Tara Rees, Primary Care Veterinarian

Dr. Tara Rees was raised in the Seattle area and received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Seattle University in 1998. A long-held passion for marine biology and animal behavior led her to work as a marine mammal trainer in zoos and aquariums in both Washington and Alaska. In Southeast Alaska, she spent years as a whale watching naturalist, observing Humpback whales, Orcas, Stellar sea lions, Harbor seals and Bald eagles. Leaving the whales, she moved to South Central Alaska to become a member of the first marine mammal team at the Alaska SeaLife Center. She and members of her team trained the captive Stellar sea lions and Harbors seals to participate in both their own health care and environmental enrichment, as well as ongoing research projects. Operant conditioning and positive reinforcement training allowed the animals to voluntarily provide blood and saliva samples, position themselves for radiographs and ultrasound exams, as well as other husbandry behaviors. As part of the rescue and rehabilitation program, she worked with otter, walrus and seal pups. Tara’s natural curiosity led her to a career in veterinary medicine. She received her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University in 2007. Dr. Rees’s dedication to animal training and low-stress handling has never diminished. She really likes helping her patients with socialization and basic training, as well as treatment of behavioral problems. Dr. Rees’ free time is spent with her husband and son, as well as their three dogs, Homer, Kenai and Kiska. She enjoys yoga, kayaking and hiking.
 

Tara Rees

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