HSVMA-RAVS Welcomes New Staff Member

Dr. Simonsen treating a puppy in Nicaragua
Dr. Simonsen volunteering at a small animal wellness and spay/neuter clinic in Nicaragua.
Ahne Simonsen, DVM

The HSVMA-RAVS program is pleased to welcome Dr. Ahne Simonsen to our full time professional staff.

Growing up in Barrington, R.I., Dr. Simonsen knew from a young age that she wanted to spend her life surrounded by animals. She cared for the usual menagerie of childhood pets and fell in love with horses when her grandparents’ nature-loving neighbor took her riding bareback through the woods in upstate New York. From age 8 through 18, she cared for and rode her own horses at a small family-owned barn while competing in hunter and equitation classes on the New England equestrian circuit.

Dr. Simonsen received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University with a major in English and a minor in African Studies. She supplemented her interest in other cultures with Spanish language courses, a semester abroad in Harare, Zimbabwe, and extensive domestic and international travel. After college, Dr. Simonsen worked in the documentary film and television industry on both coasts. Throughout college and her film career, Dr. Simonsen volunteered at local animal shelters and wildlife centers. Encouraged by the staff at a wildlife center to pursue veterinary medicine so that she could work with animals and be a stronger advocate for animal welfare, Dr. Simonsen moved to Colorado and completed her post-bachelor prerequisites at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dr. Simonsen started volunteering with HSVMA-RAVS during her first year in veterinary school and has continued to volunteer on a regular basis in both small animal and equine clinics. Over the past nine years, Dr. Simonsen has volunteered on 13 domestic trips and two international trips and has high praise for the program: "The RAVS field clinics have been an important part of my veterinary training. The program is multi-faceted: Volunteer professionals give to the animals, community members, and veterinary and veterinary technician students while receiving an education on different cultures, new professional relationships and insight into new field techniques. The program reaches out to families with animals in need of access to veterinary care and provides highly-mentored opportunities for skill development for veterinary and technician students. The trips are skill and character builders. I have benefited from my RAVS experiences as a veterinary student, a veterinarian and an individual."

In her spare time, Dr. Simonsen volunteers on a regular basis with a number of small animal and equine wellness groups both stateside and abroad. She recently attended the Equitarian Initiative Workshop in Vera Cruz, Mexico sponsored by a group of veterinary professional organizations including the HSVMA. Dr. Simonsen continues to work towards becoming fluent in Spanish through immersion, coursework and self-study. She also pursues her interest in animal behavior through casework, continuing education and self-study.

When she is not immersed in veterinary work, Dr. Simonsen enjoys being outside doing anything, traveling the world, exercising, reading classic novels, watching indie movies and documentaries, learning about the environment and animal welfare, and spending time with her family, friends, and posse of animals.

The HSVMA-RAVS staff is thrilled to have Dr. Simonsen on board. Her dedication and compassion are tremendous assets to the team.

Volunteer veterinarians and veterinary technicians are still needed for the 2012 clinic season. Join us in the field and get to know Dr. Simonsen and the rest of the team!