Melissa J. Moore is the quintessential girl next door who grew up to become a very popular and much loved veterinarian. Most folks who meet her think she is the perfect blend of old school courtesy and customers service meets modern veterinary medicine. She graduated from vet school in 2006 and has treated many different species, but quickly found her passion is focusing on canine and feline veterinary medicine.
Dr. Moore's first job as a veterinarian was with a mixed animal practice, where she had the opportunity to treat llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, cows, horses and pigs. During that time, Dr. Moore went on many, many farm calls. Actually, one of her favorite animal species is cows, and one day she would very much like to have one on her property.
One place you might find her is sitting on the floor while in a exam, as it is less intimidating for the animal and often makes the exam easier to perform with a less stressed critter. Dr. Moore enjoys personally contacting clients to check on her patients on surgery day in the evening after they have been discharged and are home recovering for a couple of hours.
While known for her excellent patient and client care, Dr. Moore, is always striving to implement the next thing that will make her veterinary medicine and customer service even better. To that, she is a great advocate for the amazing benefits of quality veterinary continuing education opportunities. Dr. Moore firmly believes the required minimum of CE credits is just that, a minimum, and taking advantage of the best training allows us to meet or exceed the modern veterinary standard of care. Thankfully, each month, and every year that bar for standard of care raises to help animals be able to live fuller, happier, and healthier lives, just as happens with human medicine. Dr. Moore is especially proud to be a part of that for so many patients and clients.
Dr. Moore generally takes a conservative approach while always utilizing modern treatment options with her patients. The decision for any treatment is always understood to be with the client, and Dr. Moore is well known for discussing the various viable treatment options and explaining the associated costs in a very clear manner, and often multiple times in cases involving difficult decisions for pets.
Are there any procedures Dr. Moore will not do? Yes, Dr. Moore does not perform declawing, ear cropping, tail docking, or euthanasias for non-medical reasons. There are some "old-school" veterinarians who still perform some or all of these procedures.
Next time you see Dr. Moore, ask her to tell you about her favorite small pet that isn't a dog or cat. It will probably surprise you.
Some (possibly) interesting things you also might not know about Dr. Moore: She ran Track and Field in high school. She may be the second biggest fan of New Kids on the Block, after her best friend. She loves to travel with her husband. She does not prefer snakes and spiders (always escorts them back outside in a paper cup). She plays the drums.
Dr. Moore grew up in Milford, CT, graduating from Jonathan Law High School before attending the University of Connecticut. She is a very big Uconn Woman's Basketball fan, even though she may be a bigger Duke Men's Basketball fan (possibly even when she was at UConn - shhhhh!)
There is absolutely no truth to the rumor she chose the location of the veterinary hospital based on the distance from the nearest Dunkin Donuts.
She now lives in Ansonia with her husband, Andy. Their veterinary hospital, River Valley Veterinary Hospital, opened on August 21, 2017 in Derby, CT.
Dr. Christopher Celentano brings a wealth of unique animal care experiences to our small animal veterinary practice. Before joining River Valley Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Celentano was at the ASPCA animal hospital in New York City doing a one year internship. Dr. Celentano has worked with goats, sheep, cows, and horses. While in his zoo rotation, he was able to examine: sun and black bears, a lion, baby tigers, a baby wallaby, a baby and an adult porcupine, a river otter, an armadillo, a kangaroo, and a fennec fox.
Dr. Christopher Celentano holds licenses to practice veterinary medicine in both Connecticut and New York. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He is a Fear Free Certified Professional.
Dr. Moore has known Chris for many years, long before he became Dr. Celentano. In fact, Dr. Moore wrote a recommendation letter for him when he was applying for vet school.
He is originally from Long Island in Nassau county, but moved to Connecticut in 1999, living in Orange and graduated from Amity Regional High School.
Trixie, his much beloved papillion, recently passed away.
He is an avid reader, and is often in the middle of between 3 and 5 books at any given time. His favorite animal is probably a leopard or any of the big cats. When not working, Dr. Celentano enjoy spending time watching movies and playing challenging board games with his friends. Horror films are his favorite genre.
Sarah joined River Valley in January 2017, and is a Certified Veterinary Technician. She has a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Science and is a certified veterinary technician, as well as a Fear Free Certified Professional. Sarah has two dogs, Duke, a retired research lab beagle, and Bambi, a Sharpei mix.
She thinks goats are one of the best animals. If the Vet Tech thing doesn't work out, she will join Taylor Swift's squad. In the meantime, she will enjoy attending concerts and having fun at the beach.
Morgan joined River Valley as a Concierge in September 2017, bringing with her 10 years of veterinary industry experience. She has a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. Morgan is a Fear Free Certified Professional.
Morgan has a guinea pig named Emmet a skinny pig named Rodney, a horse named Al, a dog named Dobby (born 2017) who is a Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua mix, and a puppy named Pixel (born 2018). But wait, that's not all: she also has other two adult dogs: Pickles (born 2013), a Pitbull mix and Bitty (born 2002), a Chihuahua mix. Morgan was married to Peter September 2018. They also recently bought their first home together. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking with her dogs, and going to Celtic Thunder concerts.
Nina joined River Valley as a Veterinary Technician in April 2019.
She has lived most of her life in the Valley. Nina and her family previously lived in the southern United States (Georgia). She graduated from Trumbull High School and was in the AgriScience program. While there majoring in Animal Science, Nina was able to work hands on with the alpacas, sheep, and lambs on a daily basis. She holds an Associate degree in Veterinary Technology.
Nina loves to ride horses in her spare time. She hopes to one day own a horse. As you may have guessed, horses are her favorite animal. Nina has a Cavillear King Charles Spaniel Cocker Spaniel mix (aka Cockalier) named Mollie who may also be known to many as Moose or Momo. Mollie is a senior dog (born Halloween 2005), whom Nina has had since Mollie was 8 weeks old. Mollie and Nina plan on taking many walks and Mollie getting lots of belly rubs at their new apartment they both share with Nina's boyfriend, James. Nina and James have been together for 5 years.
Blair joined River Valley as a Veterinary Technician in June 2019 after 10 years in the veterinary world.
Blair has Mo (male) and Alice (female), littermate cats who were born in 2013. She and her husband Pat, also have a pitbull named Ruby who was born in 2009. Blair and Pat are new parents with their baby girl, Delilah, who was born in 2019.
Alyssa joined River Valley in October 2020. She is a Veterinary Technician.
She is currently going to school to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Alyssa has a female German Shepherd name Stella (born 2017), and a female Pitbull named Guya (born 2008). In her free time, Alyssa enjoys hiking with the dogs, baking, and running.
Carla joined River Valley in July of 2021, and is a Certified Veterinary Technician. She holds an Associate degree in Veterinary Technology.
Carla has 2 cats who live with her: Trina (born in 2019), and Tituba (who was very recently born in 2021). And, also in her famil,y are a bunny named Babette (who was born around 2014), and 4 more cats: Mix (born in 2008), Rupert (born in 2012), Baby Kitty (born in 2018), and Charlie (born in 2020). She would like to own property with a barn for her feline friendsd to roam.
Andy joined River Valley before it existed. He is not a veterinary technician, and is amazed at how hard veterinary technicians work each day. Andy is married to a very popular and extremely talented veterinarian.
He stayed in school long enough for a double baccalaureate in Computer Science and Business Administration, Management. It is always good to have a spare. Andy and his family moved to the Valley in 1975. He is a graduate of Emmett O'Brien Regional Technical Vocational School (Culinary Arts). Andy has been a homeowner in Ansonia since 2003. He enjoys travel with his wife, underwater photography, playing golf, and motorcycling.
Andy and his wife share their home with two cats, Lucy and Desi (born 2016), who are littermates. Callie (born 2007), our much beloved special needs kitty, recently passed away.