Meet Our Team
Dr. Kelly Chapman, DVM
When I was a little boy in first grade, my animal career involved feeding orphan fledglings, trying to trap and tame various wild animals, and kid-chores on our small farm. Our family milk cow came down with “milk fever,” her calcium levels so low she didn’t have the muscle strength to stand or even hold her head up. Momma was crying, the children were crying, the calf was crying. April looked like a goner! Daddy called for Dr. Heloin. He came and placed a large needle into her jugular and ran an IV of calcium gluconate solution. That little limp black cow jumped up perfectly healthy before the bottle was empty! That made a major impression me.
The state of Louisiana opened its veterinary school in 1974 and I was lucky to be in the first class. We were a group of 35 and had almost as many professors as students. Since graduation, I've been fortunate to work with a variety of animals and people. My real education started with a rural, small town, mixed-animal practice. I worked with dairy cows, hog farmers, packs of hounds, stray cats, animal hoarders, family pets, wildlife and racehorses. Moving to the big city, I practiced at a high-volume, multi-doctor, small animal hospital and saw pleasure horses and thoroughbreds in my off time. I’ve spent a lot of time at the racetrack, but in a good way. In the early 80’s my wife Julie and I built River Road Veterinary Hospital for the hospitalization and surgery of small and large animals. It has been a continuous and rewarding education.
Dr. Katherine R. Dunn, DVM
I grew up in many different countries overseas (my parents were in the Foreign Service), and we often didn’t have television, so we did quite a bit of reading for entertainment. One of those books was written by Dr. James Herriot, the WWII-era British veterinarian who wrote stories recounting his years in rural practice. I was hooked. His unabashed love for “all creatures great and small” and the people attached to them was my inspiration to become a veterinarian. My family settled in coastal Alabama, where I graduated valedictorian of my high school class. I then graduated cum laude from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It was during my senior year in vet school that I realized that I have an affinity for cats, and decided to pursue that love by joining an all-cat veterinary practice in New Orleans after graduation in 1995.
I spent the next 18 years at that hospital, learning and honing my feline skills. Eventually, I wanted to experience more of the “creatures great and small,” and I joined the River Road team in early 2014. In addition to feline medicine, my interests include nutrition, geriatrics, and dentistry for both dogs and cats. I strongly believe that nutrition plays a vital role in health and healing, and good dental care will prolong our pets’ lives, and compassionate care during their older years makes our bond with them so much sweeter. My husband JR is a physical therapist, and we live with our four fabulous cats in Uptown, New Orleans.
Regenia Abbott, Reception
I head the front desk, so you will most likely talk to me when you call, and meet me first when you arrive. I feel that when our clients are treated kindly, with respect and compassion, a relationship can be built that will support the best service to them and their pets. My background in service includes ten years in the Oconee County Fire Department in my native state of Georgia, during which I was elected Captain of my station. I have lived in New Orleans since 2013, when I joined the River Road Veterinary Hospital family. My interests include aerials, having 12 years of experience in performing and teaching trapeze art, and enjoying the rich culture of New Orleans.