About UsCaring Vets. Healthy Pets. Serving Baltimore since 1950.
Essex Middle River Veterinary Center, also known as EMRVC, has provided animal care to Baltimore, Maryland since 1950, nearly 70 years! Conveniently located between Essex and Middle River, our clients come from all across the Baltimore region for our wellness, preventive, and surgical care for cats and dogs.
Our state-of-the-art hospital features multiple full-time veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians, compassionate assistants and a caring support team. Our mission is providing your pet quality care throughout its life. We serve with with equal parts courtesy and professionalism, and have a deep respect for the human-animal bond. Our bigger team equates to better care, better medicine, and better surgery.
We proudly serve our community with the following partners:
Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS)
Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) is a non-profit organization that has run the city’s shelters since 2005. EMRVC has worked with BARCS since May 2011 to help treat cats and dogs in need of care. Read about the touching case of Freckles, a rescue dog EMRVC saved after a horrific car accident.
Joseph C. Zulty, DVM
Dr. Zulty, Chief Medical Officer of Essex Middle River Veterinary Center, has been practicing for 32 years. He was born and raised in Baltimore, and earned his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 1981. He then attended The Ohio State University, where he received his DVM degree, graduating Cum Laude. He returned to Baltimore for his residency in comparative medicine at the University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Medicine. He began working at EMRVC in 1993.
When not at work, he’s usually found running the local roads and trails. He also snowboards, and volunteers in Latin America or Southeast Asia with GeoVeterinary International, Inc. He shares his home with his wife, his youngest child and two dogs, Scout, and Puma — a three-legged rescue from Peru.
Anne Hicks, DVM
Dr. Hicks hails from across the Chesapeake Bay, in Cambridge, Maryland. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Western Maryland College in 1985, than attended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA for her DVM in 1993. She worked at Eldersburg Veterinary Hospital and Anne Arundel Animal Hospital, before arriving at EMRVC in 1995. She has been practicing veterinary medicine for 29 years.
She shares her home with her husband and two children. They have a Westie, named Coco, and two cats, Mr. K and Milo.
Ryan Ashkon Beizavi, DVM
Dr. Beizavi grew up in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region. He attended undergraduate near home — earning a bachelor’s in biology from St. John Fisher College in Rochester — then attended Ross University of Veterinary Medicine. He completed his veterinary education at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. He first worked at Banfield Pet Hospital, and came to EMRVC in 2013.
Dr. Beizavi’s professional interests include diagnostic imaging, geriatric care, and dermatology. He spends his free time working out, golfing, kayaking and playing online games with friends. He has three cats and two dogs.
Heather Preston, DVM
Dr. Preston is originally from Anne Arundel County, south of Baltimore. She graduated from University of Maryland College Park with a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2008. She then received her DVM degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013, and came to EMRVC that same year. Her professional interests include feline medicine, dentistry, and surgery.
Dr. Preston spends her free time enjoying city life, spending time with friends and family, traveling, and doing yoga. She has a pair of cats named Penguin and Pigeon.
Shawn Budge, DVM
Dr. Budge was born and raised in Carroll County, Maryland. He graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and later completed additional coursework at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his DVM degree from Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in 2017, and has been working at EMRVC ever since. His professional interests include pathology, surgery and neurology.
Dr. Budge and his wife enjoy running together, traveling the world, spending time with friends and family and cooking at home. The couple have two dogs: A black and white rescue called Winston (seen in photo); And, a golden-doodle called Bailey.
Our Licensed Veterinary Technicians
Lauren Nail, Veterinary Technician Supervisor and Inventory Supervisor
Lauren knew she wanted to care for animals from a young age. Growing up in rural Harford county, Maryland, she began horseback riding at age 8, and learned dog obedience training in her local 4-H. She attended historic Bridgewater College in Virginia, where she received a BS in biology. A few years later, she obtained her degree in veterinary technology from the Community College of Baltimore County.
Lauren has been working at EMRVC since 2010, and has proven herself as a technician and a leader. Her specializations include surgery, anesthesia, emergency care, and nutrition. When not at work, she spends time with her husband, children, and animals. She has three cats named Percy, Pickle, and Bruce, and a dog named Louie.
Karen Harkins, Veterinary Technician
Karen grew up on in Forest Hill, Maryland in a family of dairy farmers. Her favorite childhood memories include playing with all the animals on her uncle’s farm: horses, cows, pigs, goats, dogs, and cats. She has been in the veterinary profession for a decade. She received her degree in veterinary technology from the Community College of Baltimore County in 2015, where she is now an assistant instructor teaching diagnostic imaging and clinical lab.
When not at work, she’s most likely running, preparing for an upcoming race. Her fur family includes two cats. Sadie is 15, and Ciara, who just turned one, was adopted as a drop-off stray at EMRVC.
Megan McClellan, Veterinary Technician
Megan grew up in Virginia in a house full of pets—dogs, cats, turtles, rabbits, horses, and even a cockatoo. Her family’s veterinarian would make house calls, and it was watching him work that inspired Megan to enter animal care professionally, too. She received her degree in veterinary technology from Community College of Baltimore County in 2018.
When not at work, Megan loves being outside: Snowboarding in the winter, and water sports in the summer. She’s also a runner. She has a tuxedo cat named Neil Catrick Harris, and is step-mom to two other cats and three dogs.
Allison Schmitt, Veterinary Technician
Allie was 9-years-old when she decided she wanted to be a veterinary technician. The Taneytown-native had taken her family pet to the vet and witnessed a member of her future profession in action. The experience cemented her lifelong love for animals into a career goal. Flash forward to 2018, she graduated from Community College of Baltimore City with her degree and was hired shortly after at EMRVC.
Allie loves the medical field because she is always learning new things as the field evolves. She finds anaesthesia fascinating and most enjoys working in surgery. When not at work, she enjoys hiking, fishing, and reading. She has a cat named Simon and a Rottweiler named Tessie.
Tanya Andrews, Practice Manager
When she was five-years-old, Tanya Andrews got a cocker spaniel named Stormy. Her love for this new best friend became a lifelong passion for animals. Her first job, at 15, was as an assistant at a local veterinary practice. After college, she obtained a license to practice as a veterinary technician and went to work at a practice in Northern Maryland. She excelled so much on the front lines that her former bosses promoted her to management. In 2010, she brought her passion, drive, and experience to EMRVC.
Tanya believes she has the best animal care team in the business, and revels in providing the support they need to care for Baltimore’s most beloved pets. When not at work, she does energy work, and spends time with her family and friends. She also loves hanging out with her two dogs, Cali and Ryder.
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We take pride in our facility: Our walls are freshly painted, our lighting is cheerful, and every surface is tidy and clean. You are welcome to relax under the tall, wood-paneled ceilings in our waiting room and refresh yourself with some water. Enjoy plenty of art, learn more about pet care, and view our welcome board for all the pets visiting that day! And, because we care about our four-legged guests’ comfort, we recently installed soft, textured floors throughout our facility. Feel free to come by for a tour!
We have multiple examination rooms, so your pet won’t wait long for its appointment. And, as a full service clinic, we own the latest state of the art equipment for performing diagnostics, medicine, and surgery. We even take nail trims seriously—our doggie lift helps alleviate stress so your pet can literally hang out while getting pampered. Plus, we aren’t shy with treats. Our goal is to make every animal’s visit as pleasant as possible.
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Use our convenient appointment request form to book online