Douglas Tack, DVM

Dr. Douglas Tack is our Medical Director and Chief of Staff. He graduated from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988, at which time he moved from the family farm in Michigan to New York. He spent many years focusing on Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, where he developed his special interests in Internal Medicine, Soft Tissue Surgery, and Avian/Exotic Medicine. Dr. Tack joined Black River Veterinary Hospital in 2006. He enjoys spending his spare time with his wife Dr. Susan Tack (also a veterinarian!) and children Erin (beginning veterinary school at University of Pennsylvania in fall 2019) and Greg (currently attending graduate school at William Paterson University.) Dr. Tack has 8 Jack Russell Terriers and 1 Border terrier, and he can often be seen at Terrier Trials (dog shows) around the United States and Canada. His passion for working terrier breeds has given him the opportunity to Judge throughout the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

Maria Hancock, BVMS

Dr. Maria Hancock has been at Black River Veterinary Hospital since June 2018 and has loved meeting everyone and their beloved pets! She completed her B.S. in Animal Science at Rutgers University and attended veterinary school at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She has a special interest in animal nutrition and surgery. When she is not practicing, she enjoys the outdoors and is a self-proclaimed foodie, trying all kinds of cuisines, with Korean being her favorite. Dr. Hancock is the proud owner of “Misia” a crazy beagle, and “Uno,” her one-eyed feline friend.

Suzanne Bliesath, DVM

Dr. Suzanne Bliesath received her veterinary degree from The Ohio State University in 1998. She grew up in Northern NJ and raised her family in Long Valley. In addition to treating dogs and cats, she also sees small mammals, such as guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, chinchillas and hamsters. Her interests include animal behavior, skin disorders, reproduction, service animals and preventive medicine. She believes in treating her patients as if they are her own and encourages client questions. Dr. Bliesath joined BRVH in late spring of 2019.

When she is not in the hospital, you can find her with her husband, three children, dogs Miley, Bella, Sprinkles and Brownie, or out on her boat!

Kelly Vex, DVM

Dr. Kelly Vex began the pursuit of her dream to practice Veterinary Medicine as a young girl in Niagara Falls, New York. Dr. Vex earned her undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Cornell University and graduated from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. As a student, she was recognized by the American Association of Feline Practitioners for outstanding interest and ability in feline medicine and surgery. After graduation, she moved to Northern New Jersey with her husband to begin her veterinary career. Inspired by a service dog patient as MSU, she was a volunteer veterinarian for guide dogs in training on her days off at the Seeing Eye in Morristown. Although Dr. Vex enjoys all aspects of small animal care, she has developed special interests in soft tissue surgery and internal medicine. When not at work she enjoys the outdoors, DIY projects, and spending time with her husband and their four children.

Michelle Hewitt, DVM

Dr. Michelle Hewitt always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Dr. Hewitt, who is originally from Mine Hill, received her B.S. in biology from the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. She went on to receive her veterinary degree at North Carolina State University in 1997. Dr. Hewitt has special interests in chronic disease management, geriatric care, and preventative medicine. Dr. Hewitt enjoys volunteering at Father John’s Animal House in Lafayette and spending time with her two rescued dogs, Dixie and Steve, and her four cats, Friendly, Crazy Eye, Copy, and Slick.

Linda Wall, DVM

Dr. Linda (Krotje) Wall grew up on a dairy farm in Sussex County, NJ. She was actively involved in 4-H as a youth, showing Brown Swiss cattle, a Quarter Horse, and completing a variety of sewing projects. Dr. Wall accomplished her childhood dream upon graduating from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. She concurrently completed a small animal internal medicine residency at Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine and board certification in 1988. The following year she held the position of adjunct instructor in Small Animal Internal Medicine at ISU. During this time, she published several papers and case reports in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association and the Compendium of Continuing Education.

Dr. Wall returned to the family farm in NJ in 1990 with her husband, Keith Wall, DVM. While raising twins, she practice part-time for 28 years at a local veterinary clinic. There she specialized in internal medicine cases, performed endoscopic procedures, and ultrasound examinations.

Currently, she and her husband operate the family farm in Sussex County. They breed, raise, and show registered Simmental cattle. In addition, she has two black Labs to keep her busy. We welcomed Dr. Wall to the BRVH family in 2021.

Caitlin Sun, DVM

Dr. Caitlin Sun grew up in Salem County, New Jersey with a menagerie of pets and was active in the local 4-H clubs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science at Cook College, Rutgers University in 2010 before earning her DVM from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. Dr. Sun then completed a Small Animal Internship at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, NJ. She joined the Black River Veterinary Hospital in 2021 and has a passion for feline medicine, low-stress visits, dental health, and preventative medicine. In her free time, Dr. Sun enjoys spending time with her husband Greg, cats Pearl and Alice, and her black lab Margo. Outside of animals, her passions include gardening, traveling, hiking, spending time at the beach, wine-tasting, as well as a love of cooking and being a “foodie.”

Elizabeth (Leach) Elliott, DVM, DACVS-SA

Dr. Elliott joined the team at Black River Veterinary Hospital in the summer of 2022, after working at a large specialty practice in South Carolina. Originally from Connecticut, Dr. Elliott moved to Prince Edward Island, Canada to attend veterinary school at the Atlantic Veterinary College. Her keen interest in specialty medicine brought her to Cornell University’s Hospital for Animals for a rotating internship and three-year residency in small animal surgery. Dr. Elliott is board certified with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and is versed in both soft tissue and orthopedic surgery. She is excited to bring a unique continuity of care to surgical patients at Black River Veterinary Hospital, where their primary care doctors remain involved in their progress. Dr. Elliott is looking forward to growing the surgical service at BRVH and will also be able to offer laparoscopic procedures by late 2022. Outside of work, she enjoys riding dressage horses and spending time outdoors with her husband, an equine surgeon, and their young daughter.

Margaret Freibergs, DVM

Some of you may recognize Dr. Freibergs as she has been a part of the
Black River Family since 2016 – starting as a veterinary assistant while
completing her B.S. in Animal Science at Rutgers University. She then
attended veterinary school at St. George’s University on the beautiful
island of Grenada before ending her journey at the University of
Tennessee for her clinical year. Dr. Freibergs is passionate about all
aspects of small animal medicine but she particularly loves surgery and
wellness care. When she’s not at work, you can find her reading a good
book with her cat, Sawyer, or spending time down at the Jersey Shore.

Emily Gussman, DVM

Dr. Gussman grew up in Somerset County, NJ and completed her B.S. in
Animal Science at Rutgers University New Brunswick. She graduated from
veterinary school from St. George’s University and completed her
clinical year at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gussman has a special
interest in preventative medicine, integrative medicine, and anesthesia.
In her free time she likes to go on hikes with her rescue Shepard mix,
Scotch, or spend time with her cat, Ting. Fun fact: Dr. Gussman grew up
raising and showing pigeons.