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
- Gary D. MirtsDVM
- Alisha SpiveyDVM
- Jennifer MartinsonDVM
- Amanda BeckDVM, DACVIM
- Todd SmithDVM
- Sierra PollockDVM
- Pierce DurovDVM
- Ben Gregorio
- Chris BarlowDVM, MS, CVA
- Erin SmithDVM
- Kenneth PierceDVM, MS, DACVO
- Michelle WoodwardDVM, DACVD
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.
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.
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 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 will 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!
Growing up in rural North Louisiana, I developed a love for animals as a child. I now share that love with my wife Kerri and my three children, Mallory, Zane, and Madelynn. As a veterinarian, my goals and responsibilities include providing pets with the medical care needed to enjoy a long and happy life with their human companions. UVH gives me this opportunity toby providing great customer serviceand allowing me to offer comprehensive medical care to my patients. Medical rounds in the morning is my favorite time of day, this allows the team to focus on each patient by reviewing the treatment options available and the success of the current treatments.It is a great display of teamwork with a common goal of improving the health and well being of the patients and families that we serve.
A graduate of Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Barlow enjoys many aspects of the veterinary profession including radiology and integrative medicine. Dr. Barlow earned his Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture from The Chi Institute for Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Prior to entering the veterinary profession, Dr. Barlow worked in the human medical field as a Radiologic Technologist.He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Radiologic Technology from Northwestern State and a Master of Science in Radiologic Science from Midwestern State University, Texas.He brings with him over 15 years of experience of performing diagnostic imaging procedures including CT and MRI. “I believe that my experience in imaging will allow me to provide my patients owners with a greater understanding of the diagnostic procedures to be performed.”
When away from work, Dr. Barlow enjoys fishing, vacationing with family, and following his children on their many adventures.
I have always known I have wanted to be a vet. I have never wanted to do anything else! My first pet was even a pet toad I kept in a pot! Several years ago, my family started a farming business. We now raise sheep and cattle outside of Shreveport. I love to help out on the farm and that love of caring for animals has continued to foster my drive to be a veterinarian. I grew up in Shreveport and graduated from Caddo Magnet High doing gymnastics throughout. I attended Louisiana Tech for an Animal Science degree then LSU for veterinary school.
I absolutely love the bond an owner has with their pet and continue to learn from the research in that area. My goal is always to promote that bond! Consistent with the values of UVH, I want to help people by helping their pets.
When not at work, you can find me walking my Great Pyrenees with my soon-to-be husband, Jackson. We love to garden and work cattle and sheep on the family farm.
I’m a native of New Orleans, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by my accent as it has been altered over my many years of traveling and living in various places. However, that famous New Orleanian draw comes back when speaking about home. It was during my junior year of high school that I realized I wanted to become a Veterinarian. At that time, there was only one practicing African American veterinarian in the city of New Orleans and his guidance and advice motivated me to pursue this career path. After I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Tuskegee University in Alabama, I received my doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University. I then completed a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery internship at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and soon after traveled to Southern California to complete a Specialty Ophthalmology internship with Eye Care for Animals and B.Braun, Inc. My training then led me to Michigan State University where I completed a four-year Comparative Ophthalmology residency with a Master’s degree. My passion for Veterinary Ophthalmology led me to return back to Louisiana as a faculty member at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. I became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and served as Associate Professor of the Comparative Ophthalmology Service at LSU. I’ve obtained private practice experience in the northeast practicing at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in New Jersey and later transitioned back down south to the North Dallas, Texas area at Veterinary Eye Institute. As you can see, I have lived in many regions of the United States and have gained valuable experience.
To compliment my experience in academia and private practice, I have served on several boards and committees within the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology (ACVO). Some notable committees include serving as a member of the ACVO Genetics, Governance, and Exam committees, and also on the Vision for AnimalsFoundation (VAF). The VAF is a nonprofit organization whose main function is to provide funding for veterinary ophthalmology research. Serving on this board has given me great pleasure as we are able to fund research that will help not only our pets but can also translate into human health care needs.
I love ophthalmology as a profession as it allows me to combine medicine and surgery for all animals. I enjoy the variety of animals I have been exposed to over the years, including large, laboratory, and exotic animals. I believe the eye is the window to the soul, as it is one organ that can truly give us a glimpse as to what is happening within the body. It is unique in how it functions, and it variations between species continually peak my interest in how diseases manifest within animals eyes. This interest fuels my desire to help you resolve you pet’s ocular health problems. I will be of great service to my clients, as well as to your pet’s ocular health care needs.
In my spare time, my wife and I love to travel, exploring new countries around the world. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends, cooking, community service with my fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., snowboarding and scuba diving.
Dr. Michelle Woodward has lived and worked in Louisiana for 11 years following graduation from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. Dr. Woodward completed a one-year internship in equine medicine and surgery at LSU. She then obtained a Master’s degree at LSU while finishing a 3-year dermatology residency under her mentor, Dr. Sandra Merchant. Since then, Dr. Woodward has worked in both academia and private practice in Louisiana.
Dr. Woodward has interests in allergies, immune-mediated diseases, otitis, and infectious diseases. She is experienced in the management of resistant bacterial infections, ear infections that recur, and itchy dogs and cats. She is also trained in the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In addition to lecturing at veterinary meetings and conferences, Dr. Woodward is also a published author of research studies and case reports in the field of veterinary dermatology.
Dr. Woodward loves working closely with her patients (and their people!) to improve their skin diseases and quality of life. In her free time, Michelle likes baking, trying to keep plants alive, and spending time with her husband, two children and dachshund.