Dr. Janette Blackwood is a veterinarian and Medical Director at Sangaree Animal Hospital. She attended Clemson University in 2000 for her Bachelor of Science degree, and went on to complete her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. Her areas of professional interest include emergency, dermatology and wellness visits. She is also silver-level certified in Low Stress Handling for companion pets during veterinary visits. She was inspired to pursue veterinary school to combine her two passions in life: caring for pets and biology. Dr. Blackwood says it is a daily privilege to have the opportunity to meet furry family members and help grow the bond between owners and their pets.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Blackwood currently lives in Hanahan, South Carolina with her spouse, one son, and their small mixed-breed dog, Cindy. Growing up, she had the best tabby cat named KissyFur - a name which she says was a continual source of embarrassment for her parents when they called her in from outside each evening. She also fondly remembers Radar, a rescue white fluffy mutt that her and her husband cared for. He initially had a host of anxiety and aggression issues, but after some much needed TLC, he became the best companion pet and favorite of their friends and family.
In her free-time, Dr. Blackwood enjoys any outside activity, including exercising, boating, hiking/camping, and going to the beach. She also volunteers at Saint James United Methodist Church and was recently a part of hosting meal packing for Rise Against Hunger.
A fun fact about Dr. Blackwood is that her first job after graduating high school was running a bagger in a fiberglass factory, which entailed an immense amount of OSHA training. Looking back, she says this job has stuck with her and is one reason team member safety remains a top priority for any job she has.
Dr. Kevin McGinn is a general practitioner as well as the founder of Sangaree Animal Hospital.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. McGinn credits his father with instilling in him a love and respect for animals from an early age. As a child, he also learned the value and importance of proper animal care from the family's beloved pets and then later as a volunteer at Lenox Animal Hospital in Atlanta.
After graduating from high school, Dr. McGinn enrolled in Emory University in 1973. Soon after beginning his studies, he transferred to the University of Georgia where he majored in Animal Science. In 1977, he was accepted into the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and was named the Outstanding Animal Science Student by the University.
In 1981, he earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and began practicing. Since then, he has developed a particular professional interest in dermatology and endocrine diseases. He is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, and the Trident Veterinary Medical Association.
Asked what he loves most about his career choice, Dr. McGinn says it is being part of the human/animal bond and helping children and seniors cherish their pets. Dr. McGinn is a pet owner as well, and has three Chihuahuas, a Shih Tzu and two cats. In his spare time, he also enjoys traveling, skiing, hiking and cooking.
Dr. Ashley Balzano joined the medical team at Sangaree Animal Hospital as an associate veterinarian in September 2018.
Dr. Balzano decided she wanted to be a veterinarian at five years old. Her natural, lifelong connection with animals drives her to provide the outstanding clinical care they need to be happy and healthy, as well as support the people who love them.
Born on the beautiful island of Maui, Dr. Balzano moved to Summerville, SC when she was eleven years old. Dr. Balzano obtained a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of Charleston in 2011. Motivated to bring her dream career as a veterinarian to life, Dr. Balzano gained valuable hands-on experience during her undergraduate studies by working as a veterinary assistant for five years.
In 2016, Dr. Balzano graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. While working towards her degree, Dr. Balzano was a student technician in the ICU at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. She also participated in VeTouch and SIRVS, two separate student organizations aimed at providing free basic health care to pets owned by low-income residents in underserved areas of the twin cities.
After graduation, Dr. Balzano started her career as a veterinarian in Minnesota where she practiced for one year before returning to Summerville. Most of all, Dr. Balzano finds fulfillment in developing lasting relationships with clients and their special pets and diagnosing and treating challenging cases. She has professional interests in internal medicine and surgery.
Her first pet was a grey domestic short hair cat named Mr. Blue. Currently, she has three rescued felines: Starbuck, Jinx, and Scarlet. All of whom are great at begging for food! Outside of her work in the veterinary field, Dr. Balzano likes to spend time on the water, exercise, horseback ride, and travel.
Growing up in Manchester, Maryland, Dr. Kaitlyn Pontuti always had a close connection with animals. Her family had various pets when she was younger, and she enjoyed caring for the animals she owned through livestock projects in 4-H. Dr. Pontuti has been working in the veterinary field since 2009 and is currently an associate veterinarian at Sangaree Animal Hospital.
Dr. Pontuti earned her undergraduate degree at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. Her area of professional interest in veterinary medicine is ultrasonography. Dr. Pontuti says the best part of working in the veterinary field is knowing she is able to make a difference in both an animal's life and the lives of their owners.
Dr. Pontuti moved to Charleston, South Carolina in May 2019 and is excited to practice exceptional veterinary medicine at Sangaree Animal Hospital. She currently shares a home with her husband, Beagle, cat, and French Bulldog. She also owns a horse named Jasper back in her Maryland hometown. When she is not practicing veterinary medicine, you can find her fishing, hiking, and exploring the outdoors.
Dr. Criselda I. Reyes is an associate veterinarian at Sangaree Animal Hospital. She attended the University of the Philippines - Los Banos and graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. Dr Reyes completed her qualifications to practice veterinary medicine in the United States through the American Veterinary Medical Association's Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates, and certified in small animal clinical proficiency through Mississippi State University. She maintains USDA National Accreditation and completed coursework in Conservation Medicine through the University of Edinburgh. Her areas of interest include preventative medicine, small animal dermatology and public health.
Dr. Reyes began working in the veterinary field in 2009 as a veterinary assistant for small animal practices in Arizona and California while she studied and completed her US veterinary boards. She was inspired to become a human physician like her grandfather, however, growing up around livestock, companion animals, and local wildlife rescues, she realized there was also a need to advocate for animals' health and welfare. From being a part of a puppy's first vaccine visit to managing chronic disease in an elderly cat, Dr. Reyes says she is fulfilled by not only providing medical services, but also becoming part of the human/animal bond where so much trust is involved.
Dr. Reyes grew up in the Philippines and enjoyed the best of both worlds; the urban sprawl of Manila and summers and holidays in the rural south at her grandfather's farm. She relocated to the United States in 2009, and recently moved from California to South Carolina in 2020. She shares a home with her husband, son, and their three rescue dogs. When she is not providing quality veterinary care, she enjoys spending time with her family, ‘glamping' in a travel trailer, and reading historical fiction and mysteries.
Located off of I-26 on N Main St between Sangaree Pkwy and Beauregard Rd.