We are thrilled to welcome Kasandra Garner back to Animal Hospital of North Asheville! Dr. Garner is well known to many of us at AHNA because she worked here as a compassionate member of our Patient Care Team in the late 1990’s before she attended veterinary school. We feel very fortunate to have her back now as a veterinarian who is very well qualified to provide the best of care to our patients.
Dr. Garner’s earliest memories are of dogs and cats. Her first best friends were a tabby cat named Lisa and an Irish Setter named Tawny. She spent her childhood reading all of the classic dog and cat books, and when a librarian in fourth grade recommended the novels of James Herriot, she knew she had to become a veterinarian. She graduated Cum Laude from UNC-Asheville in 1994 and taught school for four years before applying to veterinary school.
Dr. Garner graduated from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 as a member of Phi Zeta, the National Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine. She married the week after graduation and moved with her husband to his hometown in northeastern Alabama. She began as a veterinarian in a small animal practice there and quickly became the owner of the practice. She enjoyed bringing high-quality small animal veterinary care to that area and educating clients on ways to increase the quality and length of their pets’ lives. Dr. Garner has a great desire to help animals so she also started an animal shelter and a spay/neuter assistance fund. She was committed to educating the community on the importance of spay/neuter for population control, veterinary care to improve the health of pets and their people, and strengthening the human-animal bond. In this endeavor, she spoke regularly to public school classrooms and civic clubs. During her time in the area, she was gratified to see a community-wide improvement in animal care and welfare.
Dr. Garner enjoys getting to know each pet and their family. She believes that wellness for our pets is multifaceted, encompassing not only their physical health but also their emotional and mental well-being and their environment. Dr. Garner has a special love for cats and is especially glad to be working at a practice that is a Gold Standard Feline Friendly Practice. Dr. Garner is devoted to low-stress care for dogs too, so she is thrilled to be working at AHNA where our goal is to be fear-free for all patients. She is excited to live and work in a community committed to providing the best lives possible for all animal companions. Dr. Garner is a proud certified Fear Free Professional.
Dr. Garner greatly enjoys spending time with her husband and school-aged son and daughter. The family currently also has 8 fur babies who are each very special to the family. When asked to say a little about her pets, Dr. Garner had a lot to say! “Spruce is an 18-year-old grey cat who was rescued from the Ivy River as a kitten by our AHNA Patient Care Supervisor, Carla Horstmann, during the time I worked at AHNA so many years ago. Spruce has moved with me four times and I have now promised her no more moves. In her youth, she enjoyed chasing all things that moved and knocking knickknacks off of mantles, but now she mostly sleeps on clean laundry waiting to be folded. Her hobbies include ignoring the cats and children, growling at the new puppy, and waiting for me to pet her. Cairo is a 9 year-old black cat who was rescued from a ditch in Alabama. He looks like a sleek Egyptian cat statue until he moves and you realize that he is a klutz. His favorite place to sleep is anywhere that he is in the way. Rash is a 70 pound white and blue merle Catahoula mix who is the most well behaved dog I have ever had. He lives to please me, except for his addiction to stealing baked goods off of counters. Vesper is a cattle dog mix who is smarter than the rest of the family combined. Her hunting skills are exceptional and she could easily survive without us but she enjoys air conditioning so she stays around. Gemini is a shepherd mix and is a complete goofball. He is addicted to "wubbas" and you cannot go into the yard without throwing his wubba a hundred times. His special skills include walking between my legs while I mow and leaping to the top of a 6-foot privacy fence and balancing. He would make an excellent circus performer. CJ is a black cat rescued from the median of a highway in Alabama when he was a tiny feral fuzzball. Two years later the other cats still don't like him but he is oblivious to criticism. He enjoys lounging on the stairs batting people as they walk by and sneaking out the front door. And finally, years ago I promised my son his own dog when he turned 10. He wanted a small dog that wouldn't jump on him so we rescued Chip, a Chihuahua mix puppy, just a few weeks ago. Chip seems determined to annoy the fur off of all the other animals in the house. My favorite thing about Chip is that at least half a dozen times a day I get to tell my son to get off the computer and go outside and play with his dog.”
Dr. Garner enjoys swimming, cycling, and hiking with her dogs. She has completed two Ironman distance triathlons and many marathons and ultras. Currently she enjoys a more relaxed approach to exercise such as cycling with her daughter and floating in a pool rather than doing 2 miles of laps.