Samantha Joiner-Mathis, Owner, RVT

As a child I was fortunate to grow up on a farm and be involved with caring for exotic and domestic farm animals. It was there that  I decided my career path was going to have to involve animals. I graduated from Gwinnett Technical College in 2012 with an Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology. After graduation, I passed the RVT Board exam with the State of Georgia, and was in practice with VCA Peachtree Animal hospital for 7 years as their Lead Technician. When my husband and I had our second child I decided I wanted to be a stay at home mom while still serving my passion to care for animals which is where I came up with Fur’st Choice Pet Care. A pet sitting and dog walking service that can offer people a veterinary professional caring for their pets in their absence and in the animals own home where they feel the safest. My goal is to give owners peace of mind knowing their pets not only have someone to walk and feed them but that same person also has the knowledge to properly administer medications, comes with a triage bag, and knows what to do in case of an emergency. I am also required by the state to Continue my Education in order to keep my license year after year.

Melisa Rodriguez, Veterinary Assistant

Melisa earned a Bachelor of Science in General Biology from Georgia Gwinnett College in 2015 while continuing to work as a Veterinary Assistant. During the same year, she gave birth to her lovely daughter, Mia. She adores golden retrievers, including her own, Dom, whom she regards as her soulmate. Raymond, an orange tabby, is another of her pets. She is now the lead veterinary technician at the vet facility, with all of the skills and expertise of a Registered Veterinary Technician.

Pam Mullin
Office Assistant & Sitter

Pam started working with one of the earliest pet-sitting agencies in Snellville in the 1990s while staying at home with her first son. She has raised 12 dogs, a cat, numerous hamsters, hermit crabs, and fish since she was a toddler. Ben, a 13-year-old Westie Terrier, Peaches, a 7-year old Cairn Terrier, and Snickerdoodle, a 3-year-old Chorkie, are currently her fur babies. Her pet-care attitude has always been to treat other’s pets as if they were her own, realizing every pet parent is concerned about their babies. Thank you for entrusting your home, and pets to her while you are away.

Kelly Faulkner

Kelly has always had a fond love of animals. Her family rescued a beautiful Chocolate Lab, and now, Daisy has been apart of our family for 12 years. She has happily pet sat for friends and family over the years. Fur-babies will always have a special place in her heart, as will yours when in her care.

Ryan has worked professionally in the pet care industry for the last 5 years, offering boarding, sitting, and training services.  With experience caring for dogs ranging from 8 weeks old to special needs seniors, your pups will be in good hands when in Ryan’s care! Ryan has earned certifications in Foundations and Obedience, K-9 First Aid and K9 CPR through the TeamDog Training Program – a program taught by Mike Ritland, a former Navy SEAL K9 trainer, who continues to train law enforcement K9s and military working dogs today. 

I have had a passion for canine and feline enrichment. After graduating from Georgia Southern University with an art degree, I moved back home, pivoted to the veterinary industry, and became a Kennel Manager at one of the local animal hospitals. There, I was able to improve the quality of care for the pets staying in our facility. I have completed the first level of Fear- Free Training; a program designed to de-stress dogs and cats staying in boarding. My family and I have just recently moved to Gwinnett County. I have two wild dogs and two very opinionated cats. I enjoy travelling with my dogs and many of our vacations are centered around being able to bring them along. Pet sitting is just another way I am able to make a difference in the community. I look forward to meeting you and your beloved family members!

Larisa’s work path is in athletics, yet she is passionate about animals. Throughout college, she helped at a local animal shelter, and during summer vacations, she worked at a dog resort with various breeds. Throughout college, she also assisted many fur parents with their cherished dogs and cats. She currently owns two cats, Storm and Chloes, as well as Gabana, a lovely red-nosed pitfall.

Melissa Wilcox – Groomer, Sitter

Melissa is a pet groomer in the east Atlanta area known as ‘Atlanta Dog Barber’. When she isn’t working at the salon she is taking care of a variety of pets from dogs and cats, to rabbits and horses. Her goal is to help her community through her love of animals. You can check her out on Instagram at @ATLDogBarber or on her website

As a client, I found Fur’st Choice and received the most sincere, tender, and compassionate care for my fur-baby that I have ever known. Since joining the teaming in August of 2022, I get to spend my days at work providing affection, comfort, and care for other families’ pets. It was impossible for me to think of a better or more fulfilling way to spend my time. Residing in Lilburn for most of my life, I find it rewarding to be able to offer my community and neighbors a service like this. What can I say, I’m a happy member of the Fur’st Choice family and a pet parent myself.