Born and raised in Mineola, Dr. Parendo began his veterinary journey in high school when he started serving as a kennel attendant and veterinary assistant at a local clinic. After majoring in pre-med and economics at the University of Notre Dame, he began his veterinary schooling at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. A year and a half later, Dr. Parendo transferred to Ross University after meeting his wife. Upon completion of a clinical year at Purdue University, Dr. Parendo returned to Long Island and began practicing in Nassau County. He spent nearly 8 years working as an Associate Veterinarian there, then split his time between two Suffolk County animal clinics before fulfilling his long-standing dream of practice ownership when he bought St. Francis Hospital for Animals in the spring of 2014. Medically, Dr. Parendo enjoys dental work, oral surgery, and tumor removals because of the instant positive results he can provide for a pet. He’s also fond of puppy and kitten visits; being able to start young pets and their new owners off on the right path is very gratifying for him! When Dr. Parendo is not at the office, he can be found fishing, playing or coaching lacrosse, golfing, and spending time with his wife, children, and dogs “Lax” and “Libby” in Babylon, New York.
Dr.Thomas A. PolehinkeAssociate Veterinarian
Dr. Polehinke is a native Long Islander who graduated from Stony Brook University with a BS in Biology. He graduated Cornell Veterinary School in 1992 and has worked at various animal hospitals on Long Island, which also included ownership of his own hospital for 10 years. He enjoys surgery, pain management and behavior, and especially senior cognitive issues. He lives in East Meadow with his wife and five ‘kids,’ (three 2-legged and two 4- legged, “Rosie” and “Annie”). Dr. P enjoys outdoor activities including softball and skiing. He also enjoys music, playing the trumpet, and almost anything involving the ocean. He contributes regularly to the ocean advocacy groups Mission Blue and 4Ocean.
Dr.Nicole RufranoAssociate Veterinarian
Born and raised on Long Island, Dr. Rufrano attended undergraduate school at St. Joseph's College where she earned her degree in Biology. She continued her education at St. George's University, College of Veterinary Medicine and pursued clinic rotations at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Throughout her clinical rotations, she held visiting externships throughout specialty facilities here on Long Island, and returned home to continue her career in veterinary medicine. Dr. Rufrano's particular interests include cardiology and oncology, but most of all she enjoys general practice and bringing a good quality of life and health to pets of all ages. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Rufrano enjoys reading, fiction writing, baking, and many outdoor activities such as running and biking. She also loves spending free time with her pup “Quincy.”
Dr. Dana CarterAssociate Veterinarian
Dr. Dana Carter has been employed by St. Francis Hospital for Animals as a part-time associate and per-diem substitute for several years. We are pleased to announce her return to the St. Francis Family as a FULL- TIME Associate Doctor as of March 2022!Dr. Carter grew up right here in Oakdale and remembers St. Francis Hospital for Animals fondly in its early years. She attended SUNY Oswego for her undergraduate studies and received her veterinary degree from St. Matthew's University.
Since completing her clinical year at the University of Illinois, she has worked at St. Francis Hospital for Animals, at the Save-A-Pet Animal Clinic, and operated a home-visit vet service in the area. At work, Dr. Carter is known as an efficient and precise surgeon. She enjoys surgery and considers it to be one of the most rewarding parts of her job.
Outside of the hospital, Dr. Carter enjoys the beach, skiing, and watching movies. She lives with her dogs, Maverick and Peaches, and her rescue cats, Popeye and Tres.