Dr. Robert May, Jr. 


Dr. Robert M. May Jr. knew that he wanted to be a veterinarian in second grade. He traveled all over the world as a child as his father was in the military. Dr. May Graduated from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981. After his graduation he worked at Naval Station Guam and Anderson AFB, Guam for the Army Veterinary Corps from 1981-1984. During this time he was responsible for 72 military working dogs. He practiced at Tolley Veterinary Hospital in Newport News from 1984-1989, and at Animal Care Center in Norfolk from 1989-1995. Dr. May and his wife Yvonne opened Smithfield Animal Hospital in 1995.

Dr. May has a brood of Jack Russels who love to run and chase anything and everything. When he isn't dedicating his time to the hospital he enjoys cooking, brewing beer, bee keeping, Falconry, and making his wife Yvonne happy. During the college football season he never lets anyone forget the importance of Auburn football.


Auburn University


Surgery, Falconry, Bee Keeping, Cooking, and Auburn football


Dr. Betty Payne


Dr. Betty Payne is from Franklin County, Virginia. Her family owned a small farm where she participating in the 4-H club. Her enthusiasm for science and experience with animals made it an effortless decision to pursue a career as a veterinarian. Dr. Betty Payne received her undergraduate education at Virginia Tech, and then proceeded to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. After graduating with her DVM in 1985 she practiced at James River Veterinary Hospital in Newport News from 1985-2000. She Joined Dr. May at Smithfield Animal Hospital in 2001. Dr. Payne enjoys internal medicine and specializes in geriatric patients. In her free time Dr. Payne is a wild life rehabber for song birds and small mammals. She is an active member of Simonsdale Presbyterian Church and Volunteers at the Portsmouth Homeless Shelter. She is a member of the Smithfield Lions Club where she screens the children eyes in our community. Dr. Payne lives in Portsmouth Virginia with her husband(Martin), cats, and dogs. Her dogs are Carson a Black Lab Mix who loves to give hugs, Wilson a Bichon Frise, the ringleader of crime, and Chicola and Poco her two Chiuhuahuas. Dr. Betty also owns two horses and enjoys trail riding in her spare time.


Virginia Tech, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine


Internal medicine, Geriatric care, Horseback riding, and wild life rehabilitation


Dr. Amanda Forgeng



Dr. Hung Vu


Dr. Vu went to Vet school at Virginia Tech and graduated in 2017. He is here for relief, working about every two weeks. He enjoys spending time with his Fiance, Katie, and his two dogs, Sammy and Theo. He always has a smile on his face and takes pride in his "really funny" jokes. When he's not at work, he is watching sports or playing chess.   


Von May


Von May is our dedicated Office Manager. She keeps the entire staff motivated, and working together. Von is from Auburn, Alabama where she attended college earning her Bachelors in Laboratory Technology. After graduation she married Dr. May and started their life together which brought them to Virginia. Von spent 10 years a Riverside hospital then decided to assist Dr. May opening Smithfield Animal Hospital. Von co-parents 3 ornery Jack Russells, Lilly, Anise and Ryder. Anise, has served as a therapy dog at Obici Hospital, but is now retired and spends her days leisurely chasing the ball on the farm. Lilly  travels back and forth to work every day to make sure she doesn't get into too much trouble. Ryder is the newest member, loving life wherever he goes. Von loves to play tennis and ride her bike. She recently trekked across Iowa with her son.


Medical Technology


Bike riding,Volunteering, and tennis


Richard Salnoske


Richard is our Licensed Veterinary Technician. He came to work with us in March of 2012. Richard worked at the Newport News Shipyard for several years. A mentor suggested that he attended Blue Ridge Community College. He followed the advice and earned his Associate of Applied Sciences in Veterinary Technology in 1996. He began his career with animals with animals in 1993 at Todds Lane Veterinary in Hampton as a kennel worker. Richard's keen attention to detail in surgery and meticulous nature motivates everyone to strive for perfection. He currently lives in Hampton with his beautiful wife Julie,  Yorkie-Poo Bella, and his Harris Hawk Phoenix who likes to eat and hunt (in that order). Richard enjoys working in Smithfield because he gets to be involved in part of a small community and get out of city living.


Blue Ridge Community College


Dental cleaning, Radiology, Anesthesia


Emily Barnette


Emily joined our team August 2017. She was born in up-state New York and moved to Smithfield when she was ten. She grew up in an animal loving family, and has been working with animals since age 13. Emily now lives in Windsor with her husband, two dogs (Rooster and Flex) and three cats (Ollie, Roman and Loki). If she isn't working, you can find her with horses, fishing or spending time with her family. 


BRCC- Veterinary Technology


Jessica Pfahl


 Jessica joined our team in 2011. If you've ever needed a special item ordered for your fur friend, you know Jessica, our inventory manager. Jessica was raised in Carrollton and Hampton, Va. Jessica is an asset to our hospital as she takes great pride in helping animals and in turn helping clients understand pet care. Jessica enjoys living in Isle of Wight because her horse, Brandy, three dogs (Jazzy, Lieu, and Annie), two cats (Pierre, and Chanceux), and 40 chickens can be free to do as they please!


Kirsten Robertson


Kirsten has lived in Smithfield since 2013. She is currently going to school to be a Veterinary technician. She loves to be outside with her three miniature australian shepherds Keeley, Sterling and Grady, and her cat, Axle. Her bubbly personality and constant smile are a great asset to our office. She loves all animals and is sure to give your pets extra love and attention.


Amy White


Amy has been working in the veterinary field since out of high school. She recently moved to Smithfield to be closer to family. She has a son, Ziven, and a daughter, Phoenix, that keep her entertained every day.  She currently does not have animals, but has future plans to have some dogs, a horse and a chameleon.


Music, batman, baking and netflix


Abigail Myers


Abigail joined our team in August of last year. She is not only our receptionist; she is a kennel attendant and an assistant as well. Her bubbly personality always has everyone smiling. She loves hiking with her husband, Chris, and her two dogs, Eva and Sully.  Abigail is an amazing artist and on most days, you can find her creating portraits of pets.


Art, hiking, fast cars, riding motorcycles, horses, working out


Keturah Epps


Many of you know Keturah as she is a native of wonderful Smithfield! Her current brood of animals consists of Texilee, an austrailain shepherd and Pickles, a cockapoo, who loves his kitty brothers, Tater, Sperry, and Mario. Keturah loves to spend her time with her husband and two busy teenagers. While not managing her two businesses and working at the hospital, she enjoys re-purposing furniture and trips to the beach.


Holly Reyes


Holly Reyes, originally from Maryland, has lived in Smithfield for four years. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from High Point University in Recreation Training and Fitness. She is passionate about helping others, staying active as a fitness instructor, and being outdoors. With her extreme love of animals, she enjoys seeing and greeting all the critters at the hospital. Her current fur family includes two cats, Snickers and Hazel, and dog, Grayson. Her newest addition to the family is her baby girl, Zoey!



Casey joined our team in May of 2019. She is from Surry. She enjoys spending time with her fur babies: Hazel (pitbull mix), Timber (hound mix), Sylvester and Stinky (cats), Stanely (cow) and Junie B (horse). She loves the beach and goes whenever she gets the chance.


Cheyenne Williams


Cheyenne has been with us for about 4 years. She enjoys working with the many boarding pets from Smithfield. She loves spending time with her cat Sammie and drawing/costume making. 


Art, creating costumes, video games, crafting


Joanne Chambers (Grandma)


Joanne has been a part of our staff since 2004. She enjoys having play time with our borders. Joanne provides a clean and healthy environment for our boarders while they are at "Camp". She Keeps our Hospital immaculate. Joanne has a strong attachment to animals; she knows their likes and dislikes. She should know because in her free time she has a herd of Australian Shepherds: Bertha (the "boss"), Junior (the "couch potato”), Pistol (the "wrecker") and a special mixed boy, Gunner. Joanne enjoys gardening and farming with her husband in her free time, and we like that because we usually get a few tomatoes from her in the summer.






Bodega had a few minor health issues when he came to us in 2011. He is now healthy and happy. His job around here is to soak up the sun, beg for food and shed all over employees while they are eating lunch.


snoozing, back scratches




Lexie has been part of our office family since January of 2011. She naps on top of HER fax machine and comes out to greet patients once in a while.


Greeting dogs, sleeping, purring very loudly


Karen Robson


Karen worked with Smithfield Animal Hospital from March of 2001 to early 2019. She loved greeting all the new puppies and kittens that came through our doors. She had a passion for horses and fast cars. Karen was a kind soul and always wore a smile. We miss her positive energy everyday.  

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  • "I took my 12 week old puppy in today and was very impressed with the care given to him. The ladies at the front desk were so friendly and welcoming. The vet answered all of my questions, was patient, and really seemed to care about my puppy. Having been to another clinic in the area, I was pleased with not only the care, but also the value. Thanks for the excellent service."
    Colleen W.
  • "Mr Boo Boo loves all his friends at SAH.. They take really good care of him."
    Brenda M.

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