Staff

  • James Hornbuckle DVM
    Doctor
    Dr. Hornbuckle graduated Cum Laud from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. He then spent 3.5 years practicing in Charlotte, N.C. He moved to Glynn County in 1999 and purchased Golden Isles Animal Hospital in the year 2000. Dr. Hornbuckle lives on St. Simons Island with his wife and their two children.
  • Becky Rocha, Office Manager

    Family/Pet Information: Yeti - 5yr old Australian Shep/Border Collie, Coley -2yr old MinPin/Chihuahua mix, Sampson - 5yr old cat, Grayson - 5yr old cat, and Gage - 18yr old American Saddlebred Horse. 

    Personal Interests:  I love spending time at the barn with the horses, decorating, shopping (of course), and spending time with God. I love to help others and see them smile. 

    My Business Philosophy/What makes me stand out: I really enjoy getting to know my employees. My philosophy is if you genuinely appreciate and care about your employees you will create a fantastic team! There's no better environment than one full of staff who truly love their jobs. 

    Why I love my job/What I enjoy most: I enjoy the financial side of business but my heart wants to be around animals. At Golden Isles Animal Hospital; I get to love all our patients and still satisfy the business side of my mind. I have the best of both worlds here!

    I'm born and raised in Brunswick. Graduated from Glynn Academy and finished my Certification as a Surgical Technician in 2016! 

  • Casey Smith, Customer Service and Reception

    Family/Pet Information: I have two dogs, Captain Jack - a Bully, and Alexa Lynn a little pitbull terrier and a domestic longhair cat named Titty Witty.

    Personal Interests:  I love spending time with my dogs, fishing, camping, going out to the river and spending time with my human family!

    My Business Philosophy/What makes me stand out: I know how to assist with every area in the hospital and can be called on anytime to help. I pride myself on knowing people can rely on me. I love to be the first face our clients get to see when they come through the door. Greeting every patient with a happy and warm attitude to start their experience lets them know they're more than just an account on a screen to us - they're what makes my job so great!

    Why I love my job/What I enjoy most:  I get to help happy pets enjoy their experience at a vets office, help sick pets feel better, cuddle dogs and cats and I have the best co-workers EVER! What's not to love? 

  • Sarra Pierson, Communications

    Family/Pet Information: Atlas – 3yr old Dutch Shepherd, Valkyrie – 5yr old Belgian Malinois and  Kilo - a little 5yr old albino English Budgie.

    Personal Interests: I love Camping, hiking, adventuring with the dogs, kayaking, paddle boarding and exploring new places. I have a passion for working dogs and shepherd breeds. I spend the most time training my two high drive/high energy Shepherds!

    My Business and work philosophy/What makes me stand out: I believe in treating everyone how I would want to be treated in every situation. I wake up every morning excited to go to work and make real connections with each of our clients and patients so they always feel like they’re not just clients – they’re family.  I enjoy learning as much as I can to be as helpful as possible in every aspect of our hospital; and if I don’t know the answer – I’m happy to figure it out or direct you to someone who does!

    Why I love my job/What I enjoy most:  The overall atmosphere of Golden Isles Animal Hospital is what I love most. It is a wonderful feeling to work at a hospital where every staff member cares about every patient as if the pet was their own. Watching Dr. Hornbuckle work with difficult cases has provided me with the ability to have an incredible confidence in his skills and it gives me more pride in my work each day. Our kennel staff has so much fun with all our boarding guests.  Our Office Manager has carefully selected our staff to make sure we have the best team members for the hospital, and it’s really created an amazing environment for our clients, as well as our staff! 

  • Lorial Valzone, Veterinary technician

    Family/Pet Information: I have 2 dogs, Annabell the Pomeranian and Bella the Basset Hound. I have two cats, Crush and Poe and 2 chinchillas chii and onyx. And I have the most wonderful husband in the world, my high school sweetheart- Kris!

    Personal Interests:  I enjoy walking, hiking, being outdoors, biking, spending time with my family, paddle boarding, watching anime and playing RPG games.

    My Business and work philosophy/What makes me stand out: I pride myself on making every pet that comes to Golden Isles Animal Hospital comfortable. I take my time, and get to know your pet before I start each appointment; because that's how I'd want my animals treated. Once you enter our doors, you're family too and as your nurse I'll always make you and your pet feel welcomed, happy and excited to be a part of our family!

    Why I love my job/What I enjoy most: I love meeting new fur-babies and their owners. I get to learn new things every day about different breeds, wellness and health, and medical care and more. I love making our clients happy and I'm so grateful to be the one you trust to care for your pets. My favorite things to do at work are dental cleanings and assisting with surgeries!

    I'm slightly obsessed with ANYTHING Pomeranian related as well as cats.

  • Catherine Rodriguez, Veterinary technician

    Family/Pet Information: I have one dog - Lexi, one cat- Louie, a human daughter - Launa, and a wonderful husband, Miguel. Personal Interests:  I enjoy playing family board games, canvas painting and travelling.

    My Business Philosophy/What makes me stand out: My philosophy at work is that we are one team, and a family.

    Why I love my job/What I enjoy most: The animals are always the most important part of my career. I really enjoy solving puzzles, and veterinary diagnostics have similar qualities. Each sick patient case is like a puzzle we have to solve to make the pet better - seeing them happy and healthy because we solved those puzzles feels great!

    I am a graduate of Florida State University (Go Noles!) with a bachelors in Political Science and Biological Science. 

  • Nikita Pratt, Kennel technician

    Family/Pet Information: I live with my fiancé Paul, and we have 4 pets together. Two dogs, one cat and a bearded dragon.

    Personal Interests: I enjoy playing frisbee with my dogs, practicing SFX makeup, drawing, painting, watching movies and playing video games.

    My Philosophy/What makes me stand out: Over the past 5 years of working with dogs, I have become very familiar with how to read animal body language and I feel that gives me a higher advantage to understanding how a pet feels. I have also learned how a dog thinks and what will be the most effective way to approach correcting undesirable behavior.

    Why I love my job/What I enjoy most:  I love working at GIAH not only because the staff is like a family, but also because working with dogs is my passion. The best part of my job is helping a pet go from fearful to excited to stay here with us at our boarding facility. 

    I became a Certified Canine Training Instructor in 2015, and my life-long career goal is to become a full-time Obedience and Sport Dog Trainer.

  • Taylor Cain, Kennel technician

    Family/Pet Information: I have two dogs - an Australian shepherd mix and a lab mix , and two cats.

    Personal Interests:  I love going to the beach, watching movies, taking my dog on walks and trying new foods!

    My business philosophy/what makes me stand out: I have always had a great connection with animals. Dogs that come to our boarding facility and stay with me that are normally uncomfortable, fearful or aggressive end up being comfortable around me. It makes their visit transition from fearful and anxious - to happy and excited to come see me!

    Why I love my job/What I enjoy most:  I love getting to spend time with, take care of and getting to know all our different dogs and cats and their different personalities. It's the most fun job you could have!

    I found my dog on a dirt road almost 2 years ago. Since then; she's been my best friend and my baby and I love her more than anything! 

  • Logan Hanna Dixon
    Animal Caretaker


    Family/Pet Information: I have one dog, Rosemary - she's my sweet 3 year old Chihuahua/Terrier rescue pup! 

    Personal Interests: I LOVE the outdoors, camping, kayaking, foraging, and more. I also love gardening, learning about edible plants and primitive survival. I love art and enjoy drawing and painting and sculpting. 

    My Business and work philosophy/What makes me stand out: I take pride and responsibility in the work I do. I'm thorough and passionate in my efforts to care for all furbabies!

    Why I love my job/What I enjoy most:  I absolutely love working with animals. Getting to spend my days taking care and playing with them is a dream come true. I love treating them all as if they were my own, so they feel loved and know they're in great care! 

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