Dr. Prather graduated cum laude from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She also obtained her undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Florida in 1996. She is a native of Florida and grew up in Tallahassee.
Dr. Prather enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine. Her hobbies include traveling, spending time with family and friends, and of course, Gator football! She has 3 feline companions; Darth Kitty, Handicat, and Henry.
Dr. Prather has been at our hospital since 2001. She is the current secretary of the CFVMA, a member of the FVMA and the AVMA.
Dr. Benbassat is a 2006 magna cum laude graduate from University of Florida. She was awarded many honors beginning as a high school senior with her acceptance into the University’s Early Admissions Program for Veterinary Medicine. Before becoming a veterinarian, she also worked as a veterinary technician. Dr. Benbassat has a special interest in surgery, oncology, and emergency medicine.
Dr. Benbassat shares her home with her husband, Jacques and three kids, Ava, Brock and Claire. They have 2 cats J.C. and Monster. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, CrossFit, traveling and reading.
Dr. Kuester obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in animal sciences from the University of Florida in 2000. She went on to graduate from the University Of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. In between undergrad and veterinary school, she completed an internship at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, researching African elephant behavior and reproduction. Dr. Kuester has previously worked as a veterinarian in Kissimmee, Fl. and Charlotte, NC.
Her professional interests include ophthalmology, dentistry, and surgery. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her cat Pip and dog Dublin, scuba diving, and she is an avid Gator football and basketball fan.
Dr. Velez was born and raised in Ocoee, Florida. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Central Florida in 2016. She went on to graduate from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2020. Dr. Velez has a special interest in emergency and internal medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and baking.
Dr. Cappleman is originally from Charleston, SC. She attended Sewanee: The University of the South where she played 4 years of collegiate basketball and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She also earned a Masters in Biomedical Professions at Lincoln Memorial University before graduating from The University of Tennessee: College of Veterinary Medicine in 2020. Dr. Cappleman enjoys all areas of veterinary medicine, especially surgery and preventative medicine. She loves spending time with her husband, Sam, and their two French Bulldogs, Gus and Edna! She also enjoys traveling, cooking, and anything outdoors!
Dr. Ashley Schimschock was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana and went on to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for her undergraduate degree in Biology. She ventured down to the Caribbean to start vet school. Dr. Schimschock graduated from St. George’s University in May of 2021, after completing her clinical year at the University of Florida. She has specific interests in surgery, dentistry, and dermatology. Outside of the clinic, she enjoys playing disc golf, cooking new recipes, going to estates sales, farmers markets, and theme parks.
picture coming soon…
Kelley has been with us as a veterinary technician since 1999 and is our practice manager. She has worked in the animal care field as a technician for over 20 years and originally hails from East Tennessee. She enjoys reading, horseback riding, the beach, and raising two rambunctious boys and her beautiful little girl with her wonderful husband, Paul. They share their home with the family cats, Dumplin and Peaches, two dogs Shelby and Lana, and bearded dragons Lala and Citrus.
Cathy has been a technician at the Winter Garden Animal Hospital since 1984 and has been in the animal care profession for over 36 years. She is the mother of two beautiful grown daughters and she shares her home with many pets including dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, and even a few goats!
Tonia has been working at our practice since 2006 as our kennel manager and has become one of our technicians. Tonia’s hobbies include going to the beach, reading, finding new music, and spending time with her wonderful husband and two sons. She has two dogs, Moe Moe, Copper, and two cats, Bermuda, and her three-legged wonder cat Kit. Tonia plans to follow her interest in veterinary medicine.
Veterinary Technician & Inventory Manager
Lauren has been with WGAH since July of 2013, but has been working in veterinary clinics since 2003. She graduated with a Diploma of Excellence in the Veterinary Assistant Program at Florida Institute of Animal Arts in 2004, with a special interest in pharmacology & chemotherapy. She loves interacting with clients and studying veterinary medicine, with a special place in her heart for cats and ferrets. In her free time, Lauren enjoys comic books, special effects make-up, and spending time with her husband Ric and four cats.
A lifelong animal enthusiast and vet tech for 10 years, Kelsey has been a proud member of the Winter Garden Animal Hospital team since 2015. She is originally from Munford, Alabama (Roll Tide!) and loves exploring Orlando’s theme parks as well as movies and spending time with her own herd of fur babies that includes six cats, her Golden Retriever Kiara, and Hazel, a longhaired chihuahua. You can also find her counting down to Halloween, no matter what time of year it is.
For as long as I can remember I have always had a passion, or as some will call an obsession with animals, and I’m proud to say it’s a shared passion with my daughter. I have a soft spot in my heart for big dogs, and I’m proud to share our home with 17 amazing fur babies (Boss, Mia, Tank, Dexter, and Xena) just to name a few. But my love isn’t just for dogs, I love snakes, lizards and other exotics, and am proud to have a few of these amazing critters in my home as well. Being able to teach my daughter that all animals are amazing and to be respected is an honor and a privilege.
Having been an animal lover her whole life, Ashley started working at WGAH as a kennel tech in 2015. With the help of her amazing team, she learned all the skills she needed to become a compassionate veterinary technician since 2016. Ashley feels so fortunate to be able to spend her days helping animals. When she’s not busy cuddling her five cats: Bubbles, Cookie, Lillian, Phil and Millie, Ashley loves being outdoors fishing and kayaking. She also enjoys finding new recipes to cook with her husband or spending time with family and friends.
Jody has been with WGAH since August 2014, she has been in the veterinary field since 1988 and received her associate degree in Health Information Technology in 2008. Jody has worked in all areas of an animal hospital but currently enjoys the role of receptionist, which allows her to focus on client education. Jody shares her life with her husband and 4 dogs: Lilo, Teeny, Star, Littles and Tootsie.
Missy joined WGAH in early 2021. She has always had a soft spot in her heart for animals. She began her Vet Med journey in 1998, fresh out of high school where she became a member of a small clinic in Ohio. Over the course of 25 years she has had the pleasure helping fur babies and clients in clinics in Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and now with us. In her free time Missy can be found spending time with her 4 children, exploring Orlando or taking photos of nature. Missy currently has 3 dogs and a hamster of her own.
Nikki joined WGAH in March of 2017. She has been a technician since 2004 and has worked for large nonprofit organizations as well as small private practices. During her 13 years she has worked with all types of animals from cats, dogs, birds, skunks and reptiles. Aside from her love for animals and veterinary medicine she is a proud mommy of three beautiful children.
Bio & Photo Coming Soon
Lexy has been with WGAH since 2018 and she enjoys helping her doctors and coworkers. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, marine life, and the beach. She is always up for fun adventures such as traveling, swimming, movies, and theme parks. Lexy has raised with animals her whole life and enjoys every minute of it, she currently shares her home with her cat Hiccup and dog Sophie.
Catherine has always been interested in the veterinary field and has been working with WGAH since 2019. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree at UCF in Biology. Catherine enjoys spending her time painting, figure skating, snowboarding, and traveling.
Aida has been in the veterinary field since 2011. She has worked all aspects of the field; from traveling with mobile veterinarians to late nights of emergency medicine and everything in between. In her free time, Aida enjoys traveling with her spouse, volunteering as a Search and Rescue K9 handler with her chocolate lab and sewing different crafts. Aida aspires to continue her education and progress in the medical field.
My name is Danielle and I have been working in the small animal veterinary field since 2016 and have been at Winter Garden since fall 2020. Growing up with all kinds of animals including dog, horses, rabbits, and chickens is where my love for working with them comes from. I was born and raised in Maryland and moved to Florida in 2020. I currently have two Australian Shepherds, Maci and Cider, a rabbit named Herbie and a cat named Kronos with my fiancé Hunter. We share a love for animals and both of us grew up constantly bringing new ones home. In our free time we love spending time together working on training our pups or taking them to a new brewery. We also love spending our off days at the amusement parks or exploring the outdoors.
Savannah has worked with animals all of her life. She has two dogs, Iggy and Harleen. She has an associate’s degree in Animal Science and is working towards a Bachelors’s in Equine Management. In her free time she enjoys hiking, fishing, and hanging out with her dogs.
Mandy has been in the veterinary field since 1994. She is a Florida native. She joined our staff in late 2021, after working in Veterinary Ophthalmology for 19 years. Mandy is a crazy cat lover, she would take them all if she could. She has 5 cats and 2 dogs (one with no eyes). Mandy loves watching her 3 boys play sports.