Meet Our Doctors & Staff

Our Doctors:

Pema Choepel Mallu DVM, CVA, MAc, LAc

Dr. Pema Choepel Mallu has practiced veterinary medicine since graduating from Ohio State University in 1977. Since becoming certified through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 1988 she practices Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and Chinese Herbology. In the 1980’s, Dr. Pema also completed extensive training in Energy healing and in 2010 she completed a three year Master’s degree in human acupuncture from Tai Sophia Institute.

Dr. Pema focuses on internal medicine problems such as Cushing’s disease, kidney disease, gastro-intestinal disease, allergies and cancer.

Additionally, Dr. Pema is an ordained Tibetan Buddhist nun and as such lives life on the principle that all creatures are created equal. Her life is dedicated to the relief of suffering. She lives in Germantown with two other nuns, Ani Megan and Ani Lucia, their two Peekapoo’s, Oliver and Serena, and her Chow/Husky mix, Janelle.

Our Staff:


Lisa Arant – Technician

Lisa Arant lived in a few different states while growing up but settled in Rockville when she met her husband Chris of 35 years. Lisa and Chris share their life with three dogs, one of whom is a therapy dog, four birds, and fish. As a dog lover she has worked in other vet clinics as well as at the Montgomery County Humane Society. Lisa started with Holistic Veterinary Healing in June 2015.

In January 2011, Lisa opened her dog training business, Small and Tall Dog Training. She provides private sessions and teaches group classes from basic manners and CGC to Confidence Building and Fearful dogs plus many others. Lisa says “I don’t have any hobbies. Life is my hobby :-).”


Cecelia Bonfils – Hospital Manager

Cecelia Bonfils is the HVH Hospital Manager and enjoys being able to bring her dogs, Lily and Zoie, to work with her every day.

Cecelia was born in Washington, DC and moved to Montgomery County as a child. She even graduated from Seneca Valley High School. After college she lived in Georgia for 14 years and returned to Maryland in 2005. She has worked as a mediator, a church administrator, a paralegal, and an office manager.

In her spare time, Cecelia likes to read fiction and walk in the woods.

John Pelletier - Technician/Reception

John Pelletier – Technician/Receptionist

John Pelletier joined the HVH team in 2014 after over 20 years of managing retail stores. He has always been an animal lover and includes Jane Goodall and Rachel Carson as personal inspirations.

After earning a BA in English from the University of Maryland, John moved to Arizona. While living there John worked as a volunteer for Tara’s Babies Animal Welfare, spending his summer vacations providing assistance to the caretakers responsible for the scores of rescued dogs. He also volunteered for the Garuda Aviary, a lifelong sanctuary for neglected and abandoned exotic birds.

John lives in Poolesville with his partner Chris and their rescued beagle/chihuahua mix named “Joy.”

Julie Rand - Reception

Julie Rand – Reception

Julie Rand has been with HVH since August 2015. She has a BA in Economics from the University of Maryland and has lived in Maryland her entire life. She and her husband have two daughters and have owned and managed their own general contracting business since 1993. Currently, Julie has dogs, cats and a hermit crab that is over 11 years old. She has had a variety of other animals including hamsters, fish, mice, guinea pigs, geckos, and a horse and she has fostered dogs and cats as well as volunteered for various animal related organizations.

Julie worked for Nature’s Variety from 2007 until 2010 when she began working for Answers Pet Food. She enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dogs, reading, gardening, and dreaming of being at the beach.

Julie Stamatakos – Technician

Julie Stamatakos has worked with Dr. Pema since 2008. Prior to this, she worked for many years as a Registered Nurse and a human acupuncturist. Julie earned her Masters of Acupuncture and is a licensed acupuncturist and NCCAOM certified Diplomate.

At HVH Julie chooses to combine her love of animals, holistic living, and healthcare background. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, biking, and crafts.

Ben Zeoli - Technician/Reception

Ben Zeoli – Technician/Receptionist

Ben was born in Miami, FL, moved to Maryland where he graduated from Poolesville High School. After living in Sedona, AZ for 10 years, Ben returned to MD with his best friend and partner Jerry (yes they are Ben and Jerry). They have been together since 2004 and have a wonderful four legged daughter named Clinton, a Boston terrier and the love of their lives. Ben was raised in the Tibetan Buddhist faith and believes that all life has incredible value; that all beings are precious.

Before going to Sedona, Ben worked with a holistic physician for some years and gained great respect for holistic healing and the importance of balance in one’s life. He is thrilled to have the great opportunity to work at HVH where kindness and compassion are the cornerstone of the practice.