Meet Our Staff
Marissa is originally from Portola California. Growing up she was active in sports and the 4-H program. She helped raise and take care of various animals at their home including dogs, cats, chickens, horses, pigs, sheep, and goats which led to her passion for veterinary medicine. Her devotion to animal health drove her to study animal science at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo California. Through Cal Poly's learn by doing philosophy, the animal science program inspired her to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate Tennessee. She is driven to promote the companion animal and food animal industries that have, thus far, impacted her life to such a large degree. Upon graduation, she has decided to move back to the area in order to be closer to her family and support the community that has supported her throughout her life. She has two dogs named Teddy & Hazel who enjoy paddleboarding and swimming on the weekends. She is also currently raising two Nigerian dwarf goats named Thunder and Lightening. On her time off, Marissa enjoys hiking, camping, and horseback riding.
Dr. Diana Kushlan
Dr. Diana Kushlan spent her early years wandering the U.S. with her Navy family. She received her BS in Chemistry followed by her PhD in the same subject. After working in the academic field for over seven years she headed to the University of IL, and graduated with a DVM in 1999. Dr. Kushlan currently lives in Carson City with her 3 dogs Kaci, Melvin, and Molly!!!
Dr. Katie Cox
Dr. Katie Cox was born and raised in Albuquerque. She graduated from Eldorado High School knowing she would work with animals for the rest of her life. She enrolled at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with a minor in Chemistry. She began working with cattle and other farm animals at NMSU and completed a summer internship at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. At Doorly, she focused on developing animal diets in the nutrition lab. She entered veterinary school at Colorado State University, where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. While at CSU, she interned at a large and small animal practice in Washington State.
Dr. Cox practiced at a small animal and exotics animal veterinary clinic in Albuquerque for one year before relocating to Reno. There she worked with a variety of animals and learned the value of strong doctor-client-patient relationship.
Dr. Cox is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. She has special interests in ophthalmology, cardiology, animal behavior and preventative medicine. She believes that compassionate communication with both the animal patient and owner is essential for the healing and wellness processes in veterinary medicine.
Dr. Cox lives with her dog, Aspen and her cat, Wallace. She loves spending time with her friends, reading and listening to music, traveling, skiing, fishing and being outdoors.
Dr. Charles Andrus
Dr. Charles Andrus, DVM was born and raised in Holiday, Utah, on a small ranch. His dad raised Tennessee Walkers, and Chuck spent much of his time caring for their many horses, dogs, chickens, cows and cats. This is where his love of animals developed. As a boy, in addition to his work on the ranch, Chuck was actively involved in Boy Scouts, hiking and camping in the Wastach and Unita mountains as a boy. He went on to earn his Eagle Scout Award. He graduated from Utah State University with a BS in Zoology, and then in 1978, he decided to follow in his dad's footsteps and attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins. There he received his degree in Veterinary Medicine in 1981. He then moved to Reno to begin practicing in the Reno/Sparks area. Chuck's pets include a Doberman named Razor, chickens of various breeds, and his newest addition: four miniature Mancha dairy goats. When Chuck is not working, he enjoys being outdoors. He loves to hike, kayak, and geocache.
Dr. Ren Johnson
Meghan is a Veterinary Assistant at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. Meghan is from Chicago, Illinois. She originally became interested in working with animals rescuing animals with her grandmother growing up. Meghan attended Aurora University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. She is currently pursuing education to become a Veterinary Technician. She has one pet, an extremely vocal savannah cat, named Kazi. In her free time she enjoys playing hockey and hiking the trails around Lake Tahoe.
Darby is a Veterinary Assistant at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. He was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. Darby loves helping animals and making sure they are feeling their best. Darby discovered that he wanted to work in the veterinary field by accident when he accompanied his grandmother to take her cat to the veterinarian. At this visit, he discovered to have both a talent and a desire to work with animals. After this visit, he began working at a veterinary clinic and started pursuing his Veterinary Technician certificate. Darby has 2 dogs he rescued from the Humane Society, Gizmo a sassy 2-year-old terrier mix that loves to play and Cosmo a hyper 2-year-old terrier mix that loves to cuddle. He also has a 2-year-old black cat named Ana and 12 koi fish. In his free-time Darby enjoys creating ceramic art on a pottery wheel and caring for his carnivorous plant collection.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Meredith Standish is a Licensed Veterinary Technician and Bookkeeper at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. She was born and raised in Florida and came to Reno, Nevada after her husband was offered a job in this area. Meredith started her career in nursing and worked in human medicine for 15 years. She lost her passion for her career in human medicine after her mother passed away. She switched careers after working for a mobile equine veterinarian in Georgia. She immediately became hooked on veterinary nursing. She went back to school in 2013 for her Veterinary Technology degree and received her degree from Truckee Meadows Community College in 2016.
Meredith has 7 pets including 4 dogs; Bubba Flash a Basset Hound, Markey, a Basenji mix, Max, a cheweenie and Echo, a Chihuahua one cat, Chappie, a short haired beauty of a cat and two thoroughbred horses, Jojo and Faith. Meredith’s biggest personal achievement is her son and being married 20 years going strong. Professionally, she feels privileged to be able to teach the next generation of Veterinary Technicians as an instructor at her alma mater. She feels passionate about helping others achieve their goals of working with animals, and making a difference in the owners that care so much for their pets. Meredith loves working with like-minded people that make caring for animals a top priority at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital.
Jessie Vanderkeep is a Veterinary Assistant at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. Jessie is from Newberg, Oregon, she moved to Reno to start her own business. Jessie has a desire to help the helpless and has pursued careers that have allowed her to do so. She studied to become an EMT but decided to pursue a career in the veterinary field after she was injured in a car accident. Jessie has a 3-year-old Lab mix with a heart condition named Cupid, a healthy Heeler named Caster, and a 7-year-old Doberman named CamberLT that is her mobility service dog. Jessie has a passion for helping rescue animals; she volunteers as a surgical assistant to veterinarians that offer health care to rescue animals. Her personal hobbies include building trucks and off-road machines, spending time in the mountains and spending time with her wife.
Veterinary Technician in Training
Michelle is a Veterinary Technician in Training at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. Michelle has always had love and compassion for animals, which led to her desire to work in the veterinary field. She aspires to become a Veterinary Technician and continue to care for, love and help animals in need. She was born and raised in Reno, Nevada and attended Sparks High School. She went on to attend the Veterinary Technology program at Truckee Meadows Community College in 2017 and expects to graduate in 2020. Michelle has a family dog she grew up with, an 11 year old German Shepard named Shadow. He is a senior dog with a mellow personality that loves his toys and gets very excited to meet new people. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, crafting, cooking and enjoying the outdoors.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Erica is a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. Erica was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. She had many different animals growing up which is where she found her love and passion for animals. Her first job working with animals helped her realize that she wanted to pursue a career working in the veterinary field. Erica has worked with the Nevada Humane Society, SPCA, and several veterinary hospitals in Reno while pursuing her education to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician at Truckee Meadows Community College. She graduated from TMCC in May of 2019.
Erica has a happy bunch of pets. She is the proud dog-mom to Loki, a 9-year-old Pitbull/Rottweiler mix. Loki is her certified therapy animal. She is also mom to 3 cats that she adopted from the Nevada Humane Society; Mr. Fred Mertz, a sassy orange cat who is queen of the house, Yoshi, a precocious 5-year-old cat that loves playing in boxes and eating tissue paper and her "old man" cat Crumpet that has kidney disease and a requires a special diet but is one of the sweetest cats in the world. Erica also has a cockatiel named Baloo that loves to sunbathe and sing the Adams Family and Flintstones theme song to her.
Erica has traveled to South Africa working with large exotic animals and conservation efforts. She is currently working to finish her Bachelor's degree in Biology. Her goal is to work in wildlife conservation and eventually operate her own animal shelter.
Tiffany is a Veterinary Assistant at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. She was born and raised in Reno, NV. Tiffany has always loved animals. She decided to work in the veterinary field to help pets live long and healthy lives with their people.
Tiffany attended school to become a Veterinary Assistant and plans to continue her education to get her Veterinary Technician License. Tiffany has 2 dogs, Ariel a 7 year old Border Collie and Apollo a 7 month old German Shepard. In her free time, Tiffany enjoys spending time with her 6 year old son and 2 dogs.
Cheyanne Duve was born and raised a Nevadan. She attended Bishop Manogue high school, Northern Arizona University, and is a student at UNR. Cheyanne is currently seeking dual degrees in Wildlife Management and Conservation, and Biology. She has about 5 years of experience in the veterinary field, and hope to become either a veterinarian or a wildlife biologist working with endangered sea creatures.
Veterinary Technician in Training
Robert was born in Tucson, Az. but moved to Las Vegas at an early age. Robert lived in Las Vegas for 16 years and graduated from high school then moved to Reno, Nv. He has been attending UNR since 2013. He is working on a dual-major in Veterinary Medicine and Biology, with a minor in Analytical Chemistry. Robert was an intern at the UNR Station Farm, where he acquired a basic knowledge of large animals, but found his passion lies in companion animals. He is set to graduate this winter, but is uncertain what he would like to pursue, his overall goal is to remain in the veterinary field. Some of Robert's hobbies include hiking, camping and listening to music. One of his main goals in to travel to another country.
Animal Health Technician
JD Francis is an Animal Health Technician/Maintenance Supervisor, employed at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital for the past 16 years. JD has been married for 22 years and enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and granddaughter. She and her husband have dogs, a cat, and a tank full of fish. JD enjoys hiking, reading, writing science fiction, gardening, doing community cleanups, and learning about history.
Practice Manager, LVT
Dennise is a Licensed Veterinary Technician and the Practice Manager at Fairgrounds. Dennise has lived in Reno all of her life, she graduated from tech school at CCSN in 1999, and has worked at Fairgrounds on and off since 1992. Dennise lives in Fernley with her husband, son, and many dogs, cats, snakes, pigs, and horses. When she is not at Fairgrounds, Dennise runs a horse boarding business. She spends her free time raising horses, camping, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Social Media Coordinator
Cindy Allen is a Social Media Specialist at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. She is a native Nevadan from Reno. She has a background in non-profits and human resources. Cindy enjoys volunteering in the community, mainly with programs that focus on assisting animals and young people in Reno and Sparks. She spends most of her free time with her husband and two children. Cindy has two dogs named Chewie and Rosie, and two parakeets named Wesley and Buttercup. She enjoys gardening, painting, cooking, and reading when she is not working. She also enjoys working with the team at Fairgrounds and getting to cuddle puppies and kittens.
Jennifer is a Receptionist at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. She moved to Reno from Huntington Beach, Ca. when her husband’s company transferred him to Reno. She currently lives in Reno with her husband and 4 incredible kids ranging in age from 17 to 4. She is inspired by her kids every day.
Jennifer decided to work in the veterinary field because of her love and compassion for animals. She began working as a Receptionist in a veterinary hospital when she was 21 years old, from there she worked her way up to Office Manager. While working for animal hospitals she found that she had a passion for working with pets and their parents. She believes that educating pet parents is crucial to the well-being of pets.
Jennifer feels that her greatest achievements are the animal adoptions and rehabilitations that she has been a part of. She has many pets including, 2 dogs, Delilah and Gemma, a cheweenie and pit bull mix, 3 cats named Ghost, Khaleesi and Tyrion, 4 chickens named Queenie, Hermione, Peep and Reno and 2 koi named Luna Lovegood and Sirus Black. I
Jenny is a receptionist at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. Jenny is new to the Reno area, having moved from Las Vegas, where she was a receptionist for several years at a busy walk-in animal clinic. Jenny loves working with animals and enjoys interacting with all of the pets that come in to see us. When Jenny is not working she likes to spend her time hiking with her Beagle "Duke", gaming, and traveling. Some of her hobbies include sewing, practicing archery, and working on her computer.
Brianne grew up in Bellevue, Washington where she lived for 14 1/2 years. She moved to Reno 16 years ago with her family. On the weekend her hobbies include watching football and spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys spending time with her 3 year old Queensland Heeler, Dallas. Brianne has always known that she wanted to work with animals and started right out of high school. Although she's one of the newest additions to Fairgrounds she enjoys coming in everyday and being able to help animals and constantly learn.
Sharon Parodi is a Receptionist at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital. She has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area for more than 40 years. With over 15 years of experience in customer service in the veterinary field, Sharon is passionate and quite knowledgeable about the field’s best practices. She sincerely enjoys being able to assist clients and their pets here at Fairgrounds. Sharon has two horses, four cats, and two Rottweilers, and she is always happy to show them off. Her other hobbies include horseback riding, hiking, and gardening.