Our caring and compassionate veterinary care team!

Since 1985, Dutch Fork Animal Hospital has been the destination for trusted veterinary care in Irmo, SC. The team of professionals at our veterinary office will provide you with highest level of care, and we promise to treat every animal as if they are our own. Our team will provide you with the resources and treatment options to help your pets live happy, healthy, and long lives. For more information about our practice, services, or adoption opportunities, please contact us today or give us a call at 803-781-7483.

Our Doctors

Dr. Emily Johnson, DVM

Dr. Emily Johnson grew up in on campus at the Citadel in Charleston, SC and graduated from Bishop England High School before earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Wofford College. Together, Dr. Johnson and her husband, Chris, moved to Raleigh, NC where she graduated from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. She brought her experience to Dutch Fork in 2008. She and her husband have a son named Coleman, and they share their home with Iggy, the lovable mixed breed; Bart, the feisty furball; and four cats, Ice, Felix, Nana Polly, and Laz. She enjoys time in the mountains, kayaking, spending time with family and friends, and experimenting with plant-based cooking.

Dr. Elizabeth Niciu, DVM

Dr. Elizabeth Niciu earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia in 2000. Originally from East Setauket, NY, she earned her Bachelors of Science from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA in 1992 and her Masters of Zoology from the University of Florida in 1995. For 9 1/2 years she practiced small animal medicine in Loganville, GA and in November of 2009, she joined our DFAH team. She enjoys all aspects of small animal medicine with a particular interest in aging kitties. She shares her home with her husband, Rob; her 17 year-old daughter, Jessica; her cats, Butterbean, Pixie and Gracie; and Forrest, the big sweet German Shepherd. Dr. Niciu spends her free time enjoying Lake Murray and being actively involved in Jessica‘s activities which include swim and playing cello.

Dr. Tiffany Boyette, DVM

Dr. Boyette graduated from The Ohio State University in 1996. She joined the team at Dutch Fork Animal Hospital in May 1998. She and her husband, Heyward (also a veterinarian), have 2 daughters. They also share their home with 3 cats and a goofy dog. In her free time, Dr. Boyette likes to take ballet and tap classes. She and her family are actively involved in Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet. She helps make props, alter costumes, works backstage, and even performs in the Nutcracker every year! During her down time, she enjoys reading, cross stitch, and computer games. She has recently earned her certification as an advanced scuba diver!

Dr. Greg Conner, DVM

Dr. Greg Conner earned a BS and from the University of New Hampshire. Shortly after, in 1990, he earned a Masters Degree in Animal Science that was later followed by his Veterinary Degree in 1994 from Mississippi State University. He and his wife, Ruthie, have a daughter, Olivia, and a dog named Reagan. He loves to travel and spend time on the lake with his family.

Dr. Elizabeth Hood, DVM

Dr. Elizabeth Hood has been a member of the DFAH family since 2017. Dr. Hood is originally from Gainesville, Georgia. She completed her undergraduate degree from Clemson University in Animal Science. She attended Mississippi State University for Veterinary School. Her favorite part of Veterinary medicine is surgery! Dr. Hood enjoys spending time with her husband, Jeremy. Together they have 3 dogs , 3 cats, and 3 chickens! Dr. Hood’s hobbies include spending time with friends and family, traveling, cooking, cross stitching, and observing the wild life in her backyard!

Dr. Heather McCann, DVM

Dr. Heather McCann graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 2001. She practiced as an equine veterinarian for the first several years of her career before she made the transition to small animal practice in 2006 where Dr. Niciu had the pleasure of working with her. Since then Dr. McCann has worked throughout the United States and Canada as both a General Practitioner in family practice and as an Emergency Veterinarian at a 24/7 Emergency/ Referral Hospital. In her spare time, Dr. McCann loves spending time with her horses Rosatta and Beowulf, and her dogs, Sullivan and Egon. She also loves hanging out on Lake Murray with her husband Andy, doing yoga, reading, and traveling. 

Dr. Brannon Rickman, DVM

Dr. Rickman was born and raised near Columbus, MS where he decided to become a veterinarian at the very young age of 7. He moved to Huntsville, AL for high school, acquired his BS at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN before getting his MS and DVM from Auburn University in 2015. After meeting his beautiful wife, Desireé, at vet school, they moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains in north Georgia. There, he practiced at a mixed animal practice in Chatsworth and developed his joy of surgery, especially orthopedics. After over 5 years in Georgia, Dr. Rickman and his wife along with Emma, the border collie, Bones, their rescued Pitt, and Cheese, the chunky orange tabby, decided to move to Lexington to be closer to her father and to start a family. Dr. Rickman enjoys college football, hiking, fishing, camping, and racquetball.

Dr. Crystie Peeler, DVM

Dr. Crystie Peeler grew up in Irmo and attended Irmo High School. She did her undergraduate work at Western Carolina University and graduated from NC State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. She has over 20 years of experience working in veterinary medicine in the Midlands. Dr. Peeler, her husband, and children share their home with three dogs, four cats, and a miniature donkey. She is currently working a part-time schedule filling in where needed in order to focus on homeschooling her daughter, Amber, in her final year of high school and supporting her son, Bradley, at Cross Country meets.

Our Leadership Team

Holly Crowe

Holly, our Hospital Manager, has been with Dutch Fork since 2012. Along with working as a Receptionist, Vet Assistant, and Kennel Manager, Holly has a combined total of ten years experience in business management. She resides in the Irmo/Ballentine area with her human family and one cat, Candy aka Pennywise.

Kayla Freeman, LVT

Kayla is our Head Veterinary Technician. She is from Lexington, SC and joined the DFAH family in November 2007 after working at Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens. She earned an A.S. in Science from Midlands Technical College and an A.S. in Veterinary Technology from St. Petersburg College. She has been a Licensed Veterinary Technician since August 2014. In her spare time, she runs an at-home bakery and loves to spoil her co-workers with her homemade goodies. She also enjoys geeking out with her husband, John, watching sci-fi, Formula 1, and anime, and enjoys arts and crafts. She and her husband share their home in West Columbia with their fur-kids: two lovable German Shepherds, Axel and Reiner; the “crazy cat lady” starter pack, Augustus, Asta, and Charmy; and lazy but crazy ferrets, Jango and Boba.

Bethany Hobbes

Bethany is one of our Reception Team Leaders. Born and raised in Chapin, South Carolina, she joined the DFAH team in April 2012. Bethany live in Chapin with her husband, Steve, and daughter, Amelia. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and one of her favorite pastimes is watching USC football with her friends — GO GAMECOCKS! She has always loved animals; she and her husband share their home with two cats, Angus and Phin, and three dogs, Tate, Lucy, and Roxy.

Susan Sansbury

Susan is passionate about advocating for animals which serves her well as one of our Reception Team Leaders. She joined our DFAH team in March 2013 and has been sharing her pleasure for making work as much fun as possible ever since. She and her husband moved back to South Carolina from Michigan with their two children and currently live in Lexington. She has 11 years of experience working in a 24Hr emergency clinic as well as with an all feline facility and housecall practice as a technician. She has been an advocate for animal rescue and fostered many over the years. Her family has shared their home with lots of pets in the past, but currently cuddle up with their three cats, Jinx, Muppins, and Chilly, and three dogs, Dozer, Kirby, and Dixie. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, riding her Harley, and spending time at the beach.

Patricia Kenney

Patricia, or Trish, is our Surgery Team Leader and started working at DFAH in February 2015. She has more than 20 years experience in veterinary medicine and a vast amount of knowledge in surgery from working at our local Surgical Referral Center. She enjoys motorcycles and dovates her spare time to helping charity organizations for local veterans and children in need.

Baron Harwell

Baron is our Kennel Manager and joined the DFAH family in early 2017. He can be seen helping with kennel duties as well as performing as a Veterinary Assistant. He attended Brookland Cayce High School in Cayce, SC and is currently working towards gaining licensing as a veterinary technician. Baron is the proud owner of a gray tabby cat named Janga and his energetic Austrailian Shepard, Nova.

Our Staff

Carrie Popa

Carrie has been with the hospital since July of 2005. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2003 with a degree in Zoology and a specialization in Animal Behavior and Neuroscience. Carrie and her husband, Chris, have two sons, Bennett and Banks. They have a dachshund mix, Penny; a Jack Russel, Piper; and toe cats, Olive and Callahan. Carrie enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.


Willow came to DFAH in March 2009 through the Project Pet adoption drive. She’s a hard worker providing invaluable assistance to the reception staff by napping and begging for snacks. She craves positive attention and is willing to chat with new clients whom she hopes to provide her treats. Be sure to say hello when you bring in your pets!

Chelsea Jones, Receptionist

Chelsea is a full time Receptionist who joined the DFAH team in mid 2017. She hails from Cayce, SC and attended Brookland Cayce High School. Chelsea shares her home with her lab mix, Blue, and her “vicious” chihuahua mix, Sid. She enjoys reading, socializing, and catching up on the latest trash TV.

Renea Holdorf, Receptionist

Tagan Daly, Receptionist

Melissa Connelly, LVT

Melissia lives in Newberry, SC and graduated from Piedmont Technical College in May of 2015 with an A.S. in Veterinary Technology. She completed two internships at DFAH while in the program and fell in love with everyone here. She became a Liscensed Veterinary Technician In July 2015. She enjoys reading, being out on the water, and spending time with my family, boyfriend, and friends. She has five pets: a mixed breed dog named Tober and four cats named Copper, Ms. Belle, Clegg, and Lilly. She is excited to get to know all of our clients and their fur babies!

Amber Al-Hasan, LVT

Terri Daniels, Veterinary Assistant

Terri is a full time Veterinary Assitant who joined DFAH in Feburary of 2015. She was born and raised in Columbia, SC where she graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice from USC. After 29 years in sporting goods, she switched gears and is now focusing on her passion for animals. She has been married to her husband and best friend, Tim, since 1985, and they live with a large pack of small dogs and a small flock of birds in West Columbia. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, writing and playing with her pack. Loving on the animals, learning, educating and comforting owners, and working with co-workers who love animals are her favorite things about working in the veterinary field.

Tiffany Holiday, Veterinary Assistant

Tiffany is a full time Veterinary Assistant from Batesburg-Leesville who became part of the DFAH team in May of 2016 shortly after completing her B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Charleston Southern University. She is currently studying to become a licensed Veterinary Technician and says that her passion in life is helping or speaking for the creatures that cannot do it for themselves. Tiffany feels called to help animals and their owners, and her patients’ tail wags and purrs bring her joy every day. She enjoys reading and listening to music which often has her dancing along, and spends her some of her down time as an Instagram Shopper as well. She shares her home with two dogs, Polo and Oreo, and her tabby cay, Kevin.

Kyle Willimson, Veterinary Assistant

Kyle is a full time Veterinary Assistant who joined the DFAH team in July of 2016. He hails from the Irmo area and has been in the Veterinary field for over 15 years bringing with him a wealth of variety and knowledge. Kyle and his wife, Alexis, are having a wonderful time raising their son, Benjamin, and daughter, Margo. Kyle really enjoys music and playing guitar and shares his home with two fur children Zoe and Brandy!

Lisa Smith, Veterinary Assistant

Lisa is a full time Veterinary Assistant. She was born and raised in Columbia, SC and enjoys reading, drawing and video gaming. She Joined our team in December of 2020 and loves seeing her sick patients make a turn towards recovery and be happily discharged after treatment in the hospital. She shares her home with a black and white kitty, Oliver; a tabby cat, Sage; and a Chihuahua mix, Cinnamon.

Shelby Smith, Veterinary Assistant

Alice Montgomery, Veterinary Assistant

Allen Findley, Veterinary Assistant

Caitlyn Jeffcoat, Veterinary Assistant

Eva Garcia, Veterinary Assistant

Emily Spikes, Kennel Assistant