Two new veterinarians joined the Associate Veterinary Services team at the start of their professional careers.
Dr Tanner Hernandez is a 2020 graduate of LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and recently completed a one-year referral medicine internship. As a student, he took additional courses in integrative medicine and became certified in acupuncture on large and small animals.
Prior to attending veterinary school, Dr. Hernandez received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Northwestern State University and an associate’s degree in veterinary technology.
“I grew up on a small farm, so my family has always had cows, horses, dogs and cats,” said Dr. Hernandez, from Flora, Louisiana. “I actually wanted to be a teacher, but when I heard about the Vet Technical License program, it sounded perfect. I never really thought of myself as a vet, but now that I do, I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s a very rewarding job.
In addition to starting his professional career, Dr Hernandez married his wife, Cassie, last May. The couple have a one-eyed, feline leukemia cat named Babs and a “crazy puppy” named Bette. In his spare time he enjoys eating southern food, traveling with his wife, helping out in animal shelters, and spending time with friends and family.
“It’s definitely been a crazy few years, but I feel like I got a lot done in a short period of time,” Dr Hernandez said. “Now I just focus on helping people with their pets and coming home to spend time with my wife. “
Dr Nadeeshani Wijetunge, who calls himself Dr Nadee, also joins Associated Veterinary Services. The Kenner native graduated in 2021 from LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Before attending veterinary school, she received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola University in New Orleans. For over 10 years, she has been a volunteer and hospitality partner for several animal shelters and rescues in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
“My interest in animals started when I was a child. I had pet parakeets and rabbits and found myself spending all of my time after school with them, ”Dr Nadee said. “My family had a huge room where we let them go out to fly or jump. The best times were when they landed on top of me or sat on my lap as if I was “the chosen one” among my siblings.
Dr Nadee said she realized she wanted to be a vet when she noticed she enjoyed all aspects of animal care, even mundane tasks like cleaning litter boxes and cages.
“Being a vet allows me to provide them with anything I can imagine, and that’s all I ever wanted to do,” she said.
At home, Dr. Nadee has a Black Mouth Cur puppy named Sam, two cats (Mama and Winston), a Budgerigar (Diana) and a Green Cheek Conure named Eugene. Over the years, she has raised 53 cats and there is more to come.
“I take them out of the shelter when they are only a few days old, bottle-feed them, watch them grow up, then send them to join their family forever,” Dr Nadee said of her foster cats. “It has only been gratifying. I can accommodate several litters at the same time. When I was in school I always sat in the cat room when I was studying because it made me so happy to watch the kittens play and made the study so much more enjoyable.
Associated Veterinary Services offers routine exams, dental care, x-rays, laboratory services, endoscopies, acupuncture, vaccinations, surgery, microchips, geriatric medicine and more. The office is located at 7807 Greenwell Springs Road in Baton Rouge. For more information call 225-928-4417 or visit www.avsbr.com.