Meet The Team

Dr. Jennifer Cardoza,
Head Veterinarian

• born in Washington DC
• grew up in R.I.

• B.S. at Wake Forest University
• DVM at University of Tennessee

previous positions:
• vet in general practice in Providence R.I. for 4 years
• emergency medicine vet in Virginia Beach, VA for 4 years
• emergency medicine vet in Charlottesville VA for 8 years

career goal: to combine my love for urgent care/ critical care medicine with my desire to personally know my clients and patients

favorite book/ movie: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

family: husband David, son Jory, and mother Joan

pets: two Cocker Spaniels named Leo and Jack, an Akita named Onix, and a thoroughbred horse named Monopoly.

best part of my job: watching an animal recover because of a correct diagnosis and medical plan

career tip for students: if something doesn’t work out the way you want, find a different way to make it happen

when I’m not working, I’m: …spending time outside with my family (especially when the weather is hot and sunny) and riding my horse!

ATVC trivia: did you know I met my husband at Hydraulic Road Animal Hospital while working there temporarily years ago?


Dr. Valerie Babcock,
Associate Veterinarian

photoDr. Valerie Babcock is a native of Washington state.  She graduated from Washington State University in 1999 with her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and again in 2003 with her DVM.  Following graduation, she moved to New Jersey and completed an equine internship at Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in 2004.  Dr. Babcock has been practicing veterinary medicine in Northern Virginia, primarily focused on equine general practice.  She is excited to be joining the team at Autumn Trails Vet. Center and reconnecting to her small animal roots.

Dr. Babcock is and avid card maker and can usually be found in her craft studio during her free time.  She currently shares her life with her great dane, Nana, and her four naughty cats.  She adores draft horses and donkeys and hopes to have one of each when she grows up.


Emily Allen,
Practice Manager

EmilyEmily grew up in Northern Virginia. She moved, with her husband, to Charlottesville in 2013 to be closer to family.

She has worked in the veterinary field for over 14 years. Her background is in small animal, equine and emergency medicine. She is studying veterinary technology at Cedar Valley College, as well as pursuing her certified practice manager accreditation. Her passion for high quality care, and being community oriented, brought her to Autumn Trails. Her four legged children include a Chihuahua, Black Lab, Boston Terrier, three cats, two ferrets, miniature horse and Thoroughbred.

When she is away from the hospital she enjoys sending time with her family, hiking with her dogs and watching movies.

Lynne Steppe, RVT,
Nursing Staff

LynneI grew up in NE Ohio and knew at a young age I wanted to be involved in veterinary medicine.

I became a technician in the early ’80s and have worked in mixed animal, small animal and equine practice. I moved to the Charlottesville area in 1990 to further my career. I am truly in it “for the animals” and enjoy the variety of animals, and owners, I meet along the way.

I have been involved in the horse industry most of my life and, in recent years, have become active in canine rescue. I currently am owned by a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, two Labrador Retrievers and a Thoroughbred mare.

When not at ATVC, I maintain a small property, compete in local horse activities and enjoy spending time around the water.

Alyssa Gerbus,
Kennel Supervisor/Veterinary Assistant

Alyssabackground: I was born and raised in Virginia Beach

education: I graduated from the University of Virginia in May of ’15. I am continuing my education at James Madison University

career goal: I want to become a livestock veterinarian

pets: Milo, my 1 year old grey tabby and Rogue, my guinea pig

best part of my job: I take care of boarders and love getting to know them and playing with them during their stays with us

when i am not working: I love to hike and camp. I also spend a lot of time reading and drawing

interesting fact: I worked at Hydraulic Road Animal Hospital as a vet assistant for 3 years prior to Autumn Trails Veterinary Center

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