Our Doctors


General Practice

about-us-staff-doctors-hegarty-124x190Catherine T. Hegarty, D.V.M.

Dr. Hegarty joined Colonial Veterinary Hospital after graduating from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. In addition to providing primary care to our general practice patients, she is also passionate about improving the level of care we offer in her role as the Director of the General Practice. She has special interests in general practice preventative medicine, feline medicine, dentistry, and oncology.

mccarty20100930_color_0760-web editJenneka P. McCarty, V.M.D.

Dr. McCarty is an Ithaca native who received her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. She completed a one-year rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at Cornell University, followed by a year of private small-animal practice in Syracuse, New York, before joining our practice in December of 2009. Dr. McCarty lives with her husband, daughters, and two mixed-breed dogs, Sydney and Nell. In her free time Dr. McCarty enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and cooking, and enjoying all the fun activities Ithaca and the surrounding area have to offer.

Dr. Murch professional photo edit

Cecilia Murch, D.V.M

Dr. Murch is a 2013 graduate of Tufts University in Massachusetts, where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health.  She then moved to Rochester New York to join the staff at Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service, completing a one year rotating internship in medicine and surgery followed by a one year specialty internship in internal medicine.  Dr. Murch’s professional interests include immune-mediated disease, endocrine disease, and preventive medicine.  Outside of work she enjoys running, hiking, horseback riding, and spending time with family and  friends.  She shares her home with her dog, Finnegan, and two cats, Rupert and Wellington.

Dr. Johnson editAnnie Johnson, D.V.M. , C.V.A.

Annie Johnson graduated from Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine in 2007, after which she completed a rotating internship at the University of Pennsylvania. She then spent her next years at a large emergency clinic in Philadelphia and in general practice in Perry, NY. Since vet school, Annie has had an interest in acupuncture and became certified in 2011 through the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Her special focus is in integrative medicine, especially pain management. Thrilled to be back in Ithaca, she lives with her husband, three small children and a chubby orange cat.

CapturhgdBeth Licitra, D.V.M. , PhD

Dr. Licitra graduated from Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine in 2016, where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a PhD in Virology. After graduation, she worked at an emergency clinic in upstate NY for a year. She then joined our practice in 2017. She is originally from the Husdson Valley region of New York but now resides locally in the Ithaca area. She lives with her her two energetic boys and their three cats Mia, Hailey and Booty Bear. Outside of work she enjoys reading, horseback riding and running.

Colleen Alvarez, V.M.D. 

Dr. Alvarez is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine who joined our practice in June 2018. She is originally from Northern Virginia and this is her first time living in Ithaca! Her professional interests include feline medicine, behavior, and emergency medicine. Dr. Alvarez is also a Fear Free Certified Professional. She lives in Ithaca with her husband and their grumpy old cat, Irish. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering for rescues and shelters, reading, and spending time outdoors.

Laura Pollock D.V.M

Dr. Pollock is a graduate of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine who spent several years working as a general practitioner and medical director in central Pennsylvania before returning to Ithaca in 2018. She has a particular interest in integrative pain management, earning certification in small animal medical acupuncture in 2015 and becoming a member of the College of Animal Chiropractors in 2017. Dr. Pollock is also a Fear Free Certified Professional. She lives outside of Ithaca with her husband and their animal family that currently includes dogs, rats, a cat, a snake, and a horse.



about-us-staff-doctors-ross-135x189J. Thomas Ross, D.V.M.
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Dr. Ross joined the practice in August 1990 and is the current owner of Colonial Veterinary Hospital. Prior to this he spent time as an intern and surgical resident at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He obtained his veterinary degree from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986, and became board certified in veterinary surgery in February 1993.


about-us-staff-doctors-socha-143x189Dennis E. Socha, D.V.M.
Practice Limited to Surgery

Dr. Socha is a 2011 graduate of the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. Dr. Socha completed one year rotating internship at VCA California Animal Hospital Veterinary Specialty Group in Los Angeles, CA. He completed a one year surgical internship and a three year surgical residency at Colonial Veterinary Hospital. He has joined the surgical team at Colonial Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Socha is interested in both orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. Dr. Socha is originally from the beautiful Ohio shores of Lake Erie, where he was born and raised. He enjoys spending any free time with his family. Dr. Socha’s other interests include the great outdoors, fishing, and spending time at the Lake Erie islands with good friends.


about-us-staff-doctors-rassnick-148x189Ken Rassnick, D.V.M.
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology)

Dr. Rassnick brings experience and expertise to the Specialty Services at Colonial Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Rassnick received his veterinary degree from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.  He completed his Residency in Medical Oncology at the Animal Medical Center in New York City in 1996 and then joined the Oncology Department at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.  From 2001-2010 he was an Assistant Professor of Oncology at Cornell, where his research efforts were focused on clinical and translational projects involving cancer control and pharmacological validation of new agents.  He is the author of more than 150 articles, book chapters and abstracts in the veterinary literature. Dr. Rassnick is particularly proud of the 8 residents he has helped train to careers in oncology. Through clinical service, he is dedicated to providing cutting-edge, high-quality treatments for dogs and cats with cancer, while still keeping quality-of-life as the top priority.

Dr. Cortright editCatherine Cortright, D.V.M.
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Dr.Cortright attended veterinary school at The Ohio State University. She completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Purdue University and finished her residency in small animal Internal Medicine at Cornell University in 2014. Her special interests include endocrinology, specifically Cushing’s disease, as well as hepatic diseases and immune-mediated diseases of dogs and cats. Dr.Cortright is a board certified member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.