Dr. Darren Taul
I had the greatest childhood growing up on our family farm. I have often told people I had a 500 acre playground and truly enjoyed farming with my dad and brother. We raised pigs and cattle as well as several crops and I also learned numerous “life skills” along the way. I still miss farming but I knew early on my calling was veterinary medicine. I volunteered at our local veterinary clinic whenever I had the opportunity and wasn’t working at home, going to school, or playing basketball and football.
I attended Western Kentucky University before moving on to Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine where I met my wife (Stacey). Upon graduation in 1996, I moved to Lancaster, bought a house, and married Stacey. We made Garrard County our home with our horses, dogs, and cats. Stacey and I both became practice owners in 1999 when she became a partner at Animal Hospital of Nicholasville and I purchased Lancaster Veterinary Hospital. A lot has changed since that time (including the expansion to our Danville location), but one thing hasn’t changed. I still love what I do—helping patients and their people and working with a great team that loves what they do. We have a great “culture” in our hospitals.
I also found some other interests along the way. Specific veterinary interests include surgery, dentistry, and finding ways of providing “fear free” veterinary visits to our “extremely nervous patients” (and I am not above bribery). I am “Fear Free” Certified which means I’ve had additional training in that arena. My veterinary involvement has also expanded nationally. I am the President-Elect of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) which spans the US and Canada. AAHA is the only veterinary organization that evaluates veterinary hospitals on over 900 standards of care—well above basic standards. I am also a veterinary practice consultant for Blue Heron Consulting and truly enjoy learning about other veterinarians, teams, and hospitals and helping to provide assistance to them on many levels. I am thankful for all of these opportunities and experiences but it does make for an entertaining travel schedule at times.
I have also had the pleasure and opportunity to serve in my local community. I currently serve as chairman of the Heritage Hospice Board of Directors. I also serve KHELPS Medical Reserve Corps (as an emergency respondent) in Boyle and Garrard Counties. I’m a member of the Farmers National Bank Community Service Board and a member and past director of the Garrard County Chamber of Commerce.
I am the youngest of three. I have a brother (Doug—also a veterinarian along with his wife Sherrie) and a sister (Deb—a nurse). My Dad (Ralph) still farms at 87 years of age but he says he’s “retired.” My mom passed away in 2015 of breast cancer (which contributed to my hospice involvement). I really enjoy spending time with family, golf, traveling, carpentry, horseback riding, and doing pretty much anything involving the outdoors.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine,
Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michelle Arnold
Veterinary medicine has always been a part of my life. My father (Bob Lynch) is a retired veterinarian and my mother (Bonnie) is a retired veterinary technician/business manager who owned their own vet clinic in Lexington (Clays Mill Vet Clinic) for 40 years. Needless to say, dinner conversation was rather grotesque and visitors often found they had lost their appetite! My parents provided an incredible example of how to operate a client and patient focused veterinary practice while striving to provide the highest quality of medicine. The practice became AAHA accredited as soon as my father was able to buy the building and expand the practice (I was in middle school at this time). AAHA has always been an integral part of my practice philosophy and I have always worked at an AAHA accredited facility.
After attending Asbury college (now University), I worked as a technician at my parents’ clinic for 2 years prior to attending Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. I learned many valuable lessons as a technician including but not limited to: patient care and husbandry, technical skills, client communication, and the importance of each position within the practice (receptionists have the hardest job!). Mississippi State CVM provided a lot of hands on experience, especially in the surgical department. Where most veterinary students complete 5 or less surgeries before they graduate, I was able to complete 130 spays and neuters between two different opportunities: the spay/neuter bus at the college, and an externship in NC at a high volume, low cost spay/neuter clinic.
Working in Lexington for the first several years out of vet school, I had the opportunity to become certified as both a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and Medical Acupuncturist. Most importantly, these certifications have provided me with additional skills during physical exams. While humans can tell you what hurts and where, veterinarians rely on their hands and eyes to guide them in diagnosing where pain is located in their patients. I have a passion for anatomy and learning WHY a particular muscle/tendon/ligament may be tight or painful, and helping that tissue to heal to the best of its ability which in turn helps the patient to feel better and leaves the client satisfied that their pet has the most comfortable and active lifestyle possible.
My husband, Jeremy, is a youth pastor and is finishing up at Asbury Seminary with the goal to be a full time pastor. We have one 3 year old daughter, Naomi, and she brings an immense amount of joy to our lives! We also have several 4-legged children- 2 dogs (German Shepherd and Shepherd Mix), 2 cats and a horse (Thoroughbred). I enjoy reading fantasy fiction, hiking, horseback riding and spending time with family (as in family dinner nights EVERY week, multiple birthday parties a month and every holiday you can imagine). I enjoy thinking outside the box and welcoming new opportunities that I’ve never even considered. I’m learning to say “yes” more often than “no”!
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine,
Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Beth Ruggles
Being a veterinarian was my childhood dream, and it lasted until we had to put our first pet to sleep—then I decided I just couldn’t face that part of being an animal doctor. My next big passion was to be an astronaut, and then a lawyer. Then, in 1989, I met the wonderful team at the St. Charles Veterinary Clinic in St. Charles, IL, and I felt that pull once again to help animals.
I worked at the SCVC for many years during breaks from college and veterinary school (at THE Ohio State University), first cleaning cages, giving baths, and walking dogs and eventually working my way up to technician. I still cry almost every time I help a suffering patient find peace by way of euthanasia, but life and experience has helped me value this transition as a choice animals are so very fortunate to have, and I feel privileged to be the one to help pets and their families at that most difficult time.
I have 2 wonderful children, now in college at the University of Kentucky. My sweet cat Lenny and I are happily living in Danville, making new friends and becoming involved with community organizations. In my free time I enjoy golf, reading, walking, yoga, and gardening. I still stay in touch with many of my classmates from veterinary school and love keeping up with the many advances in our profession. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to work with animals and their people!
Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.
Lisa joined Lancaster Veterinary Hospital as Practice Manager in 2007. A native of Danville, Kentucky, Lisa graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting. With her lifelong love of animals both great and small, she particularly enjoys being able to use her skills in business to help dogs, cats, and horses stay healthy and happy.
Outside of work, Lisa enjoys reading and spending time with her husband, Danny, and her daughter, Elizabeth, as well as her dogs Maggie Mei and Sophie, and her cats Jamie, Claire, Jack, Will and Sabina.
Bachelor of Business Administration/Accounting,
Eastern Kentucky University
Joe grew up in Lexington, Kentucky and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B. S. in Agriculture/Animal Sciences. He has been working with Dr. Taul since February 1997.
Joe lives in Garrard County on a farm where he has Quarter Horses, Paints, and Thoroughbreds. Joe's family also includes dogs, cats and a Double Yellow Head Amazon Parrot named Alvin.
Joe is an avid sports fan and member of the Big Blue Nation.
Bachelor of Science,
University of Kentucky
Stephanie has been working in the veterinary field for the past 22 years. She has a degree in psychology from EKU, where she focused her studies on animal behavior, dolphin intelligence and communication. She worked at Marineland of Florida when she graduated. She has since worked at the Knoxville Zoo, where she managed the vet clinic and was the lead technician and in numerous veterinary hospitals with a variety of animals in four states. Stephanie is certified in wildlife rehabilitation.
Stephanie has 8 cats, 6 horses, 2 dogs and 1 parrot. Most of her animals are rescues. Besides enjoying her pets, she grows a variety of herbs and makes all natural soap and herbal products.
Bachelor of Science,
Eastern Kentucky University
Trinity grew up in Mercer County. Her lifelong career with animals began in high school, raising and showing her own sheep and goats all the way to a national level, and she has been working with animals ever since.
She lives by Herrington Lake with her two dogs, Akima and Gavin, a cat, Leo, 4 freshwater aquariums, and a few goats. She sings in a local band, Paper Bridges, and does lifestyle photography in her spare time (The Companion Studio).
Brianna grew up on a dairy farm and has a lifelong love of animals. She has two dogs, Jessie (a Boxer/Lab mix) and Cooter (a Border Collie mix). She has a Tennessee Walking Horse named Trudie that she loves riding in her free time.
Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science,
Eastern Kentucky University
Amanda grew up in Paint Lick, Kentucky, surrounded by the many animals that her parents would rescue along with the animals on her grandparents’ farm. She knew that she had a love for animals at a very young age.
In her free time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband and their cat Obi.
Samantha moved here from Florida in 2009, and has been a veterinary technician for over 10 years.
She is married with two dogs, Angel and Bailey. She also trains and rides horses in her spare time.
Lydia grew up on a small farm in Northern Kentucky and loves being around all kinds of animals. She is currently attending Centre College, majoring in Biology and plans on attending veterinary school after graduation.
She loves visiting with the puppies at the Humane Society and has three cats of her own: Benny, Poderick, and Winifred (Fred).
Hanna grew up in Atlanta Georgia and has a lifelong passion for helping keep animals happy and healthy. She graduated from Sprayberry High School where she was awarded for her many hours of volunteer work in a veterinary hospital. She has worked at animal hospitals for 6 years.
In her free time, Hanna enjoys drawing, painting and playing with her 2 cats - Alby and Indie. She is pictured with her "fur brother" Sprout, who is a Chihuahua mix..
Customer Services Representative
Jessi Spencer grew up in Burgin, Kentucky and spent several years traveling for mission work. She attended nursing school and worked primarily within the senior and disabled population. She married her childhood best friend and they share 3 beautiful children and 2 sweet granddaughters.
Currently, Jessi resides by Herrington Lake where she enjoys the outdoors, working in her gardens, and opening up her home to children in the neighborhood in need ofTLC. She looks forward every day to spending time with her 4 pets Scootie, Coco, Cymba, and Buster (on some days known has Bo Sefus)!
Client Services Representative
Heather grew up in Kings Mountain, Kentucky, and recently moved to Lancaster in order to pursue her dream job of working with animals at Animal Hospitals of Danville and Lancaster.
She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Animal Science and plans on becoming a veterinary technician.
She is a "fur momma" to Bear (pictured) and his sister Stella, as well as two loving cats, Abraham and Lincoln.