Meet Our Team

Veterinary Technicians & Assistants

  • Jennifer Brown
    Lead Veterinary Technician

    Ok here is my story in a nutshell:

    I started as a veterinary technician in 1999 and studied animal science at Cedar Valley College through the American Animal Hospital Association.  I spent 3 years as an animal control officer with Iredell County before starting my career here with Veterinary Specialties at the Lake. My favorite part of veterinary medicine beside the pets and their people is veterinary dentistry. I have my certifications in livestock recovery and rabies vaccinations. I share my home with my husband and daughter. Also, on our farm we have 4 mules, 5 coonhounds, a brood of chickens, and plethora of barn cats. 

  • Brittany Puskas
    Veterinary Technician

    Brittany comes to us from New Jersey with over 4 years of veterinary technician experience. She has her bachelor’s degree in Equine Science and Breeding Management from Delaware Valley University. Prior to her career here at Veterinary Specialties she managed large Grand Prix horse barns for over 15 years and was a large animal veterinary technician. Brittany and her husband have a small farm with a horse, a pony, 3 donkeys, 8 goats, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. In their spare time her and her husband enjoy NASCAR and dirt track racing. 

  • Megan Bell
    Veterinary Technician

    Megan comes to us from New Jersey with over 16 years of veterinary technician experience. She has her Veterinary Technology degree from Bergen County College. Megan has spent much of her career as a surgical anesthesia technician at a referral hospital. Megan and her husband share their home with 2 pitties, 4 kitties, 3 horses, and a brood of chickens. She and her husband are avid Disney enthusiasts. She also enjoys crafting, especially her custom Mickey ears. 

  • Heather Norton
    Veterinary Technician

    Heather has had a love for all animals since she was small.  She a special bond with dogs and horses.  For the past 10 years Heather has worked, trained and participated in many horse shows.  Her love the animals led her to want a career helping and caring for animals.  Heather is a 2015 Graduate from Roanoke Rapids High School.  The she attended and graduated from NC State in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.  She is furthering her education to become a registered veterinarian technician at Gaston College in the fall. 

    Heather started her training while in high school as a kennel staff at Creekside Animal Hospital in Roanoke Rapids, NC.  She worked for six years even while attending college.  She worked her way up all the way to senior vet tech staff before moving to Catawba.  Heather moved to Catawba with her fiancé’ in June 2020 and will be getting married in November 2020.  She lives with her fiancé’ on the farm with 3 dogs, 3 horses, calf, 7 rabbits, and 2 cats.

  • Star Heaver
    Veterinary Technician

    Star has been an employee of the world of veterinary services for more than 20 years. She first met Dr Barber in 2001.

    She was in a quandary, when her breeding bitch Dragon, a Golden Retriever, couldn’t be shipped to the stud dog in NY. A friend told her about Dr Barber, a Reproductive Specialist who was new to the area. “Why ship your bitch when the stud dog can ship the semen to her and do an artificial insemination she said.”

    After contacting Dr Barber, progesterone testing, two AI’s from two semen shipments, a beautiful litter of 8 was born!

    In 2006 Star began working for Dr Barber as her veterinary assistant in reproduction. Not only can she draw blood but she can draw graphics. She designed the current logo that is used at Veterinary Specialities at the Lake.

  • Krystal Linney
    Veterinary Assistant

    My name is Krystal Linney, I'm from a small town called Union Grove, I graduated from Wilkes Community College in 2018/2019 with two associate's degrees, one in animal science and the other being Poultry Management and I am BQA and PQA certified, and a member of the North Carolina Cattlemens association. I currently live on a farm with over 30+ chickens and 6 ducks, I have a Jack Russell terrier named Rascal, and two pitbulls named Dolly and Kilo. I'm a big advocate for rescue/shelter dogs, and I love working at Veterinary Specialties and being surrounded by animals each and every day.  

  • Connor Canipe
    Veterinary/Kennel Assistant

    Connor is a recent high school graduate, Bandys High School class of 2020. He came to us as an intern in 2019 with one year’s experience at Conover Veterinary Hospital. After his internship came to an end he was hired and works to assist the doctors and technicians in any way they request. In the fall of 2020 he will be attending NC State University with an intention to graduate with a degree in Veterinary Science. At his home, here in Sherrills Ford he lives on a small farm with his parents, younger brother, one dog, and seventeen goats. Aside from working at Veterinary Specialties Connor works in landscaping and enjoys racing dirtbikes on the weekends.

  • Lauren Stewart
    Veterinarian Technician

    I started working with animals back in middle school interning at Humane Society of Catawba County and Animal Shelter in Newton. Got my first job working for an animal hospital back in 2017 as a receptionist then worked my way up as a veterinarian technician. I am from the small town of Maiden and I was very interactive during high school with sports, band, and clubs.

     I started working for Dr. Barber in 2018 took a small break from the vet tech life, and I just recently returned in July 2020. I love this job; however, it is not always rainbow’s and butterflies, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

     In my spare time I spend time with friends and my amazing son doing whatever we can get into. Love to hike, drag racing, swim, tubing, anything outdoors I am there. I also have a pet of my own, Scout, a Blue Heeler.  

Veterinary Receptionists

  • Debbie Osborne
    Lead Receptionist

    Debbie was born in New York State and has lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Vermont but is happy to call Lake Norman her home. Her passion for animals was apparent at a very early age while caring for her own pets which included a flock of king pigeons, a cat and dog. This enthusiasm for the 'feathered and furry' was sparked further by an encouraging next-door neighbor who just happened to be a small animal vet. Debbie joined Veterinary Specialties at the Lake in 2013 and enjoys her daily interaction with pets and their owners. Her past careers included working for two gastroenterologists as a medical assistant for several years and later switching careers and working as an Account Manager in Sales and Marketing for a major computer firm for 13 years. Her love of the lake, wildlife and the environment led to her involvement with the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists where she served as Educational Director for two years. Debbie lives on Lake Norman with her Shih Tzu 'Jadie' — her three cats 'Jack', 'Callie' and 'Bitty' and a parrot named 'Rhett.' Her favorite pastimes are enjoying the lake canoeing or riding her waverunner along with her love of books.

  • Rachel Nix

     Rachel has been working as a kennel assistant with Veterinary Specialties since 2015 and worked her way up to Receptionist and has not looked back since. After high school, she became a CNA and decided her true calling was for animals. She is continuing her education at Catawba Valley Community College for Nursing. She enjoys working with both people and animals. In her spare time, she appreciates spending quality time with her fiancé and her two dogs, Rocco and Titan. She has recently added a new addition to her small family, a cat named Sebastian, who is a frisky baby.

  • Daniella Herrera

    Daniela has had a love for animals of all sizes starting a very young age. After high school, she worked in a couple of different veterinary hospitals where she was able to grow and learn into the person she is today. Daniela also worked in the human medical field for a couple of years before deciding that animals are her true calling and was lucky enough to join the VSL team as a receptionist. She also comes to us with a degree in criminal justice that she received in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her 2 dogs and 3 cats and going out with friends to local restaurants.

  • Lisa Paris
    Receptionist/Kennel Assistant

    Bio coming soon...

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Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Veterinary Specialties at the Lake


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm