Our Founder, Dr. Ted Spinks, VMD


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Dr. Spinks with a young puppy

Under his guidance and nearly four decades of experience, the hospital has earned the respect and trust throughout Sussex County as a leader in the veterinary profession. He has brought the Hospital to a level of highest marks for exceptional professionalism and compassion for the animal patients and their owners, with a team of New Jersey veterinarians that share in his vision.

Dr. Spinks, born and raised in the Sandyston section of Sussex County, acquired his desire to become a veterinarian from growing up on the family farm. There, he raised various farm animals, horses, dogs and cats. He is an avid participant in the local community concerning animals, including 4-H programs, school lecturing, Cow Kids programs, and is a speaker at various feline and canine breeder clubs. He is an active member of the N.J. Veterinary Medical Association, A.V.M.A. and the American Animal Hospital Association, and regularly networks with other veterinarians both in the area and across the country.

Graduating with honors from our local Pope John XXIII High School, completing his undergraduate degree in Animal Science in only 3 years from the Penn State University magna cum laude, and graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981, Dr. Spinks has returned to his hometown very well qualified. Building the AAHA certified Animal Hospital in Augusta in 1986, after gaining experience in practice in Pennsylvania and New York, he has maintained the quality in small animal practice, using his experience and AAHA’s stringent standards for excellence in the field of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery.

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Dr. Spinks examining a dog

After 15 years of growth in the existing animal hospital facility, Dr. Spinks found the need to expand the team of staff and veterinarians, as well as the hospital itself. Using standards of the American Animal Hospital Association and a veterinary design architect, he designed the most state of the art veterinary hospital in Sussex County. He visited animal hospitals across the United States including the Hospital of the Year in Yorba Linda California for design and ideas. Every detail was planned using Frank Loyd Wright architecture including spacious areas with natural light throughout. The staff, along with the clients and their pets find the design to make their experience comfortable and many have said that the facility is actually much nicer than their own personal medical facilities. Dr. Spinks did not use a general contractor but contracted it himself controlling every detail of construction to ensure the best quality in materials and craftsmanship.

His unique interests include canine orthopedics, along with equine and companion farm animals. He is Penn Hip certified which enables him to perform special tests to detect hip dysplasia in dogs at an early age. He has always found an interest in difficult medical and surgical cases. In conclusion, your companion animals will be in good hands with Dr. Spinks at the helm of the Animal Hospital of Sussex County.

Dr. Spinks’s Special Interests

  • Canine and Feline Orthopedics
  • Equine Veterinary Medicine
  • Companion Farm Animals

Our Team of Veterinarians


Dr. Courtney Scairpon, DVM


Dr. Scairpon

Dr. Scairpon visiting with an AHSC patient

Dr. Courtney Scairpon is a lifelong resident of Sussex County. Graduating from Pope John XXIII High School, Dr. Scairpon received her undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Rutgers University. She then went on to complete her veterinarian degree at University College Dublin in Ireland.

After 4 years of being abroad, she has returned home to her family roots. As early as she can recall, Dr. Scairpon always wanted to be a veterinarian. She enjoys spending time with her two English Springer Spaniels, three cats, and an orange winged amazon. Her hobbies include photography, traveling, and reading a good book.

Dr. Courtney’s Special Interests

  • Internal Medicine
  • Soft Tissue Surgery
  • PRP (Platet-Rich Plasma) Therapy
  • Class 4 Laser Therapy


Dr. Monique Obsharski, DVM


Dr. Monique Obsharski

Dr. Monique with a duck – she just loves chickens and ducks!

Dr. Monique Obsharski grew up right here in Sussex County, graduating from High Point High School and going on to vet school at Cornell University. Her family breeds German Shepherds, owns horses and cows and she absolutely loves chickens!

Areas of special interest for Dr. Monique include large animals – she just loves farm stuff! – along with reproductive veterinary work for both small and large animals. 

Dr. Monique’s Special Interests

  • Large Animals
  • Farm Animals
  • Reproductive Services
  • Chickens


Dr. Gabrielle Catania, DVM


Meet Dr. Gabrielle Catania. A newer member of the Caring Vets team, she studied at Ross University, finishing with her clinical year at Tufts University. She loves veterinary dermatology, and enjoys seeing – and helping – all the itchy dogs get over their issues. 

While based in St. Kitts during her time at Ross, Dr. Gabby adopted four island dogs that she brought back with her upon her return to the mainland. Fun trivia: all of her dogs named after food! Their names are Banana, Chicken, Bagel, and Potato. 

Dr. Gabby’s Special Interests

  • Veterinary Dermatology
  • Surgery


Dr. Lori Walker, DVM


Dr. Walker certified veterinary acupuncturist in Sussex County, NJ

Through the use of acupuncture and traditional veterinary medicine, Dr. Walker helps both house pets as well as horses!

Dr. Lori Walker grew up in Sparta, NJ and received her B.Sc. at Rutgers University and went to veterinary school at University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation in 1991, she returned home with her husband and two children to practice in New Jersey. Besides practicing veterinary medicine, she breeds and shows alpacas and Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs. She has over 28 years of experience in veterinary medicine.

Areas of special interest for Dr. Walker include home visits, as prior to joining the AHSC Team full time, she had her own mobile veterinary practice. She is also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and continues to make home visits for horses as well as small animals. She’s also an avid equestrian and frequently goes camping with her horses, loves boating, and also has spent time working with dogsled teams in Alaska!

Dr. Walker’s Special Interests

  • Integrative Medicine
  • Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
  • Class 4 Laser Therapy
  • Home Visits


Dr. Marni Ackernecht, DVM


Dr. Marni Ackernecht, DVM Animal Hospital of Sussex County

Dr. Marni Ackernecht, DVM, our newest vet here at the Animal Hospital of Sussex County

Dr. Marni Ackernecht grew up in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania where her love of animals and nature blossomed. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Moravian College. Between graduation from Moravian and beginning her veterinary studies, Dr. Ackernecht gained hands-on experience with various species at the Lehigh Valley Zoo and a wildlife conservation center. She then attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine on the island of St. Kitts where she earned her veterinary degree. After 3 years abroad, she returned to the east coast to complete her clinical year at Tufts University.

Dr. Ackernecht enjoys spending time with her fiancé and two cats. In her free time, she is enthusiastic about traveling, watercolor painting, and wine tasting. She is also a lover of the great outdoors, from climbing 14,000 ft mountains to relaxing on the beach and everything in between!


Dr. Jaffe, DVM


Dr. Jaffe Sussex County veterinarian

Dr. Jaffe with a patient in one of our exam rooms.

Dr. Jaffe grew up in Coral Gables, Florida. He graduated with a B.A. degree in English Literature from the University of Florida in 1968. He earned his B.S. degree in 1970 and graduated with high honors from Tuskegee University

School of Veterinary Medicine in 1972. That same year he was awarded The Upjohn Award for superior achievement in small animal medicine and surgery. From 1972 to 1973 he completed a medical and surgical internship at Cornell University. In 1979 he formed a partnership and was co-owner of an animal practice in Brooklyn, NY for 39 years. Dr. Jaffe has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 45 years!

In his spare time he does metal sculptures and stained glass art. He joined our health care team at the Animal Hospital of Sussex County in the fall of 2018 and has special interests in internal medicine and diagnostics.

Dr. Jaffe’s Special Interests

  • Internal Medicine
  • Small Animal Diagnostics