Our Medical Team
Rex A Sentell, D.V.M., Founder and Medical Director
“My goal as a doctor to animals remains the same as it was when I began practicing veterinary medicine 31 years ago: for each animal we see to have the best care so they can enjoy the longest, healthiest, happiest life possible. With a wonderful staff and the dedication and loyalty of the pet owners we see every day, we build a team of support and caring around these special family members. They trust us to take good care of them, and we do our best to treat the animals we care for as if they were our own.”
Rex A. Sentell, D.V.M.is the Medical Director and founder of Palm City Animal Clinic, which he opened for Dr. Charles Hooks in 1981 with the option of buying it out, which he did in 1986. Along with his five veterinarian colleagues and a support staff of 30, he has been dedicated to the care of animals and to involvement in his community of Palm City for over 30 years. A native of Tennessee, Dr. Sentell was born and raised in Knoxville, where he attended the University of Tennessee, earning dual degrees and graduating with high honors with a B.A. of Zoology and Psychology. He remained at UT, attending the College of Veterinary Medicine, where he completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1980, graduating in the top 10% of his class. He practiced initially in the Knoxville area before relocating to Palm City, Florida to open the Palm City Animal Clinic.
In 2009, Dr. Sentell returned to the University of Tennessee’s College of veterinary medicine to complete advanced training in the physical therapy and rehabilitation of aging and injured animals. A worldwide academic training and teaching center of excellence in the area of physical rehabilitation of small animals, UT pioneered this fairly new discipline in veterinary medicine in the 1990’s. Dr. Sentell brought these innovative physical therapy and rehab methods and treatments back to Palm City Animal Clinic, and continues to expand this aspect of services offered to facilitate the quality of life of animals.
Valuing the important role that businesses play in their communities, Dr. Sentell has been highly involved in community-related organizations and events throughout his career. He’s been an active member (and past-President) of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce since 1985, where he has assumed a variety of leadership roles. He currently serves on the Palm City Neighborhood Advisory Committee and continues to be active in Rotary International, where he has participated in numerous capacities, including serving as president in 1996-1997. The organization recently honored him as a Paul Harris Fellow for his contribution to the Paul Harris Foundation, one of the largest in the world. He considers it an honor to present the Amy P. Sentell Character Account Award scholarship every year to the Palm City Schools through the Palm City Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Sentell is a former Board member of the American Cancer Society and is a member of the Florida Oceanographic Society. He belongs to a number of professional organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Association, the Central Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the Treasure Coast Veterinary Association, and the Martin County Veterinary Association.
Though he likes to spend a good deal of his limited spare time researching new trends, procedures, and equipment in the veterinary field, Dr. Sentell is a dedicated family man who enjoys spending time with his wife, Susan, his two daughters, Amber and Brittany, and his stepson, Darin. When he is not caring for his own menagerie of pets - which currently includes four cats, two canine friends Sierra and Winston, and a colorful collection of tropical fish - he can be found flying, scuba diving, reading, fishing, kayaking or pursuing his passion for photography. Dr. Sentell and Susan reside in Palm City.
Paul Wolff, D.V.M.
“I don’t consider the animals we treat to be simply animals: most animal lovers consider their pets to be beloved pets, as well. What makes our work rewarding is having daily opportunities to help these family members who are unable to explain what is wrong in words, and who are the most helpless. We figure out what they need to be well and strong and do everything we can to give them a better quality of life.”
Dr. Paul Wolff, D.V.M. joined the medical team at Palm City Medical Center in 1999 after practicing as an Associate Veterinarian and Primary Emergency Clinician in Palm Coast, FL, and then as an Associate Veterinarian in Boca Raton, FL. Born in New York City, he grew up living in many parts of the country, thanks to his father’s career as a dentist for the United States Navy.
While earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of California, Davis Dr. Wolff worked in the Vet School’s Department of Radiology. He went on to attend the College of veterinary medicine at Mississippi State University, where he earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. During his training years, he participated in 5 preceptorship programs and was recognized as the recipient of the Senior Veterinary Research Award upon graduation. While training in these specialized settings - which included the Atlanta Humane Society and Clinic and the Reid Park Zoo - he gained valuable knowledge in Small Animal Medicine, expanding his surgical knowledge and expertise well beyond the standard veterinary curriculum.
Dr. Wolff is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association and the Treasure Coast Veterinary Medical Association.
When not working at the Clinic, Dr. Wolff enjoys spending quality time with his family of pets. He says that because he doesn’t have any children without “fur or feathers,” he doesn’t see his pets as animals, but as family members. For him, that’s what makes his work rewarding, too. “We help the family members who are unable to explain what is wrong and who are the most helpless.”
Dr. Wolff’s love of the natural world and its creatures carries over to his free time interests, and he is an avid outdoorsman. A member of the Martin County Sportsman’s Association and Friends of the NRA, he can regularly be found pursuing his interests. These include mountain biking, motorcycle riding, weight training, boating, fishing, surfing, and skydiving. Over the years, his surfing adventures have led him to extensive explorations of Baja, Mexico and remote surf spots in Central America, and his skydiving prowess is a byproduct of over 700 jumps in nine states and three different countries.
Elizabeth Jolin, D.V.M., C.V.A.
“The bond we have with our pets is truly remarkable. Our pets provide us with countless moments of happiness, and I appreciate having the privilege to provide them with care and compassion.”
Dr. Elizabeth Jolin was born and raised in Oklahoma, she completed her undergraduate work at Oklahoma State University, where she received an Honors Degree in Pre-Veterinary Animal Science. Dr. Jolin moved to Florida to attend the University Of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2006.
Dr. Jolin has practiced as a Small Animal Associate Veterinarian and Relief Emergency Veterinarian in Gainesville, Florida and as a Small Animal Associate Veterinarian in Palm City. Her special interests include acupuncture, dermatology and behavioral medicine. She recently completed the Small Animal Acupuncture Program at the Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida where she learned the fundamental techniques for acupuncture including dry needling, aqua-acupuncture and electro-acupuncture. Dr. Jolin has enjoyed incorporating acupuncture into general practice, allowing patients to benefit from modern medicine and traditional Chinese Veterinary medicine.
Dr. Jolin is a member of the AmericanVeterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association and the Treasure Treasure Coast Veterinary Medical Association.
Along with her husband, she raises her daughter and several rescue cats and dogs. In her spare time she enjoys baking and gardening.
JP Shepherd, B.V.Sc.
“The bond that we have with animals is such an amazing thing. Animals offer us unconditional love, they comfort us, they make us laugh and they are our faithful companions. I am truly honored each day to play a part in the special relationship that each of our wonderful clients at Palm City Animal Medical Center has with their pet.
As a veterinarian it is my personal goal to provide the very best care to each animal that I see. As your veterinarian I’ll tailor that care to the specific needs of your animal and the unique needs of the relationship that you have with your pet. Every pet and client is different, which is why I strive to work as a partner with you in your pet’s care and well-being, making decisions with you as a team so that you and your pet can have a long, healthy and happy life together.”
Dr. JP Shepherd grew up in Layton, Utah at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. He attained Bachelor of Science (cum laude) and Master of Business Administration degrees at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah then studied veterinary medicine at the world-leading, Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand where he graduated with distinction (top 10% of his class.)
Dr. Shepherd loves animals of all kinds, but particularly enjoys caring for dogs, cats, birds and small mammals. He is interested in all aspects of veterinary medicine, but especially wellness and preventive health, nutrition, dental care, dermatology, emergency, critical care and internal medicine.
Dr. Shepherd and his wife, Michelle, live in Stuart with their two Lhasa Apso dogs, Ozzy and Pongo. When Dr. Shepherd isn’t at the hospital you’ll probably find him at the movies or enjoying one of our local restaurants, taking his dogs to the beach, golfing, boating or at Disney (it is the happiest place on earth, after all!) He and Michelle also love travelling and are always ready for a new travel adventure!
Tamara Martin, D.V.M.
Dr. Tamara Martin grew up in Norman, Arkansas. As a young country girl she has always had a deep love for animals of all kinds. In fact, she was often known to bring home sick or injured rabbits, baby birds, and even snakes and nursed them back to health. On the farm she had many pets; ducks, geese, cats, a border collie and even a horse. It is no great surprise she ended up as a veterinarian.
For her undergraduate studies, Dr. Martin attended the University of Central Arkansas and graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree (cum laude) in 1997. She then took a year off of school and worked at a local veterinary clinic as a receptionist and veterinary technician. She then went on to attend Louisiana State School of Veterinary Medicine. While in veterinary school she worked a summer at the Baton Rouge Zoo as a zookeeper. Dr. Martin completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2002.
Dr. Martin has always had a passion for the ocean. After graduating from LSU, she packed up and moved to sunny south Florida to be close to the beach. For six years, Dr. Martin practiced as a small animal associate veterinarian in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. In 2005 she and her sister were diagnosed with breast cancer. After going through all her treatments she decided she needed to be closer to her family. She briefly lived and worked in Springfield, Missouri, then moved to Austin, Texas to be near her sister. After living and working in Austin for a year, she made the decision to move back to Florida to marry her husband Tony. Once back in Florida, she returned to practice at her previous veterinary clinic in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. She has been an associate veterinarian there for the last 8 years. Dr. Martin’s special interests include dermatology, exotic medicine/surgery, and behavior. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Palm Beach Veterinary Society.
Dr. Martin resides in Jupiter, Florida along with her husband and their much-adored Maltese mixes and several cats. In their spare time they train and compete in triathlons, adventure/obstacle course races, and are regulars at the local crossfit gym. She is also an avid paddle boarder and mountain biker.
“I became a veterinarian because I truly believe in the human animal bond. My pets are my children and I understand how deep that bond goes. I am so glad that I can be there to help others with their furry kids.”
Victoria Koehler, D.V.M.
Dr. Victoria Koehler was born and raised in Cliffwood Beach, NJ. She began horseback riding at an early age which sparked her desire to make a lifelong career of caring for animals. She attended Tufts University and graduated with honors, majoring in biology and psychology. During college, she continued to pursue her dream and worked for an equine sports medicine veterinarian and a specialty veterinary hospital in Boston.
Victoria then went on to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. There she held three positions in the hospital during veterinary school in the internal medicine, general practice and surgery departments. She served as president of the Student Surgery Association and the Student Chapter of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. She also completed several research projects in orthopedics and genetics and has presented her research at the national Merial-NIH Veterinary Student Scholars Symposium. Her hard work and research has earned her numerous awards and scholarships through the AVMA and Merck Animal Health. Additionally, Victoria was chosen by the hospital clinicians to receive a senior award for a special dedication to feline medicine and for compassionate care.
Victoria has decided to trade in the cold weather for some sunshine and has followed her family down to beautiful Palm City, FL. She is very excited to be a part of the Palm City Animal Medical Center team and to start taking care of your important four-legged family members. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine but is particularly passionate about surgery, orthopedics and emergency medicine. She will be moving to Florida with her fiancée, also a veterinarian, and their lovable black cat, Luna.
OUR VETERINARY TECHNICIAN TEAM
VETERINARY TECHNICIANS AND ASSISTANTS
Our veterinary technicians directly handle inpatient and outpatient care, working hand-in-hand with our doctors. The technicians assist in exam rooms by taking patients’ history, vital signs and weight; preparing vaccines; collecting samples and running diagnostic tests; providing client education; and assisting with animal restraint. Technicians also perform suture removal, nail trims, vaccine administration when a doctor exam is not required, long-term medication monitoring testing, surgery admission and discharge, and boarding check-in exams. Technicians directly impact our doctors’ productivity, client service, and patient care. They play a key role in communicating with clients who bring their animals into Palm City Animal Medical Hospital. We are fortunate to have a team of highly skilled and experienced technicians.
Our veterinary technician assistant is the primary support person to our veterinary technicians. Tech Assistants aid in restraining pets and do set-ups for tests that take place during the examination procedures. They also aid the technicians in achieving greater efficiency by handling a set of routine tasks that help the flow of the clinic run smoothly.
OUR PHARMACY TEAM
Our Pharmacy Technicians are here to provide immediate and convenient access to therapeutic and preventive medicine for your pet. Whether your pet needs preventive treatment or is recovering from a skin condition, an illness, an injury, or a surgical procedure, our pharmacy team is available to assist you.
ADMINISTRATIVE / SUPPORT STAFF
Our Operations Manager, Jim Passaretti, oversees the team, conducting staff meetings, supporting and nurturing staff growth and development, and handling the many management initiatives that go along with the operation of a large and busy practice.
Our bookkeeper, Patti Walker, handles payroll, banking, and a myriad of tasks that help the clinic to run smoothly and make sure that our staff, vendors and other service people are paid promptly.
Irvin King handles all of the clinics maintenance needs.
Tom is there to make sure our clients get the high level of service and support we want them to have. Escorting clients to exam rooms, overseeing the flow of the clinic, and helping clients with their paperwork, he is dedicated to serving as a client advocate. He is known for his intelligence, warmth, and patience – not to mention escorting clients to their cars while holding an umbrella over them on rainy days.
Reception/Client Care Specialists
We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of Client Care Specialists who handle our reception area. They are often the first staff members you meet when you come to Palm City Animal Medical Center. The perception that “receptionists” just say hello and hand clients their bill couldn’t be more inaccurate. They are first-rate multi taskers, providing service, responding to telephones and face-to-face questions and requests, handling computers, payments, and financial matters, and supporting our doctors, technicians, veterinary assistants, groomers, and kennel/boarding staff members. They communicate with our clients in person, by phone, and by e-mail. While they’re taking and delivering messages to staff, checking and updating medical and computer records for our clientele, and scheduling appointments and surgeries according to the hospital’s scheduling guidelines, they’re also preparing consent forms, selling pet food, and keeping the reception area tidy and stocked with brochures and reading materials. What would we do without them? We don’t even want to think about it!
SNIPS AND SNOOZES
Snips & Snoozes Grooming and Boarding Center
There’s no doubt that our clients enjoy dropping off a dog in need of a haircut, nail trim, and general tidying up and picking up a sweet-smelling, well groomed, tail wagging creature who looks fantastic! Many of our clients have been bringing their pets to Snips & Snoozes for years, and our doctors consider grooming care to be an important aspect of the overall health care of the animals we serve. You know that our groomers shampoo, bathe, blow dry, and trim the nails of your pet…but they also perform a range of other tasks that add up to what we define as proper grooming. They clean ears, express external anal glands (so your pet won’t “scoot” across your clean floors and rugs!), and make sure that fur/hair are trimmed away from your pet’s eyes to prevent irritation and excessive tearing.
They also check for the presence (and, hopefully, absence) of fleas and ticks, and pay close attention to your pet’s skin in case they see what may be an ear infection, skin condition, or suspicious lump. They promptly notify the technicians and doctors when a pet may need medical attention and stay in touch with their clients in person and by phone. When they’re not keeping careful documentation of your pet’s visits and making sure your pet is receiving care that’s customized to his/her needs, they’re keeping their work area clean and well stocked with products that are healthy and right for animals. Aren’t you glad they’re here? We sure are!
Boarding – Standard and Luxury
We have been boarding your pets for many years, giving them the best possible care while you are away. The Palm City Animal Medical Center is pleased to announce that our Luxury Boarding Facility opened in January 2012. Your pets will have a very special environment in which to stay while they’re here with us. The Boarding center has large spaces, play areas (indoors and outdoors), special toys, excellent bedding, a fountain (did you know that the sound of running water soothes pets?), and a designated prep area where your pets meals will be made to their specifications. Each of the 12 luxury suites has a theme – Key West, Charleston, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and so forth – with large, colorful images to make the spaces bright and cheerful. Special web cams will enable you to go online to see for yourself how your pet is faring. Bathing, grooming, rehab services, and a host of other services are available, as well.
Kennel attendants are integral members of the PCAMC team, offering daily care and feeding for your pets, and the exercise needs of boarding and hospitalized pets. They provide compassionate care, continually check on the animals throughout their stay, and report anything unusual to the doctors and technicians. They keep records of your pet’s eating, drinking and elimination schedule and make sure that they have food and water. They also clean and disinfect cages, litter boxes, food and water bowls, and ensure that kennel bedding and hospital laundry are clean and fresh. They give your pets TLC and escort them to the treatment area for scheduled or needed medical services and record your pet’s status throughout their stay with us. Our kennel attendants work behind the scenes, but we all know how important their contribution is to the animal hospital and the grooming & boarding center.