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Fear Free Certified Practice

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Our Careteam

Fear Free for Sure! We are proud to be a Fear Free certified clinic!
Your pet’s emotional and physical well-being is prioritized with every visit.
We put the patients first!

Our Careteam

Megan Loeslein

Megan Loeslein

Practice Manager, CVPM


Megan likes to say that her passion for animals began before she could even talk. She’s felt an indescribable connection with the earth’s creatures ever since she was a little girl, and she’s always wanted to do everything in her power to help others in need—four- and two-legged alike. For Megan, bettering the lives of not only pets, but their loving owners as well, is a dream come true!

Megan is a Virginia Beach native and attended Old Dominion University to study biology. She launched her career in the animal-care world as a Veterinary Assistant after college, and has been helping pets and animal parents ever since. Now, she’s the Office Manager here at Barker Animal Hospital and loves to keep things running smoothly day in and day out. Megan especially likes to help educate the public on the best ways to care for their pets, including with Fear-Free techniques that pet owners can use at home! She received her CVPM certification in April 2021.

When she’s not at work, Megan likes spending time outdoors and loves to relax at the beach, go wakeboarding, and play Frisbee golf. She has one pet: Scooter, a miniature Schnauzer.


Jazzmyn Brunson

Jazzmyn Brunson

Office Manager


Like so many of her colleagues, Jazzmyn entered the veterinary industry because she wanted to make a difference in the lives of animals. In her role as Office Manager here at Barker Animal Hospital, Jazzmyn loves putting smiles on clients’ faces and helping to make the experience for our patients as stress-free as possible.

Jazzmyn originally began her career working at a grooming business, where she was responsible for bathing and drying dogs. About a year later, she started working at a vet clinic as a kennel technician and then worked her way up to receptionist before finally joining the Barker team. Professionally, Jazzmyn particularly enjoys making follow up calls. She also loves our Pet of the Day program, because she enjoys seeing the owners’ faces light up when they learn their pet has been chosen.

At home, Jazzmyn spends most of her personal time caring for her growing fur-family. She has three dogs: a Pomeranian named Lilly, who likes to chase the other pups; a pit mix named Koffie, who enjoys long walks and a good game of fetch; and Niko, an American Eskimo who loves to snooze on top of pillows. She also has two domestic shorthaired cats named Peaches and Oreo, who love catnip and playing with the dogs; and a ferret named Layra, who is a perpetual shoe thief.

When she’s not busy working or running her mini-zoo at home, Jazzmyn loves to sing – something she’s done competitively for many years.


Kelly Wood

Kelly Wood

Licensed Veterinary Technician


Kelly always knew that she wasn’t suited for a desk job, and she had adored animals ever since her earliest days. That’s why she decided to become a veterinary professional. Now, Kelly is kept on her toes at all times and gets to learn new things on a daily basis, all while helping the area’s pets and animal owners live happier, healthier lives! She’s a proud member of Barker Animal Hospital’s Veterinary Technician team.

Kelly is originally from the Indianapolis area, and received her Bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in animal behavior from Indiana University. She completed several internships for her schooling, including one spent helping to rehabilitate wildlife, and decided to return to school to become a Veterinary Technician. The rest is history!

Kelly moved from San Diego to the Chesapeake area in the summer of 2019 for her husband’s military career, and it wasn’t long before she had signed on here at Barker Animal Hospital. She particularly enjoys radiology work and the way it can help her determine what’s going on with a patient internally. Above all, Kelly loves meeting and greeting new pet owners and helping their animal companions to feel comfortable and welcome here at the clinic.

Kelly’s interests away from work include reading great books, visiting National Parks, and swimming—she even obtained a few scuba-diving certifications during college. At home, she and her husband share their lives with two cats: Luke, who acts more like a dog and follows Kelly around everywhere she goes; and Leia, who is the best at cuddling once she warms up to someone.


Kendra

Kendra

Licensed Veterinary Technician


When Kendra was a child, she loved animals so much that she planned on becoming a veterinarian, so that she could save them all. She would quickly realize that it would be impossible to save them, but she could do something that was just as helpful. She could help provide them with the best care and educate their owners about the right ways to care for them. As a licensed veterinary technician at Barker Animal Hospital, she’s able to live out her dream every single day!

Kendra is passionate about all animals, but nothing brings her more joy than being around horses – she absolutely loves them and considers them to be a big part of her lifestyle. She resides with her husband, an active duty technician in the Navy. Together they own a horse named Mister, along with 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a gecko.

When Kendra’s not busy at the hospital saving animals, she enjoys hiking, art and museums.  She also has her motorcycle license, so you can find her cruising down the road on her Harley Davidson as the wind blows through her hair!


Sierra

Sierra

Veterinary Assistant, Kennel Technician


Sierra can’t remember a time when she didn’t adore the company of animals. For her, helping pets to stay as healthy as possible is a dream come true—she gets to do just that on a daily basis as a member of the Barker Animal Hospital family!

Sierra’s veterinary journey began when signed on for the Veterinary Assistant program at Tidewater Community College. It didn’t take her long to know that she’d made the perfect choice! After finishing her studies, Sierra was happy to accept a job here at the clinic in June of 2016. She’s been a member of the hospital family ever since.

In her free time, Sierra can be found exploring nature, relaxing on the beach, catching a yoga class, and enjoying the company of her own pets at home. She has two dogs: Stella, a Terrier/Pit Bull mix who almost always ends up in Sierra’s lap giving her kisses; and a sassy Great Dane named Vela who tends to forget she’s too big to be a lap dog.


Lauren Wright

Lauren Wright

Veterinary Assistant


Lauren used to work in early childhood education, but she knew that she wanted a change of pace while still getting to put her nurturing instincts to good use. When the opportunity arose for her to join the veterinary field, she knew it was too good of a chance to pass up! Lauren has been helping pets professionally ever since. She’s a part of Barker Animal Hospital’s talented Veterinary Assistant team.

Lauren grew up in Yorktown and moved to Norfolk to begin her journey in veterinary care. She worked at a number of practices in the area before joining the Barker Animal Hospital family in February of 2020. As an Assistant, she’s particularly fond of dermatology and the way that a change in diet can help with skin issues. Lauren also enjoys radiology and the way it can help give her inside insight into what’s going on with a patient. 

One of Lauren’s main hobbies outside of work is fostering cats and puppies—she loves to find forever homes for all the pets she possibly can! She also loves to spend time with her own animal companions at home. She shares her life with three cats named Onyx, Stink Bug, and Pooper, as well as a trio of loveable guinea pigs named Biscuit, Gravy, and Mashy.


Emma Hemelt

Emma Hemelt

Veterinary Assistant


Emma, like most who work in the veterinary field, has adored the earth’s creatures ever since she can remember. For her, having the opportunity to help others and their animal companions is a dream come true! She couldn’t be happier to serve as a member of Barker Animal Hospital’s talented Veterinary Assistant team. 

Emma has lived in Guam, Washington, D.C., and Virginia Beach thanks to her father’s career in the United States Navy. After high school, she took a job at a local boarding and daycare facility in Virginia Beach to get her foot in the door of the animal-care world. It wasn’t long before she’d fallen in love with the field! Emma knew she wanted to do even more—soon, she was enrolled in Tidewater Community College’s veterinary assisting program. In the future, she hopes to continue on in the school’s Technician program and get her degree in biology.

Emma joined the Barker Animal Hospital family in February of 2021, where she gets to put her training to good use in a hands-on way. She’s particularly passionate about animal behavior and nutrition, and loves to see the way a proper diet can improve a pet’s quality of life. Above all, Emma likes meeting pet owners and their adorable companions on a daily basis. 

When she has spare time between work and school, Emma enjoys exercising, hiking, visiting the beach, and doting on her own pets at home. She and her family share their lives with three cats: Nola, Zulu, and Beau. 


Samantha Biegel

Samantha Biegel

Kennel Assistant


Bio coming soon!


Karen

Karen

Veterinary Receptionist


If you’re passionate about helping people and animals, then it would make perfect sense to get involved in the veterinary world. This is precisely what Karen chose to do. She loved the ability to help furry animals and assist people, so she joined Barker Animal Hospital as a veterinary receptionist!

Born and raised on the West Coast, Karen would eventually move to Virginia with her family. Her household always had dogs and cats running around, so she needed an animal clinic to take them to. That’s how she was first introduced to Barker Animal Hospital – as a client. She would bring her pets to the clinic, and was thoroughly impressed with how professional and friendly the staff was. When a position opened up at the hospital, she immediately applied for it!

Karen’s favorite part of being at Barker Animal Hospital is learning about the different prescriptions. Nothing beats getting familiar with all of the various medicines that animals use, and knowing when to use what medicine to treat a certain condition.

When Karen isn’t helping animals at the hospital, she’s busy tending to a household full of dogs. Her household has 4 dogs – Oscar, Phoebe, Piper and Loki and they respectively belong to her daughter, her son, herself and to her husband!


Taylor Kehoe

Taylor Kehoe

Veterinary Assistant


Even at a tender age, Taylor had an undeniable passion for helping animals in need. Over the years, she has loved and cared for all kinds of pets, and even a few wild animals. When she was 4 years old, Taylor was attacked by her grandmother’s cat. Upon discovering that the family had had the cat euthanized, she was devastated and vowed right then and there to make saving animals her life’s mission.

Taylor’s journey into the veterinary field began a few years ago, when she attended online classes with the Animal Behavior College. She then completed an externship at a hospital in Tacoma, WA, where she received her certification. In 2021, Taylor made the cross-country move back home to VA Beach where she joined the Barker Animal Hospital team in June. Professionally, she finds reading microscope slides to be both fun and challenging. She also takes great pride in her innate ability to gain the trust of our most nervous patients.

Outside of the clinic, Taylor’s family consists of her parents and sister – all of whom are vegan. The family has two cats: Nora, who is extremely sweet and can make herself at home anywhere she goes, and Bubba, who is shy but loves to play. Taylor’s favorite pastime is hiking, for which has amassed several personal achievements. Among these accomplishments was reaching the 5,000 foot summit of Mount Pilchuck and hiking part of Mount Rainier in a blizzard.


Mikaela Higginson

Mikaela Higginson

Veterinary Assistant


Growing up in Grand Junction, CO, Mikaela always had a deep interest in science. She was fascinated by how things worked and why. In fact, she even thought about human medicine for a brief moment, but quickly realized veterinary medicine was more her cup of tea. As a Veterinary Assistant, Mikaela enjoys being the voice for her patients and the constant growth and endless knowledge this field has to offer.

After obtaining her certification from Ashworth College, Mikaela was hired by the hospital at which she completed her internship. Three years later, she decided to change hospitals in an effort to further her education. She worked at a third clinic for just over a year before moving to Norfolk and joining the Barker Animal Hospital team. Professionally, Mikaela has a particular interest in cytology and lab work. She also enjoys monitoring surgery.

Outside of work, Mikaela resides with her boyfriend and their three dogs: Athena, Oakley and Miley. Her other dog, Bear, currently lives in Colorado with Mikaela’s mother. In her spare time, Mikaela enjoys playing sports and spending time outdoors.


Austin Harvey

Austin Harvey

Veterinary Assistant


Growing up in Virginia Beach, Austin can’t recall a time when his family didn’t have at least one pet. Over the years, they opened their home and their hearts to everything from dogs and birds to fish and lizards. A thoughtful, inquisitive child, Austin was always fascinated by life and how the world worked – particularly as it pertained to animals. He loves having a career that combines his passion for animals with his unquenchable desire to never stop learning.

Austin started working in the veterinary industry in 2018 at a different clinic. There, he was able to gain a lot of valuable knowledge of how to work with animals and patiently earn their trust. A couple more stints at various other clinics and several moves later, he ended up here at Barker Animal Hospital. In his role as Veterinary Assistant, he enjoys the opportunity to learn more about the medical side of things. 

Outside of work, Austin resides with his Mother (a.k.a. his very best friend), and his dog Marlo. Marlo is playful, sweet and he brings tremendous joy into Austin’s life. In his spare time, Austin enjoys painting and acting.


Caroline Weaver

Caroline Weaver

Veterinary Assistant


When Caroline was a child, her grandmother encouraged her to pursue her love of animals and seek a career in the veterinary field. An experience working at a horse rescue, and seeing just how many animals out there need help, officially sealed the deal. As a Veterinary Assistant, Caroline is thrilled to have been able to turn her lifelong dream into a reality and finally work with animals professionally.

Caroline’s journey initially began at a practice in Virginia Beach. When the long commute from Franklin began taking its toll, she started looking for a clinic closer to home where everyone was treated like family. She found exactly what she was looking for at Barker Animal Hospital, and joined the team in March of 2022. Caroline is currently in school working toward her veterinary technician license. Clinically, she enjoys dentistry, performing lab work and getting the opportunity to watch patients grow.

At home, Caroline is ‘Mom’ to two Pit Bulls: Pongo, who loves to go on nature walks, and Dutchers, who is interested in everything and loves everyone. Her pride and joy, however, is Maggie – a quarter horse whom Caroline rescued as a feral and personally broke and trained.

When she’s not busy working, studying or spending time with her animals, Caroline can usually be found at Ballahack Airsoft with her team, or at the bowling alley. 


Mary Frances Smith

Mary Frances Smith

Veterinary Assistant


Bio coming soon!


Taylor

Taylor

Veterinary Assistant


For as long as she can remember, Taylor has always had a passion for medicine. The challenges and rewards. The spirit of scientific collaboration. Being able to direct that passion to helping pets and their owners is something Taylor truly appreciates.

Before entering the veterinary field, Taylor spent some time working at a large animal rescue in rural North Carolina. Being situated so far away from veterinary care, she had to learn how to provide immediate and sometimes urgent care on her own, without the help of a doctor. Those adrenaline-filled moments are what ultimately inspired her to pursue a career as a Veterinary Assistant. Professionally, Taylor still thrives on emergency and critical care. She also has a particular interest in rheumatology.

Outside of the clinic, Taylor lives with a simple-minded Golden Retriever named Benji, a too-human-like Poodle named Loika, a chunky quarter horse named Pivo and a ball python named Abodeer. In her spare time, Taylor loves dressage and has been riding competitively since the age of 9. 


Madison Tarpley

Madison Tarpley

Receptionist


With a father in the military, Madison’s family moved around quite a bit during her childhood – from Germany, to Texas and then to Alabama, where they finally settled down. The one thing that remained constant during those years filled with change was Madison’s love of animals. Deep down, she always knew she’d one day end up in a career where she could work with pets on a daily basis.

Madison began her journey as a kennel assistant. While in that role, she took great pride in earning the trust of pet owners and helping their pets feel safe, comfortable and loved. From there, she worked her way up to assistant and receptionist. In 2021, Madison relocated to the Virginia Beach / Chesapeake area and began looking for a new opportunity. The fear free techniques at Barker Animal Hospital caught her eye, and the rest is history!

Outside of work, Madison is fur-mom to a lab mix named Avvy. The two frequently go on hikes together. She also recently adopted a kitten named Coraline, who is a very vocal ball of energy and loves to chase her tail. 


Holley Walters

Holley Walters

Receptionist


Bio coming soon!


Pet Visits

22,005

Pet Visits

Treats Given

19,115

Treats Given

Mouths Cleaned

19,166

Mouths Cleaned

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CONTACT US TODAY!