Meet Our Veterinary Staff
The Paws and Claws team is dedicated to making every visit a personalized, educational experience for pet parents in Dunedin. Get to know our veterinarian, Dr. Culpepper, and her amazing team below!
Dr. Cindy Culpepper Practice Owner, Veterinarian
Dr. Culpepper received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina in 2002, and graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University in 2006. Immediately after graduation she spent some time working at Bienville Animal Medical Center, a multi-veterinarian practice in Ocean Springs, MS. Dr. Culpepper is a native of Dunedin, and she returned to Florida to practice veterinary medicine in 2010. After being an associate veterinarian at the Animal and Bird Hospital in Clearwater for eight years, she decided to open her own practice. In September 2018, Paws and Claws Animal Medical Center, a “mom and pop”-style practice, was born.
Dr. Culpepper enjoys the challenges of general practice, diagnostic imaging, soft tissue surgery, and internal medicine. She also enjoys the relationships she shares with her many wonderful patients and their human family members. Dr. Culpepper and her husband Jonathan have two daughters and many furry family members too, including two dogs, Izzy Belle and Ella Mae; two cats, Tonks and Willy; four guinea pigs, and fish!
Dr. Culpepper is a member of the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce, the Dunedin Downtown Merchants Association (DDMA), the Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA), and Pinellas County Veterinary Medical Association (PCVMA).
Sheila Durava Practice Manager, Certified Veterinary Technician
Sheila has more than 23 years of experience in the veterinary field. She graduated from St. Petersburg College with a Bachelor of Science in animal science, and became a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) in 2000. Sheila has participated in numerous community events over the years, including an outreach trip to the Bahamas to help provide medical care to animals in need free of charge.
Sheila has considerable experience working with exotic species, including birds and small mammals, and various wildlife, bringing a wealth of knowledge to Paws and Claws Animal Medical Center. She also has vast knowledge regarding the use of the latest medical equipment and procedures.
Sheila’s passion for veterinary medicine and love for animals drive her to deliver the very best care. Her love for animals spills over into her love for people. In her free time, Sheila enjoys physical fitness on all levels, reading, hiking, playing sports, and spending time with her family. She lives in Clearwater with her son Dylan, fiancée Gabriel, and their furry family members Eli and BG.
Erin Gryncewicz Head Receptionist, Technician
Erin is a graduate of St. Petersburg College and a full-time veterinary technician here at Paws and Claws. She was born in Atlanta, GA and moved to Clearwater, FL when she was five. Her love for animals started with her family’s cat, Mr. Chicken, and her life working with animals started when she took the opportunity to foster kittens as a young girl for Save Our Strays. The gratification she felt when placing a kitten with a loving family sparked her interest in pursuing a career that involved caring for animals.
At 15, Erin applied to work at a boarding facility where she spent the next 10 years. She has also worked in local animal hospitals, gaining professional knowledge in caring for cats, dogs, and exotic animals. She has been a technician, head receptionist, and kennel technician. Paws and Claws is a place that Erin is happy to call home, because she is able to express her love for and interest in animals while working with some of the best people in the business.
Erin’s pet family includes two cats and four dogs. Outside of work, she enjoys staying active and furthering her education in veterinary science.
Melissa Lichtenberg Technician
Melissa was born and raised in the Dunedin area. She started her vet tech career about 17-plus years ago, and has worked in many areas of animal medicine including rescue, equine surgery, specialty care, and emergency care. Melissa has worked with a variety of four-legged patients including horses, alpacas, dogs, cats, exotics, reptiles, and even big cats. She loves the fast-paced nature of being a technician and the various tasks that need to be done to help each patient.
In her spare time, she enjoys the beach, paddleboarding, and being around her family. Melissa shares her home with her husband Chris, their dog Greysen, and their bearded dragon, Pascal.
Megan Marvin Receptionist, Technician Assistant
Megan Marvin is the receptionist and vet tech assistant at Paws and Claws Animal Medical Center. She has been passionate about animal care since she was old enough to ride around with her dad on the family farm in Iowa helping with chores. She started with bottle feeding orphan kittens and calves, and expanded into exotics with zoo and aquarium internships working with multiple different species of animals including fish, penguins, and seals. During college, Megan volunteered and worked at the Wildlife Care Clinic where she gained experience in the veterinary field rehabbing and caring for Iowa wildlife. In 2019, she graduated Iowa State University with her B.S. degree in Biology and Animal Ecology with an option of PreVet and Wildlife Care. After she graduated, she moved down to Florida to also work at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium as a Marine Life Educator on the days she is not at Paws and Claws. In her free time she enjoys relaxing with her family and friends, spoiling her cat, and spending time at the beach enjoying the ocean breeze.
Mekayla Kriksciukas Veterinary Technician
Mekayla was born and raised in the Largo area. Mekayla started her veterinarian technician career approximately 16 years ago. Mekayla has worked with a variety of animals including: dogs, cats, reptiles, exotics, and wildlife. She not only helps in the examination room but also assisting in surgery, radiology/ultrasound, and emergency/critical care. Mekayla loves to spend her free time with her 3 children and her fiance' Eric. Her house is full of creatures including: 3 dogs (Zoey, Bizzy, and Caroline), 2 cats (Gig and Skylor), 3 ball pythons, a chameleon, bearded dragon, tortoise, chinchilla, and 2 hermit crabs.
What People Say About Us
"We are so grateful to Paws and Claws, especially, Dr. Culpepper and her entire awesome staff for their kind, compassionate, conscientious and professional care they always give."
- Betty K.