Staff

Mike Whitten, IT Support and Photographer

Mike WhittenMike Whitten is married to Dr. Mel and is Animal Care Clinic’s photographer and IT support provider. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering and a Master’s degree in Computer Science, both from Mississippi State. He has been a photographer since his college days and inherited his talent from his father. He was a credentialed photographer for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City and the Reliant World Series of Dog Shows in Houston, Texas. Mike is also the proprietor of his own business called Limestone Creek Photography; his studio is located within our clinic.

Mike, a manager at ERC (a subcontractor to NASA), confesses that he is as much an animal-lover as Dr. Mel, with a special weakness for Labrador Retrievers. "During the work day, Mel frequently sends me pictures from her phone of the cute puppies she sees. One day I had to text back, 'Your job is better. We don’t get puppies at NASA.' ”

Mike says that beyond his photography and tech duties, his first responsibility is keeping the doctor happy and adds he is an, “Ace dog walker, pooper-scooper and vomit cleaner-upper, as any veterinarian’s spouse can attest to.”

At home, he shares a range of pets with Dr. Mel and his interests include SCUBA diving, traveling and bicycling.

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Larry Bonner, Office Manager

Larry BonnerLarry Bonner has been the Office Manager at Animal Care Clinic since February of 2010. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and is always an upbeat and friendly person who is very good at helping our clients receive the best client care possible.

"I truly enjoy working for Dr. Mel because she is fair and honest without any pretense,” he says. "She allows us to do our jobs yet provides good guidance when necessary, which is good because I feel as if I still have a lot to learn from her."

Larry's pets include a terrier mix named Gus, two Catahoulas named Hooch and Katie, and a Labrador Retriever named Speedy. His interests include remodeling his home, spending quality time with family and friends, and going to the theater when he has the time.

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Dani Pennington, CVAII

Dani PenningtonDani Pennington is a Level Two Certified Veterinary Assistant who has been with Animal Care Clinic since August of 2011, but began working in companion animal care in 2008. She recently earned her Level Two CVA Accreditation.

Dani says that each day she hopes to, “Bring a friendly and comedic tone to the clinic with a bit of hands-on experience sprinkled on top.”

Dani has two Border Collies named Delilah and Jolene, a cat named Kim Son, and a quarter horse named Blazer. Her interests include working with horses, movies, video games and drawing.

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Amanda Erickson, BS, CVAIII

Amanda EricksonAmanda Erickson is a Level Three Certified Veterinary Assistant who has been with Animal Care Clinic since May 2013 and has been working in the animal related field since 2009. Her responsibilities include assisting the doctor, general patient care, running laboratory tests and monitoring pets during and after surgical procedures.She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science from Sam Houston State University and has obtained her Level Three Veterinary Assistant Certification.

Working at Animal Care Clinic offers Amanda a continual learning environment that she enjoys. "My desire is to always learn what I can in this field of study," she said. "I enjoy assisting Dr. Mel in surgery and monitoring pets to make sure they are stable during surgery and that they recover normally." Amanda also enjoys working here because of the professional environment as well as the pet owner community.

In her spare time Amanda teaches her two dogs – Sable and Sputnick – new tricks and takes them to the local dog park. She also is a self-described "movie-freak" and loves a good movie night with popcorn. She also enjoys board games, baking and cooking.

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Bailey Tolleson, CVAIII, Kennel Manager

Bailey Tolleson

Bailey Tolleson is our kennel manager who claims she is "OCD about doing a good job" and thus enjoys working hard and completing any task she is asked to do. Her job responsibilities include overseeing the boarding kennel and its occupants to make sure it is run smoothly and our boarders are getting the care and attention they need. She supervises and helps the kennel staff with walking dogs, cleaning the kennel facility and yard, feeding the animals, and cleaning stalls. Her favorite part of her job is "meeting and caring for all the various critters," she said.

Bailey graduated from Barber's Hill High School and attended Lee College. She joined our Animal Care Clinic staff in the summer of 2012 as a volunteer and worked her way up to full-time status as kennel manager, earning her level 3 Certified Veterinary Assistant title along the way.

"I love meeting so many animals, all with completely different personalities," Bailey said. Her affection for animals comes through at home with her own pets - two dogs (Snoopy and Presley), and two horses (Darlene and Stella). In her free time, she enjoys teaching Snoopy sign language and trail riding.

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Traci Alexander, Kennel Manager

Traci Alexander

Kennel Manager Traci Alexander has been a member of the team at Animal Care Clinic since August 2014. Traci is attending Houston Community College and since arriving she's provided the hospital with a cheerful personality and an enthusiasm for all animal care. Her responsibilities include supervising the kennel staff as well as watering and feeding boarding dogs and cats, walking the dogs, keeping the feline facility and canine camp clean, and feeding, watering, grooming and cleaning up after the horses.

"I love working here because of the animals it allows me to interact and play with," Traci says. "Plus, my co-worker Bailey is pretty cool."

Traci is the pet parent of Quarter horses Tony, Missy and Jellyfish, an F-1 heifer named Bell, a bull named Leroy, a Husky mix named Duke, a Cocker Spaniel mix named Mr. Polka Dot, a cat named Little Thing, and a micro-pig named Tatum. In her free time Traci enjoys duck hunting, fishing, and riding horses.

She is currently working to obtain her CVA certification.

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Kailee Richey, Kennel Assistant

Kailee Richey

Kailee makes sure all of the animals are happy and comfortable! She loves working with the animals and helps with feeding, hydrating, walking, bathing the pets, as well as cleaning the kennels. Kailee loves being around animals, especially dogs, and brings a soothing, calm presence to the kennel. She is currently attending Lee College to pursue a degree in Biology.

Her love for animals extends past the office and her studies with her many pets! She has three horses named Joe, Blue and Easter. She also has three dogs, a 3 year-old lab mix named Bear, a 3 year-old Catahoula Cur named Yeti and a 1 year-old Siberian Husky named Micah. And let’s not forget about her two cats, PJ and Mittens!

Kailee loves to train and show horses and has always had a love for animals. She is so grateful to be working at a veterinary hospital because every day is different and there’s never a dull moment. When she isn’t working or horseback riding, Kailee loves to spend time with her two brothers and parents.

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Michelle Griffin, CVAIII, Receptionist

Michelle Griffin

Michelle Griffin joined the Animal Care Clinic team as a receptionist in December 2014, but she's been employed in the animal-related field since 2003. Michelle's responsibilities include greeting clients, checking patients in and out, answering the telephone, making appointments, keeping the lobby clean and tidy, making follow-up calls to check on patients, and assisting the doctor or technicians with patients when needed. She is a level 3 Certified Veterinary Assistant (CVA).

Michelle loves the comfortable, small-town feel of Animal Care Clinic. "I enjoy the atmosphere," she says. "Everyone is always made to feel welcome, and completely at home working at this clinic."

At home Michelle is the pet parent of two dogs: a 7-yr-old Miniature Pinscher named Pinnie and a 5-yr-old toy poodle named Skyler. She loves family activities, including family puzzle time, family fishing trips, or simply lounging around the house, relaxing with a good movie or television show. She also enjoys trips with her husband to resale shops in search of unusual, interesting items.

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Morganne Shearer, Social Media Director, Receptionist

Morganne Shearer

Morganne Shearer joined the Animal Care Clinic in June 2017, and since has been working full time as our Social Media Director and Receptionist. Some of her day-to-day responsibilities include helping clients with their questions and needs, answering phones, updating and maintaining website and social media publications, taking pictures, invoicing, aiding with reception, client communications, and all clerical duties.

“Animal Care Clinic is an amazing clinic to work for, everyone is so welcoming and friendly. The clinic has the best clients and amazing patients. You never know what tomorrow brings and what adventure is coming next. You learn something new every day!”

At home, Morganne has two dogs: Belle, a Blue Heeler who is 5 years old, and Jewels, her Dachshund that is 7 years old. In her free time Morganne enjoys spending her time outdoors, hunting and fishing. She also loves spending time with her family and loving dogs.

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