Meet the Team

Dr. Sara V. Salmon

Dr Salmon is originally from Lynchburg Va though she was raised in the great northern state of Michigan. She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1988 with a Liberal Arts degree majoring in English literature. After several years of preparatory work, she entered the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Va-Md Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg,Va and was awarded her DVM degree in 1998.

She soon discovered her passion for emergency and critical care medicine, and has worked in this sub-specialty for 15 years. After moving to Charlottesville, she joined the team at VETSS and has not departed, except for a year to complete further training in an internship program in emergency and critical care at the renowned Animal Emergency Center in Milwaukee, WI in 2006.

Dr Salmon was awarded the Young Achiever award in 2005 by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, as well as the Virginia Veterinarian of the Year Award in 2007. She served as the President of the Alumni Society of the Va-Md Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008-9, and continues to serve her profession with participation on the local and state level.

As the Medical Director of VETSS, she functions in dual roles of clinician and administrator to guide the future of the practice and provide compassionate, knowledgeable care for her clients and patients. In her spare time, she enjoys trail running, time with her critters, and juggling.



Dr. Kathy E. Durso

Dr. Kathleen Durso is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She attended Ursinus College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Environmental Studies.  Throughout her life, she has realized the exceptional bond that people have with their pets and knew that her career would in some way involve helping and giving back to these very special pets. During high school and throughout her undergraduate studies, she worked at an emergency veterinary clinic in the Philadelphia area and solidified her life goal of becoming a veterinarian.  She attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville for veterinary school and loved the mountains and the south so much that she decided to move to Charlottesville Virginia where she is now an emergency veterinarian at VETSS.  She loves the variety that emergency medicine offers and the difference that can be made in an animal’s life in emergency medicine.  Her special interests in veterinary medicine also include feline medicine and geriatic care.  She has two very special and perfect bottle raised cats named Cali Cal and Jammy Jam.  In her free time, Dr. Durso enjoys the outdoors, running, hiking, fishing, traveling, and live music.


Dr. C. Ryan McKenna

Dr. Ryan McKenna is originally from Charlottesville, Virginia.  He attended Virginia Tech and received a bachelors degree in Animal and Poultry Sciences. Ryan grew up on a horse and cattle farm training horses and Australian shepherds for herding. He knew at an early age that he wanted to become a veterinarian and work with animals throughout his life. During high school and throughout his undergraduate studies, Ryan worked as an assistant at several local veterinarians. He also assisted in studies in reproductive physiology at Virginia Tech. After undergrad, Ryan worked in research studying how breast and prostate cancer spreads to bone in the Endocrinology Department at the University of Virginia. After several years of research, Ryan decided to continue on his dream to become a veterinarian.  He attended the St. George’s University for veterinary school finishing his final clinical year at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. During his breaks in veterinary school, Ryan worked for VETSS as an assistant and later as a technician. Ryan has always loved the Charlottesville area and is very excited to be back home. Ryan loves the fast pace and variety that emergency medicine offers every day. His special interests in veterinary include radiology and canine medicine.

Ryan lives in Earlysville with his wife Jenna,  a beloved akita named Rogue, a Belgian shepherd named Houston, his boerboel named Nala, and two cats. He still works on the family farm helping his father manage his sheep, horses, and chickens in his free time. In what’s left of his free time, Ryan is an avid hiker and outdoorsman. He also enjoys playing billiards.


Dr. Courtney Jagger

A local gal, Dr. Jagger started her veterinary career as a volunteer at a clinic in Crozet during high school. While completing her Bachelor’s of Science in biology at Virginia Tech, she worked in the immunology and entomology departments. The summer after graduation, Dr. Jagger participated in a West Nile Virus surveillance program in Southwest Virginia and discovered a species of mosquito, a known carrier of the virus, that was not known to inhabit the area. During her senior year of vet school at Kansas State University, Dr. Jagger had the opportunity to do a rotation in emergency medicine and go to Baton Rouge to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was there, helping the critically ill pets, that she developed a true passion for emergency work. After graduating in 2006, Dr. Jagger came home to Charlottesville where she worked in general practice for six months before finally obtaining a position at VETSS. After a two year break from emergency medicine to start a family, Dr. Jagger realized that her passion was in the ER and returned to VETSS in December of 2014.  Dr. Jagger enjoys the variety and intensity of cases seen in the ER but is also interested in ultrasound technology, pain management, and geriatric care/hospice. She hopes to obtain her acupuncture certification in the near future.

Dr. Jagger lives in Crozet with her husband, Matt, and 2 1/2 year old son. They share their home with Jax, a one year old Golden Retriever, and 4 cats (Mani, Neiko, Georgie, and Simi). In her free time, Dr. Jagger enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, reading, and drinking lots, and lots of coffee.



Kim Benda, LVT

Kim Benda, a licensed technician. Earned Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Animal and Nutritional Sciences (minor in equine management) from West Virginia University in 2010. Went on to earn Associates of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology from Colorado Mountain College in May 2012. Kim is from Vancouver Island, B.C. but now resides in Charlottesville. Kim enjoys the outdoors, running, photography, baking and spending as much time as she can with family and friends.


Debbie Blosser, Office Manager

Debbie is a native Virginian, and has lived in the Charlottesville area for 17 years. Animals have always been her passion, and after a 12 year career in real estate, she enthusiastically accepted the opportunity to join the VETSS Emergency team several years ago as a receptionist. Debbie and her husband Rob have two grown children, and currently share their home with three dogs – Gunner, Pippen, & Zigfried, three barn cats – Sam, Luke & Han, and a Thoroughbred mare named Magic. Spending time with family is a priority, and Debbie takes advantage of every opportunity to enjoy family gatherings.  Debbie and Rob enjoy the outdoors and while a large animal family makes it difficult to get away too often, they occasionally enjoy short trips to favorite spots like Nags Head, NC, or anywhere in the mountains.


Kristina Johnson, Practice Manager

Kristina joined the VETSS team in the spring of 2012. She graduated from North Carolina State University in May of 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a minor in Animal Science. She currently lives in Charlottesville and enjoys spending her free time with her miniature dachshund, Ace (pictured), as well as her family and friends.

Part Time Staff:



Molly Brown, Reception



Wendy Rose, Reception



Vivian Hofler, LVT



Erin Wilson, Veterinary Assistant




Vanessa Priarone, Veterinary Assistant/Technician



Fiona and Isabelle, Team Feline Blood Donor

Fiona and Isabelle live at VETSS. They patrol the entire top floor and are often heard tearing around on missions. They are ready and willing to provide life saving blood for critical patients at any time of day!! When not on patrol, Isabelle prefers to stake out the couch in the staff lounge while Fiona prefers window sills and high perches.


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