Welcome To Animal Necessity®

Animal Necessity® focuses on delivering high-quality supplements and services to veterinary health professionals and pet owners around the world. We know that the well being of animals worldwide depends on the purity, quality, and integrity of our supplements. Our holistic approach to health maintenance has been developed over the past 40 years by Dr. Norma Pestano, an orthomolecular nutritionist. Dr. Pestano's extensive research in the development of supplements and wellness protocols helps maintain health.

Dr. Pestano has partnered with leading doctors of veterinary medicine (DVMs), including board-certified veterinary specialists, to apply many of these human-based protocols to companion animals and marine mammals. Animal Necessity® values and respects the human-animal bond, and we are committed in our efforts to provide relevant information that veterinarians and pet owners need to support animal health.

Our Mission

To help animals live healthier lives, by providing our comprehensive approach to animal wellness. We incorporate current research with supplements to create products of the highest quality and purity.

We drive advancement in animal wellness by developing our veterinary health supplements through natural, holistic and scientific methods.

Our Vision

Animal Necessity® is at the forefront of the development and promotion of holistic, protocol-based approaches to animal wellness, integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) with traditional medicine. Our standard of support of animal wellness is based on three core values:

  • Use of the highest quality ingredients
  • Formulations backed by sound scientific research
  • A holistic approach to animal wellness
Meet Our Veterinary Advisors
Johanna Mejia-Fava, DVM, PhD
Johanna Mejia-Fava, DVM, PhD
Co-Founder, Chief Medical Veterinarian, and Master Formulator, Animal Necessity LLC®
The Irma Dolphin Veterinary Consultant, Secretary on the Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder BOD, Dolphin DVM (The Dolphin Vet), Marine and Zoo Holistic Consultant.

Johanna Mejia-Fava, PhD, DVM, is a graduate of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her PhD in marine mammal ophthalmology, testing intraocular pressures in the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) to establish a normal reference range. She spent a year working at the Miami Seaquarium and then was accepted to an aquatic internship at Cayman Turtle Centre.

She then completed a residency in zoo and aquatic medicine at the University of Georgia and Georgia Aquarium. She currently works with Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder (DPMMR) as a marine mammal nutritional and holistic medicine advisor, Veterinary consultant, Research Associate, Development Consultant, and Secretary on the DPMMR BOD. Her research interests include ophthalmology, nutrition, supplementation, and discovering ways to better support geriatric animals naturally.

"Dr. Jo" (as we call her) is the first doctor to research and publish the use of CBD in marine mammals for ocular discomfort and immune support. She is the co-founder of Animal Necessity LLC®, where she devotes her time to researching the benefits of supplements in domestic, zoo, and aquatic animals. Dr. Jo is always trying to find the best holistic, diagnostic, and treatment protocols to provide preventive medical management for animals.

Her love for poodles is indescribable having two of her own, KeyKey (toy) and Jilly (standard). Her favorite job is being a mom to two beautiful children, Joey and Jovanna, and she can’t say enough of her partner, co-founder, and best friend, Joe Fava.

"I also took AQUAVET 21 years ago, and I remember telling myself that one day I will teach in this program. For the future students, never give up and always follow your dreams. Now more than ever, we need more aquatic researchers and veterinarians in this field. Below is the bio that I wrote for AQUAVET as a student."

Johanna Mejia-Fava, DVM, PhD
Johanna Mejia
Mississippi State University

My name is Johanna Mejia... although everybody calls me "Jo". I am a second year veterinary student at Mississippi State University. I am originally from Tarrytown, New York (but, I spend most of my vacation time in New York City). I own a toy poodle named "Sace" who is my pride and joy circus dog. I am highly interested in small animal and aquatic medicine. In the future, I would love to involve both fields into my career. Last summer I worked at the New York City Aquarium as a vet tech which was an excellent learning experience. Currently, I am working at the Memphis Zoo, training their new baby sea lions "Malibu" and "Cali". I really look forward to meeting everybody.

Dr. Norma Pestano
Dr. Norma Pestano
Consulting Physician for Animal Necessity®

Dr. Norma Pestano completed her medical degree from the Universidad Central del Este, San Pedro de Macoris, DR. For the past 40 years, her passion has been to research nutritional deficiencies that lead to various diseases. She is certified as an orthomolecular nutritionist developing a holistic supplement protocol approach based on sex, age, weight, disease state, and nutritional status. Her medical interest in the immune system and cancer has led her to complete various studies in both humans and animals, using an immune modulator, Imuno-2865®. She continues to research and seek the most current herbal combinations to make formulations that are safe and effective.

Carmen Colitz, DVM, PhD, DACVO, MBA
Carmen Colitz, DVM, PhD, DACVO, MBA
Consulting Veterinarian for Animal Necessity®, Co-Founder, Animal HealthQuest LLC

For Dr. Carmen Colitz, every day is a blessing and an opportunity to use her veterinary skills to improve the lives of animals.

Her passion for helping animals exudes not only from her work as one of the world's leading veterinary ophthalmologists, but also at her home that she shares with eight pets: three dogs and five cats, some named after football players.

Debby Smith, RPh
Debby Smith, RPh
Co-Founder, Animal HealthQuest LLC

Debby Smith, RPh, holds degrees in pharmacy and chemistry and is a registered pharmacist in Seattle, Washington. As the owner of multiple pharmacies since 1982, she applied her interest and research in health supplementation and its benefits to become a pioneer in the study and application of antioxidants and amino acids for her patients. She was responsible for the development of numerous specialty compounds for both human and animal use.

Her premier pharmacy (Ballard Plaza) specialized in compounded medications for the veterinary arena, including multiple zoos, and was recognized as the most respected veterinary provider in the greater Seattle area. Debby Smith brings over 36 years of experience in compounding medications and medicinal chemistry.

Amanda Ardente, DVM, PhD
Amanda Ardente, DVM, PhD
Consulting Veterinarian for Animal Necessity®

Dr. Amanda Ardente's passion is animal nutrition, specifically when it comes to marine mammals. She completed her veterinary degree at North Carolina State University and her PhD in nutrition at the University of Florida. Her PhD research focused on optimizing the diet of bottlenose dolphins.