Meet the Team

Lefferts Animal Hospital

Lefferts Animal Hospital is a full-service veterinary medical facility, located in Richmond Hill, NY . The professional and courteous staff at Lefferts Animal Hospital seeks to provide the best possible medical care, surgical care and dental care for their highly-valued patients.

We are committed to promoting responsible pet ownership, preventative health care and health-related educational opportunities for our clients. Lefferts Animal Hospital strives to offer excellence in veterinary care to Richmond Hill, NY and surrounding areas.

Please take a moment to contact us today, to learn more about our veterinary practice and to find out more information about how Lefferts Animal Hospital can serve the needs of you and your cherished pet.
86-37 Lefferts Blvd
Richmond Hill, NY 11418
Phone: (718) 849-3000
Fax: (718) 846-6027

Get Directions
Mon-Fri: 9:00AM - 8:00PM
Sat: 9:00AM - 3:00PM
Sun: 9:00AM - 3:00PM
After Hours: (718) 263-0099
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve

David Halpern, DVM (Owner)
Graduated Louisiana State University Veterinary School in 1986. Practice owner and medical director since 1988. He is also the co owner of Quality Veterinary Care and West Hempstead Animal Hospital. Dr Halpern is very proud that his Daughter Amy has chosen to follow in his foot steps. Special interests in general medicine and exotics medicine.

Louisiana State University Veterinary School

Richard Valdes, DVM
Graduated NYS College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell in Special interests in surgery. Works with exotics Bilingual - Spanish

College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell

Zareen Mistry, DVM
Dr Mistry was born and raised in Michigan. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Animal Physiology from Cornell University, then went on to veterinary school at Kansas State. After completing an internship in Boston, she worked as an emergency and general practice vet for 5 yrs in New Jersey. In 2010, she got married and moved to Hong Kong with her husband. She moved to NY and joined the Lefferts team in 2012. Her interests include internal medicine, dentistry and ultrasounds. She lives in Long Island with her husband, 2 beautiful children and black lab, Lucy. She had the honor of being appointed Medical Director of the hospital in 2015

Veterinary school at Kansas State

Payal Mittal, DVM
Dr Payal Mittal was born and raised in Michigan. Dr Mittal graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Psychology. After a year, she decided to pursue her dream career as a veterinarian. Dr Mittal graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. Her adventure in veterinary school involved a clinical year at Louisiana State University. Her special interest include surgery, internal medicine and imaging. She lives with her 2 cats (kung Pao and Moonpie) in manhattan and visits her family in Michigan whenever possible. She is very excited to join the wonderful staff here at Lefferts Animal Hospital.

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Kaitlin Hopke, DVM
Dr. Kaitlin Hopke was born and raised on Long Island. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University with a degree in Animal Science, Dr Hopke moved to Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Upon completion at veterinary school, she decided to return home to NY to pursue her career and spend more time with her family. Her interests include internal medicine, dermatology, and imaging. Outside of work, she enjoys running, horseback riding, and going to museums. Dr Hopke is pleased to be a member of the wonderful team here at Lefferts Animal Hospital.
Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine
Irene Garden, DVM
Dr. Irene Garden was born and mostly raised in Queens, N.Y. She graduated from Pace University with a BS in Biology where she did research in various areas both before and after graduation. Dr. Garden graduated from Cornell University's School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010 and after working in upstate N.Y. and on Long Island decided to move back to Queens to be closer to her family. She is very happy to be working at Lefferts Animal Hospital where her family has been bringing their pets since she was 13 years old. Her medical interests include dentistry and internal medicine and in her spare time she loves to travel, go to museums, and to spend time with her niece and nephew.
Jessalyn Chandonnet, DVM
Dr. Jessalyn Chandonnet is originally from Dracut, Massachusetts. Shegraduated from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) with a bachelor’s degreein pre-veterinary medicine, and then went on to complete veterinary school atTufts University. After completion of veterinary school in 2016, she made thedecision to move to New York to start her career with the wonderful team at Lefferts Animal Hospital.Her medical interests include internal medicine, ophthalmology, and imaging. Shenow lives with her two cats, Bonsai and Willow, in Brooklyn.

Elizabeth Anilionis, VMD
Dr. Anilionis is originally from Huntington, New York. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology, with an honors citation in Life Sciences, from the University of Maryland in 2010. She spent 4 years working in the pharmaceutical industry before going on to earn her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014.

Her medical interests include soft tissue surgery and internal medicine. In her spare time Dr. Anilionis enjoys running, yoga and travel. She lives in Brooklyn with her Rottweiler mix, Max.

General Manager

Practice Manager
Andrea has been working with Lefferts Animal Hospital since March 1998. She started working in kennel and has worked her way up the ladder to manager since November 2008. She is always looking for ways to better herself as a leader, manager and most of all a human being. She is also known as the puppy midwife for all c-sections. In her spare time she enjoys Traveling, on and off Broadway plays as well as spending time with her family and friends.

Head Technician

Technician Staff

Technician Staff

Technician Staff

Technician Staff

Technician Staff


Kim R.

Nathanya- Technician

Reception Staff

Receptionist staff

Receptionist staff

Reception staff

​Receptionist staff


Kimberly H.

Emily K.
Head Room Assistant

Room Assistant

Room Assistant

Room Assistant

Room Assistant

Room Assistant

Room Assistant

Room Assistant

Room Assistant

Room Assistant

Louis, Malek, Cecilia, Wendy and Jennifer
Kennel Staff

​The Groomer