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.