Dr. Veena Alexis, DVM
Dr. Veena Alexis earned her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Colorado State University in 1996. She continued on to earn her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine at CSU in 2001. She has practiced in the Phoenix area since 2002.
Through the years, Dr. Veena like many veterinarians, has had numerous requests from families for in home euthanasia. Oftentimes, there would be a scheduling conflict leaving her unable to leave the clinic due to the appointment schedule. In those instances where she was able to visit the home, she witnessed the amazing difference between putting pets to sleep at home as opposed to putting them to sleep in the clinic setting. There is a certain calm that surrounds the families and the pets, knowing that they are not frightened or anxious because they are at home. Although it is a difficult calling, it is also a privilege to be able to end the pain and suffering that pets endure at the end of life.
Dr. Debra Freiberg, DVM
Dr. Debra Freiberg earned her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Ohio State University. She successfully started and owned practices in Montana and Washington state prior to moving to Arizona in 2007. She has served the greater Phoenix area since 2011.
Every practice that Dr. Debra has owned or been employed by has been either wholly or partly mobile and included in home euthanasia for those clients who requested it. The difference between in clinic and in home euthanasia is profound for the family and their pet. It is a deeply personal time not meant to be experienced in a public setting. The comfort of home surrounded by family creates a peaceful environment. As a veterinarian it is part of the veterinary oath to humanely end suffering but it is a privilege to help owners through this difficult time of saying, “good bye” to their beloved companion.
Dr. Rachel Bart, DVM
Certified in Pet Loss and Pet Grief Support
Dr. Rachel Bart was born in Nottingham, United Kingdom, and grew up in Toronto, Canada. She moved to Arizona in 2002. After completing a BSc. in Chemistry, Dr. Bart went on to complete her Veterinary degree in 1998 and graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College with honors. She spent the first ten years of her career in emergency and critical care and then moved on to general practice. After 22 years in a clinical setting, Dr. Bart realized that her purpose and passion is to help pet parents when faced with heartbreaking end-of-life decisions. From her days in emergency medicine and general clinical work, she has helped countless owners with this life-changing moment. Support, understanding, and empathy are never more needed than at this trying time. She became certified in pet loss and grief support and is now dedicating her career to supporting families in need of guidance and in-home euthanasia. Dr. Bart feels this is truly the most important work she can do; it is such a valued and needed service. To be able to help pets pass gently in the comfort of their home, surrounded by the family they love is an honor.
Dr. Nichola Ray, DVM
Dr. Ray was raised in Chandler, Arizona and is part of a large family. There were always cats and dogs in her life, as well as chickens and ducks. She has an uncle in Texas that was a veterinarian and helped initiate her interest in veterinary medicine. She married another Arizona native and has three human boys and two girl dogs – a three-legged Chihuahua mix that she adopted, and a fat Pomeranian that eats everything she can.
Dr. Ray was a Certified Veterinary Technician prior to continuing her education and career as a veterinarian. She graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University and was accepted to Colorado State University, where she graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. It was always a goal of hers to be a veterinarian and serve. She strives to treat patients and clients with compassion and to understand each patient’s individual needs. This unique niche of patient care is an opportunity to help families celebrate the life of their devoted family member in the absolute best way possible.
Dr. Heidi Ellermeier, DVM
Dr. Heidi Ellermeier was born and raised in central Illinois. She attended the University of Illinois and earned her Bachelor’s of Science in 2009. She stayed at the University of Illinois to earn her degree in Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Dr. Ellermeier practiced emergency and urgent care medicine before moving to the Phoenix area in 2019.
In her spare time, Dr. Ellermeier works with her Chinese Cresteds and Standard Poodle in rally, obedience, and agility. Through her work and training, it has become her passion to strengthen and celebrate the human-animal bond. This has evolved into a desire to honor this bond through end-of-life care. She feels that it is truly an honor to share in the life of a beloved 4-legged family member and strives to bring this commitment to every family she meets.
Dr. Julie Harbo, DVM
Dr. Julie Harbo graduated from Washington State University in 1995. She worked in mobile equine practice for over 10 years. She settled in Arizona in 2004 and worked in mixed animal practice until 2007. She has been working in a small animal practice exclusively since 2007.
Dr. Harbo has always enjoyed working with animals and loves to see the glowing spark in the eyes of a happy, healthy content animal. She respects and loves animals for the proud dignity and love that they have to offer their human parents. She understands the importance of treating them with the respect they deserve. She appreciates the value of giving them the freedom they deserve when their spirit has left them, their eyes start to lose their bright shine and their body starts to fail.
Dr. Harbo is committed to making their time of passing as peaceful and stress-free for them and their humans as possible. She believes that helping them pass at home is one of the kindest acts that we can do as veterinarians. Although it is heartbreaking, it is the bravest and most generous, and most honorable thing we can give our dearest family members.