Laura Smallwood

DVM, DACVIM (SAIM) Medical Director

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Dr. Smallwood was born in Oklahoma, grew up in Texas, and completed high school in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Following high school, she attended Trinity University in San Antonio, majoring in biology. Dr. Smallwood became interested in veterinary medicine as a college student and spent summers working as a veterinary assistant before she was accepted to Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Following graduation from veterinary school in 1984, she continued her training at Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital in Santa Cruz, California. At the completion of her internship, she relocated to Atlanta with her husband, Tommy, and worked for two years in primary care veterinary practice. In 1988 Dr. Smallwood was accepted as a small animal medicine resident at University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Completing her residency in 1991, Dr. Smallwood returned to Atlanta to found Northlake Veterinary Internal Medicine, LLC at Northlake Veterinary Specialists. In 2007, Dr. Smallwood opened Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists where she serves as Medical Director in addition to her clinical responsibilities as a veterinary internal medicine clinician. Dr. Smallwood’s clinical interests include cardiac disease, respiratory disease, and minimally invasive endoscopic diagnostics. Away from the office, Dr. Smallwood’s activities include contemporary dance, yoga and dance fitness. She also enjoys traveling, kayaking, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Matthew J. Laing

Practice Manager

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Matthew Laing was born and raised in Massachusetts. Matt developed a passion for helping animals very early in life. He had his first veterinary job at the age of ten as a kennel assistant and began working as a technician assistant and a volunteer with several wildlife conservation groups and shelters while in high school.

In 1988 Matt became a Certified Veterinary Technician in the state of Massachusetts and, following that, studied business at both Massasoit Community College and Harvard Extension. Matt spent ten years as an instructor in the Veterinary Technology program at Mount Ida College in Newton, MA, teaching radiology, veterinary clinical laboratory science, surgery and anesthesia, and Exotic Animal Seminar. Matt also spent several years working with veterinary students as an assistant instructor in comparative anatomy at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton. Over the past twenty years, Matt has managed multiple veterinary hospitals including small general practices, a non-profit wildlife hospital, and a large multi-location corporate veterinary practices. Matt has developed a very diverse skill set and a strong passion for assuring that our patients receive excellent veterinary care and that pet owners experience excellent customer service. When not at work Matt enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and pets and enjoys outdoor activities, gardening, hiking, birding, running, home improvement projects and watching Boston sports teams.

Mary Van Gundy

Inventory Manager

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Mary Van Gundy is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and moved to the Atlanta area in 1981. Mary has always had a love for animals and has worked in small animal veterinary medicine since she was 16 years old. Mary joined Dr. Smallwood’s internal medicine practice in 1993.

She has held multiple positions including key positions within both the internal medicine and surgery service. In June 2004, she passed the National Veterinary Technician boards and became a Registered Veterinary Technician in the state of Georgia. Mary has served as the part-time inventory manager for Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists since 2007, and in 2013 with the opening of the Emergency Service, moved into a full-time position where she is responsible for managing inventory. Outside of work she enjoys going on cruises, snorkeling, riding her motorcycle, gardening, and her chickens.

Gina Burke

Administrative Assistant

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Gina Burke is a native of Decatur, GA. She studied English and Literature at the University of West Georgia. Gina began working at Saint Francis in March of 2018 as an Administrative Assistant. She comes from a long history of administrative work including grant writing and being a personal assistant in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University. Gina and her husband, Mike, of 39 years couldn’t be more proud of their two daughters; Allison who teaches second grade and Emily who is continuing her education to become a veterinary technician. She recently received her certification to teach yoga and loves to share with others the many benefits of practicing yoga as well as mindfulness and meditation. She previously owned an event planning business and still enjoys planning a few weddings and parties on occasion. Her other past-times include working out at the gym and singing in a community song group. She also enjoys cuddling with her aging yorkie, Ralphie, and her young calico/tabby, June.

Jennifer McCown

DMV, DACVIM (SAIM)

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Dr. Jennifer McCown holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Florida. She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida in 2005. The following year, she completed a one-year rotating internship at Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa, FL.

She went on to complete her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. Also in 2009, Dr. McCown completed the examination and certification requirements for internal medicine, becoming a board-certified internist and a member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She returned to the southeast in 2014 and joined the staff at Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists after working in California for several years. Her clinical interests include hematologic disorders, endocrine diseases, endoscopic procedures, and supporting the human-animal bond. Dr. McCown enjoys spending her free time with her husband, two children, and two dogs. She is particularly fond of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to gardening or just relaxing with a good book.

Paula Levine

DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)

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Dr. Levine grew up in Atlanta, GA. Although a Georgia Bulldog fan during her upbringing, she chose to go to the University of Florida for her undergraduate education (Go Gators!!). She returned to her roots and attended the University of Georgia for her veterinary education and training and graduated cum laude in 1991.

Following graduation, she began her advanced training at North Carolina State University where she participated in a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery. She successfully completed her small animal internal medicine residency at the University of Florida in 1994 and became a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1998.

Dr. Levine brings with her years of practical experience. She practiced in Atlanta at a referral specialty hospital for thirteen years. She has also practiced at specialty hospitals and emergency and critical care facilities in Jacksonville, FL, Melbourne, FL and Asheville, NC prior to returning to Atlanta and joining the team at Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Levine is also an internal medicine consultant with Antech laboratories.

She enjoys all aspects of internal medicine but has special interests in endoscopy, immune-mediated diseases, and endocrine diseases.

In her spare time, Dr. Levine enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, golfing, and yoga. She is joined in Atlanta by her partner, Sandra, and their furry four-legged children.

Kelly O’Neill

DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)

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Rachel Perry

RVT

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Rachel Perry was born in Virginia but has spent most of her life here in Georgia. She has been interested in veterinary medicine from an early age. She began volunteering at animal rescue groups, spay and neuter clinics and started working at a vet hospital in high school.

She then attended Gwinnett Technical College and received her Associates of Applied Health Science in Veterinary Technology in 2017. Outside of work Rachel enjoys watching movies, running, and spending time with her family, friends, and two dogs Shorty and Tic-Tac.

Rena Greene

Veterinary Assistant

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Rena Greene grew up in Miami, Florida and Graduated from the University of Florida with a Psychology major and Wildlife Ecology Minor. She is currently working on her AS in Veterinary Technology online at San Juan College and will hopefully be sitting for her test to become a Registered Veterinary Technician in 2018.

Besides her passion for animals, Rena also loves nature, hiking, backpacking, crafts, and music. She loves living in Georgia with her husband, a herd of Chihuahuas, 2 flat-faced cats, a one-eyed parrot, and a crested gecko.

John Crowe

Veterinary Assistant

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Erin Baysinger

DVM, DACVS-SA

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Dr. Erin Baysinger was raised in Greenville, SC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the University of Georgia. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University in 2007 after completing her clinical year at Auburn University.

She completed a small animal rotating internship at MedVet Memphis in Memphis, TN in 2008, and a small animal surgical internship at Veterinary Specialists of Rochester in Rochester, NY in 2009.

She went on to complete her residency in small animal surgery at VCA Animal Specialty Center of South Carolina in Columbia, SC in 2013. She achieved her board certification as a small animal surgeon in February 2014 and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dr. Baysinger practiced as a small animal surgeon in the greater Atlanta area prior to joining Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Baysinger has a special interest in orthopedic surgery, cranial cruciate ligament disease, reconstructive surgery, and wound healing. Outside of work, she enjoys taking advantage of all Atlanta has to offer with her husband, Bryan, and their yellow Labrador, Jackson. She enjoys running, hiking, horseback riding, and traveling.

Ashley Smith

RVT

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Ashley Smith was born in Pennsylvania but has spent most of her life in Georgia. She has always had a profound interest in veterinary medicine and it has been her only focus as a career. In 2009, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Pre-vet from Georgia Southern University.

After graduation, she worked in general practice for a few years before deciding she wanted to gain more knowledge in the field. In May 2014, she graduated from Gwinnett Technical College and became a Registered Veterinary Technician in the state of Georgia. She is now a part of the surgical team at Saint Francis Veterinary Specialist. Ashley enjoys traveling, photography and spending time with her family.

Clare Myers

RVT

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Clare Myers was born in New York and raised in Georgia. She holds an Associates of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology which she completed at Gwinnett Technical college in 2017. She has been a member of the surgery team at Saint Francis since graduation and became a registered veterinary technician in August of 2017. Outside of work she enjoys cuddling with her 3 cats Hammy, Katy, and Niblet and gardening.

Leslie Roberts

RVT

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Leslie Roberts was born and raised in Georgia. After years of working in the retail industry, she decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Leslie received an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology from Gwinnett Technical College in 2012 and joined Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists shortly after graduation.

Leslie has an interest in internal medicine and oncology and hopes to obtain a veterinary technology specialty license in the future. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her husband and their two dogs.

Jessica Mobley Thiman

DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)

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Dr. Jessica Mobley Thiman is a native of Atlanta, GA. Dr. Thiman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science from the University of Georgia. She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia in 2012. The following year, she completed her one-year rotating internship at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

She went on to complete her residency in Oncology at the University of Georgia College Of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. Also in 2016, Dr. Thiman completed the examination and certification requirements for oncology, becoming a board-certified oncologist and member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Shortly after, she joined the staff at Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists. Outside of work, Dr. Thiman enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs.

Katherine Meers

Veterinary Assistant

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Katherine Meers was born in Athens, Georgia, and grew up in Decatur. She currently works at SFVS while attending Georgia State University where she is majoring in Psychology. She hopes to further her education and become a health and life coach after she graduates.

Outside of work, Katherine loves Crossfit and training with friends at her gym, CrossFit Identity, and is also a Level 1 Certified Crossfit Coach. Katherine also enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, friends, and her dog, Carlos.

Tasha Axam

DVM, DACVR

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Dr. Tasha Axam is a native of Atlanta, GA. Dr. Axam holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University. She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004.

In 2005 she completed her one-year rotating internship at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. She went on to complete her residency in Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Georgia School Of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. In September of 2008, Dr. Axam completed the oral and written exam for diagnostic imaging and radiology, becoming a board-certified radiologist and a member of the American College of Veterinary Radiology. Shortly after, she joined the staff at Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Axam has a love for exotic species and hopes to eventually volunteer her free time helping animals in places like Africa, Australia, and South America. In 2016 she received the greatest gift of her life, her son, Komari Sloan. Outside of work she is an avid CrossFitter and she enjoys traveling, sign language and being with family and her German Shepherd dog Karu. She is somewhat of a daredevil and loves extreme sports. She will try anything once including bungee jumping, skydiving and hang gliding, and looks forward to one-day scuba diving with sharks and rock climbing.

Amber Goldman

RVT

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Amber’s veterinary journey began working as an assistant at a downtown Atlanta day practice in 2012. She quickly learned veterinary medicine is serious and multifaceted and pursued becoming a Registered Technician by way of online studies through AAHA’s track with Cedar Valley Community College. She has since worked at specialty hospitals dabbling in several departments but finding that radiology is truly where her passion lies. In 2019, Amber is excited to pursue her VTS in diagnostic imaging and hopes to share her Radiology CE at conferences and other practices. She currently acts as preceptor to future RVT’s currently enrolled in various programs.

When not at work, Amber enjoys a myriad of hobbies and playing outside, as long as the temperature is above 60! Amber has enormous love for her senior dog Layla, and newest addition, an orange kitty named Oliver.

Elena Smith

Veterinary Assistant

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Elena Smith, born in Arkansas, grew up around animals on her family farm. She moved to Fairburn, GA in middle school, after graduating from Riverwood International Charter School, Elena obtained an Associates in Computer Technology and Systems. Although Elena enjoys the IT life she fosters canines and has always had a great attachment to animals. In 2014, Elena decided to kick her life up a notch to spend more time with animals by becoming a pet groomer and command dog trainer. In 2017, she became a Certified Veterinary Assistant. Besides her passion for animals Elena enjoys moonlight walks with her Schnauzer, kayaking and attending church missions.

Corinne Rehman

DVM, Director of Emergency Services

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Dr. Corinne Rehmann is originally from Michigan. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Saginaw Valley State University and went on to receive her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004.

She completed a small animal rotating internship and a residency in critical care and emergency medicine at Veterinary Specialists of South Florida. Following her residency, she worked at a specialty and emergency clinic in the Tampa Bay area. Dr. Rehman joined the emergency staff at Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists in 2014. At home, Dr. Rehmann has a pit bull named Bronson, 5 cats and saltwater fish tanks. In her spare time, she likes to cook, travel and practice yoga. Dr. Rehmann and her husband also enjoy sporting events, especially Michigan State football and basketball. Go Green!!

Kylene Peters

DVM

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Dr. Kylene Peters is a native of Denver, Colorado and has lived most of her life here in Atlanta. Dr. Peters played soccer and received an Associates of Science from Young Harris College and A Bachelor of Science Biology from Oglethorpe University.

She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Ross University finishing out her clinical year at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Peters has gone straight into working emergency since graduation from veterinary school. She and her husband have a passion for traveling the world. Outside of work, she likes to spend time with her family including her husband Jason and their two dogs, Super Cooper the Wonder Mutt and Stormin Norman the Midget Mutt. She enjoys being in the outdoors: snow skiing, cycling, camping, and photography. Despite her fear of heights, she enjoys rock climbing and has tried hang gliding.

Bridgid Lammers

DVM

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Dr. Bridgid Lammers is a native of Atlanta, Georgia who has recently returned to the area. She received a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from the University of Georgia and is an avid Georgia Bulldogs fan.

She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee and then completed a rotating internal medicine, surgery, and emergency internship at Carolina Veterinary Specialists. Soon after, she joined Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists where she feels she has the support and resources to practice the best possible emergency medicine. While Dr. Lammers enjoys the challenge and fast pace of emergency medicine, she also has a special interest in exotic and aquatic animals and hopes to fill her spare time working with some of these animals. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Wes, and two dogs, Jake and Reilly. Together they enjoy traveling, hiking, camping, watching movies, relaxing with a good book, and spending time with family and friends.

Melissa Ehrlich

DVM

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Dr. Melissa Ehrlich is originally from Wyomissing, PA, a small town outside of Philadelphia. Dr. Ehrlich received her Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. In 2009 Dr. Ehrlich completed a one-year rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, DC. She went on to complete a one-year specialty internship in small animal surgery at Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, CT. Dr. Ehrlich then moved to Boston, Massachusetts for three years where she worked at a large referral and emergency hospital as an emergency clinician. Dr. Ehrlich moved back to Atlanta, GA to join the Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists when the emergency service was opened in September of 2013. Outside of work, Dr. Ehrlich is an avid runner and since moving to Atlanta has completed her first half marathon and has run in the Peachtree Road Race. Dr. Ehrlich also enjoys photography, specifically taking pictures of her family, her Weimaraner Ella and two cats, Oliver and Gracie.

Danielia Bender

DVM

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Dr. Danielia Bender is a native of Nashville, TN. Dr. Bender earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Evansville in Indiana in 1998. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002.

Following completion of her degree, Dr. Bender completed a one-year internship at a private practice emergency and referral clinic in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Virginia. She was a general practitioner for five years before returning to emergency medicine in 2008. Outside of work, Dr. Bender enjoys traveling (she’s been to Mexico, France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy), reading, music, football, and being involved in her church. She is the owner of a stubborn but cute Pit Bull, Cinda.

Katie Belz

DVM

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Dr. Katie Belz attended Texas A & M University and graduated with her DVM in 2007. In 2008, she completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at the University of Florida. In 2011 Dr. Belz completed a small animal internal medicine residency at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Belz joined the Internal Medicine Service at Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists in 2011 and, in 2013, took a position with the Saint Francis Emergency Service as a full-time emergency doctor. Away from the office, Dr. Belz enjoys traveling, hiking and canine activities which include showing, lure coursing and obedience with her Ibizan Hounds.

Mandy Smith

DVM

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Adrian Switon

Veterinary Assistant

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Ashley Midds

Veterinary Assistant

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Ashley was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended Fort Valley State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Technology, completed an externship with the University of Georgia and went on to further her education with a Masters Degree of Public Health from Capella University.

Ashley remembers always having a love for animals and has volunteered to care for them from a very young age. She has been in the veterinary field since 2006 and has experience working at general practices, shelters, and spay/neuter clinics prior to joining Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists. Ashley enjoys traveling, spending time with her family and friends and is a passionate Falcons football fan. She has a Yorkie named Cinderella, two Rottweilers named Empire and Cookie and a Presa Canario named Richard Parker.

Erika Flores

Veterinary Assistant

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Jennifer Egwuatu

Veterinary Assistant

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Jennifer Egwuatu was born in Atlanta and grew up in Walnut Grove, Georgia. She started her career as a Primary Care Veterinarian Assistant in 2002 and has been employed at two other emergency clinics prior to starting at St Francis Veterinary Specialists in 2015.

She lives with her husband and 13-year-old son, two rescue dogs, Otis Batman a Shepherd mix, and Fat Face an American Bulldog.

Terrance Ellison

Veterinary Assistant

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T.J. Morland

Veterinary Assistant

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Nysheba Calhoun

Reception and Hospitality

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Nysheba Calhoun grew up in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Columbia High School of Decatur after moving to Atlanta. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State University in 2010.

In August of 2012, Nysheba followed her passion and love for animals by working as a veterinary assistant and client service coordinator at Banfield Pet Hospital. Nysheba joined Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists as a member of the Customer Service team in 2014 and is responsible for the management of telephone and email communications during specialty hours. Outside of work, Nysheba enjoys reading, teaching youth dance and spending time with her husband Robert and their daughter. She also has three loving dogs Fendi, Boston, and Brown.

Rob Robeck

Referral Coordinator

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Originally from the Midwest, Rob has been a resident of Decatur for 31 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Florida State University and joined the staff at Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists after a long career in the airline industry.

As an Inflight Service Manager, he provided exceptional client service on military charter flights to all corners of the world. Rob’s customer service focus is reception and hospitality and he manages the Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists reception desk during specialty hours. Over the past 30 years, Rob and his partner have fostered many pets until they could find loving, stable homes. He has a special fondness for small dogs, especially his Maltese mix Watson. In his spare time, Rob is a voracious reader of historical fiction and enjoys cooking and entertaining with his partner.

Chancey Lomax

Liaison

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Sandra Brown

Customer Service

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Sandra was born in Fort Riley, Kansas and spent the majority of her childhood in Queens, NY. When she was six years old, she found a box of five kittens on the sidewalk and there began her lifelong love of animals.

She took the kittens home, bathed them with the help of her mother and soon found a neighborhood pet store to help adopt each one of them out to a loving home. She remembers this clearly and attributes it to her continuing passion for rescuing and fostering all types of animals from bunnies and snakes to dogs and cats. If there is a neighborhood animal in need, it usually ends up at Sandra’s house.

Sandra has over twenty years of experience in the veterinary field and has managed several clinics. She loves what she does and is certified in canine aggression and behavior therapy. Her friends and family often refer to her as the dog/cat whisperer.

She has three beautiful daughters, five naughty grandchildren, a Great Dane, two Pitbulls, two cats, a lion head bunny and a snake. Her husband once said, “She would talk to a bird on the side of the road if she could”.

Briana Gillison

Customer Service

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April Bradley

Customer Service

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April is a native of Stone Mountain, Ga and has always had a love for animals. That special love along with her years of customer service experience evolved into her career as a veterinary receptionist for the past 8 years.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones and snuggling with her Chorkie, Rocko.

Candice Carter

Customer Service

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Candice Carter was raised in Decatur, Ga and graduated from Towers High School in 2003. She completed Georgia Medical Institute in 2006 to become a pharmacy technician. Candice has had animals her entire life and decided to pursue a career in the veterinary field in 2007.

She started her career at Mainstreet Veterinarians of Stone Mountain as Senior Front Desk Receptionist and has also been employed as a Front Desk Manager of Johns Creek Veterinary and Belle Isle Animal Hospital. Candice joined Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists in 2016 as an Emergency Customer Service Receptionist and is responsible for the management of telephone and email communications during emergency hours. Outside of work, Candice enjoys modeling, reading and spending time with her 8-year-old son Anthony and her 5-year-old Frenchie JoJo. Candice also enjoys pet sitting and has gained a lot of fur babies thru the years, who make her home their home when their parents are away!

Elaine Laing

Liason

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Kayla Hargrove

Patient Care Assistant

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Sheniekwa Smith

Patient Care Assistant

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Sharon Korwek

RVT, Patient Care Assistant

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Brittany Charoenlap

RVT

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Aston Lewis

Veterinary Assistant

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Kasundra Wilder

Veterinary Assistant

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Monique McKoy

Veterinary Assistant

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Perriez McIntosh

Veterinary Assistant

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Nisha Branch

Veterinary Assistant

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Donnisha was born in Brooklyn, New York and spent her childhood mostly along the east coast. Her love of animals began at an early age and she remembers well the day she was inspired to begin her veterinary career.

It was one evening in particular while she was still in high school, watching her usual favorite programs on Animal Planet, that she remembers grabbing the phone book to find a local veterinary clinic where she could volunteer and she has never looked back. Donnisha has a Bachelor of Science degree from Fort Valley, has done an externship at UGA and has been in the field since 2011. In her spare time, she loves to read, explore nature, continue her education and cuddle with her Chihuahua Lakota and kitty Jake.