Your Love, Our Calling

Every pet like our own.


“Innovators. Pioneers. Animal lovers. The team at Bassler Veterinary Hospital is on a simple mission: to care for your pet like our own. Every time.”


Dr. Heidi Bassler

DVM, Primary Care

“Being a veterinarian is not just a job to me. It is my calling. It is what I was meant to do, and I find so much meaning in caring for your pet like I would want my own pets to be cared for. Because the bond that you two share is precious, and I take the responsibility of protecting it very seriously.”

Dr. Heidi Bassler is passionate about her work in veterinary medicine. She is often referred to as “The Cat Whisperer” though she is quick to point out that she loves dogs too! Her focus is in making sure they live as long of a life as possible, and importantly, prides herself on her ability to consistently improve their quality of life between visits. Spotting the subtle signs of pain and offering simple adjustments is integral in this. She also cares deeply about pediatric visits and senior pet health.

Dr. Bassler believes in elevating the standards of patient care. She has received advanced training in veterinary dentistry and is passionate about how oral health can improve a pet’s quality of life and life expectancy. She also has advanced training in internal medicine due to its wide ranging impact on improving the lives of dogs and cats. Because of her level of knowledge and ability, she is often asked to consult on challenging cases as a second-opinion.

Dr. Bassler earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Atlantic Veterinary College in Canada with several awards. Earlier in her career, she performed post-doctoral research at Cornell University. She was a pioneer in developing the rapid polymerase chain reaction test, commonly referred to as Real-Time PCR. This test uses computer technology to detect DNA from disease-causing organisms, and is frequently used today in human and veterinary laboratories. Dr. Bassler published her ground-breaking research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Click here to read her article.

Professional memberships include:

  • American Association of Feline Practitioners
  • Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry
  • American Animal Hospital Association
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
  • Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association
  • New Hampshire Veterinary Medical Association
  • Veterinary Information Network

Dr. Bassler is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She is also involved in various local groups, and supports Anna Jaques Hospital, Merrimac River Feline Rescue Society, Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, Firehouse Center for the Arts, and Newburyport’s Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to daily communications with pet owners, Dr. Bassler enjoys educating the public through various media outlets. Her newspaper column, Paw Prints, appears monthly in Newburyport’s Daily News. Click here for the most recent article. For almost a decade, her radio show, Your Pet’s Health, aired every Sunday morning from 8:30 am to 9:00 am on WNBP (106.1 FM).

Most importantly, Dr. Bassler understands that good communication with pet owners is essential to helping her patients feel better and stay well. Every single thing she does is about helping you and your pet live a longer, happier life together. Because you both deserve that.

Dr. Tai Casagrande

DVM, DACVIM - Cardiology

Dr. Tai Casagrande is a board-certified veterinary Cardiologist. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 at the Atlantic Veterinary College, and completed a three-year residency in veterinary Cardiology at The University of Wisconsin. In 2012, Dr. Casagrande was awarded Diplomate status in the subspecialty of Cardiology by The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dr. Casagrande performs echocardiograms (sonograms of the heart), cardiac evaluations, and cardiac consultations. She is available by appointment for cats and dogs at Bassler Veterinary Hospital.

In her free time, Dr. Casagrande enjoys reading medical thrillers, relaxing with friends and family, backyard birdwatching, and rooting for all New England teams.

Dr. Jennifer McClellan

DVM, DACVIM - Internal Medicine

Dr. Jennifer McClellan is Board Certified in Veterinary Internal Medicine.  After obtaining her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Cornell University, she completed a rigorous residency program in this field, and successfully passed the board examinations to become an internal medicine specialist, as a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (DACVIM).

Dr. McClellan performs abdominal ultrasound and echocardiograms (sonograms of the heart). She combines her expertise as a skilled ultrasonographer and brilliant internist. Dr. McClellan consults on those cases that require her expertise in advanced imaging, offering specialist insight for case management and optimal patient care.

Dr. McClellan is available at Bassler Veterinary Hospital by referral appointment.

Dr. Robin Zuckerman

DVM, Surgery

As a veterinary surgeon, Dr. Zuckerman limits her practice to complicated pet surgery cases.  She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tufts University, and completed her surgery internship at South Shore Veterinary Associates.

Dr. Zuckerman has been instrumental in providing competent emergency and surgical care for cats and dogs in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  She was a founding member of the Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Portsmouth in 1991, and continues to practice in the seacoast area.

Dr. Zuckerman joins the Bassler Veterinary team for complicated surgeries.  With the addition of this skilled surgeon, we are able to offer even more advanced care for our patients.

“When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.”
-AD Williams

Your Care Team

Dawn D.

Hospital Administrator; Certified Veterinary Technician

Dawn is our Hospital Administrator and senior Veterinary Technician.

As Hospital Administrator, Dawn keeps behind-the-scenes at Bassler Veterinary Hospital humming smoothly.  For example, she makes sure the medical equipment is maintained and in tip-top shape, so that there are no hiccups if your pet is in need. Inventory, pharmacy, and supplies are also her responsibility.  When your pet’s check-up and vaccines are due, Dawn sends your postcard reminders.  You even have Dawn to thank when your pet’s health insurance or coupon rebate checks arrive at your home.

Dawn has been a Certified Veterinary Technician for almost 20 years. She graduated from Essex Agricultural and Technical Institute with an Associate’s Degree in animal health science. She has been assisting veterinarians, caring for pets, and educating their owners ever since. Dawn is a member of the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association, as well as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. She is also actively involved with the American Diabetes Association.

In addition to all her other animal interests and veterinary experience, Dawn enjoys veterinary dental care. She is trained in veterinary dental hygiene and oversees oral hygiene and dental radiology at BVH.  When your pet leaves our office with pearly whites, fresh breath, and a beautiful set of personal digital dental radiographs, Dawn is likely the one to thank!

Dawn is also certified in Companion Animal Laser Therapy.  This Class IV laser decreases pain and promotes healing after surgery or dental procedures; other applications are chronic painful conditions such as arthritis.

When not at Bassler Veterinary Hospital, Dawn enjoys spending time with her rambunctious Cairn Terrier, Sawyer, who is in the never-ending search for perfect obedience, and has obtained his Canine Good Citizenship certification.

Kelly P.

Certified Veterinary Technician

Kelly has devoted her life to animal care.  She started as a veterinary assistant when she was a teenager, and later went on to become certified as a Veterinary Technician.  She enjoys all aspects of feline and canine care.

Kelly is particularly interested in primary care practice so that she can develop a bond with her patients and their owners.  She lives in nearby New Hampshire, with her family and her silly Wheaton Terrier, Piper.

Angelica A.

Veterinary Technician

Angelica loves working with animals!  She grew up on a farm with horses, goats, chickens, dogs, and cats.  This childhood experience led Angelica to her current position.  She worked with horses in many capacities for eight years, when she expanded her professional passion to include cats and dogs.

Angelica has numerous roles within the hospital.  She has a gentle manner, and enjoys helping Dr. Bassler during exams with cats and dogs.  She also assists other technicians during anesthetic procedures and the post-op recovery period.

Angelica is currently enrolled in the Veterinary Technician program at North Shore Community College.  She joined the BVH team as a student intern, and so impressed us that we asked her to stay when her internship ended.  She will complete her studies next spring and will become licensed as a Certified Veterinary Technician.

When not at work, Angelica likes to explore new restaurants and take care of all the animals on her farm.  Her daily routine includes interacting with her three horses (Wolfie, Dia, Dixie), three goats (Michael, Jackson, Chewy), lots of chickens, six dogs (Snickers, Belle, Day, Shelby, Riley, Abby), and three cats (Lily, Kitty, Angel).

Crystal R.

Client Care Coordinator

You can’t miss Crystal’s lovely smile when you visit our hospital.  Crystal has had a passion for animals since she was a little girl.  Her current role combining receptionist and assistant duties helps the hospital run smoothly.  You may meet friendly Crystal at the front desk or find her helping the technicians and doctors with patient care.

Crystal grew up with dogs, cats, and reptiles in her household.  As she became an adult, she worked at a doggy daycare and enjoyed every minute of it.  She then started her own dog-walking and pet-sitting business on the side and has continued this throughout the years.  Eventually, Crystal decided to venture out into the medical side of animal care and joined the team at Bassler Vet.

Crystal currently lives near Salisbury.  When not at Bassler Veterinary Hospital, you are likely to find her at the gym, or hiking with her two dogs, Shyloh and Brody.

Jennie T.

Client Care Coordinator

Jennie is one of the pleasant faces that greets you at our front desk.  Jennie has always had a love for animals. As a teenager she would ride her bicycle from Newburyport to Salisbury to volunteer at the feline rescue (MRFRS) before starting her shift downstairs at the veterinary hospital

After graduating from Essex Agricultural and Technical High School, Jennie continued her education at North Shore Community College where she received her certificate in Animal Care. She spent many years working with animals in doggy daycare, as a pet sitter, and as a veterinary assistant. After her second child she ventured into the childcare field as a Preschool teacher and has recently returned to the veterinary field with us as receptionist.

Jennie currently lives in Salisbury with her husband and two young children. Their home is ruled by three dogs: Kaden the Border Collie, Kyzer the German Shepherd, and Gunner the Golden Retriever; and two ferrets – Nibbles and Kia. Jennie is a busy lady but still finds time to enjoy camping and her family.


Client Care Coordinator

Rachel has always loved animals. As a child, her home was filled with many pets that she enjoyed helping care for. Growing up she also was an avid horseback rider and enjoyed participating in many local competitions and events. After spending 5 years working in the financial world, Rachel decided to pursue her dream of having a career in an animal-related field. She is currently enrolled in the Animal Care Specialist program at North Shore Community College. Rachel plans to enroll into the Veterinary Technician program in the next upcoming year to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. She resides in Portsmouth with her significant other, Jake, and her dog, Hank. When she’s not working, you can find Rachel spending time outdoors, hiking, boating, and enjoying time with her family.

Samantha T.

Animal Care Specialist

Sam has always had a passion for animals! Throughout her life, she worked as a veterinary assistant and was a volunteer at numerous animal shelters. She was a devoted equestrian and leased a horse named Gregory for many years. Sam graduated with a degree in Health and Nutrition from the University of Delaware, but is very passionate about pursuing a lifelong career as a veterinary technician. She hopes to enroll in a Veterinary Technician program in the future to become certified. Before coming to Bassler Veterinary Hospital, Sam was a Surgery and Anesthesia Technician at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. That position allowed her to gain experience assisting with challenging surgeries such as placing pacemakers, emergency trauma, and soft tissue reconstruction. In her current position, Sam is passionate about interacting with clients about their pet’s needs and continuously works on how to make their experience worthwhile and enjoyable. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her fiancé Matt, family and friends.