Meet Our Veterinarians and Staff

Dr. Pasquale Meleleo – Owner / Veterinarian

Dr. Pasquale Meleleo - Owner / VeterinarianDr. Meleleo is an incredibly talented and devoted doctor. He moved to Staten Island from Italy at the age of 7. After graduating from St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as an electrical operator on a nuclear-powered submarine. After his military service, Dr. Meleleo enrolled at Wagner College. He later transferred to The College of Staten Island because of its rigorous and challenging program in biology. He began volunteering at a local animal hospital, where he discovered his passion for veterinary medicine and quickly worked his way up to becoming a veterinary technician. He also made time to enhance his educational experience by interning at The Staten Island Zoo, as well as the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center. He was later accepted to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he graduated in 2008. Soon after becoming a veterinarian, he began practicing small animal medicine.

Dr. Meleleo’s hard work and dedication have more than paid off, and he is thrilled to be able to own his own practice and continue to do what he loves. He understands the love and appreciation each owner has for his or her pets and treats each new patient the same way he would treat his own–as one of the family.

Dr. Nicole Longo – Associate Veterinarian

NLDr. Longo is a welcome addition to Pleasant Plains Animal Hospital. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Johns University and then completed her veterinary degree at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, West Indies. Dr.Longo then completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge.  She proudly became a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2002.  After working as a veterinarian in a Brooklyn animal hospital for many years, Dr. Longo joined Pleasant Plains in June 2013.  Her professional interests include advanced canine and feline medicine, as well as surgery.

Dr. Longo was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  She currently resides in Staten Island and has the joy of sharing her home with 3 cats.  In her free time, Dr. Longo enjoys kickboxing and spending time with her husband, two sons, and friends.

Dr. Jenna Goldhaber – Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Jenna Goldhaber was born and raised in Long Island, New York where she cultivated her passion for animals, science and the arts. While completing her undergraduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis, her volunteer work with local animal organizations and veterinary hospitals motivated her to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. She attended Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where she focused her training on small companion animal medicine. Her interest in general medicine, surgery, client education and the human bond led her to a career in private practice soon after graduation.

Dr. Goldhaber’s special interests include physical therapy, rehabilitation, clinical pathology, and geriatric medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys jazz and hip-hop dance, playing the piano and oboe, and spending time with her family and friends. Dr. Goldhaber is excited to join the team at Pleasant Plains and is looking forward to meeting all of our clients and fur-babies!

Dr. Allison Schwartz – Associate Veterinarian

Dr SchwartzDr. Allison Schwartz was born and raised in Long Island, New York. When she entered college, she moved to New Jersey and have lived there since. Dr. Schwartz has wanted to be a veterinarian since she was a young girl. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware, she continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School. While in veterinary school Dr. Schwartz spent her free time volunteering at her local shelter. After graduating, to prepare for the challenging career ahead, she completed a rigorous internship at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in New Jersey. She has been in private practice ever since and loves every minute of it!

Dr. Schwartz’s special interests are dentistry, surgery, and opthalmology. In her free time, she loves to bake, cook, read a good murder mystery, travel with her husband and spend time with her Yorkshire Terrier Gracie.

Valerie Kaufmann – Practice Manager


Valerie KaufmannValerie joined our team in 2012 and has since transitioned from Head Receptionist to our Practice Manager.  Through her 10+ years of working in this industry, she understands both the needs and concerns of our clients as well as the importance of providing high-quality care for our patients.She is a native of Staten Island, where she attended the College of Staten Island, majoring in Elementary Education before choosing a career in the veterinary field. She is currently working towards completing her business management degree to become a certified Veterinary Practice Manager. We are both happy and couldn’t be more fortunate to have her as the leader of our team.



Frances Avvento –  Technical Manager – Senior Technician

Gretchen Kittel - Practice Manager

Frances is one of our fully trained veterinary technicians with seven years of experience in the field. She graduated from Boston University, majoring in biology with a minor in psychology. She has always had a strong love for animals and began getting involved with them at a young age. She volunteered in shelters while in high school and gradually worked her way up. Frances worked as a technician for six years and also interned at the Staten Island Zoo Clinic. She is hopelessly devoted to pugs and owns a large menagerie of fish; she hopes to one day own a boxer. Frances aspires to attend vet school in the near future. We could not be happier to have her as a part of our management team, as well as one of our most knowledgeable technicians.

Jordan DeRosa – Senior Technician


Jordan is an extremely dedicated member of our PPAH staff. She became part of the Pleasant Plains technical team in 2014 and with having 15 years prior experience Jordan brings a wealth of compassion and experience to our practice.  She holds a particular place in her heart for large breed dogs, grumpy cats and has been a loving mom to many animals and fosters throughout the years. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Biology and shares her home with her handsome feline companion, Wesley. We are extremely lucky and excited for her future here with us.

Madlin Deaf – Senior Technician

Madlin is one of the newest additions to the PPAH family. With over ten years of veterinary experience, we are extremely lucky to have Madlin on our team. Graduating in 2010 from the Cairo School of Veterinary Medicine, Madlin hold’s a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in Egypt. She is currently working diligently towards passing her American board exams. In the meantime, we are fortunate to have her employed as one of our senior veterinary technicians. Madlin is particularly interested in the field of veterinary anesthesia. In her spare time, Madlin enjoys spending time with her baby, literature and listening to music.

Danielle Barbato-  Senior Technician


Danielle joined our medical team in 2013 and is currently completing a program through the Animal Behavioral College, furthering her career in companion animal medicine. Her beloved beagle CJ has been Danielle’s driving force and main inspiration for her to follow her true passion of becoming a Veterinarian. Danielle is a wonderful addition to our staff and brings love and enthusiasm to the care and treatment of every one of our patients.



Olivia Pea – Technician Assistant

OliviaOlivia comes to us all the way from Maryland and we are so lucky to have her! She is currently completing her Bachelors in Biology at Wagner College and intends to go on to Veterinary school upon graduation. Through her internship at the Staten Island Zoo, Olivia has discovered her love for not only companion animals but for wildlife as well. In between working and studying Olivia enjoys multiple creative outlets, such as photography, and spending quality girl time with her kitty Mona.

Lisa West – Technician Assistant

Lisa comes to us with a varying range of veterinary medicine knowledge and experiences. With 13 years experience in various outlets, she brings a wealth of knowledge and patient compassion to our team. Lisa enjoys both exotic and companion animal medicine and finds she is very passionate about radiology, dentistry, and patient care. When not caring for PPAH patients and their families, she enjoys spending as much time as she can with her own family, which include her husband, four children, seven cats, three birds and her favorite Pomeranian son, Cheese. We are so excited to have Lisa as part of our growing team!

Rayssa Squaracio – Technician Assistant


Rayssa’s passion for animal care and veterinary medicine first sparked when she spent time volunteering at various animal shelters. After many years in companion animal care, she went on to complete a certification course for veterinary assistant and has continued her education and growth within the medical field. Rayssa is an avid dog foster and is completing her Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering from Kean University. She looks forward to adventuring on to Vet School in the future with her family by her side, which includes her four loyal pups, Roxy, Angel, Teddy and Molly.





Amanda Beach – Technician Assistant

Amanda is an integral part of our patient care team! She first found her passion for animal medicine through volunteering with an equine mediated mental health rehabilitation center. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in sign language in order to become an interpreter. She is also looking to continue her career in Veterinary Medicine by pursuing certificate as a Veterinary Technician post graduation. Amanda’s little family consists of tiny Bailey, a whopping 8 pounds and Baileys 90 pound companion, Dutchess.

Veronica BVeronica Benanti – Technician Assistant

Veronica has been with Pleasant Plains Animal Hospital for over a year now. She has earned her BS in bio-psychology with a minor in anthropology. Veronica loves the fast-paced environment of being a technician and would like to return to school in the future to further grow her veterinary career. Outside of work, Veronica loves to spend time with her 3 cats, 1 dog and a turtle named Tabby.  She also enjoys a good video game, traveling, and hunting down a great meal at a nice restaurant. Her dream is to one day hug and feed a penguin.




Danielle Irvine – Technician Assistant

Danielle is currently enrolled in the College of Staten Island working towards her Biology Degree (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral). Her beloved pets have always been her pride and purpose in life. She aspires to take on vet school and further devote herself to rescuing neglected animals. Her dream is to open a no-kill, non-profit sanctuary for all species. Danielle has been volunteering for P.LU.TO Rescue of Richmond County for over 6 years now and has recently joined The Board of Directors. Danielle and her family have opened their hearts and home to many fosters. She has enjoyed horseback riding since she was 6 years old and has a special place in her heart for elderly and disabled animals. On her down time, she also enjoys music, painting/drawing, camping, gardening, and reading. When she isn’t at work, school, or volunteering, she can be found with her 2 dogs (Bandit and Emily), 2 cats (Nikita and Katara), and 3 rabbits (Casino, Moose, and Butler)! Danielle lives by the philosophy “In rescuing animals I lost my mind, but I found my soul.” Danielle is a wonderful addition to our continuously growing staff here at PPAH.


Kristina Bohl – Senior Receptionist

Kristina became an invaluable member of the PPAH team in 2016. Graduating from the University of Albany, majoring in biology and sociology, Kristina knew animal care was her passion.  While in school she was also an intern at the Staten Island Zoo. Her dream is to one day be a veterinarian herself! On her down time, she enjoys a good book and teaching herself new tricks, such as crocheting and calligraphy. We couldn’t be happier to have such a focused and dedicated member on our team!