Dr. Melanie Donofro has lived in Tallahassee since 1984. She graduated from Auburn University School of Agriculture with a BS in Animal Science in 1979 and Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983. She opened Los Robles Animal Hospital in 1986 and Forget Me Not Grooming Parlor in 1988.
Dr. Melanie’s practice consists primarily of cats and dogs but she will also see ferrets, hamsters and most any “family member” a child may bring in for treatment. Her interests include complex internal medicine cases, geriatric medicine, pain management, cancer medicine, skin disorders, acupuncture and spinal manipulation. She is a firm believer in client education and focuses on teaching owners how to help prevent problems with their pets before they begin.
She is a 2001 graduate of the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. By attending the Chi Institute she was able to expand her knowledge further to become a veterinarian who is able to use acupuncture in addition to the traditional modalities of regular medicine. Dr. Melanie has seen amazing results by using acupuncture on her patients. Her goal is to augment wellness programs in companion animals and improve the quality of life in geriatric and arthritic patients. Acupuncture can be used to treat many different conditions and works especially well for back/disc problems, hip problems and seizure disorders. Veterinary Acupuncture allows her to add a more natural approach to veterinary medicine.
After five years of practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine, Dr. Melanie realized there was more she could do for patients of all ages. She has been going to a human chiropractor most of her life and knows that chiropractic care is good for many painful maladies of the spine and limbs. She has now completed a 210 hour program of veterinary spinal manipulation therapy at The Healing Oasis and Wellness Center in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. She received her Certificate from The Healing Oasis in August 2006. This class was equal to if not more rigorous than her studies in Veterinary School as it encompasses functional neurology and anatomy. In the time she has been using spinal manipulation in her practice, Dr. Melanie, her staff and clients have seen wonderful results.
Dr. Melanie is a member and officer of the College of Animal Chiropractors, American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, American Veterinary Medical Association, Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the Cornell Feline Health Center, as well as various other national associations.
Dr. Jennell Appel is a Florida native. She obtained her BS in Animal Science from North Carolina State University on the road to pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. She graduated from St. George’s University in Grenada in 2008 after completing a clinical year at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. During her years in North Carolina and her year at UT, Dr. Jennell developed a special interest in canine rehabilitation therapy. Being a former athlete, she personally experienced how beneficial physical therapy is to overall health. She took her interest to The Canine Rehabilitation Institute where she became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Specialist in 2009.
We were fortunate to have Dr. Jennell join our practice in February 2009. Her skills compliment acupuncture and spinal manipulation. Her interests include orthopedic and neurological disorders, muscle strengthening for geriatric patients and recovery from orthopedic surgery, canine sports medicine and athletic conditioning. She has also used her teaching abilities to mentor several young people who are interested in becoming veterinarians.
Dr. Jennell recently became interested in field trial dogs and attends field trials regularly. She speaks at field trial clubs about the importance of conditioning, warming up, cooling down and injuries of canine athletes.
Dr. Jennell enjoys the outdoors and physical activity. She is fond of trail running and kayaking the beautiful rivers of the panhandle.
Our experienced receptionists do their best to schedule appointments that are convenient for you. They are happy to help with commonly asked questions and will refer you to a technician when needed. If you have an urgent question, please let them know when you call or email. Those messages will be given top priority and noted as 'urgent' when they are given to the doctor or technician.
You can reach our receptionists at [email protected].
Dr. Sandi Huffman is a Navy brat originally from the DC area. She graduated from the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. She worked in small animal medicine in Gainesville, Florida, for the next 12 years, which included a house call business, emergency medicine, small animal medicine and surgery, volunteering with rescue animals, serving on the board of the Alachua County Humane Society, and appearing regularly on an ABC-affiliate morning TV news segment addressing animal health issues.
In 2010, Dr. Huffman moved with her husband, 4 dogs, and 2 birds to Tallahassee, where she continued to practice small animal medicine part-time at Los Robles Animal Hospital. In 2014, Dr. Huffman found a new passion in shelter medicine when she joined the local animal shelter veterinary team. Along with daily spays, neuters, and exams/treatments of the shelter animals, Dr. Huffman performed cruelty forensic exams on abused and neglected animals. She worked closely with Animal Control to get justice for them, including court appearances in many cases.
In the fall of 2020, Dr. Huffman “retired” from full-time work. She decided to work part-time again and returned to Los Robles. In her spare time she engages in her hobbies, including spending time with her husband and dogs, gardening, bird watching, swimming, traveling, and live music.
Our technicians have many years of experience working with animals. We feel positive you will be comfortable having any one of our qualified technicians work with you and your pet. They are able to answer most medical questions as they are very knowledgeable about our treatment regimes. If you are not able to speak with a doctor when you call, you may be able to speak with a technician and get your question answered more quickly. When necessary, they will check with one of our doctors before getting back to you.
Our technicians will also help when dismissing your pet after treatment and surgery to make sure you understand any required after-care. They are available by phone or email to answer questions you may have regarding a treatment plan designed by the doctor or a change in medication. The technicians spend many hours on the phone calling owners to make sure their pet is responding as he or she should be after visiting the hospital.
Their responsibilities include, preparing a patient for surgery, monitoring surgical anesthesia, post-surgical monitoring, drawing blood, placing IV catheters, running blood tests, dispensing medication, assessing pain control, monitoring critical hospitalized patients, administering injections and checking each long term boarder every day for any changes in health status.
Our technicians regularly attend continuing education seminars and stay abreast of current trends and developments in veterinary medicine. We feel fortunate to have technicians of such high caliber.
You may call the hospital at 222-3117 to speak with our technicians or email them at [email protected].
Our kennel technicians are compassionate and very attentive to your pets' needs while visiting. They love animals and enjoy working with them. The care our kennel technicians provide is an integral part of our practice. They are able to trim nails, express anal glands, clean ears, give regular and medicated baths as well as feed and exercise your pet while boarding. Whether your pet is boarding for the day or long term, the kennel staff monitor your pets' activities and alert the doctors or technicians if they detect even the smallest problem.