Our Staff

Drs. Wittner & Personett with Jude

Drs. Wittner & Personett with Jude

Dr. Diane C. Wittner, DVM


I am very excited to bring 30+ years of experience in high quality, teamwork-based veterinary care to share with my clients (previous and new) for excellence in quality of life of our beloved furry or feathered family members, our pets. My current pets include two (2) rescued Doberman pinschers, two (2) cockatiels, and a Blue-fronted Amazon parrot. I've shared my life previously with other Dobermans, collies, loving mutts, horses, rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, rats, and mice, as well as other Amazons, cockatiels, Senegals, and zebra finches.

Through extensive additional training and consistent Continuing Education, I bring to you advanced skills in surgery, medicine, preventative care, physical rehabilitation (like human physical therapy), veterinary hospice (end-of-life care with focus on quality of life), and ophthalmology for dogs, cats, birds, and exotic animals (e.g., rodents, rabbits, ferrets, etc.). If I know that a nearby specialist can do a better job for your pet's care, I will refer you to get that expertise.

Formerly, I was co-owner of Southern Tier Veterinary Associates (nee Valley Animal Hospital) and earlier worked in several upstate veterinary practices, so I've seen a great variety of problems and solutions to bring to our teamwork approach to help you care for your pets.

Education is an important focus for me (both for myself and others), so Vet and Owner together can choose the most appropriate treatment plan for our companions. I have taught courses in Animal Handling and Surgical Techniques (at Cornell University), Dog First Aid, How to Choose a Vet, Wildlife Rehabilitators First Aid for Animals, CPR (Human) and Career Day talks throughout the area. We have joined the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce to more widely connect with local businesses and staff members. Hobbies include SCUBA, obedience training, reading science fiction, and crocheting.

I look forward to working with you to keep your furred or feathered family member healthy and happy for a long satisfied life.

Years in Practice: 31
Education: New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, 1986; Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, 1976;Vestal High School, 1972
Interests: small animal, avian, and exotics – medicine, surgery, hospice, physical (therapy) rehabilitation, ophthalmology

John Penird-Beno


John's foray into the veterinary field started as a result of a very negative experience with euthanasia. He wanted to be able to help others, who would experience a similar situation, helping them to realize that they are not alone and that there are better ways to approach this extremely difficult time with their animals.

John has been a veterinary assistant for 15 years, and loves being an integral part of a caring team. He has been compared to an animal whisperer and his way with them is phenomenal.

He is the proud owner of eight dogs and six cats. Growing up surrounded by animals on his family farm, John truly loves working with pets of all kinds. John has worked with quite the menagerie of fur and feathers, from dogs and cats to camels and giraffes.

Other interests include involvement in community theater, working with the Endicott Performing Arts Center (EPAC), as well as singing with a local band.

John plans to make your visit with us a positive and enjoyable experience. He looks forward to meeting many new furry and feathery friends.

Years in Practice: 15
Interests: Furry and Feathered Pets, Singing, Theater and Performing, Decorating, and Cooking

Amanda L. Westfall, LVT

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Amanda started working as a licensed veterinary technician (LVT) in 2006 at Southern Tier Veterinary Associates, hired by Dr. Wittner and her co-owner. She has worked at various veterinary clinics and other jobs trying to find her place in the world since that time. Jealous of other technicians that had found the perfect practice, and boss, but knowing that she had not, Amanda decided to step away from veterinary medicine in 2014 and explore other options, until she heard from Dr. Wittner. Dr. Wittner and partner were opening a new practice and posed the invitation to fill in some time helping set things in motion. Very excited to work with a favorite former boss and friend, Amanda leapt at the opportunity and learned about a practice that seemed to be that mythical perfect fit she had always dreamt of finding.

Amanda has a passion for veterinary medicine and considers it part of her identity. She also loves learning about her profession, expanding her skills, and teaching others. That there is always more to know about the science and art of veterinary medicine pleases her. She hopes to help Fur and Feathers Veterinary Care grow and become the best it can be by being her best in fulfilling the many roles of veterinary technician.

Amanda currently has one dog, that is made up of as many breeds as she is pounds (about 33), by the name of Tango, and two cats that boss that dog around, and a guinea pig, Martin. She enjoys reading, playing video games, sewing, crocheting, crafting in any way, and had a great wedding in October 2015!

Years in Practice:11
Education: SUNY Canton, SUNY Binghamton
Interests: Reading, Video Games, Sewing, Crochet, Crafting, Guinea Pigs

Maria DeSisto-Petkash


Maria has been working in the veterinary field as a receptionist since early 2016. She has a BS degree in biology from SUNY Cortland and a veterinary assistant degree from Penn Foster. She enjoys getting to know our clients and their pets, especially new puppies and kittens. In addition, she has several years experience working with exotics and does volunteer work for a therapeutic equestrian center. She is starting to train on some veterinary assistant tasks as well.

Maria has two cats, Angel and Mira, a leopard gecko and one fish. She and her husband love spending time outside and camping.

Drew Dryer

Veterinary Assistant

Drew’s love of animals began at a very young age. When she was young, she lived on a small farm. She helped her mother care for the animals as well as help deliver a few litters of kittens into the world. She would run around the house chasing after her cats and covering them with bandages to “make them feel better.” She was the stereotypical child; always bringing home lost and unwanted animals to find homes for them.

As Drew grew up, she took a great interest in sciences as well as animals. She is a recent college graduate with a BA in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Equine Sciences from Alfred University. She is currently studying veterinary forensic sciences.
In the process of finding a program to continue her education, Drew discovered an unexpected interest in forensics and, though her goal of going to veterinary school is still the same, her goal has shifted to incorporate forensics into her future plans.

Drew is currently being trained as a vet assistant. She came to the practice as a graduate looking for a place to learn about veterinary practice and gain experience for vet school. She found so much more: the wonderful people welcomed her with open arms and she has learned so much in the short amount of time she has been there. She hopes to continue to work and learn as much as possible before applying to vet school.

Drew currently has three rescued cats, Misty, Dusty and Chloe. Her cat Misty was her first animal that she brought home 14 years ago, as a 7 week old kitten.
Interests: Reading, music, writing.

Fur and Feathers Veterinary Care Staff at Pet Expo 2015

Fur and Feathers Veterinary Care Staff at Pet Expo 2015

Leslie A. Personett, DVM CVA


Dr. Personett's love of animals started when she was seven years old and began taking riding lessons. Because her father was active duty military, the family did not get a horse or dog of their own for another six years but the riding lessons continued. When she was 13, the family got their first dog and first two horses.

During high school, Dr. Personett decided to become a veterinarian and graduated to Colorado State University (CSU) where she received a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degrees. Two of the family's horses went to Veterinary School with her, although they did not take any classes.

While in veterinary school, Dr. Personett was mentored by Dr. Simon Turner, an equine surgeon. He encouraged her to do advanced training after veterinary school. She went on to a large animal internship with an equine concentration at the University of Tennessee's Veterinary School followed by an equine surgery residency at Michigan State University (MSU) Veterinary School. While at MSU, she acquired her first two Labrador retrievers, Jessie and Justin.

After her residency, Dr. Personett decided to go into private practice and moved to Western NY with her two horses and two Labradors where she joined a 75% equine and 25% small animal practice. In 1985, she started her own equine-only practice, Great Lakes Equine Practice, (GLEP), concentrating on equine medicine, surgery, and emergency work. In 1996, Dr. Personett became a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) and began doing small animal acupuncture in addition to her equine practice. The practice became known as Great Lakes Equine & Veterinary Acupuncture Practice (GLEVAP). GLEVAP became the largest non-track equine practice in Western NY.

Eighteen years after starting GLEVAP, Dr. Personett decided she needed a break from the stresses of equine practice and became an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). She stayed with USDA for 10 years but she missed the practice of veterinary medicine and decided to go back to private practice. She became an associate veterinarian at the Oneonta Veterinary Hospital doing small animal medicine, surgery, and emergencies.

While in equine practice, two more Labradors and three more horses (one at a time) were added to the family. Dr. Personett's interest in Labrador retrievers expanded beyond having them as pets to showing in the conformation, obedience, and agility rings. Her kennel name is Waifin Labradors. Many more generations of Labradors have since been produced at Waifin including US, CAN, Dutch, Swedish, German, and French Champions, most with working titles as well as therapy dogs, a seizure dog, and dogs who are companions for children with Asperger’s Syndrome. Currently, she has three Labs who are all beloved pets. She hopes to get back in the show ring soon with the youngest Waifin Labrador, Emma, aka Waifin's Sojourners Wings.

Years in Practice: 36
Education: Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Heather Lashier

Client Service Representative (CSR)

After being a pet owner for decades, I am thrilled to be part of the pet health care professionals here at Fur and Feathers Veterinary Care. Having been a history teacher for 33 years, I love making the transition from nurturing my high school students to helping nurture our beloved pets.

I am the very proud and happy owner of five Golden Retrievers. I am also blessed to be Mom to two loving sons and Nahni to 3 beautiful grandchildren. My children are grown and gone, so now I share my home with Goldens, and they share all their pet hair with me! I would not have it any other way. I never worry about being cold at night, as my bed is one of their favorite places to sleep.

Finian, age 9, is my rock- and sock-eater. Dr. Wittner, who has been my veterinarian for over seven years, may just put a zipper in him, if he needs any more surgery to remove some of his devoured treasures. Tierney, age 8, is my gentle blonde giant. Kateri, age 7 is mother to 23 children, from her 3 litters. Belleek, age 3, is from Kateri's 2nd litter, and a total love bug. Katya, almost 3, is from Kateri's 3rd litter, and a wonderful, exuberant little lady.

I have bred four litters, and follow the Code of Ethics of the Golden Retriever Club of America. Both parents have hips, heart, eyes, and elbow clearances. I hope to breed Katya in 2016. Drs. Wittner and Personett have done her radiographs for hips and elbows, and she passed with flying colors!!

To me, Goldens are like potato chips - you cannot have just one. Much of my spare time is spent keeping them groomed and happy. I also have a love for photography and have enjoyed documenting the renovations here at Fur and Feathers Veterinary Care.

Seeing Fur and Feathers Veterinary Care grow from a mere idea to a state of the art clinic, just a short six months later, has been amazing. Being able to be part of this process with my best friend, Dr. Diane Wittner, has brought true joy. Coming to know Dr. Leslie Personett and learning a lot from her

Years in Practice: 3
Interests: Golden Retrievers, Photography

Stephanie Freeh

Client Service Representative (CSR) and Assistant

Stephanie has been working in the veterinary field, as a receptionist, since 2014. She has also been cross-trained as a veterinary assistant. In addition to her role at FFVC, she is working towards earning her degree from SUNY Broome in the field of Dental Hygiene.

Stephanie has been an animal lover her whole life and enjoyed riding horses as a child. She has had a wide variety of pets, including guinea pigs, birds, cats, and a dog. She brings this love, for all things fur and feathers, into her veterinary career. Stephanie currently has three rescued cats, Diego, Dinah, and Lola, and they love keeping her on her toes.

Stephanie looks forward to meeting new clients and their beloved pets.

Years in Practice:3
Interests: All things “girly,” Cats, Traveling, Beaches

Dana C. Wiley


In pursuit of her degree to become a licensed veterinary technician, Drs. Personett and Wittner have become Dana’s mentors for the preceptorship requirement of her training.

She has spent 20 years in the world of public education as a certified elementary teacher and health educator. Dana continues to work in this field as an adjunct lecturer and placement coordinator for the Childhood Education Program at SUNY Cortland.

Living in Chenango Bridge with her husband and three children, who attend Chenango Forks High School, she has close ties to the area and community.

As it may seem like quite a transition from the front of the classroom to applied (hands on) veterinary science, Dana is excited to start learning about animal medicine and treatment, since this field requires continual learning and improvement of skills and knowledge throughout. She feels fortunate to have the opportunity to work under the guidance of the talented staff at Fur and Feathers Veterinary Care.

Jordan Shindler

Veterinary Assistant

After completing the majority of an undergraduate degree in environmental biology through SUNY ESF, Jordan realized her desired field was in veterinary medicine. In order to follow her dream, she has joined the team at Fur and Feathers Veterinary Care to gain hands on experience in preparation for applying to Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.

Jordan has a passion for working with felines and has the long term goal of specializing in zoo medicine to work specifically with large cats. Before coming to our facility, she interned with the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, Conservators Center in NC and the Ross Park Zoo here in Binghamton. These experiences have provided her with the chance to work closely with the animals she is so fond of and assisted in solidifying her dream. Thanks to her past internships, Jordan has gained animal handling and care experience with various zoo species, such as red pandas and armadillo, as well as common household domestic animals.

Following the completion of her degree, Jordan returned to the tri-city area. She currently resides in Binghamton with her two cats, Layla and Orion, and six Beta fish, Gimly, Spoopy Aldranod, Van Gogh, Picasso and Nightvale.