New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA
Shelter Medicine Team

Shelter Medicine Team

Meet the Shelter Medicine team, comprising compassion and expertise, and a wide range of experience in the care of shelter animals, student and community education, and research. 

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Meet the Shelter Medicine Team

Penn Vet Shelter Medicine
Dr. Brittany Watson
  • Brittany Watson, VMD, PhD, DACVPM
  • Director & Clinical Associate Professor, Shelter Medicine & Community Engagement

Dr. Watson served as Veterinary Director of Continuing Education Initiatives for the Charleston Animal Society (CAS) in South Carolina. During her tenure, she helped CAS achieve record live release, adoptions, and education programs in the state. In her role at CAS, Dr. Watson also regularly performed surgical procedures and documented cruelty cases.

Dr. Chelsea Reinhard, Penn Vet Shelter Medicine

Dr. Reinhard completed a shelter medicine specialty internship at the Oregon Humane Society in Portland.  She was the first shelter medicine resident at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.  During her residency, she was trained in surgery, shelter population management, infectious disease management, cruelty investigation, disaster and emergency preparedness, and shelter consultations.

Danielle Okulski, CVT, Shelter Medicine, Penn Vet Shelter Medicine 
  • Danielle Okulski, Bernice Barbour Mobile Clinic Lead CVT

    Bernice Barbour Foundation
Danielle has completed her bachelor degree in pre-veterinary science and worked in veterinary medicine as a CVT for over a decade. Her primary role was as lead surgical nurse and team educator. Danielle furthered her studies to become a registered nurse and has held positions in sub-acute rehabilitation and urgent care settings.
Dr. Lauren Powell, Penn Vet Shelter Medicine
  • Lauren Powell, PhD
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher

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Lauren Powell has been awarded a PhD from the University of Sydney for her research into the effects of dog ownership on human mental well-being, with a particular focus on the importance of oxytocin in human-dog bonding. Her current research sees her exploring the assessment of quality of life in shelter dogs and evaluating teaching in the shelter medicine field.

Dr. Lelyn Castelo
  • Dr. Jehl Castelo, DVM
  • WaterShed Community Medicine Intern

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Dr. Castelo received their DVM from Western University of Health Sciences in California. They trained in several shelters and community-based programs to provide care to dogs, cats, and rabbits. They also received Fear Free Shelter certification to improve the emotional wellbeing of animals. Prior to their veterinary training, Dr. Castelo volunteered in underserved communities and worked as a technician for general and emergency practices.

Peter Javian, Penn Vet Shelter Medicine
  • Peter Javian, WaterShed Program Coordinator

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Peter assists in implementing Shelter Medicine’s WaterShed Initiative by organizing symposiums, academic consortium meetings, and journal research discussions, as well as coordinating volunteers. Peter brings broad experience in communications and design, event planning, and data analysis, from years of working in Penn’s office of Institutional Research & Analysis, and with Philadelphia-area nonprofits.

Shelter-based Student Teaching Assistants
 Penn Vet is grateful to PetSmart Charities for support of our shelter-based student teaching assistants
Lori DiFiglia, Penn Vet Shelter Medicine 
  • Lori Hobson DiFiglia, Veterinary Nurse
  • Lori began volunteering and fostering for the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia in 2009. Her focus for the past three years has been in shelter medicine and volunteering as a surgical assistant. Her background includes home health care for the elderly and therapy dog work for hospice patients.
Christina Lunski, CVT, Shelter Medicine
  • Christina Lunski, CVT, Veterinary Technician in Shelter Medicine
  • Christina's passion has always been veterinary medicine. Through the years this passion progressed to include teaching a variety of veterinary skills and studies to a broad range of ages.