Jennifer Walters

I had many incredible professors and doctors throughout veterinary school, but the most important lesson I learned came from a twelve-week old golden retriever puppy named Disney. He was the happiest, liveliest, most adorable puppy and I was the envy of the cardiology unit when he became my patient. 

Disney's parents had brought him to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine because when he got really excited, his airway would close up, and he would gasp for air until he passed out. I witnessed this several times during his stay with us, and I had to snatch Disney up and race to the ICU for oxygen. It was terrifying. After several tests, we determined that there was no treatment for Disney's condition. His parents were heartbroken, as were my resident advisor and I. Because the episodes were unpredictable and horrible for everyone, including Disney, his parents made the hardest decision they had ever had to make- to euthanize their puppy. 

I listened as my resident advisor explained the process to them. Then we left the room to allow them some time together. My resident used this time to explain the process to me, as well.  He said that while the actual procedure was straightforward, helping people through their grief was harder and more important than any cardiology lesson he could teach me. We needed to let Disney's parents set the pace and help them feel comfortable with their decision. In the end, we laughed at silly Disney stories and cried over the unfairness of it all. They hugged us and thanked us. 

This is my saddest, most beautiful veterinary school memory and I carry it with me to every appointment. After fifteen years of practicing, I never tire of laughing and crying with families and hearing stories of their beloved pets. I am here to answer all your questions, guide you through this difficult process, and assure you that your decision is one of kindness and love. 

Rachel Cain

Originally from the Midwest, I recently moved to the south and am now proud to call the Charlotte area home. I have a large family consisting of 2 dogs, 5 cats, 1 bunny, and 1 horse, all with names as unique as their individual personalities. We thoroughly enjoy the warm, sun-filled southern days that North Carolina has brought us!

Like most of my fellow veterinarians, I have an enormous heart and compassion for animals. This love was formed from a young age and has influenced many major decisions in my life, including becoming a vegetarian at the age of 10 after reading a very influential poem. My passion for animals and their special bond with humans only continued to escalate from there. My drive to pursue a career as a veterinarian stemmed from an unrelenting desire to make a difference in the lives of each individual patient as well as a positive impact on the world. Every day I strive to improve the well-being and future of our loyal companions as they deserve nothing less for the unconditional love and unwavering happiness they provide us.

I received my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with emphasis on rehabilitation, sports medicine and pain management from The Ohio State University. I’ve also become a Certified Animal Chiropractor as well as a Certified Canine and Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner, and am currently pursuing a certification in Veterinary Pain Management. I feel my experience with chiropractic and rehabilitation work mixed with my special abilities to connect with pets and their families on a personal level has naturally led me into the field of hospice care and in-home euthanasia. Providing these delicate services allows me the chance to reduce the suffering of pets and their families while honoring the special gift of love shown through the human-animal bond.