CHIPLEY - Panhandle Veterinary Services (PVS) recently welcomed a new Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine to expand on the facility's more than 50 years of combined experience.

Dr. Lauren Ryan Leger joins PVS following a year-long internship in the Equine Division of Elgin Veterinary Hospital in Elgin, Texas. Prior to her internship, Leger first earned her Bachelors in Biomedical Science at Troy University in Troy, Alabama and then her degree as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.

She has been practicing in Chipley since July and says what most attracted her to PVS was the modern facilities, its status as a mixed-animal practice, and its proximity to her hometown of Grand Bay, Alabama.

"I just grew up loving animals," said Leger. "My grandfather had cattle, and if there was anything happening on the farm with the animals, I was right there. I could tell you what was going on with every one."

"I always knew I would be a veterinarian," she added. "I just couldn't see myself doing anything else."

Leger, whose internship focused on large animal medicine, says she enjoys being at the mixed-animal practice because she has more opportunity to get to know her patients' families.

Leger and her husband, Channing, are also newly married - and newly settled in Chipley, citing the small town atmosphere as a bonus.

"I love the downtown area and the 'homey feel' of Chipley," she said. "In many ways, Chipley is actually a bit larger than my hometown, but it is very welcoming, and the people are friendly."

Leger joins the established team of Doctors Todd Anderson, Kim George, Ann Lindholm, and Sherie Graham.

Founded in 1976, Panhandle Veterinary Services is located at 900 Falling Waters Road in Chipley.