Meet the Veterinarians & Team of Mills River Animal Clinic. We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your pets.

Please call us at (828) 891-9685 to speak to one of our veterinary staff members or use our online form to Make An Appointment.

Make an Appointment

Dr. Jennie Hernandez


I have been a resident of Mills River for over 36 years. I graduated from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1984 and have been practicing small animal medicine and surgery ever since.

I married Michael, also a veterinarian, while we were in veterinary school. He is a large animal veterinarian and his family has lived here for generations. That is why we chose to come to this area and open Mills River Animal Clinic in 1985.

We have 3 grown sons and 6 grandchildren to date. We are blessed to have them all living in the area.

Recently I decided to step back a little and we sold the small animal clinic to two exceptional veterinarians. They also acquired Fletcher Animal Hospital making us "sister practices" in order to serve this area.

I am still working here at Mills River Animal Clinic but as a veterinary associate. This allows me to just enjoy being a veterinarian without the stress and long hours of running a business.

Michael is still practicing large animal medicine, doing farm calls as usual.

I enjoy gardening - we can lots of vegetables and soup every year. I also enjoy crafts - especially making jewelry and cooking. Some of you may have sampled my jams and jellies.

Dr. Jami Van Hemel




Dr. Laura Hopper


I have spent most of my life enjoying the mountains in this area and have lived in Asheville, NC for over 20 years. I attended the University of Tn where I was awarded my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1986. I have practiced all aspects of small animal medicine but have always gravitated toward the art and precision that are integral to veterinary surgery and have been truly blessed to spend most of my veterinary career in a surgical setting providing soft tissue, ophthalmic and some orthopedic procedures. I strive to treat each pet on my exam or surgery table as if it were my own and have maintained this philosophy throughout my career. Outside of work, my husband and I are passionate about white water kayaking. It restores me to enjoy the beauty of the rivers and mountains that are only viewed from a boat and to drink in the majesty that surrounds us.


Dr. Michelle Foote




Dr. Zach Brown


Bachelors in Animal Science, Clemson 2008

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine,

Mississippi State University 2013

Born and raised in Woodruff, SC. After graduation, Dr. Brown practiced in Texas before returning home to the upstate.

When not at work, Dr. Brown enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys.

Vanessa Lopez


Kaylee Cope


Ava Finley

Veterinary Assistant

Elaine Hauss

Client Service Representative

Anna Herman

Client Service Representative

Stephanie Rhodes

Manager/Registered Veterinary Technician

Stephanie earned her license from AB Tech in 2010, but has been in the veterinary world since 2008. When she is not spending time caring for pets,or teaching others about veterinary medicine, you can catch her outdoors with her partner Justin and her dog ReginaFay.

care credit

We Now Accept CareCredit

We are now accepting CareCredit to help your pet's get the care they need.

Apply Now
Scratch Pay

We Now Accept Scratchpay

We are now accepting Scratchpay to help your pet's get the care they need.

Apply Now