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.
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.
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, 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. In her free time, she spent many hours riding horses and helping groom her friends' show horses. Currently she is finishing the veterinary technician program at Pima Medical Institute and is set to graduate in March of 2016. Her interests outside of work, school, and volunteering at her family’s church (Hosanna Lutheran) include many outdoors activities such as hiking with her dogs, swimming, kayaking, rafting, and camping. At home she has four wonderful dogs, one cat, one bearded dragon, and three fire bellied toads.
Dan Scrivener, 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 will be finishing 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, and his ferruginous hawk Quinn.
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 fiancé, her corgi and the television. Marisol says that she could spend hours at a time on the couch either playing on the Wii-U or watching Netflix.
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 email@example.com Seeking a full-time employee however, part-time applicants will be considered as well.