Janet Welch, DVM, DACVS
Surgeon- Medical Director of Specialty
In Dr. Welch’s 20-year career as a surgical specialist, she has practiced at academic and private practice specialty hospitals in Alabama, Georgia, and Massachusetts. She received her bachelor’s degree and DVM from Cornell University and completed a small animal rotating internship at Darien Animal Hospital in Connecticut. Dr. Welch’s surgical residency training was performed at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Upon its completion, she joined the faculty of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine whereas Associate Professor of Surgery she trained residents, interns, and veterinary students for 13 years. Most recently, she completed training in veterinary acupuncture by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) Dr. Welch is experienced in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. She has published articles in the areas of bone healing, stifle (knee) disease and pain management. She has co-authored a textbook entitled “Small Animal Distal Limb Injuries”, published in 2015. As her career in surgery evolved, she became interested in the science of acupuncture and the ability to use it to help patients with soft tissue and orthopedic conditions that may not respond fully to standard treatments.
Dr. Welch’s specialty services include:
- Orthopedic Surgical Procedures
- Soft Tissue Surgical Procedures
Rachel Currao, DVM
Practice Limited to SurgeryDr. Rachael Currao attended Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where she completed her Bachelors of Biology in 2003. She then went on to attend Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, MA, where she received her Doctoral Veterinary Medicine degree in 2007. In July 2007, she began a one-year Small Animal rotating internship at The Animal Medical Center, New York, NY. After spending one year as a surgical intern at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center in Dallas, TX, Dr. Currao returned to The Animal Medical Center in Manhattan in 2009 to complete a three-year Small Animal Surgical Residency. She is the recipient of several awards and honors including Student Achievement Award for Outstanding Clinical Proficiency, Intern of the Year, and Veterinarian of the Year. Her primary surgical interests are wound management, urinary tract surgery, brachycephalic airway repair, polytrauma, emergency surgeries, and fracture repair. Her research and publications involve vascular thrombi, radical maxillectomies, hydraulic urethral occluders, laparoscopy vs. laparotomy biopsies, and abdominal septic effusion.
Dr. Jenna Giangarra, DVM
Practice Limited to Surgery
Dr. Jenna Giangarra earned her Bachelor degrees with honors in Animal Science and Veterinary and Biomedical Science from the University of Nebraska in 2008. She then received her DVM from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013.
Following graduation, Dr. Giangarra completed a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA followed by a surgical specialty internship at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, TX before beginning her small animal surgical residency in July of 2015 at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
In addition to completing her residency, she was also awarded a Master’s degree in Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences in 2018.
Kenneth Knaack, DVM, DACVIM
Dr. Knaack graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he also completed his residency in internal medicine. Before moving to Connecticut, Dr. Knaack was medical director at Southshore Veterinary Hospital in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. As a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, he is one of only a few practicing boarded internists in Connecticut. He is also certified in veterinary acupuncture.
Dr. Knaack’s specialty services include:
- Endoscopy (rigid and flexible)
- Abdominal Ultrasound
- Cardiac Ultrasound
- Respiratory Diseases
- Neurologic Diseases
Kelly Damon, DVM
Dr. Damon has been lucky enough to combine her love for internal medicine, and passion for theriogenology since graduating from veterinary school. She feels that the special bond between animals and their humans is one to be cherished. For this reason, she enjoys trying to help manage the patients with chronic diseases. At the same time, she has fostered a passion for reproductive and neonatal medicine.
Dr. Damon was born and raised in Connecticut. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in 2009 prior to traveling to Canada for her graduate education. In 2015, Dr. Damon graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, before moving back to her home state. Dr. Damon completed multiple summer research projects at Tufts University centered around reproductive medicine, and presented her findings at national conferences. She completed a small animal rotating internship and internal medicine specialty internship at Pieper Memorial Veterinary Center prior to joining Veterinary Specialists of CT. In her free time, Dr. Damon enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, friends, and pets.
Dr. Christopher Norkus, DVM, DACVAA, CVPP, DACVECC
Chief of Staff- Anesthesiologist
Dr. Norkus began his veterinary career over 20 years ago as a veterinary technician, ultimately obtaining duel Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) status in both emergency-critical care and anesthesia. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2004 and proceeded to veterinary school at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2011.
Dr. Norkus completed a prestigious internship at The Animal Medical Center in New York City followed by a residency in anesthesiology at Kansas State University. Following this, Dr. Norkus became board-certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia and was credentialed as a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner in 2015. Dr. Norkus then completed a second three-year residency in emergency medicine and critical care at Allegheny Veterinary Emergency Trauma & Specialty in Pittsburgh, PA and became board-certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2018.
To date, Dr. Norkus has published more than two dozen peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and is the editor for the landmark textbook, Veterinary Technician’s Manual for Small Animal Emergency & Critical Care, which is now in its second edition. He lectures regularly for both regional and national audiences. Dr. Norkus’ professional interests include toxicology, acute and chronic pain management, and critical care medicine and anesthesia. Dr. Norkus enjoys cooking, cars, hiking, and traveling in his spare time.