Dr. Will Patterson

Veterinarian/ Practice Owner

Dr. Will Patterson was born and raised in Blue Ridge, GA and is beyond excited to become the new owner and veterinarian at Cohutta Animal Clinic. He is proud to be a “double-dawg,” earning both his Bachelors Degree in Biology at the University of Georgia and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens, GA. Dr. Patterson finished his Bachelor’s degree in just three years before starting veterinary school. Following graduation Dr. Patterson knew that the Georgia mountains was where he wanted to be so he packed up and moved back home to Blue Ridge.

While in school, Dr. Patterson had a diverse and comprehensive education where he was able to learn and practice both large and small animal medicine. It was during this training that he developed an affinity for small animal practice as it allowed him to be more interactive with clients and their furry family members. Dr. Patterson’s special interests within the veterinary field include soft tissue surgery, dentistry, and preventative medicine. He practiced in several small animal practices in North Georgia during high school, college, and after veterinary school and can’t wait to continue to serve pets and their families at Cohutta Animal Clinic.

Dr. Patterson’s hobbies and interests outside of veterinary medicine include bee-keeping, raising Hereford cattle, gardening, and most notably Georgia football. Any Saturdays in the fall that you don’t see Dr. Patterson at the clinic, he can most likely be found watching his Dawgs play! Dr. Patterson lives in Blue Ridge with his wife Dr. Grace Murray Patterson, who you’ll also see around the clinic from time to time). They have 3 dogs and 1 cat.

Dr. Grace Murray Patterson

Veterinarian / Practice Owner

Dr. Grace Murray Patterson was born and raised near Charleston, SC. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences at Clemson University and upon graduation, attended veterinary school at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens, GA.

Dr. Murray met her husband, Dr. Will Patterson, in veterinary school and following graduation they moved back to Blue Ridge, GA where he grew up. While in school, Dr. Murray practiced both small and large animal medicine with an emphasis in mixed animal practice. She has interned and worked at several small animal practices in South Carolina and Georgia and has found that working with small animals offers fulfillment from both working with pets, but also with the people that love them. Dr. Murray’s special interests in the veterinary field include preventative medicine, soft tissue surgery, and internal medicine. Dr. Murray’s hobbies outside of veterinary medicine include hiking the beautiful north GA mountains, reading, and spending time with her husband on their small farm where they raise chickens, cows, and honeybees. In addition to all the animals on the farm, she loves to spend time with her pets: three dogs- Nate, Buster, and Wally and two cats named Susan and Flossy.

Dr. Jim McClearen

Associate Veterinarian

Jim and Laurie McClearen live on their farm in Morganton, GA They have a menagerie of animals that include several dogs, horses and a commercial herd of cattle. Jim and Laurie have two grown children and three grandchildren of which one states she wishes to also become a veterinarian.. Dr. McClearen has had an exceptional career in veterinary medicine having graduated from the University of Georgia with his DVM in 1974 after obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture in 1971. He was founder and owner of Bells Ferry Veterinary Hospital in Acworth GA until he sold it in January of 2007. Dr. McClearen also cofounded and served as project manager for the Cobb and Cherokee Emergency Veterinary Clinics along with a state of the art facility for Bells Ferry Veterinary Hospital. He has been involved with state and local veterinary associations and past president of the Georgia Veterinary Medical association. Dr. McClearen was recognized in 2006 as a Distinguished Alumni for the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and the 2013 Georgia Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinarian of the Year. He has volunteered an done outreach work with Habitat and the Zuni Indian reservation providing veterinary care for the last 12 years.The last thirteen years he has worked at Tri-County/Murphy Animal Clinic and part time at Project Chimps which is a sanctuary for chimpanzees. Collectively he has worked with numerous students pursuing their careers in veterinary medicine veterinarians and staff a like. His stated goals are always expanding and will never end as long as he can continue to learn and help. Being a veterinarian is a way of life and we must share that with those who wish to pursue this career.

Rachel Palmer

Registered Veterinary Technician/ Hospital Administration

Rachel has been a veterinary technician for 17 years. She attended school in Rochester, Minnesota as a student in the Veterinary Technology Program. She received an AAS degree and moved to Florida where she received her veterinary technician certification. While in Florida, she was selected to go to Australia and represent the veterinary technician profession for Rotary. This was a wonderful experience that she will always remember. She has now been in the North Carolina/Georgia area for just over 2 years and is loving it . She has a Shih Tzu named Schatzie, a rescued Shih Tzu named Fritzie, and a cat named Cricket. She is grateful for helping pets and their families along her journey and is looking forward to meeting you and your furry children.

Justin Lee

Veterinary Technician

Justin has been a Vet Tech for over 20 years! He is passionate about his job and loves working with both animals and their humans! When Justin isn’t working, you will most likely find him fishing, hunting, camping or anything outdoors. Justin has two biological children and has a blended family with 3 more! He is very knowledgeable and personable and can help you with all of your pet needs.

Christy Perry

Veterinary Assistant

Christy Perry grew up in Ellijay, GA and graduated from Gilmer High School. She has one daughter named Paisley and a fiancé. She also has two chihuahuas named Gracie and Goliath and a couple of kitties. Christy has been a veterinary assistant for 4 years. She has always been a passionate person about animal care and health . In her free time Christy enjoys spending time with her daughter and also likes fishing and hunting.

Nikki Zarnick

Veterinary Assistant

Nikki grew up in Ellijay, GA and now lives in Ball Ground with her wife, Rosa, and their five dogs and bunny. She has been a veterinary assistant for six years. Nikki is passionate about animals and one day aspires to own her own rescue. Outside of work Nikki enjoys crafting, reading, and spending time with her family.

Emily Vincent

Veterinary Assistant

Emily is a recent graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Animal Science and currently in the application process for veterinary school. While attending University of Florida, Emily was a veterinary technician at a specialty hospital in the ophthalmology and orthopedic department. Emily has a passion for veterinary medicine and is eager to make it her lifelong career.

Asheton Bradley-Riddle

Veterinary Assistant

Asheton has lived in Gilmer county for the last 4 years and has worked in the veterinary field for nearly 13 years. She has two daughters, Rylee and Dakota, as well as 4 cats and a small dog named Ruby with whom she shares her home. Asheton has always loved helping animals since she was a little girl, especially cats, and worked several years at a feline only clinic before moving to Ellijay. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughters, reading, and playing video games.

Kim Patterson

Client Care Specialist

Kim is a retired Fannin county educator who enjoys playing with her grandchildren, gardening, and taking care of her 3 dogs and cat. She and her husband live in the Higdon area. They have two children who are both happily married.

Julie Deal

Client Care Specialist

Julie and her husband Scott are the parents of 4 children, 2 dachshunds and a rescue named Buddy. They live in McCaysville on a small farm where they raise angus cattle.

Elisha Haithcock

Client Care Specialist

Elisha was born and raised in Jasper, GA. She started working in the veterinary field in June of 2020. In her free time, she enjoys reading, painting, hiking, and spending time with her friends, family, and fur babies. She has two dachshunds named Maddie and Maizy, and a Terrier Mix named Trixie.