Dr. George and Dr. Ibarra, along with the rest of our team, have provided the highest standard of veterinary care for over thirty years.

Here at Animal Clinic of Merritt Island, we offer many aspects of veterinary care from basic pet care to life saving procedures. We also specialize in dietary management and preventative health care.

We are constantly evolving and are current with the latest technology and veterinary medical advancements. As part as our commitment to the community, we service many animal rescue organizations such as the Greyhound Pet’s of America, Coon’s Run Wildlife, The Guide Dog Foundation for The Blind, and many others. We enjoy supporting our local schools and businesses!

We are committed to your pet’s well-being in all life stages. Providing a long, happy, healthy life is our number one goal!

We Are Thankful For Our Clients

The doctors and rest of the team at Animal Clinic of Merritt Island would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the past years. We are appreciative of your confidence in our clinic, and we strive to provide you and your pets with the utmost care, kindness, and compassion.

Our Team

Richard E. George, DVM – Veterinarian

Richard E. George (Dick) was born and raised in Auburn, Indiana. He graduated from Auburn High School where he was active in baseball, basketball and football, and was also class president. He had and still has a love of hunting and fishing. After High School he attended Purdue University graduating in the second veterinary class.

Immediately after graduation Dick received his draft notice and was off to various trainings in the Army. Lt. George attended meat inspection school in Chicago where he met his wife Judy. After Jump school at Fort Benning, GA Dick was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC with the 6th Special Forces Group. There he taught Public Health to troops going to Vietnam.

After his discharge he worked in a large and small Animal practice in Chapel Hill, NC. Upon getting his license to practice in FL he began to work for Dr. Madill in Cocoa Beach, FL. In 1969 he left Dr. Madill to open his own practice in Merritt Island where he continues to practice. During the early years of his small animal practice he also had a large animal practice specializing in horses.

Dick has 3 grown children and 9 Grandchildren. He has always been involved in community activities, serving on Cocoa Beach’s Recreational Board and various organizations involving sports. He coached his children in baseball, basketball, and football. He also was a community coach for basketball at Cocoa Beach and Satellite High Schools. Throughout his years of practice he has received many awards and recognition and certifications of appreciation for his involvement in the community.

His love of being a veterinarian is matched in his game of golf. If not in the office you will probably find him on the golf course.

Natali Ibarra, DVM – Veterinarian

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Dr. Ibarra was born and raised on the Peruvian Coast. She graduated with a degree in Medico Veterinario Zootecnista from the University of San Luis Gonzaga- Peru in 2001, and then moved to Florida. After obtaining her certification from the Educational Commission of Foreign Veterinary Graduates, she joined Dr. George at the Animal Clinic of Merritt Island. Her professional proficiency includes Veterinary Dermatology, Dental Surgery, canine and feline extractions, Backyard Poultry Medicine, Hospice, Geriatric Care, Internal Medicine and Soft Tissue Surgery. Dr Ibarra speaks fluent English and Spanish. She lives in Merritt Island, and loves to paddleboard and do yoga. To relax, she enjoys completing jigsaw puzzles with her two rescue dogs named Bounty and Mr. Bud. She has a special connection with an orphanage in her home town in Peru, and also volunteers and supports The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, and raised a wonderful Guide Dog named Dakota.

Heather Bates – Practice Manager

Heather is a native of Florida, and earned an Associate Degree in Business from Daytona Beach Community College. After managing a restaurant, she realized animals were her calling. She has raised seven puppies for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, and continues to support the organization. Heather is a member, trainer and volunteer at Canine Star Training Academy, where she teaches basic obedience classes, and works her own dogs in obedience, rally, and agility. She is particularly interested in canine behavior. Heather started Fur By Choice in April of 2011, a full grooming facility. As the Office Manager at Dr. George and Dr Ibarra’s Animal Clinic, Heather will be happy to assist you in any way you require.

Wendy Keighley – Office Assistant/Dog Trainer

Wendy came to the United States from England in 1982. She has many years of veterinary experience. She first started to work at the Animal Clinic in 2000 and is proud to still be a staff member. She has been involved with many animal organizations raising puppies for Canine Companions for Independence, South Eastern Guide Dogs and The Guide Dog Foundation for The Blind. Wendy has competed with her own dogs in many canine events, and all her dogs have worked as Therapy Dogs. Wendy currently owns an amazing cat, and she is also a photographer.

Justin Schmidt – Veterinary Assistant

Justin is a Merritt Island native and has always loved animals. After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Coastal Marine Biology from University of North Florida he returned to the Island and began working for Dr. George and Dr. Ibarra.

His hobbies include bladesmithing, fishing, and caring for his many pets.

Laura Liebner – Veterinary Technician

Laura is a Wisconsin native who has worked in the veterinary field for over 36 years. She started out as an assistant and took the State Board exams in 1990 to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Laura vacationed in Cocoa Beach for many years, and finally decided to leave the cold weather of Wisconsin to become a full time resident in the Fall of 2018. Laura has had many animals growing up, ranging from guinea pigs to horses. Laura has a passion for breeding and training German Shepherds. She has bred working lines for over 2 decades. Laura currently owns a few German Shepherds and a macaw.

Jillian Thomas – Veterinary Assistant

Jillian is a Rockledge Native. She has had a former career in working in the Emergency department at a local hospital, and has welcomed the opportunity to work with animals as a veterinary assistant. She is currently studying for her AA degree. She is an active member of the American Poolplayers Association. Like her team members at Animal Clinic of Merritt Island she has pets of her own.

Jennifer England – Receptionist

Jennifer is a native Floridian, born at Cape Canaveral Hospital. She has lived here in Brevard County all of her life. Her career was in banking and finance. As a lover of animals, with pets of her own, she is now delighted to have the opportunity to work with clients and their beloved pets that are patients of Animal Clinic of Merritt Island.

Kayla Haines – Receptionist

Kayla was born in Valdosta Georgia, but moved to Florida shortly after and grew up in Brevard County. She has graduated from Eastern Florida State College in 2023 with a Graphic Design degree. She is also a musician and has played the trombone through school and college. Painting and drawing are just some of her many hobbies! Her pets are a Lion Head Lop rabbit (who is a real snuggle bunny), a crested gecko, a pacman frog, and 4 hermit crabs.

Alexandra Gigato – Veterinary Assistant

Alexandra was born in Cuba, and moved to the United States when she was 13. Just like Dr. Ibarra, she is bi-lingual and speaks Spanish. In 2022, she graduated from Eastern Florida State College with a Veterinary Assistant degree. She has a few animals of her own, and makes sure she treats everyone's animals just as she would treat her own.


Book an Appointment

Office Hours
Monday-Friday: 7:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday: 7:00am - 11:00am

In case of Emergency contact: Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital Rockledge 321.752.7600

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