The people at College Village Animal Clinic really care about Bearded Dragons. Our dragon, Ajax, is grateful.Read full story: Tim Pearson
Dr. Jon Basler
Dr. Basler’s passion for veterinary medicine was sparked by owning multiple fish tanks in high school. His job at a tropical fish store helped “fund his fish habit”. Treating fish medical issues honed his interest in biology and medicine, leading to a degree in Animal Biology and acceptance to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University. He graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from WSU in 1985 and moved with his wife, Pamela, to her home state of Alaska. After two years of small animal practice, he embarked on a three-year adventure in Barrow where his duties included traditional companion animal veterinary medicine but also duties as diverse as animal control, public health issues (water testing, restaurant inspections, rabies vaccinations) and assisting wild life research along with monthly trips to remote arctic villages of the North Slope Borough.
Dr. Basler and his family returned to Anchorage in 1990 to begin a career at College Village Animal Clinic. He assumed ownership of the clinic in 1998. Dr. Basler and Pam have three sons: Eric, Ryan and Jack and a grey-black chinchilla named Smokey. He is active in his church and as a leader in Boy Scouts, plays volleyball and is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys skiing, backpacking and fishing in Alaska’s great outdoors. Dr. Basler is actively involved in the veterinary community. He is currently a member of the Veterinary Management Group, and previously Alaska’s Representative to the American Veterinary Medical Association, sat on the Board of Directors of Pet Emergency, Inc. and is a past President of the Alaska Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Basler particularly enjoys treating dogs, cats, caged pets and birds. He directs clinic operations and is especially interested in diagnostic medicine, challenging soft tissue surgery and advanced dentistry, including endodontics.
Dr. Peter Nicholson
Growing up in suburban Michigan, Dr. Nicholson’s early interest in animals began at a young age when the family got a dog. That interest grew and eventually the family wound up with a house full of his reptiles, fish and a second-hand chinchilla. Despite several family members deeply ingrained fear of snakes, Dr. Nicholson’s parents encouraged his interest in reptiles since it was about the only thing that would make him read a book in grade school. This well intentioned encouragement over the years resulted in the acquisition of several large snakes, of which three temporarily escaped. According to Peter only one of these escapes was his fault.
This childhood fascination with animals led Dr. Nicholson to study zoology at the University of Maine, where he concentrated in fisheries biology and ecology. After graduation Dr. Nicholson worked for several years in New England doing fisheries field research and briefly considered trying to become a sea turtle biologist prior to working in the veterinary field. Dr. Nicholson completed his D.V.M. at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island in 2002 before moving to Alaska. Dr. Nicholson joined the staff of College Village Animal Clinic in 2002. In addition to dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and reptiles Dr. Nicholson will see all pets including fish.
Dr. Nicholson currently lives in Anchorage with his wife and children, as well as two lizards, a few rescued snakes, some fish and his “legendary” dog Hooper.
Dr. Alice Velsko-Raidmae
To say that Dr.Velsko-Raidmae came to her love for animals at a young age might be an understatement….she named her first pet cat before she knew her animal names resulting in the poor kitty being called Puppy! She spent her childhood loving and caring for a wide-variety of pets including boxed turtles, two cats, chickens and a retired Iditarod sled dog named Goldie. Her first job in the field as a veterinary assistant at the Homer Veterinary Clinic cemented Alice’s commitment to becoming a veterinarian.
Dr.Velsko-Raidmae graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2005 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M) at Washington State University in 2009, she joined the CVAC team in June that same year. In addition to canines and felines, Dr. Velsko-Raidmae enjoys working with a wide variety of animal species. She completed a marine mammal and bird rehabilitation externship at the Alaska Sea Life Center prior to vet school and an externship at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle during her final year of veterinary school. Her special interests include small mammals (including guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets) and dentistry.
Dr.Velsko-Raidmae is a lifelong Alaskan growing up across Kachemak Bay from Homer where her father managed the Tutka Bay Salmon Hatchery. She spent six years of her childhood in Nome returning to the Kenai Peninsula to graduate from Homer High School. Her personal mission as a veterinarian is “to be as thorough as possible, do the utmost to be compassionate towards pets, prevent pain, and to be understanding of the uniqueness of each pet owners situation”.
Dr.Velsko-Raidmae lives in east Anchorage with her husband Olin, her cat Thomas and her three guinea pigs: Penny, Ruble and Rupee. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping and cross country skiing.
Dr. Alison Capitan
Growing up in a small town in central Indiana, Dr. Alison Capitan was never without an animal companion of some sort. Her first cat came wrapped up as a Christmas present under the tree. “Christopher Long Legs”, a male tabby, was in that box. Many more pets soon followed. These pets meant many trips to her local veterinary clinic. Thus began Dr. Capitan’s interest in veterinary medicine. In the second grade, Dr. Capitan announced she wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up. Her mother assumed it was just a fleeting thought, but Dr. Capitan continued with that goal through high school and college. Her passion for helping our patients is obvious in her work everyday. For Dr. Capitan, there is nothing better than taking a sick or injured pet and returning them to their parents all fixed up!
While attending high school and college, Dr. Capitan worked and volunteered in different veterinary clinics that saw small and exotic animals. As an undergraduate at Purdue University, Dr. Capitan divided her time between class, marching band, School of Science student council, and her pre-vet club. She was an active member in each club serving different leadership roles in each. As a college junior, Purdue University accepted Dr. Capitan to join the School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2002. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Purdue in 1999 and continued on to receive her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2002.
As a senior veterinary student, Dr. Capitan took the opportunity to work with many different exotic animals in addition to her small and large animal rotations. She worked with the Indianapolis Zoo, Sea World of Orlando, Discovery Cove, Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic in Indianapolis, and the Alaska Sea Life Center. Her time spent in Seward, Alaska spurred her move to Eagle River, Alaska after graduation.
Dr. Capitan began her veterinary career at VCA Eagle River Animal Hospital in 2002. There she combined the knowledge she learned in school with the practical knowledge of her mentors. She continued to see small and exotic animals, but also became more interested and skilled in surgery. In September 2008, Dr. Capitan and her family moved back to Indianapolis for a surgical internship at VCA Veterinary Specialty Center. October 2009 brought Dr. Capitan back to Alaska with a vast knowledge of orthopedic and soft tissue surgery techniques.
Dr. Capitan joined College Village Animal Clinic in May, 2011. In addition to working with canines and felines, Dr. Capitan also enjoys working with small mammals and exotics. She is especially interested in expanding the clinic’s services in the area of orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries.
Dr. Capitan lives in east Anchorage with her husband, Rich, her son, Ethan, her daughter, Eva, and her many pets: Chibi, a pug, Fizz Bits, a mix breed, Francis, a grey tabby, Leroy, an orange tabby, Mathilda, a cockatiel, and Zeke, a leopard gecko. In her spare time she enjoys camping, hiking, sewing, knitting, crochet and watching her kids laugh.
Dr. Pamela Tuomi
Dr. Pamela Tuomi has been seeing patients at College Village Animal Clinic since 1971 and passed ownership of the clinic to Dr. Basler in 1998. She still sees something new every week and the excitement of this is inspirational to her. For Dr. Tuomi, the excitement in veterinary medicine comes from the many challenges of figuring out problems and finding solutions.
She continues to provide services and perform relief work at the clinic, but now spends most of her time in Seward as the Senior Veterinarian at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Her work during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in sea otter rehabilitation inspired her desire to work with wild life. She is internationally known for her work in marine animal medicine and oiled wildlife response. She is actively involved in research, education, and rehabilitation programs and has traveled throughout Alaska, Russia, Canada and even to Antarctica for research work. At College Village Animal Clinic, Dr. Tuomi enjoys providing expertise in companion animal preventative health care, soft tissue surgery, and treatment and care of caged birds and small pets.
Dr. Tuomi and her husband (a veterinarian as well!) live in Anchorage and have 5 adult children and 4 grandchildren. In addition to their 12-year-old golden retriever Dakota and their 6-year-old cat Willy, they recently got another golden retriever Sisu. Sisu is very busy growing up and keeping everyone reminded of the joys of puppyhood!