We have provided a summary of the education, experience, and interests of the many skilled veterinarians at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital. We invite you to review our summaries and contact us with any questions you may have.
Rachel Baratz, VMD
Growing up, Dr. Baratz had the desire to become a physician. Somewhere along the way; however, her interests were drawn to veterinary medicine instead. “I had a very difficult time choosing between equine medicine and small animal medicine, but now I know I made the right choice!” says Dr. Baratz.
In her spare time, Dr. Baratz enjoys raising her son, Ethan, Olympic weightlifting, and Crossfit training. Dr. Baratz has a long-haired cat named Gryffin who actually thinks he’s a dog.
Dr. Baratz says, “The best thing about being a veterinarian is helping people maintain the health and well-being of their valued and loved family members.”
Doreen T. Belz, DVM
Dr. Belz has a special interest in emergency medicine and ophthalmology. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking and bird watching. Dr. Belz lives in Pennsylvania with her three dogs, Scarlet, Oliver and Mo as well as a menagerie of cats. She is proud to boast that all of her pets are rescues.
The best thing about being a veterinarian: “I love seeing the unconditional love that a pet gives to its’ family and how that love is returned to the pet. It’s one of the sweetest relationships I have the privilege of watching.”
Lauren Coblentz, DVM
Dr. Coblentz has several hobbies outside of veterinary medicine such as traveling, snorkeling, working out, supporting the Philadelphia Phillies, going to concerts, and spending time with family and friends. She has 2 pets of her own: Dolce, a 4 year-old Doberman, and Mario, an 11 year-old domestic longhair cat.
According to Dr. Coblentz, “The best thing about being a veterinarian is the opportunity to establish long-term relationships with clients and their pets, to ensure the best possible medical prevention and care.” Dr. Coblentz states that, as long as she can remember, she always wanted to be a veterinarian.
Meryl Gupta, VMD
Dr. Gupta decided to become a veterinarian while in high school. Had she not become a veterinarian, Dr. Gupta says she would likely be working in a basic science research laboratory.
In her free time, she enjoys reading fantasy novels (especially those with magic and/or dragons), watching home improvement and de-cluttering shows, and playing with her two and four legged children.
Dr. Gupta lives in Mount Laurel with her husband, daughter, Chloe, and son, Deven. Her pets include Jada, a 9 year-old Pit Bull mix, Jonah, a 7 year-old Shepherd mix (both of whom are parvovirus survivors) as well as 4 domestic short hair cats, Amy, Gretsky, Scar and Moo.
According to Dr. Gupta, the best thing about being a veterinarian is helping animals as well as their caretakers.
Renee Senz-Hanan, VMD
The best thing about being a veterinarian: “The relationship between clients and their pets.”
Prior to entering veterinary school, Dr. Hoffman attended the University of New Hampshire where she majored in Microbiology. While attending a PhD program in Virology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, she became interested in medicine. When a tragic accident took the life of her beloved first dog, Dr. Hoffman realized that her true passion was veterinary medicine.
Dr. Hoffman lived in Italy from 1991 to 1993 and, while there, she opened a veterinary hospital which is still open and caring for pets today. In her spare time Dr. Hoffman enjoys reading novels by Stephen King, going to the movies, riding her bike, and spending time with her family and friends. She is also a loving mother to three Standard Poodles, Reece, Rudy and Sophie.
Dr. Hoffman says, “The best thing about being a veterinarian is being able to interact daily with many cats and dogs. Each pet is special in their own way. I love helping them, resolving their problems and making the veterinary visit as easy as possible for them.”
Kirsten Kruer, VMD
Dr. Kruer has several pets of her own. She has a Beagle, several cats, a parrot, sheep and goats. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Kruer enjoys music, spending time with her two young children and going on day trips.
Dr. Kruer has wanted to be a veterinarian since she was five years old. Her special interests in the veterinary field are emergency medicine, cardiology, and ferrets. She feels the best thing about being a veterinarian is "helping pets and their people to celebrate their bond and improve the quality of their life together."
In 2006, Dr. Laessig purchased Mount Laurel Animal Hospital from Dr. Ed Sleeper, and now owns and operates both facilities.
Dr. Laessig states that, from childhood, he dreamed of nothing other than being a veterinarian. To support his financial needs as an undergraduate and throughout college, he managed a McDonalds, worked as a veterinary technician, and held many other positions.
When asked about special interests, Dr. Laessig says, “No one aspect rivals my affection for providing comprehensive care to my patients, and I enjoy the puzzle of figuring out difficult cases. I have a strong love for the thrill of emergency medicine, and enjoy working in the fast-paced environment that comes with that part of veterinary medicine.”
Dr. Laessig has two cats. Both are female and were born in the summer of 2004. They were given to him after a staff member from the hospital rescued their mother. “Pewter” is an affectionate lover, and “Scarlet” is a playful neurotic. Dr. Laessig enjoys reading and professes to be a Macintosh computer addict. He is also certified in scuba diving.
Robert L. Mankowski, VMD
Dr. Mankowski has wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as he can remember. He has a special interest in performing surgeries. In his free time, Dr. Mankowski enjoys going to the Jersey shore where he spends his time fishing, boating, swimming, and relaxing. His other interests include playing poker, traveling, and sports.
Dr. Mankowski lives in Mount Laurel with his wife, two wonderful children, his cat Pumkin, a Beagle named Junior and a Chihuahua named Bella.
The best thing about being a veterinarian: “There are so many things I love about being a veterinarian, especially playing a role in the human-animal bond. When I see a person and their pet, I see a unique relationship, one that is usually filled with unconditional love. The bond between a person and their pet is among the strongest of bonds and it is my privilege to be able to play a role to uphold and enhance that bond.”
Rebecca Merrifield, DVM
Dr. Merrifield owns three Norwegian elkhounds named Morganna, Nefertit and Gypsy. Her hobbies and interests include music, reading, writing, cross-stitch and latch hook.
Dr. Merrifield always wanted to be a veterinarian and has a special interest in internal medicine, behavior, and the human/animal bond.
She thinks the best things about being a veterinarian is seeing sick animals return to health and seeing puppies and kittens just starting life’s journey.
“The best thing about being a veterinarian”, says Dr. Northrop “is helping critters and their parents get back to day to day life.”
Marcy Rose, DVM, MS
In her free time, Dr. Rose enjoys cross fit, wood working, gardening, cooking, biking and running with her dogs. Dr. Rose once provided treatment to an elephant that over indulged in monkey chow. Dr. Rose lives in Collingswood with her three rescued dogs: Dennis, Freeta and Ted, as well as three cats: Henry, Hannah and Flash.
Dr. Rose states that she always wanted to be a veterinarian and that the best thing about her job is helping animals and their families and good dog kisses.
Janna Schneiberg, VMD
Dr. Schneiberg's special interest is Internal Veterinary Medicine. Her main interest outside of veterinary medicine is spending time with her children and friends. She states that she wanted to be a veterinarian since she first learned that the profession existed at the age of seven. Dr. Schneiberg thinks the best thing about being a veterinarian is helping people keep their beloved pets around for as long as possible.
Karen Schreiber, MS, VMD
Edward M. Sleeper, VMD
Christopher Torre, VMD
Dr. Torre joined the team at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital in June 2012. Chris was raised in Medford, NJ, and he is a 2004 graduate of Shawnee High School. Chris has always had an appreciation for animals and the outdoors. He began working at the Animal Emergency Service of South Jersey in college, and this sparked his interest in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. He attended Cornell University for his undergraduate training and pre-vet coursework where he graduated with honors in 2007 with a double major in animal science and biology. During his time at Cornell, Chris worked closely with professors in the veterinary school and developed a strong appreciation for both small and large animal medicine. He went on to study veterinary medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where Chris was very involved on campus serving as the president of his class and as the president of the Penn Chapter of SCAVMA, the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicinal Association. Chris received his VMD in 2012 as a mixed animal major performing his large animal training at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, PA and his small animal training at the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (VHUP) in Philadelphia.
Chris enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine; however, he especially enjoys emergency medicine and surgery of all species. Chris lives with his fiancé Nicole, their three dogs (Gus, Gigi, and Sanchez), and their two cats (Simone and Stella). In his free time, Chris enjoys fishing, hiking, traveling, and getting whooped in basketball by his fiancé. Chris hopes to someday start his own hobby farm.
Alison Whiter, DVM
Dr. Whiter joined Mount Laurel Animal Hospital in 2007. She graduated in 2004 from Oklahoma State University and completed an internship in small animal medicine at Texas A&M University. She practiced for a few years in the Midwest before moving back to the Philadelphia area, which she has always considered home. She currently lives in Wynnewood, PA with her husband, son, dog and cat.
Dr. Whiter thinks the best thing about being a veterinarian is getting to see the incredible strength of the human-animal bond and playing a small role in maintaining that relationship by keeping the pet happy and healthy.