This is not a job to us. This is a calling. We wake up in the morning to change lives. Now, meet the team that will be changing yours.
- Adam ForetDVM
- Catherine ForetDVM
- Shannon JarrellDVM
- Calen GregorioDVM
- Gary D. MirtsDVM
- Rachel McNairDVM
- Alisha SpiveyDVM
- Jennifer MartinsonDVM
- Sandy MerchantDVM, DACVD
- Amanda BeckDVM, DACVIM
- Todd SmithDVM
- Sierra PollockDVM
- Pierce DurovDVM
- Ben Gregorio
Dr. Adam Foret grew up around animals, spending time with his father, training and caring for their family hunting dogs. “As a physician and an avid sportsman, my Dad instilled in me a love for the outdoors, a passion for animals and a medical curiosity that developed into a veterinary career. I love helping to maintain the human-animal bond.”
Dr. Foret performs much of the surgery at UVH, and enjoys the often immediate positive impact it can make. He has completed advanced training in a variety of orthopedic, soft tissue, and minimally invasive surgical techniques. “Pets are family members, and we pride ourselves on taking care of the entire family.” As an owner, Dr. Foret feels this approach is the driving force behind UVH, shaping both the way patients and clients are cared for and the motivation the whole team feels to always move forward, innovate, and practice at the highest level possible.
A native of Lake Charles, Dr. Foret is following in his father’s footsteps by continuing to share his love of hunting, fishing and the outdoors with his own sons and their Labrador, Gator. He also enjoys playing tennis and watching LSU football.
A native of Shreveport, Dr. Catherine Foret found her love for veterinary medicine when she delivered her first cow. “As a young child, I spent many weekends at our family cattle farm in East Texas, Paine Farms, where most of my childhood memories were made, including the ones that formed my excitement about animals and the circle of life.”
“Becoming a veterinarian is my calling, not just a career. It’s who I am and what I was meant to become. When I can see or feel an animal realize I’m there to help, there’s nothing more rewarding.” Catherine is passionate about dentistry and promoting education about this often overlooked aspect of pet health. She has completed advanced dentistry education and brings her knowledge of progressive diagnostics, surgical techniques and comprehensive oral wellness plans as well as endodontics and oral restoratives to UVH.
When not at UVH, Dr. Foret might be found in her garden, on the tennis court, or spending time with her family, husband Dr. Adam Foret and their two sons John and Charlie.
Thanks to a lifelong love of science and medicine, including a passion for acupuncture and Eastern medicine, Dr. Shannon Jarrell strives to create an integrative approach to patient health. “Each day brings a new variety of cases. I was drawn to the UVH vision to provide the best medicine available for patients, which we present in an easy-to-understand manner. We sincerely consider our clients and their pets to be members of our family, and our goal is to make every client experience positive, educational and stress-free, so you leave our hospital confident you’ve made the best decisions for your pet.”
Dr. Jarrell received her acupuncture certification through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. She also enjoys preventative medicine and working with clients to maintain health in their pets. “When we strive to maintain health rather than just react to and treat disease, we can be so much more effective in keeping a pet healthy over the entire course of their lifetime.”
A graduate of Louisiana State University for both undergraduate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees, Dr. Jarrell is a die-hard Tiger football fan. She also has a wide variety of hobbies, from sky diving to tennis, and traveling to enjoying a quiet day with a book. She enjoys doing many of these hobbies with her family, husband Randy, their daughter, and Maltese mix puppy Leo.
Dr. Gregorio was drawn to UVH because of the emphasis on a team approach, both within the clinic and in partnership with pet owners. “As a veterinarian, I strive to continually develop my skills and place utmost importance on the health of our patients and the comfort of their owners. It’s important to me that UVH clients leave the clinic knowing all medical options were discussed and that the doctors and staff genuinely care about the pets and their parents.” He enjoys the variety of cases at UVH that allows him to pursue all of his interests from surgery to dermatology and everything in between.
Always looking for new and exciting challenges, Dr. Gregorio has served as the President of the Northwest Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association from 2013 to present. Aside from veterinary medicine, Dr. Gregorio enjoys history, astronomy, and spending time with his Labrador Goose.
Gary D. Mirts
University Veterinary Hospital is the culmination of a lifetime of dedication and hard work for hospital founder Dr. Gary Mirts. From days spent with patients and clients as the sole veterinarian at UVH, to bringing on new staff, to eventually passing the torch to current owners Drs. Adam and Catherine Foret, seeing the evolution of UVH and being an integral part of each step has been a joy. “I became a veterinarian because I wanted to work with animals. After so many years at UVH, I still enjoy medicine and seeing patients and clients that have truly become good friends. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Originally from Missouri, Dr. Mirts and his wife Betty have called Shreveport home for over 49 years. He can be found at UVH a couple of days a week, spending time with Betty, or traveling to visit their 4 children and 8 grandchildren.
When Dr. Rachel McNair began looking for a practice to join after graduating from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, her desire to always continue learning while practicing in an environment that views clients as family members was a top priority. Being a native of Shreveport, UVH seemed a perfect fit. “My interest in veterinary medicine began with a love of animals, which has since grown into a full blown passion. Since starting my career, witnessing the beautiful bond between people and their pets is a joy. Being a part of their lives and working to preserve that bond is an absolute privilege.”
Dr. McNair has a particular interest in dermatology, and as a fourth year veterinary student was awarded a prestigious dermatology award. “Skin disease can cause so much disruption in the life of a pet and their family. It is so rewarding to be able to provide understanding and relief for something that is often so chronic and can be very difficult to treat.”
Aside from being a talented veterinarian, Dr. McNair is also a very accomplished musician. She has been playing clarinet for over 14 years, competing in state competitions and playing with area community bands. She also plays piano, and is particularly proud of the summer she was able to play with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Spivey is a native of northwest Louisiana and is delighted to have moved back home to practice at UVH. She graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007, receiving awards for proficiency in small animal internal medicine and dermatology. Dr. Spivey was also the first recipient of the Critical Care Award at LSU.
After graduation Dr. Spivey moved to Atlanta GA, completing a small animal internal medicine and surgical internship at Georgia Veterinary Specialists in 2008. She remained in Atlanta primarily as an Emergency Veterinarian while also working as an associate veterinarian since 2010 at an AAHA certified general practice. Her medical focus is emergency and critical care, dentistry and preventative care.
Dr. Spivey has an amazing patient and owner empathy, born at an ultimately successful emergency visit to the vet with her own dog when she was five years old. She remembers that scared & helpless feeling to this day and works hard to make sure she puts herself in her clients shoes, understanding what they’re going through and making sure they understand what might be happening with their beloved pet.
Dr. Spivey enjoys reading, movies, trying new restaurants and spending time with family, friends and her fur babies (5 spoiled cats and 1 sassy Pomeranian). She’s also taken up running and completed her first 5k. Scarily, she also dabbles in costume and special effects make-up and one day hope to be an extra on The Walking Dead. So it also won’t surprise you to learn she works hard every year to outdo last year’s Halloween costume.
Dr. Jennifer Martinson was inspired to a career in rehabilitation after her own experience with rehab from a hand injury. She began to think deeply about how to improve the healing process and devoted her professional life to its study. Already a gifted student – having graduated cum laude from Texas A&M – she completed her certifications at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Martinson’s passion for rehab is palpable. She established UVH SMART – Sports Medicine and Rehab Therapy and cannot wait to share her knowledge with the community. Dr. Jennifer coined up a wonderful saying “Medicine adds days to life, Rehab adds life to days” and there is not a stage in a pet’s life where therapy cannot be used.
When not at UVH, you can find Dr. Martinson at a local CrossFit gym, training her two dogs, Sugar and Hashtag, at the Red River Obedience Club, or running as wonder women in half-marathons or triathlons with her twin brother on the weekends.
I grew up as the daughter of an animal lover. From a very young age, I felt a solemn duty to protect them. My home was Jacksonville, FL, and I was overjoyed that my parents would allow me to keep and care for the strays that wandered into our house. This allowed me to begin practicing my calling of giving a voice to the voiceless and protecting the innocent and helpless. There is no greater feeling than helping an animal entrusted to your care.
I graduated from Florida State University and earned my veterinary degree from the University of Florida. After an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, I returned to the University of Florida to complete a dermatology residency. I love everything about dermatology. I am passionate about it because it is a chronic care specialty. Because many dermatology issues take several months to improve, it allows me to get to know my clients and their four-legged family in a way that many veterinarians aren’t privileged enough to. This helps me to isolate and understand exactly what I need to do to improve the life of your pet.
My passion for Animal Dermatology led me to move to Louisiana as a faculty member at the Louisiana State University of Veterinary Medicine. I became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology, and served as a Professor of Dermatology and Dermatology Service Chief at LSU.
I have been fortunate to win awards for my teaching, and to publish over 60 book chapters and referred articles, 200 proceeding articles, reviewed for 10 veterinary journals. I have loved my time teaching over 2,000 veterinary students, but my passion for treating patients and clients has led me back to private practice at the wonderful and forward-thinking University Veterinary Hospital.
I am happily married to my husband, Dr. Joseph Taboada (a board-certified Veterinary Internist). Together, we have raised two boys – Michael and Robert – now in their 20s, who share the same passion for animals that we do. When I have time, I enjoy singing and playing piano. As a girl, I always dreamt of being on Broadway!
I am originally from Hope, Arkansas and announced to my family at 8 years old that I was going to become a veterinarian. After I received a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Arkansas, I received my veterinary degree from Louisiana State University in 2003. I completed my specialty training and certification in Medical Oncology at LSU in 2007. Since graduation, I have worked in referral hospitals treating dogs, cats, and some exotic pets diagnosed with cancer. My areas of interest are novel cancer therapies such as vaccines and other immunotherapy, improving quality of life during chemotherapy and radiation therapy and end of life care for terminally ill patients.
While practicing oncology, I became interested in offering complementary treatments for my patients and went on to receive a Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine from the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies. While herbal therapies can be used with traditional cancer treatment to relieve side effects and to improve outcomes, they can also be utilized in the treatment and management of many diseases to help maintain and improve the overall health of pets.
I have also completed my certification in Veterinary Hospice and Palliative Care. This certification allows me to offer the best pain management and comfort care for pets at the end of their lives and to help their caregivers honor their lives in the most meaningful ways.
I enjoy delivering continuing education lectures both locally and nationally and writing articles for print and online veterinary journals and magazines. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my dogs, visiting flea markets and estate sales, cooking and reading.
Since I was young I have had a passion for animals. I have been fortunate enough to turn my passion into a career caring for pets. I have found that the animals I care for are much more than a dog or cat. They are constant companions and are a major part of a person’s support system. Caring for pets is another way to care for people and that is something I am very proud to be a part of.
As a relatively new graduate I am excited by many different cases and every day is stimulating to me. While working at UVH I have found the opportunity to spend my time doing dentistry. This has become my new favorite specialty within veterinary medicine and one I will continue to develop. Outside of work I enjoy living an active life and traveling as much as possible. I am always accompanied by Emily, my wife and sometimes Beignet, our Boston Terrier.
Dr. Pollock was born and raised in Virginia, where here love for animals blossomed at an early age. The love and bond she shared with pets and animals only grew, and she felt destined for a life in veterinary medicine where she could help animals and animal lovers every single day. She was drawn to UVH because of its focus on progressive medicine, incredible culture, and its priority to empower and educate clients on every single visit. Outside of UVH’s walls, you might find her participating in equestrian sports, training dogs, whipping up a great meal, playing volleyball, or hitting the trails with her mountain bike.
My passion for being a veterinarian comes not only from my love of working with animals but my desire to teach people more about their pets health and wellbeing. I believe the educational aspect of the veterinary profession to be the most important, and having the knowledge to help people understand their animals better, to control and most vitally prevent sickness and discomfort, is a privilege.
After working as a veterinarian in the United Kingdom, I want to be able to apply my alterative experiences in the veterinary profession to my work at UVH, potentially even introducing different approaches to medicine and surgery. After getting to know members of staff at UVH in the past and meeting some of the Shreveport community, I am hoping my bubbly personality with help me fit into such a welcoming environment and allow me to build strong relationships with my clients and peers, much like the ones I left behind in the UK.
Outside of work, you can either find me at the gym, where I like to blow off steam, particularly after a busy day, or spending my time kayaking on some of the local lakes when I get the chance! Aside from that I enjoy drawing, painting, cooking, watching movies or spending time with my cat Janet.
What unique perspective do you bring to UVH?
I plan to bring an energetic and positive attitude to UVH, with a team based approach to all problems that will provide the best medicine to all of our patients. An essential part of this is proper communication among all involved, including the owner of the patient that is receiving care. I strive to make each interaction with a new or old client unique and genuine.
What do you love most about your job?
I love that, in caring for our patients, we are enhancing the lives of the owners at home. We are “people helping pets helping people”.
Meeting new clients and talking with people I have met before is an aspect of the job I really enjoy. In addition to that, I love the joy of the client when their animal has been taken care of by our medical team. Seeing the elation of a client after their animal has gone through a successful surgery or successful medical treatment is amazing, I have found that this aspect of veterinary medicine has been as great as caring for sick animals and providing the best medical care.
Being in a profession that offers multiple facets of medicine is also something I love. In one day as a veterinarian you could be doing surgery, addressing dermatologic issues, ophthalmology, and working on many internal medicine cases. There is never a boring day!
What’s your favorite part of the day? or what can you not wait to do at your job?
I can’t wait to successfully treat animals out in practice and help the animals that we are caring for better the lives of their owners. Favorite part of the day would be when we collectively work together to learn something new or solve an issue. I look forward to working as a team and practicing quality medicine.
What are your values/beliefs? Do you have a code you live by?
I value family, friendship, and taking the time to have fun. I believe that kindness can go along way and change a lot of things in someone’s life. Taking the time to do something we enjoy is good for our mental and physical health. Simply put: “Do stuff. Be nice. Have fun”
Are you passionate about anything outside of work? Any hobbies/studies?
- Tennis- I do my best to always play in local leagues, great way to meet new people and have some competition!
- LSU sports(football and baseball)
- Being on the water, boating, water sports, or just relaxing
- Travelling – from local travels to world explorer!
- I have two dogs (Newfoundland and Golden Retriever) at home and one cat!