Our Team

Dr. Mandy Cox

DVM, Owner

Dr. Mandy Cox is the founder and owner of Southern Hearts Animal Hospital. With over  20 years of experience as a veterinarian in the Athens-Clarke-Oconee area, she is distinguished among her peers by being voted the 2019 & 2020 Best of the Best Veterinarian of the Year.

Dr. Cox graduated as an Honor Graduate, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. This was preceded by being selected as a Presidential Scholar at Shorter College, Rome, Georgia in 1996. In 1999, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, being awarded Top Honor Graduate (4.0 GPA), graduating summa cum laude.

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Dr. Cox has received numerous awards and honors during her path to a career in veterinary medicine. She was selected as a Georgia Governor’s Honor Scholar in Science. She is a four-time State 4-H Winner in Wildlife, Wildlife Judging, Achievement and Leadership. She was also a National 4-H Winner. These 4-H achievements earned her the title “Georgia Master 4-H’er”. She was a recipient and grant winner of the National Young American Award from the National Boy Scout Council in 1998 for her achievement, citizenship, and leadership skills. This award is the highest honor given annually to only five aspiring young persons nation-wide. National BSA Council.

Dr. Cox in a native of Lilburn, Georgia. Living, studying, and working in the area for 20 years, she now lives in Watkinsville with her husband and two daughters. Her hobbies include crafting, sewing, decorating, and participating in community and family activities. She shares her home with two dogs, one cat.

Dr. Cox believes in setting high goals and getting to work to achieve them. She enjoys getting to know her clients and their pets and looks forward to many years of veterinary service to her community.

Dr. Julie Moore


Dr. Moore is a long-time Watkinsville local. She graduated from OCHS and UGA. In 2000, she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Most of her career has been spent working at a local animal emergency hospital. She and her husband, Luke, have been married for 26 years and have four children ages 19, 16, 11, and 9. They live on a small farm with goats, chickens, and honeybees and have a fun variety of pets; 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 guinea pigs, and a bearded dragon.

Dr. Ali Vavlas


Dr. Ali Vavlas is a Connecticut native but she fell in love with the Athens-Clarke-Oconee area after moving here for undergraduate studies in 2009. She is proud to be a “double dawg” meaning she has two degrees from the University of Georgia. She graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences. Then again in 2022, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Her special interests in veterinary medicine include senior pet wellness, hospice, and palliative care, as well as exotic and wildlife medicine. She is also fear free certified. When Dr. Vavlas is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, four dogs, and cat, horseback riding, and staying active in the animal rescue community through fostering.

Tim Wade

Operations Manager

Tim was born and raised in Bainbridge, GA. He made his way to Athens for school and has been working here for 6 years. Tim started out as a kennel tech and after 2 years, became our Office Manager. Tim is our go-to guy for everything. We are extremely happy that he is a part of our team!

Michelle Rampe

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Michelle is a Licensed Veterinary Technician who began her tenure at the business in August 2022. She holds an associate’s degree in science as well as an associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology. Michelle’s journey led her to this town where she now resides and practices her profession.

Karly Bolton


Karly was born in Gwinnett, Georgia and raised in Madison County, Georgia, where she still resides with her husband, Jarred. She has been working here since 2021 and is very passionate and has a deep love for all animals. When she isn’t here at work, you can find her at home cuddling with her four legged children (Lilly, Liza, and Lolli).