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Dr. Draper

Dr. Charla Draper, Medical Director

Dr. Draper is a rural Illinois native who earned her BS in Biological Sciences from Oklahoma State University and her DVM from Ross University.  Dr. Draper has practiced in several states across the country while her husband, Dr. Bill Draper, completed his specialty in veterinary neurology.  Her professional interests include surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology and exotics.  She joined the Elam Animal Hospital team in October 2012 as medical director.

After Hours: Dr. Draper's family includes her husband, Bill, two daughters and twin boys.  They reside on a farm with Pete the Labrador, Petra the rescued Pit Bull, Quarter Horses Bea and Honey, Mini Pony Chase, cats Axel and Brown Cat, and 3 ducks Leonard, Lemonade and James Brownie.  When not renovating their 200 year old home, she enjoys traveling, horseback riding and practicing banjo.

Fun Facts:

Hails from Pike County, IL, the Whitetail Deer Capital of the World.

Once performed an umbilical hernia repair on a zebra!

Obtained her CNA while still in high school.

Dr. Bethany Parnell, Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Parnell received her BS in Biological Sciences in her home state at the University of Kentucky, and graduated Cum Laude from Ross University to obtain her DVM.  After a clinical year at Auburn University, she relocated to Columbia and joined the Elam Animal Hospital team in November of 2012.  Her professional interests include endocrinology, dentistry, and surgery.


After Hours: Dr. Parnell lives with her husband Bryant, an athletic trainer, and their Rhodesian Ridgeback Mia, her rescue cat Solo, a turtle and chinchilla.  She loves any opportunity to travel, reading Stephen King novels and spending time at the beach.

Fun Facts:

She grew up with a deer and squirrels as childhood pets

Her turtle, Myrtle, is 15 years old!

Sailed the British Virgin Islands during college


Dr. Allison Hassinger, Relief Veterinarian

Dr. Hassinger was born and raised in Raleigh, NC.  She graduated valedictorian from NC State University with a degree in Biological Sciences.  She then obtained her DVM from NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  After practicing for two years at a large 5-doctor practice in North Carolina, she relocated to Columbia and joined Elam Animal Hospital in the summer of 2011.  Her professional interests include emergency medicine, surgery and internal medicine.

After Hours: Dr. Hassinger resides with her highschool sweetheart, Dr. Stanley Hassinger, an emergency medicine physician.  They have three wonderful children, two busy, but loveable dogs and a princess cat who rules the roost.  She enjoys sailing, baking, sewing and spending time with her two- and four-legged family.

Fun Facts:

Has spayed and neutered grizzly bears.

Raced sailboats for NC State University.

Won 4 State Championships with her high school soccer team. 


Hannah - Office Manager

Hannah graduated with her degree in Biological Anthropology from the University of South Carolina, and previously worked as an ICU Nurse and Referral Coordinator for a specialty clinic before joining the Elam Animal Hospital team in 2014.  She enjoys learning about all aspects of veterinary medicine but is especially interested in orthopedics and ophthalmology.  After hours, she is a member of the Greater Columbia Obedience Club and enjoys participating in flyball and rally with her four rescued dogs Scout, Tovin, Catfish, Pivot and one fat cat named Phinaeus.

Fun Facts:

Watched a fracture repair on lemur and a cataract surgery in a baboon.

Taught her deaf dog, Tovin, over 50 different signs!

Worked as a special needs interpreter in Kenya.


Guin - Licensed Veterinary Technician

Guin received her BS in Biological Sciences / Conservation with a cognate in Wildlife Biology from Thiel College in Pennsylvania, and completed her Associates in Veterinary Technology from Tri-County Technical College here in South Carolina.  She has worked at Elam Animal Hospital since 2010 and particularly enjoys our exotics patients.


Outside of work, she loves spending time with her son Silas and a menagerie of animals including Pele the Brazilian Mastiff and C.H.I.P.S. the pot-bellied pig. 

Fun Facts:

Guin is our resident Dr. Doolittle and has worked with all creatures great and small-- she is almost always rehabilitating a lost or injured animal for release back into the wild.


Flora - Veterinary Technician

Flora was a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, Florida, before becoming a Columbia transplant to join the Elam Animal Hospital team in 2016.  She has over a decade of experience as a technician, with a particular interest in dentistry and anesthesia.


Outside of work, Flora's two dogs Epic and Emmie keep her very busy with all sorts of activities-- dock diving, agility, flyball, disc, and hiking, and 5 sweet rescue cats.

Fun Facts:

Played softball since the age of 8, primarily as a catcher.

Vacationed across the US with her family as a child.

Cheers on the Florida Gators!



Jennifer - Veterinary Technician

Jennifer joined the Elam Animal Hospital family in 2016 and is excited to be back in general practice after a career in specialty medicine both here in Columbia and in her home state of New Jersey.  As a previous Oncology Technician, she has a passion for patient care and attention for detail that shines through in everything she does!


Outside of work, she is incredibly active with her two dogs, Moo and Lilith.  They enjoy dock diving, agility, training in flyball, and hiking with her partner Tim.  She also loves to snow ski.  

Fun Facts:

Has been a tech for over 10 years.

Worked as a technician at a cardiology research center with pigs, sheep, large hounds and calves.

Danced jazz, tap and ballet starting at the age of 3.  


Devin - Veterinary Technician

Devin is a Texas native that now calls SC home. She has been a dedicated veterinary technician her whole career and has a passion for ophthalmology.  She was a technician for a veterinary ophthalmologist in her home state for several years before moving to SC and joining the Elam team in 2013.  She has a soft spot for neglected animals and rescued Mina (pictured here) while working at our clinic. 


Outside of work, she and her husband, retired Army, enjoy traveling, particularly to Nascar races.  As an "empty-nester" of 4 children, Devin has become a very talented baker and loves visiting antique stores.  They share their home with 2 cats, 2 dogs and 2 birds.  

Fun Facts:

Obsessed with Marie Antoinette

Die hard Dallas Cowboys fan



Josh - Receptionist

Josh joined our team in 2014, and is a cornerstone of all things office related around the clinic.  He graduated with his Bachelor's in Psychology from the University of South Carolina, and is currently pursuing his Masters in Mathematics.  On completion, he hopes to pursue a career as a high school math teacher--but we are happy to keep him a member of our Elam team as long as we are able!

When not working, he and his partner Emily enjoy all things outdoors: hiking, camping, biking and kayaking, or any activities involving their three sweetheart rescued pit bull mix girls.

Fun Facts:

Passionate fan of WWE, and never misses Monday Night RAW.

Of all exotics we see--his VERY favorite are ferrets!


Kaylee - Receptionist / Assistant

Kaylee joined the Elam team in 2015, and in one year has managed to work almost every position in the hospital!  She has experience with dog handling and behavior, and will soon complete her first certification for Veterinary Assisting before pursuing additional schooling.  Although Kaylee does an excellent job working as a kennel technician and has previous experience as a float/assistant, these days you'll most often find her assisting clients in reception.

She lives an animal-centric lifestyle with her boyfriend on a horse farm surrounded by various livestock, and share their house with two dogs, Rebel and Raider, and a lizard.

Fun Fact:

As a recent transplant to the East Coast, she has never seen the Atlantic Ocean!

Grew up on a farm with a pet deer named Charmin.


Chelsi - Receptionist

Chelsi joined the Elam receptionist team in 2015, after previous careers in the rescue community.  She has a welcoming, calming presence that puts clients and pets alike at ease.


Outside of work, she loves spending time with her two rad dogs, Mary Shelley and Casey Jones the tripawd.  She enjoys travelling, and is always planning her next adventure.  Although her coworkers might claim her favorite activities as art and photography, Chelsi insists its actually sleeping ;) 

Fun Facts:

Currently working on her degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Non-Profit Management.

Lived in Germany for five years in her youth.


Rachael - Certified Groomer / Kennel Manager

Rachael is truly a wonderwoman, and to describe her as anything less would be an understatement!  She joined the Elam family in 2015, and is a certified groomer with 13 years' experience.  She has a special talent calming nervous clients and has transformed many pets who have previously been excused from other grooming facilities for fear or aggression.  We are so lucky to have her on the team!

Her passions outside of work include being outside and yardwork/landscaping, any and all things Disney, and spending time on the lake with her sugary sweet Golden Retriever, Pearl.

Fun Facts:

Previously coached USSSA softball and contributed to a three-peat winning streak.

There's not a Disney movie she hasn't seen--which might explain the unique vintage Disney posters that decorate her grooming room.


Savanna - Kennel Technician

Savanna joined the Elam Animal Hospital team in 2016, and we don't know how we lived without her!  A native of Alaska (no, not in an igloo), she recently relocated to the east coast.  Her passion, however, is all things agriculture, working as a stablehand for multiple local farms--when she's not in school pursuing her Associate's in Science.


She loves horseback riding, working outdoors, and spending time with her family and Great Pyrenees Denali.

Fun Facts:

Is a certified First Responder, and is CPR trained.

Her hometown of Kodiak Island, Alaska had a population of 60 during the winter!

Snots McRabbit (Retired) - Client Relations Specialist

Snots McRabbit was born and raised in the outskirts of Columbia, and was found living in a rabbit hutch before accepting the Client Relations position at Elam in 2012.  His special skills include snuggling with patients as they recover from anaesthesia, being accidentally sat on while sleeping in chairs, and dressing to impress.

When not working at Elam, snots enjoys parasailing, big-game hunting, and fashion.  He shares his home with a variety of boarding dogs and cats and hopes to soon obtain a degree in general hijinks.  


Vet Favorites:

Snots most enjoys anaesthetic procedures (because it means a warm water blanket will be turned on for our patients.)

He also enjoys the opportunity to interact with new and different clients every day!