Monica Kucher, D.V.M
Dr. Kucher, the founder and owner of Good Hands Veterinary Hospital, practiced veterinary medicine in the Athens area for over 23 years. During this time, she earned a reputation for a high-quality, straightforward approach to medicine, as well as a genuine concern for her patients and their human companions. Dr. Kucher graduated from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. As a student, she received the Small Animal Clinical Proficiency Award. She and her husband, Dr. Eric Mueller–a veterinary surgeon at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine–moved to Athens in 1989. They have two sons, Kurt a medical student at Augusta University and Kyle, A senior at the University of Michigan. The family also includes A Jack Russel Terrier, Izzo, and a cat, Tang. Dr. Kucher’s practice philosophy was to simply provide the highest quality of veterinary care to all of her patients and to continually educate her clients through open, honest and compassionate communications.
On July 6th 2016 Dr. Monica Kucher Mueller was involved in a car accident that tragically took her life. We all miss her very much and strive to make her happy by providing the type of care she would want. She will always be our Chief.
Eric Mueller, D.V.M PHD
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
P.O. Eric Mueller designed, built, and co-founded Good Hands Veterinary Hospital with his wife, Monica Kucher. He now takes an active role in overseeing all the operations of Good Hands Veterinary Hospital along with his talented team of doctors, office professionals, technicians, and staff. He also is a professor of surgery, Director of Equine Programs, Chief Medical Officer-Large Animal Hospital, and surgeon in the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens, Georgia. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and D.V.M from Michigan State University. He completed a residency in Large Animal Surgery and P.H.D in gastrointestinal physiology at the University of Georgia. He is a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dr. Mueller looks forward to serving all the clients and patients at Good Hands with the same compassion, enthusiasm, and expertise as Monica has done since its inception.
Mandy Cox, D.V.M
Dr. Cox is an honor graduate of the class of 2003, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. She was also a First Honor Graduate at Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, where she received her undergraduate degree in biology. She is from Lilburn, Georgia. Dr. Cox is married to Tim Mcgough an Athens native and local business owner. They have two precious daughters Kate and Cora. They also have two dogs, both rescues, "Amos" and "Jake". Dr. Cox special interests include soft tissue surgery, dentistry, and preventative medicine. She thoroughly enjoys educating her clients in prevention diseases and the diagnosis of and treatment of diseases. She has been practicing veterinary medicine at Good Hands Veterinary Hospital for 10 years and is dedicated to practicing high quality medicine, while showing compassion to her clients and patients. Outside of her profession, she enjoys spending time with her family, sewing, decorating, antiques, and arts and crafts.
Heather Falany D.V.M
Dr. Falany graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in animal science in 2010, and from the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. She spent a year working at a small animal hospital in Warner Robins before returning to Athens and joining our team at GHVH. Her areas of special interest include behavior and internal medicine. She is dedicated to working closely with clients so that they understand each aspect involved in the care of their beloved pet. In her spare time she enjoys reading, the outdoors, and spending time with her two dogs, three cats, and husband David.
David Lavernoich D.V.M
Dr. David Lavernoich graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016, and graduated from Marshall University with a B.S. in Biology, Secondary Education, and Middle School Education in 2009. He originally is from Connecticut, but has been living in the Athens area since 2009. Some of you may recognize him, he worked for Good hands for several years prior to veterinary school. David is interested in excellent client education, surgery, and behavior. He is dedicated to assuring his clients have a healthy and loving relationship with their pets. In his spare time he enjoys fly fishing, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, or just spending time with his two cats and dog.
Shannon Jones D.V.M
Dr. Shannon Jones grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia where she earned both a Bachelor's in Animal Science and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine Degree. Following graduation she completed a veterinary internship at Austin Equine Hospital outside of Austin, Texas. Dr Jones moved to Madison, GA with her husband, Drew, in 2016 and worked in equine medicine. She enjoys the variety of cases seen in small animal general practice, and has a special interest in dentistry and surgery. When sh is not working, Shannon enjoys attending UGA football games, riding her horse, Aspen, and hiking with Drew and their dogs, Grady and Maddie. She also has two cats Rambo and Big Mac. Dr. Jones is excited to join the Good hands team and provide the best medicine possible.
Mark is originally from Habersham County, GA and has been working in the veterinary field for 14 years. He started as a kennel assistant in Habersham and worked his way up to Veterinary Assistant quickly. After years working as an assistant at Good Hands, He began working as a receptionist. Mark became Office Manager of Good Hands in January of 2014 and has made it is personal mission to provide a quality service without compromising patient care.
Laura has been a long-time client and friend of Dr. Kucher. Laura graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in political science and history. She enjoys spending her free time traveling, hiking, reading (especially history) and hanging out with her three cats, Blanco, Fox Mulder and Murphy, and her snakes.
Cindy has worked as a licensed veterinary technician for over 23 years. She has a special interest in peri-operative pain management and critical care medicine. She lives in Athens with her two cats.
Grooming has not just been a job for me over the last 10 years it has become my passion. Grooming is not only about beautifying, but it is part of a pet's health. I take pride in educating each pet parent because each pet is special in their own way! I have perfected my skills working with young pets, learning the ropes, and dealing with geriatric pets needing extra TLC and to those with behavioral issues. I myself have 2 Saint Bernards, 2 cats (who think they are dogs), and 2 horses. I share my love for animals with my wonderful husband and our 3 kids. A family is definitely not complete without a four-legged member!
Have you ever wondered who the lovely voice welcoming you into Good Hands is? It's our grooming receptionist Kim. She started her dream job May 8, 2008 after being referred to GHvH with her beloved Chihuahua, Oscar, who was diagnosed with cancer. She fell in love with the place and the caring doctors who took such great care of Oscar. After working at Arby's on Atlanta Highway for 35 years, she joined the Good Hands family. She resides in Watkinsville with her husband Keith and her collection of 8 dogs and 10 cats. She has two grown sons, Clint, owner of Creed Fitness, his lovely wife Leah and granddaughter Salem, and Tyler, who graduated from West Georgia College after a 4 year baseball scholarship. Kim spends her spare time extreme couponing, taking care of her mini zoo, and spending as much time with her granddaughter as possible.
Elizabeth Payne has been working professionally with animals since graduating high school. She attended Atlanta Dog Trainer's Academy for Professional Dog Trainers, where she graduated as a Certified Professional Canine Behavior and Training Master Instructor. She uses positive reinforcement with a holistic approach for training and behavior modification. Her specific training experience includes teaching dogs to follow commands in various distraction levels, puppy development and socialization, providing effective solutions to a variety of common behavior problems (including aggressive behaviors), as well as improving communication between dog and owner.
Elizabeth continues learning by attending seminars, clinics and reading books by industry leading Canine Behaviorists. She currently offers in-home training sessions tailored to each individual's needs. Please contact Elizabeth for more information at 678-373-9751.