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Meet Our Amazing Team

We are a group of passionate animal lovers who are thankful for the opportunity to take care of your pets. Always professional, we strive to give you and your pet the best veterinary care possible.

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Dr Ben Reichenbach

DVM, Owner

Dr. Ben Reichenbach joined the Flower Valley Veterinary Clinic family in 2023 when he took over ownership.

After graduating from Colorado State University with his Bachelor’s of Science, Dr. Reichenbach took a year off to work with bears and dogs, and then pursued his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Having worked with everything from Bison to Woodpeckers, he came home to Maryland and started working as a veterinarian with dogs and cats at Severna Park Veterinary Hospital. His areas of professional interest include soft tissue surgery, weight management, preventative medicine, and most of all convincing scared pets to trust him (if only for a short time).

In his spare time, he enjoys playing board games, Dungeons and Dragons, and spending time outside as much as possible. He shares his home with his irreplaceable wife Sarah, and rambunctious toddler Samson. They are constantly cuddled and spoiled by their cats Phoebe and Tiger Lily and their two dogs Juniper and Huckleberry.

Dr James Burns

DVM, Founder

Dr. James Burns founded the Flower Valley Veterinary Clinic family in 1984.

After a rowdy start Dr Burns joined the army for a helpful dose of discipline. On his late wife Judy’s recommendation he went back to school and finished his Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Maryland then pursued his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. He returned to Maryland and started working at Four Corners Animal Hospital, but after a few years of honing his craft, he struck out on his own and opened up FVVC. While he has recently retired, his professional interests still include all small mammals and orthopedic management.

In his retirement he enjoys biking, racket ball, and swimming. He has had a myriad of pets throughout the years but is still accompanied by his trusty dachshund Heidi. With a family of 5 kids, 13 grandkids, and 7 great grandkids, he is eternally busy and surrounded by loved ones.

Dr Bethany Atchley

DVM, DACLAM, Veterinarian

Dr. Bethany Atchley joined the Flower Valley Veterinary Clinic family in 2021.

After completing her Bachelor’s of Science at Montana State University Bozeman in 2003, Dr. Atchley took a year off, and then pursued her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University. Finishing in 2008, she started working for the US Army. During her time with the army she completed her board certification in Lab Animal Medicine, becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Lab Animal Medicine in 2017. She then worked as the facility veterinarian at the Primate Facility for the NIH in Poolesville until 2021. After finishing her military obligations, Dr Atchley started doing relief work for numerous clinics including FVVC. Her professional interests include feline medicine, surgery, pain control, and dermatology.

In her spare time she enjoys horseback riding, reading, visiting battlefields, and going to wineries. She shares her home with her horse Zara; her indoor cats Pikachu, Tubbs, Havoc, Ru, Boba Fett, and Jar Jar; and maintains a healthy colony of feral cats.

Dr Desiree Darden

DVM, Veterinarian

Dr. Desiree Darden joined the Flower Valley Veterinary Clinic family in 2012.

Dr. Darden completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University in 1980. After practicing shelter medicine for 5 years, she switched to the fast pace of emergency veterinary medicine for the next 20 years. Finding she needed to take some time to slow down, Dr. Darden began doing relief work and eventually found her way to FVVC. Her professional interests still include emergency medicine, but also includes the compassion and care that is needed with geriatric patients.

In her spare time she enjoys playing around in her garden, pottery, and book clubs.

Susie Jones

Office Manager

Susie Jones joined the Flower Valley Veterinary Clinic family when it was established in 1984.

Susie grew up in Upper Montclair New Jersey and started her veterinary career at Montclair Animal Hospital. She then got a job at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda Maryland, and never looked back from her new home. She left NCI to help Dr. Burns establish FVVC and has been the foundation of the establishment ever since. She wears many hats, and over the years has completed certification of Veterinary Technology from both AAHA and AALAS. Her professional interests all center around the human-animal bond and loves fostering meaningful client/patient relationships.

In her spare time she enjoys biking, fishing, kayaking, hiking and all things outside. She travels as much as she can and loves coming home with great stories. She shares her house with 4 cats Marta, Messi, Storm, and Thunder; and her daughter Tessa who recently returned home with Raindrop, a pup that cats are convinced is a ploy to torture them. She is also often occupied with visits from her son Matthew and his two perpetually entertaining daughters Harper and Riley.

Renee Gerrard

Veterinary Technician

Renee Gerrard joined the Flower Valley Veterinary Clinic family in 2023.

Renee started her professional career on a journey to find herself working as a chocolatier and accountant, then sought a degree in dog training from the Animal Behavior College. She jumped right into the animal world and never looked back. She started as a dog trainer at Creekside Canine Training, then started her career in the veterinary world as a receptionist at Animal Health Clinic. Missing the hands-on aspect of training she became a Veterinary technician at Elkridge Animal Hospital. Looking for a change during the Covid times, she started working at Severna Park Veterinary Hospital where she met Dr Reichenbach, who she followed to FVVC. Her professional interests include anything and everything surgical, phlebotomy, and radiology.

In her spare time she enjoys caving, rock climbing and camping as well as getting in touch with her roots by foraging and baking. She shares her home with the shameless Finnigan a black lab mix, Elsie the black cat, and Laurie the tabby cat. She shares all her fury family with her chosen people Josh and Cal.

Lauren Ruben

Senior Customer Service Representative

Lauren Ruben joined the Flower Valley Veterinary Clinic family in 2021

Lauren grew up just around the corner in Montgomery County. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Dairy Science and Animal and Poultry Science with an Equine emphasis. She worked a few odd jobs before finding her love of veterinary medicine, and shortly after started working at FVVC. Her areas of professional interest include surgery, pediatric visits, dermatology, and client education.

In her spare time she enjoys cooking, baking, crossword puzzles, photography, concerts, reading, crafting, and especially cuddling with any horses and cows she can get her hands on. She shares her house with 3 rowdy kittens Cadence, Calliope, and Jazz; and frequently visits her family labradors Kahlua and Hennessy.

Alyssa Partello Tarrio

Senior Veterinary Assistant

Alyssa Partello-Tarrio joined the Flower Valley Veterinary Clinic family in 2023

Alyssa was homeschooled through high school by her amazing mom, and remains a constant sponge for learning and education. She Started her veterinary care career at Laytonsville Veterinary Practice in 2022, but made her way to FVVC looking for a more personal touch in the care she is able to provide.

In her spare time she enjoys reading, writing, and any and all things handcraft. She shares her home with her mom Danielle, her father Charles, and her two sweet kitties Sophie and Markl.