Meet the Staff
Get to know the veterinarians and staff that will make your stay comfortable and have your pet feeling brand new!
Dr. McKercher spent his childhood years in Staunton, VA and his high school years in Newport News, VA. He met his wife Liz at Virginia Tech and both received a BS in Wildlife Science in 1993. Between 1993 and 2000, Dr. McKercher worked as a veterinary assistant at numerous zoos, wildlife facilities, and small animal clinics. He was also the director of Peace River Wildlife Center in Punta Gorda, Florida. During this time, he compiled thousands of hours working with wildlife. This includes raptors, primates, reptiles, and many large Asian and African animals, including rhinoceros, giraffes, lions and Elephants. He has handled a very diverse number of wild animals, and his favorites are Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls, and American alligators. Dr. McKercher graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2003, having completed his final clinical year at the University of Florida. He spent 6 years practicing as an equine veterinarian before transitioning to small animal medicine and surgery. He truly enjoys all types of surgeries, especially orthopedics. He lives in Mechanicsville and enjoys spending time with his wife Liz and his daughters Hailey and Heather. His extended family includes 2 dogs named Fiddle and Sandy, a puppy named Otter, 3 cats named Skiddy, Gorilla, and Marmalade, and a Blue-tongued Skink named Oxford. In his spare time, Dr. McKercher enjoys drumming, carpentry, surfing, hiking, and off-road adventures. He also loves football and soccer. Go Gators! Hail to the Redskins! Go Manchester City!
Kristen graduated from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Along with working at Helping Hands she practices equine emergency medicine locally. While in Virginia Dr. Talbott has practiced at a high volume spay/neuter clinic and general practice hospital for the Richmond (low income) community. She is an avid photographer and artist. Her current project is renovating their city home built in 1903! Dr Talbott is active in international veterinary volunteer groups and has traveled many times to Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Dr Kristen has a soft spot for giant breed dogs and is a long time Great Dane rescuer/owner.
Mark is originally from Scotland where he graduated from the University of Glasgow School Of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. He first worked in Scotland at a very busy group of practices seeing all small animals, including exotics. In 2015, he moved to Virginia to be closer to his girlfriend (now wife), Katie. He worked in rural Virginia for three years providing care for all animals (including exotics), as well as serving as a Guest Speaker at the Veterinary Technology Program at Blue Ridge Community College. His passion for surgery and dentistry, and his drive to make sure all pets receive the care they require led him to join the Helping Hands team in 2018. He and Katie have 3 cats, two ferrets, two rats, and a very special rescue dog named Pippin. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, cooking and baking, enjoying music and movies, and exploring Richmond.
Leland was born in Hawaii and has lived in numerous places across the country, though North Carolina was home longer than anywhere else. He attended Veterinary School at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating in 2018, he practiced in small animal practices seeing dogs and cats in both Illinois and Indiana. Leland has a passion for dentistry and was excited to join Helping Hands in 2020 so that he could help all pets receive the care they deserve. He has two small rescue dogs, Reuben and Quincy.
Veronica started at Helping Hands as a volunteer. She moved to Richmond from New York to help care for a family member. An avid cat lover and owner, she wanted to help make a difference. She was such a kind spirit and hard worker that when we needed more help, we knew she was the one we wanted. Her warmth and compassion for both people and animals is infectious. She helps in many ways, but her primary job is to help spread the word about Helping Hands and our Mission, so pets in need of our services can find us. She is our biggest cheer-leader and is so grateful to be a part of the Helping Hands team. She is a parent to Trillius, a very handsome cat. She can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elaina came to work at Helping Hands at first as a volunteer. Her own dog needed veterinary care and in exchange for care she offered to volunteer to answer the phones when Helping Hands first opened. It wasn’t long before she was a full time member of the team (and our first official employee!). Elaina fit right in with the enthusiasm, spirit and ethics of what Helping Hands is all about. She has grown with us through the years, starting as our very first receptionist and now holding the title of Practice Manager. Her unyielding devotion, and passion for our mission has helped us become who we are today. You will feel her kindness and warmth not only when you meet her, but even through the phone when you call. Elaina was born and raised on the South side of Richmond. She is Mom to “M.J.” and “Cat”