla Barrera, Veterinary Assistant

Originally from Sacramento, California, Priscilla grew up mostly in Arizona. Priscilla graduated from Williams Field High School and East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in 2016. Priscilla got her certification through EVIT as a certified Veterinary Assistant during her senior year of high school.  Priscilla has always had a big heart and compassion for all kinds of animals but has a soft spot for all feathered friends. Priscilla has owned Pigeons, Ring necks, Amazons, a Quaker, and an African Grey, along with dogs at home. Priscilla has done volunteer work both handing food out for the needy as well as working at a shelter for dogs and cats. In her free time she enjoys going to the gym, photography, and is always on the move. Priscilla is currently attending college for her bachelor’s degree while also working at AEAC.

Michelle Quinn, Veterinary Technician/Assistant

Michelle was born and raised in Southern California and relocated to AZ in March of 2017. Growing up she had always had a love and passion for helping animals and hoped that one day she would work closely alongside them. She started working as a receptionist at a small animal clinic and that's when she knew that the animal medical field was her calling. She ended up moving to Colorado in 2011 to go to Bel-Rea which is a veterinary technician institute where she graduated with an associates degree in Animal Science. She then took and passed the VTNE in 2013. It wasn't until she took a position as an intern for the California Wildlife Center that she realized she wanted to work exclusively with exotics and wildlife. She plans to take the AZ state exam in 2018 that will give her the title of Certified Veterinary Technician. In her off time she loves playing volleyball, crafting, and playing video games with her husband. She currently has a dog, two cats, a rat, a desert tortoise, and a bearded dragon.

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Sandi Orenstein, BA, Office Manager

Sandi Orenstein grew up in Connecticut and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Quinnipiac College. Sandi’s professional career moved her to Massachusetts, where she served as the Senior Development Director for an international non-profit organization doing Major Gifts Fundraising and Event Planning. After relocating to Arizona in 2001, Sandi left the business world to pursue her interest in caring for animals. She worked for the Arizona Humane Society and volunteered for several local animal rescue groups. In addition to spending her days here at AEAC, Sandi volunteers for a local non-profit and also owns her own small business, Simply Sandi, which specializes in custom desserts and event planning. Sandi also trains in the martial arts and teaches karate on the weekends. Sandi recently moved to Chandler, where she now resides with her husband, two children, and two ball pythons.

Val Welch, Receptionist

Val Welch is a native Californian but relocated to Gilbert from Iowa to escape the cold winters and to be closer to family. She graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Landscape Architecture. She practiced this for several years and then took a different path and opened a bakery and espresso café with her sister. After 21 years they sold the business in 2014. She and her husband have 3 adult children and love spending time with them and their granddaughter, Sage. They enjoy biking, camping, and most outdoor activities. Val has many hobbies including gardening, jewelry making, and home decorating projects. She has always had an affection for animals and enjoys the company of their cat, Lucy. Over the years, she has had many dogs, cats, a parakeet, many frogs, lizards, and other critters. 

Marisol Carrasco, Receptionist

Marisol Carrasco was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona in a house of 2 brothers and 4 sisters; She is child #5. Her parents are both from Mexico but decided this state would be the best place to raise their 6 kids. She  enjoys the heat of summer more than the “cold” winters here.  Marisol graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Applied Bio in hopes to use it as a stepping stone to one day get into veterinary school. Marisol has had a love for animals since she was very young; her house has always had dogs, birds, fish and more recently has added tortoises and cats. In her free time Marisol volunteers for an animal shelter and a rescue when not at the clinic. When she has time to relax and take time away from all the animals in her life she spends it with her family, her husband, her Corgi, her Cockatiel, and her Indian Ringneck.

 

Jose Tovar, Animal Assistant

Jose was born and raised in a small town in AZ. He became interested in animals at a young age, always hopeful of bringing some type of pet when visiting his relative's ranch. Over the years he has had a variety of pets. In 2000 Jose rescued 4 ferrets, which increased his interest in exotic pets. In 2017 Jose decided to leave his job of 14 years in manufacturing to pursue his passion of caring for and helping all pets. In his free time Jose enjoys hiking, camping, astronomy, cooking, traveling, and building projects. Currently Jose has a pet rabbit named Bailey and a Green Cheek Conure named Sherbert.

Morgan Adair, Animal Assistant

Morgan was born in Mesa, Arizona and has lived in Gilbert her whole life. Ever since she was a child, she has always had a major love for animals. She first started out with a beta fish, and now she has two dogs, a cockatiel, red-eared slider turtle, leopard gecko, and three bearded dragons. She graduated from Highland High School and is now going to Chandler Gilbert Community College to work towards getting a degree in Applied Biological Sciences. In her free time she loves to watch TV shows on Netflix, read, longboard, walk her dogs, go to the gym, and listen to music. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and family and watching comedy and horror movies.

 

Experienced Veterinary Technician Needed!

Our growing Exotic Animal Practice is in search of an experienced Veterinary Technician. We have recently relocated and are a strong and growing practice. We are the first and oldest exotic pet exclusive practice in Arizona! We are looking for a veterinary technician who has experience practicing in exotics medicine and surgery. Ideal candidate will also have experience in radiology including digital x ray, CT scan, flouroscopy, and ultrasound. Preferred 2 + years experience as a veterinary technician in a predominantly exotics practice. Willing to accept applicants with limited exotics experience if it is replaced with 5 + years as a veterinary technician in a high volume clinic/hospital and also possess a strong passion for exotics. Please email your resume and cover letter to Sandi at info@aeacarizona.com  Seeking a full-time employee however, part-time applicants will be considered as well.