Meet Our Team


Joseph Gainey, DVM - Owner

Dr.Gainey is a 2006 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the owner of Belpar Pet Care Centre and Uniontown Veterinary Clinic.  In December 2009, he and his wife, Angela, moved to Uniontown and purchased the Uniontown practice and in 2012 he then purchased Belpar. Prior to moving to Uniontown, he had practiced in Dover and Salem, Ohio where he worked with a wide array of medical and surgical cases.  Dr. Gainey's passion for animals comes from growing up on a dairy farm in Holmes County, Ohio.  He was raised around holstein dairy cattle, horses, dogs, cats, chickens and pigs.  To this day, he does his best to find time to visit his mother, who is an avid rider, and enjoys riding his horse "L.B."  His veterinary interests are in soft tissue and laser surgery, preventative care and chemotherapy.  Dr. Gainey has been trained in Regenerative Therapies and Joint Injection by The Veterinarian and Orthopedic Sports Medicine Group. He has pursued regenerative medicine because pets are living longer and need the same cutting-edge treatment that humans have available.  He and Angela have six four-legged children, four dogs "Annabelle," "Benson," "Honza" and "Webster." (pictured below) and two cats "Steiny" and "Angus."

Vedessa Meluch, DVM, CCRP, CCMT, CVA

Vedessa Meluch is a 2005 graduate from the University of Southern Mindanao, Philippines. While in the Philippines, she studied zoo and swine nutrition along with animal conservation. After shortly moving to the United States, she attended the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada for an intense year of skills and enhancement training in small animal medicine. In 2016, Dr. Meluch became certified by the University of Tennessee to practice canine and feline physical rehabilitation.  She also obtained extra curriculum for conservative management of canine and feline osteoarthritis. She has brought to Belpar Pet Care Centre alternative forms of relief and treatment for obesity, osteoarthropathy, post surgical recovery, relief of pain, and help pets with mobility for neuropathic and orthopedic pain. Dr. Meluch and her husband live on a farm and have many cows, horses, ducks and dogs. She spends her free time driving a big tractor while harvesting corn and hay. She isn't afraid of getting dirty and changing the oil on the tractors, as well!

Samantha Bercheck, BVMS

Dr Samantha Bercheck

Dr. Samantha Bercheck joined our team in August 2019 as one of our associate doctors. She is a graduate of the University of Glasgow in Scotland in 2015. Having grown up in northeastern Ohio, she moved back to be closer to family. She lives with her partner Ron and wonderful furbabies:  Chablis (German Shepherd), Floyd (Super Mutt), Jura (Cane Corso), and  3 cats- Squidden, Islay and Basil Hayden. When not around the clinic she enjoys working with bees, crochet, gardening, playing board games with friends and trying new restaurants.(She's always open to new recommendations!)  Dr. Bercheck loves working in all areas of veterinary medicine, she especially enjoys behavioral cases.

"A picture is worth a 1,000 words.  So much of veterinary medicine is communication; if your pet is doing something weird and you can't put into words, take a picture or get a video." - Dr. Bercheck

Michael McAndrew, DVM

Dr Michael McAndrew

Dr. Michael McAndrew graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2019. He received his Bachelors degree in Animal Science and Biology from the University of Findlay. He enjoys internal medicine and surgery. He loves people, animals and biology, and veterinary medicine is a perfect combination. As a Canton native, he shadowed at Belpar Pet Care Center for 12 years prior to being hired!  (Some of you might recognize him!) He knew that he wanted to become a veterinarian from a young age and is now working in the veterinary practice that he grew up with long ago.  A fun fact about Dr. McAndrew is that he is SCUBA certified. Dr. McAndrew has a cat named "Schecter."

"There's no such thing as a silly question. As us; we won't bite!" - Dr. McAndrew

Mike Slawienski, DVM, DACVS

Dr. Mike Slawienski s a Board Certified Surgeon who has worked in the Cleveland/Akron area for several years. He is available for advanced/complex surgical procedures on dogs and cats on a scheduled basis. Orthopedics/joint surgery, fracture repair, soft-tissue surgery, oncology surgery, neurosurgery and other complex surgical procedures can be performed on premesis. After a diagnosis has been made by one of our doctors and surgery has been recommended, we will schedule an appointment for you to meet with Dr. Slawienski in the morning and surgery will take place that day. In most cases, your pet will go home that evening.

Dr. Slawienski is a native of Buffalo, New York. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Cornell University and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University in 1992. He completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at West Los Angeles Animal Hospital and trained as a resident in veterinary surgery at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. He became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1999. Dr. Mike practiced at Associated Veterinary Specialists in St. Louis before moving to Ohio with his family in 2004. He has provided soft tissue, neurologic and orthopedic specialty surgeries for patients of veterinary hospitals in Northeast Ohio and surrounding areas since that time. Dr. Mike is an avid homebrewer and as a BJCP certified judge has judged beer competitions nationally and abroad. Dr. Mike enjoys spending time with his three young wonderful children and his wife and his dog Roux and cat Shadow.

Our Clinic Mascots

Benson, Webster, Honza & Annabelle

Webster is a Miniature Dachshund owned by Dr. Gainey and his wife Angela!  You can find him usually snuggled with his brother, Benson, in our back office!  He loves to greet everyone with a friendly bark.

Benson is a Wirehair Dachshund.  He also is owned by Dr. Gainey and his wife Angela! The wirehair dachshund is normally known as "the clown" of the dachshund family, and that he is!!  Benson loves to play and come and say hello to everyone when they arrive for their appointment.  He doesn't know a stranger!  He has been competing in dog shows with his mom, Angela, and has achieved his "GRAND CHAMPION" status!

Annabelle is the smallest Wirehair of the family.She is such a tiny peanut.  Dr. Gainey and Angela got her for the intent to continue showing Wirehair Dachshunds. She, also, is a clown! She is so spunky and full of energy.  She loves to play with her brothers and "talk" to all the patients coming in for their visits.   

Honza is the newest Wirehair to join the family!  He came from Poland (Yes, the Country!) to compete in AKC events.  He is a total mama's boy. His hobby is Barn Hunt and chasing his cat brothers around the house.

Next time you are in our office, feel free to ask if the Gainey kids are working, and they will sure be glad to see you!!


Kitty came to us the summer of 2012 after being hit by a car and had a broken pelvis and tail. After extensive therapy, she had to have her tail amputated due to the severity of the break.  In her free time, Kitty enjoys napping in our break room on a chair, drinking water out of a faucet and hiding in random places and popping out when she wants to catch us off guard!  She has a new talent of knocking on doors to have us open them for her.  She has such a big personality for such a little girl.   


Willis was found in the winter of 2013 by a nice family.  After a thorough exam, he was found to behealthy, but his tail had something wrong with it.  We believe it may have gotten caught in something.  This caused damage to it to the point where it needed amputated.  The plan was to keep him here for treatment, then find him a home.  We all fell in love with his personality and he became our second clinic kitty.  Willis loves to chase tennis balls, sleep, get lots of treats, hid in fun places and greet all of our patients coming in. 


Jack joined our Belpar family in June 2014. His mother was moving into assisted living and could not take him with her.  We tried to find Jack a home, but we quickly realized his home was with us!  This sweet boy was used to being an indoor/outdoor kitty, so during the day, he has to stay in our back offices, otherwise, he would venture outside once a door opened!  We do walk him outside frequently, and his favorite thing is eating grass!  Jack loves taking his "cat" naps and being very vocal!  



Angela serves as our Practice Administrator along with being a certified Veterinary Practice Manager, Interpersonal Communications & Business Administration.   Ang has over 10 years experience in the veterinary field.  She believes the human animal bond is so amazing.  Helping pet owners give their pet the happiest, healthiest, longest life possible is very rewarding to her soul.  In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, quilting and crafts.  In 2014, she was honored to be named Business Professional of the year by the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce.  She and her husband, Dr.Joe Gainey, have 6 dachshunds; Benson, Annabelle, Honza, Watson, Holmes and Molly and 2 cats: Angus and Steiny.  They also are very proud parents of a kiddo in the U.S. Navy.  

"Pet Insurance! JUST DO IT.  It pays for itself and allows you to choose the care you want for your pet.  No more balancing care with cost! " - Ang


Shelly is our Lead Receptionist and Office Manager.  She has been employed at Belpar Pet Care Centre since 1991 and has been an asset to our office. You may not see her as much as before, that's because she does a lot of behind the scene work such as: inventory for entire office & payroll.  Shelly enjoys being part of a team that gets along well and has a common goal of caring for pets. Working in the veterinary field is one of the greatest accomplishments of her life. She enjoys seeing all the dogs and cats come into the office when they receive routine and life saving help and seeing thankfullness in their eyes. Shelly states, "Working at Belpar isn't "work" when its doing what you love."  She considers Belpar as her second home.  She and her husband, Jeff, enjoy taking cruises on her time off, going to the movies, eating out and relaxing at home.  A fun fact about Shelly is that with 2 artificial hips, she still can't dance! Shelly has two kitties named Atom and Eclipse and Cheyenne a red Doberman.


"Research how much vet care will cost for the life of your pet and look into pet insurance. Be prepared financially to take good care of your new family member!" - Shelly 


Shawna has been a Veterinary Assistant at Belpar Pet Care Centre since 2007. She enjoys working in the veterinary field because of the challenges that each day bring.  Her hobbies include cooking and working in her garden. She and her husband have two cats, Sniper and Raghetti, a boston terrier/pug, Abe and a labrador retriever mix, Cash.

 "Play with your dog's feet and ears to get them used to the stimulation." - Shawna



Sarah joined our team in September 2012 and helps at the front desk and with marketing. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, reading, doing anything  crafty, being outdoors, and working on home renovations with her husband. You may not see Sarah in the office as often as before, she now has 2 beautiful daughters and works with us part time. She loves coming in the office the few hours she works because she considers Belpar and the clients/pets all family.  Sarah and her husband Dennis have two dogs, Layne (Bernese Mountain Dog) and Ellie (Golden Retriever). 

"Make sure to keep your pets up to date on their vaccinations and screenings to help guarantee their health!" -Sarah

Julie, RVT


Julie graduated from the Veterinary Tech Program at Kent State in 2009. Julie previously served our country through active duty in the Army before earning her degree.  Along with her 3 children, 4 grandchildren, she also has 8 dogs (Conway, Tornado, Boobie Rex, Bailey, Luna, Brookes, Louie and Thorton) and 5 cats (Johnny, Nala, Sarah Sue, Merel and Mac Daddy). She loves  helping families with their fur babies and educating them .Julie is an active foster through Ohio Fuzzy Pawz, a local shih-tzu rescue. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Julie has been a valued member of our staff since 2010.  She began working at our Uniontown location and transferred to Belpar in June 2012.

"Always spay & neuter your pets!"  - Julie


Brittani is a Veterinary Assistant who joined our staff in September 2015.  She has had 6 1/2 years experience working in the veterinary field with small animal, large animal and exotics. Brittani received her Associate Degree in Applied Science in Veterinary Medicine.  She not only helps out at the front desk, but also enjoys educating clients on howto keep their pets happy and healthy.  In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, reading and bicycling.   Brittani has a beaitiful daughter, Katherine and 4 pets.  2 cats: Biscuit and Bowie and 2 dogs: Brutus and Diesel.  Her favorite past time/way to relieve stress is cleaning!  

"Preventative medicine is the best medicine!"  & "Did you kiss your dog today?" - Brittani

Katie, RVT

 Katie joined our staff in April 2017. She graduated with an Associates Degree in Applied Veterinary Science from the Vet Tech Institute of Pittsburgh in 2015.  She enjoys working in the veterinary field because it is constantly expanding and she learns something new every day. Katie and her husband, Matthew, welcomed a beautiful daughter in 2018.  She also has 2 Boston Terriers (Donna & Otis) and 2 cats (Sampson & Ringo). Her hobbies include spending time outside, being with family and snuggling her pets.  She is also the youngest of 8 kids!  

"Regular dental care is important for our pets, just like us!  They often need professional cleanings, but try to establish a brushing routine at home, to prevent tartar from building up." - Katie 

Kandis, RVT


 Kandis joined our team in March 2019 as a Registered Veterinary Technician. She has an associates degree of applied science in veterinary technology from Ross College.  She works in the veterinary field because she feels like she has always gravitated towards pets.  This is what she feels that she was born to do and why she was put on this earth.  If she can make a difference in even one pet, then she feels like she has succeeded.  In her spare time she enjoys being creative (painting, crocheting, etc), spending with her family and 2 nieces.  A fun fact about her is that she shares the same birthday as her dad! (Best birthday gift ever!). Kandis and her boyfriend, Andrew, have 2 cats: Tyrion and Thumbs.

"Don't trust Dr.Google!  Whether you feel it's something major or you aren't super concerned, bring your pet to a professional.  Better safe than sorry.  We are here to help! We love your pets like they are our own!"
- Kandis


Nicole joined our staff in October 2016. When not busy assisting the doctor, helping in boarding or attending classes at Kent State University, she enjoys spending time with her cats, Emmy and Domino, hiking, tennis, baking, reading and being with family and friends. She enjoys working in the veterinary field because of the in-depth knowledge she is obtaining for her future of becoming a veterinarian.  A fun fact about Nicole is that she has been a vegetarian since 2012.  

"When you come for an appointment, bring a written list of  medications that your pet is on or bring the actual meds with you! Check-in for boarding will be a breeze!"- Nicole

Nicole P

Nicole joined our staff in July 2018.  She is currently enrolled at Ross Medical College to become a Registered Veterinary Technician.  She enjoys working in the animal field because she likes to be around animals and help them and their owners by making their lives better.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her pets; Tiny (Newfoundland), Henry (Golden Retriever) and Patches(Guinea Pig).  Something really neat about Nicole is that she lived in the Bahamas for 3 years and home-schooled her 2 children.  


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