Dr. Natalie McLaughlin

Dr. Natalie McLaughlin – Big Lick Veterinary Services – Roanoke, VANatalie McLaughlin is the product of a military family and has enjoyed living in many places. She finished high school in Virginia Beach and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1995. She earned her veterinary degree from VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She served as the head veterinarian for the Roanoke Wildlife Rescue for 9 years. Currently, she is the co-owner of Big Lick Animal Hospital and works part-time as a veterinarian. Natalie loves veterinary behavior.

She lives in the Cave Spring area with her husband Doug, three children, three dogs, six cats, and two horses. Her outside interests include riding her horses, CrossFit, hanging out with her dogs and all things related to her kids.

Dr. Jonathan Amos, CCRP

Full-time veterinarian and co-owner of Big Lick Vet, Jonathan Amos is a native of the Roanoke Valley graduating from Cave Spring High School and Virginia Tech. He earned his veterinary degree from the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. In 2007, he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. Jonathan is currently the only one in Roanoke County with this degree. Furthermore, he served as President to the Roanoke Valley Veterinary Association during the term years 2007 -2009. His veterinary passions include canine rehabilitation, surgery, and diagnostic ultrasound. He is glad to be back in the Roanoke Valley and practicing veterinary medicine.

He lives in the Cave Spring area with his wife Amanda and their two kids, and several pets including two dogs, two cats, three goats, many fish, and a flock of chickens on Big Lick Farm. His personal interests include playing volleyball, working out, and spending time with his family.

Dr. Erin Sheppard

Erin Sheppard joined Big Lick Vet in the summer of 2017 and has been practicing veterinary medicine in the Roanoke Valley area for over five years. She earned her Bachelors’s degree in Biology from the University of Central Arkansas, where she graduated Cum Laude. From there she attended Michigan State University, where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. She then went on to practice small animal medicine in North Carolina and South Carolina before finally settling with her family in Roanoke, Virginia. Her areas of special interest include diagnostic ultrasound as well as dermatology, although she enjoys most aspects of medicine.

Erin is married to local pediatric dentist Dr. Corey Sheppard. The couple has 3 children and three dogs. In her spare time, Erin enjoys spending time at the lake, hiking, camping, running, gardening, and anything that allows her to relax with her family.

Dr. Laura Nelson

Laura Nelson is a native of Charlottesville and holds a BS from Virginia Tech in Biology. She is a 1985 graduate of the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She has practiced in the Roanoke area for more than 30 years. Dr. Nelson has continued her education in the areas of surgery, ultrasound, and echocardiography. Dr. Nelson joined the Big Lick Vet staff in the fall of 2006 as a part-time veterinarian. She also works part-time in the New River Valley. She has a special interest in ultrasound diagnostics, cats, surgery, and small mammals such as rabbits and other pocket pets.

She lives in the NRV and has six horses, four cats, and two dogs. In her free time, she competes in the equestrian discipline of dressage.

Kim H

Practice Manager

Kim joined the Big Lick Vet family in 2012. She has an Associate of Science degree from Virginia Western Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a Concentration in Information Analysis from Roanoke College. Kim has been an animal lover from a young age and is grateful to have found a career that she is passionate about, finds rewarding, and allows her to work with animals.

She currently lives with her long-term partner, Kevin, and three cats: a tortie named Gypsy, a long-hair black cat named Lulu, and a chubby orange tabby named Tomato. She recently lost her beloved 3.5lb senior Chihuahua named Puppy. Kim has a special place in her heart for senior pets in need and hopes to adopt another senior dog soon. Outside of work, she enjoys fishkeeping, aquascaping her fish tanks, and spending time with friends and family.

Melody P

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Melody has been with Big Lick Vet since 2005, the longest of any staff member. She attended Blue Ridge Community College and obtained her Associate of Animal Science in 2012. As a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT), she is an asset to the Big Lick Vet team and completes yearly continuing education courses to maintain her licensure and supplement her knowledge.

Melody’s Pit Bull Ham comes to work with her daily and provide much-needed love and emotional support to our team. When not at work Melody enjoys painting and running. She is also an excellent CrossFit athlete and is a CF-L1 certified trainer.

Jessica H

Licensed Veterinary Technician

After working in multiple pet shops and wildlife rehab, Jess started her journey into veterinary medicine in 2008. She decided to further her career to the next level and achieved her veterinary technician license in 2015. Jess’s passions lie in dentistry and cytology, and she has a special place in her heart for senior pets and pocket pets.

In her spare time, Jess enjoys hiking, kayaking, video games, and anime. She also loves spending time with her husband Ben and their dog, two cats, and multiple aquariums.

Heather G.

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Heather joined the Big Lick Vet family in 2022 with extensive experience and education as a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She first began working in veterinary medicine in 1999 and graduated from Blue Ridge Community College with an Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.
Heather grew up with dogs. After losing her BFF Autumn, a Beagle Mix, to cancer she began bottle feeding a kitten in need and that led to her becoming a first time cat mom in 2021. She also has fish at home. Heather is an avid reader and is always bringing in books to share with the staff. When she’s not working, she enjoys yoga, movies, and time with her friends and family.

Sheri C

Veterinary Assistant

Sheri has worked at Big Lick Vet since 2006. She has worked in veterinary medicine for most of her life and most recently spent 19 years working in emergency veterinary medicine at EVS.
At home, Sheri has two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (Cadie, and Bane), three cats (Florence, Benny, and Cindy Lee Clawford – fashion model extraordinaire), two Sulcata tortoises (Harriet and Franklin), two horses (Cierra and Storm), a cockatiel named Windy, and a very patient husband, Richard. In her spare time, she enjoys yard work, gardening, and classic cars. Her extensive experience makes her a great addition to our team and she’s known by our clients and staff for how caring, kind, and empathetic she is.

Melody M

Veterinary Assistant

Melody joined the Big Lick Vet family in 2016. She has a degree in Massage Therapy and prior to coming to Big Lick Vet, she worked on a dairy farm in Franklin County.

Her mother has worked in the veterinary field for many years and so Melody has been exposed to the profession for most of her life. At home, she has a Chihuahua named Shauna, a mixed-breed dog named Spud (who was a foster failure from the clinic), and 2 cats named Lana Binx and Kahlua. In her spare time, Melody enjoys kayaking and works on the local food truck called “Wake & Bacon”.

Jacob M

Veterinary Assistant

Jacob began shadowing the veterinarians in our office in 2016 and then became an official member of the Big Lick Vet family in 2017. He has had a passion for animals from a very young age. Jacob was homeschooled and after graduating high school he attended 3 semesters at Virginia Western Community College. Jacob plans on attending Blue Ridge Community College’s Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) program starting next May.

At home, he has a Boxer mix named Brie that he rescued. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys hiking, kayaking, CrossFit, and watching football.

Amber B

Veterinary Assistant

Amber joined the Big Lick Vet team in 2019. She graduated in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Randolph College with minors in Equine Studies and History. Amber is also certified in Equine Massage and has been an equestrian for 17 years. She competes on the local and rated circuit with two of her horses. Amber is very familiar with the veterinary field as her mother has been a vet her entire life and Amber spent a lot of time learning the ropes from her mom while she was growing up.

At home, she has a pig named Dyson and two Frenchies named LouLou and Gronk. This is Amber’s first job since graduating college and she’s excited to get settled in, but when not working here at Big Lick Vet, she enjoys working with her horses.

Emily O

Veterinary Assistant

Emily joined the Big Lick team in 2021. She graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice from UVA Wise in 2019 and came to Big Lick Vet with several years worth of experience working with animals.

She lives in Martinsville with her 3 dogs (Piper, a German Shepherd, Sadie, a Great Dane/German Shepherd, and Harper, a Pitbull/Lab mix) and 3 cats (Ella, Autumn, and Dale). She also has a horse named Freya and enjoys riding, reading, hiking, and studying animal behavior in her spare time.

Langley P.

Veterinary Assistant
Fear Free Certified Professional

Langley joined the Big Lick Team in 2022. She graduated from Franklin County High School and is currently enrolled in Blue Ridge Community College’s Veterinary Technician Program. She is excited and eager to become a licensed technician one day!

At home, Langley has three dogs (Big Head, Dutchess, and Duke), three cats (Cheddar, Ghostface, and Jigsaw), and a daughter named Shyanne. She has a soft spot for all things hound and pitbull. When she’s not at work, Langley enjoys going out with her friends, spending time with her daughter, and going to concerts!

Lyndsey O


Lyndsey joined the Big Lick Vet family in 2016. She has many years of experience in the veterinary field and her love for all animals started at a very young age. At home, Lyndsey has two Calico cats (Ida and Kitten) and considers herself a bit of a “crazy cat lady”.

She is very active at her church, where she is a longtime member of the choir. Lyndsey is a huge sports fan – GO STEELERS! When she’s not working, she also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching game shows, and attending Phish shows.

Paige E.


Paige joined the Big Lick Vet team in January 2022. This is her first time working in veterinary medicine but she’s excited to learn more and to get to know our clients and patients. We’re excited to have Paige join our team and she’s already proven to be a wonderful asset!

Paige recently moved to the area after spending most of her life in the Midwest. She grew up in Michigan and spent the last nine years in Idaho. At home, she and her fiance share an Australian Shepard named Aries and a Siberian Husky named Leda. Outside of work, Paige has a small business making furniture out of recycled palettes and also loves hiking, fishing, and hunting.

Sara C.

Sara joined the Big Lick Vet team in 2023 and has prior experience working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist. Sara enjoys interacting with all of the different patients we see. She has a very calming energy which is very helpful when dealing with stressful situations and anxious pets.

Sara was born and raised in the Roanoke Valley and is excited to continue working in the community. Sara has a Mastiff mix named Lacey and four cats – Zeus, Apollo, Hades, and Lilly. When she’s not working, she enjoys reading, gaming, and spending time with her animals. We’re excited to have Sara on our team and