We are extremely proud of our dedicated team. We hire only the best and most experienced employees to become a part of our team here at Paws & Claws Animal Hospital, LLC. Our team is filled with highly dedicated animal lovers who are well trained at their jobs. They will do anything possible for their patients and the owners who love them.

Learning and education are very important here at Paws & Claws Animal Hospital, LLC. We strive to have a state of the art hospital with a staff trained in the latest medical advances. Our patients deserve the very best veterinary care.

Basically, our team is full of animal lovers. They make it a goal to treat each patient like their own. They give each patient plenty of love and attention. They are prepared to discuss preventative medicine so that every pet can stay as healthy as possible. They will also do everything that they can to make a sick pet feel better as soon as possible.

If you would like to speak to someone on our team, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (615) 833-4423.


Dr. Michele Sandefur

Veterinarian/owner Dr. Michele Sandefur graduated from Purdue University in 1995 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. After working in Louisville, KY for 1 year, she moved to Nashville.

She has lived and worked in the Nashville area for over 13 years. She bought Paws & Claws Animal Hospital in March 2004. Dr. Sandefur has been involved in therapeutic riding/horsemanship with people with disabilities for 10 years. She is an NAHRA registered riding instructor. She is a founding member of Therapeutic Animal Partners (tntap.org), a 501-c3 non-profit organization, teaching riding and other horse activities for people with disabilities. She has 2 dogs: Ertel, a 10 1/2-year-old rescued Boxer mix, and Cubby, a 3-year-old Lab mix, and a 4-year-old fat cat, Piglet.


Dr. Jennifer Parham

Dr. Parham graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002.

She practiced in Atlanta for 3 years before moving to Nashville in 2006. She is married with 2 children, 3 dogs and 1 cat.


Dorthea Foster, Vet Assistant

Dorthea Foster, Vet Assistant Dorthea is a college student that currently attends the Art Institute of Tennessee. Her goal is to work in Japan doing animation.

Dorthea has already been a part of Paws and Claws even before she started working by visiting many times with her mother Dawn Foster.


Dawn Foster, Vet Assistant

Dawn Foster, Vet Assistant Dawn has been a veterinary assistant for 14 years.

She started her career at Angel Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, MA. After moving to Nashville in 1998 she began working with Dr. Sandefur.

Dawn is married with 3 children and has 7 animals, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 ferrets.


Drew Whitaker, Vet Assistant

Drew, the newest member of our team, started back in September of 2015. She grew up competitively riding horses in Dressage and 3-day Eventing. She no longer competes but continues to ride and works at a horse farm in her spare time. She did have the goal of riding on the U.S. Olympic team but realized her life’s passion was truly in helping animals and their owners.

She’s working toward her Vet Technician degree at Penn Foster and plans to become a certified Equine Technician as well so she can help animals large and small. She and her husband own three dogs: Memphis, the Queen of the house, their small Pit mix, Jacks, their sweet medium sized Lab mix, and their youngest, Raegan, their overly sweet and smart German Shepherd puppy.


Ally Fontaine, Receptionist

Ally is the newest member of our team and is a Nashville native. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2016. She was a member of the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Society while in college and has worked with both small animal and equine veterinarians. Although she currently has no pets of her own, Ally loves animals of all shapes and sizes.