Our Veterinarians

Dr. Brenda Godlewski

Owner, Veterinarian

Dr. Brenda Godlewski (Dr. G) was six years old when she declared that she was going to be an animal doctor. Growing up on Long Island, New York, her first pets: Cindy, an ever-tolerant white cat, and Goldie, a Golden Retriever (!) were her main sources of inspiration. They both had an intuitiveness about them – as many animals do – knowing just when to nuzzle up and give love. They communicated so much without any words. To see them, or any animal, in pain was intolerable. Today, Dr. G still watches her furry patients communicate without words, giving her valuable clues that help her care for them.

While growing up, there were people who tried to persuade her to consider an alternative career as veterinary school was quite competitive. However, the bond she shared with her pets and her determination, along with her aptitude in the sciences cemented her desire to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

Following her graduation from high school, Dr. G attended SUNY Binghamton, receiving bachelor’s degrees in two completely different fields. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Biology, she planned to focus on medical illustrating if she didn’t get into veterinary school. Fortunately, she was accepted into Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.

After graduation she moved to Loudoun County and her first job was as a mixed animal practitioner working with dairy cattle and horses as well as cats and dogs. As the county grew, the number of dairy farms shrunk and her next job was at a busy small animal clinic in Arlington, Virginia. She worked there for a number of years and had the opportunity to work closely with specialists and hone her surgery skills, as that practice did spays and neuters with a couple of the Animal Welfare Leagues. When the Northern Virginia traffic made it too difficult to continue the daily commute, Dr. G. began doing relief (or locum tenens) work – filling in at different clinics.

For the next six years, Dr. G worked in more than 30 different northern Virginia hospitals, gaining inspiration for a practice of her own. In July 2007, she was pleased to open Lansdowne Animal Hospital, creating a community-based practice where each client and pet are treated as individuals.

Two aspects of practice that Dr. Godlewski particularly enjoys are surgery and educating clients. Her art background and fascination with anatomy has helped her become a skilled surgeon. Educating clients and children in preventing animal disease is her main goal as a veterinarian. Inquisitive kids are always welcome at LAH! But she also especially likes helping clients decide which pet would be best for their lifestyle.

Away from the hospital, Dr. G enjoys life with her three children in the Leesburg, Virginia area. She enjoys travelling, and had the opportunity to live in Australia for a six month study abroad. Through an awarded grant she also lived and did research on brucellosis in goats for three months in Uganda. A certified SCUBA diver, she has dived the Great Barrier Reef, the Hawaiian Islands and many of the Caribbean islands.

Of course, this animal-loving family includes an active canine family member. Josie, their sweet English Cream Golden Retriever, provides loyal, loving companionship to this busy family.

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Dr. Jenna Randall-Smith

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Jenna Randall-Smith has adored animals ever since she was a little girl, and always thought that working with them one day would be incredibly satisfying. As she advanced through her education, her interest and talent for science started to blossom. It didn’t take long for Dr. Randall-Smith to realize that the veterinary profession would be perfect for her!

A native of Syracuse, New York, Dr. Randall-Smith studied animal bioscience at Penn State University before graduating from Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Her career started in Pittsburgh private practice, then she and her husband relocated to Virginia where Dr. Randall-Smith gained a few years of experience with critical care and challenging medical cases at Pender Veterinary Centre.

Dr. Randall-Smith has always been passionate about animal rescue, and made a change to shelter medicine when a position opened up at a D.C. animal rescue league. The work was fulfilling, and demanding. With becoming a new mom, the difficult daily commute in and out of D.C. prompted another move to the Lansdowne Animal Hospital team. She brings with her an abundance of surgical skill and experience, and a special interest for internal medicine, infectious disease treatment, preventative care, and client education.

Dr. Randall-Smith, her husband, and their young daughter share their lives with Caesar, a cat adopted by Dr. Randall-Smith during veterinary school, as well as a mixed-breed dog named Sampson who enjoys catching insects, going for walks, and waiting for Dr. Randall-Smith’s daughter to drop food on the floor. When she isn’t at work or tending to the needs of her new baby girl, Dr. Randall-Smith enjoys working out via Crossfit, cheering on Pittsburgh sports teams and the Penn State Nittany Lions, and traveling to visit family and friends.

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