By the time Charles Mintzer was 10 years old, he was already known as the neighborhood animal caretaker. Growing up in a small Queens, New York apartment, Charles often walked neighbors pets and was always concerned about their health. In his own home, Charles kept non-traditional pets such as chameleons, garden snakes, a myna bird, and a baby chick that somehow grew into a raucous rooster. Following a family trip to Florida, Charles even found himself with a baby alligator. Young Charles affinity for animals continued throughout his life, providing him with a wonderful foundation for his veterinary career! Growing up with his mother and older sister, Charles enjoyed playing roller hockey, football, and stick-ball. He competed in Little League baseball until age 10, when he realized that he didnt have the talent to succeed as a professional baseball player. Once he abandoned that goal, Charles happily focused on becoming a veterinarian, and enjoyed his mothers lifelong support for his career choice.