Meet Our Team!
Sarah was born and raised in Onslow County, NC. When she was a kid she brought home strays…many, many strays! She loves anything with fur, feathers or fins. Growing up her grandparents had a small farm and many hunting dogs. The bus took her to their house every day after school until her mom came to get her and her brother. As soon as possible she would go straight outside to spend time with the animals. When her mom got there Sarah would normally be found curled up on the front porch with her favorite beagle, June Bug. Sarah’s whole family knew that she was destined to work in the veterinary field. In 2016 she began the Veterinary Assistant course at Carteret Community College. She landed her first job as a Veterinary Assistant in the middle of completing the course, and that’s where she met Dr. Michelle Cox. In May of 2017, she began working part-time with Dr. Cox assisting her with her mobile clinic. They traveled all over Carteret County and had so much fun seeing clients and patients in their own environment. Then Dr. Cox finally opened Island Pet where Sarah was staff member number one. She started as a full-time receptionist/vet assistant & quickly worked her way up to Office Manager. Sarah says, “I consider Island Pet to be my second home because “home” is the place where a person lives, or where they feel that they belong, that is exactly what I feel when I’m here. I work with AMAZING people who are incredibly knowledgeable and kind. We complement each other’s weaknesses and that’s why we work here more as a family than just as co-workers”. Sadly, she can’t live at Island Pet…so she shares her home with her boyfriend Marty, their 3 dogs (Gracie, Duke & Ginger) and 4 cats (Kitty, Callie, George & Leela). In her free time, Sarah enjoys paddle boarding, riding ATVs, and spending time with her friends. She will be going to college in the near future to meet the requirements to become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager.
Amanda was born and raised in Onslow County, NC. Growing up she spent a lot of time with her four-legged siblings ensuring they were happy and healthy. Amanda always knew she wanted to work in the veterinary field.
Amanda attended Coastal Carolina Community College in 2010 where she became a Certified Veterinary Assistant. While in school she gained lots of hands-on experience volunteering at Lynnwood Zoo and Possumwood Acres. After graduating she worked at a local veterinary hospital as a receptionist until she joined the Island Pet family in January 2018. She is dedicated to providing quality customer service to clients and their babies.
“It is great to work with people who share the same love of animals and strive to provide compassionate veterinary care” as Amanda puts it.
In her free time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband Mike, their sweet pup Daisy, and their 2 cockatiels who love to swoop down and taunt Daisy. She also enjoys doing live videos selling Paparazzi jewelry, sightseeing, shooting at the rifle range, and going to church.
Travis is the newest member of the Island Pet team. Travis says,” My love for animals and veterinary medicine is rivaled only by my love for family and friends. After 18+ years it’s hard to imagine myself in any other field.”
Travis found himself in veterinary medicine by a twist of fate, as he was in school for graphic design. He needed money for school and had a relative working for a veterinary hospital who got him a job. After his first few months working in veterinary medicine, he was in love.
Travis grew up around animals from rats to horses! Animals have always been a huge part of his life, but he admits “I’m more of a dog person”.
In the past, he has held many positions in veterinary medicine. He has a strong interest in the management aspects as well as the medicine and has attended many continuing education events to learn more about both.
He currently has 2 dogs. A 16-year-old miniature poodle named Charlie and a 1-year-old Goldendoodle named Hank Williams. On the human side, he and his wife Jennifer have 3 children (Jake, Riley, and Mylah).
When asked about why he came to work at Island Pet he said, “The best part of working at Island Pet is the willingness to work together and complete tasks as a cohesive group. More like a family than a place of business. The level of compassion and care is astounding and I’m lucky to have found my way here”. Island Pet feels the same way about Travis!
Annette is originally from Michigan. She started school in 1992 at Macomb Community College in Michigan, with hopes of becoming a registered veterinary technician. Annette worked at a Veterinary Hospital in MI, as a veterinary assistant during the time that she was going to school. Shortly after starting the program Annette’s husband, Frank, got a promotion that he couldn’t refuse. Frank’s promotion took them both to Maryland.
Annette was still dedicated to her education and transferred to a Community College in VA. She traveled from her home in Maryland to school in Virginia, then to work in Maryland. That’s a lot of time on the road! Over time, the commute between work, school, and home took a toll on Annette and made the difficult decision to put her education on hold.
Fortunately for Annette, she was still able to keep her job in Maryland, where she earned 20+ years of experience.
Annette and Frank loved to travel and would often find themselves on the beaches of Atlantic Beach, NC. They loved the location so much that they decided to move there in 2013. Annette worked at a few local animal hospitals over the years and found Island Pet in May of 2018. Working at Island Pet has allowed Annette to combine both of her passions, caring for animals and living on the beach. In her own words “I enjoy working with all of the wonderful doctors and staff here at Island Pet”.
To relax, Annette loves dolphin watching, spending time with her two dogs (Sara & Finn) and 2 cats (Kittery & Sailor), and she will never turn down the chance to spend time sitting on the beach, taking in the smells and sounds of nature.
Cheyenne always knew she wanted to work with animals. She met Dr. Cox during her senior year of high school when she took an internship class on veterinary medicine. She later did her senior project with her as well. Dr. Cox took Cheyanne under her wing and asked her if she would like to work with her in her mobile service. Cheyenne took the opportunity and was one of the first employees at Island Pet. In fact, she even helped paint the walls before it opened. She says,” I absolutely love my job and all the other employees we have gained. It feels like we are a little family”. Cheyenne is currently enrolled in Penn Fosters Veterinary Technician Program and has completed the Veterinary Assistant Course through Carteret Community College. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with her family and friends. She lives on a mini farm consisting of horses, chickens, turtles, fish, dogs, cats, birds and bearded dragons. She just recently started archery and is in love with it. She also likes to target practice and enjoys being in the water or by a fire.
While in school, Erica worked as a wildlife rehabilitator at an animal sanctuary home to 15+ species of exotics, both local and foreign. She also worked on a goat and chicken farm. She later became a training technician in ER, ICU, Dermatology, Internal Medicine, and Surgery. One of her most exciting adventures was as a training tech at Six Flags Safari as a zoo tech while finishing school.
In 2016 she graduated from Mercy College with a B.S. in Natural Science with a concentration in Veterinary Technology. Soon after, she obtained her license as a Veterinary Technologist.
New York life wasn’t for her and she moved down to the coast with her now husband, JR. She’s now been with Island Pet since we opened! She has a very busy career working with us and also Swansboro Animal Hospital Emergency and Trauma, if you happen to run into her there overnights. She also spends some time with the local alpacas!
When she’s not working you can probably find her swimming or working out at the gym or relaxing with furry and scaly family at home.
Originally from upstate New York, Lisa, otherwise known to us as the “Cat Whisperer”, has been working in veterinary medicine for 18+ years. She started her career at the S.P.C.A of Virginia Beach as a Veterinary assistant. She quickly was promoted to Manager of the aggressive animal kennels where she was able to determine and assess their ability to be immediately adopted or to need training before becoming available. Her family, being military, then moved to Onslow County where she continued to pursue her love and affection for animals and veterinary care.
She has vast experience in all aspects of veterinary medicine from working within multiple types of veterinary hospitals and many talented doctors. Lisa is known to have a limitless amount of love for cats and is our go-to person when kitties are in need of comfort.
Desiring to work in a veterinary hospital with a higher passion for animal care, she left her former position and moved over to Island Pet Veterinary Hospital in February of 2017 as an early member of the staff. She now resides in Jacksonville with her five cats (Mama, Charlie, Wee-Wee, Little Man and Gus Gus). She also has two dogs (Bocephus and Joey). All rescues.
In Lisa’s spare time she enjoys playing softball with her husband, Adam, crocheting/knitting, and riding ATV’s, fishing with her son, Caleb, and playing with her babies (cats). Her husband thinks he has married a version of Snow White! Lisa is also a talented artist.
Katie grew up as the typical little girl obsessed with all animals, especially horses. She knew one day she would become a veterinarian. She did everything she needed to do to get into college at Virginia Tech to start her undergrad education as an animal and poultry science major with an interest in equine studies. Life happened, and instead of finishing her degree at Virginia Tech, her path changed to lead her to Martin Community College in Williamston, NC. In 2011, Katie obtained an AAS in Equine Technology, even having to take an extra year when she broke her arm riding at school. While attending MCC, Katie became certified in Equine Sports Massage Therapy and Canine Massage Therapy, combining her love for horses and interest in alternative medicine. After graduating and getting married, Katie returned to her hometown of Stafford, VA and began her dream job (second to being a veterinarian) as an equine technician at a mixed practice in Purcellville, VA. Life happened again, and Katie found out that she was going to be a mother! The drive to Purcellville was no longer reasonable, so she was able to obtain a veterinary assistant position at a local small animal and exotic practice. This is really where Katie started to learn and to grow her veterinary nursing skills. Katie moved back to North Carolina and has worked at two other small animal practices, one being an integrative medicine practice, before finally landing a position at Island Pet. She could not be more proud to work with such an amazing team. Katie now lives in Swansboro with her two children, dog (Mideez) and a cat (Mrs. Wolowitz) that she fosters through Colonial Capital Humane Society. In all the spare time she has as a single mother, she enjoys trips to the beach, reading, and sleeping! Someday soon she hopes to go back to school to become a registered veterinary technician.
Veterinary Assistant / Reception / Social Media
Mackenzie was born and raised in Michigan, where she spent every moment possible on a farm or in a barn spending time with horses, being followed by the farm dogs, and trying to befriend the cattle. She participated in a co-op during her last two years of high school studying veterinary medicine. After school and during the summer she worked her first job as a kennel hand and veterinary assistant at her local veterinary clinic. She then began a veterinary technician program immediately following high school but knew she wanted to move south to the mountains and left after completing a couple of semesters. She landed in northeast Tennessee, where she went to a grooming academy and groomed dogs for a few years until she married her husband, a Marine. The USMC took them to Okinawa, Japan where she worked as a technician assistant at the veterinary clinic on base. When they arrived back stateside Mackenzie took a couple of years off to raise her son, and after working in Havelock for a year she found Island Pet Veterinary Hospital. Mackenzie says she, “loves the happy, friendly atmosphere at Island Pet, and thrives working with a team that supports and encourages one another while always putting their patients first”. Mackenzie enjoys doing x-rays, learning about ultrasound and echocardiograms, and playing with Fred, the clinic bearded dragon. When not at Island Pet she enjoys spending time with her family, working in her garden, hiking, kayaking, going to the beach, and adding to her collection of houseplants. Her animals include a husband, a son, a Great Dane, a Miniature Pinscher, and a longhaired one-eyed cat.
Resident Bearded Dragon
When asked why she loves being an Island Pet team member, Esquina responded with “There is just so much love and compassion here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else or with anyone else.”
When asked why she loves being an Island Pet team member, Coneja responded with “Because I am loved and spoiled every day. I live for the smiles I bring to people’s faces! I truly believe my purpose is to inspire people and other animals. I also like my vacations to my friend’s houses.”
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