Dr. Najla Bell, Medical Director

Dr. Najla Bell is a native of Jacksonville Beach and now calls St. Augustine home. She lives with her husband and their two children and earned a Bachelor of Science from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina and then received her veterinary degree from the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Bell has extensive experience in preventive medicine as well as emergency medicine. She has worked in 24 hours practices for many years and before veterinary school, worked in wildlife rescue, medicine and rehabilitation. A life-long animal lover and owner, Dr. Bell strongly recommends preventative care and always seeks a balance of appropriate treatment for every patient.

“I am very excited to be a part of the team at MuraBella Animal Hospital and I feel so lucky to be able to offer the very best in animal health here at MuraBella. I look forward to meeting you and your family!”

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Dr. Zachery Drilingas, Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Zachery Drilingas is originally from Cedar Hill, MO and now resides in St. Augustine, FL with his two dogs, Mia and Vera. Dr. Drilingas completed his undergraduate degree in Animal Science at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO. Prior to veterinary school, Dr. Drilingas worked for the Boy Scouts of America and in retail. He graduated from the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine with his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Drilingas has special interests in surgery, cardiology, and preventative care.

He hopes his past experience in customer service provides peace of mind to owners that their pets’ are receiving gold standard level of care and the confidence in the knowledge about their pets’ condition to aid in decision making. In his spare time you can find him at the beach, crafting something in his garage, baking, or somewhere else outdoors.

Dr. Kimberly Kern, Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Kimberly Kern has wanted to become a veterinarian ever since she was seven years old. Her interest was first piqued while spending time around her aunt and uncle’s horses, and that passion just never quit. Dr. Kern made her dream become a reality! Now, she’s an Associate Veterinarian with the MuraBella Animal Hospital family.

Dr. Kern is originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, where she started volunteering at a small-animal emergency clinic during her high-school years. She stayed in the state for her undergraduate studies at Colorado State University, working as an undergraduate research associate in a laboratory there and serving as a Veterinary Technician in the University’s small-animal internal medicine department. Next, Dr. Kern moved to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and earn her Doctorate.

Dr. Kern first came to MuraBella Animal Hospital through an externship during her senior year of veterinary school. She immediately fell in love with the clinic, its staff, and the area’s pets and animal parents. When she was offered a job, she didn’t hesitate! Dr. Kern has been a part of the team ever since.

Medically, Dr. Kern enjoys internal medicine cases, soft-tissue surgery, and all things feline medicine. Above all, she loves to interact directly with the area’s pet owners and help their animal companions feel happier and healthier.

In her free time, Dr. Kern likes playing tennis, hiking and skiing in the great outdoors, and doting on her own pets at home. She has two cats, JJ and Joey, who might as well be dogs. Both love to play fetch, and they even know how to sit on command!

Mel, Practice Manager

Melissa began her journey in the veterinary field over 20 years ago, starting as a Customer Service Representative and progressing through roles such as kennel help, emergency nurse, GP nurse, director of patient services, and finally, practice manager. Her favorite aspect of her work is improving the quality of life for the patients, helping them feel better and thrive.

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Melissa relocated to St. Augustine in 2017 to provide a safer environment for her family. She now resides in Palm Coast, Florida.

Melissa has always known that the veterinary field is where she belongs, finding immense satisfaction in her role. She has no specific professional interests or awards to mention but remains passionate about her work and the animals she cares for.

Outside of work, Melissa is a devoted mother to her three sons, Ethan, Devin, Jayden, and her daughter, Shyann. She shares her home with two dogs, Liyah and Krypto, two cats, Maxy and Trixie, as well as a red tail boa, a bearded dragon, and a Leopard gecko. In her free time, she enjoys music, cooking, and spending quality time with her family.

Brittney, Veterinary Nurse

Brittney was born in St. Augustine, Fl but raised about an hour away in Pomona Park, FL. Brittney has always loved taking care of animals, she spent every summer growing up at her grandparent’s ranch helping out and has always had animals at home. Brittney has worked in customer service for 8 years and loves helping people. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her son and family.

Nicolette, Director of Client Services

Nicolette was born and raised in St.Augustine, Florida. She has a dog named Ella Mae and a bearded dragon named Nubs. Nicolette Grew up with dogs her whole life and has always loved Animals. She even hopes to have her own Dog farm one day. She has worked in Customer Service for 5 years and loves interacting with our clients and patients. Away from work She enjoys Fishing, Camping and Loves spending time with her family and friends.

Colleen, Receptionist

Colleen is a dedicated Receptionist at Shores Animal Hospital. Originally from Vermont, Colleen spent her early career working in the healthcare field. In March 2023, she relocated to Florida, drawn by the opportunity to combine her professional skills with her passion for animals.

Colleen has always loved working with animals and is an avid pet lover herself, with two dogs and two cats at home. Her favorite aspect of her job is making a difference in pets’ lives and helping their owners take care of them. This fulfillment reassures her that she is in the right profession.

Outside of work, Colleen enjoys going to the beach and relaxing in the sun. She also loves taking walks with her two dogs, making the most of the beautiful Florida weather. Colleen is excited to continue her journey at Shores Animal Hospital, contributing to the well-being of pets and the satisfaction of their owners.

Crystal, Groomer

Crystal joined our team in 2019 starting at Murabella Animal Hospital and then transferring with the opening at Shores Animal Hospital in her new grooming suite . She has been in the grooming industry since 1997. Starting out working as a bather and going to grooming academy in 2010. She continues her education every year taking seminars on techniques and styles. Crystal is a member of National Dog Groomers of America as well as an AKC S.A.F.E. Groomer and Opawz Certified Creative Groomer Crystal is an all breed, tall to small, and cats too! She has also groomed exotics like ferrets, rabbits, skunks, goats, chickens, and hedgehogs!

During her time off she enjoys spending time with her family, including her two daughters ages 22 and 10. She also has a small zoo at home including 3 dogs, a cat, fish, lizards, snakes, tarantulas, scorpions and lots of birds. If you ask her how many pets she has, she’ll tell you “I stopped counting.”. She often takes her arachnids and reptiles to schools to educate the kids. As well as take her birds, dogs and cat out for nature hikes through our local beautiful parks and walks in downtown Old St. Augustine.

Susie, Groomer

Susie Rogers, a dedicated Groomer at Shores Animal Hospital, brings her passion for animals and extensive experience to her role. Originally from Northern Virginia, Susie made the move to her current town in February 2019, seeking a new adventure and opportunity.

Susie’s journey into the veterinary industry was driven by her deep love for dogs. She has always felt a strong connection to these furry companions and finds genuine joy in working with them. Whether she’s grooming them to look their best or simply spending time with them, Susie’s love for animals shines through in everything she does.

Outside of work, Susie enjoys a fulfilling life with her husband, Sean, whom she married in 2021, and their Irish twins, Rio and Stone. Together, they share a love for animals and are proud owners of three German Shepherds. In her free time, Susie cherishes moments with her family, stays active with workouts, and enjoys relaxing at the beach. Her dedication to her family and her passion for animals make Susie an invaluable member of the Shores Animal Hospital team.