About Us

We are your source for quality veterinary care for dogs and cats in Aspen Hills and more!
smiling dog at the vet

Full-Service Veterinary Hospital in Aspen Hill

From routine wellness care to orthopedic surgery, our skilled and compassionate veterinarians and staff do it all.

Our Goal

Our goal is to be your partner in pet parenthood.
animal place veterinary hospital entrance
animal place veterinary hospital veterinarian holding a chocolate labrador puppy
two adorable puppies visiting animal place veterinary hospital

Great Location

We are proud to serve the communities of Aspen Hill, Wheaton, Olney, Silver Spring, Rockville, and the surrounding areas.

Our Team

Our dedicated team cares for you and your pet

Dr. Sunil Kakarla

Dr. Sunil Kakarla

DVM, PH.D, Owner

Dr. Sunil Kakarla, an experienced and compassionate veterinarian in Cary, NC, grew up in India. After graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine in India, he practiced as a companion animal veterinarian for five years in a metropolitan city in India. He moved to the United States in 2005 with a passion for practicing high-quality veterinary medicine in an advanced setting. During that process, he pursued his MS and Ph.D. in a renowned lab at Marshall University in West Virginia.

As a graduate student, Dr. Kakarla performed cutting-edge research and had several high impact publications to his credit. While pursuing graduate studies, he simultaneously completed the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) in 2010.
Soon after this accomplishment, he began volunteering at several local animal hospitals. He completed his clinical experience program and obtained his license to practice in the US the same year.

In 2011, after graduating with a doctoral degree, he joined a small animal practice in Durham/RTP where he established a huge clientele and treated about 6000 to 7000 pets per year.

With his continued passion to provide the best quality veterinary care, he joined the state-of-the-art Walnut Street Animal Hospital in June 2016. As a veterinarian in the RTP area of NC, he strongly believes in quality care for pets and in being available to his patients when needed.

Sunil Kakarla is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and has special interests in dermatology and soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, as well as emergency medicine. Dr. Kakarla is married and has a son and a daughter. He enjoys spending quality time with his family, including his 1-year-old Golden-Doodle, Brownie, and a 4-year-old Poodle, Milky. He enjoys serving his community by actively helping rescue groups and shelter pets, and in his free time, he plays volleyball.
Dr. Raam Krishna Karanam

Dr. Raam Krishna Karanam

Veterinary Director & Chief of Operations

After graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine in India, he practiced and managed a companion animal hospital for twenty years. He moved to the United States with a passion to work as an associate in advanced-setting animal hospitals. His main aim is to cultivate a positive, happy, and inclusive working environment for the staff, providing a friendly and welcoming environment for all the clients. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his better half, Jyotsna, and their two children, Bhuvan and Rutvi.
Dr. David Iskandar

Dr. Murali Mallela

D.V.M, Chief Veterinarian

Dr. Murali Mallela became the head veterinarian at our hospital in January 2022. He earned his B.V.Sc. and M.V.Sc from the ANGRA University in Hyderabad, India in 2010. He then continued his education at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine - Virginia Tech, where he earned a Ph.D. in Veterinary and Biomedical in 2011. Shortly after, Dr. Mallela completed his post-doctoral research at Yale University and the University of Florida School of Medicine. Moreover, he authored and co-authored several research papers and presented his research at various national and international scientific meetings. After his post-doc, Dr. Mallela decided to get back to his passion for practicing veterinary medicine. He worked in Detroit for one year as a small animal veterinarian, and before joining us, he worked at Banfield for several years.
During his leisure time, Dr. Mallela enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, going to the movies and photography.
Dr. Adriana Ogando

Dr. Adriana Ogando

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Adriana Ogando became an associate veterinarian at our hospital in May 2022. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, with extensive experience in small animal medicine, and is particularly interested in dermatology and endocrinology. She practiced veterinary medicine for over 15 years before joining our hospital.

Her passion for animals started early; when she was a kid, she spent a lot of time with her grandfather, who was a German Shepherd breeder. She loved to care for the dogs and puppies, and by the time she was a teenager, she knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. She was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and because her parents are from Galicia, Spain, she speaks three languages: English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
When not at work, she enjoys spending time and creating memories with her husband and two rescued fur babies, a spicy Jack Russell mix named Ricotta and a lovely Brazilian Shorthair cat named Getulio.
Sarah Van Staalduinen

Sarah Van Staalduinen

Administrative Director

Sarah is an NC State graduate with double majors in Animal Science and Applied Nutrition. She has lived with animals her entire life and has always had a special place in her heart for them. She has been with the company since 2019, and she loves her job. Not only does she have the opportunity to meet new people and pets on a daily basis, but she also gets to help those fur babies stay happy and healthy with their families. Her favorite things to do outside of work include spending time with her furry kiddos; two dogs named Ochi and Denali, and two cats named Juniper and George. When she’s not at work, you can find her hiking with her dog, or taking part in any other activities in which she can include them.
Caitlin O’Neil

Caitlin O’Neil

Client Coordinator

Hello! My name is Caitlin, and I have been with Walnut Street Animal Hospital since 2017. I started out as a receptionist and after being with this practice for a year, I was promoted to Manager and transferred to our sister location, Capital Boulevard Animal Hospital. I absolutely loved the experience of opening a new clinic and getting acquainted with all of the rescues. I am excited to start my new role as Client Coordinator with the company. I have always loved working with clients and making sure the owner and furbaby have a positive experience. In my free time, I am with my 2 human kiddos as well as my own furbabies.
Cordero Curry Shift Lead

Cordero Curry

Team Lead

​Born and raised in Free Port, Bahamas, Cordero has always had an interest in the well-being of animals. He attended St. Georges's High School and graduated in 2010. After taking a few college courses, he started working at Free Port Veterinary Hospital. Following five years of developing his skills as a veterinary technician, he decided to make the big move and come to Maryland. In 2015, Cordero traveled from home and decided to start a new chapter in his life – here in Silver Spring! In October of 2016, he became part of our team of veterinary technicians and has quickly found his niche in our family. He also works overnights at the Pet ER in Columbia.
In his time off (however slim that may be), Cordero enjoys working out and reading educational books. His love for animals shines through in all that he does, and his charismatic personality is contagious.
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Chanda Devonish

Veterinary Assistant

​​Chanda is currently a senior at the University of Maryland College Park majoring in Animal Science. She loves to crochet stuffed animals, scrapbooking, and oil paint. She also likes to play video games with her family and have game nights. She has a three-year-old dog named Honey that she loves more than anything in the world.
Emma Orlando Veterinary Assistant

Emma Orlando

Veterinary Assistant

Hi, I’m Emma, a Veterinary Assistant at Animal Place Veterinary Hospital. I have been working with animals for about three years but have been around them since I was a kid. I have a yellow lab named Rosie that I love to play with when I’m not working.
Natasha Sheppard Veterinary Assistant

Natasha Sheppard

Veterinary Assistant

​​Natasha has a dog named Coco and a kitten named Knox. She has grown up her whole life surrounded by animals. She has always wanted to help dogs and cats and now she has the opportunity to do so.
Kerry Grimmond Veterinary Assistant

Kerry Grimmond

Veterinary Assistant

Kerry is about to start her freshman year in college. She plans on majoring in deaf studies with the result of becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist. In her free time, she enjoys reading, crocheting, painting, playing video games, and helping her cousin take care of her dog. She never grew up with pets of her own. In fact, she was terrified of animals for a good amount of her childhood. Now that’s all changed, She loves all furry creatures.
Katherine Cortez Navarro Veterinary Assistant

Katherine Cortez Navarro

Veterinary Assistant

Born and raised in Hyattsville, Maryland, Katherine has always loved animals and has grown up with a fair share of pets. She just started on her journey of being able to work with furry friends this year. She currently has two dogs named Leila and Duvalín, and a furry cat named Levi Ackerman. She hopes to gain experience and become a skilled veterinarian technician. Her passion has always been to be able to care about the well- being of animals. She’s grateful that she’s able to follow her passion and she hopes to work hard for it and her goals.
Outside of work, Katherine has a few hobbies such as going to the parks or the beach with her son, walking her dogs, going out to eat, and especially watching anime (hence her cat's name).
Rene Blehr Kennel Support

Rene Blehr

Kennel Support

Rene has loved animals since she was a little girl and always treats our patients as if they were her own. She has a DSH cat named Isis. Rene has been a part of our family since November of 2005. When she is not here caring for our furry patients, she enjoys working out, nature walks and reading. She is a huge help and an important part of our team.
Kelsey Thompson Receptionist

Kelsey Thompson


Kelsey is a local Rockville girl who started her journey in working with animals shortly after graduating high school. She attended Rockville High School and graduated in 2011 and then became part of the Sniffer’s Doggie Retreat team from 2012 - 2017. Starting out as a receptionist, she quickly developed her pet care skills and became an animal care specialist at Sniffer’s.

In her free time, she likes to read and shop, while also spending time with her pets: Tallulah and Jack. Looking to expand her knowledge in pet care, Kelsey joined our team of front desk staff in January of 2017. Her sweet personality and patience are reflected in all that she does.
Madison Cowan Receptionist

Madison Cowan


I’m very spontaneous and passionate about my job. Animals make the world a better place. I share my home with two pomapoos, beauty and heaven, whom I love very much. When I’m not working I love to spend my time watching movies and shopping, or spending quality time with my furry animals and family.
Deisy Ferrufino Receptionist

Deisy Ferrufino


Hello, my name is Deisy, I am currently a Veterinary Assistant at Animal Place. After graduating high school in 2019, I started my career in the veterinary field but I expect to grow more. I have two pets, my cat named Milo and my dog named Princess. During my off time I hang out with my friends, love doing arts and crafts, exploring new food, cuisines, and watching movies and tv shows.
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Bids Ranjit


Bids is a full-time student and part-time receptionist at Animal Place Veterinary Hospital. He has a husky named Polar. In Bids' free time, he likes to go hiking, play tennis, and loves trying out new food places.
black and white cat with a green blurry background

You’ve Come to the Right Place

Complete Veterinary Care in Aspen Hill

Animal Place Veterinary Hospital provides comprehensive veterinary care for dogs and cats in Aspen Hill, Wheaton, Olney, Silver Spring, Rockville, and the surrounding areas.
logo Animal Place Veterinary Hospital
Animal Place Veterinary Hospital provides loving, high-quality veterinary care for dogs and cats in Aspen Hill.

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Mon - Sat: 9am - 6pm
Sun: 10am - 6pm