Dr. Alan Mafara
Dr. Alan Mafara came from Zimbabwe in 2003 after having graduated in 1993 from the University of Zimbabwe. He came to AZ to be with his wife, Sharon, who he met in an exchange program between the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Zimbabwe’s veterinary school.
Since moving to Arizona, Dr. Mafara has become passionate about preventative care, orthopedic surgery and veterinary dentistry in primarily dogs and cats. He spends time with his mentors at Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists in order to improve his dentistry skills.
Dr. Mafara and Sharon share their home with their son, daughter, and a boxer mix called Girlfriend. Their after hours activities are usually centered on the kids who like chasing hot air balloons and attending swimming lessons. Dr. Mafara also enjoys the local sports teams and catching a Cardinals, Diamondbacks or Suns game whenever he can. He hasn’t quite yet become a Coyotes fan since he says he still has to learn how hockey works! For relaxation, however, he finds a round of golf is a welcome bonus.
Dr. Tracy Connolly
Dr. Connolly grew up in Payson, AZ. She attended the University of Arizona and received her bachelor’s degree in animal science with a minor in chemistry in 2005. She then completed her Veterinary degree at Oregon State University in 2009. Dr. Connolly joined the staff at East Valley Animal Hospital in 2013.
One of Dr. Connolly’s true passions is performing ultrasounds on patients. She admits that this part of her job is her “happy place.” She has also completed many hours of continuing education with a special interest in dentistry and preventative care.
Dr. Connolly lives in Queen Creek and is engaged to be married. She has four kids, a horse, a pony, and a dog. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, riding horses and country dancing.
Dr. Connor Barich
His family moved to Arizona in 2001, and the Gilbert area has been his home base ever since. He traveled back and forth to Florida for his undergrad and pursued his veterinary degree with his master’s in public health at St. George’s University on the beautiful island of Grenada. He recently completed his clinical year of veterinary school at Washington State University and is happy to be back in the Gilbert area permanently.
He’s excited to be a part of this team and has special interests in preventative medicine, dentistry, and infectious diseases. He looks forward to building lasting relationships with his clients and the pets they bring to see us!
Outside of the clinic, his wife, a labor and delivery nurse, and him love hiking, biking, and spending as much time as they can outdoors. While they don’t currently have any pets or children, they are excited about the near future additions of a Golden Doodle and a Great Dane.
Hospital Manager, CVT
Gina has had a love for animals for as long as she can remember. She knew that a career with animals was her life’s calling since she was 4 years old. She actually started working in the veterinary field when she was 12 years old by volunteering at a local clinic in her neighborhood every summer. This lead to going every day after school once she was in high school, which finally lead to a job when she was 16 years old.
She joined the East Valley Animal team in November of 2009 and became a CVT in 2010. She was a part-time technician until March of 2014 when she decided to become the Hospital Manager and be a committed full-time leader. Gina is currently working on obtaining her CVPM.
When you talk to Gina, you can easily tell how much she loves working at East Valley Animal Hospital. “It’s great being a part of a group of people that is so close,” she says. “We’re like a family.” Gina also acknowledges how much she and every member on the staff truly cares for each patient. “This clinic treats the patients as if they are their own,” she explains, “and we’ve built some amazing relationships with our clients because of it.”
A native of Tucson, Gina currently lives in Mesa and enjoys spending time with her wife, two boys, their Bengal kitty, three Red Eared Sliders, and four dogs. Photography, reading, hiking, and running are some of her favorite things to do on her downtime. She was a surrogate in 2016.
Client Service Representative
Originally from Washington State, Angela began working at EVAH in July of 2013. Providing great customer service by making clients and pets feel safe and welcomed is her #1 goal, an easy accomplishment with all that EVAH offers. Angela is also dedicated to building great relationships with clients and their pets to ensure they have all they need while they are here with us. With over 20 years as a bookkeeper before jumping into the veterinary field as a veterinary assistant, Angela eventually found her life’s mission as a customer service representative and has been doing it ever since. Her passion for animals motivated her to start up a career in the veterinary field where she loves all of the interaction with the people and the patients, making it easy for her to say, “I actually enjoy coming to work each and every day.”
In her free time, Angela can be found traveling to the water – whether it’s an ocean, river or lake – and likes to stay busy whenever she can by going camping, riding horses or off roading.
Lead Veterinary Technician
Rachel has been in the veterinary field for 15 years now, working with Dr. Mafara for a total of more than 13 of those years and Dr Connolly for six years. She shares her home with the most important man in her life, Steve the Cat, her 15 year old Manx. She does have one other man in her life, Blu, her 23 year old quarter horse, who lives at her mom’s house with her horse Splash. Steve and Rachel are mostly homebodies. You’ll usually find them there watching TV, movies, reading or playing video games. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family, but Steve usually stays home. She couldn’t imagine having any other job or working with any other group of people. They all share a passion for keeping pets happy and healthy as if they were their own.
Josie came here from Michigan when she was only a year old. She lived here until she was 12 years old, then moved to Illinois for 2 years, then moved to Las Vegas for another year before she moved back to Arizona. She grew up always traveling for her dad’s work, she has been to 34 states and 4 other countries. She loves traveling and seeing the world which got her into photography. She also did karate for many years and has 2 black belts.
She has always had a love for animals and knew she wanted to work with them. She volunteered all through high school at Friends for Life Animal Rescue and attended EVIT. After graduation she attended Pima Medical Institute in the Veterinary Assistant and Veterinary Technician programs. She graduated with her Associates of Applied Animal science in 2018. She has 2 dogs and a loving husband at home. Zoey is a 5 year old and Zeus is 11 month old pittie. In her free time she loves to take long walks with her fur babies and hubby, playing at the park with them, taking photographs, exploring new places, or just chilling and watching movies together.
Chris has wanted to help others ever since he can remember. He’s also been fascinated by medicine for many years. After retiring from his career in the United States Army, Chris attended school to study veterinary technology. An old neighbor of his mentioned that they knew of a veterinarian in need of a technician and encouraged him to reach out. When the opportunity arose for him to help pets and animal owners as a member of the veterinary profession, he knew that it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Chris has been involved in veterinary care ever since!
Chris particularly likes helping to educate pet owners on the best possible care techniques for their animal friends. He also loves to be there for families during both good and bad times—he considers it an honor to share those moments with the pets and their owners.
Away from work, Chris likes to spend time with his family and their three dogs: Jax the Husky, a Beagle named Odie, Loki the Pit Bull mix, and Anubis the Malinois.
Donna traveled from California to Arizona in search of a new adventure shortly after graduating high school. Once in Arizona, being a short road trip away from snow and so close to mountains was reason enough to stay. Donna has always had a love for animals, but there was a time where she considered working as a ‘human nurse.’ One day, it just hit her that helping animals was IT for her! She started school to become a veterinary technician and graduated from Kaplan University in 2011 and the rest is history! She does plan on continuing her education and hopes to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Her dream is to one day work at a wildlife park and get to interact with all the amazing tigers, lions, and bears!
When not at work, Donna loves to hang out with her coworkers–who are like family to her, take care of her animals, play video games, read comics and watch all the Marvel/DC movies, watch anime and be the designated taste tester for her husband, Steven, whenever he tries new recipes at home. He repays the favor when Donna tries new baking recipes. The first 2 pets they have are a blue pit that she adopted named Havoc and Talo her cat who moved with her from California. She found him as a stray kitten and he turned out to be the ideal road trip partner during her move. He sat in the front seat and napped, he only complained when the AC was not pointed directly at him! New additions, Harley and Igneel (Iggy for short) are their bearded dragons. Harley is a leatherback and Iggy is a Citrus. They are little hungry hippos that love exploring the house, sitting on top of your head and scaring Havoc and Talo.
Donna understands the unfortunate situation of when something unexpected happens to your fur-babies. Sometimes it is scary and frustrating and there are a lot of emotions. Having her own pets, Donna understands and has felt what some clients go through when something scary happens with their fur babies.
Client Service Representative/Veterinary Technician
Rachelle started at EVAH in December 2012 as a veterinary assistant and receptionist where her duties include cleaning, performing diagnostics and establishing relationships with clients. She enjoys playing the “motherly” role when taking care of sick patients and watching them get well warms her heart. “I’ve always had a deep connection with animals, especially dogs,” Rachelle says. “Seeing my miniature pinscher diagnosed with diabetes gave me the push to pursue a career in the veterinary field.”
Rachelle has one daughter, a dog named Yukon and a rat named Atticus. Her hobbies include makeup application, going to concerts, “Sunday Funday” with her family and going to the coffee shop with her best friend. Rachelle appreciates the great relationships she has with her co-workers and considers them to be family
Originally born in San Jose, California Augie moved to Arizona when he was young. He always loved animals, there was always a pet in the household as long as he can remember. His love for the job stems from seeing the way a veterinarian and the rest of the staff cared for his sick pet when I was young. He wanted to do the same for other families and their little critters. He has not worked in many fields, but he is more than sure he will be happy in this one.
In his free time he will be doing one of three things, playing video games, binge reading some form of literature or trying to find a new movie to watch. He loves trying new foods and finding a new favorite restaurant. He will always jump at the chance of trying something new if there isn’t any major risk.
Originally from Farmington, New Mexico, Destinee moved to San Tan Valley, Arizona in 2012 and now calls Chandler her forever-home. She has been in the veterinary field since 2017 and loves to see the fuzzy friendly faces that come into the clinic each day. Destinee is very family oriented and enjoys coming home to her children each evening. During her spare time she loves collecting house plants and working up new recipes in the kitchen. Destinee has a sassy feline named Toast and is awaiting her new kitten Flapjack. She also has a lovely Beta fish named Gil!
McKenzie is an Arizona native. She started as a volunteer at the clinic for two years before officially joining the team in August of 2020. She has two crazy four-legged friends at home, Shadow (a protective, silly mystery mix) and Lucky (a goofy, talkative Rhodesian Ridgeback mix). While she loves large dog breeds, she is passionate about helping all animals.
McKenzie is finishing high school and attending EVIT so she is learning at the clinic and in the classroom! She is determined to continue her education in the field and persue additional certifications.
In her free time, she enjoys watching Marvel and Star Wars movies as well as spending time with her family. She loves hiking and her favorite hiking spot is anywhere in the red rocks of Sedona! Another one of her hobbies is photography in natural settings. She always brings her camera with her on hikes and trips to capture the natural beauty of different places in Arizona.
Client Service Representative
Clara was always struck by the way that animals cannot always speak up for themselves, even though they’re experts at communicating with their human family members. She wanted to be able to help bridge that gap—for her, helping to advocate for pets and their healthcare is a dream come true. Clara gets to better the lives of animals every day as a member of East Valley Animal Hospital. We are so glad she joined us in January of 2021!
Clara is originally from Deming, New Mexico and used to work as a Medical Assistant in a pediatric office. She enjoyed the proximity to the medical world, but she knew that it wasn’t her true calling. Clara jumped at the chance to get her foot in the door when the chance came up and hasn’t looked back!
At home, Clara has two dogs: Haides, a Chihuahua mix, as well as her sister’s dog, a Toy Yorkie puppy who goes by Chapo Guzman.