Our Careteam

Diana Porter

Co-Owner, Hospital Administrator

Diana met her husband, Dr. Robert Porter, when they were both earning degrees in Biology at James Madison University. At her husband’s request, after many years working in human health care as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Diana began managing the practice full-time in 2009.

Diana grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, where her family always had pets. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree at JMU, she earned her BSN degree from the Virginia Commonwealth University-Medical College of Virginia School of Nursing. After working for five years in the CICU at Henrico Doctors Hospital in Richmond, she returned to VCU-MCV to earn her Masters Degree in Nursing – Primary Health Care. She’s been a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner for 30 years!

Like everyone at the clinic, Diana loves animals. She feels most gratified when helping the human family members. She is touched by the love and devotion she sees when a pet owner makes a difficult decision for the good of their beloved family member.

Diana and her husband have two adult children, both of whom have worked alongside them in the family business! Katie has worked in the kennels and helped her mother with bookkeeping, and Matthew worked as an assistant and helped out with social media. Both kids are in college now. The family is completed by three cats, Ping, Mango, and Alphie, a lovable pug named Lola and a Golden Retriever puppy named Oliver.

Whenever she has a spare moment, Diana enjoys reading, especially books about history. She also enjoys a good mystery with plenty of murder and mayhem.

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Sam

Head Licensed Veterinary Technician

Even as a young girl, Sam knew she wanted to do something with animals when she grew up. She would often pet sit and walk neighbors’ animals, and it only reinforced her desire. Since 2004, she’s had the good fortune to pursue her dreams here at Western Branch Veterinary Hospital!

Sam grew up in Chesapeake with her parents, brother, and sister. When she was younger, Sam would babysit the Porter’s children, becoming their most beloved and trusted sitter. When Sam expressed interest in working at Western Branch Veterinary Hospital, the Porters were thrilled! Sam started working in the kennels, transitioned to an assistant role, then enrolled in the Licensed Veterinary Technicians program at Northern Virginia Community College, to earn her degree. 

Sam and her husband, Chris, have three pets of their own at home. G-Unit is a 10-year-old cat, Missy Elliot is a two-year-old deaf pit bull, and Bam the pit bull rounds out the lot. When she isn’t working or spending time with family and pets, Sam enjoys cooking and going to the beach.

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Becka

Receptionist

Since entering the workforce, Becka had always had a knack for working with clients and customers. She also had a longstanding desire to work with animals. What better way to combine her interests and skills, Becka thought, than by working at a veterinary practice? She’s served as a part of our receptionist team since August of 2011.

Since her father was a member of the United States Army, Becka and her family moved around a lot when Becka was young. They even spent a few years in Alaska and three in Belgium! They moved to Suffolk in 2002 and have lived in the Hampton Roads area ever since. When the family cat, Daisy, got sick, Becka brought her into Western Branch Veterinary Hospital. On the way out after Daisy was treated, Becka asked for a job application and was hired a few months later!

Becka met her husband, Heath, when they both worked at a local Home Depot. They were married in October of 2013, and are expecting a baby girl in 2014. Together, they own two cats: Daisy, who moved out with Becka when she and Heath got their own place, and Oliver, who Becka rescued as a kitten. They also have a chinchilla named Mimo who enjoys taking dust baths and eating almonds.

One of Becka’s biggest personal accomplishments is graduating from Old Dominion University in 2011 with a degree in history. Outside of work, she likes reading, spending time outdoors, and watching the Miami Dolphins.

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Cody

Veterinary Assistant, VTIT

Cody started at Western Branch Veterinary Hospital in the fall of 2011. He serves as a Veterinary Assistant and is currently attending Northern Virginia Community College to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician!

Cody was raised in Suffolk with his parents and younger sister. He loves learning new things around the clinic, and is always eager to try out new procedures. Client education is another passion of his; it’s the ultimate reward to pass on key information that will benefit a client’s beloved pet!

At home, Cody has one dog, Chloe. She’s 14 and has started to slow down a bit, but she’ll act just like a puppy again when she’s playing with the rope or her ball. When he’s not working or attending classes, Cody likes to read, play video games, and play his alto saxophone and bass guitar. 

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Kyle

Kennel Attendant, Veterinary Assistant

Kyle’s uncle—a veterinarian himself—performed surgery on Kyle’s family dog when Kyle was very young. He let Kyle watch, and ever since that moment, Kyle has been hooked on the veterinary profession. He’s currently in college and plans on applying to veterinary schools soon!

Kyle was born in Fairfax and has lived in Virginia his whole life. He’s currently enrolled at Christopher Newport University, and will be applying to veterinary schools soon to further his education in the animal care field. He came to the clinic this past June, and especially likes soaking up knowledge from the veterinarians and immersing himself in the fast-paced environment of the clinic.

Kyle has a cat named Lucas who can fetch better than any dog he knows. In his free time, Kyle likes to read and is always excited when a new installment of one of his favorite series comes out.

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Brian

Kennel Assistant

Brian came to work at the practice during the summer of 2011, and quickly found that he loved being able to work with animals. Interacting with various breeds of dogs and cats is his favorite part of the job!

Brian grew up in Suffolk and is a recent graduate of Roanoke College, where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in psychology. At home, he has two pets: Hershey, a 10-year-old Chocolate Lab, and Emma, a three-year-old Yellow Lab who will lick just about anything.

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Ares

Staff Cat, Blood Donor

Ares arrived at Western Branch Veterinary Hospital in 2006 after showing great disdain for cat litter—he preferred to use a couch cushion or blanket! Since there’s no upholstered furniture around the clinic, Ares has been behaving well ever since.

As a resident blood donor cat, Ares has saved the lives of many kittens who require blood transfusions. He also helps teach new employees how to draw blood.

The attention he tends to get from clients and staff members is Ares’ favorite part of his position at the clinic. He especially likes showing off his extra thumb, as he is a polydactyl cat just like the famous Hemingway cats!

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Dewey

Staff Cat

The newest Staff Cat here at the clinic, Dewey arrived when Dr. Porter’s son found him in an Arby’s parking lot and brought him into the office. So far, it seems to Dewey that the humans don’t expect him to do much but entertain them—he does his best. He especially likes to wrestle with Ares, and they often have quite the audience watching through the big window in the cat playground.

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Gus

Staff Cat, Assistant Blood Donor

Gus came to Western Branch Veterinary Hospital in 2009 and occasionally helps with blood donations. Mostly, though, Gus likes to think he’s here to be adored and admired. He especially enjoys sitting in the window to pose for clients as they walk by. Since he loves to have his picture taken, Gus spends most of his spare time keeping his fur pretty.

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