Marietta Veterinarians


Steven Pifer, DVMmarietta veterinarian

Veterinarian and Owner Steven Pifer grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and was around animals at an early age. "My mother loved animals," he says, "and we had a wide variety of pets growing up, including dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, mice, rats, and rabbits." That love of animals was passed to Dr. Pifer, and inspired him to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. In 1984 he earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1989 he completed a medicine and surgery internship at Oklahoma State College of Veterinary Medicine and became managing partner of Lassiter Animal Hospital in 1990.

During his internship Dr. Pifer developed his ongoing interest in small animal surgery, which began with a memorable experience treating an injured turtle and snake. "I surgically repaired a rat snake with a fractured jaw and box turtle that was hit by a lawn mower. Both reptiles were rehabilitated and released back into the wild," he recalls. Later, Dr. Pifer's surgical acumen would be put to the test when a seriously injured police dog was brought in for emergency treatment. The dog had his carotid artery lacerated in a knife attack during the apprehension of a criminal. The German Shepherd was very weak from blood loss ("But still wagging his tail," Dr. Pifer adds). While the situation appeared dire, Dr. Pifer was able to repair the injury and the police dog made a complete recovery.

At Lassiter Animal Hospital, Dr. Pifer's professional interests include soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, internal medicine, and dermatology. The most rewarding part of his work is helping pet owners through difficult medical and surgical cases. When not at the hospital, Dr. Pifer enjoys fishing, tennis, cycling, and spending time with his three cats, Batman, Willow, and Crazy Cat, and bearded dragon, Godzilla.


Laura Stevenson, DVMmarietta veterinarians

Dr. Laura Stevenson joined Lassiter Animal Hospital as an associate veterinarian in 1997. After graduating from Arlington High School in Fairburn, Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia where she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in zoology. She earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. While in college she was a member of Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society. She completed an internship at Auburn University in 1993.

"As an only child growing up in the country," Dr. Stevenson says, "I collected many pets and enjoyed caring for them. I also discovered that biology was my favorite subject in school, which was convenient for the course of study needed." When she was in the ninth grade Dr. Stevenson's family adopted a horse from the local humane society. "She was pregnant and foaled soon after," she says, "and I helped the large animal veterinarian care for her and her foal. The same year our barn cat had kittens - that was fun!"

Dr. Stevenson says she most enjoys practicing veterinary medicine because "there's always someone new to meet and something new to see and helping a pet with a challenging medical issue is always rewarding." Dr. Stevenson's professional interests include dermatology, internal medicine, and neurology. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.

At home Dr. Stevenson lives with her husband Kirk, two sons, two dogs, Kate and Otis, and one cat, Sparky. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and volunteering.

Lou Avant, DVMmarietta vets

Dr. Lou Avant grew up in Alabama and developed an interest in animals at an early age. "My grandmother instilled a love and deep respect for all life," she says, "especially animals. Being a veterinarian is a way to give back just some of what they give to me."

After graduating from Dothan High School, Dr. Avant attended Auburn University, earning her bachelor's degree in agriculture in 1979 and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. She joined the veterinary team at Lassiter Animal Hospital in 2013. Dr. Avant is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, and the Cobb County Veterinary Medical Association and her professional interests include reproduction and sighthound medicine.

"Without a doubt," says Dr. Avant, "the most important events in my professional career come through my work with people. I've worked with the National Borzoi Rescue Foundation for many years and to help these damaged animals find their forever homes is an amazing feeling. I've treated gunshot wounds, pneumonia, heartworm disease, you name it. These animals are just so forgiving and grateful for the next chapters in their lives."

At home Dr. Avant has four dogs: BB, Colt, and Lacie, all Borzoi; and Plunk, an Australian cattle dog mix. When not practicing veterinary medicine, she enjoys hiking and participating in canine agility, conformation, obedience, and lure coursing competitions.

Kimberly Franklin, DVMmarietta vets

The best part about being a veterinarian to Dr. Kimberly Franklin is being able to combine her love of animals with an affinity for science. Lassiter Animal Hospital was proud to welcome Dr. Franklin to our team as an associate veterinarian in March of 2019. She received her undergraduate diploma from Georgia State University with a degree in Biology and later achieved her doctorate at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Franklin grew up in Stockbridge, Georgia knowing she always wanted to be around animals. Whether it was a friend’s pet or spending time at the horse barn Dr. Franklin quickly became infatuated with helping animals. She was always asking her parents for “just one more pet”. Dr. Franklin recalls fond memories of spending summers with her grandparent, where they would feed the deer that came on their property. She loved staying quiet and watching the majestic animals come to the yard each evening for feeding, observing their behavior and natural beauty.

Dr. Franklin is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Some of her professional interests include dermatology and internal medicine, and she loves being able to interact with the patients that come to our facilities. Dr. Franklin is great with our patients, and she loves forming meaningful bonds with our incredible clients.

In her spare time, Dr. Franklin likes to practice aqua-scaping and fish-keeping. She loves being able to tend to fish and create beautiful and ornate environments for them to live in. Dr. Franklin loves spending time with her family and spouse, Ross, as well as their four mixed breed dogs named Lola, Bocephus, Dixie, and Edie.

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