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 Staff

Holly Crowe

Holly has been with our hospital for over eight years. She has worked in Reception, as a Veterinary Assistant, and has managed our Kennel and Personnel Department. She is now ready to serve our Dutch Fork family as the Hospital Manager. She currently resides in the Irmo area with her family and her cat Candy.

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!

Bethany Hobbs

Bethany is one of our Reception Team Leaders and joined the DFAH team in April 2012. Born and raised in South Carolina, she grew up in Chapin and currenly lives in Irmo with her husband, Steve. 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, Ace and Angus, and two dogs, Dutchess and Lucy. Bethany and her husband have one daughter, Amelia.

Susan Sansbury

Susan is one of our Reception Team Leaders and joined in March 2013. 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 two cats: Jinx and Cheeto. A lover of all sports and NASCAR, she is a die-hard Wolverine, Red Wings, and Tigers fan! In her spare time, she enjoys photography and boating.

Chelsea Jones

Chelsea joined the DFAH team mid 2017. She hails from Cayce, SC and attended Brookland Cayce High School. She can be seen helping in reception with phone calls, check-in and check-out. 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 T.V, and looks forward to helping as best she can.

Erika Stanley

Erika is originally from Irmo but enjoys living in Chapin. She is a certified Veterinary Assistant and is currently taking online classes to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She has been in the veterinary field for a little over two years and has always wanted to work with animals since she was a little girl. She used to foster kittens for Pawmetto Lifeline and occasionally pet-sit for friends and family.  She has recently become more interested in canine obedience training. At home, she is owned by my her tabby, Camo, and my two miniature Dachshunds, Jewel and Keiser (Jewel’s son), and they are her world. She looks forward to meeting you and your fur babies!

Kayla Freeman, LVT

Kayla is our Head Veterinary Technician. She 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. She plans on returning to University and continuing on to Vet School. When she’s not working, Kayla enjoys baking, reading, DIY projects, and relaxing with her boyfriend. She shares her home in Lexington with two German Shepherds, Axel and Reiner, two cats, and three ferrets.

Patricia Kenney

Patricia, or Trish is our Surgery Team Leader and started working at DFAH in February 2015. She has a vast amount of experience in surgery from working at South Carolina Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center. She has been in the veterinary field for many years and hopes to continue her journey here at DFAH! You can see her working appointments, so be sure to say hello! She can’t wait to meet you and your four-legged friends!

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!

Terri Daniels

Terri joined DFAH in Feburary 2015. Her life long passion for dogs finally led her away from working 29 years in the retail customer service field. She is a graduate of USC where she earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice. She has been married to her husband, and best friend, Tim for the past 23 years. They live in West Columbia with seven small dogs (Enzo, Reeses, Boston, Dargo, Roo, Sweet Pea, and Tucker) and three birds (P.J., Moses, and Chance). She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and playing with her dogs during her downtime.

Tiffany Holiday

Tiffany became part of the DFAH team in May 2016 shortly after completing her B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Charleston Southern University. She says that her “passion in life is helping or speaking for the creatures that cannot do it for themselves.” In the future, Tiffany plans to become a Veterinarian or Wildlife Biologist so she can continue to work in the field she feels she was born to be in! Tiffany always has a smile on her face and is looking forward to continuing to work with all of us at Dutch Fork Animal Hospital. In her mind, laugher is the best medicine so be sure to have some fun when you meet her!

Kyle Willimson

Kyle joined the DFAH team in Fall 2016 and hails from the Irmo area. He’s been a Veterianary Technician for over 9 years and brings with him a wealth of variety and knowledge. Kyle and his wife, Alexis, are having a wonderful time raising their son Benjamin and two fur children Zoe and Brandy! Kyle is always up for a good laugh and looks forward to meeting you here and helping you with any of your pet’s needs!

Baron Harwell

Baron is our Kennel Manager and joined the DFAH family in early 2017 and can be seen helping with kennel duties and in Tech appointments. He attended Brookland Cayce High School in Cayce, SC and has since found his way to Irmo, SC. Baron is the proud owner of a gray tabby cat named Janga and his energetic Austrailian Shepard, Nova. Baron been a wonderful addition to our team and looks forward to helping your pets have the best experiences they can.