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 bearded dragon, two cats and one 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 Cat, Loki.
Dr. Julia Hill graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. She has a special interest in birds, though she loves reptiles and pocket pets, too! 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 enjoys teaching owners how to care for their unique pets to ensure a long, happy life and a wonderful lifelong bond.
TECHNICIANS AND STAFF
Janelle Portress, RVT, is the Lead Technician at For Pet's Sake. She has been a registered veterinary technician since 1987 and never realized her love of exotics (especially reptiles) until joining For Pet's Sake in 2006. Currently, she resides with four cats, one dog, four tortoises, one bearded dragon, and one uromastyx.
Stacy Henderson has been a veterinary technician here since 1995. She is a lover of all things furred, feathered and scaled. She loves working with these animals as well as educating people about how to properly care for them. Every day is something new and exciting! Her own family consists of her husband, two human kids, cats, birds tortoises and a dog.
Mark Miller 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 Trantin 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 Argo 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 fiance in the East Lake neighborhood with one sweet kitty, a sassy uromastyx, and a ball python.
Andrew Wall graduated from Colby College in 2012 with a degree in English and History. After spending several years as a rowing coach in Maine, he made his way down to Atlanta and began working at For Pet’s Sake in 2018. In his spare time, Andrew volunteers at AWARE and coaches Emory’s varsity rowing team. He lives just down the road with a delightfully lazy greyhound named Lonnie and a bearded dragon named Norbert.
Autumn Lane is a veterinary technician who graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in Psychology and PreVet medicine and minored in Chemistry. She owns a menagerie of animals from dogs and cats to a sulcata tortoise, eclectus parrot, axolotls, hissing cockroaches, rats, chinchillas, ferrets, chickens, and so on.
Sam Batson graduated from UGA in 2018 with a degree in Genetics & Avian Biology. Prior to For Pet’s Sake, he worked as a technician at the UGA Resource Lab and a bird keeper at Zoo Atlanta. In his free time, he plays professional ultimate frisbee for the Atlanta Hustle and co-coaches a local high school team with his cat, Jack.
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.