Great Falls Animal Hospital

10125 Colvin Run Road Great Falls, VA 22066


In case of an after-hours emergency please contact the following emergency hospitals:

The Life Center
165 Fort Evans Rd. NE
Leesburg VA, 20176
Phone: (703) 777-5755

VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Speicalists & Emergency Center
500 Arlington Blvd.
Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: (703) 752-9100

The Hope Center for Advanced Veterinary Medicine
140 Park Street SE
Vienna, VA 22180
Phone: (703) 281-5121


Meet Our Veterinary Staff

Great Falls  Animal Hospital has a large team of dedicated, caring and experienced veterinary staff that work together to ensure that you and your pet have a great experience at each and every one of your veterinary visits.



My name is Dr. Mason.  I ended up at Great Falls Animal Hospital after a series of sad events.  I was found in the dumpster behind a 7-11 by Potomac Highlands Animal Rescue.  I was originally adopted but the other cat in the house was bullying me; that is part of the reason I’ve beefed up so much while in the hospital.  The wonderful people of GFAH took me in as the hospital cat after my predecessor, Gracie, died at the age of 16.  She was well loved and I have now taken up her throne, receiving the adoration and respect of all members of the staff.  I spend my free time begging for extra meals from unsuspecting assistants, playing with my many toys, and giving, what I am told, are the best hugs.  Dr. Garrood indulges me in some fancy Greek yogurt while I write my blog for the hospital.  I earn my keep by educating the staff and clients in many aspects of cat care.  I enjoy being brushed, loved on, and staring down at the serfs as they work below my perch.  I even where a purple collar was that is color of royalty.  I am master and you will come to respect me the way my staff has.

Follow my blog, Mason’s Mewsings.


Karen Bracken-Penley

I started working here in 1982 while still in high school.  You can find me in reception helping clients, assisting doctors with patients, helping employees with questions, or paying the bills to keep the hospital running.  My husband, Harold, and I live in Berryville and share our home with three beasts:  Jolie, a mixed breed, Nemo and Emily, both yellow Labs.  When not at work or working with one of our dogs, I enjoy gardening, entertaining, and reading.


Betty Rowe

Hi, my name is Betty Rowe and I have been an assistant at Great Falls Animal Hospital since July 1989.

I have two beautiful cats Abby and Halle.  I share most of my time with two rescued mixed breed dogs Libby and Toula.  I enjoy training and competing with Libby nationally in NADAC Agility, a sport in which I direct her through an obstacle course for both speed and accuracy.  My shy girl Toula is enjoying sheep herding.

When not competing, we enjoy walking and hiking.  I also like to read or garden while they play in the yard.


Tarisa Walker

Tarisa graduated from the University of Texas in 2004 with an AB in Ancient History.  But since she could not be a real life Indiana Jones, she started working in the veterinary practice and has been a receptionist and assistant for the last 8 years.  When not working, Tarisa sews, bakes, plays video games, and reads… a lot.


Karen Van Es

Having been a client at Great Falls Animal Hospital, I am delighted to be working here now as a part-time veterinary assistant.  Although my educational and professional background included foreign travel, conference planning, and corporate recruiting and training.  I have always loved animals, and was please to be offered the opportunity to become a member of the GFAH family.

I moved to Great Falls from Manhattan to marry my husband David.  We live with a Lab named Bella, a GFAH adoption program kitty named Frito, and a host of wildlife in our woods.  I have tow lovely step-daughters and three precious grandchildren.


Julia Gonsalves

Hi, I’m Julia, one of the receptionists at Great Falls Animal Hospital.  My relationship with Great Falls Animal Hospital began in 1997 as a client.  As my kids were growing up, we accumulated many furry family members and the going joke was that one day, i would need to work at the hospital to afford all these critters!  In 2010, the opportunity came about to do just that, so I joined the GFAH family.  At the front desk, I hear the concern that clients have for their pets and it really hits home—I feel the same way about my pets!

My human family includes my very understanding husband Steve and our two generally great children, Jessica and Matthew.  Our furry companions are Lexie (black lab) and 5 cats: Potsie, Puddy, Mama C, Mac and Tash. I have been rightly banned from the GFAH cat adoption program for my own good.  When I am not scooping out litter boxes or walking the dog, I enjoy crafting, crochet, reading the newspaper and drinking coffee (carefully) with a cat on my lap and the dog at my feet.


Elizabeth Board

Elizabeth has an associate of science degree from Northern Virginia Community college and is currently working on a bachelors in Arts and Visual Technology at George Mason University with a concentration in photography. She volunteers with local TNR programs and is passionate about neonatal kitten and community cat care. She has participated in study abroad programs in Australia and Cameroon with a focus on conservation biology. She is also interested in husbandry of exotic pets and the care and management of wildlife. In her free time she enjoys cooking, writing and reading.


Becca Handy

Hello patrons!  My name is Becca and this August is my one year anniversary at this hospital!  Before moving to Northern VA, I lived in Norfolk where I volunteered at the Virginia Zoo at age 11.  After moving to Vienna  in 2009 I started volunteering at Reston Zoo where I tended to “barnyard” animals as well as exotics.  The most rewarding part of working there was hands on experience with all different species (including kangaroos, macaws, alligators…).

Everyone has pets, but I have a small zoo and still giving second chances to animals who have had rough lives.  My “extended family” includes a menagerie of critters.  I have my precious little Sahar (Manx), a westie named Shawn, Chandani (hampster), oriental fire bellied toad, a Green’s tree frog named Ripley, chickens (Red Sox and Boxer), a chinchilla (Estebanita), and a bunny named Cindy. All are rescue babies, some even from different states.

Currently my goal is to attend the two year Veterinary Technician program at NOVA.  I would also like to get into Wildlife Rehabilitation and start a public enrichment program about the need of wildlife and how to help keep them safe and wild.  For now though, I am a veterinary assistant.  My specialty is handling fractious felines.  I love my job for many reasons.  The best part of this job though is we can lovingly care for a life that God gave.


Tracy Kiser

Hi, my name is Tracy Kiser.  I have been an assistant at Great Falls Animal Hospital since 1992.  I really enjoy working in the animal health field.  I learn so much every day and I get to meet so many interesting people.  The best part, though, is getting to take care of all the animals.

I live in downtown Leesburg with my husband, Dave, and our German Shepherd mix, Zarah.  We like living in downtown as there are lots of dog-friendly restaurants and shops to visit.  We also have many parks with miles of trails for us to enjoy.  When I’m now working or out and about, I like to cook, read, watch movies, play with Zarah, and work in my garden.  My husband and I also like to travel, go to concerts and festivals, and visit our families.


David Raynor

Hi, my name is David.  I’ve been working at GFAH since October 1995, and with animals in general since 1984.  I love all animals, especially cats, birds, and guinea pigs.  I can be found on most weekends at cats shows all up and down the east coast as I breed and show Persian and Devon Rex cats.  I was a professional groomer for over 20 years, so I’m the one who will probably be shaving down your kitty cat when it comes in for a lion cut! :)  Oh, and I have a passion for Ranchu, Ryunkin, and Pearlscale goldfish!


Lisa Forgave

I have been a lifetime resident of Great Falls with 20+ years at Great Falls Animal Hospital.  In my time spent hear I have become the director of our cat adoption program and an advocate for all the animals in our care.  I have learned so much through working with the other staff members at GFAH and enjoy passing my knowledge onto our new recruits.  I am a graduate of Virginia Tech with degrees in both biology and psychology.

I adore animals and have many over my life but I will always have a special place in my heart for labs.  I currently have a handsome black lab named Badger.  I adore him even when he eats things he shouldn’t.  In my spare time I enjoy cooking and spending time in the outdoors by gardening, hiking, and bird watching.  I love GFAH and love helping out clients, patients, and employees!


Nathan McMichael

Hello, my name is Nathan.  I have been working at GFAH since June 2002 and working professionally with animals since 1997.  When I’m not here at GFAH, you might find me working with Loudoun Habitat for Humanity.  When I’m not working, you’ll find me strumming my guitar or taking hikes in Shenandoah National Park.  Hope to see you all soon!


Mike Catalano

Hello everyone, my name is Mike.  I have worked at Great Falls Animal Hospital since summer of 2012.  I love working here and learning new and exciting things every day.

When I’m not working or pet sitting, I love to spend time with my two dogs, Bailey a golden retriever, and Coco who is a black lab, and my daughter and son.

I have played soccer my entire life, I love going hiking and camping in the Shenandoah, and hanging out with my family and friends.  Thank you for taking the time to look at my bio.


Jenny Meyers

Hello everyone!  I have been with GFAH since September 2003 with a love for animals that seems to run in my family!  My great-grandfather was a veterinarian in Quakertown, PA and my aunt Barbara Mackey has worked at GFAH (now part-time) since 1991.  For several years I also had the pleasure of working here with my “little” brother Sean who tragically passed away at age 29 due to a blood clot in November 2012.  I couldn’t have asked for a more caring and supportive second family here.

GFAH has been our family vet since opening in 1963 and we wouldn’t have it any other way!  I live in Sterling and when I’m not here I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, animals (1 dog & 3 cats), music, camping, and working on a variety of art projects.


Catie Chase

Hi! I am one of the newer additions to the GFAH team, having been here since mid-May.  I’ve learned so much already and am really looking forward to gaining more knowledge in this wonderful field.  I have passion for animals, and have known that I wanted to work with them since I was a little girl.  I hope to soon apply at the Veterinary Technology program at NOVA and work towards becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician.  When I am not at work or pet sitting, I can usually be found walking my tow golden retrievers in the park our lounging around with at least one of my four kitties in my lap.  I hope that I will be here at GFAH for a long time and continue to grow and learn and get to know our wonderful clients!


Dierdre Muys

Last summer I finished my undergrad at the University of Massachusetts, where I spent much of my time working in a neuroscience lab.  Now that my days of playing with lab mice are over, however, I hope to apply my knowledge in a tangible manner here at GFAH, learning as much as I can before I apply to veterinary school for Fall 2016.  Though I currently have no pets of my own, Siberian Huskies will always be my favorite.  Outside of work, you could find me drawing in a sketchpad at a museum, rolling around at the skate rink, or sitting with my nose in a book at the library.


David Bowen

I love animals, whether it’s meeting them in their natural habitat while I camp or hike or in a domestic setting.  I adopted a very sweet kitten from GFAH named Juniper and enjoy cuddling with her while I play video games.  I am also passionate about antique cars, BMWs in particular, and love to go to car shows and race tracks when I can.  I go to tons of concerts and music festivals of all kinds.  I am planning on pursing a degree in Psychology and am very interested in how the human mind works.


Elizabeth Baker

I joined the GFAH family in 2009 and am constantly amazed by how much I learn every day from the doctors and my fabulous coworkers!  I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with my Bachelor’s degree in Biology and plan on applying to vet school once I finish the prerequisites.  Outside of work I love to play soccer and go running or hiking.  Though I love animals of all shapes and sizes, I have a special place in my heart for cats.  I currently share my home with two beloved kitties, Mulberry and Magi.


Winona Fuller

I am a newer member of the GFAH team but have been working with animals since I could first hold them.  I raise guide dogs for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  I have a three year old lab named Jammy and currently raising Aqua fro the guide dog program.  I enjoy musical theater and some of my favorites include Next to Normal and Cabaret.  In my free time I enjoy researching hyenas because they’re one of my favorite species.  I plan to work towards becoming a veterinary technician and eventually a service dog trainer.

Get your first exam FREE!

Schedule before Nov. 15 and mention this ad. Limited to one pet per family. This offer is for first time clients only.