Our Veterinarians

Dr. Brett Finkelstein DVM

Owner/Chief Medical Officer

Ten-year-old Brett Finkelstein was often found in the apartment of the neighborhood “cat lady,” caring for any one of her sixteen cats the best he could. When he found an injured animal on the street, he would take it home and hide it in his closet while trying to care for it, much to the chagrin of his mother!

Dr. Finkelstein never stopped being passionate about animals—he quickly realized that veterinary medicine would be his lifelong calling, and that decision has led him all the way to his current position as Owner and Chief Medical Officer of Highland Animal Hospital, as well as Highland’s sister clinic Animal Associates in Safety Harbor.

Born and raised in New York City, Brett found his first veterinary job at fifteen years of age in Queens. Bicycling back and forth to the office on his trusty Schwinn Continental, Dr. Finkelstein learned the basics of veterinary care there and sealed his fate as an animal care professional! Later he attended Washington University in St. Louis for his Baccalaureate degree, completing his studies at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, where he obtained his DVM.

Dr. Finkelstein enjoys being “Sherlock Holmes” in his role as a veterinarian—asking the questions, following the signs, and getting to the root of the mystery. He also enjoys behavioral counseling and pain management.

Brett’s wife Sharon is the biggest animal lover out there. Their oldest child, Harry, is now a proud graduate of Florida State University (much to the disdain of his mother, the consummate Florida Gator!), with a double major in business management and marketing. He is now working for Hayes Locum, a physician recruitment company in Fort Lauderdale. Their daughter Hilary is currently attending Tulane University in New Orleans and hopes to attend law school. The family has two chocolate labs: Moose, who is addicted to tennis balls, and Molly.

Outside of his work life, Dr. Finkelstein loves to write and has had several articles and short stories published. He’s also an amateur musician and plays the banjo, clarinet, fiddle, and guitar! He wants to become an old-time storyteller because of his strong belief that the spoken word is extremely important in the history of mankind.

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Dr. Alicia Reitsma

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Alicia Reitsma was only three years old when she decided she was going to become a veterinarian, and for one simple reason: she adored animals. As she got older, though, she started to realize that she was also completely enthralled by biology and medicine. This only cemented her desire to work in the world of animal care—she hasn’t looked back since. Now, Dr. Reitsma is proud to serve the pets of the Dunedin area as an Associate Veterinarian here at Highland Animal Hospital!

A Clearwater native, Dr. Reitsma obtained her Bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in psychology from the University of Central Florida. She then headed off to veterinary school at the University of Florida to earn her Doctorate. After graduation, Dr. Reitsma and her husband moved back to Clearwater to be closer to family, and she’s been caring for the area’s pets and animal owners here ever since.

Medically, Dr. Reitsma has a special interest in wound repair and loves to help the body heal itself. The most rewarding aspect of her job, though, is educating brand-new pet owners on proper care techniques. Helping to get pets started off on the right track is extremely gratifying for her!

In her time away from work, Dr. Reitsma enjoys dabbling in painting, reading good mystery novels, and spending quality time with her family. She and her husband, George, share their lives with their two wonderful young daughters and a pair of loveable pets: Dexter is a Yorkie/Maltese mix who follows Dr. Reitsma around constantly at home; Ozzie the three-legged cat spends his days sunbathing in the backyard and soaking up any attention he can get.

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