Richard Kane, DVM
Chief of Staff
Dr. Kane is a 1984 honor graduate from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. He is the founder and chief of staff of Care Animal Hospital and the co-founder of Surgi-Care Center for Horses and sits on the board of the Humane Foundation for Animals. Dr. Kane has served as president of the Hillsborough County Veterinary Medical Society and as chairman of the Animal Advisory committee. He has been elected the Business Leader of the Year by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the Veterinarian of the Year by the Hillsborough County Veterinary Medical Society. Dr. Kane has been serving over 20 years as a board member of the University of Florida Alumni council. He has been featured numerous times in major newspapers and television programs on his accomplishments in veterinary medicine. Dr. Kane has received the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Kane believes strongly in higher education and is a huge supporter of University of Florida Gators athletics.
Stephanie Kane, DVM
Dr. Stephanie Kane graduated from The University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in 2008. She went on to complete a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University Of Florida in 2012. Following graduation, she finished a one-year emergency and specialty medicine Internship at BluePearl Veterinary Partners of Tampa. Having always endeavored to be a veterinarian, Dr. Stephanie Kane joined her family‘s practice at Care Animal Hospital in 2013 with plans to work alongside her father, Dr. Richard Kane. She also serves on the University of Florida‘s College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Council and is active in the local veterinary community. In 2015, Dr. Stephanie was voted the Best Veterinarian in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area through CL’s Best of The Bay. She enjoys working with all types of animals, including farm animals and exotics, and has a strong professional interest in small animal surgery. In her free time, Dr. Kane loves to spend time with her husband and their two Jack Russell Terrier’s, ride her horse, “George”, read a great novel at the beach, and of course, attend Gator Football games!
Suzanne Whitaker, DVM
Dr. Suzanne Whitaker graduated from The College of Wooster with a Biology degree in 1996. She then attended The Ohio State University from 1996-2002 first completing a Masters degree in Animal Science in (1998) followed by her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (2002). She completed a Small Animal General Practice Internship at The University of Missouri in 2003. After her internship, Dr. Whitaker stayed at The University of Missouri as part of the general practice faculty. She spent those two years prior to moving to Tampa teaching fourth-year veterinary students general medicine. She moved to the Tampa Bay Area with her husband in 2005.
In her free time, Dr. Whitaker spends time with her husband and three children. She also enjoys spending time outdoors, running and training for races, and hiking.
Courtney Brunson, DVM
Dr. Courtney Brunson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences prior to completing a Doctoral of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University. Her interests lie in small animal internal medicine and emergency care, as well as farm animal medicine and surgery. In her free time, Dr. Courtney enjoys running, cycling, and spending time on the beach and outdoors with her dog Dierks. She also loves to cheer on her alma mater, the Auburn Tigers.
Elizabeth Merchant, DVM
Dr. Elizabeth Merchant graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in 2005. Afterwards, she became a marine mammal trainer and realized a love for wildlife and exotic animals. She decided to go back to school and graduated from Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, with her DVM in 2015. During her time in School, she had the privilege of working at the Texas State Aquarium, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, and the San Antonio Zoo. After graduating, she spent a year in a small animal rotating internship at BluePearl Veterinary Partners before becoming a part of the team at Care Animal Hospital. She has a particular interest in wildlife and exotic animal medicine. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, four dogs, two tortoises, and ball python.
Melanie Wood, DVM
Dr. Melanie Wood graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in 2001. She completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at St. George’s University in 2005. Before joining the team at Care Animal Hospital, she practiced small animal medicine in Alabama at a clinic that specializes in birds and pocket pets. Dr. Wood enjoys helping dogs and cats with all of their health needs and she focuses her efforts on maintaining good health and disease prevention. Since moving to Brandon Florida she continues to see birds and pocket pets as well. Dr. Wood and her husband have 4 children, 2 dogs, a cat and a prairie dog. She is an active member of a local church and serves in the women’s ministry. She also enjoys homeschooling her children, instructing high school students in advanced anatomy, and traveling with her family.