Meet Our Team
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.
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.
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, a veiled chameleon, a cat, and an old hound dog.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Simon didn't know when he got his first hamsters that it would spiral into a lifelong passion for rodents, but now he runs Conyers Hamster Rescue and spends all of his time working with some of the smallest mammals in the world. He is always willing to talk your ear off about rodent husbandry. He has rats, mice, and hamsters as pets, and hopes to branch out into working with more exotic rodents both with his rescue and as pets in the future.
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.