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For as long as she can remember, Taryn has had a passion for educating other people. As she was working her way through business school, something dawned on her: why not combine her passion for education with her adoration of animals by working in the veterinary profession? Now, she’s thrilled to serve the pets and animal owners of the Terre Haute area as Heritage Animal Hospital South’s Office Manager!
Originally from a small Illinois town about two hours south of Chicago, Taryn began here at the clinic in October of 2011 while attending school at Indiana State University. Every day, she gets to exercise her fondness for education by teaching pet owners how to be the best possible parents to their furry companions. Taryn also enjoys meeting new clients and their pets for the first time and learning something new nearly every day. There’s truly never a dull moment!
At home, Taryn has two Boxers, Beast and Rockstar, and a finicky cat named Fuzz. In her free time, she enjoys taking her dogs hiking, gardening, seeing productions at the theatre, and catching Bears or Cubs games.
Debbie is a born and raised Hoosier! She was born in Greencastle, but grew up on a farm in Reelsville, Indiana. It wasn’t until she was married that she moved to Terre Haute.
As far back as she remembers, Debbie has always loved spending time around animals. On the farm as a child, she was surrounded by pigs, cows, horses, goats, chickens, turkeys, cats, and dogs. With her background, it’s no coincidence that she has made a career out of caring for animals. She joined the Heritage family in October of 2000.
Debbie’s first memory of a real family pet is a funny one! She recalls a time when her grandfather was working in the barn and accidentally knocked over a bird’s nest. In it was a little baby crow. Knowing that he wouldn’t survive long on his own, Debbie and her family took him in, fed, and cared for him until he was able to go off on his own. To their surprise, he had grown attached to the family and wouldn’t leave! So, they named him Baby Doll and made him their family pet. He would fly off during the day, and come back home every night where he’d sleep in his comfy cage inside the family home. He learned to communicate too! He would say things like, “Hello,” “Hi,” “Baby Doll,” and “Cracker.” He lived as their pet for about five years until one day he didn’t return. We’d like to think he found himself a lady friend and flew the coop!
Debbie’s pet family didn’t stop there. She grew up with a Chihuahua named Toto, an Old English Sheepdog named Muggins, and a cat named Petie. She currently has five pets in her home: Jaxon, a Schnauzer mix; Emma a Rottweiler; and three cats, Ceejay, Lilly, and Nitro. Her crew makes for good snuggle partners!
In her free time, Debbie enjoys spending time with her family. She has three grown children, all of who live fairly close. Her oldest son lives in Brazil, her youngest son lives in Terre Haute, and her daughter lives in Skokie, Illinois. She has three grandchildren of who she absolutely adores. She loves to have an occasional “girls” day with her oldest granddaughter! Debbie also enjoys antiquing, crafting, and anything that involves home décor.
Debbie’s favorite part of her job is meeting new patients. She enjoys seeing them, holding them, and watching them grow up! She is passionate about educating new pet owners about properly caring for their pets so they can have the best and healthiest life possible.
Debbie fun fact: Debbie’s favorite pet related movie is Home Again, and her favorite pet related cartoon is Scooby Doo!
Kayleigh was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. In 2015, she packed up her things and decided to move to Terre Haute for love; just like a good Southern romance novel! And she’s glad she did, because the following Spring, she married her partner, and has been enjoying newlywed life since!
In her free time, Kayleigh enjoys reading and spending time with her fur family. Currently Kayleigh has six fur babies; Emmy the Chihuahua, Angel the Labrador Retriever mix, Mr. Burns the Pug mix, Maddie the Terrier mix, Abby the who-knows-what mix, and Gandalf the cat! Kayleigh had always had a deep love of animals, but that love was deepened when Angel came into her life. Kayleigh found Angel abandoned in a ditch at three weeks old. Kayleigh was determined to save the little pup, so she bottle fed her and cared for her around the clock until she was strong enough and old enough to eat and drink on her own.
Some might say that Angel also sparked Kayleigh’s desire to pursue a career in the veterinary field. At 14 years old, Kayleigh started volunteering at the Montgomery Humane Society. She would clean kennels, walk the dogs, and spend one-on-one time with the shelter dogs. Because she loved it so much, she made more time to volunteer at the Alabama Chihuahua Rescue too! It was her experience here that led her to form a very special bond with the Chihuahua breed. All of the knowledge she gained from her time volunteering made her a perfect fit for Heritage Animal Hospital. She joined the family in February of 2016 and is one of our favorite receptionists!
Kayleigh fun fact: Her favorite animal related movies are Milo & Otis and Turner & Hooch!
Chris considers herself a Terre Haute native, although she was born on an Air Force base in Spain! Her father, an Air Force Major, moved Chris, her younger sister and mother back to the States when Chris was just three years old. Chris attended Terre Haute North High School and continued her education with St. Mary of the Woods College where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. After spending 18 years in Advertising, she decided to pursue a future caring for animals, and joined the Heritage team in September 2016.
Chris has always had a passion for animals. As an infant, Chris had experienced a terrifying event; she had become wedged between two slats of her crib and began to suffocate. Her family dog, a Boxer-Shepard mix named Hansie, alerted Chris’ mother who found Chris in the nick of time. To this day, she credits Hansie for saving her life and really fueling her passion for animals.
As an older child, Chris would volunteer at the local Humane Society which just amplified her passion. She would go on to own a variety of pets: cats, dogs, iguanas, snakes, bearded dragons, and hamsters! Today, she has three dogs and two cats: Athena, a Newfoundland/Lab mix; Alyx, a Pug/Terrier mix; Bonzeye, an Australian Shepard; Chloe, a Domestic Medium Hair cat; and Kita, a Domestic Short Hair cat.
Chris enjoys spending time with her two, grown children, Logan and Jenna when she can. Logan lives close by, but Jenna is out of town pursuing a degree in Anthropology at IUPUI. Also during her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, swimming, walking the dogs, and four-wheeling! When she can’t be outdoors, she loves to read a good mystery novel! Chris also loves to get involved in her community. In the past, she has been involved with the March of Dimes, sat on the Board for the Terre Haute Historical Society, was a Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, and the Chairman for the Vigo County Youth Soccer Association.
Chris Fun Fact: Chris’ favorite animal movie is Babe!
Nikki was born in Clinton, however she grew up on a small farm in Shepherdsville, Indiana. As a child, Nikki developed a passion for horses, dogs, and cats. Her first pet of her very own was a pony named Prince. When she was just four years old, Nikki’s father entered her name into a drawing at Harris’ Grocery Store in Clinton. Much to her surprise, her name was pulled and she won the grand prize – a new pony! Obviously, Nikki was over the moon about her new companion. She went on to love and care for Prince until she was 14 years old. Nikki had simply outgrown Prince (physically). So her and her family found him another home where Prince could provide a new little girl all of the love he had once given Nikki. Prince was the first of many horses Nikki would come to own.
As a young woman, Nikki married her wonderful husband and moved to another small farm in Rosedale, Indiana. Over the years, she raised two boys, worked on the farm, and sold Avon. Nikki and her husband have had everything from the occasional beef cattle and pigs to horses, dogs, and cats on the farm. They have downsized a bit, and currently own three horses (Sunny, Buddy, and Joey), two mini horses (Shorty and Tater Man), two dogs (Jack and Libby), and one cat (Valentine).
Once her sons were grown, she joined the Heritage family in 1986 so that she could continue to work around animals. Throughout her time with Heritage, she has had many pets, but a few really stick out in her memory. She rescued two hand-raised kittens that a coworker had found as strays. She also rescued a Dalmation/Bird Dog puppy that a client had found wandering in the middle of a busy road. She fell in love and named her Bebe and had her until the end. Nikki also had a cantankerous Lab/Shepard mix named Goldie that used to accompany her to work each day. She was a part of the family for many years until her final day.
Today, Nikki has four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. They are all the loves of her life and she enjoys spending as much time with them as possible. She looks forward to taking the kids fishing on their pond, riding four-wheelers, and teaching the young ones about the different animals on their farm. She also cherishes every moment that she gets to spend with her 93-year-old mother. In her free time, Nikki likes to cook, draw, and craft. She also enjoys watching NASCAR with her husband and snuggling with her dogs on the couch!
Nikki fun fact: Nikki’s favorite animal related movie(s)/show(s) are Benji and Homeward Bound
Autumn is from Clinton, Indiana, a small town rich in Italian heritage, just north of Terre Haute. Growing up, she was a devoted member of her local 4-H club. It was during her time with 4-H that she would be exposed to a whole world of animals and learn how to properly care for them. Over time, she would gain experience with steer, pigs, horses, and of course, her beloved dogs. Although Autumn had grown up always having a dog in her family, it wasn’t until high school that she would discover a special bond with her dogs.
Autumn attended South Vermillion High School, where she was a decorated track athlete. She had such a passion for running, she realized that she could include her dogs as running partners. Besides providing her with some good old fashion company, her dogs also protected her during long runs out in the country. This is where her love of large or giant breed dogs all began! Get her around Collies or Tibetan Mastiffs, and you’ll have one happy camper!
After high school, Autumn chose to join the Air Force. She had a successful career in information management for eight years. During that time, she got to travel the country and meet some lifelong friends along the way. Autumn left the Air Force in order to focus on her growing family. She raised three children and a husband along the way! Her fur family currently includes Nina the Collie, Dakota Bear the Tibetan Mastiff, and Willie the crazy cat!
Autumn joined the Heritage family in April of 2000 as a receptionist and recently accepted a promotion as the front desk manager.
Autumn fun fact: Her favorite animal related movie is See Spot Run and her favorite animal related cartoon is Tom and Jerry!
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I have been taking my dogs and cats to Heritage for many years. I also have friends that go to Dr. Pat & Dr. Jessica. They are extremely knowledgeable in every aspect of animal health care. Even on mammals you would never even think to take to the vet. Love the front desk staff in their caring attitudes, even though they are extremely busy. I would recommend anyone to take their four legged babies to visit Heritage Animal Hospital.
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