Dr. Christa Kahuda – Owner
Lots of kids grow up wanting to be a veterinarian. Dr. Kahuda wasn’t one of them. It wasn’t that she didn’t love animals, she just never really thought about it. So she went to college, became a math major and then did what lots of kids do when faced with the career options of their degree. She went back to school to do what she really wanted to do. High school algebra teacher by day, organic chemistry student by night for 2 years then 4 more in Vet School at Virginia Tech and she finally got it right. Now, 9 years after graduating from vet school, she couldn’t imagine herself doing anything different.
- What she loves about veterinary medicine: “The animals – and their people! I love getting to know owners and teaching them ways to keep their pets healthy. Many people don’t realize that I have two clients – the pet… and its owner.”
- When not at the clinic you’ll find her: “Playing at the beach!”
- Best things about working and living in Charleston: “The outdoors – even when at work you can pop outside for a break and enjoy the fabulous weather, scenery, and history. It grounds you.”
- What makes CHV different: “We are constantly seeking alternatives to make the experience better – so that a visit to the veterinarian isn’t a dreaded event!”
- Something she’s learned about practicing medicine: “The owner knows the pet better than blood work, radiographs, and sometimes even a physical exam. My goal is to listen to and to never negate the gut instinct of a pet owner.”
Dr. Janette Blackwood – Owner
Dr. Blackwood still remembers the strong bond she and her younger sister felt immediately with the kitten their family adopted when they were both young children. This connection to her own family pet, along with a strong desire to know in detail how the biological world worked, easily lead her to choose a career in veterinary medicine at the age of fifteen. When years later she learned in a veterinary ethics class at The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine that the term “human-animal bond” existed to define this experience, she wasn’t surprised. She made it a goal to respect and foster that bond between her patients and her clients throughout her career.
Before starting Charleston Harbor Veterinarians, LLC in 2015, Dr. Blackwood spent 11 years working as a small animal veterinarian in private practice in both Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry. The last 4 years were spent working full-time as a relief veterinarian, giving her the unique perspective of getting a behind the scenes view of over twenty South Carolina veterinary practices. “I started seeing all of these great little individual ideas that each veterinary practice was trying to do to increase client satisfaction or decrease patient stress,” she says. “I had been running several of my own ideas through my own head, and I just kept thinking it would be great if there could be a place I could combine all these exciting practices into one clinic.” When she found out that Dr. Kahuda was working on a similar set of goals for a new veterinary practice, the partnership just seemed to make sense.
- What she loves about veterinary medicine: “To engage the client as much as possible in the veterinary visit. I feel that the greater the client understands and participates in the visit, the more likely they are to commit to keeping their pet healthy and foster that bond with them. So, please, ask me questions while you are here.”
- When not at the clinic you’ll find her: “If it’s time for her scheduled WOD, you’ll find her at the Crossfit gym. Otherwise, she will be doing her dog Radar’s favorite activity: taking the family out for a walk.”
- Something she’s learned about practicing medicine: “It’s always advancing, always changing. Just when you think you have everything figured out, you’ll get a surprise. It’s never boring.”
Molly Varner – Veterinary Technician/Team Care Coordinator
Molly is a native New Yorker, having only moved to the Lowcountry a little over 2 years ago. After graduating from Syracuse University in 2008, Molly moved to New York City where she put her marketing degree to use before eventually tiring of the daily grind of Manhattan. She packed her bags and headed south where she fortunately found a career in Veterinary Medicine. Having been a long time volunteer at shelters, it was the perfect opportunity to explore her passion for animals.
- What she loves about veterinary medicine: “Veterinary medicine is never simple, there is always something to learn. Each day brings something new, and my educational experience is never complete. Plus we get to spend the day with cats and dogs! “
- When not at the clinic you find her: “I’m a sun chaser, so as long as it’s not complete cloud coverage and the temperature is above 60 degrees – I will be outside, most likely reading a good beach read. I also love visiting downtown and simply walking around, admiring all the colorful houses. And of course hanging out with my cat, Augustus. “
- Best things about working and living in Charleston: “I love that every day feels like a vacation. I can drive a few miles to the beach and feel completely detached from my every day life. And the food in Charleston is among the best!”
- What makes CHV different: “It feels more like a home than a vet clinic. Comfort is key here and there’s no place a pet feels more comfortable than their own home.”
- Something she’s learned about practicing medicine: “Treat every client and pet individually. What works for one person, may not work for another. It’s important to always be perceptive to your clients needs, and create a plan that will not only leave the client happy, but leave the pet happy and more importantly, healthy.”
Jesse Waters – Veterinary Technician
Jesse is a Charleston local – raised here since the age of 10! She loves the city – the beautiful weather, beaches, and abundance of activities. Jesse started her career in veterinary medicine at a shelter where she helped to place adoptable pets with their forever homes. Her time at the shelter inspired her to fill her house with pets – she currently has 2 dogs and 3 cats!
- What she loves about veterinary medicine: ” I love working in the veterinary field because it gives me the opportunity to introduce and educate the public on the importance of proper prevention and daily care, to ensure their pets live a long and healthy life.”
- When not at the clinic you find her: “When I am not at CHV, I am out and about with my family. I enjoy taking my dogs on long walks, playing and coaching soccer, and training in boxing. “
- What makes CHV different: “CHV feels like home! The environment is definitely stress free. Pets always seem at ease with us, which allows us to provide the best form of individualized care. I am excited to continue my passion and education at CHV.”
Tara Murtagh – Veterinary Technician
Tara is from all over! She grew up on the west coast, but moved to Maryland in high school. In 2016 she graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a B.S. in Marine Science. After doing 4 month internships at Mote Marine Lab’s Sea Turtle Hospital and the Zoo Hospital of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, she decided the veterinary field was for her! She’s currently in her last year of Veterinary Technology School to become a licensed veterinary technician.
- What she loves about veterinary medicine: “Getting to see and interact with cute animals all day, everyday! I love being able to help animals feel better; my wish is that every animal gets to enjoy a long and healthy life.”
- When not at the clinic you find her: “At the beach or traveling (to somewhere with a beach).”
- Best thing about living and working in Charleston: “Charleston is such a cool city, there is so much to do. I love living downtown and being able to walk to work.”
- What makes CHV different: “It looks and feels like home! We really try to make it a positive and low stress experience for the animals and the clients.”
- Something she’s learned about practicing medicine: “There is always something to learn! No two animals are the same, and each animal should be treated as an individual.”
Brent Kahuda – Owner
Specializing in grass-cutting, weed-wacking and trash-removal plus a little website and marketing stuff.
Dave Zook – Owner
Specializing in insulation and mulch installation plus a little IT and finance stuff.