Our Veterinarians

Dr. Christy Montgerard
Owner, Veterinarian
Dr. Montgerard didn’t always know she wanted to be a veterinarian—she had graduated college with a psychology degree before someone sat her down and asked why she hadn’t pursued a career in animal care. Already unsatisfied with the job market, Christy decided to take a leap of faith. She worked as a veterinary assistant, took the necessary science courses, and applied to veterinary school. As soon as she got in, she knew she’d made the right choice. Dr. Montgerard had found her calling!

Christy was born and raised in rural North and South Carolina, then moved to Charlotte when she was 16 years old. After graduating from Appalachian State University with her Psychology degree in 1998, she began working at a vet’s office that same year. In 1999, she returned to school at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to begin her veterinary education. By 2006, she’d graduated from North Carolina State University with her veterinary degree.

After completing small-animal and zoo internships, Dr. Montgerard returned to the Charlotte area in 2007. She settled in at Fullwood Animal Hospital in 2012, when the previous owner was looking for someone to purchase the clinic. After working here for nine months, Christy purchased the hospital in December of 2012.

At the clinic, Dr. Montgerard especially likes connecting with clients and establishing lasting relationships. She never takes for granted the trust that pet parents place in her! Medically, Christy enjoys surgery, dermatology, and internal medicine.

Dr. Montgerard has two children, Nate and Naomi, and a number of pets round out the family. There are four cats, one dog and Willie the corn snake.

Christy enjoys horseback riding and reading, as well as staying active in the church and spending time with family and friends. Her family also enjoys the mountains, and likes to spend weekends skiing and searching for promising new hiking areas.
Dr. Papillon Sanders
Veterinarian
Like most veterinarians, Dr. Papillon Sanders always had a soft spot for animals. It was her fascination with veterinarians’ ability to arrive at a diagnosis through science, testing, and hard work, though, that made a permanent impression. Dr. Sanders knew that she wanted to solve the mysteries of patients’ health in order to help all of the animals she possibly could!

Dr. Sanders is originally from Virginia Beach and launched her veterinary journey in Clemson, South Carolina, where she majored in animal science at Clemson University while volunteering at vet clinics during her time away from classes. Next, she attended veterinary school at the University of Georgia to secure her Doctorate. After graduation, Dr. Sanders moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to be with her husband and start her career as a licensed veterinarian.

Dr. Sanders joined the team here at Fullwood Animal Hospital in February of 2019, and serves the area’s pets and animal owners as an Associate Veterinarian. Medically, she’s fond of working on neurological cases, and she also loves to see new puppies and kittens and help to establish great health habits early on in life.

Away from the clinic, Dr. Sanders enjoys writing, crafting–she even made all of the centerpieces and floral arrangements for her wedding!–and spending quality time with her family and pets at home. She and her husband, LaRon, have a beautiful young daughter named Ari who is currently trying to master the art of crawling. The family shares their home with Banks, an attention-seeking miniature Schnauzer.
Dr. Jennifer Hawthorne
Veterinarian
Dr. Jennifer Hawthorne grew up in a small North Carolina town, where she was surrounded by animals on her family’s beef farm. She had always loved pets, but didn’t seriously consider a career in veterinary medicine until she found out about the pre-veterinary program offered at North Carolina State University. On the spot, Dr. Hawthorne decided to become a veterinarian!

Dr. Hawthorne earned her undergraduate and veterinary degrees at North Carolina State University, and even worked for a year as a radiology technician at the school. After marrying and moving to Georgia, she completed a small animal internship before moving to the Charlotte area and signing on at a local animal hospital.

In March of 2013, Dr. Hawthorne helped to fill in at Fullwood Animal Hospital when Dr. Montgerard was on maternity leave. The two have known each other since their veterinary school days at North Carolina State! Dr. Hawthorne is particularly fond of the close-knit camaraderie around the clinic, and her primary medical interest is radiology.

Dr. Hawthorne and her husband Shawn have two young children, Hayden and Emma. The family lives with Lacy, an elderly mutt, as well as two cats named Isabelle and Marty. As a family, they enjoy visiting local parks, eating together, and watching movies from their impressive film collection.
Dr. Elena Shirley
Veterinarian, Certified Veterinay Acupuncturist
Dr. Elena Shirley told herself early on that she refused to look back on her life with any regrets. That’s why she decided to follow her true passion: animal medicine. Ever since she can remember, she’s wanted to make a real difference in the lives of the earth’s creatures, as well as the people who care for them! Dr. Shirley gets to do just that here at Fullwood Animal Hospital.

Dr. Shirley was born on the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain. When she and her family returned to the United States, they settled in Montclair, New Jersey, where Dr. Shirley grew up. After a successful 14-year career in international business—volunteering along the way at various veterinary practices—she decided to follow her heart and jump headfirst into the world of animal care. Dr. Shirley worked as a Veterinary Assistant while completing her prerequisite coursework (raising a foster daughter with her husband at the same time!), and then continued on to veterinary school at the University of California-Davis.

Dr. Shirley graduated as a licensed veterinarian in 2010 and launched her career in private practice while also undergoing additional training in veterinary acupuncture. She received her Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist accreditation in early 2014 and has been incorporating that modality into her care arsenal ever since. Aside from her interests in alternative therapies and integrated medicine, Dr. Shirley is passionate about neurology and ophthalmology work. She joined the Fullwood Animal Hospital family in 2020 and looks forward to putting her passion to good use for the area’s pet parents!

When she’s not at work, Dr. Shirley enjoys horseback riding, songwriting, dancing, staying fit via Spartan obstacle course competitions, and spending time with her family and pets at home. She and her husband have several children and also share their lives with two dogs—a honey blonde Chihuahua named Suzie with a big personality, and a Pekingese/Chihuahua mix named Chyna—as well as a 20-year old Tennessee Walking horse named Sarge whose favorite pastimes include trail rides, a good brushing, and the occasional carrot.