Dena Mangiamele DVM, MPVM, MFS, is an animal shelter and forensic veterinarian. She received her degree in veterinary medicine from the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her Master’s in Preventive Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis, College of Veterinary Medicine. She was selected as a Preventive Medicine Resident with the California Department of Health Services, Veterinary Public Health Unit. She received her Master’s in Forensic Science from National University. 

In 1995, she became the Chief Veterinarian for the City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Regulation. In 1998, she was awarded Shelter Veterinarian of the Year by the American Humane Association, and prior to her departure from Los Angeles to become the Director of San Diego County Animal Control, she received several Resolutions and Commendations by the Los Angeles City Council. Dr. Mangiamele currently operates a veterinary consulting business, providing animal sheltering agencies with operational assessments, writing Manuals of Policy and Procedure, and providing expert witness testimony in animal cruelty investigations, with specialization in dog fighting cases across the country. She has also created a training division that provides classes for animal shelter employees on animal handling, medical care, and humane euthanasia. The division also provides classes for animal control officers and veterinary medical staff on conducting circus inspections and dog fighting investigations. Dr. Dena is a vegan athlete with great interest in nutrition and fitness. She also has entrepreneurial experience gained through the creation of a vegan/raw snack company that successfully provided products to Whole Foods Markets. She lives in San Diego with her husband (also a veterinarian) and their dog and cat children. She continues to write about her veterinary and animal experiences in the hope of raising awareness about pet overpopulation and how the responsible behavior of every person can reduce animal cruelty and suffering.

​Veterinary Consulting Services: 

Animal Sheltering Services:

Perform operational assessments/audits, create and update Manuals of Policy & Procedure, conduct veterinary and animal care training programs

Animal Cruelty Case Support:

Crime scene investigation, veterinary forensics, medical case work-up, expert witness testimony (dog and cock fighting cases).                                                                                                                                                                                                   


If you prefer to purchase your book or Kindle version through Amazon, CLICK HERE

Color Edition


“Stray” – A Shelter Veterinarian’s Reflection On Triumph And Tragedy

Contact Dr. Dena at for scheduling lectures, training, or book signings

Black & White Edition

“Stray” – A Shelter Veterinarian’s Reflection Of Triumph And Tragedy

Praise for Dr. Dena Mangiamele’s Stray: This book is a straightforward and at times hard-hitting narrative of an animal shelter veterinarian in the late 1990’s in one of the largest animal control departments in the country, the City of Los Angeles. Dr. Mangiamele relates her journey concerning shelter animals and the people that care for them as she works in six City animal shelters. Never before has a reader had the opportunity to explore the inner workings of an animal shelter during the height of pet over population—and to learn about the post traumatic stress this work creates for employees, rescuers, and adopters. The City of Los Angeles—with its ethnic diversity, wide range of socioeconomic status, local community influences, and celebrities—serves as the backdrop for each chapter. The animal characters are sometimes loving and comic, sometimes dangerous, and often misunderstood. The human characters are dedicated and at times unconventional in their actions and ideas. This book is by no means an easy journey for the reader. These stories are filled with realism that will empower you, fill you with joy, make you cry, make you angry, and maybe change your views; but they will be stories you will cherish. Dr. Dena exhibits courage and honesty as her experiences and stories bring the reader into the true world of animal control. If you have ever loved an animal, or respected someone for doing a job you could never do, this is the book for you.