About Us

River Road Veterinary Clinic – Who We Are


Christine Pinello, M.S., D.V.M., C.V.A.

Dr. pinello Bio shot 001Dr. Pinello started River Road Veterinary Clinic in 1985 in Norwich, VT. She is a native of Bethel, VT and has a B.S. in Animal Sciences from the University of Vermont and an M.S. in Botany from Iowa State University. Before attending Cornell Veterinary College and graduating with her DVM in 1982, she worked doing product development of a yeast identification system for API. Dr Pinello is also a certified acupuncturist and incorporates alternative medicine into her practice by practicing acupuncture as well as dispensing herbal remedies in combination with traditional treatments. Dr. Pinello enjoys riding her horse, Poppy, and spending time at her house in Norwich with her four cats.


Jason Labes, BVMS MRCVS 

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jason started off with an undergraduate degree in organizational theory and classical piano. Naturally, this led to a first career in database programming and web application development. It happily also led to the world of cat rescue (and several additions to the household). At the age of 29, Jason realized that veterinary medicine combined the internal logic and structure of programming with his love of animals, and started over again with biology 101 at The City College of New York, and a wonderful job at as a veterinary assistant. During this time, Jason also spent parts of two summers here at River Road Veterinary Clinic, where he became interested in large animal medicine.

In 2014, Jason graduated from the Royal Veterinary College (University of London). For the past three years, he has worked in Brooklyn NY, primarily in small animal practice and emergency medicine. However, drawn by open air and his daughter’s desire to pick as many sticks and leaves off the ground as possible, he and his family relocated to Vermont, with three cats (as they say on Facebook, “it’s complicated”). Outside of work, major interests are cycling, his piano, interesting new beers, and a very large science fiction/fantasy habit.

Professionally, Jason is particularly interested in anaesthesia, pain management, diagnostic imaging, and dentistry. He also enjoys herd medicine, horses, goats and sheep, and the occasional exotic creature. Additionally While he eventually would like to pursue a residency and some day teach, for the moment he is very happy to be working with the staff and patients of River Road.


Charlie Berger, D.V.M.

DR. berger bio picDr. Charles Berger recieved his DVM from Cornell Veterinary College and proceeded to be the owner and medical director of Campus Veterinary Clinic in Berkeley, CA for 35 years. Dr. Berger has extensive experience with wolves as he served on the Board of Directors and was the veterinarian for largest collection of captive wolves in the country. He also served on the Board of Directors of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association and has been the veterinarian for the Iditarod, Yukon Quest and over 30 other sled dog races.


James Tiede, V.M.D.

Dr. TiedeDr. Tiede graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and then went on to be the owner and director of an AAHA accredited hospital with a staff of three veterinarians and fifteen employees for 27 years. He has more than five years of veterinary relief experience in Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Washington. We are fortunate enough to have Dr. Tiede’s vast knowledge and dedication in our clinic at least every other weekend.


Veterinary Technicians and Assistants

Christine Whitesides, Technician

Christine small

Christine lives in Vermont with her two young children and her Rottweiler mixed breed dog, Homer. She recently moved to the area from South Carolina and graduated from Penn Foster college in 2009 with her Veterinary Assistant degree. Christine loves interacting with all the animals she sees here at the clinic and enjoys working with everything from reptiles to large animals. She is hard-working and very dedicated to learning as much as she can about being a great vet tech. In her spare time she enjoys any sort of adventure, particularly those where she gets to be outdoors.


Deborah Mattern, Technician 


Deborah graduated in 2011 from Coastal Carolina University with a business management degree, but knew she wanted to work in the animal field, and has always had a passion for helping animals. She moved to Norwich in August, 2014 after living in Myrtle Beach for 7 years. Her family of 11 sisters and brothers live in Tunbridge, VT. In addition to multiple siblings, her family had many dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, snakes, goats, cows, horses and other various wildlife, including a pet woodchuck and squirrel. In her free time, Deborah enjoys running, snowboarding, and any outdoor adventures. She has a rat terrier, Bella, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback, Nala, who had her second litter of puppies in February.


Mary Hazen, Technician 

untitledMary Hazen graduated from the University of Vermont in the spring of 2014 with a bachelor degree in animal science. She was fortunate to work at Windsor Vet and Dental clinic which has an emphasis on dental hygiene. This allowed her the opportunity to learn a great deal about dental health. Mary moved to Norwich, VT to be closer to her father’s horse boarding facility, Brookside Farm in Wilder, VT. Mary has always been interested in horses and has been riding for over 20 years. She enjoys her two dogs, a pitbull mix and a chocolate lab and the two horses she owns. Mary also enjoys teaching riding lessons to adults and children.




Martha White, Inventory Manager

Martha with her dog TazMartha’s previous experience includes inventory management and working in manufacturing and at a hospital. Her innate connection to animals brought her here to work at River Road Veterinary Clinic. Her education has included Inventory Management and computer classes at Claremont Vocational Technical College, UNH School for Lifelong Learning, and Franklin Pierce College. Martha’s interests include traveling the United States with her partner, Punky, in their motorhome.


Mary Sellmann, Receptionist

maryMary moved to Norwich, VT 30 years ago from Pennsylvania.  She moved here initially with two small children and one chicken. Over the years she has had the pleasure of owning dogs, cats, horses, sheep, cows, turtles, squirrels, and a crow. Her love of animals enticed her to work here at River Road Veterinary Clinic. The ever-changing atmosphere here at River Road Veterinary Clinic is what Mary loves most about her job!



Carrie Parker, Receptionist

carrieCarrie grew up in Hartland, VT. After graduating from Hartford High School in 2003, she worked for 3 years at Upper Valley Humane Society as an adoption counselor and as the small animal care coordinator. She then worked for Upper Valley Veterinary Services for 10 years, but felt it was time for a change when the clinic changed hands. Carrie now enjoys working at River Road Veterinary Clinic as a receptionist. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her 3 basset hounds (Elmer, Mabel, and Banjo), dachshund/Pomeranian mix (Chyka), cats (Voodoo and Gryphon) as well as her flock of 18 assorted breed chickens. She is a hobby gardener and active crafter, working on knitting, sewing, and repurposing decorative footwear. She lives completely off grid in the woods of Norwich with her fiancé Colt.


Brenda Masterson, Bookkeeper