Who We Are

people with pet

More About
Our hospital

St. Francis Hospital for Animals has been operating in the Charlotte, North Carolina area since 1996. Our caring and skilled veterinarians are dedicated to being your pet’s advocates. We offer comprehensive routine and preventative medicine to provide your pet with a long, happy, and healthy life, and we’re also here for support should your pet become sick. We understand that your pet is a part of the family and will treat them with the same skill, compassion, and tenderness that we show our own furry family members.

Our management and support staff are committed to making your experience with us exceptional from beginning to end, for the life of your pet. Every process and protocol is created to honor the trust you have instilled in us to care for your furry family members.

Meet Our Team

Our Doctors

Jamie Kozelka, DVM

Jamie Kozelka, DVM

Dr. Kozelka grew up in Westchester County, New York and studied music at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. Inspired by his grandmother to study veterinary medicine, he earned his DVM from Ross University School of Medicine in St. Kitts in 2011. His experience includes work in Delaware in emergency medicine and in New York as a general practitioner. Dr. Kozelka relocated to North Carolina to be closer to friends and family and joined St. Francis Hospital for Animals in February of 2018. His areas of interest in veterinary medicine are ultrasound and deciphering the never-ending mysteries of a cat’s brain.

You may often find Dr. Kozelka is accompanied by his dog Gus, a rescue from the Outer Banks. When not working, he enjoys listening to music and playing a variety of instruments including bass, mandolin, and keyboards. Dr. Kozelka also likes participating in trivia games and is very rarely without the answers. 

Ivan Fernandez, DVM

Ivan Fernandez, DVM

Bio coming soon

Our Support Staff

Annette, Practice Manager

Annette, Practice Manager

Annette holds a degree in Veterinary Technology and has been with the St. Francis team since 1999. Originally hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, she’s a huge sports fanatic! Annette is extremely knowledgeable and has served as our office manager, technician, and receptionist, and always goes out of her way to help people and their animals. Her pets include a rescued white boxer named Petey and several special needs cats. 

April, Receptionist

April, Receptionist

April has worked with animals for more than 15 years and began working at St. Francis Hospital for Animals in 2018. She loves to continue learning about the veterinary field and share her knowledge with others. In her spare time, she enjoys watching reality tv with her fur family, which includes a dog, two cats, and a guinea pig. 

Maria, Receptionist 

Maria, Receptionist 

Maria has always been an animal lover—growing up, her pets included turtles, fish, birds, and a dog. She has been a pet sitter since 2013 and joined St. Francis Hospital for Animals as a receptionist and kennel attendant in 2018. Maria currently has two dogs; a Great Dane mix and a husky mix. In her free time, Maria loves to travel. 

Melinda, Receptionist

Melinda, Receptionist

Melinda joined St. Francis Hospital for Animals in January of 2019. She previously worked for many years as a registered nurse before deciding to switch to her true calling of caring for animals. Melinda has two children and two fur babies, and loves spending time with them when she’s not at work. 

Bridgett, Social Media Manager

Bridgett, Social Media Manager

Bridgett is a graduate of North Carolina State University and has been with St. Francis since January of 2015. As our social media manager, she keeps our clients up to date with all the latest news—including her monthly “Keeping Up With Kozelka” post. Bridgett has three dogs, and when she’s not working you can find her somewhere in the water with her family. 

Athenia, Veterinary Assistant

Athenia, Veterinary Assistant

Athenia has been working in the veterinary field for more than 17 years and is also a personal trainer. She loves animals and people alike, and her superb technical skills and gentle touch have an almost magical calming effect on the animals in our care. 

Jazmin, Veterinary Assistant

Jazmin, Veterinary Assistant

Jazmin is a veterinary assistant who joined our practice in 2011 and has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Queens University of Charlotte. She hopes to go to vet school soon, and we know that she’ll be a great asset to the profession. Her science background and fluency in Spanish have been invaluable in helping us serve our Hispanic clients and their pets. She has a love of all animals, especially exotics.

Nancy, Veterinary Assistant

Nancy, Veterinary Assistant

Nancy was born and raised in New York and moved to Charlotte in her early 20s. She began working as a Veterinary Assistant in our building when it was known as Park Cedar Animal Hospital and has now come full circle to work in the same location, but as a member of the St. Francis team. Nancy has a passion and love for all animals with an emphasis on animal behavior and client education. In her spare time, Nancy enjoys reading and long walks on the beach. She shares her life with her family, dogs, cats, and a bird.

Emily, Kennel Attendant 

Emily, Kennel Attendant 

Emily joined the St. Francis team in 2018 as a kennel attendant. She’s a Charlotte native and has a deep love for all things exotic that extends to her own pet family, which includes a dog, two snakes, a gecko, a green cheek conure, and multiple tanks of frogs and fish. 

Jasmin, Kennel Attendant

Jasmin, Kennel Attendant

Bio coming soon

Matt, Kennel Attendant

Matt, Kennel Attendant

Bio coming soon

Ozzy 

Ozzy 

Big things can come in small packages.

In August of 2020, a kind couple who was house hunting found a stray, black kitten. Knowing they couldn’t leave him all alone, they brought him to us—figuring that since St. Francis is the patron saint of animals, our clinic was the perfect place for this little guy to find a safe haven. This sweet foundling became known as Ozzy, and he had numerous health issues that needed attention when he was brought to us, including conjunctivitis and several parasitic infections. As his health improved, his enormous personality began to shine. 

Our beloved Ozzy bear has a form of dwarfism called osteochondrodysplasia. This condition manifests in Ozzy’s unique appearance with his short, thick limbs and tail, and the cutest bow-legged stance. His most noticeable and arguably cutest feature is his large teeth, one of which is always sticking out. Ozzy is fully grown and tops the scales at four pounds, but don’t let his short stature fool you.

Ozzy is a grand addition to the St. Francis family and lives the good life at our clinic with his full-size brother, Yellow. Ozzy and Yellow do everything together, and Yellow has been by Ozzy’s side to teach him how to be a small cat who lives larger than life. Ozzy now has a host of caregivers, free healthcare for life, and an abundance of love flowing his way.

“God requires that we assist the animals when they need our help. Each being (human or creature) has the same right of protection.”
– St. Francis of Assisi

Follow this boy’s sweet journey on Instagram @ozzythedwarfkitty and see this small kitty’s full life of grandeur. 

Yellow

Yellow

Yellow found a home with us at St. Francis Hospital for Animals in May of 2015. He came in as a very sick patient, suffering from a bite wound and high fever. After staying with us for almost a month, he became part of our family. He has grown more and more courageous as the years have gone by, so odds are you will catch a glimpse of him when you visit. Yellow enjoys sleeping, chewing straws, drinking out of his own specific cup, watching birds, and eating.

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