VCA Pets First Animal Hospital

Veterinary Support

  • Veterinary Assistant

    Shannon B

    Shannon started out her veterinary career as a kennel assistant.  Three years later, she has worked herself up to a cross trained veterinary assistant and receptionist.  She was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and graduated from Highland Springs High School.  She was drawn to the field of veterinary medicine because she has a passion for learning and wanted to help educate others on the importance of early consistent wellness care.  She loves watching puppies and kittens grow up healthy and happy.  She also enjoys the nursing care involved in helping sick pets recover. Shannon spends her spare time with her husband, son, and daughter, and they have to share her with Chopper the Chihuahua (the baby of the family).  She also loves the beach and her family takes an opportunity to have fun in the sun as often as possible. When Asked Why: “Veterinary medicine can be dirty, hard work, but at the end of the day I get satisfaction knowing I was able to help make the bond between an pet and their parent stronger”.

  • Veterinary Assistant

    Lara D.

    Lara joined the team at VCA Pets First in April of 2014. Lara graduated in 2007 from Longwood University with a degree in English. She came to us with kennel experience and veterinary assistance skills, but has quickly picked up working reception as well.  She has an excellent memory and never forgets a face.  Lara loves dogs and exotic pocket pets but she has a passion for cats.  Lara is a pro at gently handling our shy, fearful, kitty patients. In fact, she is now our designated Cat Champion for VCA Pets First. This means she has been given some extra training in how to help cats deal better with trips to the hospital.  If you have questions on ways to make your cats travel and time here less stressful, please call us before your appointment and Lara can offer some tips and tricks.  Lara also spent some time as a baker in a bakery and is always bringing the team some amazing treat or other.  In her spare time, she enjoys camping, cooking, and movies. She also has a "Handi-Capable" rescue cat named "Charley", who has a gimpy leg, but it doesn't stop him from loving life. When Asked Why: “I enjoy helping people and I love working with animals, this field allows me to combine both passions”.

  • Veterinary Assistant

    Kelli Duff

    Kelli came to us after working at veterinary clinic on a military base overseas while her husband was deployed.  Now they have settled down in Richmond Virginia where she was born and raised.  Kelli has always had animals growing up and now that she is staying in one place, she is formalizing her interest by starting school to become a licensed veterinary technician.  We hope to help Kelli achieve her dream here and have her working with us for years to come.  Kelli has four kids and two American bull dogs who take up most of her limited spare time.  When not at home she enjoys karaoke, taking her kids on adventures, and going to Kentucky to see the extended family.  When Asked Why: I like knowing that at the end of the day I helped at least one animal have a good quality of life.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, please call one of the following emergency hospitals:  

Dogwood Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center (804)716-4700

Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center (804)353-9000