If you happen to see Dr. Brittany Denison in the halls of Cascade Hospital for Animals, wish her a hearty welcome -- just don’t blurt out “en garde!”

Our new staff veterinarian is versed in fencing, a sport she learned while attending Michigan State University where she earned her bachelor’s in zoology and doctorate in veterinary science.

When she isn’t taking up the foil, Dr. Denison enjoys a number of outdoor activities with her husband, Allen, such as running, biking, paddle boarding, hiking, backpacking, and rock/ice climbing.

A native of Chelsea, Michigan, Dr. Denison also believes in community involvement and education -- a commitment she displayed she was studying at MSU and served as co-chair of community service for the university’s Pre-Veterinary Medical Association. Since graduating, she has given of her time in the Grand Rapids area as a guest lecturer to college students on veterinary science and practical aspects of the work, such as how to run a fecal analysis to check for intestinal parasites and how to perform CPR on a dog.

“Her soothing personality and confidence in her abilities make Dr. Denison a vital asset to our team,” said Dr. Greg Paplawsky at Cascade Hospital for Animals. “She cares deeply about our patients and clients, and is devoted to making their lives better.”

Her love of pets extends beyond the hospital as she has a 6-year-old Spaniel mix named Bogi and a 8-year-old tabby named Auron. “Bogi is a very lazy boy that is until he gets to the nature center,” Dr. Denison said. “And Auron, he is extremely affectionate and gives hugs.”

Prior to working at Cascade Hospital for Animals, Dr. Denison worked for several years in emergency medicine, one of her main areas of interest in veterinary science. While she worked at Animal Emergency Hospital in Grand Rapids last January, Dr. Denison nursed back to health two malnourished pups abandoned and left to die in subzero temperatures, a case of neglect that gained local media attention. Her other medical interests include diagnostic imaging, toxicology, ophthalmology and trauma.

Aside from her love of veterinary science and working with pets and their owners, Dr. Denison does confess a couple of obsessions: hope that fanny packs will come back into fashion and a morning cup of coffee from Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters.