Meet Our Team

Doctors

  • Michael Epperson , DVM

    Dr. Epperson is a 2003 graduate of Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Animal and Dairy Science at Mississippi State University. He practiced in Memphis, TN, for 2 years before making his decent to the Emerald Coast. He practiced in Pensacola for 2 years once arriving in the Panhandle. Dr. Epperson has a special interest in surgery, dermatology and ultrasound. Michael is an avid sport fan and loves being outdoors and on the beach. He serves a District Representative for the Florida Veterinary Medical Association and is a member of the Miracle Strip Veterinary Medical Society. 

    Dr. Hartley and Dr. Epperson got married in June 2007 and bought their first practice in October 2008. Destin Animal Clinic is the second practice they have proudly took ownership of in May 2018. They have invested in many improvements in the clinic to make it a more functional and welcoming clinic for clients and patients. They strive to provide the best medical care possible and will continue to improve their education and practice principles in order to provide excellent care. 

    Dr. Hartley and Dr. Epperson are proud parents of two beautiful girls Addison & Grace. They are a husband and wife team dedicated to providing high quality medicine for companion animals. Our philosophy is to treat each individual pet like our own and offer the best care and medical treatment possible. We embrace strong doctor- patient-client relationships to ensure open communication and understanding of your pets individual needs

  • Heather Hartley, DVM

    Dr. Hartley is a 2006 graduate from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. She also obtained her undergraduate degree in Math and Sciences from Auburn University. She moved to the Emerald Coast shortly after graduation and began her veterinary career. She has special interest in oncology, internal medicine (endocrinology), ophthalmology and surgery. Heather is a die hard AUBURN fan and loves being outdoors enjoying the beautiful Florida weather. She served as President of the Miracle Strip Veterinary Medical Society for 4 years and enjoys staying active in the local veterinary community. She is also a member of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, American Veterinary Medical Association and Feline Practitioners. She thoroughly enjoys being a parent of two wonderful girls that keep her busy in her spare time.

    Drs. Epperson and Hartley have 1 cat (Dorian), 4 dogs (Newton, Aubie, Nala, and Tiny Star Cuddles) and a few orphaned squirrels they have nursed back to health which stay close to home.  They all are frequent hospital visitors that come to assist in any way they see fit... especially to ensure that it does not get too quiet.

  • AuVian DesJardins, DVM

    Dr. AuVián DesJardins was born in Jacksonville, Florida and grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating with her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Florida, she went on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, Dr. DesJardins spent 3 years as an active duty Army Veterinary Corps Officer practicing clinical veterinary medicine at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. While serving, Dr. DesJardins worked with Military Working Dogs, Military Working Equids, numerous species of wildlife and civilian pets alike. To continue adding to her knowledge base, Dr. DesJardins most recently worked for a corporate small animal practice in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Dr. DesJardins' professional interests include dermatology, preventative medicine and the promotion of the human-animal bond. Her favorite part of being a veterinarian is having the opportunity to provide a voice to the voiceless. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, and the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association.  

    Although Dr. DesJardins is no longer an active duty soldier, she continues to embrace Army life with her husband David, an Army Officer stationed with 7th Special Forces Group on Eglin Air Force Base. The two have a son named Josiah, two dogs (Zili, Zoie), and a cat (Koala). The DesJardins family enjoys traveling the world, cheering for the Florida Gators, swimming at the beach and spending time with family and friends. 

Professional Staff

  • Christa
    Practice Manager

    Christa is a native to the panhandle of Florida.  She is a graduate from Niceville High School and completed nursing school in June 2006. Christa spent time as a Cognitive Therapist and Nurse in multi-specialty centers prior to her ten plus years of Practice Management.  She feels strongly about leading by example, knows the importance of team building and strives to maintain a standard of excellence in all she does. Outside of being a business professional Christa is a happily married mom of five children who are all involved in the local community. In addition to her 5 children, two sons and three daughters,  Christa also has three fur babies including a Boxer mix and two Yorkies. Christa is an active youth leader at a local church, has written 4 children's books, loves cooking and all things crafty.

  • Sierra
    Office Manager

    Sierra has called Fort Walton Beach home since the age of two. She enjoys spending time with her human and animal family, gardening, and keeping aquariums. Aquarium care has been a passion of hers since before working at a local reef aquarium. Sierra has kept small pets since her younger years and has worked providing animal care in various settings. Starting as a kennel technician and receptionist Sierra has grown with our team becoming the Office Manager.

  • Christina
    Veterinary Technician

    Christina has been a part of our staff since August of 2007. She is proficient with laboratory analysis, assisting the doctors in appointments, surgery assisting, taking radiographs, and the administration of medication and treatments to the hospitalized patients. Aside from work, her and her husband have two loving miniature dachshunds, Danzig and Rubi and a pitbill named Bruce Wayne. She enjoys aerial silks, water sports, and home renovations in her spare time.

  • Jesse
    Veterinary Technician

    Jesse joined the Destin Animal Clinic team in February 2017, after serving 13 years in the Air Force.  Since that time, he's become the 'jack-of-all-trades' for the clinic, doing anything and everything that needs done around the clinic; both medically and non-medically.  Jesse grew up around animals his whole life; mostly cats and dogs, and a couple of crazy rabbits. And while he currently doesn't have any pets, he is an equal opportunity animal lover.   

  • Victoria
    Veterinary Technician

    Victoria is from Kansas City, Missouri and moved to Florida in 2013. She is currently attending Northwest Florida State College and working towards a degree in zoology. She is currently enjoying her role as a veterinary technichian, but aspires to work with wildlife. With the goal of working with WOLVES! At home Victoria has a miniature poodle named Daisy. With family in Freeport Victoria has volunteered much of her time to the animal refuge. She also loves taking exciting adventures with her friends.

  • Kelly
    Veterinary Technician

    Bio Coming Soon

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  • Kira
    Veterinary Assistant/Client Service Representative

    Kira grew up in Destin and has worked with animals since 2011, beginning as a volunteer at Feline Friends of Destin. Kira graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of West Florida in 2017 and sees vet school in her future. In her free time, Kira enjoys being outside, reading, and hanging out with her friends and family (including her two pups and cat). 


  • Tori
    Client Service Representative

    Bio Coming Soon

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Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

Location

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Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed