David Heller DVM, MS, DACVIM

Medical Director
Board Certified in Oncology
Dr Heller


  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology)
  • Residency, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL (combined residency in medical oncology and Master of Science degree)
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Kitts West Indies
  • Bachelor of Arts, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Best Part of My Job:

Dispelling myths! The word “cancer” understandably strikes fear into people’s hearts and minds. While cancer is a frightening diagnosis, for pets it is usually not as bad as people initially think. Most types of cancer are treatable, and some are even curable. I understand the uncertainty and fear that accompany a cancer diagnosis and my desire is to help my patients enjoy an excellent quality of life. Equally important is to help pet parents understand their pets’ diagnosis so they can make informed decisions.

Special Talent:

I’ve sadly lost several friends to cancer. These experiences have allowed me to develop a high level of compassion and empathy. I value an open communication style and encourage pet parents to ask questions and communicate their feelings.

One Thing People May Not Appreciate About Oncology:

Collaboration across disciplines is very important in cancer treatment, and it often leads to better outcomes. Many of my patients have multiple conditions that we need to manage collectively. At Rise, I’m able to work with our team of board certified doctors across multiple specialities to ensure we treat the whole pet.

Why I Chose the Field of Veterinary Oncology:

The privilege of caring for animals drew me into veterinary medicine. During my undergraduate studies, I developed an enthusiasm for understanding biochemistry and genetics. Veterinary oncology is on the cutting edge of these sciences.  This allows me to care for pets while simultaneously nourishing my passion for scientific endeavors.

What You’ll Find Me Doing in My Free Time:

I married my veterinary school classmate and study partner, Dr. Jacqueline Heller. We have two college age kids and together the Heller family enjoys travel, live sports and music, Ashtanga yoga, skiing and snowboarding, and the outdoors. I help out in the local community by volunteering as a coach and referee in youth soccer.

My Pet Family:

As you would expect with two veterinarians in the family, we have a lot of pets! Our family includes a quirky bearded dragon named Matches, an adorable rescue Goldendoodle who loves to play ball and goes by Emmett, a sometimes grumpy but very lovable French Bulldog named Tiny Hymie, two box turtles named KoopaTroopa and Yurtle, a fiercely independent desert tortoise called Catfish John and an orange molly fish who is cleverly named Junior.