Brett Levitzke, DVM, Board Chair

Brett received his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Cornell University in 1994 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. Upon graduation, he completed a rotating one year internship in Emergency, Surgery, and Internal Medicine at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, NJ. He then parlayed his keen interest in emergency medicine into a position as medical director of the Brooklyn Veterinary Emergency Services. Sensing the need for a 24-hour emergency and specialty hospital, Brett was the founding partner of the Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group in the spring of 2005, where he has since been working as the Medical Director and emergency/critical care clinician. His special interests are cases of trauma – including vehicular and high rise.

When he is not working, you can find Brett cheering on his beloved Georgia Bulldogs in football, saltwater fishing, or playing Texas Hold’Em. He shares his apartment with his Springer Spaniel Toby and cat Broccoli.


Beth Gould
Beth is the former publisher of Satya, a magazine focusing on vegetarianism, environmentalism, animal advocacy and social justice, and is currently Vice President at Mediabids.com. She studied at Bennington College and New York University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and quite a few other mammals.


Erica Kubersky

Erica was born, raised and is still living in NYC. Currently residing in Brooklyn with her veterinarian husband, 2 perfect old lady mutts, and an ever changing number of cats. Ethical vegan and purveyor of vegan shoes at NYC and LA based MooShoes. Severe distrust of anyone that doesn’t like dogs.


Paolo Palone
Dr. Palone received his veterinary degree in 1991 at the University of Perugia, Italy. Afterwards, he worked in a few hospital in the Perugia area. After moving to the U.S. in 1993, he continued his studies to have his degree recognized by the AVMA. Although never licensed in the U.S., he used his knowledge as an Adjunct Professor at the Suffolk Community College for 5 years. During those years, he worked as a manager and Analyst at the American Veterinary Laboratory Corporation.

In 1998, Dr. Palone was appointed Administrator for a group of emergency and specialty clinics in Long Island, NY. In 2005, he accepted a position as Business Administrator at VERG. Dr. Palone works side by side with the Medical Director in expanding the business.

During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Cynthia and his lovely cats.


Dennis Slade, DVM
Dennis, a current board member and one of the co-founders of Positive Tails, is originally from eastern Long Island.  Following completion of his veterinary degree at Cornell University, general internship at Long Island Veterinary Specialists (Plainview, NY), and an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA), he spent two years working in the Northern Virginia area before moving closer to his roots.  Dr. Slade had been actively involved with Positive Tails as a staff Internist at Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group, and continues his role with the nonprofit from his current position at the Animal Medical Center.

After hours he takes his orders from Kitten (no longer a kitten!), Ferdinand (Cairn Terrier), and Pippa (Miki), all rescues who have found their way into his home and heart.


Erin Johnson
Erin is a founding director of Positive Tails. She has passionately championed for a variety of missions and has worked in animal welfare, social services, and higher education with a specialization in non-profit leadership. Though she has moved on to new projects, her tireless work on behalf of Positive Tails and the animals we serve are greatly appreciated.


In Loving Memory
Daniel Gray, DVM*

Dr. Danny Gray* has been elected an honorary life-time member of the Positive Tails Board of Directors after passing away in early 2014 due to cancer. As one of our founding Board Members, Dr. Gray’s dedication, professional connection and love of animals and our mission helped to drive our organization to where it is today – and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts (the furry ones do too).

Dr. Gray was an emergency staff veterinarian at VERG South in Brooklyn. He received his DVM from The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine where he was heavily involved in the Student Government Association throughout veterinary school. Since his interests always revolved around emergency medicine, Dr. Gray completed a rotating internship in Emergency/Critical Care, Internal Medicine, and Surgery at the New England Animal Medical Center in West Bridgewater, MA in 2009. Upon completion of his internship, he joined the VERG team. Dr. Gray became involved with the Board of Positive Tails because all too often in his job he witnessed the sad outcomes of clients who could not afford treatment for their animals, and wanted to help the animals and people of New York. He will truly be missed.


Our Team:

Dee Hechme and Natalie Herring: Part-time Grants Administrator Contact