"It's about the reward of helping a really sick pet return to health, the fun of interacting with pet owners, and building on these relationships over the years. Being a veterinarian is the best role anyone could have for an occupation."
Dr. Mark Russell’s career in the veterinary field spans more than 30 years, and he has had a love for animals his entire lifetime. His desire to become a veterinarian was sparked while he was still in high school, living on his family’s cattle and row-crop farm in Providence, Kentucky. Since that time, he has passionately pursued his career in veterinary medicine.
After graduating from high school, Dr. Russell attended the University of Kentucky, where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science in 1978. In 1982, he received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine Degree from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Three years later, Dr. Russell founded Whitesburg Animal Hospital and has served as the medical director ever since. His areas of special interest include internal medicine, allergies, surgery, and ultrasound.
Dr. Russell is committed to staying abreast of the latest in veterinary medicine and technological advances. He is actively engaged in continuing education and holds memberships in the Therapy Partners Board, the Animal Emergency Clinic of North Alabama Board, the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Board, the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association (past president), the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Madison County Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Dr. Russell continues to give back, both in his community and overseas, through a number of organizations and our Angel Adoption Program. He was also the recipient of a special service award for his work leading the 100 Year Anniversary of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association. In addition, Dr. Russell has traveled to India and Honduras, serving as a volunteer with Christian Veterinary Mission.
In his free time, Dr. Russell enjoys biking, skiing, puttering on his farm, and of course tailgating at Auburn football games. Above all else though, Dr. Russell values quality time with his family, especially with his granddaughter. Dr. Russell has a secret talent as well, he has his pilot’s license! He and his wife Cindy, a retired children's minister at First Baptist Church, raised three children. Katherine is a physician, Matthew is a clinical psychologist, and John Mark is a veterinarian. The Russell family also includes a Standard Poodle named Mon’Amie and a cat named Dr. Jeffers. The family also has a small herd of cows.
Dr. Staci Armstrong received her undergraduate degree in biology from McNeese State University in 1995. In 1999, she graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. It was there during a Pre-Med Club meeting that she met a local veterinarian whom she later shadowed and observed handling a severe case of antifreeze toxicity. After this experience, Dr. Armstrong was certain that a career in veterinary medicine was for her.
Dr. Armstrong joined the staff of Whitesburg Animal Hospital in 2005.
Her areas of interest include internal medicine, ultrasound, oncology, dentistry, and exotic animals such as ferrets, rabbits, and sugar gliders.
She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, the Madison County Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the Association of Sugar Glider Veterinarians. She is also an active member of Messiah Lutheran Church and provides educational programs on veterinary topics at local schools and camps.
Dr. Armstrong and her husband Tracy have two sons, Will and Zach. While the entire family is actively involved in tae-kwon-do, Tracy, Will, and Zach are all black belts. The Armstrongs also own two dogs, Marley and Radar, a Maine Coon named Alex, and a hamster named Bear. Dr. Armstrong’s hobbies include reading, crafts of all kinds, baking, camping, and simply being a mom and spending time with her family.
When reflecting on what she most enjoys about being a veterinarian, Dr. Armstrong says, "It is definitely a wonderful feeling to see a critically ill patient recover completely and return home healthy and active. However, perhaps the best part is really getting to know our clients and pets, as well as seeing the many special relationships that exist between our clients and their pets."
Dr. Ashley S. Pott has always held a passion for animals and studied zoology in college. She originally saw herself working with lions, tigers, and bears in a zoo-type setting. But after she took a position as a veterinary assistant, a career as a veterinarian seemed like the only choice. After graduating cum laude from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016 she joined Whitesburg Animal Hospital. Her medical passions include internal medicine, diagnostic imaging, feline medicine, and improving the human animal bond through compassionate veterinary care.
She is an active member of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, and has served as Delegate for the Madison County VMA. She was also on the State Legislative Committee, participating in advancing legislation to advocate for the veterinary profession and to support animal health and welfare. Presently she serves on the Membership Committee and is working to increase the understanding and value of organized veterinary medicine.
Dr. Pott and her wife Jennifer have four fur babies: two cats, Cricket and Buster, and two dogs, Quinn and Parker. Outside of work, she enjoys roller skating, hiking, and lounging outside by a fire or in the pool. She also enjoys going caving and kayaking, while Jennifer and the animals tend to sit those ones out. But have no fear – they all five enjoy the fact that Dr. Pott is the household Grill Master.
“I truly love helping pet owners through the fun and difficult times with their four-legged family members. I love that there is always something new to learn and improve on in this field.” -Dr. Hall
Dr. Kelly Hall's interest in veterinary medicine began at a young age. Her family has had dogs her whole life and remembers playing "doctor" to them with a veterinary play set. After shadowing and working at a local clinic during high school and undergrad she knew the veterinary profession was the path for her.
She attended University of Alabama in Huntsville where she received her bachelors of science in biology minor in chemistry. She was then accepted into Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine where she graduated in 2015. While at Auburn she was class treasurer and active in organizations such as Student Chapter of American Veterinary Medical Association, Christian Veterinary Fellowship, and the Sports Medicine Club. Her interests include internal medicine, dermatology, and sports medicine.
Kelly lives with her two shelties, Toby and Aero. She has trained and competed with her shelties in agility competitions for over 15 years. Dr. Kelly Hall also enjoys cooking/baking as a way to relax and destress. Her treats can often be found in the WAH team lounge. Other hobbies include reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
“My favorite thing with any experience as a veterinarian is the relationships formed with clients throughout their pet’s life.”
Dr. John Mark Russell’s love for veterinary medicine was established from a young age. He grew up at Whitesburg Animal Hospital shadowing his father, Dr. Mark Russell, and learning to love the practice of caring for animals. After deciding at a young age that veterinary medicine was his passion, Dr. Russell began his journey to become a veterinarian.
Dr. Russell graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. While at Auburn he was active in the Christian Veterinary Fellowship and Alpha PSI, the veterinary fraternity. Dr. John Mark Russell is interested in veterinary surgery and hoping to focus on training in some advanced surgical techniques.
Prior to joining the Whitesburg Animal Hospital team of veterinarians, he worked as an associate veterinarian at a general practice in Atlanta Georgia and Nashville Tennessee before deciding to come back home to Alabama and work alongside his father.
Outside of his career as a veterinarian, Dr. Russell loves to spend time outdoors hiking, cycling, and relaxing at the lake. He also enjoys spending time with his friends and family.