Meet Our Team

John Palescandolo, DVM

Practice Owner, Veterinarian

Dr. John Palescandolo, DVM, graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. Before pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, he spent time as a commercial crab fisherman in Alaska, a rock climbing and mountain biking guide, and managing a cattle and horse ranch in Colorado. He had been on the staff of Animal Emergency & Referral Associates in Fairfield for over 20 years. After purchasing the Willowbrook Animal Clinic, he has focused entirely on his own practice, making sure it is a place where pet owners can know that both they and their pets will get the excellent treatment they deserve.

Dr. John is a very compassionate veterinarian and skilled surgeon with decades of experience who truly enjoys what he does. Outside of work, Dr. John enjoys spending time with his wife, four sons, and his pets. He is very passionate about sports and enjoys cycling, rock climbing, and swimming. He is an avid reader of books and loves a good slice of key-lime pie!

  • Over 30 years in practice
  • Education: University of Colorado and Ross School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Interests: Special interest in Emergency Medicine

Simone Stein, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Simone Stein is from the Black Forest in Germany and studied Veterinary medicine in Munich, where she also worked at the famous Oktoberfest for 13 years. She wrote her Ph.D. thesis on animal bones found in a garbage heap of a 2000-year-old Roman settlement, in fact, there were over 70,000 bone pieces to analyze!

She spent 6 years working in mixed practices mainly with cows and small animals in Germany and Ireland. Later, she relocated to the UK where she worked in a small animal practice and set up an acupuncture clinic that is still ongoing today. She went on to run an Emergency clinic in London for over 2 years before having children and working part-time.

She relocated to the US 10 years ago and had to retake all the exams but felt it was worth it because she loves working as a vet! Her heart lights up at performing surgery and improving pets’ lives through acupuncture and massage.

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She enjoys hearing about how pet guardians connect with their pets and witnessing how much they care for and support them. Dr. Stein chose Veterinary Medicine because she has always loved science and hands-on practical tasks, and she grew up in a rural location where animals play an important role in everyone’s lives. She is inspired by communicating with animals and assisting them.

One of her most embarrassing moments occurred when she dehorned cattle early in the morning and went on to numerous farms afterward, with no one noticing the large amounts of blood on her forehead! Only after her trip to the grocery store, when she was glanced at by many people, did she return home and look in the mirror to discover that she had spent the entire day with huge dried blood splatters on her forehead and hair! People must have assumed she was an ax murderer!

Amanda Barbaris, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Amanda Barbaris earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. Originally from Virginia, she relocated to northern New Jersey to practice and currently provides relief veterinary services to hospitals. Outside of work she enjoys spending time and seeking adventure with her husband, daughter, 2 dogs, and 3 cats.

Maddalena Carnaghi Palescandolo

Practice Manager

Maddalena is originally from Busto Arsizio, Italy. Always having a strong passion for animals of all kinds, she studied veterinary medicine at the University of Milan. After graduating, she emigrated to the United States in 1999 in search of a job. Maddie and Dr. John met as young veterinarians and quickly moved in together. After marrying Dr. John, Maddalena went on hiatus from the veterinary profession. This was done in order to raise their four beautiful boys; Giacomo, Luca, Leonardo, and Lorenzo. Now, she has remerged into the veterinary field as our Practice Manager. Maddie loves reading, cooking, and spending time with her family. Because of her many years spent traveling the globe, Maddie speaks Italian, English, Spanish, as well a little bit of French. She shares four pets with her family; Marco, Benji, Bonnie, and Cheeto.

  • Education: University of Milan, School of Veterinary Medicine

Allison

Head Veterinary Technician

Allison's Bio

Allison has lived most of her life in NJ. She’s always had a love for animals and knew she wanted to work with them since she was a little girl. She perused her passion and attended Harcum College where she received her Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology in 2013 and has been working in Veterinary medicine ever since!

A few of her favorite things about working in Veterinary medicine are watching ill patients make a full recovery and go home with their families, seeing pets’ arthritis and pain improve after laser therapy, and seeing the puppies and kittens grow up. She also enjoys educating pet parents on proper care and giving general advice to maintain a healthy and happy furry family member.

As a side project here at Willowbrook she will occasionally find herself involved in some grooming. She performed avian nail and wing clipping as well as medically necessary lion cuts on long-haired cat breeds.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her fiancee, enjoying the outdoors, and caring for her fur and feather babies.

Loryn

Veterinary Technician

Loryn's Bio

Loryn started working with animals as a volunteer and foster mom for an animal rescue in 2010. Since then, she has decided to enter the veterinary field, and is currently pursuing to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. She has 2 rescue dogs of her own, Mama and Bessie, and a rescue kitten named Grey. In her spare time, she loves to read and hike.

  • Education: Currently enrolled in Penn Foster for Veterinary Technician Certification Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Ramapo College of New Jersey

Natasha

Veterinary Technician

Natasha's Bio

Natasha is originally from Mumbai, India, and has a background in human medicine and public health. As a kid, she grew up around animals and they very quickly became her passion. She was a dog walker for 3 years during her time working in the public health field. Her love and passion to work with animals were always on her mind, so when the opportunity presented itself, she transitioned to the veterinary profession. She has been working in the Veterinary field since 2020 and is currently enrolled in a Veterinary Technician program to become certified as a veterinary technician.

She feels the most rewarding part of working with animals is helping pets get better and working with like-minded, sensitive, and compassionate people whose aim is to treat and provide excellent care to animals and pet clients alike. Animals show immense resilience, unconditional love, and gratitude. This is what makes her feel the profession is full of heart and compassion. Animals have the ability to savor, live, and value every moment. Being able to work with them is something that has been a great learning and growing experience for her, both as a professional and as a person.

Working with animals every day has its own funny moments, but getting smeared on her face during an anal gland expression has been the most embarrassing one yet.

She lives with her 6-year-old pit bull pup and during her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, playing music, and trying different cuisines.

Samantha

Veterinary Technician

Samantha's Bio

Bio coming soon!

Maria

Veterinary Assistant

Maria's Bio

Maria is from Puerto Rico but was born and raised in Paterson. She has always had a love and passion for animals. Growing up she was always taking care of strays and wanted to help heal and make pets comfortable. She’s been working with animals since 2014 but has been in the veterinary field since 2017.

She loves working in an animal hospital because she enjoys being able to help the pets and work in a great environment with an amazing team. One of her favorite parts of working with animals is being able to be a voice for them. She enjoys being able to comfort them to be able to give them the best care possible.

Her most embarrassing moment in Veterinary Medicine was when she was restraining a Great Dane. He decided he wanted to move so he stood up, picking her up on his back, and walked away.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, drawing, gaming, and cuddling with her cats.

Larissa

Veterinary Assistant

Larissa's Bio

Larissa was born and raised in New Jersey. She’s always had a passion and fascination for animals since she was a young girl. As a child, she can remember always bringing home small frogs and turtles.

She decided she wanted to spend her life working with animals and at 17 started working at Camp BowWow. She decided to move to North Carolina for a short period of time in 2019 and that’s where she was able to start her career in Veterinary medicine as a Veterinary assistant.

She loves working in an animal hospital because she enjoys building a bond with each animal, being able to watch them grow up, and helping them overcome an illness.

Mary

Head Receptionist

Mary's Bio

Mary has been working at Willowbrook Animal Clinic since 2019 as the Head Receptionist. She always had an innate love of animals so she decided to peruse her passion for working with them in a hospital setting.

She has over 30 years of customer service experience in various fields including Human Resources, Advertising, and Professional Pet Care. She was the Owner/Operator of a pet sitting and dog walking service in Hoboken, NJ. During this special time in her career, she felt truly honored to have her fellow neighbors/residents entrust the care of their family members to her and her staff. However, after several years, she and her family decided to leave Hoboken and the business was dissolved.

In the years since she’s had the privilege to work with great doctors who were also great teachers. She applied the knowledge and experience they imparted to her on a daily basis. She has come a long way from her early days at the front desk when upon answering a call in which a client requested an appointment for her cockapoo, she emphatically stated “I’m sorry, but we don’t see birds!”.

She decided to continue her work with animals and so she found herself here at Willowbrook. She feels honored to work with such a fantastic group of hard-working and like-minded, compassionate people who strive, every day, to provide optimal pet care in an enthusiastic, professional and caring way.

She believes the most important aspect of her role here at the front desk to be the “introduction to the practice”. She enjoys communicating with pet parents and to get their pets the best care possible. Particularly, if the client is calling about a pet in crisis. She never wants the client to feel like they are going through a tough time alone.

In her spare time, you will find her at an Animal Rights Walk, Anti-Fur Protest in NYC or cooking a delicious vegan meal. She also loves spending time with her favorite person in the world – her daughter, and their two feline family members, Sammy and Haimish.

Monika

Receptionist

Monika's Bio

Monika was born in Kosice, Slovakia. She’s had a love of animals her entire life. When she was a kid, she had a dream of becoming a Veterinarian but life took her in the direction of styling marketing. She grew up next door to her grandparents who owned a farm and her father was a hunter who bred Dachshunds.

In 2001, she and her father moved to the US where she met her husband. Together they have three children. Her hobbies include attending their extracurricular activities of basketball, baseball, football, field hockey, and lacrosse.

She speaks Slovakian, Polish, Czech, and a little Russian.

Her favorite part of working in an animal hospital is the ability to connect with the clients to help get their pets the best care possible. She also enjoys snuggling with puppies.

Maria

Receptionist

Maria's Bio

Maria has always enjoyed being around animals, specifically dogs, and grew up around many German Shepherds. She has been working in the Veterinary field since 2006.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, and spending time with her family. She has three kids, one grandchild, and a cat who is fifteen years old!

Rosanna

Receptionist

Rosanna's Bio

Rosanna was born in Italy and moved to the US with her family when she was young. She grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to New Jersey when she got married in 1981.

She speaks both English and Italian. She and her family have been lucky enough to travel to many different places in the world. She has visited Italy, France, Spain, Hawaii, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico, Greece, and the US Virgin Islands.

As a Marketing Consultant, she has worked in many different industries but never in the Vet industry. She finds it challenging to work in a new field but feels that she is making a positive difference in pets’ lives, keeping them healthy, active, and pain-free. She also enjoys working alongside animal rescues which allows her to make a greater impact in the lives of homeless animals.

Debbie

Receptionist

Debbie's Bio

Debbie was born and raised in New Jersey. She has always loved being around animals since she was a child. She’s currently married and has two children. When her children were younger, they would hatch chicks and ducks at Easter which is one of her favorite memories. Her children blame her for wanting to become a Veterinarian because of all the animals she grew up with!

As a hobby, she has been breeding Labrador Retrievers for over twenty years. One of her pups won best of the males in the Westminster Dog Show and has the most wins in the history of the Labs in 2009. In her free time, she enjoys scrapbooking, garage sales, gardening, and spending time with her family. She enjoys working in a Veterinary Clinic because of the pure joy of just being around the animals.

Her most embarrassing moment at work was when she had to ask one of her customers for payment and didn’t realize that the little dog pooped in its owner’s pocket where he kept his credit card,  it was a good outcome.

Giacomo

Kennel Attendant

Giacomo's Bio

Bio coming soon!