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Meet the


These are the incredible people who volunteer their time and service, day in and day out to ensure Sacred Friends and its residents all have the best chance possible to, not just survive, but to thrive. 

For the animal and bird world, there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them.
- Chief Luther "Standing Bear"
  Oglala Sioux Nation

▼ Dr. Tony Poutous - Veterinarian

Dr. Tony Poutous grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where is love of animals began early in life. His childhood was spent caring for a variety of animals from cats and dogs to tadpoles, snakes and birds. Following high school, Dr. Poutous attended Cornell University where he studied Genetics and Developmental Biology. After graduation, he attended Allegheny University of Health Sciences in Philadelphia for a year of post-baccalaureate education. This was followed by two years at Temple University School of Medicine.

Even during his time in Medical school, he never stopped caring for animals, volunteering regularly at the Schuykill Valley Wildlife Rehab Center. By the end of his second year of medical school, it was clear to Dr. Poutous that he needed to find a career that would allow him to work with animals on a full-time basis.

He soon accepted a position as field stranding technician at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, NJ. During this time with the stranding center, Dr. Poutous had the opportunity to work with sick and injured seals, turtles, dolphins, and whales.


Following his tenure with the stranding center, he worked for a year at a small animal veterinary clinic and realized that he could best serve the animal community by becoming a veterinarian.

Dr. Poutous graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school. Throughout his four years of vet school, he donated his time to the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association helping to spay & neuter, and providing medical care to hundreds of homeless animals. Despite his love for dogs and cats and the joy he takes in his care, Dr. Poutous’s true passion is medicine and surgery of exotic animals, especially birds.


During veterinary school he served as the president of the Special Species Club and he is an active member of both the Association of Avian Veterinarians and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Avian Veterinarians. Other professional interests include both soft-tissue and dentistry. When not at work, Dr. Poutous can usually be found taking care of his own menagerie of animals which includes birds, cats, dogs, fish, lizards and hedgehogs. He also enjoys scuba diving, snowboarding and traveling.

▼ Noel Lahr - Board of Directors
Noel (A Licensed Wildlife Rehabber when photos taken) is Pearl and Jimmy's daughter and has worked with wildlife her whole life. She has been a Vet Assistant for the last eight years.

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