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Dr. Tom Caltabilota

About City By The Sea Veterinary Hospital

City by the Sea Veterinary Hospital, opening its doors in late summer of 2018, is the fulfillment of a dream of Dr. Thomas Caltabilota. His singular vision is to provide veterinary health care for the unique pets and pet owners of Asbury Park and the surrounding shore cities of Jersey.

Thomas was born the 3rd of 4 children to Frank and Joanne in West Long Branch, a big Italian family with a long last name. A summer job at Monmouth Park racetrack in his teens provided a special insight into the ability of horses to read the emotions, body language and thoughts of the people around them. This passion took him to Rutgers University where he worked with exercising horses on high-speed treadmills and studied high-performance drugs. After Rutgers, Thomas moved to the bayou of Louisiana where he fell in love with college football, gumbo, and crawfish. Here, he obtained a Master’s degree in equine endocrinology from LSU.

Dr. Tom attended Tuskegee University in Alabama for his veterinary training. Here he diversified his animal experience by working with small animals (cats and dogs) at an ER in Birmingham. The passion he developed for horses extended to all animals big and small, and thus evolved his mission to give back to these creatures that gave so much to him.

At Rutgers, Thomas met his wife, Dr. Avery Kasten, also a veterinarian in the shore area. After vet school Avery and Thomas moved to Asbury Park. He completed an internship at Garden State Veterinary Specialists and then started a house-call palliative care practice and also performed relief services throughout New Jersey.

Inspired by all the pets at the dog beach, “Yappy Hour” and walking the boards and streets of Asbury Park, Dr. Tom realized that this is the place to fulfill his dream of helping animals to help people. We are proud to offer full-service veterinary medicine and surgery for your furry family members. Make an appointment to meet the doctor today!

Meet the Staff

Karen Nalio

Head Technician/Practice Manager

How long have you been working in the veterinary field?

For 8 years, I started out as a kennel assistant and immediately started school to get certified.

What made you want to work in the veterinary field?

When my dog got sick years ago, I brought him to Garden State Vet and they saved his life. He was only comfortable with one technician and she made both him and myself feel more comfortable. That made me realize that I wanted to be that comfort for other people and their pets.

What do you like about your job?

I absolutely love working with animals and seeing cats and dogs every day. But also meeting new people who bring their pets here, educating them on what they can do to better their pet’s lives, and make them feel at ease when their pets aren’t well.

How many pets do you have?

I have two, Eddie and Violet, who love to go on long walks every day, especially to the beach.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I love activities with my own dogs, mostly hiking or going to the beach. I also enjoy spending time with my family and niece, Emily.

Sam LeDoux

Client Service Representative

How long have you been working in the veterinary field?

About 8 years, usually as a Client Care Specialist but I enjoy helping out wherever I’m needed in the hospital.

What made you want to work in the veterinary field?

I have always had pets, and even at a young age I started bringing pets home that I’d find outside. I just always knew I wanted to work with animals.

What do you like about your job?

Well I have soft spot for senior and special needs pets, but I love seeing all the animals that come in. I love to learn new things, especially with some of the interesting cases we’ve seen here.

How many pets do you have?

I have three dogs, two are Satos (from Puerto Rico) Emmy-Blue, my fox in a dog’s body; and Nathan, who is such a momma’s boy. I also have Baker who is your typical happy-go-lucky Lab that just wants love!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I love going hiking with all my dogs, going to concerts with my husband, and exercising!

Jacki Nielsen

Technician

How long have you been working in the veterinary field?

Going on 4 years, and prior to that I was the manager of the small animal department for PetSmart.

What made you want to work in the veterinary field?

I’ve had pets since the age of 4, and since my mom and brother are allergic to cats and dogs, I’ve always had less traditional pets like rabbits, hamsters, frogs and salamanders. My love of animals led me to wanting to make more of a difference in the lives of pets, so I applied to work in a vet hospital.

What do you like about your job?

I am proud that I get to help animals and see puppies and kittens every day. I also love helping clients feel reassured about their pet’s treatment and care.

How many pets do you have?

I have two rabbits, Daryl and Panda. Rabbits have such unique personalities and these are definitely two of sassiest bunnies I’ve had!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I can always be found with a book in my purse. I also love going to the beach, collecting sand dollars, and spending time with family and close friends.

Alva Sanchez

Technician

How long have you been working in the veterinary field?

I have been working in the field for about 5-6 years, starting with my technician school internship.

What made you want to work in the veterinary field?

I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember, and had initially grown up wanting to be a veterinarian. I can’t picture myself doing any other job. My dream job would be to win the lottery, move to the Dominican Republic, and open an animal sanctuary.

What do you like about your job?

I like helping those that don’t have a voice. I especially enjoy meeting new animals every day and treating them like they are my own.

How many pets do you have?

I have two dogs, a Maltese named “Baby,” and a Black Lab named “South.”

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

In my free time I like to try out new restaurants and go hiking. I especially enjoy party planning and decorating. And of course, I love any time I get to spend with my pups.