Our goal as a practice is to deliver compassionate, high quality care to all of our patients. Our veterinary professionals achieve this by engaging in continuing education while always focusing on effective communication with our clients. This lends to consistent delivery of medically advanced, optimal treatment plans for each individual patient.
Stephen Zawie, DVM
Dr. Stephen Zawie (pronounced Zay-wee) is a Long Island native. His passion for veterinary medicine began by spending time at his father’s veterinary clinic from a young age. He left his home in Stony Brook to pursue his bachelor’s degree at The University of Maryland, College Park where he majored in Animal Science. He spent the next three years at Ross University in St. Kitts and finished his veterinary education at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Dr. Zawie was in Baton Rouge during Hurricane Katrina and like many of his colleagues, participated in the rescue and rehabilitation of the animals affected by the storm. One of those animals was badly injured and suffering from dehydration. After making a full recovery, “Pickles” quickly became the newest member of Dr. Zawie’s family. His growing family now includes two adorable sons, Jackson and Austin!
After veterinary school Dr. Zawie was accepted into one of the most prestigious and grueling internship programs at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. It was during this time that he honed his medical and surgical skills. He spent the next few years as an associate Veterinarian at progressive veterinary hospitals in Manhattan & Bayridge, Brooklyn, before deciding to open his own practice in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He opened his second location, Greenwood Veterinary Care in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn in 2018.
Renee Porfido, DVM
Dr. Porfido was born and raised in Manhattan, NY. Despite having grown up in an urban setting, she cannot remember a time when animals did not play an important role in her upbringing. She earned a B.S. in Biology at Binghamton University. After working for many years in several NYC animal hospitals and at the Bronx Zoo, Dr. Porfido decided to return to school to earn a degree in veterinary medicine. She went on to study at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she participated in an intense one-year internship program at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Upon completion of the internship, Dr. Porfido continued to work with the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group and Shelter. She shares her apartment with her dog Gidget, whom she adopted from the ASPCA, and her senior kitty Sita, whom she rescued from the streets of Manhattan. Dr. Porfido is very excited to be a part of the Bensonhurst Veterinary Care team.
Polina Mikhelzon, DVM
Dr. Mikhelzon was born in Russia and immigrated to America with her parents at 3 years of age. She grew up raising a dog, parakeets, and guinea pigs. Her childhood dog, Byron, ultimately inspired her to pursue veterinary medicine. Before college, she worked at Prospect Park Zoo as a discovery guide, Animal Care and Control as a dog walker, and a local veterinary clinic as a veterinary assistant.
She obtained an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. She then graduated from Cornell University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. After veterinary school, Dr. Mikhelzon completed a small animal rotating internship at Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group.
She has developed a strong interest in soft tissue surgery, internal medicine, and holistic medicine.
In her free time, she enjoys jogging, hot yoga, hiking, skiing, traveling and snuggling with her rabbit, Larry.