Dr. Mark A. Ayers
Dr. Mark A. Ayers is the owner and founder of Ayers Animal Hospital, Inc. Dr. Ayers graduated from West Virginia University with high honors and with a BS degree in animal science. He is a 1979 graduate of Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Ayers founded Ayers Animal Hospital, Inc., after purchasing the practice of Dr. Harry ‘Bert’ Willet in 1983. Dr. Ayers decided at the young age of 6 that he wanted to become a veterinarian. His family was always surrounded by animals of all types. His family owned everything from milk cows, pigs and chickens to work horses, which his family used to plow the family gardens. Dr. Ayers always had a dog or two that he hiked with and were his pals following him on his bicycle or as he rode his horse through the back roads near his home.
Dr. Ayers has always had a keen interest in both human and animal medicine, and from a young age he loved the sciences. One of his most treasured Christmas presents was a microscope for which his mom and dad sacrificed to purchase for him. Because of his love of people, animals and science, he has devoted his entire academic career and life to veterinary medicine. Even now after 34 years of private practice, Dr. Ayers still loves his profession as much as ever. He strives to stay abreast with the latest developments in his field. He has maintained a keen interest in dermatology, internal medicine, cardiology, ultrasonography, surgery and radiology.
What began as a solo practice has grown over the past years to a busy four-person practice. Dr. Ayers recently created a new addition to the current hospital providing more parking, more exam rooms and a much larger reception area. Dr. Ayers has been married to his wife Judy, for 34 years and has three children; Diana, Jeremy and Charity. Dr. Ayers and Judy currently share their home with their dog, Teddy Bear and provide doggie daycare for Charity’s dog, Bentley. They sadly miss their cat Cuddles, which shared their home for 15 years and Simba their Golden Retrevier of 13 years.
Dr. Ayers is also an ordained minister and is the pastor of the New Hope Worship Center, Nitro,West Virginia.
Dr. Candie M. Baker
Dr. Candie M. Baker joined the team at Ayers Animal Hospital in January of 2009. Dr. Baker went to Morehead State University for Pre-Vet and is a 1993 graduate of Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Baker’s dream growing up on a 200 acre farm in Olive Hill, Kentucky, was to be a veterinarian. Having grown up on the farm, she was always involved with animals including; cows, chickens, riding and working with horses, barn cats, and several beloved canine companions. She first learned to ride a horse by riding on the back of a plow horse while her dad plowed the farm crops. Dr. Baker always had at least one horse growing up and loved riding and training them. Her love for horses still continues today.
Dr. Baker has been practicing for 23 years and has experience in large animals, emergency medicine, surgery, and preventative care for companion animals and exotics. She, like Dr. Mark Ayers, strives to stay current on all the latest developments in the field. Dr. Baker has a real passion for companion animal orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, internal medicine, radiology, and preventive care. She also recently added endoscopy to her list of skills.
Dr. Baker is an active member of The First Christian Church in her hometown of Olive Hill, Kentucky, where she lives on a small farm and takes care of her dad. She has one dog, a 10 year old hound mix, ‘Belle’, one inside cat, “Binky’ and 4 outside farm cats.
Dr. Amber B. Lilly
Dr. Amber Lilly has worked at the practice since 2011. She was born and raised in Huntington, West Viginia. She graduated summa cum laude from Marshall University with a BS degree in Biology in 2006. She received her doctorate from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010 and then moved back to the tri-state area to be near family.
Dr. Lilly knew she wanted to become a veterinarian at age 4. She has a love for science and medicine and was always drawn to animals and the bonds they share with humans. Her favorite thing about working with animals is helping a sick patient get home to their loving family.
Dr. Lilly knows she was meant for this profession and is blessed to truly enjoy going to work. She cares about her patients and is driven to learn new techniques that provide the highest quality of medicine available.
Dr. Lilly has a special interest in internal medicine, ophthalmology, ultrasonography, cardiology, dermatology, and preventative medicine.
Dr. Julie Tackett
Dr. Julie Tackett joined the Ayers Animal Hospital team in August of 2018!
Dr. Tackett is a 2002 graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine (Dr. Ayers alma mater!). Dr. Tackett has a history of working in a mixed animal practice and small animal practice, and she particularly enjoys preventative care medicine, wound healing and geriatrics.
Dr. Tackett’s interests, aside from caring for your pets, include hiking, bike/trail riding, and refinishing/re-purposing furniture. She has one daughter, Harlee. Dr. Tackett and her husband, Travis, live on a hobby farm and are active members of their local church. Dr. Tackett is also a beauty consultant for Mary Kay!
Elaine is the office manager at Ayers Animal Hospital and has been part of the team since 2000 and been in the veterinary field since 1988. Elaine is responsible for daily electronic communication with clients, reporting controlled substances, maintaining logs, maintaining and upgrading the veterinary software management, ordering and tracking inventory, maintaining OSHA requirements, maintaining AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) requirements and keeping standards met for veterinary state inspections.
Elaine grew up on an 86 acre tobacco, hay, and beef farm in northern Kentucky and animals have always been her passion. As a small child, her love for animals was automatic. She was never scared of animals and in fact would play in the fields with the cows, hang onto the tails of the bulls, and walk up the hills with them. She loved raising beef cattle, hogs, sheep, horses, and her specialty passion was beekeeping. Elaine’s passion for beekeeping lead her to teach children and adults the importance of beekeeping and why they are so important in the production of our food sources.
Elaine’s 4-legged family includes 2 dogs, Augustus and Shilo. She enjoys doing charitable work and stays active in the community where ever needed. She also enjoys spending quality time with her 9 nieces and nephews who are her a big part of her life and watching them follow in her footsteps raising and showing livestock.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Aaron is a registered veterinary technician who began his career in 2015. He is from the local area and received his license from Carver Career Center.
Before becoming a registered veterinary technician, Aaron worked in a clinic starting in 2012. He fell in love with veterinary medicine and decided to go back to school to pursue a career in the field.
Aaron’s favorite part of working in veterinary medicine is helping sick pets recover and reuniting them with their families. He also enjoys educating pet owners on how to better understand and care for their animals.
Throughout his career, Aaron has come to appreciate the sense of community and continuous learning that is present in the field of veterinary medicine.
In his free time, Aaron enjoys spending time with his own pets, which include dogs, cats, snakes, and fish. He also likes to play video games.
Molly has been working in the field since 2006. She earned her master’s degree in biomedical science from Marshall University, after completing her bachelor’s degree in biology, with minors in chemistry, Latin and classical literature. She continues to have a strong desire to learn and grow in her field.
Although Molly was born in Houston, Texas, her family is from Huntington, West Virginia and she has always considered herself a West Virginia native. Her goal since childhood was to become a veterinarian. She grew up around animals of all types, becoming fascinated by the science behind how they worked at an early age. As she progressed in her education and career, she found that she enjoyed the hands-on aspect of being a veterinary technician more than becoming a veterinarian. Seventeen years later, her favorite thing about working with animals is still the one-on-one time she gets to spend with them during their care. The first time a client requested her specifically to work with their pet, she knew she had found her calling.
Molly is an only child but has a close-knit extended family of cousins, a tight-knit group of friends, and two nieces that are like her own. Her immediate family consists of her parents, grandmother, and her pets. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing TTRPGs (tabletop role-playing games), playing video games, spending time with friends and family, singing, traveling, drawing, writing, and exploring new places with her dogs. She sets herself a goal of reading 100 books per year and has achieved it for two years in a row.
Kim has been with Ayers Animal Hospital as a veterinary technician since December of 2017.
As a youngster, she grew up in Lawrence county, Ohio and Lawrence county, Kentucky, but no matter where she was she enjoyed her time with dogs.
She’s been married for 20 years to her husband David with whom they have a combined 5 children, Mike, Josh, Alisha, Sierra and Andrew, 3 Outlaws Kayla, Sam and Kaytlyn, and 5 grandbabies Ryland, Aiden, Ava, Logan and Nolan. Kim boards and trains dogs as a side hustle.
Elizabeth, a veterinary technician, began her career in August of 2021. Growing up in Chesapeake, Ohio, Elizabeth had a passion for animals, and spent her childhood riding horses and roller skating. She even played roller derby for several years. Now residing in Barboursville, West Virginia, Elizabeth is working towards becoming a registered technician. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog Ember and drawing.
Elizabeth originally entered the veterinary field to be around animals, but after gaining a deeper understanding of the field, she stays motivated by the ability to help animals and their owners through difficult times, as well as providing reassurance during end-of-life appointments. Elizabeth has been recognized for her passion in the field, receiving a positive review about her dedication.
Elizabeth is married and has 3 dog and 2 cat children. She loves spending her time outdoors, hiking with her best friend and her “heart dog,” Ember.
Dakota is a dedicated and compassionate veterinary technician who has been working in the field since November 2020. She lives in Grayson, Kentucky, and commutes to work in Huntington, West Virginia. She is a licensed phlebotomist, but her passion for working with animals led her to pursue a career as a vet tech.
Dakota’s journey in the veterinary field began in the spring of 2018 when a friend who was a veterinarian asked her to come work for her due to her general knowledge and love of animals. Dakota grew up on a farm and had a lot of experience with different types of animals. She finds great satisfaction in being able to help care for creatures that can’t always help themselves or tell us what is wrong. She enjoys the fast-paced environment and the opportunity to learn something new on a daily basis. When she first started working in the veterinary field, she quickly learned by being thrown in headfirst at her first clinic. It was when she saw how she and the doctors helped the animals heal that she knew she had found the right profession for her.
Dakota is a single mother to a son and has a pit mix named Fredy and three cats, Victoria, Meows, and Miles. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her son and animals, reading, listening to music, drinking coffee, and napping.
Jamie is a skilled professional in the veterinary field, having worked as a technician in emergency and critical care for over 20 years. Originally from Huntington, she moved away in 2003 but eventually found her way back. From a young age, Jamie knew she wanted to work with animals, taking an interest in her family’s pets before pursuing a career in the field. Her favorite aspect of working with animals is building relationships with the pets’ families and taking responsibility for their well-being.
Jamie is a single mother to a 13-year-old daughter and is also a dedicated pet owner. She has a Shih Tzu named Beatrice, an orange tabby cat named Sheldon Cooper, and a Tennessee Walking Horse named Sandy. In addition to her work in the veterinary field, Jamie has several other passions, including photography, especially pet photography. She even has a pet photography business. Jamie is also a creative cook and makes homemade dog treats that she sells at farmer’s markets during the summer. She has even been featured twice on a WSAZ news segment, showing viewers how to make dog treats at home. When she’s not working, Jamie loves going to horse shows with her daughter.
Chico has been working in the field since 2015. She graduated from Marshall University with a degree in Japanese. Despite her degree, Chico has always had a deep love for animals. She has two cats of her own, Pringles and Ruffles, which further solidified her passion for animal care.
As a kennel technician, Chico takes great pride in ensuring that the animals under her care are comfortable in any situation. She feels that this role makes her an essential member of the team. In her free time, Chico is an avid reader and tea drinker.
Samantha joined the Ayers Animal Hospital team in October of 2012. She began working as a kennel technician and is currently training to be a veterinary technician. Samantha has a dog named Puppy. She also has 2 wonderful children.
Kaitlyn joined the Ayers Animal Hospital team in February of 2014. Kaitlyn is one of our kennel technicians. She has a huge passion and love for animals and it shows through her daily work here at Ayers Animal Hospital. She owns rescue dogs and a horse named Scooby. Kaitlyn’s future goal is to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. In her spare time Kaitlyn loves horse back riding and reading.
Amber enjoys caring and working with all the patients here in the hospital. She enjoys meeting new patients that come in every day. She takes great care of the boarding pets and builds a personal attachment with them. Amber has 3 pets; a German Shepherd named Koda a beagle mix named Harley, and a Siamese cat named Whisker Britches. Animals are Amber’s passion and plan to continue working with them for the rest of her life.
Sarah has been a kennel attendant at Ayers Animal Hospital since 2017. She received her kennel license Collins Career Center. She knew that she was in the right industry when she was able to begin learning what she was passionate about.
She loves her family! There is her Mom, Dad, Husband, Mother-in-law, sister-in-law, 2 nephews and a niece. She loves spending her time with all of them when she’s not working.
Whitney is a Kennel Technician who began her career in September 2022. She has lived in Huntington her entire life and graduated from Huntington High School in 2007 with a major in Human Services.
In 2009, Whitney completed the Medical and Business Administration program at Cabell County Career Technology Center. Prior to joining the veterinarian field, she had 15 years of experience in retail and business management.
Whitney decided to pursue a career in the veterinarian field because she wanted to do something where she could make a career out of helping animals. Her favorite part of working in this field is the joy the animals bring to her every day.
After a few months of working in the veterinarian field, Whitney realized that she looked forward to going to work each day to help save lives, which confirmed that she was in the right profession.
In her free time, Whitney enjoys reading, thrifting, and bargain shopping. She collects anything retro but mostly vintage Pyrex and CorningWare. Whitney is married to Clark and they have two daughters named Brookelyn and Kendall.
Alaina is a young and ambitious individual who has spent her entire life in Huntington, West Virginia. She attended Huntington High School and is currently pursuing her degree at Marshall University. Her passion for animals and desire to make a positive impact in the world led her to pursue a career in wildlife conservation. To gain hands-on experience in the field, Alaina decided to start her journey as a Kennel Tech.
With a strong passion for animals, Alaina feels that it is her duty to help them in any way possible. She comes from a family of two older sisters, her mother, and a number of beloved pets. In her free time, Alaina enjoys reading and listening to music. She also loves to attend concerts with her friends and explore new places through travel.
Leticia was born and raised in Tlaxcala, Mexico. Animals have always been her passion. She graduated from Universidad Autonoma De Tlaxcala in Mexico with a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1992. Soon after graduation, she was offered a job with the Mexican government Agricultural Department that provided support to livestock farmers and various farming projects which included artificial insemination in pigs and small scale beekeeping projects. She also worked at various small private animal veterinary clinics doing preventative care and grooming. She also taught biology, ecology, computer software programming and art at high school and middle school level.
She joined Ayers Animal Hospital as a kennel technician in 2017 and is presently our groomer. She also currently teaches Spanish and is working on her ASL certification. She is working on eventually getting USA certification as a veterinarian or veterinary technician.
She is married to her best friend and husband, Anthon. They currently share their home with Steward, a dachshund adoptee from Ayers Animal Hospital.
She enjoys canvas painting, traveling, gardening, rock music, hiking, Zumba, raising rare breed chickens and learning the guitar.
For Leticia, working at Ayers Animal Hospital has been a truly wonderful experience with great people to work with, lots of opportunities for professional growth, and the pleasure to provide loving care to our four-legged friends of all shapes and sizes.