KAREN OERTLEY-PIHERA, DVM
Dr. Oertley attended the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, then earned a Master's degree in Parasitology at the Wildlife Disease Center at UGA. She has practiced in or near Atlanta since that time and was thrilled to open Cohutta Animal Clinic with Janice Hayes in October 2008. Dr. Oertley is also one of the founding shareholders of the North Georgia Animal Emergency Hospital.
Karen raises llamas and currently has a herd of 19. She enjoys showing, packing, and camping with her llamas. Dr. Oertley also volunteers for The Dolphin Project which monitors the Georgia coastal dolphin population as a sentinel species for pollution in our rivers and ocean. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling and Zumba. In addition to her llamas, Dr. Oertley has two half-Pyrenees dogs, a Puggle, two cats and free-range peacocks.
JANICE W. HAYES, BS, RVT
Janice comes with 17 years in the corporate world working for AT&T in the data communication field. Her childhood passion of being around and working with animals led her to seek further education in working with cattle. She completed her bachelor of science at the University of Georgia in 2002 specializing in beef cattle. While working with her own herd and working for another rancher was satisfying and hard work, she very much enjoyed when the veterinarian came to the ranch for annual herd health checks. She went back to school at Gwinnett Technical College and earned a degree in Veterinary Technology which allowed her to pass the Georgia State Board Exam and become a registered veterinary technician. Her dream while in school was to become the best she could be at her job and someday be part owner of a private veterinary practice.
The opportunity availed itself when Dr. Karen Oertley phoned stating she would be opening a practice and would like for her to come and work with her. They struck a deal and a dream came true. Janice enjoys riding her motorcycle and is current President and Ride Captain of the Georgia Mountain Riders. Simon, her Schnauzer, will sometimes ride with her strapped in his crate. He likes the luxury of her Honda Gold Wing. Janice and Simon also enjoy kayaking on the lake or rivers; yep, he has his own life jacket. Janice enjoys many outdoor activities including hiking and scuba diving. The arts are a favorite as well, whether at the theatre or an art museum. Janice acquired a new schnauzer named Heidi. Simon says, "I am still getting used to the idea."