Dr. Kristen Decina
Dr. Kristen Decina developed a love for animals and a passion for science at a very young age. At just 17 years of age, she began volunteering at the Animal Orphanage in Voorhees, NJ walking dogs and cleaning cages, followed by volunteering within the veterinary field as a veterinary technician, pharmacy technician and certified pet loss and bereavement counselor. This passion led her to attend Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine to acquire her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
During her first year in veterinary school in St. Kitts in 2012, Dr. Decina founded an emergency, 24-hour, on-call animal rescue focusing on helping the worst of the worst - animals starving, with chemical burns, machete wounds and more. She says, "It grew from me working by myself, helping one dog, to an organization that is heavily focused within the school that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and rescued hundreds of animals, it has also helped to drastically improve the life of animals and their owners on St. Kitts. The rescue is called SAFE, St.Kitts (saving animals from emergency). It is my legacy."
Dr. Decina also volunteers as a veterinarian and surgeon around the world, including in Honduras and Belize. "I travel to Belize several times per year to volunteer at the Saga Humane Society on Ambergris Caye to improve life for island animals that have little resource to veterinary care. Two of my dogs are from Belize” she says.
She finds veterinary medicine to be rewarding for so many reasons, including keeping family pets healthy and happy, seeing them grow with their family and helping them in their most vulnerable moments. She has special interest in shelter/rescue medicine, emergency and general practice.
In her spare time she enjoys traveling, paddle-boarding, kayaking, hiking, cooking, snorkeling, physical fitness, lifting weights and spending time with her 4 pets: Sharky, Missy, Boris and Tiger Lily.