Meet The Team

Meet our dedicated staff at Mineola Animal Hospital and our affiliated organizations!  

Dr. Gary Dattner

Dr. Gary Dattner graduated from Cornell University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, New York State Veterinary Medicine Association, Long Island Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Dr. Dattner has completed continuing education courses and regularly attends the North American Veterinary Conference. He has a special interest in Bio Stem Cell Therapy and Orthopedics. Dr. Dattner enjoys spending time with his family, Melissa, Ryan and his yellow Labrador, Luxa! They enjoy skiing, fishing and traveling together.


Dr. Mara DiGrazia

Dr. Mara DiGrazia graduated from Cornell University in 1996. She completed a small animal medicine and surgical internship at Oradell AnimalHospital in 1997. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, New York State Veterinary Medical Association, and Long Island Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. DiGrazia has special interests in veterinary ultrasound and small animal ophthalmology. She was recently credited for supplying all Nassau County Fire Departments with animal oxygen masks through HELP Animals, Inc. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, her Schweenie, Comet and her cats, Batman and Robin. 

Dr. Joseph Deme

Dr. Joseph Deme graduated from the University of Veterinary Sciences at Budapest, Hungary in 1988. He regularly attends many local, monthly continuing education courses, as well as regional, annual continuing education courses. Dr Deme is a member of the AVMA and completed one year of clinical experience at Iowa State University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is now one of our staff Veterinarians at the Mineola Animal Hospital, which opened in 2008.


Dr. Katie Avelar

Dr. Katie Avelar graduated from Cornell University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and has USDA APHIS accreditation. Her special interests include internal medicine, animal behavior and general dentistry. She loves spending time with her family in Florida. On her days off, she can be found playing tennis, knitting, eating at local bakeries, and going for a run with her quirky mutt, Oscar.

Renee Rufa

Renee Rufa has worked at Mineola Animal Hospital for the last 12 years. Her interest in working with animals began when she brought her own cat to Mineola Animal Hospital as a client. Renee loves all animals but has a special connection to cats. At home, she has four cats: Dylan, Max, Emma and Riley.



Pam Carollo

Pam Carollo has a love of animals going back longer than she can remember!  After a long career in technical services, and volunteer work with many animal rescue groups, veterinary medicine was the next step. She has been happily working in the field since 2006!


Betty Fazio

Betty Fazio has been a a customer service representative with the Mineola Animal Hospital for 10 years. She is a people person and truly enjoys all the clients and their pets. Over the years Betty has had many pets herself and loves every aspect of animal medicine.  Betty welcomes you to “Come in and say hello!”



Mairead Falls

Mairead Falls joined the team in 2014 in the kennel and is now in customer service. She has a German Shepard named Chief, who loves his human brother, Liam. She loves seeing the variety of animals and pets that come in to the office. “Working at the animal hospital has been a rewarding experience. I look forward to meeting you and your fur baby”.

Joanna Hinks

Joanna Hinks began her career at our hospitals in 2005 at the New Hyde Park Animal Hospital. She joined the Mineola Animal Hospital team in 2017.  During her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family.  She has a Beagle and 4 cats, 2 of which are special needs kitties. “I have always had a passion for working with animals and hope to do so for a long, long time”.

Nicole Helfer

Nicole Helfer, our Head Technician has been part of thee Mineola Animal Hospital team for a number of years. Her professional interest include emergency medicine, dentistry and animal care. Nicole is the proud owner of two dogs, Tinsley & Penelope, and two adorable cats, Weezy & Little.  Though working with furry friends is what she does best, in her spare time, she loves anything involving the outdoors and water sports/activities.



Chelsey Kim

Chelsey Kim has been on the team since 2013 and is Dr. Deme’s assistant. She graduated Hostra University with a BS in Psychology and is pursuing an Masters degree in animal Behavior and Conservation. In her spare time she enjoys taking her 3 rescue dogs to the park and to the local senior center to spread some puppy love!


Giovanna Paredes

Giovanna Paredes (Gia), obtained a BS in biological science from St. John’s University in 2008 became a member of the Mineola Animal Hospital Team shortly after. Her professional interests include exotics, animal rehabilitation and animal welfare. Giovanna hosts and fundraises for our annual Pictures with Santa event which benefits animals in need! She has four cats: Chad, Webbs, Ickis & Oblina. In her spare time Gia enjoys traveling and hanging out with her ” fur babies.”



John Calvao

John Calvao came to Mineola in 2010 after working at Long Island Veterinary Specialists. He has worked his way through the ranks from kennel, to assistant and is now our resident Kennel Manager. John enjoys all aspects of animal welfare from rehabilitation to rescue. In his free time he enjoys music and traveling.


John Mouta

John Mouta started as an intern with Dr. Kolins and officially joined the Mineola family June 2016.  John’s favorite things are Starbucks, family and Sky, his Pomsky. As a resident of Mineola Township, John is proud to work for the community and help in animal rehab and rescue.



Follow Us




Additional Locations:
Garden City Park| New Hyde Park | The Cat Doctor


Mineola Animal Hospital
132 Jericho Turnpike
Mineola, NY 11501

Phone: (516) 873-9207