Doctors

Dr. Jay Johnson is the founder and owner of Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital, the Valley’s first animal hospital devoted exclusively to the care of exotic pets. As a boy growing up on the outskirts of Tucson, he was fascinated with exotic pets, especially reptiles. He kept a variety of these unique pets throughout his childhood including snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, tarantulas, rabbits, a cockatoo, pigmy goats, as well as more traditional pets like dogs and horses.

Dr. Lamb has always desired to provide good health, happiness and care to all exotic pets. She grew up in Las Vegas, NV. After graduating from UNLV with a B.S. in Biology, she attended veterinary school at the University of Minnesota. After finishing veterinary school she performed a one year internship in avian and exotic medicine followed by a two year residency in avian medicine and surgery. Upon completion of her residency, Dr. Lamb moved to southern California and practiced at an exotics exclusive animal hospital. During this time she gained extensive knowledge and became skilled in treating exotic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and wildlife. During her career she has also worked with many humane societies, parrot and rabbit rescue groups, wildlife centers and raptor rehabilitation facilities.

Dr. Ruoff grew up in Colorado surrounded by nature, wildlife, and a small zoo of exotic pets.  She earned her bachelor's degree in Biology at Pomona College and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences. Dr. Ruoff worked as a nurse at an exotic pet exclusive hospital in California before going to veterinary school. Dr. Ruoff also enjoys tea, crosswords, and hiking. Dr. Ruoff completed both an internship and residency program with us in exotic animal medicine in surgery and plans to specialize in reptile and amphibian medicine.

Dr. Johnson is a native Arizonan and has had a passion and interest in animals, notably reptiles for as long as she can remember.  She worked as certified veterinary technician for 13 years prior to pursuing veterinary school. She completed her undergraduate work with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science Degree at the University of Arizona and went on to earn her doctorate at Colorado State University.  While in vet school, she continued her focus on exotic animal medicine as the President of CSU Zoological Medicine Society.

Dr. Erica Giles grew up in Ohio where she developed a love for animals, especially the scaled, feathered and otherwise non-traditional ones. She graduated from Ohio State University in 2012, and afterward moved to Connecticut where she trained with an avian specialist and gained experience with small animal and exotic pet medicine and surgery. From Connecticut she spent time in Ohio and Pennsylvania, in practices where she expanded her medical and surgical knowledge in a more dog/cat focused environment. She realized through those experiences that exotic pets are where her passion lies.

Dr. Pilny is a native New Yorker but joined Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital by way of Los Angeles, California.  Dr. Pilny is a graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed an internal medicine and surgery internship at Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa, Florida and a residency in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery at The Animal Medical Center in New York City.

Dr. Nick Saint-Erne is a dedicated veterinarian who is passionate about pets, exotic animals, and aquatic veterinary medicine. He has over 35 years of experience in in veterinary hospitals treating dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, ferrets, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, other exotic pets and zoo animals.  He was one of the first veterinarians certified as an Aquatic Veterinarian by the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, and in 2017 was designated as a Distinguished Fellow of WAVMA.

Dr. Brown grew up in northern New York and is here to stay in Arizona where the days are warm and sun is bright. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology at SUNY Oswego before moving on to obtaining her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. She has recently completed a rotating internship in small animal and exotic medicine and surgery at VCA Valley Animal Hospital. She enjoys working with all species from fins to feathers and is interested in specializing in reptile and amphibian medicine.

Dr. Caitlin Cunningham grew up in Florida where she was always outside catching frogs and snakes. In high school, she got her first reptile, a bearded dragon named Spaz, who sparked her love for exotic pets. You can even find a picture of Spaz on her stethoscope!

Dr. Attarian was born in Rochester, New York, but lived all over the northeast. She spent a majority of her time growing up in Connecticut and the capital region of New York. From a young age, she had been determined to become a veterinarian.

Dr. Bignall grew up in Colorado, enamored with the local wildlife.  He spent many of his teenage weekends volunteering with the local raptor rehabilitation rescue and wolf sanctuary. 

After obtaining a Bachelors of Environmental Health from Colorado State University, he then attended the Royal Veterinary College of London.  While studying in the UK, he took numerous placements at specialty exotic hospitals and the Chester zoo. 

Dr. Thulson is excited to meet your scaled, slimy, furry, or feathered friend! She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. During her undergraduate studies, she was involved in porpoise skeleton reconstruction, spent time as a zookeeper, and rehabilitated orphaned squirrels. She then returned to her home state of Colorado to obtain her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. During veterinary school, she focused her extracurricular and elective time on zoo and exotic medicine.

Growing up in an ocean of corn in Iowa and Wisconsin, no one would have expected her to fall in love with all things aquatic. Dr. Hausmann earned her bachelor of science in biology with an emphasis in freshwater ecology and marine biology from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater in conjunction with Deakin University in Warrnambool, Australia. During her time in Australia, she dove into studying aquatic animal health and aquaculture. While she earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, she also became a certified aquatic veterinarian.

After growing up in Oklahoma, Dr. Wallis moved to New York where he ignited his passion for the improvement of care and conservation of exotic animals by earning a Bachelor’s Degree of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Rochester. Shortly after, he made the trip to Black Hills State University in South Dakota where he pursed a Master’s Degree of Integrated Genomics and spent many hours enthusiastically getting up close and personal with various species, including lions, tiger, and bears (oh my!), while assisting at the Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. Dr.

Dr. Horwitz grew up in Orange County, California. Even from a young age, she loved animals, especially reptiles. After completing her degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz , she spent a year interning at the Oklahoma City Zoo. This furthered her passion for a career in veterinary medicine and eventually went on to graduate from Midwestern University. While in veterinary school she worked with rhinos in Africa and elephants in Thailand.