Meet Our Veterinary Specialists Team
Our animal hospital and veterinary specialists offer the highest quality and most reliable veterinary services, and comprehensive medical and surgical care for all exotic animal pets.
We have a vet for exotic animals and a veterinarian for exotic pets dedicated to helping and guiding you towards your exotic animal pets’ better and healthier life.
Our mission is for exotic animal pets to live long, happy and healthy.
Our goal at Nautilus Avian and Exotic Veterinary Specialists is to help you in taking care of your exotic pets to live long, happy, and healthy.
As the best exotic animal hospital and exotic animal veterinarian we make sure that your pets are given preventative care and early diagnosis of medical problems.
We are vet for exotic animals who believe that treating other people’s pets should be the same as how we would treat our own. We consistently offer the highest level of professional exotic veterinary services.
Nautilus Avian and Exotic Veterinary Specialists take pride in the dedication to providing the highest standards in veterinary medicine as the most reliable vet for exotic pets.
We are here on a mission to provide experienced and knowledgeable exotic veterinary services to all exotic pets in New Jersey.
Jeffrey R. Applegate Jr., DVM, DACZM
Since Dr. Applegate was a kid, he has always been drawn to exotic and non-exotic animals. Each time that someone asks him why he became an Exotic Vet he always answers this,
“I get along with animals and medicine makes sense to me, so it just seemed the right choice”.
During his younger years he turned a trip to Bay Head Beach to see a whale into a question and answer session with the University of Penn student faculty who was leading the event.
Fun fact: The University of Penn student faculty became Dr. Applegate’s mentor and friend.
After completing the Veterinary Science merit badge in Boy Scouts, Dr. Applegate later accepted a position at the Point Pleasant Veterinary Hospital during high school.
After high school he attended Virginia Tech for undergraduate studies in animal science and biology and Kansas State University for his veterinary education.
Following a small animal rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City he worked for almost 6 years as an exotic animal clinician at the Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey.
He then served as faculty at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the Exotic Animal Medicine Service for five and a half years where he remains involved as adjunct faculty.
He very much enjoys teaching and looks forward to continuing teaching opportunities within the confines of private practice through community outreach events.
Dr. Applegate is a founding officer of the Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium (HBVC), in which he has served various leadership roles.
He also serves as the Education Manager for the Exotics section of the Western Veterinary Conference.
While he is comfortable working with almost all species Dr. Applegate shares his time at home with two African gray parrots Harley and Echo, and Marlin, a large mix-breed dog. When not at work or home Dr. Applegate enjoys the outdoors, backpacking, SCUBA diving, and physical challenge races.
Paige Savo, DVM
Dr. Savo grew up on a farm in North Carolina where she spent most of her free time helping out with the livestock herds and poultry flocks. During her childhood years she had the opportunity through 4-H to travel all over the state to show award-winning goats and turkeys.
There wasn’t a day that went by where Dr. Savo wasn’t surrounded by animals. She always wants to be a vet for exotic animals she always wants to offer exotic pet veterinary services.
Becoming a veterinarian seemed like the obvious choice, so Dr. Savo followed her passion and ended up at North Carolina State University for both undergraduate studies and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).
She graduated in 2014 receiving dual bachelor’s degrees in animal science and poultry science.
During this time, she also worked as an assistant at an avian and exotic specialty hospital—where her passion for exotic animal medicine began to blossom.
While attending the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State, Dr. Savo focused on exotic and zoo animal medicine training under Dr. Applegate, and other leaders in exotic animal medicine for much of her 4 years.
She led the NC State Turtle Rescue Team for 2 years managing over 1000 turtles for various medical and surgical conditions.
She received medical training in a variety of species including reptiles, small mammals, raptors, parrots, poultry, and fish.
Dr. Savo has published a primary research study on turtle survival rates based on blood parameters of injured turtles and has traveled to the Galapagos to conduct wildlife research on Galapagos tortoises.
Dr. Savo is currently working towards board certification in exotic animal medicine.
After graduation Dr. Savo moved to Colorado Springs where she worked as a small animal veterinarian at a private practice for 3 years providing the opportunity to work with dogs and cats—while maintaining her skills with non-traditional pets.
She is very excited to be back on the East Coast to join the team here at Nautilus as an exotic animal veterinarian. Dr. Savo shares her home with her husband Rich her son Enzo, and a small “zoo” of beloved animals. In her free time she enjoys gardening, crafting, hiking, and baking.
Matthew Sherger, DVM, MS, DACVIM (oncology)
Veterinary Technician Supervisor
Becky grew up in Middletown and now lives in Shrewsbury. She has always loved animals and has been known to bring home many strays. She also has a passion for science and received her degree in animal science from Rutgers. She has gained much exotics experience over the years at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital and Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital and now serves Nautilus as the vet tech supervisor. Her favorite movie is Jurassic Park and she enjoys time with her kids, knitting and going to the beach.
Andrea started working at her hometown animal clinic. TLC Pet Dr from 15-18 years old. From 19-to 21 she worked as a vet tech at Faith Veterinary Clinic. At the age of 20 she was named the “Head Vet Tech.” She is completing her Animal Science degree at Rutgers and will be continuing on to vet school for exotics. From a very young age, she has always had a passion for animals. Her time off is spent going to car shows and having girls’ nights. Andrea grew up in Union, NJ, and has 15 pets and counting 2 ferrets, 2 dogs, 4 snakes, 2 scorpions, 2 iguanas, 2 frogs, and a cockatoo.
Lauren is currently active duty military USAF and studying for a Bachelor’s Animal Science Degree at Delaware Valley University. She has always known that she wanted to be in the medical field and loves working with animals. In her free time, she enjoys reading playing sports watching tv and hanging out with her cat and her husband. She grew up in Missouri and is now living in Browns Mills.
Lexie graduated from OCC Vet Assistant course in 2019. She has always had animals and took an interest in helping animals in need so vet medicine just made sense since she was very little. She became interested in exotic veterinary medicine when she started keeping exotic pets. When not working, Lexie loves going outdoors, going for walks or off-roading in the woods and camping. She also enjoys watching movies/tv shows and reading. Lexie is from Brick, NJ and has 2 leopard geckos, 2 bearded dragons and a cat. She has been vegetarian for 10 years. Her top 3 favorite animals are: bearded dragons, alligators and Argentine tegus and her biggest idol will always be Steve Irwin.
Nicole attended Ramapo College for Environmental Science interned at the Philly Zoo and has done research in Australia on tree kangaroos—flying foxes, and dung beetles. She now is the full-time penguin keeper and vet tech at the Jenkinson’s Aquarium. When not with penguins she is working with seals, sharks, rays, monkeys, sloths, and lots of birds and fish. One of her jobs at the aquarium is to provide enrichment for all the animals so she refers to herself as a glorified toymaker. She currently lives in Ocean Grove and has 2 cats and 2 budgies and enjoys going to live music and reading Marvel Comics in her spare time.
Sam grew up with animals participating in 4-H for small animals and birds. She used to give animal tours at the Great Adventure Safari. Sam graduated from OCC’s Veterinary Assistant program and has always loved animals. In her free time she loves being outdoors, cooking, true crime documentaries, and getting tattooed. She lives in Jackson with her 3 dogs, Jake, Tasha, and Bear, and the leopard gecko Spiderman. Sam has been vegan for 4 years is Fear Free Certified and loves coffee!
Vanessa has always enjoyed animals, the ocean, and science, so she chose to study Marine Biology at Roger Williams University and pursued a career in animal care. Before coming to Nautilus, she worked closely with many species of exotic animals in the zoo & aquarium field where she not only cared for marine mammals, birds, reptiles, and small animals, but also shared her passions with visitors through conservation education. Vanessa is excited to be expanding her knowledge in exotic animal medicine while helping the community care for their beloved scaley, furry, and feathered family members. Outside of work Vanessa enjoys spending time in nature, traveling, hiking, snowboarding, volunteering, and running her own small business creating and selling handmade resin art and home decor. She currently reside in Brick with her rescue dog.
Jessica has worn many hats and had experience in many fields over the years and she believes it was all in prep for her current position as Nautilus’s Practice Manager. She loves customer service with a passion and has a background in accounting IT support, and software support. Jessica is a huge fan of New Jersey and will gladly tell you all the reasons why this is the best state. She lives in Toms River with her husband and 3 cats and enjoys video games Kdramas, and being an aunt to her 10 awesome nieces and nephews.
Donna Marie Miller
Client Care Specialist
Since Donna Marie was a little girl, her love for animals could not be denied. Her passion was discovered with her first pet Princess, a beautiful German Shepherd that stole her heart.
Donna Marie grew up at the Jersey Shore in Point Pleasant and along the way has had quite a few pets, including exotics, which quickly became her favorite. She always knew she wanted to work with animals, that is why she had an early start in the veterinary field and continues to love it. Donna Marie has a vast amount of veterinary experience with client care and support and loves making sure our pet owners are taken care of.
In her spare time, Donna Marie enjoys yoga, going to the beach (at any time of the year), spending time with her family, and embarking on adventures with her husband.
Client Care Specialist
Kimberly is a born and raised 100% Jersey girl. She has over 25 years experience as a CSR/Coordinator in the legal field and with hospice care. She’s always had a huge love for animals and exotics. On her free timeshe enjoys the beach, craft fairs and, her home away from home, the gym.
Kimberly has 3 children and 1 granddaughter. She moved back to the Jersey shore two years ago where she lives with her son Zackary, her yorkie Tocca, a dorkie Tink, crested gecko Ghost and her bearded dragons Pancake and Waffles.