Meet Our Team: Animal Lovers to the Core
Our veterinarians are special people who are passionate about your special pets. We are animal lovers before all else, and we happen to be very experienced and skilled in veterinary medicine. Serving pets and their people is a dream job for us all, and we can’t wait to get to know you. Get acquainted with our team below and make an appointment soon to meet us in person!
Have you met our veterinary staff yet? You can meet them online, too.
Stewart J. Silverman, DVM, Practice Owner
“I’m one of those very fortunate people in life who looks forward to coming to work each day because I actually get to do something I love. Whether it’s simply giving wellness exams and getting to play with an adorable puppy or kitten, performing a challenging surgery or helping return a sick pet to health. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to make a difference and enjoy that daily sense of fulfillment.” – Dr. Silverman
I graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University in 1984. After being an associate veterinarian in eastern Massachusetts for several years, I acquired the Melrose Animal Clinic and became Owner and Hospital Director in 1991. I take great pride in the excellent care and outstanding service provided at the animal clinic, and consider myself extremely fortunate to have found a career and practice that I find so personally fulfilling.
My professional areas of interest include wellness and preventative care, general and orthopedic surgery, teeth cleaning, and internal medicine. I am a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association, as well as the American Veterinary Dental Society and the Veterinary Surgical Laser Society.
When not busy at the practice, I can usually be found with my three children and our pet, Mia, an adorable kitty who we rescued from a stray litter. I am an avid Boston sports fan and in addition, enjoy biking, exercising, and golf, when I can find the time.
Pamela Low, DVM
“When I was a child, I read the MSPCA’s magazine “Our Dumb Animals” cover to cover, but I never dreamed I could become a veterinarian. I have always had a love for animals but it wasn’t until I was a graduate student that I realized taking care of them was my calling. My dog, Chloe, had become in pain, crying whenever she tried to open her mouth. It turns out she had an oral abscess, but our vet lanced it and by the next day, Chloe was herself again. Seeing an animal I loved in pain and then seeing that her pain could be relieved, that she could be fixed, I realized I wanted to be someone who could do that; I wanted to be a veterinarian." – Dr. Low
I received my degree from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1987 and completed an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City the following year. I lived in Manhattan and worked at the ASPCA, a large urban animal humane society, for many years before returning to New England. I joined the staff at the Melrose Animal Clinic in 1998, and I have been a happy and dedicated member ever since. I enjoy working in a friendly, supportive, small clinic environment where I have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with clients and care for their animals.
When I’m not at the MAC, I’m hard at work digging in my garden or paddling the waterways in and around Ipswich where I live with my husband, Ken, and son, Thomas. We share our home with our dogs, Liv and Dexter, and four furry felines Henry, Pablo, Dante, and Nola.
Gaura Shah, DVM
“I knew my true calling after my first encounter with a veterinarian at the age of 5. He was so selfless and caring for a stray cat my family brought to him. I was so impressed with the care and compassion displayed I have embraced this philosophy in my life and career." – Dr. Shah
I grew up in New Jersey and completed my undergraduate degree at Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ. I obtained my DVM from University of Minnesota in 2003 and continued my education by completing a year-long internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital: a 24-hour referral hospital in Tinton Falls, NJ. In 2004, I made Massachusetts my home and have stayed in the area ever since. Prior to working at Melrose Animal Clinic, I worked as an emergency clinician at Mass. Vet. Referral Hospital in Woburn.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my furry children: My Frenchie (Fearghus), and my two cats Chaiindo and Haggis. Additionally, in my spare time, I enjoy traveling and exploring new cultures, trying new restaurants, long distance running and exploring the city. My professional interests include, amongst many others, emergency and critical care medicine, internal medicine, ultrasound, and soft tissue surgery. I hope to see you and your families soon!
Lauren Sawchyn, DVM
“I build relationships with clients and patients centered on honest, compassionate care. I love talking with people, helping their animals, and hearing stories about their lives with their pets!” – Dr. Sawchyn
I have been fascinated by veterinary art, history, pathology, and anatomy since I was a child. I grew up with animals, and my mother, an LVT and practice manager, was an award-winning breeder of the Irish Terrier and Cornish Rex. As a native of southwestern CT, I attended the Ellis Clark Regional Agriscience and Technology Center and became involved in the FFA. I completed undergraduate studies in zoology and studio arts at the University of Maine and attended the Medical College of Georgia to obtain a Master’s degree in medical illustration. In 2009, I became board-certified in medical illustration and graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
I now work as both a veterinarian with an interest in general practice and preventative care, as well as a medical illustrator. Before joining Melrose, I practiced vet medicine in Ridgefield, CT. I own Sawchyn Medical Illustration, www.sawchynmi.com, a company that provides medical art services for biomedical and veterinary fields. My work is published in research journals, textbooks, and presentations. I also create custom portraiture and fine art by commission.
I am on the Board for Certification of Medical Illustrators, as well as a professional member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Medical Illustrators, and the American Association of Veterinary Anatomists.
My husband Derek, a large animal vet and immunologist, owns Black Brook Veterinary Services in Hamilton. We live amongst many farm animals as well as a Border Collie, Tam, an English Labrador Retriever, Perch, a black domestic short-haired cat, Sumi Stick, and several chickens and guinea fowl, including a Silkie rooster, John Shellencamp. I enjoy anything outdoors or with the animals, including painting, running, hiking, fishing, xc-skiing, and rummaging at thrift stores. We like to travel with our dogs and hope to hike all the dog-friendly mountains in New England and Canada. We also have an extensive garden to produce our own food and trial seeds for a family business.
Bethany Surgan, DVM
"I’ve always been fascinated by animals, biology, and medicine. But our pets don’t always read the textbook, and they certainly can’t tell me what is wrong. Every day at the clinic is different, each animal is unique, and sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It is the intersection of medicine, communication, problem-solving, and compassion that keeps me excited, challenged, and humble. I love that I am able to use my brain, my hands, and my heart to help my patients, and to preserve and strengthen the human-animal bond." - Dr. Surgan
I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian from a very young age, but my path wandered a ways before getting there. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and received my BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University in CT. After undergrad, I worked in non-profit and education, moving from New York to West Africa to New Orleans. In 1999, I moved to California, where I returned to school to finish my vet pre-requisites. I earned my DVM from the University of California Davis in 2006, graduating with Phi Zeta honors. I completed my internship at San Francisco Vet Specialists before finally moving back to the northeast to Boston. Before joining MAC, I spent 8 years working in a busy general practice in Belmont, MA, as well as regularly volunteering at the MSPCA Nevins Farm. I am thrilled to be a part of the outstanding team here at Melrose Animal Clinic.
I love the variety and challenges of general practice, and the opportunity to guide clients and their pets from puppy/kitten-hood to old age. Some of my veterinary interests include internal medicine, ophthalmology, soft tissue surgery, diagnostic ultrasound, and shelter medicine. In my free time, I enjoy aerial classes (silks/fabrics and trapeze), yoga, travel, hiking, live music, spending time with friends, eating good food, and exploring New England. I live in Arlington with the world’s best dog, Mabel (a Great Dane/Lab rescue), and two fabulous felines, Otto and Newman.
As a side note, my last name really is pronounced “surgeon,” which often leads to some confusion and much amusement!
Carrie Bonacorsi, DVM
"Knowing how important my kitties are to me and my family, I love getting to know the impact my patients have on their caregivers' lives through good and challenging times. It is an honor to have the opportunity to help my patients live balanced and happy lives with their families." - Dr. Bonacorsi
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, I received my veterinary degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia. After a few years (or so) in practice, I went on to pursue training in veterinary acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy, and veterinary food therapy at the Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida.
I began my career as an emergency veterinarian at a busy referral hospital where I learned to appreciate the many advanced life-saving techniques in Western veterinary care. Now in community practice, I enjoy a pace that allows me to understand the care requirements of my patients throughout their lives. Adding Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine to my practice brings everything together in that I can work with my clients to help patients find balance in their lives and environments. Using this integrative approach, my ultimate goal is to help companions reach the best health and relationships with their families.
Danielle Pelletier, DVM
“I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian since the 5th grade. Since then, my love of animals has remained a constant in my life. I enjoy building and maintaining long term relationships with clients and I care for every patient as if it was my own animal. I am grateful to have found a profession that makes me look forward to going to work every day. I absolutely love what I do and I couldn’t imagine my life without veterinary medicine.” – Dr. Pelletier
I was born and raised in Salem, MA where I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian for as long as I can remember. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine, Orono in 2001 with a major in pre-veterinary medicine and a minor in microbiology. I then received my DVM from Ross University, School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008 after completing my senior year at Purdue University. Before joining the Melrose Animal Clinic team in 2019, I was practicing at the Danvers Animal Hospital for the past 11 years.
I continue to call the North Shore my home, along with with my husband, Matt, two daughters, and three rescue dogs named Ellie, Colbie, and Casey. I enjoy seeing and treating all species with a strong interest in exotic medicine, internal medicine, dog training, and soft tissue surgery. In my spare time, I enjoy walking, reading, baking, traveling to Disney World, and spending time with my family.