About Wolf Creek Equine Hospital
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, loco-motor ultrasound and anesthesia. She is Board Certified in Equine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). When not out on the road she can be found riding her horse, Fiona, or spending time with her family.
Melissa Bryant, DVM
Full-Time Associate Veterinarian
CJ Caniglia, DVM, DACVS-LA
Full-Time Associate Surgeon
Dr. Caniglia received his undergraduate degree in biology from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA. He then earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from North Carolina State University in 2012. He furthered his training by doing a surgical internship at Oakridge Equine Hospital in Edmond, OK. Dr. Caniglia then completed a large animal surgical residency with an emphasis in equine surgery. The program was divided between the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and Palm Beach Equine Clinic in Wellington, FL. This combined experience has provided Dr. Caniglia with training in a breadth of surgical procedures as well as sports medicine cases from racehorses to Olympic athletes. He became a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in February 2017. Dr. Caniglia’s professional interests include minimally invasive surgeries (navicular bursoscopy and laparoscopy), surgical conditions of the upper respiratory tract, complex lameness cases, and regenerative therapies. Dr. Caniglia has several publications in the field. Outside of work, Dr. Caniglia and his wife, Dr. Williamson, enjoy riding and showing their hunters and jumpers, spending time with their family, and water skiing.
Brittany Williamson, DVM
Full-Time Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Julia Borgens grew up in the southern part of Spain, and also has family from Michigan. She has always had an interest in horses since a young age and grew taking riding lessons when she could. Dr. Borgens graduated in February 2017 from the University of Extremadura, Spain with a degree in Veterinary Medicine. She participated in many externships across the US, Ireland, Spain, and Belgium during her time in school. In 2018 she spent foaling season in the Netherlands. Later in the year Dr. Borgens joined WCE in October as an intern. She has been a blessing to have at the clinic and when not working she can be found practicing yoga, rock climbing, and visiting friends in DC.
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.
H.R. / Office & Veterinary Assistant
Lorri 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 and moved into the HR and Farm Manager role in 2018. In her free time you can find Lorri at local shows with her two daughters or out on a trail ride.
Veterinary Assistant/Tech Support
Kelly received her B.A. in Integrative Arts and Minor in Equine Science from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. She started working at WCEH in January 2016 as a farmer helped and moved into a veterinary assistant role later that Spring. She has been cross trained in office procedures and is the clinics on hand tech support. Kelly is also in charge of creating and updating the website, photographing and marketing the sale horses, and managing our Facebook pages. When she isn’t at the clinic she is often working with her own horses or expanding her photography career.
Brooke graduated from Rutgers University in 2015 with a major in PreVet/ Animal Sciences and a minor in Equine Sciences. During college and shortly after Brooke worked at the racetrack where she trained racehorses, trained to become a jockey, was an assistant trainer, exercise and breeze rider, and owned some racehorses. After 5 years on the racetrack she followed her educational studies and became an equine vet tech at Running S Equine Hospital in NJ until moving to Maryland. In MD she studied anesthesia in a small animal practice and started her own horse training business in 2018 before joining WCEH in spring of 2019. In her spare time she trains students as well as her own horses and actively competes as a professional barrel racer and trainer.
Camille grew up riding horses at a young age. She has been focusing on eventing but her favorite discipline is dressage. She competed on the IHSA while attending the University of MD. Camille is on track to graduate UMD this fall with a degree in Animal Science. While in school Camille worked in their equine breeding program as assistant farm manager. She also works for Fasig-Tipton Thoroughbred Sales where she shows horses for sale. Between all that Camille joined WCE in January 2019 as a veterinary assistant. Whenever she has some down time Camille enjoys playing the cello and travelling.
Sarah graduated from St. Andrews University in 2014 with a B.S. in Biology. She spent the next couple years working for the Department of Agriculture and the Humane Society of Charles County. She has had a passion for horses since she was a child. She got her first horse at 10 years old and enjoys competing in eventing and dressage. Sarah joined WCEH in October of 2018 and has been a valuable member of the hospital team. When not at the clinic Sarah also teaches riding lessons on her family farm. In her time away from the farm Sarah enjoys travelling and hiking.
Sam graduated from Leonardtown High School in 2012. She spent many years working at a small animal practice before joining WCEH in April of 2019. She started riding at a young age and got her first horse as a child. When she is not at work she can be found spending time with her family, hiking, or riding her horse.
Victoria grew up on horse farms as a child. She was riding a horse before she could even walk. She got her very own horse when she was 9 years old. After graduating from Northern High School she attended the College of Southern MD and earned her Associates degree in General Studies. Victoria joined WCE in the fall of 2019 and began working as Dr. Mende’s Assistant. When she isn’t at the clinic Victoria can be found riding her own horses or relaxing at home.
Kari received her Bachelors of Business Management in 2011 from the University of Phoenix. She has worked for multiple international show jumpers as a Barn Manager and rider. Her passion with horses started at a young age and has only grown from there. She joined WCEH in June of 2019. When not at work Kari can be found hanging out with her dogs on the beach at her house.
Wendy graduated from Northern High School in 1990. Shortly there after she joined Law Enforcement until retiring in March of 2014. During her time on the force one of her favorite assignments was on the K9 unit. She started working at WCEH as a vet assistant around May of 2014. Wendy stayed with the practice for a year before having to leave for family reasons. She came back to join the WCEH family in April of 2017. When not at the clinic Wendy also is a Human CPR/First Aid instructor, an Emergency Medical Technician, an instructor for the Maryland Police Training Commission, and Prince George’s Municipal Police Academy. Wendy has had a love of horses since a young age and now currently owns a small farm with 4 horses and a donkey.
Madison graduated from North Caroline High School in the Spring of 2017 and joined WCEH in the fall of 2017 as a veterinary assistant. Horses run in Madison’s family as her mother is a local trainer on the Eastern Shore. When Madison is not out in the truck with one of our vets she can be found competing on the Hunter circuit or helping out on her mother’s farm.
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, Julia is attending Flagler College tracking a Coastal Environmental Science Major and minor in Biology. She is not one to sit still and continues to compete at WEF when not in class.
Below is a list of outside professionals WCEH works with on a continuous bases.
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.
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.