Veterinarians

Marie Lance, DVM

Growing up, Dr. Lance knew she would one day be a veterinarian. She began pursuing her goal when attending Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Graduating with a BS degree in Animal Science in 1990, she then attended the University of Georgia College for Veterinary Medicine. Receiving her doctorate in 1994, she has since successfully practiced veterinary medicine in hospitals located in Gwinnett and Hall Counties. She has studied Chinese medicine exclusively at the Chi Institute. Her field of practice has encompassed both large and small animals including horses, cattle, sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas, pocket pets and of course dogs and cats.

Her special interests lie in the fields of internal and complementary medicine, reproduction, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine and herbal therapy. Dr. Lance is active in the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Holistic Veterinary Association, and the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and supports the local service canine units for search and rescue and law enforcement.

Lance Animal Hospital is the culmination of Dr. Lance’s vision to develop an integrative veterinary center that addresses the unique needs of each individual animal. It is her goal to administer the best care possible by integrating traditional medicine and complementary medicine in order to achieve a healthy, well-balanced pet.

Lara Chambers, DVM

Dr. Lara Chambers is originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia. After receiving her undergraduate degrees and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from The University of Georgia, she practiced small animal medicine and surgery in Pine Lake, Georgia and Sugar Hill, Georgia. Dr Lara is an active member of the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. She is also active with local hunting retriever groups in north Georgia and the Gainesville Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Her special interests include soft tissue surgery, dentistry, exotic/pocket pet medicine, reproductive medicine, and sports animal medicine. In her free time, Dr Lara enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, and their crew of four dogs and three cats.

Natural Healing Coordinator

Davorin Bozja

Davorin completed his veterinary studies at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1981. Davorin did his postgraduate studies from small animals at the University of Zagreb in Croatia in 1989. He received his certification in Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM) in 2000.  Davorin has attended many workshops including: small animal acupressure, traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, intensive pet massage at PET massage institute, advanced veterinary cold laser therapy training, aroma therapy training, and advanced veterinary cold laser therapy training. He is also an advanced Reiki master in Usui/Tibetian system. Davorin was recognized as a Board member of the International Association of Animal Massage and Body work in 2005. His awareness of various healing modalities is a valuable assets to our integrative practice.

Veterinary Assistants

Jen Andersen

Taking care of animals is what Jen does best. She has been with Lance Animal Hospital for more than three years, learning something new every day. She has always had a strong passion for animals. Her soft spot is for the older ones. She and her wife have 10 dogs and two cats, several of them special needs. She enjoys being a technician in the veterinary field helping furkids and their owners.

Leah George

Leah has been around animals her whole life. While living in Texas as a little girl, she followed around the Department Head of Animal Science at Texas A&M learning about large animals starting at such a young age. This is also where she found her love for riding horses. After moving around a couple times, Leah finally settled in Buford in 2006. She joined riding teams to compete in show jumping, and then in high school, joined an IEA team. Also in high school, she volunteered at Sugar Hill Animal Hospital with Dr. Chambers. During her junior year she was in a dual enrollment program to attend Grayson Tech to be in a Veterinary Science class. After graduating high school, Leah started working here kenneling and now as a tech. Since working here, she has adopted a three legged stray cat, Tripod, and a cattle dog, Mackey, who was rescued from a hoarding situation. The two of them joined her other lab/shepherd mix, Buster and her cat, Fat Cat at home.

Emily Bergen

Emily was born in Portsmouth, VA, and has been residing in Winder, GA, for the last 18 years. She graduated from Winder Barrow High School in 2004, where she was active in a youth apprentice program as a senior; and participated as a volunteer at a local animal clinic. Emily went to Columbus State University for 2 years to pursue undergraduate classes. She graduated from Fort Valley State University with a bachelor degree in Veterinary Technology in May of 2009. She also completed a 12 week rotation at UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Emily has 4 dogs: Kore – a 8 year old Dogo Argentine, Jade – a 7year old Jack Russell Terrier, Colby – a 3 year old red nosed Staffordshire terrier and Pepper a 6 year old shih tzu. Finally, there is Jocko, her blue and gold macaw. She enjoys spending time with her husband Stephen and her daughter Mallorie .Emily calls her career her passion in life; and will always show love, respect, and compassion to all the fur babies in her care.

Mystie Davis

Mystie grew up on a farm in Northwest Georgia. It was at a young age when she noticed a love for animals. Mystie and her mom would bring home any stray they would see and make it part of their family. Her love for animals continued as an adult and she decided to make it a career. She attended Athens Technical College and Ashworth College and started working with a local rescue organization and would volunteer her time at shelters helping in any way she could. She started at Lance Animal Hospital in the spring of 2014. She and her fiancée have two dogs, a seven year old hound mix named Molly, and a one year old white boxer named Aspen. In her free time Mystie enjoys hiking, camping, playing fetch with their girls, playing softball, catching up on tv shows and watching Georgia football.

Morgan Wellinghoff

Morgan was born in Miami and moved to Dahlonega with her family when she was 10 years old. She is the middle child of three girls. For the past nine years, she has been in the veterinary field as a vet tech and she loves what she is doing. Being a veterinarian has been her dream since she was a little girl. She recently applied to veterinary school after finishing her bachelors in biology at the University of North Georgia. Working at Lance Animal Hospital has given her the opportunity to work with amazing people and grow in her knowledge of the field. She have two babies, a 16 year old Golden / Collie Mix named Maisy, and a nine year old silver tabby named Lexie. They were both rescues and have made her life so full of love and happiness.

Jill Zabiegala

Jill has always been interested in veterinary medicine, so working at Lance Animal Hospital has been a wonderful addition to her life. Jill also has a background in Horse Show jumping, competing and training at very high levels. When not at work, you can find her being with one of her many animals: three dogs, a cat, and a horse. She and her two Aussies enjoy competing at agility trials locally and hope to grow more competitive as she and her furkids progress in their training.

Certified Anesthesia Free Dental Hygienist

Amber Highfield

Amber is a Certified Anesthesia-Free Dental Technician. She joined Lance in August of 2012 after returning here from Colorado. She is originally from Clermont, GA. Amber has always had a love for animals, and has been involved in animal rescue for as long as she can remember. Amber is always eager to discuss your pet’s dental health with you, and a consultation with Amber for an AFD is completely free! When Amber isn’t cleaning teeth you will find her in the show ring with her Cavaliers, volunteering with the local Hospice chapter, or in a local elementary school. She is certified with Therapy Dogs International with her pack of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and was chosen and trained for the local Hospice Pet Therapy Program. Amber is a graduate from Gainesville State College and Well Animal Institute. In her free time you will find Amber at the barn with her Quarter Horses. Amber has shown in AQHA All Around on and off since 1992. Amber loves her job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Office Manager

Heather Cliatt-Reese

Heather has been working with Lance Animal Hospital since 2011. Heather came to Lance after working with Animal Care Center of Suwanee for 15 years. She has always been an animal lover, doing pet sitting when she was growing up in Duluth GA. She has always rescued dogs and cats and found them good permanent homes. She also has seven rescue animals of her own.  Four of the animals have come from Lance Animal Hospital. She lives in Dawsonville with her husband, Anthony, and her 16 year old son. They also have the love of animals just like Heather. When she is not at work she is hanging out with family and friends canoeing the rivers and rescuing more animals.

Receptionists

Cher Wilcox

Growing up Cher’s mother called her “Ellie Mae” because she wanted to save all the homeless animals! She has a passion for animals and compassion for people.  In her early 20’s she was a vet tech at Browns Bridge Animal Hospital, assisting in surgery.  She has rescued and fostered hundreds of dogs.  She currently foster for Rotts n Pups Rescue and Forsyth County Humane.  She worked in accounting for many years and became tired of the atmosphere and started her own pet sitting business; she still occasionally takes on pet sitting jobs in her home.  She needed a steady income and wanted to choose a career that matched her  personality and passion.  Working in a vet’s office was an ideal choice!  She is  very thankful that Lance Animal Hospital chose her! Her family consists of a very tolerant Husband (Jeff), three children (Dillon, 23, Hannah, 19, & Dalton, 15) and multiple animals consisting of:  Laela (Rottweiler, 9), Tanzy (Chihuahua, 11), Bebe (French Bulldog, 7), Jasper (Chihuahua, 6), Sophie (Chihuahua, 6), Lacy (Chihuahua, 2), Dobby (Xolo, 3), Gunner (Pointer, 3 months), Merida (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Foster, 3 months), two feral outdoor kitties (Tom & Shadow), two indoor kitties, Momar & Lilly, Sunny (Cockatiel) and Tessie (Amazon parrot,30 years old!).  She loves nothing more than spending time with her family and her “mini-zoo”!

Denise Mathis

Denise has been with Lance Animal Hospital for five years and loves it. Working here is a new adventure every day for her, as she believes you never know what will come in the front door. She is a Client Patient Liaison, and takes care of everyone that comes in the front door. She has been in the vet business for 11 years and has worked every part of the business.

She has one daughter, who is 33 years old, that works and lives in Atlanta and is the light of her life. She has three dogs: Mija, a 7 year old Chihuahua; Lil Louie, who is five; and Chewlay, who is her “old girl” (a 10 year old papillon). All are rescues from the office. She believes that “it’s really hard not to take them all home”.

Denise lives in Gainesville, where she enjoys working to keep some flowers growing in her yard, whether they grow or not.

Kristie Stith

Kristie and her husband have three very energetic boys and a little princess. They have two puppies and a cat. Their cat, Autumn, is about three years old; she is a beautiful calico that their oldest son, Gavin, rescued from getting run over by a bus when she was a small kitten. Their yellow lab, Hank, is six months old and loves to play chase with his human and furry siblings. Their third pup is a beagle that was found wandering the streets. After taking him home, their kids immediately fell in love with him and named him Boomer. Boomer and Kristies middle son are best friends. Kristie has worked in the animal medical field for the past nine years. She started out as a receptionist at Sugar Hill Animal Hospital in 2006 with no experience in the field, but immediately found a passion for helping animals. She is currently working as a part time receptionist at Lance Animal Hospital, as well as going to school part time to become a medical assistant. Though she will soon be leaving the animal medical field and entering the human medical field, she will always have a love and passion for the furry creatures.

Kennel / Boarding

David Latimer

David works in the kennel and boarding area of the hospital. He immigrated to the United States 10 years ago following a 22 year career with the British Army Medical Services, practicing as a dental hygienist in Cyprus, West Germany and West Berlin, several years teaching at the RADC Headquarters in England and retiring as a senior Warrant Officer producing all dental health programs for worldwide distribution. This was followed by 10 years with Vodafone, at that time the largest European cell phone carrier. Thanks to his army career he is well traveled, and the United States is his 23rd country visited. His two great loves are English Springer spaniels and photography, both of which are evident at the hospital – two walls of photographs and a goofy black and white rescued Springer named Ben who is often seen behind the Reception desk greeting clients.

Alexis Jimenez

In addition to the role played at Lance, Alexis holds a part time position as a pet-care associate at PetSmart. She was born and raised an Army brat, and the places she’s lived include Maryland, Texas, Arizona, and Germany; however, her family is originally from Puerto Rico. She and her family have lived in Georgia for nine years. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and kayaking with her dog, Bella. Her dream is to one day work for the United States Army and practice small animal medicine around the world.