As Helping Every Animal with Love (HEAL) is poised to open its doors this month, we want to introduce you to our founding partners. You’ve likely already met our team through Healthy Tails, our mobile veterinary practice, but we’d like to share more information about the three incredible people who have devoted their lives to caring for pets and their people. In addition to cats and dogs, our team cares for exotic pets, which encompasses all creatures from small mammals and pocket pets, to birds and reptiles. Our awe-inspiring team has undertaken the healing of all manner of animals to preserve and strengthen the deep bond you have with your beloved companion, and we consider ourselves truly fortunate to help so many pets and their families. Let’s take a closer look at how our team found their way to HEAL.
Meet Nicole Dumas, veterinarian
Nicole Dumas, one of HEAL’s veterinarians, ended up working with Dr. Atkinson, who was her teacher in veterinary school in Trinidad. She considers herself fortunate to claim Dr. Atkinson as a mentor and close friend, and is excited to expand from Healthy Tails’ mobile service to HEAL’s brick-and-mortar hospital and spend her days mending animals and saving lives.
Despite being a cat lover, Dr. Dumas does not have a feline companion at home. Instead, she shares her home with Jake from State Farm, a 4-year-old adopted American bulldog mix, and Felix Rattus Beans, a 10-month-old hooded rat. Born in Trinidad, she currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and his family, while her parents and brother live in Trinidad. Dr. Dumas is passionate about wildlife conservation, and is a member of a conservation team in Trinidad that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases wild animals displaced in urban settings, and by natural or man-made disasters.
Dr. Dumas is incredibly athletic and was drafted to train for the Olympics in swimming and gymnastics. Her sports adventures helped feed her wanderlust through travel, but she’d love to visit more novel places. She’d also like to own an exotics clinic in Trinidad and Tobago.
Meet Kimberly Atkinson, veterinarian
Originally from Queens, Dr. Atkinson knew since the age of 9 that she wanted to be a veterinarian. Her horse had given birth to a stillborn foal, and she wanted to help prevent another little girl from feeling that pain, along with helping animals not feel that sense of loss. She’s accomplished her childhood goals by teaming up with her founding partners for Helping Every Animal with Love (HEAL), and through working with Healthy Tails. As Dr. Dumas so eloquently said, “We want to create a unique hospital experience by embodying the concept of HEALing, as opposed to treating.” Despite being a veterinarian for more than 20 years, Dr. Atkinson still loves every aspect of the profession, with surgery her favorite part.
At home, Dr. Atkinson is the proud mom of five pets—an unstoppable 17-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel who is the family matriarch; an aloof 16-year-old domestic shorthair cat who wants love only on his terms; a loyal, but sometimes naughty, 15-year-old goldendoodle; a 6-year-old Rottweiler, who is a big, softy teddy bear; and a 1-year-old Sphynx cat with the sweetest, funniest personality.
Dr. Atkinson is also proud of her human children, a film editor daughter and a biochemist son. These three make a strong, tight-knit group, celebrating each other’s triumphs and lending support during tough times.
Some facts about Dr. Atkinson that may surprise you:
- She spent her summers growing up in a small Idaho town riding horses and living in the wilderness.
- She loves to make pottery and paint ceramics.
- She needs access to city life and wide open spaces to be happy, which is why she has a mountain-top home in addition to her Brooklyn spot.
- She has the hidden talents of interior decorating and building.
Dr. Atkinson dreams about buying an Airstream and driving around the country, stopping to hang out and explore college places. She also wants to travel to Portugal and find her grandfather’s family. And, like many of us, she’d love to shed her “pandemic weight.”
Our team is unique, but works marvelously well as a tight unit, serving the pets and their people in the Brooklyn community. Give us a call to schedule a mobile visit from Healthy Tails, or to set up an appointment at our brick-and-mortar hospital, HEAL, which is coming soon!