Valerie Kaufmann – Practice Manager

Valerie Kaufmann

Valerie 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 A – Technical Manager – Senior Technician

Frances Avvento

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 D – Senior Technician

Jordan DeRosa

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.


Danielle B – Senior Technician

Danielle Barbato

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.


Lisa W – 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 S – Technician Assistant

Rayssa Squaracio

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 B – 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 B – Technician Assistant

Veronica Benanti

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 I – 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.


Cristina B – Technician Assistant

Veronica Benanti
Cristina is currently in veterinary technician school working on her degree. She was originally in school majoring in social work, but she realized her love for animals was a deeper calling and she switched to animal medicine instead.

Despite being bitten by a dog at the age of 1, Cristina developed a deep connection with dogs and all animals! Her hobbies include indoor gardening and watching parrot videos on youtube. She also has a cat named Sadie.


Kristina B – Head Senior Receptionist/Technician Assistant

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 downtime, 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!

Selina F – Technician Assistant

Veronica Benanti
Selina went to the University of Delaware and majored in Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Animal Bioscience. Her hobbies include body building and personal training, and she has 4 dogs: Bebe a 17 year old toy Poodle, Zuzu a 14 year old Yorkie, Martini an 11 year old Terrier mix, and Angel a 9 year old Brussels Griffon.

In the future she hopes to get into vet school and work with wildlife with a focus on infectious diseases. She also loves science nature and traveling.


Gina S – Technician Assistant

Veronica Benanti
Gina graduated from Laguardia High School as an art major. She then graduated from SUNY New Paltz as a Biology major and Art minor. She applied to veterinary school with the future goal of becoming a great veterinarian! Her hobbies include piano, painting, biking, and working out. She has a Corgi named Lily, and 2 cats named Lila and Bubby.