Meet The Big Paws Team


Meet The Big Paws Team



Dr. Erin Siems

Dr. Erin Siems was born in Ohio but spent most of her childhood in Virginia. Even from a young age, Dr. Siems always had a passion for science and animals. Dr. Siems realized her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian when she graduated with honors from Ross University in St. Kitts, West Indies. She then spent two years at a community practice in rural Wytheville, VA before moving to St Petersburg, Fl for a position as an emergency veterinarian (and to get away from the snow!). For the past 7 years, Dr Siems has been practicing in the Bradenton area and has truly found a place to call home. While she loves all aspects of veterinary medicine, she holds a special place in her heart for geriatric medicine, making sure the golden years are truly golden. She also has a love for and excels at small animal medicine and surgery. She feels fortunate for the special bond she has formed with her patients and clients over the years and looks forward to making more memories at her new facility.

In her free time, Dr Siems enjoys hanging out with her husband and two “kids” Shaka, a boxer and Arnold, a boerboel mastiff. She also enjoys paddleboarding, running and creating culinary experiences in her kitchen.

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

-Jane Goodall



Hospital Manager

Whitney has been in the veterinary field for over 15 years. She graduated from St. Petersburg College where she attended the Veterinary Technician program. She now lives in Wimauma with her husband Branden and 2 children Everly and Ezra. They share their home with a Shih-Tzu they call Cheeky, a French Mastiff named Hot Sauce and a cat named Kit. She also decorates her property with 2 horses named Mako and Doolie and a mini named Buzz lightyear. When she isn’t out and about with her kiddos she prefers to be a home-body, enjoying her family and animals in her own back yard.


Technician Manager

Hali was born in Upstate NY and moved to Florida in high school. Hali has always loved animals and started working at doggy daycares right out of high school. Since then she has been in the veterinary field for 2 years and is currently enrolled in school to become a licensed veterinary technician. Hali has a pitbull mix named Cooper. In her free time she likes to cuddle on the couch with Cooper and watch hockey.


Receptionist Manager

Amberlee was raised in Myakka City for over 30 years. She recently moved to Arcadia with her wonderful 10-year-old son Trent. Amberlee graduated from Lakewood Ranch High school in 2010. She became CPR certified and got a Food Serve Safe Certificate before she became a Receptionist in the veterinary field over 12 years ago. The best part of working in the veterinary field is the love and care she brings to all of our clients and fur babies. Amber’s biggest achievement in life is being the best mother to her son. Her love for her family, friends and animals is the glue that holds it all together for her. When Amber isn’t working she enjoys horseback riding, taking walks with her son, 2-year-old Boxer named Boo and her 14-year-old green cheek conure Berry who she tries to train daily to bring out the sweet side of her. She also likes to sing, dance and provide positivity in all aspects of her daily life.



Joanne was born in Fort Lee, Virginia and moved several times until her father retired from the military and settled in Federal Point, FL when she was 8. She enjoyed growing up in the county where she developed a love of nature and animals. Joanne spent many years as a stay at home mom raising her three children Patrick (Go Bulls!), Robyn (Go Gators!) and Conner (Go Lions!) and is proud of her boys in blue-both her son and husband work for the Manatee County Sherriff’s Office. She is happy to be working at the front desk at Big Paws with all her coworkers who she loves so much! In her free time, Joanne enjoys being with her family and taking care of her 2 horses, 3 dogs, 4 cats and 2 grand goats.


Veterinary Technician

Jaime is originally from a small town in Illinois, he moved to Florida over 13 years ago to get away from the cold. Jaime was a gymnastics coach prior to starting his veterinary career over 12 years ago. He can still pull off a backflip although it hurts a bit more than it used to. He has worked in a range of veterinary departments including Neurology, general practice and Emergency. During his free time, he enjoys traveling and going on cruises. He has been on a total of 12 so far!


Veterinary Technician

Leslie was born and raised in New York. She moved to Florida at the age of 14. Leslie found her love for working with animals on a trip to Spain where she worked with a dog breeder. She fell in love with small animal medicine and thrives under pressure. She has been a veterinary technician since 2001. Leslie is a mom of 2 teenagers and 8 fur babies. 3 dogs named Jack, Tucker, and Willow and 5 cats Gibson, Claire, Piper, Mavis and Benny. During her free time, she enjoys amusement parks, playing pool, shooting darts, spending time with family and going to the Tampa Bay Bucs games!



Emily was born in San Diego, California and moved several times until her parents retired from the military in 2018. Following their retirement, Emily moved to Florida with her family and started working in the veterinary field. She has been working in the veterinary industry for about 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her two dogs Moose and Marvin and spending time with her fiancé.



Heather graduated in 1997 from Columbus State University with a Certified Veterinary Technician degree. She worked as a technician for over 20 years. During that time, she worked for specialty, emergency and general practice where she was able to learn a lot about different areas of veterinary medicine. Heather’s love for animals has always been her passion. She has always worked in small animal medicine but started showing Quarter horses at the age of 13 and continued that for over 25 years. Heather’s biggest accomplishment in life was leading the nation as a youth and an amateur in showmanship which is one of the classes, she has shown in the American Quarter Horse Association. During her spare time she enjoys boating and being on the water. Heather has 2 precious cats at home named Isis and Osiris who she adores. Recently Heather adopted 2 other cats after pet sitting them for over a month. After finding out the original owners were unable to care for them, she knew they would be joining her family. Welcome Cleopatra and Flop!


Veterinary Assistant

Joey moved to Florida from eastern PA in April of 2022 to attend State College of Florida. He is currently earning his Associates degree for computer science but is now thinking about switching to something in the veterinary medical field! Joey has 6 brothers and sisters and one of them being his twin sister who is also his best friend. He has 1 cat named Precious who enjoys looking out the lanai and tripping him every chance she gets!


Veterinary Assistant

Lexi was born and raised in Florida and grew up on a ranch with animals all her life. She has had horses, cows, chickens and anything else you can think of. Lexi has been in the veterinary field working as a kennel tech and veterinary assistant for 2 years. She currently has a pitbull mix named Champ and a cat named Phife. In her spare time she likes to take Champ for runs and go fishing at Myakka State River with her boyfriend.