Dr. Kathy Orr

Dr. Kathy Orr is a California native, having grown up in Riverside and graduated from the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1973.  She started her professional career at the Arizona Humane Society treating a wide variety of pets and wildlife and then obtained a coveted position as veterinarian at the Phoenix Zoo where she worked for 20 years.  Her passion for treating exotic animals led her to found Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation (www.libertywildlife.org), for whom she continues to provide veterinary services.  She also works with California Condors in Arizona and with the Primate Foundation.

Dr. Orr has three children who all inherited her love of science:  son David is a blood analyzer engineer, daughter Kris is a veterinarian in Boulder, CO, and daughter Wendy is a PhD candidate in biochemistry at UC-Berkeley.  She shares her home with Bun-Bun, a 10-year old Mastiff, multiple parrots, 14 llamas and a peacock.  They don’t all live in the house with her, though!  In her spare time Dr. Orr enjoys traveling and bird watching.

Dr. Dean Rice

Dr. Rice generally works at Bark Ave. every other Fri. and Sat.; when, that is, he’s not flying around the world tagging and treating big game species in Africa, educating veterinary technicians in South America or just sight-seeing in some other exotic locale!  A graduate of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Rice has a rich and varied resume, having owned five different veterinary hospitals in the state, worked as veterinarian and Executive VP at the Phoenix Zoo, and served in a variety of positions for the AZ Veterinary Medical Association.  We are lucky to have him at Bark Ave.!

He currently serves as the Director of Veterinary Science for the AZ Agribusiness and Equine Center (http://www.aaechighschools.com/college-prep-programs/veterinary-and-medical-studies.html) and is also on the Admissions Committee of Arizona’s new vet school, Midwestern University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  His home life is just as busy, as he and wife Kenda care for Jordyn, their Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, four horses and a variety of tortoises.  Dr. Rice has two adult daughters: Shelly, who lives in Washington, DC, and Jessica who lives closer by in Gilbert.

Dr. Richard Heffelman

You will love Dr. Heffelman’s way with your pets!  He has a special touch which puts even nervous pets at ease.  Dr. Heffelman grew up in Southern California but returned to his birthplace, Tucson, to attend the University of Arizona, where he received dual bachelor’s degrees in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Veterinary Science.  He then attended Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2004.  Dr. Heffelman and his wife, who is a Board-certified veterinary radiologist, live with their three furry kids, Quinn the Welsh Corgi, Wiley the Chihuahua and Piccolo the kitty.  He loves the outdoors and in his free time enjoys hiking, camping and fishing.


Ally is our bubbly receptionist who will greet you and your pets with a big smile!  She is a Mesa native, having graduated from Mountain View High School in 2009 and attended Mesa Community College.  She and husband Sam are avid collectors of Disney pins – if you’ve got any to trade, talk to her! – and some of their most memorable life moments have been spent at Disneyland, as they got engaged there, spent their honeymoon there, and are preparing to celebrate their first anniversary there!  Walter the Boston Terrier and Sebastian the kitty round out their household.


It wasn’t our plan to have two receptionists named Aly, but we hire the best and if they happen to have the same name, what can you do?  One is blonde and one brunette, and they spell their names differently, but that doesn’t help when they’re on the phone.  So we call dark haired Aly “Aly2” or “AlySquared”.  Aly2 is an artist hiding in a veterinary employee body; she is working towards her BA in Fine Arts and enjoys painting, drawing, and video games.  She has worked as a production assistant at a video game company and also managed a Borders/Seattle’s Best Café while living in Seattle.  Aly2 shares her home with Repo, her Dutch Shepherd, Mo, a tortoise-shell cat and Zuez (or Fats), a 35# tuxedo cat.


Jessica is involved in both animal and human medicine, working at Bark Ave. as a technician while earning her RN degree.  She plans to become a Nurse Practitioner and hopes to work in Emergency Medicine.  Jessica has had a varied professional career, having worked as an EMT and also as a Cruise Director at Legoland!  Jessica grew up in the San Diego area (Encinitas) and lives with her husband Kelley and Boston Terrier Dozer.


Nichole has a BS in Zoology from Humboldt State University and has worked in many aspects of veterinary medicine, including large animal, emergency, small animal and shelter medicine.  Her broad base of experience helps to make her an effective instructor at Red Mountain Community College, teaching classes to aspiring veterinary and vet tech students as well as a first-class technician for your pets.  Nichole, husband Scott and adorable son Shay live with two kitties, Fikki & Lil Miss.


Before you ask, yes, Charvel was named after her father’s favorite kind of guitar.  Great name; we’re just glad his favorite wasn’t Fender!  Charvel grew up in Surprise and came to us with five years of experience in the veterinary field.  She has done volunteer work at Fallen Feathers Avian Rescue and particularly loves to assist with all the exotic animals we see at Bark Ave.  Charvel dreams of one day owning a rescue sanctuary and becoming a vet herself.  She and her son live with Katze the cat and Beebe the Chihuahua.


Danica is our newest technician and we are thrilled to have her at Bark Ave.!  She grew up in Milan, IL and was trained and employed as a medical assistant before her love of animals led her to the veterinary field.  If we were to list all of Danica’s pets it might cause the web to crash, so suffice to say she, husband DJ and sons Derryck and Draegan share their home with one dog, one cat, one bird and a multitude (27 at last count) of reptiles.  Danica dreams of one day doing a cage dive with great white sharks.  We say to each her own!


Joanne is happy to be back at Bark Ave., having been the manager when it first opened back in ’09.  With a (gulp) 40+ year background in showing and breeding dogs, and more than 20 years in the veterinary field, Joanne has a special interest in canine reproduction and has shared her expertise with breeders throughout the southwest.  She grew up in the Kansas City area, earned a BS in public relations from Boston University and a JD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.  Joanne currently has two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Pete & Liebe.

The Angel Fund

The “Angel Fund” is funded by client donations that we have set aside to aid in patient treatment. Our goal is to help patients recover when their owners may not have all the necessary funds to continue their care.
Contact Us To Donate