Meet our doctors

Lauren Smith Cassady, DVM


"I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and I always had a cat by my side.  Although I had an interest in medicine during high school and college, I did not know that I wanted to become a vet until my junior year in college. Our cat, Lilly, had escaped from the house and had been in an accident. She was rushed to the vet where her life was saved. That summer, I began working for the doctor who helped Lilly. Through my family’s experience and the compassion of Dr. Stark, I realized that pet parents can be healed on an emotional level by veterinarians helping their pets. I knew from that point forward that I wanted to be a veterinarian.

In my career, I have been a general practitioner, emergency vet, and practice owner. The one interaction during all the stages of my career where I feel like I can make the biggest difference in the lives of both pets and their families’ is during the final days and minutes of a pet’s life. When I can ease the suffering of a pet in a way that the family feels at peace with their decision, then I know I have done my job.  I am honored to help families in this unique way."

Lauren Smith Cassady, DVM
BS, Biology, Furman University
DVM,  Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine
Founding member, Lap of Love - Atlanta. 2014 - 2019
Owner, Heron's Crossing. 2020 to present

Shannon Doiron, VMD


"I’m from a small town in rural Connecticut where I enjoyed growing up with a variety of pets. Currently, I live in Marietta with my husband, 2 cats and 2 dogs. Becoming a veterinarian was the goal since I was about 3 years old. I majored in mixed animal but work mostly with dogs and cats as a general practitioner. I love teaching owners about how to care for their new companions and treating those that are sick and injured. However, where I feel the most helpful is when it’s a pet’s time to cross the rainbow bridge.

I’ve had to say goodbye to my own beloved pets and those last moments are so precious. It is really important to me to ensure a peaceful and painless passing while supporting families any way that I can. Being a part of this transition is a special honor. "


Shannon Doiron, VMD
BS, Animal Science and Pathobiology, University of Connecticut
VMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Associate, Banfield Pet Hospital- Atlanta. 2018-present
Associate, Heron’s Crossing. 2021-present

Why Heron's Crossing?

Dr. Lauren Smith Cassady explains:

"I have always felt a connection with animals, and they have shown up in my life in important ways.  When I was in vet school, my track coach and mentor from high school passed away.  I was unable to go to her funeral and instead went and spent some time in the woods by a creek.  There was a beautiful heron that stayed with me during that time.

A few years later a much-loved family member was very sick.  When I was driving to work through downtown Lexington, a heron flew overhead.  I thought it was interesting because of the location.  When I was driving home that evening, I saw the heron for a second time, again flying over downtown.  When I got home, I learned my beloved family member had passed away.  From that time on, herons represented peace during times of passings and transition."

We are passionate about protecting and sustaining our environment. We donate a portion of our proceeds annually to The Audubon Society.