Meet Our Team

 
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Veterinarians

Our doctors work exclusively with exotic animals, and are members of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, American Veterinary Medical Association, and Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.

 
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Dr. Jason Hutcheson

Owner, earned a BS in Biology from Georgia Southern University in 1994. He then obtained his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia in 1998. He worked at For Pet's Sake while attending vet school and joined the veterinary staff full time in 2001. In 2006, he purchased the practice from Dr. Shepherd.  He and his partner live with a Sheltie, an Amazon parrot, and a Texas longnose snake. He is also the owner of Basic Soap & Candles, LLC.

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Dr. Holly Burchfield

Graduated from Clemson University in 2011. She attended the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, where she graduated with an emphasis in Zoological Medicine in 2015. Dr. Burchfield has a special interest in wildlife and serves as the Director of Veterinary Medicine at the Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort (AWARE). She lives with her husband in Decatur with a full house of a tortoise, two cats and one old hound dog.

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Dr. Kelsey Paras

Graduated from University of Delaware in 2009 with a BS in entomology and wildlife conservation, Oklahoma State University in 2011 with an MS in entomology and plant pathology, and The Ohio State University in 2015 with her DVM. She is currently completing a PhD in infectious diseases with a focus on parasitology at the University of Georgia. She currently lives in Decatur with her dog, Stella, and rabbit, Bjorn.

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Dr. Julia Hill

Received her DVM from the University of Georgia.  Dr. Hill completed an internship at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel, FL, where she learned advanced diagnostics and medicine on a variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals.  She is an Avian Fear Free practitioner, and enjoys teaching owners how to care for their unique pets to ensure a long, happy life and a wonderful lifelong bond.

Technicians and Staff

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Stacy has been a veterinary technician here since 1995. She is a lover of all things furred, feathered and scaled. She loves working with these animals as well as educating people about how to properly care for them. Every day is something new and exciting! Her own family consists of her husband, two human kids, cats, birds tortoises and a dog.

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Mark is originally from Minnesota. He is one of our veterinary technicians. Prior to working for For Pet's Sake, Mark worked in three public aquariums, including Georgia Aquarium, and has also worked as a curator for Rainforest Cafe. He has a cat named Charlie, an African grey parrot named Max, and a macaw named Midori.

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Debbie joined For Pet's Sake for a second time in July of 2015. While Debbie finds exotic animals quite fun, her preference is for the small furry mammals. When she's not working, she enjoys yoga classes and other activities. Her family consists of cats, guinea pigs, and a few finches.

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Katie is the Operations Manager, handling important tasks such as payroll and office snacks. Katie attended Georgia State University where she studied Anthropology. She is very passionate about primates and feminism. She currently lives with her fiancé in Decatur with one sweet kitty, one old dog, three guinea pigs, a fat bearded dragon, and a ball python.

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Alaska has loved animals since they were a child, growing up with everything from macaws and ferrets to cats and dogs. Always ready to try something new, they love working with animals and sharing their love, excitement, and admiration of animals and wild places. As Steve Irwin says, “If we can get people excited about animals, then by crikey, it makes it a heck of a lot easier to save them.”

 

Our Founder

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Dr. Mimi Shepherd

Dr. Mimi Shepherd is the founder of For Pet's Sake. She has recently retired. Dr. Shepherd graduated from Florida State University in 1975 earning a BS in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics. After working at the Food and Drug Administration for a few years she attended the University of Georgia, earning her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. In 1999, she obtained Diplomate (Avian) status of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr. Shepherd lives with a flock of small birds, three dogs, and one tortoise.