Veterinarians

Dr. SiegelRussell Siegel, DVM, Owner

Not many veterinarians began childhood with a fierce allergy to animals. However, Dr. Russell Siegel was one of the unfortunate few who had to deal with this issue. As a result, he became fascinated with the smallest of creatures – butterflies and insects – and later developed an interest with fish and reptiles. While growing up in the Bronx, NY and then later in Danbury, CT, his neighborhood friends included not just children but local dogs and cats. Fortunately, he overcame his allergies with age and was able to focus completely on caring for creatures with and without fur.

Dr. Siegel attended the University of Connecticut at Storrs for his undergraduate studies and, while there, participated in the honors program and was vice-president of the UConn bowling club. As an undergraduate student, Dr. Siegel also earned the Distinguished Research in Biology Award. He graduated in 1989 with his bachelor's degree in biology and went on to earn his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and graduate eighth in his class from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. Dr. Siegel purchased Attleboro Veterinary Clinic in 2004.

Caring for pets and exploring their individual characteristics and traits brings Dr. Siegel a great deal of joy. "I love getting to know the little things that make each pet special. I enjoy hearing about the exceptional things that each pet has done, which demonstrate their unique personality and intelligence," he said. "Some stories leave me literally in awe of what we don't know about the secret lives of our pets, what they can truly sense, and all that they are capable of achieving and doing."

Dr. Siegel claims that his professional experiences over the years have helped mold him into the caring veterinarian that he is today. While in Connecticut, he worked in the field of wildlife rehabilitation and outdoor education at a nature center and later worked cleaning out kennels at a local animal hospital. He attributes his "starting at the bottom" with helping him understand all the different elements that accompany pet care. He also learned much practical experience from working with a Massachusetts veterinarian while in veterinary school. Dr. Siegel's professional interests span a wide range of subjects from internal medicine to surgery. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association.

As a veterinarian, Dr. Siegel has collected many special memories over his career. One that continues to remain with him is when he helped arrange for a Husky owner to stay by his dog's side for three days and nights – in his backyard barn. Dr. Siegel recalls that this dog's owner literally willed the dog to live and, after days of intravenous fluids and antibiotics, the dog took a turn for the better. In the end, all survived!

"When choosing a career, I thought carefully about how I could use my love of animals and knowledge of biology to do something meaningful and add something positive to the world every single day. Being a veterinarian was the clear choice," he said. It is his positive and friendly nature that draws pet owners to seek out Dr. Siegel as their pet's veterinarian and to stay with him for the lifespan of their beloved pets.

Dr. Siegel lives at home with his wife, Elise, who helps him immeasurably with all facets of running a veterinary practice. Although a psychologist by training, Elise helps with personnel management, administrative duties, and is truly his "partner in life!" Together, they raise two daughters and two ragdoll cats, Ella and Leo. In his spare time, Dr. Siegel enjoys spending time with his family, running, lifting weights, reading about history and biology, deep sea fishing, and fossil hunting.

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Dr. HarringtonKeith Harrington, DVM

Being a veterinarian sometimes feels like being a detective. Dr. Keith Harrington knows this well as he daily assesses signs and symptoms in order to diagnose ailments in his pet patients. "One of the most challenging aspects of my career is listening to owners describe the problems that their pet is experiencing and then trying to help solve the issue," he said. Dr. Siegel adds, "Dr. Harrington works relentlessly to ensure his patients are doing well and that their owners are being kept informed. I often leave the clinic late at night to see he is still on the phone after putting in a marathon day, to ensure he knows how all his patients are faring before he can sleep. That's dedication."

Dr. Harrington grew up in Marshfield, Massachusetts and, as a child, took in many homeless animals and cared for them with proper nutrition and medical attention. He attended Framingham State College and earned his bachelor's degree in biology in 1998. He then crossed the Atlantic and studied veterinary medicine at The Royal Veterinary College University of London. He graduated with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2009 and joined our staff in June 2012.

For many years, Dr. Harrington worked as a veterinary technician and he attributes the veterinarians with whom he worked as being responsible for his selecting veterinary medicine as a career choice. "Their dedication to helping pets and their owners was inspiring," he said.

Prior to working here at Attleboro Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Harrington worked in Weymouth as a small animal veterinary technician and then later as a large animal technician at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association and his professional interests include internal medicine, renal disease, and dermatology. He enjoys keeping up-to-date on new and developing changes in veterinary medicine through continuing education courses.

Dr. Harrington, whose dog recently passed away, is currently looking for a new beloved companion. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, camping, biking, surfing, and traveling.

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Dr. MateleskaJennifer Mateleska, DVM

Dr. Mateleska (or Dr. Jenny) knew she wanted to be a veterinarian since she was six years old. She graduated from Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. Right out of vet school, Dr. Mateleska moved to West Hartford, CT, to work at a general hospital/24-hour veterinary emergency hospital. She was also the veterinarian for the West Hartford Science Center, taking care of a variety of exotic and wildlife species. In 2002, Dr. Mateleska returned to Tufts for a year as the first Intern in Exotics Medicine and Surgery. She worked with every species from a kangaroo with a broken arm to a goldfish with cancer. After completing her internship, she returned to West Hartford for a few more years. Missing her friends and family, she eventually moved to Massachusetts and has worked as a veterinarian treating dogs, cats, and every exotic pet species imaginable at veterinary hospitals on both the South Shore and closer to Boston.

Dr. Mateleska is very excited to be joining the Attleboro Veterinary Clinic family and being able to become a part of the community. Her professional interests include internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and exotic pet medicine (and no, she doesn't have a favorite species!). Dr. Mateleska's pets include Britt, a very interesting looking mixed-breed dog (Pug/Beagle/Doberman); Bella, her 16-year old cat that's been with her through vet school and beyond; and Kiwi, a rescue parrotlet with a very big personality despite his small size. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, ballroom dancing, reading, and traveling when she gets a chance.

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Dr. NystromMichael Nystrom, DVM

Dr. Michael Nystrom grew up in Long Island, NY, with a wide array of pet species, and has wanted to be a veterinarian for longer than he can recollect. This desire was solidified during middle school when he attended the Adventures in Veterinary Medicine program at Tufts Cumming’s School of Veterinary Medicine. His voracious interest in all-things science continued to grow, and Dr. Nystrom got his degree in Biological Sciences from Cornell University. With a fondness for New England, he would make a return to Tufts to get his DVM degree with the class of 2017. Dr. Nystrom has a personal interest in exotic companion animals, and spent copious elective time with the exotics service at Tufts.

While it would be impossible to ask Dr. Nystrom if he has a favorite breed or species, honorable mention should go to his childhood Black Labrador, Daniel, who was his loyal companion until college, and shall always hold a special place in his heart.

During his childhood, Dr. Nystrom has personally cared for a myriad of species of mammal, amphibian, reptile, and marine life. For brevity, his current pets are Marshmallow and Hershey (dwarf rabbits), Oliver and Luna (guinea pigs), Fluff (chinchilla), Cinnabar (degu), and his brother’s tortoise, Shelly (African spurred tortoise), whom he watches while his brother, Kevin, attends art school. Dr. Nystrom also has garnered an interest in aquarium-keeping, with a couple of marine tanks, as well as a Betta fish.

In the scant time he is not learning more about animals, Dr. Nystrom has an interest in astronomy, and is an avid Star Wars fan, although he also writes his own science fiction for fun. He enjoys hiking, beach walks, nature trails, museums, zoos, and aquariums.

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Kate Smolka, DVM

Dr. Nystrom

Dr. Kate (Vezza) Smolka has been steadily working her way up the east coast and is excited to have joined the team at Attleboro Veterinary Clinic! Dr. Smolka was born in western North Carolina and grew up in Frederick, Maryland. While growing up, she raised and showed alpacas (a close cousin to the llama), was a member of her high school’s competitive marching band and, above all else, hoped to work in some capacity with animals. Although from a cat-loving family, Dr. Smolka has always had compassion for all living creatures, and began to work in the veterinary field early on as a kennel technician, and later as a veterinary assistant.

Dr. Smolka’s experiences brought her up to the University of Connecticut, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Pathobiology in 2012. While at UConn, Dr. Smolka continued to work part time as a veterinary assistant at a local animal hospital, as well as in the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. In her “free” time, she was a proud member of the University of Connecticut Marching Band, as well as a member of the UConn Winterguard.

The journey north continued when Dr. Smolka chose to attend the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. While earning her doctorate, she worked part time as a small animal veterinary assistant, and a student technician in the Hospital for Large Animals. Dr. Smolka was also a member, and later treasurer, of the Tufts Chapter of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

Dr. Smolka graduated from Tufts University with her DVM in 2016 and has been working in small animal private practice ever since. Although she loves general practice because of the wide variety of cases she gets to see, her favorite areas of focus are feline medicine, soft tissue surgery, pain management and dermatology. In addition to her bipedal family, Dr. Smolka loves to spend time with her “fur babies”; Psimon (Snowshoe mix), Sven (long-haired tabby), Cece (long-haired calico), Dixie (Coonhound mix) and Dolores AKA Dolly (Coonhound/Pit mix). She enjoys exercising, being outdoors, reading, cooking, watching sports (go Ravens!) and talking about her cats.

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