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Our Careteam

Practice Manager
Abby grew up on a farm surrounded by a plethora of animals, including dogs, cats, chickens, cows, pigs, horses, goats, chinchilla's, guinea pigs (the list could go on). With that upbringing, working and being around animals just became part of her nature. And while she didn’t initially set out to work in the veterinary industry, Abby is now living out her dream job, combining her love of both animals and business.

After high school, Abby went on to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she earned her bachelor’s in business, followed by her master’s in business administration. She spent seven years working for a company in marketing and management before she discovered an opportunity to work at South Rhea Animal Hospital. Her leap of faith paid off when she officially joined the team in February of 2023.

At home, Abby has one dog of her own, a spunky golden retriever named Etta whose favorite thing in the world is car rides. Etta loves accompanying her mom to the clinic, so if you see a hyper golden running around, be sure to give her some scratches! In her spare time, you can usually find Abby doing some type of outdoor activity or project. She also enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and managing her side business as a professional photographer.
Office Manager
Growing up, Joy remembers always having pets who were treated like part of the family. Even as a young child, she knew she wanted to one day work with animals. In her more than two decades working in the veterinary industry, Joy has seen and experienced many things – some heartwarming, others heartbreaking. But while this job can sometimes be an emotional rollercoaster, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Helping animals every day is something Joy cherishes!

Despite having no prior office or administrative experience, Joy decided to take a leap of faith and apply for the role of receptionist here at South Rhea Animal Hospital. That was back in 1999. Fortunately (for her AND for us), she was hired and provided all the training she needed. Since that time, Joy has been promoted to assistant office and inventory manager, and now holds the title of office manager. She is grateful for the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and be recognized for her hard work and determination!

Outside of work, Joy resides with her husband of 25 years and their teenage daughter, Sunnie. Their fur-family consists of three dogs: Cleopatra (a.k.a. Cleo), Aurora and Cocoa; a one-eyed cat named Curtis Lowe; and a hairless bambino cat named Hairy, who is like a toddler - into everything! When she’s not busy working or tending to the animals, Joy likes to read and go thrift store shopping with Sunnie. Her greatest accomplishment in life has been her family.
Head Receptionist
Unlike many of her colleagues, Krissy didn’t have a lifelong goal of working in the veterinary industry. In fact, she initially took the job as receptionist here at South Rhea primarily due to its proximity to family. It didn’t take long, however, for Krissy to realize how many pets out there are truly in need. Now that she’s had the opportunity to become a voice for those who don’t have one, she can’t imagine working in any other field!

After working a string of unfulfilling jobs, Krissy began working here at the clinic in 2019, having grown up right down the road. Over the years since, Krissy has interacted with many animals, but none made as lasting an impression on her as Traveller, who was brought in by his rescue family to be euthanized due to aggression. Upon meeting Traveller and seeing what a sweet and loving dog he was, neither Krissy nor the technician could bring themselves to put him down. After some much-needed medical attention and some TLC, Traveller was given a second chance at life, and now lives in his fur-ever home up north.

At home, Krissy is married to her high school sweetheart, Jamie. Their family consists of a human son named Oliver and two four-legged “children” – a German shepherd named Rocky, and a lab/husky mix named Slade. Krissy’s personal interests include playing with Oliver, gaming with Jamie, spending time with the pups, and making art.
Bio coming soon.
Born and raised in Rhea County, Darcy spent many years living on a farm, surrounded by everything from goats and cattle to llamas and emus. Her mother also routinely rescued and rehabilitated wildlife, including a few baby squirrels and opossums. The experience instilled in Darcy a deep love and respect for animal care. As a receptionist and technician trainee here at South Rhea Animal Hospital, Darcy is now able to apply her skills and passion toward helping animals on a professional basis.

Prior to taking a job here, Darcy spent 16 years working in human medicine. The opportunity to combine her love of animals with her lifelong fascination with medicine seemed like a better option, so she switched gears and joined the South Rhea team in February of 2021. Professionally, Darcy enjoys participating in hands-on procedures. She also loves the puppies who come in and make everyone smile.

At home, Darcy is happily married to her husband, Jonathan. In addition to their grown son, Cameron, the couple also has a couple of four-legged children, including a bearded dragon named Drake and a rescued Chihuahua mix named Koda, who often accompanies Darcy to work. In her spare time, Darcy enjoys creating art – particularly painting with acrylic.
Head Licensed Veterinary Medical Technician
Animals have always been a big part of Autumn’s life. From a very young age, she suffered with anxiety. Back then, and to this very day, animals served as her support and outlet. They bring her a sense of happiness and comfort. As a way to give back, Autumn strives to do everything she can to make sure they are taken care of. Becoming a veterinary technician has allowed her to do just that!

During high school, Autumn was very active in FFA and 4-H. Her participation in these clubs provided an up-close and personal view of what it’s like to take care of livestock. Autumn was hooked! At age 16, she began working at a kennel and grooming facility. There, she received hands-on experience with small animals. Following high school, she enrolled in the veterinary technology program at Chattanooga State Community College. Having completed her rotations at South Rhea, Autumn didn’t hesitate to accept an offer to join the team upon her graduation in the summer of 2022. She hasn’t looked back since!

Outside of work, Autumn has one fur baby of her own, a pitbull/hound mix named Dexter. Dexter was found on the side of the road in Atlanta, and Autumn’s brother adopted him from the Atlanta Humane Society. Dexter has everyone in the family wrapped around his paw. Some of his favorite things to do include chasing squirrels, playing fetch, and taking naps. If you see him walking around the clinic, feel free to give him some love!

One of Autumn’s biggest personal interests is cars – especially Mustangs. In fact, everyone in her family has one. She also enjoys working out and striving to get stronger.
Licensed Veterinary Medical Technician
Growing up on a farm in Bledsoe County, Emilee developed a passion for animals at a very young age. When she wasn’t outside trying to rescue every stray animal in need, you could usually find her glued to the TV, watching Animal Planet. As she grew older, Emilee’s desire to help animals only grew, and she ultimately turned that love of all creatures into a career as a veterinary technician. She truly feels this is what she’s been called by God to do!

Emilee wasted no time preparing for her future. She took pre-vet and agriculture classes in high school and spent time volunteering at a local animal shelter during her down time. In 2014, she enrolled in the veterinary technology program at Chattanooga State, through which she was placed at South Rhea Animal Hospital for her clinicals. In May of 2017, she graduated and officially joined the team as an employee.

Emilee has been happily married to her childhood sweetheart, AJ, since July of 2021. They are currently in the process of expanding their human family and building their “forever home” on family land in Bledsoe County. Their animal family consists of cows, chickens, ducks, pigs, dogs, and cats. They’re also looking into adding some donkeys and goats into the mix as well.

In her free time, Emilee is heavily involved in her church, Mt. Crest Church of God of Prophecy. Other than that, she enjoys being at home with her family, watching TN sports and old time shows and movies. While in high school, Emilee was involved in a lot of clubs, sports, and outreaches. One of her biggest accomplishments thus far has been getting her state degree in FFA. Emilee and her dad enjoy fishing together and she and her mom enjoy shopping together.
Licensed Veterinary Medical Technician
Perhaps the only thing Chyann was more interested in as a child besides animals was science. She knew without a doubt that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but at the same time, couldn’t picture herself working with human patients. A little research led her to discover the role of veterinary technician, and it was settled. Today, she is thriving in a career that allows her to combine her two favorite things in the world!

Chyann graduated high school early in 2019 and immediately enrolled in Chattanooga State Community College, where she studied veterinary technology for two years. In May of 2022, she graduated with her associate degree in applied science in veterinary technology. While in school, Chyann completed her clinical rotations at South Rhea Animal Hospital. It was such a good fit, that she officially joined the team as an employee in June of 2022.

A self-proclaimed “Weenie Whisperer,” Chyann has two miniature dachshunds named Sophie and Bandit. Sometimes they’re too smart and stubborn for their own good, but they make up for their antics with their fierce loyalty. Sophie’s favorite pastime is chasing chipmunks, and one of her “quirks” is selective listening. Bandit enjoys landscaping, digging holes all over the yard thinking he "smells" moles underground. Both pups know how to roll over like hot dogs roasting!

Chyann’s greatest achievement in life thus far has been graduating with her degree, passing the VTNE and obtaining her state LVMT license. Through all the restless, tearful exam weeks, she pushed through in order to be the best tech she can be for her patients. Chyann’s next goal is earning her bachelor's.
Licensed Veterinary Medical Technician
Growing up in Soddy-Daisy, TN, Christian can’t remember a time when her family didn’t have at least one pet at home. An avid equestrian, she was always intrigued whenever the vet would come to care for the family horses and would ask lots of questions whenever she accompanied her small companion animals to the clinic. It seemed only natural that Christian would one day find herself working in the veterinary industry.

In 2019, Christian’s horse had to be euthanized. The experience pushed her to want to dig deeper and learn more about disease processes and how to prevent it. Shortly thereafter, she entered the veterinary technology program at Chattanooga State. Upon graduation in 2022, she took the VTNE and officially became licensed as a veterinary medical technician. Christian joined the South Rhea Animal Hospital, where she plans to continue to further her knowledge of veterinary medicine.

At home, Christian has two cuddly pugs: Pugsley and Tanto, both of whom are total couch-potatoes. She also has an American quarter horse named Cherokee, with whom Christian enjoys western riding. In her free time, you can usually find Christian enjoying a cup of coffee, crafting, or out riding Cherokee.
Veterinary Assistant / Surgery Assistant
Growing up in Dayton, TN, Allison can’t remember a time when her close-knit family didn’t have at least one dog or cat running around. While everyone loved them, Allison was the one who took care of them. Even back then, she knew she would one day work with animals. When she saw an ad in the paper in seek of a kennel person, she jumped at the chance to join the South Rhea team. She hasn’t looked back since!

Allison came aboard in 1996, a year after the clinic was built. At the time, she was still in high school, so the weekend and evening hours were perfect for her. Over the years, Allison has worked her way up from kennel attendant to groomer to veterinary assistant and both room and surgery technician. She also handles all of our inventory. Professionally, she really enjoys working with all the different and exciting animals. Every day is different and it’s never boring!

Outside of work, Allison resides with her husband, Dale, and their two children. Their ever-growing animal family consists of Gunner, a German shepherd who is a 94-pound, car-ride-loving bundle of energy; Gypsy, a Chihuahua mix who is the boss of the house; Zeus, an Australian shepherd mix who looks more like a rottweiler and rules the backyard; cats Gabe and Bear, both of whom adore Gunner; and last but not least, a seven-foot boa constrictor named Nagini.

In her spare time, Allison enjoys art and photography – particularly nature pictures. She also loves to read. Mystery, true crime, history, and myth/legend/ghost stories are her favorite genres. She and her sister also like to play Hunt a Killer.
Surgery Assistant
When Amanda was in first grade, she made up her mind that she would one day work with animals. Every day when she came home from school, she’d spend all of her free time tending to the family’s many pets, which included dogs, cats, and goats. While her life may have taken a few detours over the years, Amanda ultimately found her way back to what she was most passionate about: caring for animals.

After high school, Amanda enrolled in college where she studied communications and sociology. Deep down, however, she knew she wasn’t following her true calling in life. In 2007, after a couple of years working an unfulfilling desk job, Amanda came across an ad for a position at South Rhea Animal Hospital and decided to take a chance. Within a year of working at the clinic and gaining valuable hands-on clinical experience, she was promoted to surgery assistant.

When she’s not busy at work doing what she loves, Amanda can usually be found spending time with her husband, their young son, Easton, and the family’s three Chihuahuas: Sugar, Bert, and Bo. All three dogs are rescues. Amanda’s hobbies include hiking and reading a good book.
Veterinary Assistant and Receptionist
Growing up with a grandfather who was a dairy farmer, you could say that working with animals was in Linda’s blood. During her junior year of high school, Linda raised her own steer, Rufus, who became so tame, he was more like an overgrown Saint Bernard than a bovine. The experience of raising and training Rufus made Linda realize that she wanted to work with animals as a career, and the rest is history!

Linda’s journey began in 1979 in Dunedin, FL, where she worked as a veterinary technician. After spending nearly twenty years at her first clinic, she moved on to a different practice in Belleair Bluffs, FL. During which time, she also simultaneously went back to school and earned her Certificate of Veterinary Hospital Management. Nearly two decades later, she and her husband moved to Soddy Daisy, where she spent six years at another clinic before joining the South Rhea team in April of 2021.

At home, Linda is happily married to her husband of nearly three decades, Robert, with whom she has two sons who still reside in Florida. Currently, the couple has two dogs: a Westie named Abbey, who is a total mama’s girl and will park herself between Linda’s legs while she’s preparing food; and a lab/pit bull mix named Kellye, who is obsessed with her outside ball and will go into complete panic mode if she can’t find it.

In her free time, Linda enjoys crafting, shopping, spending time with Robert, and gardening. Her greatest achievements in life are her two boys: J.R. and Justin.
Veterinary Assistant
Growing up on a lake in Sale Creek, TN, most of Amy’s free time as a child was spent outdoors, swimming, canoeing, and biking. Of all her hobbies and activities, though, animals were her number one. She fondly recalls dressing up the neighborhood tom cats in baby doll clothes and playing vet with them in the playhouse her dad had built. Today, Amy is living her childhood dream of working with animals as a career.

Amy’s journey began in 2005, straight out of high school. Seven years, another clinic, one husband, and two kids later, she felt God calling her closer to home. She stopped by South Rhea Animal hospital in 2011 to inquire about the possibility of returning to work here, and the rest is history!

At home, Amy and her husband, Adam, have three children: Ayden (“Jeb”), Ava, and Anslie. The family has two dogs: Olive, a senior Shih Tzu, and Birdie, a well-behaved and eager-to-please French bulldog. They also have a fish, a bunny, five ducks, five goats and several chickens. In her free time, Amy enjoys crafting, grabbing coffee with friends, gathering chicken eggs, and raising baby chicks and baby goats.
Veterinary Assistant
When Nikki was a child, she was always fascinated with medicine and science. She also had a passion for animals. A career in the medical industry with the ability to work with animals seemed like the ideal path, and while she may have started out working with humans, she quickly discovered veterinary medicine was more her speed. Nikki came aboard as veterinary assistant here at South Rhea and hasn’t looked back since!

Nikki joined the South Rhea team in March of 2022, shortly after starting on her bachelor’s degree in business administration with Ashworth College. Her dream job would be to one day manage a veterinary clinic. One of Nikki’s most memorable cases so far has been assisting with her grandmother’s dog, who came in as a walk-in emergency. The experience cemented her decision to work in veterinary medicine.

Outside of work, Nikki resides with her husband Jason, who is her biggest supporter. Together, the couple has three fur babies of their own, including a black ragdoll cat named Azreal who loves to cuddle, and two rabbits: Honey, a holland lop, and Freya, a rex. Freya is sweet and cuddly, but Honey…not so much.

Most of Nikki’s hobbies involve art or music in some form. She plays both the piano and the ukulele and was heavily involved in chorus from grade school right through high school. One interesting fact about Nikki is that she has significant hearing loss in both ears and requires hearing devices. As a result, she has taught herself sign language over the years, and continues to learn more every day.
Veterinary Assistant
Growing up in Graysville at the "foot of the mountain," Taylor always knew she wanted to work with animals. Her home was a haven for all sorts of pets, from traditional dogs and cats to tarantulas and pigs. Sometimes a stray would come along who was sick, and Taylor would get to play doctor and try to nurse them back to health. Her favorite activity, though, was bottle-feeding baby calves with her father. These experiences motivated her to continue to learn and grow into the field of veterinary medicine.

In 2017, Taylor found out that South Rhea Animal Hospital was hiring a kennel attendant and eagerly applied for the job. After a couple of years, she knew she wanted to play a more active role in helping animals who were brought to the clinic, so she worked her way up to veterinary assistant. Taylor is currently enrolled in the Veterinary Technician program at Chattanooga State. In the meantime, she is excited for the opportunity to continue learning new things while working here at the clinic.

Outside of work, Taylor resides with her fiancé, Devin, and daughter, Rhiannon. Their fur babies include three dogs: Pretty Gurl, Azazel and Buckwheat. Pretty Gurl is a one-eyed terrier mix who you may see running around the clinic. Azazel is a sweet cuddle bug who was found wandering the parking lot at work. Last but not least is Buckwheat, a trouble-making red heeler who thinks stealing food from Rhiannon is a fun game. The two of them are definitely partners in crime.
Kennel Attendant
As far back as she can remember, Starla has always had a deep love for animals. One day she saw an ad in the newspaper for a kennel attendant and decided to apply. Nearly 25 years later, Starla’s passion for helping pets live their best lives is still going strong!

Prior to joining South Rhea, Starla spent two years working the kennel at another nearby animal hospital. While there, she also learned how to groom. After moving to Sale Creek, Starla learned that South Rhea was looking for a groomer. She officially came aboard in August of 1998 and has been here ever since!

Outside of work, Starla lives with her husband of nearly 30 years and their plethora of pets. Their current crew consists of eight cats (Bug, Gary, Boo, Tyrone, Tyreek, Durito, LaFonda, Ta Neshia, and Katana), a dog named Jonas, and two goats: Biscuit and Thumper.

When she’s not busy tending to her personal zoo, Starla enjoys spending time with her two sons, going for walks, swimming, and watching movies.
Kennel Attendant
Throughout Blake’s childhood, his mother worked here at South Rhea Animal Hospital. Back then, you could usually find him parked in front of the television watching Steve Irwin or any other animal-related show. His fascination with animals and desire to learn more about them, coupled with his family’s connection to South Rhea, made working here a logical next step.

Blake became one of our kennel attendants a few years ago, after his mother came home and told him of the opening. The rest is history. Outside of work, Blake lives with his family and their three dogs: Ricky, Jade, and Kiera. Ricky likes to swim, Jade prefers playing outside over being around people, and Kiera only likes Blake’s mom. In his spare time, Blake enjoys movies, art, video games, and MMA.
Kristin has always been the creative type. While she initially set out to become an interior designer, she decided early on that a trade would be better. Having always loved animals, grooming seemed to be a natural path for her, so she earned her license and officially launched her career.

Having grown up on Long Island, Kristin moved to Tennessee at the age of 21 to be with her boyfriend and future husband who was planning to attend UTC. After completing her grooming program, Kristin was hired at the same grooming salon where she’d interned. When that place closed, she joined the South Rhea Animal Hospital team.

Outside of work, Kristin lives on five acres of land with her husband and their young son. Their animal family consists of two goats, two pigs, five cats, and seven dogs. When she’s not busy chasing her son and tending to their own personal zoo, Kristin enjoys reading and drawing.

865 Rhea County Hwy
Dayton, TN 37321
(423) 775-5619
Also serving Sale Creek, TN and surrounding areas.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri 7am-6pm
Saturday 8am-12pm

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