Eric Winchester was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He
obtained a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 1965,
after which he went to work for the State of Florida Division of
Occupational Health as a chemist. He married Jacksonville native,
Janis, in 1966. In 1968 he entered Auburn University’s College
of Veterinary Medicine, the only veterinary school in the Southeast
at the time. Through veterinary school he worked for the Alabama
State Toxicology Laboratory as a clinical toxicologist. Dr. Winchester
received his D.V.M. from Auburn University in 1972 at which time
he entered into general practice at Murray Hill Animal Hospital
on Jacksonville’s Westside. His first son, Rod, was born that
year. In 1975, Dr. Winchester and his wife Janis opened Julington
Creek Animal Hospital as a combined practice for both small and
large animals – the first in the area. Shortly thereafter,
their second son, Jason, was born. At that time, San Jose Boulevard
was only a two-lane country road with mostly horse farms dotting
the landscape. As Mandarin grew, so did the small pet population.
Julington Creek Animal Hospital shifted its focus to an exclusively
small animal practice in the mid-1980’s. Since that time,
the practice has grown to five veterinarians including 16-year Julington
Creek associate Dr. Cahill and Dr. Winchester’s son, Dr. Rod.
In August 2002, Julington Creek Animal Walk opened as the first
Dog Park in Duval county and Northeast Florida’s most spacious
luxury pet resort and spa. Dr. Winchester’s professional interests
include orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. His personal interests
include fishing and traveling, particularly in Belize. His other
family members include Babar the Rottweiler;
Goldie the cat; Lola the French Bulldog, and Pedro, a blue and gold macaw.
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Dr. Jack Cahill was born in
Waterford, Ireland. He was raised in Dublin, Dundalk, and Limerick,
and graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in Ballsbridge, Dublin
(1966) with his B.V.M. and M.R.C.V.S. During University holidays he
worked in London and New York to gain valuable experience. He worked
on horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs in his own large and small animal
practice in the east of Ireland. He worked as a pathologist for three
years prior to immigrating to America in 1988. His first, and only,
career in America has been as an associate at Julington Creek Animal
Hospital. His interests are all creatures great and small, people,
reading poetry, and traveling. He is married to Professor Eileen Maguire
who teaches English Literature and Irish Fiction at the University
of North Florida in Jacksonville. His three children are Portia and
Penelope, two English Springer Spaniels, and a cat named Phoebe.
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Dr. Rod Winchester was born
and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated from Bolles High
School in 1990; obtained a B.S. in Marine Biology from Mississippi
State University in 1994; and received his D.V.M. from Mississippi
State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. During
school, Dr. Rod studied marine mammal veterinary medicine in Woods
Hole, Massachusetts and participated in veterinary externships in
the cities of Cincinnati, Honolulu, and Miami. He entered into general
practice with his father immediately after graduation in May of 1998.
His professional interests include dermatology and gastroenterology
of dogs and cats for which he has received post-graduate training.
He is also interested in the evolving role of the veterinary profession
in political and social issues. He served as president of the Jacksonville
Veterinary Medical Society from 2003-2004, and is actively involved
locally in veterinary medical policies. He married Jacksonville native, Shawn, in 1999, and they have two sons, Reef Jonas and Kai Ryder. Dr. Rod's outside interests include surfing, snowboarding,
and scuba diving. Other family members include two Chihuahuas, Bruiser
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Dr. Zuleika Cotto was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She’s had a love for animals since she was a child. She began her interest in animal health by completing her A.S. degree from the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo. She moved to Oklahoma in 1997 and received her Animal Science B.S. degree in 2001 from Oklahoma State University. She completed her D.V.M. degree in 2004. Dr. Cotto furthered her studies after graduation by completing an internship in Food Animal Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Cotto enjoyed the Florida sunshine and decided to stay. She worked in a mixed animal practice on the west side of Jacksonville before joining the Julington Creek Animal Hospital team. Dr. Cotto has two Dachshunds named Chucky and Beebop who enjoy playing in the Julington Creek Animal Walk swimming pool.
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Dr. Maria del Mar Guzman was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After graduating from high school she worked in a veterinary practice as a veterinary assistant while completing her B.S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico. She completed her D.V.M. degree in June of 2007 from The Ohio State University. While in veterinary school, Dr. Guzman worked with Rural Area Veterinary Services performing free spay and neuters for pets around the United States. Her personal interests include playing the guitar, singing, painting, and traveling. She relocated to Jacksonville in July of 2007 and lives with her dog Alice, a Border Collie/Husky mix who was a shelter rescue.
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