Our Team

We are proud to be a Fear Free Certified practice! At South Branch, all doctors and staff are trained and certified in Fear Free techniques to make your pet’s visit to the vet a less stressful one.

Dr. Elizabeth Pope, Fear Free Elite Certified

Dr. Elizabeth Pope, Fear Free Elite Certified

Veterinarian

Dr. Elizabeth Pope grew up in NJ with the dream of becoming a veterinarian from a young age, she graduated from Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences where she met her husband, Nick, a fellow veterinarian. After graduation, they returned to the Garden State.  Dr. Pope resides locally with her husband and their son, Ben, her Labrador, Brody, her French Bulldog, Eloise, and a small herd of cows. 

Dr. Pope has enjoyed being part of South Branch Veterinary Services since 2017 and has a personal interest in internal medicine, dentistry, and team management.

Dr. Emily Denning, Fear Free Certified

Dr. Emily Denning, Fear Free Certified

Veterinarian

Dr. Denning was born and raised in New Jersey, where she was an avid equestrian and surrounded by animals, fueling her drive to become a veterinarian. She received her bachelor of science degree from Penn State University and went on to receive her DVM from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona, graduating with multiple awards.

Dr. Denning’s veterinary interests include internal medicine, wound management, and preventative care. Outside of work, Dr. Denning enjoys spending time with her husband and their cat, Nelson.

Dr. Nick Pope

Dr. Nick Pope

Veterinarian

Dr. Nicholas Pope grew up on a farm in Oklahoma knowing he wanted to be a veterinarian from day one, and earned his DVM from Oklahoma State University.  Dr. Pope’s grandmother was the office manager of a multidoctor clinic in his hometown, inspiring his desire for owning and operating veterinary hospitals and beginning his lifelong involvement in the veterinary industry.  

Dr. Pope is passionate about delivering exceptional patient care, leadership development of his team members, and practice management.  He loves living in beautiful Hunterdon County on a small farm with his wife Elizabeth, son Benjamin and all his animals.  When not at any of the practices you can find him either fishing the Raritan, golfing, or driving around admiring his cows. 

Dr. Jamie Ulassin, Fear Free Certified

Dr. Jamie Ulassin, Fear Free Certified

Veterinarian

Dr. Jamie Ulassin was born and raised in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. She grew up riding horses, which is where her love for animals initially began. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she obtained her bachelors in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. She then went on to obtain her VMD at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Dr. Ulassin has special interest in small animal soft tissue surgery, dentistry, and internal medicine. In her spare time she loves hiking, horseback riding, and spending time with her husband, and her two dogs; a Chow Chow named Sarge, and an American Bully named Harley.

Dr. Victoria Blake, Fear Free Elite Certified

Dr. Victoria Blake, Fear Free Elite Certified

Veterinarian

Dr. Victoria Blake was raised in South Jersey, where she enjoyed working with therapy horses from a young age. She attended Michigan State University for her undergraduate studies and was a member of the university’s animal welfare judging team. During her time there, she had the opportunity to embark on study abroad programs focused on animal science at agricultural universities in Scotland and the Netherlands. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Zoology, she went on to earn her VMD at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Blake’s professional interests include Fear Free and low stress handling, preventative medicine, and surgery. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her cat, Jasmine.

Dr. Hamilton, DVM, DACVIM(O)

Dr. Hamilton, DVM, DACVIM(O)

Dr. Hamilton has worked in veterinary medicine his entire life, starting as kennel help at 14. After completing his undergraduate degree in psychology, he stayed at Colorado State University to complete his doctorate in veterinary medicine. Dr. Hamilton spent two years in general practice in Las Vegas, then went on to start his oncology residency at Michigan State University. As a board-certified veterinary oncologist, Dr. Hamilton has been commissioned to start multiple oncology departments in the northeast, participate in clinical trials, and is asked to lecture frequently.

Dr. Hamilton has provided mobile oncology care in NJ since 2011, seeing patients most commonly from Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren, and Union counties. Dr. H deeply enjoys bettering the lives of oncology patients and working with their owners to ensure the best quality of life possible. This passion motivated Dr. Hamilton to bring oncology specialty care to the general practice in 2017, allowing pet owners, veterinarians, and specialists to work together in one setting. Dr. Hamilton enjoys hobby farming and tending to all his critters when not at work.

Dr. Meredith Schepp, Fear Free Certified

Dr. Meredith Schepp, Fear Free Certified

Veterinarian

Dr. Meredith Schepp has been practicing in central New Jersey for the past 9 years.  Originally from New York, she completed her undergraduate studies in Neuroscience at the University of Rochester.  She went on to earn her DVM degree at Ross University and spent her clinical year at Oklahoma State University.  Her particular areas of interest include client education, surgery/dentistry, pain management, and palliative care.  Dr. Schepp is a Fear Free Certified Professional and she believes strongly in the Human-Animal Bond, striving to work with pet parents to find the best outcomes for their families.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, rock climbing, reading, and going to the beach.  She is also an avid Broadway and Harry Potter fan! She loves spending time with her two dogs, Atlas and Luna, and cat, Milo.

Matthew Klitsch, Fear Free Elite Certified, Human Animal Bond Certified

Matthew Klitsch, Fear Free Elite Certified, Human Animal Bond Certified

Office Manager

Certified Veterinary Technician

Matt joined our team in 2013 and comes from a diverse background of working with animals. He spent six years as a lead-volunteer with a local wildlife rehabilitator. Matt also worked in a local animal shelter as an animal care technician and is an NJ certified animal control officer. Matt holds a B.A. from Montclair State University, an M.F.A. from Drew University, and an A.S. in Veterinary Technology from Penn Foster. He lives in Hunterdon County with his cat, Celes.

Diana Wahl, Fear Free Elite Certified

Diana Wahl, Fear Free Elite Certified

Certified Veterinary Technician

Head Veterinary Technician/Technician Manager

Diana, a graduate certified veterinary technician, has been with South Branch since 2007 and is our Head Veterinary Technician. She is a graduate of the Veterinary Technical Institute in Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. from Boston University. Diana has over ten years experience in small animal hospitals and emergency and surgical veterinary medicine. Diana lives nearby with her labrador, Dusty.

Samantha Whitmore, Fear Free Elite Certified

Samantha Whitmore, Fear Free Elite Certified

Veterinary Assistant

Samantha is one of our veterinary assistants and has been a member of our team since 2011. She has experience working with a wide variety of exotics; including lizards, frogs, rodents, ferrets, and chinchillas. She has previously volunteered in a local animal shelter and spent a summer working with equines at a riding camp. Samantha lives nearby with her beloved rabbits: Chicken Nugget and Waffles.

Helan Thomas, Fear Free Certified

Helan Thomas, Fear Free Certified

Veterinary Assistant

Helan received her BS in Biology and a BA in Environmental Studies from Seton Hall University. In her free time she volunteers at a local avian rehabilitation center, does bird banding, and enjoys playing with her cats, Moon and Orio.

Rebecca Wolf, Fear Free Certified

Rebecca Wolf, Fear Free Certified

Veterinary Assistant

Rebecca joined the South Branch team with six years of experience at a local feline sanctuary. She obtained a B.A. in Communication, but had always wanted to be involved with veterinary medicine since the age of 8. Growing up, Rebecca had 13 guinea pigs over many years. She currently shares her home with two cats, Ari, and Archer.

Brooke Maziarz, Fear Free Certified

Brooke Maziarz, Fear Free Certified

Veterinary Assistant

Brooke grew up in Hunterdon County surrounded by cats and dogs. She spends her free time spoiling her dog Lilybelle and volunteering at a local wildlife center.  Brooke is currently working towards her certification to a certified veterinary technician. 

Alyssa Homeier, Fear Free Certified

Alyssa Homeier, Fear Free Certified

Client Service Representative

Alyssa grew up in Tennessee and earned a BS in psychology at UT Chattanooga before moving to New Jersey in 2018. She worked as a home healthcare aide for seniors before joining the South Branch team. Growing up, she had a variety of pets ranging from cats and dogs to newts and guinea pigs. Now she lives in Hunterdon County with her beloved cats Cookie, Cocoa Bean, and Cashew.

Amy Shivers, Fear Free Certified

Amy Shivers, Fear Free Certified

Veterinary Assistant

Amy grew up in Bound Brook and has loved animals and nature her whole life. She spent 7 years working in the field of wildlife rehabilitation before joining the South Branch team and enjoys using her knowledge and spending her time to help animals in any way she can. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, mushroom hunting, reading, and playing video games. She shares her home and free time with her partner, Dennis, their rescued pup, Holmes, their rescued cat, Axle, and their 3 rescue degus, Sweet Pea, Frenchie, and Po.

Amanda Calello, Fear Free Certified

Amanda Calello, Fear Free Certified

Customer Service Representative

Amanda grew up in New Jersey and now calls Washington Township home. She and her husband have two very spoiled Great Danes, Finn and Rosie, whom they love taking on all kinds of adventures.  Amanda looks forward to saying hello to all the patients coming through the door at South Branch and to give treats to put them at ease.

Kristine Gers, Fear Free Certified

Kristine Gers, Fear Free Certified

Customer Service Representative

Kristine grew up in Central NJ and graduated Rutgers University in 2018 with a Bachelors in Communication and Environmental Policy. After spending over 15 years in the hospitality industry, Kristine decided to pursue her passion for animals. She started volunteering at a wildlife rehab and eventually became a full time pet sitter and dog walker. Living in Hunterdon County with her husband and a cat named Percy, Kristine enjoys painting, roller skating, and cooking. She is super happy to now be a part of the South Branch Vet family and loves greeting all of our clients at the front desk.

Tracy Souders, Fear Free Certified 

Tracy Souders, Fear Free Certified 

Customer Service Representative 

Tracy was born and raised in New Jersey and holds a B.A. from Monmouth University in Elementary Education and Psychology.  Tracy teaches kindergarten full-time in Warren County and has enjoyed a long career supporting families, their children, and their pets with over 10 years of experience in customer service.   

Leeyong Wong, Fear Free Certified

Leeyong Wong, Fear Free Certified

Veterinary Assistant

LeeYong was born in Hong Kong and raised in NYC. She received her AOS degree in Graphic Design from Pratt. Her equestrian pursuits led her to New Jersey where she worked as a Pastry Chef for 15 years. In 2021, her love of her animals (two Norfolk Terriers -Stevee and Gaby; three cats -Suki, Bonz, and Essy and Her horse – Rolf) inspired her to pursue a career as a veterinary assistant ultimately joining South Branch Veterinary Services in 2022.

Johanna Frank DVM, DVSc, Certified Fear Free Professional

Johanna Frank DVM, DVSc, Certified Fear Free Professional

Diplomate ACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)

Dr. Frank is originally from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She graduated with high honors from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph in 1994. She completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery from North Carolina State University in 1995 and then returned to the Ontario Veterinary College for a residency in small animal internal medicine, which she completed along with a doctorate degree of Veterinary Science  (DVSc) in 1998. Dr. Frank achieved board certification by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM-small animal) in 1998.

She began her career at a referral practice in Colorado. After 2002, she shifted to telemedicine consultations and running her own consulting business focused on internal medicine and endoscopy. Since 2006, Dr. Frank has provided mobile ultrasound and consultations, becoming an expert in this area. She established her own company, VetSound IM, in 2014 and is a co-author of The Curbside Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Sonographically-Detected Disease: Canine and Feline, which was published in 2015.

She began her career at a referral practice in Colorado. After 2002, she shifted to telemedicine consultations and running her own consulting business focused on internal medicine and endoscopy. Since 2006, Dr. Frank has provided mobile ultrasound and consultations, becoming an expert in this area. She established her own company, VetSound IM, in 2014.