Our Veterinarians

Passionate. Professional. Pet Lovers.

NewDay veterinarians are a rare breed. Regardless of location, each one is a top-notch pet care specialist and proud animal activist who is beyond passionate about providing the highest quality pet care. With access to best-in-class technology in a full-service clinic, we empower our veterinarians to work up their own treatment plans to provide the best care possible. Afterall, NewDay Veterinary Care aims to help pets live their best life with complete pet health care.

Veterinarian Leadership

Dr. Clay Hellner
Chief Veterinary Officer

Dr. Clay Hellner brings more than 25 years of experience in veterinary medicine to Pet Paradise and NewDay Veterinary Care, including expertise in surgical, nutritional, therapeutic, and clinical care for small and exotic animals.

Dr. Hellner was a long-time practice owner, caring for thousands of pets. He built successful veterinary teams, coaching practitioners to advance their skills in clinical medicine, surgery, and client communication. His hospital was recognized as the Hospital of the Year among over 700 peer hospitals. He joined the NewDay Veterinary Care team in 2020 as the Sr. Regional Veterinary Medical Director, before moving into the role of Chief Veterinary Officer in 2023.

His philosophy of doing what’s right for pets has been at the heart of his medical approach since his early days as a veterinarian. His business approach further optimizes pet care by prioritizing what is right for the veterinary teams caring for pets. He sees veterinary medicine as one of the most noble professions because the daily efforts veterinary teams will make for both pets and people are awe-inspiring.

He is a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and of Loyola University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He currently lives with his family in the Charlotte area.

Dr. Karen O’Connor
Regional Veterinary Medical Director

Dr. Karen O’Connor studied at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, she entered into the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and was a recipient of the U.S. Army Health Professions Scholarship. She was stationed in Savannah, Georgia, and also oversaw the veterinary mission at another nearby base in South Carolina.

After fulfilling her military service obligation, Dr. O’Connor returned to civilian life, working for veterinary practices in the area, as a surgeon for the Humane Society of Greater Savannah, and even owned her own practice. She was an instructor of anesthesiology and surgical principles at Ogeechee Technical College and microbiology at East Georgia State College.

Dr. O’Connor is passionate about preventative care and believes that educating clients is key to extending the lives of pets. She is NewDay’s Regional Veterinary Medical Director and lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida, with her cat, Poindexter.

Veterinarians

Dr. Aaron Luckey
LAKE NORMAN, NC

A native of Indiana, Dr. Aaron Luckey is a 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee (UT) and has called Charlotte, North Carolina home since graduation. Professionally, he enjoys ophthalmology, soft tissue surgery and helping pets live happy, healthy lives from their first visit through old age. In addition to treating dogs and cats, he also provides care for pocket pets, as long as they are small and furry. At home, he keeps busy with five dogs, four cats and his four teenage children. He loves to travel and, so far, has visited 48 different states. When he has free time, he enjoys hiking, cooking, reading and all UT sports.

Dr. Alejandra E. Perez
Apollo Beach, FL

Dr. Alejandra Perez is originally from Venezuela and was raised in Pembroke Pines, FL. She graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2020 and now calls Apollo Beach home with her family, including her dogs, Turbo and Aura, and her cat, Ahsoka.

Dr. Perez’s special interests lie in internal medicine and nutrition, ensuring the best care for her furry patients. Beyond her work, she loves to travel with her husband and son, and is an avid foodie and wine enthusiast, always on the lookout for culinary adventures. When she’s not tending to her patients or exploring new restaurants, you might catch her enjoying karaoke – which most of her patients have been known to tolerate.

Dr. Brandi Tucker
SANFORD, FL

Dr. Brandi Tucker is a proud graduate of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. Since moving to Florida, she has enjoyed practicing in both the Kissimmee and Sanford areas, yet has found Sanford to be her home away from home. Dr. Tucker is passionate about upholding the Gold Standard of veterinary care and understands her clients want only the best for their furry family members. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their mini zoo of fur babies at home. If not there, she is likely to be found out and about with her husband on his motorcycle, exploring their lovely new home state of Florida.

Dr. Carolyn Benedetto
Matthews, NC

Dr. Benedetto, originally from Southern Louisiana, obtained her bachelor’s degree in Asheville, NC, where she met her husband, Patrick. After completing vet school in Louisiana, Dr. Benedetto returned to North Carolina where she now lives with her husband, daughter and yellow lab. Dr. Benedetto is acupuncture and Fear Free certified and has a passion for working with elderly pets. She enjoys finding innovative ways to make her patients more comfortable in the clinic while providing the highest standard of medical care. When not working, she enjoys spending time outside with her family, canoeing and hiking.

Dr. Courtney Ransom
Birmingham, AL

Dr. Courtney Ransom grew up on a farm in Shelbyville, Tennessee, where her passion for veterinary medicine began. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University. She now lives in Southern Alabama and still enjoys the farm life with her daughter. Dr. Ransom loves building close relationships with pets and pet parents. She has a special interest in alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and food therapy. Her hobbies include trail riding, showing horses and cattle, and venturing on mission trips through Christian Veterinary Missions.

Dr. Denise Adlerstein
BONITA SPRINGS, FL

Dr. Adlerstein graduated from North Carolina State University. Dr. Adlerstein is particularly interested in cardiology, dermatology and preventive care. She aims for all pets to receive quality care and enjoys spending time with and educating clients about the veterinary care options available to their pets. When she’s not working, Dr. Adlerstein loves spending time with her family. She especially enjoys practicing piano and reading in her spare time.

Dr. Erica Irish
Lake Nona, FL

Dr. Erica Irish graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Coupled with her experience as a veterinary technician, she has worked in the veterinary field for the past 18 years. Dr. Irish is particularly interested in cardiology, dentistry, dermatology and integrative medicine. She is also an editor, proofreader, freelance writer, and is a member of the Alumni Executive Board for the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. When she’s not working or writing, Dr. Irish loves spending time with her husband, their two children, and their four cats and two dogs. She especially enjoys baking and reading in her spare time.

Dr. Jan R. Zwilling
COCONUT CREEK, FL

A native of Miami Beach, Dr. Zwilling attended the University of Florida, graduating with a B.S. in Animal Science. He then completed his Veterinary degree at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Z founded and was medical director of his own animal hospital in the Lauderhill and Tamarac area for many years before coming to NewDay Veterinary Care. He currently lives in Parkland with Nancy and their four dogs: Molly (Lhasa Poo), Bode (Standard Poodle), Bugs and Spud (Chihuahuas). Dr. Zwilling’s interests include spending time with family (two daughters and two grandchildren), riding his Harley, traveling, reading, going to the gym and playing golf.

Dr. Jessica Hanning
OAKLEAF, FL

Dr. Jessica Hanning is a 2017 graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, and has been with NewDay Veterinary Care family since 2019. Originally hailing from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dr. Hanning now calls Northeast Florida “home,” where she lives with her two elderly dogs, Hazel and Kirby, and two adopted cats, Razue and Leonard. At work, Dr. Hanning has a special interest in preventative care through client education, as well as cardiology and dentistry. For play, you can find her training for her next half-marathon, weightlifting, shooting pool, paddle boarding, hiking or partaking in board games.

Dr. Joanne Connolly
Jacksonville, FL – University Blvd.

Dr. Connolly grew up in Canada and graduated from the University of Montreal in 2001. She promotes medicine for the mind, body and soul, “treat the patient and not the disease.” Dr. Connolly published her first book in 2011 titled “Animal Teachings” and just released her sequel book in 2021.

Dr. Julie Haas
GREENVILLE, SC

Dr. Haas graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 after completing her clinical year at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She believes every pet is part of the family and treats every patient as such. While puppy kisses and playful kittens are welcome, Dr. Haas enjoys making every stage of a pet’s life with their family the healthiest, happiest and longest possible. She takes special interest in internal medicine, exotic animals (like guinea pigs and bearded dragons) and senior pet care. In her spare time, Dr. Haas cherishes precious moments with her son and daughter. Some of her fun times include baking pies or muffins from scratch with her son; teaching her African Grey, Winston, how to talk and sing; playing fetch with their dog Oliver; and rollerblading.

Dr. Kaitlyn Gregg
Fleming Island, FL

Dr. Gregg was born and raised in Rhode Island. She went to Assumption College for undergrad and Iowa State University for Veterinary school. She has had a lifelong obsession with dogs — especially dachshunds, and has one miniature wirehaired dachshund, Mr. Cooper (AKA “Mini-Coop”!). Her hobbies include hiking in the White Mountains and crafting.

Dr. Ken McMillan
ST. JOHNS, FL

Dr. Ken McMillan is a 1985 graduate of the University of Illinois. His special interests include orthopedics and knee issues. He is originally from Illinois but he and his wife, Barb, most recently relocated from Southern California.  They have two dogs, Theobean Winston, a Boston terrier and Walter Myron, a French bulldog. His interests include fishing, kayaking, and collecting pre-war baseball cards. He is also a die-hard Chicago Cubs baseball fan.

A former practice owner, Dr. McMillan brings vast experience in small animal medicine to the NewDay family.  He is a member of the AVMA, FMVA and CVMA. He looks forward to meeting and helping you and your pet.

Dr. Michael Carson
PEACHTREE CITY, GA

Dr. Carson earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. Dr. Carson is specifically interested in internal medicine and surgery. Dr. Carson’s hobbies include tinkering with computers, computer/console gaming and reading science fiction and fantasy literature. He also enjoys spending time with his diminutive but loyal chihuahua, Sassy.

Dr. Raniece Trench
SNELLVILLE, GA

Dr. Trench was born and raised in Boston, Ma. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in animal science from The University of Georgia, before attending and graduating from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine In 2018. After graduation, Dr. Trench moved back to the metro Atlanta area, where she’s practiced small animal medicine. Her professional interests include dermatology and nutrition. While away from the work, Dr. Trench enjoys spending quality time with her family, traveling, and watching/attending Patriot football games. She’s excited to see new patients and connect with clients regarding the care of their pets.

Dr. Shira Slotkin
Winter Garden, FL

Dr. Slotkin graduated from the University of Florida (UF) with an M.S. in Animal Sciences before graduating from UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Fear Free certified veterinarian whose professional interests include preventative medicine, emergency medicine and soft tissue surgery.

Outside of work, Dr. Slotkin loves cooking, exercising, playing with her dog and going to Disney with her husband.

Dr. Steve Capron
GEORGETOWN, TX

Dr. Steve Capron attended Oklahoma State University (OSU) and received his B.S. in Agriculture Economics in 1991. He graduated with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree 1996. Dr. Capron is the fourth veterinarian in his family, third generation. He follows his great uncle, Daniel Paradee – Hustisford, Wisconsin (KSU 1950), uncle Virgil “Jack” Capron (KSU 1965) and father Kenneth Capron (KSU 1965). He received his Fellow, Academy of Veterinary Dentistry 2006. He enjoys practicing general medicine, surgery and providing routine and advanced dental care for the Central Texas region since 2005. He spends his time off with his wife, Jenny, and son, Cooper, attending OSU sports, and catching up on the Yellowstone series with their five cats: Jessie, Gracie, Bullet, Rey and Lasso.

Dr. Tuesday Cariño-Templon
Winter Garden, FL

Dr. Cariño is originally from the Philippines where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1998. She started as a large-scale swine farm veterinarian until she moved to the United States in 2004, where she gathered diverse experience from working at mixed-animal hospitals; high-quality, high-volume spay-and-neuter clinics; as well as animal shelter hospitals. Dr. Cariño is most passionate about providing her patients with the latest Gold Standard of care in veterinary medicine, including soft-tissue surgery, immunotherapy and regenerative medicine. Outside of work, she loves painting on silk, gardening, cooking and spending time with her family and Dagul, their 7-year-old English Mastiff.

Dr. Vanessa Garcia Lindborg
Cedar Park, TX

Dr. Garcia Lindborg grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico- “The Land of Enchantment”. She loved working and training her family pets as a child, and like many veterinarians always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. She graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Biochemistry in 2005.  She then attended Colorado State University where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2010.  

Dr. Garcia Lindborg moved to Austin, Texas in 2018 with her husband and 6 fur babies. They immediately fell in love with the culture and knew they had made the perfect decision. They love that Austin is extremely pet friendly and that there is always something new to explore; not to mention all the amazing breweries and restaurants the city has to offer. In her spare time, she also enjoys dancing, hiking, movies, and training her dogs to do new tricks.  

Dr. Garcia Lindborg has a passion for preventative care, the human animal bond, animal behavior, and the fear free movement. She feels that nothing is more rewarding than providing great client education to help pet parents make the right medical decisions for their pets. She truly loves this profession and strives to provide the compassion and care needed for everyone facing uncertainty and stress when coming to a veterinary clinic. She wants to make sure your fur baby is well taken care of and stays happy and healthy while at the veterinary clinic. She is extremely excited to join the NewDay Veterinary Care family and cannot wait to meet you and your furry family members.

Dr. Vikki Parker
LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL

Dr. Parker is from upstate NY where she earned her BS and DVM degrees at Cornell University. She moved to Florida to be closer to her family and has lived in Bradenton for the past 15 years. Outside of work, she enjoys time with her dogs (a Border Collie named Jarrah and a Mini Aussie mix named Kiah) and family, playing tennis and traveling.

Dr. Yaritza Serrano-Laureano
Lake Buena Vista, Orlando

Dr. Yaritza Serrano-Laureano (Dr. Serrano), grew up in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, and knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. She completed undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, before moving to Louisiana for veterinary school. She graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. After graduating, she moved to Florida and started working in small animal practice, focusing on pet wellness and preventive care.

When not at work, Dr. Serrano loves spending time with her husband and son, and their 3 dogs. She also enjoys running, skating and salsa dancing.