Born and raised in Mississauga, the only pets Melissa grew up with were of the fish variety. She didn’t realize she had a passion for animals until her first biology class in university. It was then that she decided to pursue a life with wildlife. After completing her BSc in Biology and Psychology at the University of Toronto, she studied in England at Plymouth University to get her MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology. Having volunteered doing research on the Big 5 in South Africa, working at a shelter with exotic animals (such as kangaroos, lemurs, a lynx, a porcupine, an ornery pig and many parrots, reptiles, and small mammals), helping vaccinate wild raccoons/skunks against rabies in the GTA, and now being part of the Bloor West Village team, Melissa aims to one day live amongst the animals, researching wildlife and helping with conservation initiatives all over the world. Until then, in addition to her hedgehog and husky, she hopes to acquire as many pets as possible, including but not limited to, some rats, guinea pigs, bearded dragons, and a python.