Animal Hospital Serving Durham, NC & Beyond

At Colony Park Animal Hospital, we love what we do. Our top-notch team of Durham veterinarians, registered vet technicians, veterinary assistants, groomers, kennel assistants and other staff is passionate about serving our clients in the Triangle area, and we strive to provide each one with personalized, attentive care. Colony Park Animal Hospital’s experienced staff is committed to providing progressive, up-to-date health and dental care to our canine and feline patients in Raleigh-Durham and beyond. Learn more about each staff member in their bios below.

Dr. Richard Hawkins, Practice Owner

Years in Practice: 34 Education: North Carolina State University, Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine Email:
Dr. Richard Hawkins founded Colony Park Animal Hospital in 1984. He graduated from NCSU in 1976 with a degree in Zoology, then from Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980. He started practice in Baltimore, Maryland and returned to North Carolina to start Colony Park. Dr. Hawkins is currently Vice Chairman of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board. He is a past president of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association and North Carolina Veterinary Foundation Board. He is also a past president of the Triangle Veterinary Medical Association and has been involved with several local nonprofit boards. Dr. Hawkins also serves on the board of advisers at Dognition. You can find out more information about Dognition at He is married to Trena Griffith-Hawkins and has a daughter, Cameron, two dogs and a cat.

Dr. Susanne Hughes

Years in Practice: 24 Education: North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Email:
Dr. Susanne Hughes joined Colony Park Animal Hospital after graduating from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. She brings special interests and skills to CPAH, including BAER hearing testing, PennHIP radiography and canine reproductive services. Dr. Hughes is a former breeder and exhibitor of dalmatians. She is currently active in conformation exhibition and lure coursing with her whippets. You can visit her website here:

Dr. Alison Klaitman

Years in Practice: 10 Education: Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine Email:
Dr. Alison Klaitman, a native of New England, joined Colony Park in 2004 after graduating from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Her interests include behavior, dentistry and internal medicine. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, two daughters and a variety of pets. She is involved with agility with her dogs and is an avid runner.

Dr. Joyce McKinney

Years in Practice: 9 Education: University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine Email:
Dr. Joyce McKinney, a native of Tennessee, graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. Dr. McKinney has a strong interest in dermatology, dentistry and internal medicine. She is active in various community organizations and serves in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program as a youth mentor. Dr. McKinney lives with her husband, Matt, her daughter, Amelia, and an assortment of pets. In her spare time, she enjoys doing volunteer work, baking, and spending time with her family.

Tom-1 (1)Dr. Erin Tom

Years in Practice: 10 Education: Ontario Veterinary College Email:
Dr. Tom, a native of Ontario, Canada, graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2004. She also has a master's degree in Animal Behavior and Welfare, specializing in pain assessment. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, son and daughter, two large mutts, three cats, five finches and six chickens! In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, horseback riding, and hiking in the woods.

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Terri Oxendine, Groomer

Terri has been a groomer for 20 years, 8 of which have been here at Colony Park Animal Hospital. She has experience with cats and dogs of all ages, from puppy-hood to seniors and also is experience in sedation grooming. In her downtime she likes to garden and be outside as well as spend time with her adult children. She has a Remi, a Boston Terrier and Jinx, a chihuahua at home.

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Jennifer Barnes, CVPM

Jennifer joined the Colony Park team in 2003 as an experienced receptionist and became the Office Manager a year later. She has a background in accounting and her organizational skills and attention to detail are invaluable to our team. She resides with her husband and son in Creedmoor and enjoys reading, hiking, and camping in her spare time. Her pets include 2 cats, some fish, and a corn snake. Jennifer successfully completed the program to become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager in January 2017!
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Melissa Herrick, Receptionist

Melissa has been working for Colony Park Animal Hospital since October 2013. She recently relocated from the New Jersey/New York area. Now she lives in Raleigh with her Husband, Ian, 4 Chickens and their Dog Misty, a Great Pyrenees.

Ferris Wilkins, Receptionist

Bio coming soon!

Audrey Norton, Receptionist

Bio coming soon!

Rachel Smith, Veterinary Assistant/Kennel Assistant

Rachel has been working at Colony Park since high school. She started out in the kennel and then after a brief time in Savannah, GA, she returned as a veterinary assistant. We all affectionately refer to Rachel as our "crazy cat lady." If anyone in the hospital or any of our clients have a cat-related question, Rachel is your go to source! She volunteers as a kitten foster parent and is truly passionate about animal care.  

Hannah Schwab, Support Staff Manager/Veterinary Assistant

Hannah has been working in the Veterinary Medicine field since November 2007. She started full time at Colony Park Animal Hospital after receiving a Bachelors of Science in zoology with a minor in animal science from North Carolina State University in May 2012. Currently she is working on becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician. She shares her home with 3 dogs, 4 cats, a Congo African grey parrot, 11 chickens, 4 ducks, 3 turkeys, and her husband, Nick. In her spare time she enjoys being outside with her dogs and poultry, agility training and trials with her dog Hemi, attending sporting events, and traveling.

Briana Stockdale, Veterinary Assistant/Kennel Assistanat

Briana is a biology student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She intends on attending veterinary school upon graduation and using her education to aid endangered species conservation efforts. She is passionate about caring for animals and loves helping take care of Colony Park’s furry friends.

Hannah Clark, Veterinary Assistant

Hannah joined Colony Park Animal Hospital in June 2015 after finishing her Ph. D. in physics at Duke University. She has absolutely loved the change from working in the lab to working with animals, and feels very fortunate to have the most wonderful mentors at CPAH. In her free time she is a foster mom and volunteer for both Aussie and Border Collie rescues and volunteers at the Durham APS. Hannah still fills in with us on Saturdays even after getting a job in her field of studies. She shares her home with her very patient husband, 3 dogs, 2 foster dogs. Hannah has taken a job in her field but still comes around a Saturday here and there to fulfill her veterinary medicine love.

 Martha Payne, Veterinary/Kennel Assistant

Martha came to us after several years working in research and development dealing with dairy cattle. Before that, she received a BS and Master’s in Animal Science at NC State University and worked at another animal hospital while in high school and college. While she is also a newer employee, her previous experience has made the transition back into veterinary medicine seamless. Martha loves veterinary medicine and client education. She enjoys radiology and also helps in surgical and dental procedures. Martha has grown up around dogs, cats, cattle, and horses and loves all of them for their uniqueness. In her spare time, she heads to the NC State Dairy Education Unit to volunteer and spends a lot of time with her cattle dogs, Roo and Hazin. Roo is a recent rescue from the Durham APS that possesses a lot of potential for dog sports. Hazin has titled in dock-diving and has done some informal herding with Martha’s late steer and horse with just her natural instinct. Martha’s knowledge of training and dog behavior allows her to be a safe and effective vet assistant when working with animals in both examination rooms and the kennel.

 Sasha Toker, Veterinary Assistant/Kennel Assistant

Sasha also started out as a volunteer looking to gain more experience in veterinary medicine with the hopes of attending veterinary school. Sasha works part-time with us as well as working at Suite Paws caring for the daycare pets. While at Colony Park, she has learned a lot about prepping labwork for in-house diagnostics on top of processing samples to send to the reference lab. Her kindness and care for the animals is welcoming to clients and patients during appointments and while helping care for our kennel patients. Her attention to detail and eagerness to learn is essential to our hospital. Sasha recently adopted a young dog and is using her knowledge of behavior learned at Suite Paws and the medical knowledge she has learned at Colony Park to raise a happy and healthy dog!

 Jessie Schott, Registered Veterinary Techncian

Bio Coming Soon!

Ana Wagner, Kennel Assistant/Veterinary Assistant

Bio Coming Soon!
Ready to experience the Colony Park Animal Hospital difference? Contact us at (919) 489-9156 to learn how our Durham veterinary staff can serve you and your pet through our wide range of veterinary services. Colony Park Animal Hospital is proud to offer medical and dental care, grooming, boarding, emergency care and other veterinary services to patients in Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Cary, Raleigh, Apex and other areas throughout the Triangle.