Dr. Brian T. Barnett
Dr. Barnett has been the owner and chief of staff at Randolph Animal Hospital since May of 2002. Dr. Barnett earned his Bachelors of Science in Zoology from Auburn University and then his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to his science and veterinary degrees, Dr. Barnett holds an MBA from Wake Forest's Babcock School of Management.
As a child Dr. Barnett lived something of a nomadic lifestyle. His father was in the military service, which required the family to move quite a bit. He was born in Augsburg, Germany–his mother is German–and spent most of his early life, up until the 10th grade, living in various German towns such as Leipheim, Giessen, Kitzigen, Schwabisch Hall, and Bad Kreuznach. As a result of his time in Germany, he is fluent in German.
Dr. Barnett says that he has always wanted to be a veterinarian, which he adds is in large part due to the influence of his grandfather's love for all of nature's creatures. Being a veterinarian also provides him with the privilege of serving others and feeling like his work makes a difference to the lives of his patients and human counterparts. He also loves interacting with the various animals, educating pet owners, and the great variety of the work he does-no day is the same. This variation can be seen in his areas of expertise, which are dermatology, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, and practice management (ergo the MBA).
Dr. Barnett's home is a busy one. His wife Shea is a retired nurse, fulltime CEO of their home and mother to their three children, Lucy Kate, Sullivan, and Hayes. The family also shares their home with a domestic longhaired cat named Stella, a Jack Russell Terrier named Lucy "Rutabaga" Jane and a Boston "terrorist" named Mr. Wilson.
Dr. Barnett spends free time hiking, running, lifting weights, collecting coins and stamps, studying the stock market, and gardening, especially rare or unusual vegetables. He also considers himself to be something of a foodie that enjoys cooking and exploring various culinary traditions from around the world. He is also a world traveler and huge college football fan – WAR EAGLE!
Dr. Erin Rakosky
Dr. Rakosky began working at Randolph Animal Hospital as a General Practitioner-Associate Veterinarian in June of 2016.
A love for animals developed while she was young. She couldn’t think of a profession she'd love more. She enjoys the feeling of seeing patients recover after illness or surgery.
She received her undergraduate degree in 2008 from North Carolina State University, with a BS in Animal Science. She attended veterinary school at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine from 2012-2016.
Dr. Rakosky has a love for her many dogs. They are all trained in flyball. Some of her dogs also do agility, herd sheep and ducks, and are trained therapy dogs.
She enjoys hiking, and dog sports such as herding, agility, flyball, obedience, and dog training.
Dr. Melissa Behrens
Dr. Behrens is a general practitioner that has been with Randolph Animal Hospital since August of 2004. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Pre-Veterinary Science from Michigan State University and received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University as well.
Asked about when she first decided to become a veterinarian, Dr. Behrens says she arrived home from preschool one day and announced to her parents, "I am going to become a veterinarian and travel to Africa." She then adds, "I saw the veterinarian part through, but I still would like to visit Africa!"
Dr. Behrens grew up in Walworth, Wisconsin, as an only child with her dog and cats acting as her brothers and sisters. Then at age 12, after the death of her dog and her interactions with the family's veterinarian, she realized how much she truly wanted to devote her life to help the pets and the people who care for them so deeply. Dr. Behrens has seen and truly enjoys the bond that is shared between people and their pets and feels fortunate to play a small part in that amazing relationship.
Dr. Behrens is a pet owner as well and has a mixed-breed dog named Eli, a Pit Bull named Clyde, and a cat named Hitch. Dr. Behrens hopes that she and her Pit Bull-owner/clients can show that these dogs can be great pets when owned by responsible people.
She is also embarrassed that as a vet she has absolutely no idea what breed Eli is! She does, however, call him her little Dingo since this is what he resembles most.
Beyond her veterinary work and caring for her pets, Dr. Behrens likes to hike and generally be in the great outdoors. She also is the proud owner of a Harley Davidson motorcycle and enjoys the wind in her face, the freedom of the open road and sharing the love of the rumble with those from all walks of life.
Dr. Teena L. Byrd
Dr. Byrd first worked at Randolph Animal Hospital from September of 1991 through December of 1999 and then returned to the Hospital in July of 2002. She majored in Animal Science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and then earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Her areas of particular interest are behavior, internal medicine and dentistry.
Dr. Byrd's early years were spent in Ohio where her family lived in Cincinnati and then moved to Columbus and from there to Urbana. Then at age 14, her family moved to East Tennessee where she lived during her high school and college years.
It was during her childhood growing up with a number of dogs and cats that Dr. Byrd developed her love of animals. She enjoyed playing and interacting with them and decided at a young age that she wanted to have a job helping care for animals. As a veterinarian, Dr. Byrd says that she thoroughly enjoys the sciences and the ever-changing knowledge she is able to acquire the longer that she practices. This career can never get stale, she says, because there is so much to learn.
Perhaps, though, what keeps her work from becoming stale more than anything else is experiencing the moment when a happy and well pet is reunited with its previously worried and anxious, but now relieved owner.
Dr. Byrd has served as a member of the Randolph County Board of Health since 2002 and has been chairman since 2007. She has lectured on behavior topics for the Canine Corps and is a Humane Society of Randolph County foster parent.
Dr. Byrd also shares her life with a number of pets that include a Quarter Horse gelding named Breeze, a Shepherd mix named Karla, a Golden Retriever/Husky mix named Charlie, a Feist mix named Crissy and three cats: June Bug, Trip and One-Eye.
When not engaged in animal-care-related activities, Dr. Byrd enjoys horseback trail riding, Tai Chi Chuan, yoga and hiking.