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. Jennifer L Cardoza

Dr Cardoza received her bachelor of science from Wake Forest University in 1995 where she double majored in biology and studio art. In 1999, she completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. While in veterinary school, she worked as a veterinary assistant at a local emergency hospital. Dr Cardoza found the crazy hours and the variety of cases more exciting than she expected. After four years in general practice, she elected to change her focus and work exclusively in emergency and critical care medicine. After joining the VETSS team in 2006, Dr Cardoza realized that her choice was the perfect one for her, and she continues to enjoy emergency and critical care medicine as much as she did way back when.

Dr Cardoza lives in Charlottesville with her family which includes her supportive husband David, her energetic son Jory, and her canines Onix and Leo. She enjoys reading, art, baking and outdoor activities, as well as training and eventing with her thoroughbred Monopoly.


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 has a beloved akita named Rogue, a Belgian shepherd named Houston, American Pitbull named Oscar,  and plans on getting a boerboel in the next year. 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. Garza is originally from Dallas, Texas. She grew up in a medically oriented family that encouraged her passion for animals and veterinary medicine. From an early age she worked with her uncle, Dr. Francis Cipullo, at his veterinary clinic in Georgia. While working with her uncle she was able to work on multiple species of wildlife and zoo animals including gorillas.
Dr. Garza attended The University of Texas at Dallas and graduated in 2009 with a bachelor of science in biology, a minor in psychology and Latin honors. In 2013 she graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The University of Texas A&M. During her vet school career she developed a passion for veterinary dentistry from her mentor and friend Dr. Sunny Ruth. She plans to join the Dental Academy within a few years. Dr. Garza also has interests in internal medicine, dermatology, behavior, and wildlife, especially wolves.
In her free time, Dr. Garza enjoys spending time with her family and friends shopping, hiking, cooking and decorating. She also enjoys the companionship of her Belgian shepherd mix, American pit bull, and 2 cats.


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.


Janine Yale, LVT

Janine Yale, a Licensed Veterinary Technician, graduated from Colorado Mountain College with an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology in 2008. Her passion for emergency and critical care work is leading her to pursue specialization in that field within the next 2 years. Janine currently resides in Charlottesville with her two cats and dove. She enjoys anything related to squirrels, reading and spending time on the Downtown Mall with family & friends.

Aditya Singh, LVT, CDT

Aditya earned his associates degree in veterinary technology from Blue Ridge Community college in 2001. Since then he has worked in private practice, specialty practice, emergency, and at Virginia Tech. He joined the VETSS team in 2013. His professional interests include dentistry and orthopedics. In his free time, Aditya enjoys sports, cooking, and relaxing with 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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