Kathi Gruss, DVM — Co-Chief of Staff
Born loving animals, Dr. Kathi Gruss, our Co-Chief of Staff, grew up in a US Navy family with many small pets including a parakeet, turtles, and cats. She had to wait until her dad retired from the Navy to get her first dog, a beloved toy poodle named Mitzi.
Dr. Kathi attended Virginia Tech before transferring to the Ohio State University (OSU) where she earned a BS degree in Agriculture and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
She and her husband, Dr. John Gruss, moved to Earlysville and started Earlysville Animal Hospital in 1982 in a 1,000 square foot building. Their goals have not changed since then. They strive to give pets excellent veterinary care while treating their patients and clients like treasured friends.
Charis Thompson, DVM — Co-Chief of Staff
Dr. Charis Thompson, our Co-Chief of Staff, grew up in Redding, CT and currently resides in Ruckersville, VA. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of Findlay in Ohio and earned a DVM degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining the Earlysville Animal Hospital team, Dr. Thompson practiced at VCA Chancellor Animal Hospital. Her special interests include preventive care, geriatric care, dentistry, and soft tissue surgery.
In her spare time, Dr. Thompson enjoys spending time with family, movies, camping, and wine tasting. She also shares her home with two greyhounds and three cats.
John Gruss, DVM
Dr. John Gruss grew up in Northwest Ohio and currently lives just outside of Earlysville in Dyke, VA. He graduated from the Ohio State University (OSU), College of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. Dr. John loves interacting with clients and their pets, and has a special interest in ultrasound and canine reproduction. He also has a Master's degree in Reproduction Physiology from OSU, and enjoys helping clients with their canine breeding programs.
Dr. John is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), and the Jefferson Area Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA).
Emily Kinnaird, DVM, MVSc
Dr. Emily Kinnaird received a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia in 1979. She also has a Master of Veterinary Science from the University of Queensland, Australia, where she taught veterinary medicine for several years.
Her areas of expertise include internal medicine and veterinary behavioral medicine. Dr. Kinnaird is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), and the Jefferson Area Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA). Dr. Kinnaird also completed Fear Free certification to improve our patient's anxiety and comfort levels.
Tawna Purcell, DVM, CVA
Originally from the Northern California redwood coast, Dr. Tawna Purcell has worked in both private practice and academia as well as owned two mobile acupuncture/relief veterinary practices. After graduating from Colorado State University's School of Veterinary Medicine in May 2007, she completed an internship where the students voted her for the Outstanding Large Animal Intern award.
Dr. Purcell completed her certification in veterinary acupuncture through the Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians (MAV) course in Ft. Collins, CO in 2008.
Emily Frey, DVM
Dr. Frey grew up in southern Maryland and currently resides in Charlottesville, VA. She received an undergraduate degree from Towson University and earned her DVM degree from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Before joining the Earlysville Animal Hospital team, Dr. Frey practiced at the Westwood Animal Hospital in Staunton, VA. Her special interests include internal medicine, preventive care, and pain management. Dr. Frey has completed her Fear Free Certification.
Outside of work, Dr. Frey enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading a good book, and doing home improvement projects. She also shares her home with her two dogs; Gillie, a beagle mix, and Piper, a toy poodle mix.