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Dr. Shachar Malka

DVM, Diplomate ABVP

Dr. Shachar Malka has more than 15 years of experience working with birds, exotic species and wildlife. Dr. Malka completed four additional years of advanced training in this field after graduating from veterinary school. He completed an internship at the University of Guelph, Canada and a three year residency program at the University of California, Davis. LIBEVC is the third specialty practice that Dr. Malka established. Prior to LIBEVC he founded an Avian and Exotics specialty service at a large regional specialty hospital in California. He later relocated to New York City to join the Humane Society of New York where he developed their Avian and Exotics Program.


He treats exotic animals from the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Queens and Long Island. As an exotic animal specialist, cases are often referred to him from all over New York.

Dr. Malka's professional interests include advanced anesthesia, endoscopy and minimally invasive surgery. He performs a variety of surgeries using high-end surgical endoscopy equipment that minimizes the risks associated with surgery, allowing for faster recovery.


Dr. Malka has a strong interest in wildlife conservation. He is the founder of Rift Valley Wildlife Clinics, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that cares for animals in need locally as well as in East Africa, where he volunteers much of his time providing veterinary care in rural areas. He continues to publish scientific articles on a variety of topics in avian and exotic animal medicine and lectures at international veterinary conferences, as well as other regional events. Dr. Malka is a member of AAV, AEMV, ARAV, AAZV and AVMA.

Dr. Nicolle Lofgren


Dr. Lofgren is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine, where she pursued her interest in exotic animal medicine with externships and rotations through exotics hospitals around the world. She joined LIBEVC in 2018 where she is proud to be able to pursue her professional interests, which include urology and aquatic animal medicine. Dr. Lofgren speaks Mandarin, and in her spare time enjoys skiing and spending time with her husband, two ferrets, and axolotl.

Dr. Rosa Bañuelos


Dr. Rosa Bañuelos graduated from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2018 and joined the LIBEVC team later that same year. Her previous experience with the animals at zoos, aquariums, and exotic animal clinics enriches her love of exotic pet medicine. Dr. Bañuelos' professional interests include ultrasound and radiographic imaging techniques, as well as surgery. Dr. Bañuelos is fluent in Spanish, and loves to paint in her free time.

Kate Huntley


Kate has always had a passion for animals. She grew up with cats and a dog but as an adult has expanded her family through rescue work to include multiple small mammals as well as a crested gecko. Kate originally hails from southern California but her husband’s career brought her out to beautiful Long Island. She is excited to join the LIBEVC team and to expand her knowledge about exotics. When Kate is not working she enjoys taking care of her furry, spiky, and scaly animals and playing video games with her husband.  

Jesse Karassik

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Jesse is an LVT who graduated from SUNY Delhi in 2013 and has had a passion for working with and rehabilitating animals since a young age. He has been a bird owner for most of his life and is committed to treating and handling animals with compassion. He enjoys sculpting, writing short stories, yoga, and spending time with his Yellow Nape Amazon.

Sara Woods

Veterinary Assistant

Sara has had a passion for learning and caring for animals from a young age. Growing up with many different animals including dogs, cats, birds and small mammals. Her first job was working at Petsmart while she was in college and fell in love with working with the animals in the small pet department. Sara had worked as a photographer for a few years before deciding to go back to school to become a vet tech. Working at LIBEVC has helped Sara achieve her dream of working with animals. In her spare time Sara enjoys spending time with her family and dog, reading and taking pictures.

Haldryna Garcia

Veterinary Assistant

Haldryna has been working in the veterinary field for about 12years. Graduated with her Associates (AAS) in Animal Science from SUNY Cobleskill. She then continued her education and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Psychology in 2015. She has had a passion for working with all types of animals since a young age. Haldryna has had prior experience working with private practice veterinary hospitals, as well as working with farm animals.

Outside of work she is a mother of two senior dogs: a 12-year-old pug named Mia and a 13-year-old Italian Greyhound.  She also loves to travel, play basketball, and go running. 

Sarah Hoogenboom

Veterinary Assistant

Sarah has had a passion for animals since she was a little girl. She has always loved caring for them and rescuing ones in need. She is currently a student at Hunter College working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. She hopes to one day become a vet herself and specialize in exotics and wildlife rehabilitation. She is excited to join the team at LIBEVC. During her free time she enjoys taking care of her reptiles, reading, and writing poetry. 

Joseph Viera

Veterinary Assistant

Joseph has a passion for working with animals ever since he was a young kid. During high school, Joseph started a non-profit organization to help animal shelters care for less fortunate animals. Joseph one day wants to become a licensed vet tech and go across the world to help animals in need.

The Long Island Bird and Exotics Vet Clinic Team