Our Doctors

Kathleen E. Wakefield, D.V.M., D.A.B.V.P.,

Dr. Wakefield and her petsMy first memories as a child involve the animal world, whether it was going on farm calls with my father or snuggling under the covers with our dachshund.  I knew most of my life that I would become a veterinarian.  From an early age I helped my father, (veterinary class of 1954 MSU) with his large and small animal patients and my grandfather doing chores on his Hereford farm.  I have always had a soft heart for all animals.  Whenever a very sick dog or cat was missing from my dad’s clinic he knew where he would find it, in my bedroom with me trying to nurse it back to health.  While driving by one of his cat-lady client’s home and viewing the 50 cats heading toward her house at dinner time, my father exclaimed to me, “There for the grace of God go you, Katz, if you don’t make something of your life!”

After 2 years of undergraduate study at Michigan State University, I was accepted into MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine class of 1979.  In 1984, I joined Clark Animal Hospital (started by Dr. Stillman Clark) and became owner/partner together with Dr. Charpentier in 1988.  We renamed the practice Clark Animal Care Center when we built our present facility and relocated to Route 250 in 1992.

My very tolerant husband, Paul, fortunately shares my compassion for animals.  We currently have 11 pets:  2 dogs (both boxers), 8 cats, and a small parrot.   There always seems to be some woebegone animal that needs a home.  We live on a hill in Penfield and Paul has often suggested that we put a sign halfway up our drive saying:  Reject Hill, you are home now

In 1998, I became board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in Feline Medicine.  There are only 75 veterinarians worldwide who have achieved this accreditation.  Although my expertise is feline medicine, I will never limit my practice to cats only.  I love dogs too much!

Professionally, in addition to the ABVP, I am a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, Cornell Feline Health Center, Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).  Currently, Dr. Terry Allen and I are the Continuing Education co-chairs for the Genesee Valley Veterinary Medical Association (GVVMA).  The GVVMA has over 180 member veterinarians.  We are responsible for organizing and providing continuing education lectures for area veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

In my spare time I love to eat, cook, garden, swim, walk our dogs, and spend time with my husband and our family of animals.

A. Denise Charpentier, D.V.M., D.A.B.V.P.,

Dr. Denise CharpentierDr. Charpentier attended the University of Connecticut for her undergraduate studies.  She graduated from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979.  Dr. Charpentier is originally from Lunenburg, a small town in North-Central Massachusetts. Her parents, most of her five siblings and her many nephews and a niece reside in Massachusetts and New Hampshire where she loves to visit them.  She and her husband, Roger, share their home with Billy, an African grey parrot.

In 1987 Dr. Charpentier became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, certified in Canine and Feline Practice.  Re-certification is required every 10 years and she has re-certified twice, most recently in 2005.  Dr. Charpentier has been an owner/partner in Clark Animal Care Center since 1988.  Her professional special interests include endoscopy- flexible gastrointestinal endoscopy as well as the use of rigid scopes in rhinoscopy, cystoscopy, and laparoscopy.  She also has a special interest in avian medicine.

Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Charpentier loves nature, animals, and being in the out-of-doors.  Backpacking, hiking, kayaking are all pursuits that she enjoys.  She is an enthusiastic member of the Adirondack Mountain Club and currently serves as the Treasurer of the Genesee Valley Chapter.  Travel is another interest and she especially enjoys travel “off the beaten path”.  Reading both fiction and non-fiction is a lifelong love and she tries to never be far from a good book.

Dr. Charpentier is proud to be a veterinarian at Clark Animal Care Center, where she is continually challenged to be the very best doctor that she can be.

Terry J. Allen, D.V.M.

Dr. Terry AllenDr. Terry Allen has been with Clark Aimal Care Center since September 1999.  She grew up as an Army brat, so home was wherever her family happened to live at the time.  Home changed every two or three years, even including time in Italy.

She has always loved animals and since sixth grade knew she wanted to become a veterinarian.She received her DVM in 1988 from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.  After graduating, she spent the first eleven years of her career in Fairfax County, Virginia with the same practice group.  In 1999 her husband, Jon, retired from the United States Coast Guard and took a job in Rochester.

Dr. Allen enjoys being a part of the health care team for families with cats and dogs.  She particularly enjoys helping owners keep their senior pets as healthy and happy as possible for as long as possible.  The most enjoyable aspect of being a veterinarian for her is being able to spend time getting to know owners and their pets and share with them ways to help improve their pets’ welfare.

When she’s not at the office, Dr. Allen enjoys being involved in the music at her church where she rings handbells, plays the piano, and sings on the praise team, depending on the Sunday.  She also enjoys running (even a few marathons!), bicycling, white water rafting, downhill skiing, baking, and traveling.  At this time she and Jon have two cats – Quincy and Tango.

Daniel J. Fischer, D.V.M.

Dr. Daniel FischerDr. Fischer was born in New York City and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York.  After graduating from Cornell University in 1997 with a degree in biology, he worked at several research centers, including Columbia University and Harvard Medical School.  It was in the laboratory that he developed a curiosity for veterinary medicine, and earned his DVM degree from Cornell in 2004.

Although his first love was research, it was the hands-on clinical experiences with clients and their pets in veterinary school that led him to pursue a career in private practice.  Since obtaining his veterinary degree, Dr. Fischer has spent several years practicing in a progressive companion animal clinic in eastern Connecticut, as well as two practices in the Rochester area.  He enjoys the wide variety of challenges that general practice brings – no two days are ever the same!

His fun time outside of veterinary medicine is spent with his wife Jessica (also a veterinarian), his pets (two dogs, five cats, one guinea pig, one bearded dragon, and a well-mantained fish tank), his family, and his guitar. He and his wife had their first child in September 2010.

Joanna S. Benedetti, D.V.M.

For the last five years Dr. Benedetti has practiced at a large, high-volume small animal hospital in the Victor area, where she lives with her husband and two young children. Prior to that, she worked at AAHA-certified Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital in Denver, Colorado.  She joined their staff after earning her MS in Anatomy (2000) and DVM (2005) from Colorado State University.  Dr. Benedetti earned her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University.

Dr. Benedetti and her husband returned to their hometown roots in Upstate New York after 10 years in Colorado.  They are thrilled to be back, but do miss the skiing and 300 days of sunshine!  Dr. Benedetti grew up on a small farm in Bloomfield, NY, which inspired her pursuit of veterinary medicine. Her veterinary practice has focused exclusively on companion animals with special interests in soft tissue surgery, internal medicine and exotics.