Our team of veterinary professionals is dedicated to delivering the best customer service and compassionate care to you and your pets.

Nicole Argue, LVTNicole is Hospital Manager of Nickel City Animal Hospital. A graduate of Medaille College, she has been working with Dr. Heather Sacks since 2007. At a young age, Nicole knew that she wanted to work with animals. She has two cats and three retired greyhounds. Nicole also volunteers with a local greyhound organization. She enjoys photography, hiking, and traveling.


Head Veterinary Receptionist SamanthaSam is a Buffalo native who has worked in the veterinary field for over 12 years. She enjoys movies, music, and spending time with her three-legged Spaniel Lucy, her Australian Cattle Dog Uma, and her three cats Oprah, Gary Knightwagon, and Regular Kitty. Sam is excited to be a part of the Nickel City Animal Hospital team and to be a partner in your pet's veterinary care.


Veterinary Receptionist ClaudiaClaudia has been a client care specialist at Nickel City since August 2015. She is new to the veterinary field and has really enjoyed learning about veterinary medicine and how to work with animals. She is currently enrolled in the Fine Arts and Art History program at Buffalo State College, working on a dual degree with a minor in Metals and Jewelry Design. Claudia has over 20 years in many areas of the customer service industry and is loving getting to know our clients! While not at school or working, Claudia enjoys cycling. She won People’s Choice Cyclist of the Year in 2015 for Go Bike Buffalo. Other than bikes, Claudia loves cross country skiing, ice skating, hiking, oil painting, metal working and visiting art galleries. At home she has several pets - three dogs named Baby Ging, Pepper and Buddy, as well as four cats named Tobacco, Jazmine, Rosemary and Cilantro.

Alex Piccione, LVTAlex graduated with an associates degree in Veterinary Technology from Medaille College in the spring of 2013, and received a Veterinary Technician License shortly after. She also earned a bachelor of science degree in Biology from Medaille in 2015. She has worked in various clinics in the area, for work and for volunteer experience. Her veterinary interests include animal behavior, as well as zoonotic and species-specific diseases. Alex enjoys spending time with her sweet four-year-old Shih-Tzu named Lola. She also loves traveling, and does so often.

Amanda Beal, LVTAmanda is a recent graduate of Medaille College. She previously attended Niagara County Community College and obtained an associate degree in Animal Management. She graduated with an associate degree in Veterinary Technology from Medaille in May 2014 and acquired her veterinary license in July 2014. She has interned with many organizations such as the Buffalo Zoo, Aquarium of Niagara, Erie County SPCA, and the Primate Sanctuary of Niagara Falls. Amanda enjoys playing volleyball, watching movies and the TV series "Game of Thrones," as well as playing "Call of Duty." She has four dogs — Thor (a monster mix!); Riley, AKA Miss Needy (a labradoodle); Sergei (a rescue lab mix); and Brodie (a terrier mix). Amanda has a definite passion for animals of all sizes!

Leah Senecal, LVTLeah joined our team in early 2014 and is an absolute animal lover! She obtained an associate's degree in Veterinary Technology and a bachelor's degree in Biology from Medaille College here in Buffalo.

Before coming to Nickel City Animal Hospital, Leah interned at a few veterinary clinics in Syracuse. She is also a certified canine massage therapist and a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner.

Outside of work, Leah enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her pets, friends, and family. She has two beagles named Wayne and Daisy, a shiba inhu named Ginger, and a german shepherd named Kato. She also has 5 cats: Schmit, Stewart, Munch, Kirk and Zed.

Leah has an evident heart of gold, and we couldn't be happier to have her here to care for our patients!

vet tech megan locker Megan, one of our Licensed Veterinary Technicians, started working at Nickel City Animal Hospital in January of 2017. She is a recent graduate of Medaille college with an associate degree in Veterinary Technology. Megan has a special passion for pocket pets!

She spends most of her time with her ferret named Neville, guinea pig named Noah, and two rats named Madison and Lorna. She also volunteers at the Erie County SPCA Wildlife Department. Megan loves making art, being outdoors, and reading.


veterinary technician shaylaShayla has been with Nickel City since 2011. She truly enjoys spending time with our patients and their families. Shayla has a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University and is the current President of the Syracuse Alumni Club of WNY. She attended Medaille College for her A.S. in Veterinary Technology and has been a licensed technician since 2009. Shayla has experience working in local small animal hospitals and has been working in research since 2011. Shayla and her husband David have been married for 3 years and have 3 pets - a Pug named Lexi, and two cats named Jackson and Ruby. They enjoy traveling, discovering new food and spending time with family.

Licensed vet assistant Mai Mai recently came to us as a preceptor early in 2016 and started here as an assistant in May. She graduated with her B.A. of Science in Veterinary Technology from Medaille College and just passed her licensing exam to become a licensed veterinary technician. She is brand new to the veterinary world, but her commitment to animals is very evident. She owns two dogs - a Pitbull named Lucy and a Chihuahua named Diva, along with a Beta fish named Blue. In her free time Mai enjoys reading books of all kinds and spending time at the gym.


In the spring of 2019, Emma graduated with an associates degree in Veterinary Technology from Medaille College, and she received a Veterinary Technician License shortly after. She is currently working to earn her bachelor of science degree in Veterinary Technology.

Emma has interned at various large and small animal practices in the WNY area, including Nickel City Animal Hospital, and she has also worked in Emergency practice.

Outside of work, Emma enjoys playing soccer and Lacrosse for Medaille, as well as spending time with her friends, family, and Lakeland Terrier named Clover.


vet asst giuliana troutman Giuliana is originally from Bradford, Pennsylvania. She has always had a love for animals and a passion for working with them from a young age. Giuliana is currently attending veterinary technician school at Medaille College.

At home, she has two dogs, Daisy, a golden doodle, and Chance, a lab mix.



Elizabeth is originally from Medina NY, but she now lives in Buffalo. IN Spring 2020, she'll be graduating Medaille with a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. She has known this is what I’ve wanted to do since I was in kindergarten and is really excited to be working in the field.

Elizabeth likes playing volleyball, is a big fan of the tv show The Office, and loves spending time with my friends and family. She has a cat named Cheeto and a bearded dragon. Back at home, she has 4 dogs - a Siberian husky named Tyson, a miniature poodle named Jasper, a golden retriever named Toby, and a German Shepherd named Simone.

Jamie graduated from SUNY Brockport in 2018 and has plans on going to veterinary school in the near future. She has always loved working with animals and can only see a future working in this field. During her free time, Jamie enjoy outdoor activities, reading, eating good food, and spending time with her fiancé, 3 golden retrievers, Dixie, Maya, & Ginger, and kitty, Prince.

CCS Kaitlyn ForjoneKait is new to the veterinary field, and very excited about it. She has loved getting to know the animals and clients of the hospital, and looks forward to many more years of it. Kait hopes to go back to school to be a veterinary technician one day!

In her free time Kait likes to go hiking, play video games, drink fancy beer, and hang out with her friends and pets. She has five cats named Megatron, Jersey, Artemis, Bandersnatch and Oswald as well as a dog named Roxy.


Dog Uma, canine ambassador for veterinary acupunctureUma may be Sam's dog, but she is very close to the hearts of the Nickel City Animal Hospital staff, and our clients as well. She came to Dr. Sacks in 2008 as an abandoned puppy, and was nursed to health and welcomed into the family. A five-year-old Australian Cattle dog mix, Uma is a sweet dog with a warm heart who often helps owners and pets alike cope with grief. She is also our mascot, adviser, and canine ambassador for veterinary acupuncture. Say hello to her next time you are around!


Photos © Nancy J. Parisi