Dr. Amanda Kaczmarek Parker
Dr. Amanda Kaczmarek Parker grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, with a passion for rescuing animals of all sorts. Her family was accustomed to seeing Dr. Amanda bring home injured birds, bunnies, and basically anything she could catch. She moved south to Alabama with her family in high school, where her love for all things southern began.
Her passion for animals fueled her collegiate career at Mississippi State University and Auburn University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Zoology and her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2007. After graduation, Amanda returned to Buffalo to practice medicine while being surrounded by two of her other passions in life, family and Buffalo Bills football! In her off time, Dr. Amanda cheered on the Bills from the sidelines as a Buffalo Bills cheerleader.
She stayed in Buffalo for two years before the South called her back. Dr. Amanda moved to Atlanta, near her mom, and cultivated her surgical skills and love for orthopedics at another small animal practice.
She returned home to Alabama in 2010 to reunite with her high school sweetheart Jason. They married in 2012 and love calling Decatur home! In June 2013, Dr. Amanda and Jason purchased Animal Tracks Veterinary Hospital together. Jason works primarily as an engineer, but Dr. Amanda keeps him busy at the clinic in his “off” time. They share their lives with a Golden Retriever named Aurora, a Great Pyrenees named Gracelynn, a lab mix named Ladybug, and two crazy felines, Sofia and Thumper.
Dr. Amanda and Jason are excited about all the future holds for Animal Tracks and look forward to providing great veterinary care for all our furry friends in the north Alabama area.
Dr. Charles Ashwander
Dr. Charles Ashwander graduated with his DVM from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979 and joined his father at their previously family-owned clinic, Ashwander Animal Clinic, in Decatur, AL. Dr. Ashwander is a member of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. In January 2022, Dr. Ashwander sold his clinic to Animal Tracks Veterinary Hospital and joined our team full-time. When he is not making patients feel better and keeping our team laughing, he enjoys spending time with his wife and their grandchildren. We are all very excited to grow and expand together!
Dr. Lindsay Thomas
Dr. Thomas is a 2022 graduate of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has special interests in surgery and ultrasound. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering in the community, especially with children, and spending time with her husband and their furry children.
Becca is a veterinary assistant who joined our team in May 2023. She was born in Germany, but has spent most of her life in the wonderful state of Alabama. Becca’s veterinary career began in 2017 after adopting her pit mix, Eva, who inspired her passion for animal care both in the medical and behavioral aspects. Like many in the veterinary profession, she started her career working as a kennel technician then moved into hospitals, working on the medical side as a veterinary assistant. Becca has 4 years of experience working as a veterinary assistant at a number of local veterinary hospitals prior to settling in at Animal Tracks. She has special interests in behavior/training, dentistry, and client education. In her free time, Becca can be found at home with her dogs (Eva, Oakland, Echo, and Red) and cats (Pancake, Waffles, and Bugs) or enjoying the arts, such a music/singing, photography, and painting.
Chera joined our team as a kennel technician in July 2023. Her veterinary career began in 2015 as a kennel technician. She also has experience managing a kennel, dog trainer, and working as a veterinary assistant in hospital and shelter settings. Her vast experience is invaluable. Chera has special interests in surgery and animal behavior and she has excelled interacting with our boarders and other Animal Tracks patients. Her non-human family consists of three rehabbed ball pythons, two Australian shepherd mixes (Karly and Kota) and her cat, Shrimp. When Chera isn’t working, she enjoys doing artwork and construction.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Leah joined our team in June 2023 after graduating with her degree in veterinary technology and passed her National Exam to become an LVT a few months later.. She began her veterinary career by working as a kennel technician while in high school then as a veterinary assistant while pursuing her degree in veterinary technology. Leah enjoys monitoring anesthesia, assisting in surgery, and all things phlebotomy. You could say veterinary medicine is in her genes as she has other family members who are also veterinary professionals. In her free time, Leah enjoys racing with her husband and dad and off-roading activities.
Certified Veterinary Assistant
Chaya is a veterinary assistant who joined the Animal Tracks team in June 2023 and comes to us with a degree in Animal Science, Business Management, and is also a Certified Veterinary Assistant(CVA). She moved from Texas within the past year, but has lived in numerous states throughout her life and has gained invaluable experience along the way. Chaya’s veterinary career began in 2012 when she worked as a kennel technician and supervisor. Throughout her career, she earned her CVA and gained experience from a number of hospitals, including working as a CVA at an ER and specialty hospital in Houston, Texas. Chaya plans to further her career by working towards a degree in veterinary technology to become an LVT. She has special interest in internal medicine and enjoys the investigating processes for more complicated medical cases. Chaya spends her free time with her wife and their 2 cats (Gus and Guy) and family dogs. She also enjoys drawing, painting, and reading.
Heather was raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. She always had a passion for animals, whether it be playing with her dogs in the snow, cuddling with her cats, or spending summers horseback riding. Her passion was put on hold after the 2001 terrorist attacks. It was then that she began her interest in the military and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006. She was lucky enough to be stationed in Hawaii and worked as a helicopter mechanic for five years.
At the end of her enlistment, she and her family moved to Bellville, TX where she was able to once again pursue her passion by obtaining an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology at the Veterinary Technical Institute of Houston in 2014 before moving to Decatur, AL. Heather’s family consists of her husband and three sons. She also has 7 pets – four dogs and three cats. Heather joined our team in March 2016, obtained her LVT in June 2019, and became our practice manager in January 2023. In her free time, Heather enjoys attending her son’s soccer games and band concerts and going for Jeep rides with her family and friends.
Client Service Representative
Education: Ross Medical Education Center – Veterinary Assistant
Jill joined our team in May 2022 originally as a veterinary assistant, filling in up front as a receptionist as needed. Little did we know how much she would blossom as a client service representative, and quickly took that on as a full-time position. Jill has experience working as a veterinary assistant at local ER hospitals as well as working with a local pet crematorium, which is how she got to know our team before applying for the position. She has also completed a veterinary assistant course and is an Approved Veterinary Assistant. That means that, like our LVTs, Jill has to complete a certain number of hours of additional training each year in order to maintain that title. We are very thankful for Jill and all the energy she brings to our team and to our clients and patients on a daily basis. When Jill isn’t working, she enjoys watching Marvel movies with her husband and crafting.
Katie J, LVT
Education: Jefferson State Community College
Growing up, Katie’s family always knew she had a passion for animals. They would call her “Ellie Mae” and joke that you could find her rolling around in the mud with a dog. Shortly after turning sixteen, Katie was thrilled to start working at a local pet store. She believes it was then that she realized she wanted to take on a much more dedicated role in the lives of people and their pets. Once she received her Associate in General Education in 2011, she began working in emergency medicine. She gained a large amount of experience while employed there for approximately four years.
When given the opportunity to work at Animal Tracks in the Summer of 2015, she couldn’t have been more thrilled. Being a former client of Dr. Parker’s, she knew she’d be joining an amazing staff and enjoyable atmosphere. In 2018, Katie began her journey to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician by enrolling in the Veterinary Technology program through Jefferson State Community College, received her diploma in May 2020, and obtained her LVT by March 2021. Katie and her husband, Tim, share their home with one goofy Pointer, an adorable beagle, three cats, and a senior cockatiel.
Hannah joined our team in July 2021 as a Kennel Assistant. She is currently a full-time student at Auburn University, working on her undergrad with plans to pursue vet school in the future. She cares for all our boarders as if they were her own and also assists our doctors and technicians in the hospital. In her free time, she enjoys exploring and spending time with her family. When asked about her favorite part of veterinary medicine, she stated, “Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to work with animals and be able to help them. Learning about veterinary medicine gives me the opportunity to help animals even more. Her favorite thing about working with animals is getting to know them and seeing how different each animal is.”
Ashley joined our team in February 2022. She plans to pursue a degree in veterinary technology and has been soaking up every bit of information she can from our technicians. Ashe has a special interest in both watching and assisting our technicians in surgery. She also has a keen eye on noticing when our boarders seem anxious or stressed and making sure to alert technicians and doctors when that anxiety or stress needs medical intervention. We have enjoyed watching Ashley grow and are thankful for the love and care she brings to our team and our patients.
Education: Penn Foster – Veterinary Technology
On October 2nd, 2021, the Animal Tracks Family lost a beloved member of our team in a tragic accident. Christina was an incredible woman who lost her life trying to save the life of an animal. That was the kind of woman she was. She joined our work family in the Summer of 2020 while pursuing a degree in veterinary technology and put her whole heart into caring for every animal that she encountered both at work and in her home life. Christina was caring, thoughtful, patient, kind, understanding, and even more wonderful words than we can think to describe her. While it will never be the same without her, we feel incredibly blessed to have had her in our lives.
Animal Tracks created the Christina Green Kindness For All Creatures Fund to support Christina’s passion for animal rescue and to help fund a spay and neuter program for our community. For questions on how you can donate, please call the hospital at 256-355-8688.