Superior clinical skills. Unwavering dedication to getting and keeping pets healthy. Deep compassion for pets who are sick and empathy for the people who love them. These are just some of the important qualities of the professionals who are part of the Riverview Animal Clinic team.
Meet Our Veterinarians
Amy Tate, DVM
Co-owner, Managing Partner
Dr. Tate barely remembers not wanting to be a veterinarian. Her career aspiration may have been inspired early on by reading James Herriot’s books about being a veterinarian in post-world War II England. They prompted her to declare to her parents that she was going to be an equine veterinarian and therefore needed riding lessons and to work in an animal clinic. Dr. Tate started riding American Saddlebreds at age 13 – a passion that continues today – and she joined Riverview Animal Clinic as a kennel technician when she was in high school.
After earning her DVM, she joined RAC as a veterinarian in 2000. Her clinical interests include dental health, geriatric care and small-animal oncology. She also assumed practice management duties with an emphasis on introducing new technology and services to maintain the clinic’s leadership edge.
Dr. Tate’s philosophy toward the care of her patients is simple. “I treat each patient as I would treat my own pet when making care recommendations,” she says.
Robert Wood, DVM
Dr. Wood initially entered college at the University of Alabama Birmingham intending to study marine biology, but a friend persuaded him that a pre-veterinary program offered more career options. He concurred and has been a practicing veterinarian since 1981 after earning his DVM from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
At the start of his veterinary career, Dr. Wood considered becoming board-certified but realized he didn’t want to limit his focus to a single specialty. Instead, he opted for general practice and pushed the envelope of what this could offer patients, becoming an early adopter of new and emerging technologies and treatments. For example, RAC was among the first general veterinary practices to offer ultrasound when it initially became available in the 1990s.
Dr. Wood’s foresight has helped to position Riverview Animal Clinic on the leading edge of general veterinary care, offering many advanced clinical capabilities usually found only in tertiary referral centers.
Alvin Atlas, DVM
Dr. Atlas earned his DVM from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 and has been part of the RAC team for more than 20 years. In addition to caring for dogs and cats, he has a special interest in avian, exotic and wildlife species. His patients include rabbits, iguanas, turtles, ferrets and an array of birds, including raptors.
Dr. Atlas also provides consultations and accepts referrals from breeders, area veterinarians and the Birmingham Zoo. He also works with raptors and native species as a volunteer veterinarian and board member with the Alabama Wildlife Center and Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. He is a member of numerous species-specific veterinary professional organizations and works with several state and local nonprofits dedicated to wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.
Dr. Atlas celebrated a well-deserved retirement in 2022. He is enjoying time with his wife Jill doing wildlife photography, canoeing and scuba diving. They share their home with three golden retrievers, two shih-tzus, a Senegal parrot, several freshwater aquaria and an endless procession of turtles.
Arthur Serwitz, DVM
Dr. Serwitz was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in 1966 and earned his DVM from the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1970.
After graduation, “Doc” spent a year in Israel where he traveled, studied and worked on farms while practicing veterinary medicine on local pets. When he returned to the U.S., he worked at a small-animal practice in Atlanta, then completed a dairy internship program in Raleigh, North Carolina. From there, he worked at two mixed-animal practices in Cairo, Georgia, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, respectively, then relocated to Birmingham where he joined Standifer’s Animal Clinic in Homewood.
In 1984, Dr. Serwitz acquired the Motel for Pets and founded Riverview Animal Clinic, nurturing its growth and development for nearly four decades. Today it is one of the largest and most respected general-practice veterinary clinics in the entire state – a fitting legacy for a man who devoted his professional life to caring for animals.
Since retiring in 2021, Dr. Serwitz enjoys golfing, traveling, spending time with friends and family (he and his wife Joyce have two children and four grandchildren in the Atlanta area), cooking and playing poker.
Christopher Campbell, DVM
Dr. Campbell is a Mobile, Alabama, native. He attended Auburn University where he received his undergraduate degree in zoology and his DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine. While at Auburn, he worked with the Southeastern Raptor Rehabilitation Center and completed a three-week externship under the “wing” of Dr. Atlas here at RAC, furthering his interest in and knowledge of exotic animal medicine.
After graduation, Dr. Campbell spent a year practicing in Trussville, Alabama, before joining Riverview Animal Clinic. Here, he says, he has “been blessed to work with the most competent and caring staff while being mentored by the most compassionate and selfless doctors I have ever met.”
With his special interest in exotic animal medicine, Dr. Campbell serves on the boards of the Alabama Reptile Rescue Sanctuary and Wild Mammal Care of Alabama. He also assists patients from the Alabama Wildlife Center, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, and the Alabama EARS chapter of the House Rabbit Society.
“Becoming a veterinarian, I realized that I could use my love of science to help people by helping care for their animal companions,” he says of his decision to practice veterinary medicine. When he’s not diagnosing and treating patients, he enjoys music, gardening, general handyman projects, and spending time with his wife Christy, sons Christopher and Callum, and their cat Charlie.
Layla Dodgen, DVM
As a child, one of Dr. Dodgen’s personal pets battled epilepsy, a situation that developed her empathy for animals early on and fueled her desire to make helping animals as a career. She attended the University of Alabama in her hometown of Birmingham, earning her undergraduate degree in biochemistry. She was awarded her DVM from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014.
Prior to graduation, Dr. Dodgen completed a two-month preceptorship at Riverview Animal Clinic. It left an indelible impression of what thorough and caring veterinary medicine should be, and she was thrilled to return home to Birmingham and join the practice as an associate veterinarian. She is a member of the Jefferson County Veterinary Medicine Association, Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Outside the clinic, Dr. Dodgen enjoys exercising, cooking, and spending quality time with her Boston terrier Charlie and tuxedo cat Gus.
Daniel LeBlanc, DVM
A New Orleans native, Dr. LeBlanc graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1998 and began his post-graduate career with a progressive small-animal practice in New Orleans. There he honed his clinical interests in internal medicine, surgery, oncology and emergency medicine until 2005, when he lost his home in Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. LeBlanc, his wife and two daughters relocated to Birmingham where he worked in Shelby County at a solo practice, establishing roots in the community. In 2009, he began doing relief work at various veterinary practices around Birmingham, accepting a full-time post at Hope Animal Clinic in 2010, then joining Riverview Animal Clinic in 2018.
Dr. LeBlanc is passionate about his profession and enjoys the diversity of being a general-practice veterinarian – from the fun of a spirited puppy’s first wellness visit to the most complex medical and surgical cases. He’s committed to excellence and educating pet parents by taking the necessary time to explain their pet’s diagnosis and treatment options.
When not at the clinic, Dr. LeBlanc spends as much quality time as possible with his family, which also includes two dogs, Reggie and Ralphie.
Jennifer Kerlin, DVM
Growing up in Georgia, Dr. Kerlin always had animals and enjoyed spending time outdoors, observing the native wildlife. She graduated from the University of West Georgia in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in biology while working full time at a small animal clinic. The clinic did a lot of shelter work that inspired her to be an advocate for animals without an owner to speak up for them. She also volunteered at a small private zoo in north Georgia that made her want to do more work with exotics and wildlife.
All these influences motivated her to earn her DVM from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2021. She enjoys educating her clients about caring for their pets, particularly exotic species. And she’s enthusiastic about wildlife medicine, especially raptor medicine, and helping release animals back into the wild where they belong.
When not at work, Dr. Kerlin enjoys hanging out with her husband Austin and their “herd” of animals, baking, reading, and going to estate sales.
Beth Cobb, DVM
After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in business, Dr. Cobb began her career in marketing/sales for laparoscopic medical equipment, spending a great deal of time in operating rooms watching surgeries, sparking her interest in the practice of medicine. Around this time, she adopted her first puppy, Miles, and taking him to the veterinarian’s office made her realize that animal medicine was even more intriguing to her than human medicine.
Encouraged by her parents to pursue her passion, Dr. Cobb quit her job and returned to school full time to complete the science prerequisites necessary to apply to veterinary school. She was accepted into the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s Class of 2006. After graduation, she moved to Birmingham to get married and launch her veterinary career.
“I absolutely love getting to build long-term relationships with pet owners and their fur babies,” she says. “My days are filled with precious pets and interesting people…it never gets old!”
Meet Our Care Team
Leslie Schmidt, LVT
Leslie really found her place in this world when she had the opportunity to do what she loves, care for animals, and become a veterinary technician. With more than 18 years of experience as a veterinary technician, Leslie earned her licensure in 2016. Leslie loves training and mentoring other technicians and finds it rewarding to play a part in their success.
Raised in north Georgia, Leslie came to Birmingham to attend college. She is a proud Jefferson State Community College alumni.
When not at work, Leslie enjoys traveling, exploring Birmingham’s food scene, and spending time with her two daughters and three furry babies: two kittens and a puppy.
Jessie Bentley, LVT
Jessie joined our team as a licensed veterinary technician (LVT) in 2018 and has been in the animal health care field since 2009. Growing up she always had a house full of critters and loved taking care of them. Fortunately, anatomy and biology were also her favorite subjects in school, setting her up nicely for a career caring for pets.
In 2008, Jessie began shadowing at a local clinic and instantly knew this was her future. She went to school at Jefferson State Community College Technician Program and received her license in 2017. She has a particular interest in anesthesia, dentistry, and orthopedic procedures.
Outside of the hospital Jessie is a nature lover – hiking, riding horses, traveling, and music, all great things to enjoy with her family. And yes, she has a house full of critters now too!
MEDICAL TEAM DIRECTOR
Growing up in a small rural Arizona town, Brianne not only owned various species of pets – including dogs, cats, a ferret, a hamster and turtles – but she also became the pet-sitter for all the neighborhood companion animals, which included dogs, cats, horses and birds. The experience sparked her determination to have a career that involved working with animals.
Brianne graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science, while working full time at a veterinary clinic. During this time, she also interned and later volunteered at the local zoo, which piqued her interest in exotic species. She moved to Alabama and began working at the Alabama Wildlife Center, rehabilitating native avian species, fascinated by the wide variety of birds she learned about.
While working at the AWC, she also learned about Riverview Animal Clinic since the clinic treats injured birds for the organization. “With my prior veterinary experience and growing interest in birds, I figured RAC would be the perfect fit for me,” Brianne says.
She was right, joining Riverview as a veterinary technician in 2016 and assuming her current role as medical team director in 2020. When not at work, Brianne enjoys music, birdwatching, spending time at the lake and traveling.
Client Services DIRECTOR
Allison Cason has always had an interest in animals. Growing up in Arlington, Texas, she tended to dogs, cats, and hamsters. She is also a people person and loves making others feel welcome, which is what led her to launch a career in human medicine.
After dedicating 15 years to the medical field, Allison made the switch to veterinary medicine and joined Riverview Animal Clinic as Client Services Director.
Allison is the wife of a Marine Corps. veteran, mother to 4 kids, and pet parent of two dogs: Gene, a 10-year-old Pekingese and Gunner, a 7-year-old Chocolate Lab. Outside work hours, you can often find Allison watching one of her kids play sports or snuggled up with Gene at home.
Birmingham born and raised, Carol Parks is no stranger to Riverview. She often remembers passing by our clinic when it was on a two-lane highway and was the last business to be seen for miles. Little did she know, she would be working there one day.
Carol received her accounting degree from UAB while working a full-time job. Combining her love for numbers with her passion for animals, she joined Riverview Animal Clinic as Practice Administrator in 2019.
When she isn’t at work, Carol enjoys reading, listening to music, shopping, and watching television. She finds relaxation through organizing, gardening, crafting, and coloring. Carol is also the proud parent of two pets: Coco, a Rat Terrier and Riley, a Cockapoo.
Join Our Team
View our open positions and apply today.