Meet Our Team
Highly qualified core team members ready to partner with you.
Dr. Lisa Farling
As a Certified Public Accountant working in both the public and private sectors, Dr. Farling felt less than fulfilled at a desk, working with numbers. She followed her heart, which felt most full when surrounded by her personal pets. In 1999, she graduated from North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has gone on to practice canine and feline medicine exclusively. Her primary areas of interest include internal medicine, successful management of allergies, helping senior pets age gracefully, and promoting preventative care through client education.
Dr. Farling’s spare time is consumed by yoga, meditation, physical fitness, adventure travel, foodie interests, extensive perennial gardening, and most importantly, her two teenagers – Wyatt and Simone. The animal kingdom at the Farling household is composed of two cats (Wink and Cinco), two dogs (Peanut and Gilly), and countless bluebirds and other wild, indigenous birds that inhabit the backyard.
Dr. Brian Lapham
Dr. Lapham received his veterinary degree from the University of Florida in 1999. He completed a specialty internship the following year focusing on surgery, internal medicine, and radiology. During both school and his internship, he noticed that some modern pet care techniques lacked true preventative care and were sometimes even damaging. Thus began his journey towards studying alternative forms of healing, including acupuncture, nutrition, energy work, herbals, and massage - all tailored to the individual needs of the patient. His true passion lies in preventative care - preventing disease before it can manifest itself as cancer, osteoarthritis, epilepsy, or other external signs of disease.
Outside of the hospital, Dr. Lapham is occupied with his family, woodworking, home improvements (they never seem to end!), and running. His menagerie of pets includes two cats, Mike and Gypsy, and nine (more or less) chickens. Dr. Lapham’s daughter is still vying for a puppy - we shall see!
Dr. Rachel Blackmer
Dr. Blackmer is a 1991 graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She is also a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine/Feline) and a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She is particularly interested in improving the quality of life for our aging four-legged family members, empowering their humans to help them live comfortably and continue to enjoy the activities they love. She has a passion for optimizing performance of canine athletes and has worked with dogs competing in many sports, including obedience, rally, flyball, and agility. Dr. Blackmer also loves working with our feline family members, and has interests in many aspects of veterinary medicine, including internal medicine, care for the post-operative orthopedic surgery patient, pediatrics, dermatology, and pain management. Dr. Blackmer attained certification with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 1993 and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 1996.
An avid dog agility enthusiast, Dr. Blackmer’s Belgian Tervurens compete locally and regionally. She enjoys trick training and is also training to compete in obedience. She lives in Moncure with her husband, Tim White, and their five dogs, two cats, and giant plecostomus, Kerfuffle. Check out some of her videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/rblackmer.
Dr. Brian Doyle
Dr. Doyle received his veterinary degree from the Virginia and Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. Dr. Doyle’s passion for preventative medicine and education began while he was working in private practice in Charleston, SC. Dr. Doyle makes it a priority to build strong relationships with his patients and clients. Through proper education and teamwork, he believes that many chronic diseases can be prevented entirely or managed appropriately through early detection. Dr. Doyle also specializes in soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, managing metabolic disorders, and educating clients on proper companion animal nutrition.
Dr. Doyle enjoys spending his free time hiking, biking, running, or playing soccer with friends. When he’s not outdoors he is spending time with his lovely wife and their four-legged companions. His entourage includes two dogs, April O’Neal and Goomba, and Penny Lane, the cat. New avenues of interest include gourmet cooking and gardening.
Dr. Elise Hattingh
Dr. Elise Hattingh, DVM graduated with Highest Honors from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in January 2013, after completing a vigorous clinical year at the University of Florida.
Dr. Elise has a particular interest in Internal Medicine, especially feline medicine and behavior. She believes in using good client communication and education, and when appropriate, the use of advanced diagnostics, to achieve a diagnosis and optimal treatment plan. She also has a strong interest in the utilization of low-stress canine and feline handling techniques, to improve the comfort of patients during their visits. Additionally, Dr. Elise is a strong believer of longer pediatric appointments, emphasizing appropriate behavioral and preventative care, as early intervention helps set up patients for a long, healthy and happy life with their owners.
Originally from Long Island, Dr. Elise and her family moved to North Carolina in 2008, where she met her husband, Kevin. After getting married in 2011, they adopted their first two cats, Eliza and Pearl, the first cats ever for either of them. Realizing their new (and profound) love of kitties, in the years later, they adopted three additional rescue cats - Echo, Checkers, and Tony to round out their wonderful family.
Dr. Elise is a proud member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and volunteers with the ASPCA during disaster/hoarding events. When not practicing veterinary medicine, Dr. Elise can be found reading, crafting, (reluctantly) working out at the gym, and most importantly, enjoying time with her family, both human and feline.
Interim Practice Manager & Professional Dog Trainer
Lynn graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Chemistry and minor in Chemical Engineering. Veterinary school called to her, but as “life happens” she found that training (animal and people) was her real passion. For over 30 years, she has been teaching people and animals, building global teams in business & industry, studying and practicing animal behavior modification, animal training, and wildlife rehabilitation while attaining multiple professional certifications.
As a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, Lynn’s passion is about the human-animal bond, created and nurtured by clear communication and positive reinforcement. Additionally, Lynn is a certified canine Fitness Trainer committed to improving our dog’s lives through remaining physically and mentally active. She especially loves teaching puppies and their guardians that the world is a very cool (and safe) place to be while having good manners as well.
In her spare time, Lynn competes in AKC Obedience, CDSP, AKC Rally & WCRL. She especially enjoys teaching pets tricks (because they are FUN) and they impress humans. Lynn shares her home with six dogs (two rescues and four golden retrievers), chickens, horses, geese, several neighborhood dogs, and her incredibly talented and patient husband.
Associate Hospital Director
Tim graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Animal Science. Though his original plan was to go to NCSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the birth of his first daughter in 2010 put that plan on the back burner. Since then, Tim has begun focusing on his leadership skills. Currently, his professional passion lies in developing and maintaining the Southpoint Animal Hospital team through new team member onboarding, training, and mentorship. Tim has been working in the veterinary field in some capacity since 1998 and has served on the Board of Directors for a local wildlife rehab/education organization.
Though he is originally from upstate New York, Tim has called the Triangle home since 1996. When he’s not in the office, Tim enjoys spending time with his family (especially his three daughters!) and his pets - two dogs (both black lab/hound mixes), one cat, and a few dozen fish.
Client Care Advocate Leader
Kelly Cheek is the Client Care Advocate Leader for the Client Care Team. She is thrilled to have been with Southpoint Animal Hospital for more than two years. Born and raised in Durham, Kelly received her Associate in Arts degree at North Carolina Central University.
When she’s not at the hospital, Kelly loves spending time with her family, volunteering at her church, eating great food, and watching movies. She also adores her almost four-year-old cat Pumpkin, whom she raised from a kitten. Both Pumpkin and Kelly love the outdoors, especially cool weather.
Boarding Care Team Leader
Garrett’s main focus is ensuring that Southpoint Animal Hospital boarders are well taken care of and provided for during their stay. Garrett has been working with animals for several years and has found it to be extremely rewarding. He is also a proud animal rights advocate with two beautiful and active dogs, Charlie and Fonda.
Originally from Southern California, Garrett has lived in Durham for four years and absolutely loves the area. In his free time, Garrett enjoys listening to and playing music (he is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter), comedic writing, and reading (particularly historical biographies).
Medical Care Team Leader
Lewis Bass is the Floor Coordinator and Inventory Coordinator for Southpoint Animal Hospital. He is also a rehabilitation assistant and an Animal Care Assistant Level 3 (ACA3). Lewis’ main duty is to keep the daily operations of the hospital running efficiently, a task he thoroughly enjoys.
Lewis is a Durham native who enjoys hiking the Eno River with his three dogs - Charm, Mouse, and Beckett - and his girlfriend, Emily. Lewis is currently working towards a Computer Science Engineering degree at North Carolina State University.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Sarah graduated from Central Carolina Community College in May 2014 and became licensed in the state of North Carolina in the fall of that same year.
When Sarah Jo isn’t working, she is spending time with two pets she’s crazy about - an eight-year-old Beagle mix named Copper and a seven-year-old cat named King Louie. Sarah Jo also loves Disney, cooking, music, and of course, animals.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Katie graduated from Asheville-Buncombe Tech with an AAS in veterinary medical technology in 2011. She has a combined 12 years of work experience in the animal care field including boarding, grooming, rescue shelter, avian and exotic clinic, emergency/specialty referral hospital, as well as numerous personal and foster pets. She has been an advocate for the humane and ethical treatment of animals since childhood.
Originally from Miami, FL, she has lived in and loved North Carolina since 2007. Her family includes her husband, toddler daughter, and 2 fur-babies, Marvin the Martian and Boo Boo Stinky Poo. If she ever has free time again, she would like to resume her Pilates practice and further her education in animal behavior.