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, over a decade 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.”
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.”
Cindy Hopkins – Veterinary Technician
Raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio but lived in Sunman, Indiana before moving to Charleston. I love the weather, the beaches and all the activities they continue to offer. I enjoyed working in the veterinary care industry for many years before moving to the pediatric side of dentistry where I enjoyed using my skills for 14 yrs. Upon making the transition to Charleston I began my search to return to my first love of veterinary medicine in just the right practice that brought me here today.
- What she loves about veterinary medicine: “I love the opportunity to help in making each pet experience as positive as possible but also help in educating and comforting their owners. Each day brings new and challenging situations that allows me to continue to build on my knowledge and experience. “
- When not at the clinic you find her: “at the beach with my dog, Cooper or with family and friends. I enjoy gardening indoors and outdoors. I love to create art with stained glass, re-purposing antiques or designing furniture, it’s my passion.”
- Best thing about living and working in Charleston: “I love the weather, the beach, the beautiful architecture, the history and most of all it is pet friendly and I can take my dog just about everywhere with me.”
- What makes CHV different: “The approach to veterinary care is awesome. The doctors go above and beyond to understand and treat the needs of each pet. Not just their physical needs but they try to meet their emotional needs as well. It is refreshing to work for doctors that care about the whole pet.”
- Something she’s learned about practicing medicine: “Veterinary medicine is always evolving. What treatment we use today may not be used in the future. I love that it forces me to continue challenge myself and to learn something new. Each animal is treated as an individual, what works for one doesn’t mean it will work for another. I love being a part of the solution that makes an animal’s life a healthy one.”
Jenn Narkon – Veterinary Receptionist/Technician
A New Englander at heart but who can say no to the beautiful lowcountry? My husband and I lived in Connecticut for 30 years then we agreed that scraping ice off of our windshields was not a part of our future! We decided to move to the beautiful city of Charleston and we are so glad we did! This stunning city is rich in culture, beautiful beaches, delicious food and plenty of southern comfort to make you feel right at home!
- What she loves about veterinary medicine: “Every day is a new adventure. It’s an opportunity to share my knowledge with others but alsoto grow and learn myself. I look forward to meeting new fur babies and their pet parents, and getting to catch up with old ones.”
- When not at the clinic you’ll find her: “Hiking and exploring the local wildlife, kayaking down Shem Creek, or snuggling up with a good book and my four fur babies.”
- What makes CHV different: Our team is so thoughtful and compassionate. We care for every fur baby (and their pet parent!) with the level of kindness, patience and love that we would give our own pets. We understand firsthand how stressful vet visits can be for our clients as well as our patients. So we truly strive to make vet visits a positive, low stress experience with lots of hugs and praise and cookies too!
Annie Vincent – Veterinary Technician
I have lived all over the U.S. and have been in Charleston since ’02. I moved here to go to the College of Charleston and never left! After graduation from CofC, I went to Trident Tech to get my degree as a Vet Tech.
- What she loves about veterinary medicine: “I love to work with animals.”
- When not at the clinic you find her: “Hanging with dogs and our newest addition, my daughter! :)”
- Best thing about living and working in Charleston: “The Beach!”
- What makes CHV different: “Their attention to the client/patient relationship”
- Something she’s learned about practicing medicine: “How much I truly love to work with animals.”
Julie Conway – Veterinary Technician
Though Julie has always loved animals, she never considered a job in veterinary medicine. She always assumed she would be too squeamish to do anything in a medical field. Instead, she majored in theater and had a blast acting and directing in many plays. Everything changed about three years ago when she found her cat, Oliver. He was a two month old stray who had made his way to the window right outside of her office after going through some sort of trauma. Missing a leg, and having several other injuries, Julie rushed him to the closest vet office, certain the little guy would have to be euthanized. Instead, the doctor gave options to try to get Ollie back on his feet. After a week in the hospital and surgery, he became the snuggliest, fastest three legged cat in the world. After that, Julie started thinking about veterinary medicine. Starting as a receptionist, she trained to be a technician, and now couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
- What she loves about veterinary medicine: “Getting to spend all day with animals, and getting to watch their journey from puppies and kittens to adults. They get so big so fast!!.”
- When not at the clinic you find her: “Taking photos in nature or reading while snuggling with my cats.”
- What makes CHV different: “It is so cozy. I never feel like I’m going to work. It just feels like I’m going to a really nice house. It makes it really low key and low stress for the animals and their people.”
- Something she’s learned from learning veterinary medicine: “I learn something new every day, from training tips to proper care and prevention.”
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.