About Wolf Creek Equine Hospital
Helping People Help Their Horses
Susan Mende, DVM, Dipl. ABVP
Susan Mende, DVM, ABVP graduated from the University of Illinois’ College of Veterinarian Medicine in 1991. She spent two-years working as an intern at Southern Illinois Equine. She then moved to southeastern Ohio for a two-year surgical fellowship at Milliron Clinic, a companion animal practice that specialized in high-end surgical procedures for all animals (orthopedic, colic, etc). The next several years, were spent in part-time companion animal and equine practice until she started Wolf Creek Equine in 1998.
She became a Certified Animal Chiropractor in 1997. Dr. Mende also has advanced training in equine reproductive techniques, locomotor ultrasound and anesthesia. She is Board Certified in Equine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). She is a member of The International Society for Equine Locomotor Pathology (ISELP), the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Ben Shrauner, DVM, DACVS-LA
Equine Surgeon/Sports Medicine Specialist (Locum Tenems)
Julia Miller, VMD
Full-Time Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Julia Miller received her B.S. in Large Animal Science in 2009 from Delaware Valley College, a small agricultural school in PA. She also worked as a patient care technician and horse handler at New Bolton Center veterinary hospital throughout her college years. Dr. Miller graduated with her VMD from The University of Pennsylvania in 2013. She then completed a year-long internship in Snohomish, WA at Pilchuck Equine Hospital rotating through surgery, medicine, anesthesia and ambulatory. She joined the WCEH staff in the Fall of 2014. Dr Julia Miller’s professional interests include emergency care, preventative medicine, anesthesia, lameness and equine dentistry. In her spare time she can be found riding her Warmblood mare, Madison.
Melissa Bryant, DVM
Full-Time Associate Veterinarian
Janice Posnikoff, DVM
Part-Time Associate Veterinarian
Katherine has a Bachelors degree in Animal Sciences/Equine studies from the University of Maryland, and began working at WCEH in February 2009 as a veterinary assistant. Throughout her time here Katherine has learned the in’s and out’s of keeping our clinic operational. She is currently our Office Manager but when called on she can jump in a truck for calls or help out in surgeries. Katherine is a versatile and critical employee in keeping our day to day operations going.
Lorri Hall attended Howard Community College and receive a Certification in Medical Terminology and then attended Anne Arundel Community College to complete her Veterinary Assistance Certification. She started at WCEH in 2012 as a volunteer in our ICU unit. From there she started working in our facility as an animal caretaker in 2013. Lorri then began working as a Veterinary Assistant and Office Assistant in 2014. She has become a valued member of our office staff. In her free time you can find Lorri at local shows with her two daughters or out on a trail ride.
Lead Veterinary Assistant
Sarah earned her B.A. degree in Sociology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2011. She started working at WCEH in 2013 as a veterinary assistant. Since then Sarah has also become responsible for training any new employees. If you can’t find Sarah around the clinic she is most likely out riding her horse Kahlua, or home taking care of her numerous animals including her chickens and pet squirrel.
Kelly Kostelnik started working at WCEH in the spring of 2016 as a veterinary technician. She received her B.A. in Integrative Arts and Minor in Equine Science from the Pennsylvania State University. She has also picked up on the office procedures and can often be found there. With her background she has also taken over creating and updating our website, photographing and marketing the sale horses, and helps manage our Facebook pages. When she isn’t at the clinic she is often working with her yearling Nurse Mare foal or out showing her Trakenher/TB cross.
Mary Ann Lare
Mary Ann was born & raised on a farm. She has been working in the veterinarian field for the last 28 years. She started with WCEH in 2008 as a veterinary assistant and helping with the barn chores. She quickly moved into an office role as well as alos assisting in surgery. As WCEH has progressively grown over the years Mary Ann has taken on new responsibilities within the clinic. Most recently she is our Human Resources person and Dr. Mende’s personal assistant. In addition to helping at WCEH she also works in Human Medicine. When not working she enjoys spending time with her 3 great kids.
Julia started at St Mary’s High School but shortly switched to home schooling so she could compete in the winter circuits down in Florida. She has shown at WEF, HITS Ocala, and Tryon North Carolina, to name a few. She has trained with Tracy Magness and Manuel Torres and our own local Kari Martin. Currently, when Julia is not out with a vet she is going to Anne Arundel Community College to get her Associates Degree. She can also be found at local shows competing WCEH’s sale horses.
Head Farm Manager
William has been working with us since 2009. He is the main animal caretaker and maintenance worker. He also assists with veterinary procedures in the stables. This clinic would not be operational without all the time and effort William puts forth to keeping this facility running. We all love William; he is an essential part of our team.
Below is a list of outside professionals WCEH works with on a continuous bases.
Amy Polkes, DVM, DACVIM - Internal Medicine
Dr. Polkes is a board certified equine internal medicine specialist. Her training and experience include a residency program in internal medicine at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as 12 years in private equine practice. She started her own consulting practice in 2002 in Maryland and Virginia and has now expanded to New York and Connecticut with her move to the Hudson Valley. She provides referral services to many equine practices in Maryland, Virginia, New York and Connecticut.
The most common cases that are referred for an internal medicine consultation are respiratory disease (chronic cough or poor performance), weight loss, chronic colic, neurological disease, difficult ophthalmology cases and cases for cardiac evaluation.
The pieces of equipment she carries include a portable video gastroscope, GE VIVID i ultrasound with Doppler/ECG (superior for cardiac and abdominal ultrasound), a tonopen, BAL tube and other diagnostic tools to allow her to perform most advanced diagnostics.
Check out Dr. Polkes’ website at: http://hudsonvalleyequineinternalmedicine.com/
Anne Weigt, DVM, MS - Ophthalmologist
Dr. Anne Weigt is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. She went to Miami University in Oxford, OH and graduated with a degree in Zoology and a degree in English – Technical Writing. After working in research for a few years, in Cincinnati and the Republic of Panama, she went to veterinary school at Ross University in St. Kitts. While not really tired of island life, she did transfer after one year to the University of Tennessee, graduating in 1997. Dr. Weigt completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Berwyn and Franklin Park VCA hospitals outside of Chicago. Dr. Weigt completed her residency in Ophthalmology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. At the same time, she completed a Masters of Science degree. Dr. Weigt started working in Annapolis, MD at Animal Eye Care in 2001 and merged with Eye Care for Animals in November of 2015. Dr. Weigt started working with WCEH in 2014. Her professional interests include intra-ocular surgery, eyelid and facial reconstruction, neuro-ophthalmology and equine ophthalmology.
If your regular vet recommends seeing an ophthalmic specialist we will be happy to set that up for you. Please contact the office at: 410-741-1473. (All visits from Dr. Weigt will take place at WCEH in Lothian, MD)
Fernando Martinez - Dental Technician
Fernando Martinez is certified by the International Academy of Equine Dentistry through the advanced level, and has served as an examiner for the certification process for over a decade. He grew up working on the racetracks and learned from a young age the benefits of having a horses teeth properly cared for. Your horse’s mouth is in good hands. Fernando has been traveling here from the Charlestown, WV region since 2000 to see appointments two Saturdays every month.
If you have a Miniature horse, or a horse/pony that may require extensive dental work, please contact the office to set up an appointment with Fernando at: 410-741-1473.
Tim Gray - Farrier
Tim has been providing a balanced hoof with a calm and patient hand for the performance horse since 2003. He believes communication is key in the management and care of the performance horse. Collaboration between the veterinarian, trainer, rider, and farrier ensures the highest level of lasting performance from your horse. WCEH will discuss and monitor hoof care between shoeings to assist with developing and maintaining a balanced sound horse.
Wolf Creek Equine Hospital's Story
Wolf Creek Equine Hospital (WCEH) began as a part-time, after hours job for Dr. Mende once she had completed her Chiropractic Certification Training in 1997. While she continued to work for other veterinarians, WCEH offered animal owners a place to seek out professional chiropractic care.
Out of her little chiropractic practice, the need for more conventional equine care emerged. Shortly thereafter Dr. Mende opened WCEH on the Eastern Shore, in Centreville, MD in 1998. She began to add more equipment and services and by February 1999, WCEH had grown to such an extent that part-time employment with others was no longer possible. WCEH’s first employee was hired in the Spring of 1999 and by that Fall, it was apparent the home-based practice would need more space.
In the Spring of 2000, and after searching for nearly six months, beautiful Alder Branch Farm became the new Practice location. Practicing out of Alder Branch (in Centreville, MD) helped expand WCEH’s services even further.
In 2002, purchase negotiations began with Alder Branch Farm owners. Despite the desire to buy and expand, negotiations ultimately crumbled and the search for a new site began. It took nearly two years before the property in Lothian, Maryland was found. Purchased in May 2004, the new barn was completed in the fall of 2007. WCEH moved in and re-opened with improved, yet still limited, services. The front office, waiting room, laboratory, and pharmacy were completed in the fall of 2008. In 2009, despite the economic down turn, several pieces of equipment were added to the practice. Although initiated, the completion of the surgery suite was postponed until the economy began to recover. The Surgery Suite was finished in the Spring of 2011.
The business’ name, Wolf Creek Equine is rooted in sentiment. Dr. Mende once lived on Wolf Creek Road in Illinois, fox-hunted with the Wolf Creek Hunt and the Wolf Creek Hounds. At one time the idea of moving back to Illinois to begin a practice was entertained, but not acted upon. So, even though the practice began in Maryland, the Illinois-based name remained.
What's Up With the Winged Horse?
The Winged Horse Extravaganza was a public art installation brought to the Outer Banks community in celebration of the 2003 Centennial of Flight. From May 2002 through October 2004, 99 life-sized fiberglass horses with aluminum aircraft wings were decorated and displayed throughout the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Sponsors, either businesses or individual families, purchased a horse, commissioned an artist to decorate it and publicly displayed it for everyone to enjoy. Many of the horses were slated to be auctioned off in December 2003, but owing to an overwhelming number of requests from tourists and sponsors, the 2003 horse auction was postponed, and the Winged Horse Extravaganza was extended through fall of 2004.
The “Mane Event,”, the winged horse charitable auction, was held October 10, 2004 at Sea Scape Golf Course in Kitty Hawk. Thirty-four members of the herd went on the block, along with original artwork, photographs, and related goods and services generously donated by some of the horse sponsors. The two primary beneficiaries of the auction were the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and the Monument to a Century of Flight. Many other local charities also shared in teh proceeds of the auction.
This winged horse was in front of the Outer Banks Center for Women in Nags Head, NC. See www.outerbankspress.com for more information.
Years later, the Outer Banks Center for Women changed buildings and they took their winged horse toa local thift store, called the Battered Women’s Hotline, in Manteo, NC. All proceeds from donations to this hotline go toward housing and helping displaced women of domestic abuse.
While on a family vacation in Manteo, North Carolina, Dr. Mende was thrift store shopping. Ironically, the items she went looking for was actually equine paraphynalia (models, etc) for the office. This winged horse was outside amongst some old furniture.
She inquired about the winged horse inside. At first, management was not willing to sell her. They had already declined other offers. Over the course of nearly an hour, Dr. Mende used her powers of persuasion to convince the manager that her equine hospital in Maryland was a good home for the winged horse. She also made a sizeable donation to the Battered Women’s Shelter, which may have also helped sway their decision.
A rental truck brought her to her new home in Maryland in 2011.
We didn’t have a prepared place for her. A client of WCEH graciously crafted a landscaping design. In the mean time she sat outside.
During Super Storm Sandy we brought her in. Even the winged horse had to come inside during Super Storm Sandy (2012).
Finally, in the spring of 2013 she was mounted in front of our clinic. Our winged horse has now made it to her permanent home in front of the hospital.
The Cats of WCEH
Todd has been the resident cat at WCEH for roughly 18 years. He is often lounging in the office on the window sill or posing for Snap Chat photos. His mousing days are over in his older again but he is still happy to greet everyone at the door.
Pinkie is the newest edition to the WCEH family. She is Kelly’s barn cat previously but came here to keep Todd company. Being only 3 years old she has lots of energy and loves to explore outside or in the hay loft. She loves attention and will meow for treats. When play time is over she is often found sleeping on the office couches with Todd by her side.