Our Veterinarians

Dr. Beth McElhenny

Owner, Veterinarian

Dr. Beth McElhenny believes that veterinary medicine is much more than just a career—it’s truly her calling, and it’s all that she’s wanted to do from the time she was six years old. Getting to use her talents, knowledge, and innate compassion in order to better the lives of animals and their owners is the ultimate reward for her! Dr. McElhenny is proud and humbled to serve the area’s pets as the owner and chief veterinarian of Oak Hill Animal Hospital.

A Georgia native, Dr. McElhenny—or Dr. Mac, as many of her clients and staff affectionately call her—began her veterinary journey during her senior year of high school, when she had the opportunity to spend nearly six hours per week shadowing at a local animal hospital. After earning her Associate’s degree in science from a junior college in the mountains of northern Georgia, Dr. McElhenny headed to North Georgia College in Dahlonega to obtain her Bachelor’s degree, supplementing her studies with real-world volunteer experience at a nearby veterinary clinic. Next, she gained acceptance into the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine and moved to Athens to study animal care. After earning her degree, she was offered a job by the veterinarian she had volunteered with back in Dahlonega and gladly accepted.

Dr. Mac worked in various veterinarians’ offices for 20 years before deciding to act on a longtime dream: opening her own practice in order to provide a specific brand of client-centered, compassionate healthcare. She built Oak Hill Animal Hospital from the ground up in 2009, and has been caring for the area’s pets here ever since. All in all, Dr. McElhenny has been a veterinary professional for almost 30 years.

Medically, Dr. McElhenny enjoys exploratory surgery and puzzle-solving via diagnostic work. She’s also fond of education, and loves teaching both clients and staff about pet health and behavior one-on-one. Dr. Mac is extremely proud that two of her former interns are currently in the midst of veterinary school themselves!

In her time away from the hospital, Dr. Mac enjoys gardening, reading, practicing yoga, camping, and traveling. She and her husband, Martin, live with eight rescued pets. In addition to five cats who go by Maggie, Olive, Ninah, Oakley, and Nittany, they have a herding-breed dog named Hershey; Petey the boxer/bulldog mix, who was found wandering in the rain right in front of Oak Hill Animal Hospital; and a young pit bull named Miley whose favorite pastime is playing backyard Frisbee.

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Dr. Jessica Izlar

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Jessica Izlar was very young when she first toured the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. There, she witnessed medical professionals working on a sick foal—it wasn’t lost on Dr. Izlar just how much the animal was relying on the doctors’ skills and intuitions. She knew instantly that she wanted to be just like them!

A native of Snellville, Georgia, Dr. Izlar was only in middle school when she first began working as a Kennel Assistant. It wasn’t long before she had moved up the ladder into a Veterinary Assistant position and began working under a wonderful veterinarian in Conyers. Dr. Izlar would remain there throughout high school and even worked in the practice during breaks from her undergraduate studies in biology at Georgia Southern University. Next, she headed to the University of Georgia for veterinary school, graduating as a licensed veterinarian in May of 2014.

Dr. Izlar joined the Oak Hill Animal Hospital family in July of 2017. She has a particular interest in internal medicine cases, and she’s also enjoying exploring the world of veterinary forensics. Most of all, Dr. Izlar likes to educate the area’s pet owners on proper pet care—knowing that she’s able to make a real difference in a pet’s home life is the ultimate reward!

When she’s not tending to pets’ needs here at the hospital, Dr. Izlar enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, watching movies, and traveling. She’s been to Germany, Austria, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, and Greece! At home, she and her husband, Joel, share their lives with three loveable pets of their own: Charlie, Polly, and Peaches.

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