Meet the Pack - Program Managers

Ashlie Herring
Program Operations Manager

Ashlie grew up on a ranch in Stockton, California. She has always been surrounded by a menagerie of animals. In addition to eight dogs, several horses, goats, rabbits and more, Ashlie constantly brought home animals "in need" to provide them with a foster home and some much-needed TLC. To this day, she still holds a special place in her heart for homeless animals. Ashlie’s two dogs -Flex, a 6-year-old Pit Bull, and Jax, a 4-year-old Chihuahua - are both rescued animals that she helped nurse back to health and happiness. When it came to deciding what she wanted to do with her life, Ashlie’s diverse animal family made a career in veterinary medicine the natural choice.

Ashlie has been working in the veterinary field for 10 years. Prior to her official schooling, her first experiences in the field was a volunteer at an animal hospital that cared for both large and small animals. During that time she was also doing rescue work for the local animal shelter.

She obtained her Associate’s of Science Degree in Veterinary Technology from Los Angeles’ Pierce College. She obtained her Registered Veterinary Technician License shortly after graduating. Over the course of the last decade, Ashlie has worked in a variety of veterinary hospital environments, however, emergency medicine is the one that she was the most passionate about. The fast-paced environment has allowed her to utilize her knowledge, as well as hone and sharpen her veterinary skills under pressure. For the past five years, she has worked mainly with small animals, although she has also had the opportunity to study equine science.

Ashlie joined the ABC family in August of 2008, and has enjoyed the experience of helping others pursue a career path that she has committed her own life to. Ashlie says, “I believe that what Animal Behavior College does truly contributes to the cause of helping animals, and I am proud to be a part of the team!”


 

Michelle Metzger
ABC Lead Program Manager

Michelle grew up in Sacramento, California where she learned at a young age that if you feed a stray cat, they don’t go away! Michelle’s passions in helping animals lead her to pursue a career in the veterinary field with Western Career College. After graduating with a degree in animal science, she obtained her Registered Veterinary Technician license. Michelle’s favorite parts of Veterinary Medicine include dentistry, dermatology and feline medicine.

Currently, Michelle shares her life with 3 cats whom she hand-raised (Badman, age 14, Yoda, age 6 and Sissy, age 3), and a fish tank containing about 11 fish, her favorite being the Bala Shark. Michelle is also a mother to her 9 year old son, Michael, and jokingly admits that Michael asks for a puppy at least once a day. Her hobbies – other than an intense love for animals – include collecting Barbie dolls and baking.

In 2009, Michelle was given the unique and exciting opportunity to join the ABC team. Michelle says, “I love being a member of the ABC family because they have an excellent reputation of providing a quality education in the animal industry. They uphold my ideals of honesty and integrity. The best part of my position here at ABC is being able to provide students a clear and concise path to fulfill their passion of working with animals, a passion that I share.”


 

Penny Derbyshire-Baldyga
ABC Program Manager

Penny was raised in Downey, California, but has lived in a variety of places across the state. She currently resides in a small mountain community called Pine Mountain Club with her 2 dogs and 6 cats. Penny enjoys reading, going to the movies and taking her two dogs for long hikes in the mountains.

Penny has been a licensed veterinary technician for over 26 years and has worked in the veterinary field for more than 29 years. She began her career in a general practice where she not only worked with dogs and cats but also several large animals such as pigs and goats. Later, Penny worked in a practice that focused on small-animal dermatology and skin disorders.

After several years, she was offered a job working with two board-certified surgeons who were setting up a mobile practice that covered three counties. From there, the practice grew into a well-respected specialty hospital that not only included specialized surgical procedures but also internal medicine, oncology, emergency, and critical care. For almost 20 years, Penny trained others for anesthesia monitoring, surgical pack prep, nursing care, lab work, and pre- and post- operative patient care. She was also involved in animal bereavement and self-published a book that she hoped would bring comfort to pet owners who had lost a beloved animal.

After almost 30 years of working in Veterinary hospitals, Penny decided it was time for a change. She answered an ad as a program manager from Animal Behavior and was hired in June of 2008. For her, it was a dream come true as it gave her the chance to teach animal lovers like herself how to care for small pets. Penny is now a proud part of the ABC team.


 

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