Our Team in Fort Mill

Our team is wholly dedicated to the care and wellbeing of your dog and cat. We couldn’t be more proud of our incredible team and all they do for the pets of Fort Mill and surrounding communities! Learn more about them below.

Dawn Martin, DVM

Dr. Martin grew up in Western Pennsylvania where she started working in veterinary medicine as a 16 year old. She is a 1990 graduate of The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine which she describes as the best 4 years of her life, combining her love of learning, medicine and animals. As a senior student, Dr. Martin was awarded the Small Animal Medicine Award, and the Ray S. Smiley Award for outstanding character given by the clinical staff at the college. She completed an internship at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University in 1991.

Dr. Martin practiced around the country including the states of Washington, California, and Florida before settling in the Carolinas. She loves the combination of animal personalities, medicine, solving puzzling cases and seeing the humor in life’s many challenges.

Dr. Martin is happiest practicing veterinary medicine, but in what free time she has, Dr. Martin also enjoys horseback riding, golf, reading, skiing with her nieces and nephews, and spending time with her cats, dogs and horses.

Dr. Jennifer Merlo, VBMC, Elite Fear Free Certified, Associate Veterinarian

Dr Jennifer Merlo originates from New Jersey and graduated from the University of Delaware in 2000 with a degree in Animal Sciences and Biology. She attended Ohio State University for veterinary school and graduated in 2004 with a focus on equine medicine. She went on to complete an internship at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center and advance training in internal medicine and ultrasonography at North Carolina State University. In 2007 she moved to Charlotte to be closer to family and began her career in small animal general practice. She joined the emergency department at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in 2011, becoming the Director of Emergency Medicine for the Matthews hospital in 2012. She returned to general practice following the birth of her daughter in 2014. Since then she has become very involved in the Fear Free Veterinary Care Movement – becoming an Elite Certified Fear Free Veterinarian and owning the first Fear Free Certified Practice in NC until 2019. She joined the team at Palmetto Pet Hospital in 2019 as a part-time doctor and was excited to be able to start offering Fear Free care to the patients here. She was thrilled to be able to join the team as a full time associate in 2021 and looks forward to developing even more client and patient relationships.

Dr Merlo’s professional interests include internal medicine, ultrasonography, behavior counseling, integrative care (including nutritional supplements and botanical medicines) and Fear Free Veterinary Care. She prides herself in approaching her patients in a calm and loving manner enabling them to love coming to the veterinary hospital.

When she is not at work, Dr Merlo enjoys spending time with her husband, her daughter and two step-sons as well as her 2 dogs and 3 cats. Her hobbies include cooking, hiking, church fellowship, reading and is a active member of her local FiA branch in Lake Wylie.

Dr. Dane Buenten, Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Dane Buenten (who goes by Dr. Dane) is a native of eastern Long Island, New York. He grew up in the suburbs with multiple cats and dogs, and a brief period with mice and birds. From a young age, he always enjoyed the company of a loyal animal friend. He attended Fredonia University in New York, where he gained a fascination with the complexity of the immune system. He graduated with a degree in Molecular Genetics and a minor in chemistry. He attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and finished his clinical year at Colorado State University. He joined Palmetto Pet Hospital as a Veterinary Associate in December of 2019 and has been impressed with the remarkable level of medicine that Palmetto has been known for. His interests include internal medicine, immunology, clinical pathology, dentistry and diagnostic imaging.

Dr. Dane moved down to the Charlotte area to be with family and has enjoyed all the southern hospitality that the Carolinas are known for.  He currently lives in Uptown with his handsome cat Ringo.

Victoria, Office Manager

Victoria graduated from Clemson University with her B.S. in Biological Sciences and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. She has been in the veterinary industry for more than a decade but has been with Palmetto Pet Hospital since 2013. She is originally from Saratoga Springs, NY and enjoys spending time with her son Max, her fiancé Nick and her dog Punky.

Debbie, Kennel Manager

Growing up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Debbie always loved animals and aspired to work closely with them one day.  Over the years, she has worked with the Houston Humane Society, York County Humane Society and doggy day cares. As a Palmetto Pet Hospital client, Dr. Martin offered her the kennel position because of her high level of experience caring for fur families.  “I look forward to meeting all of our fur babies and am honored to care for them while they are staying with us.”

Brittni, Veterinary Technician

Brittni was born and raised in the Carolinas.  She has been working with small animals for over the past six years now and couldn’t image doing anything else! She is dedicated to providing compassionate care to each and every patient and has an extra soft spot for feline companions.  She has two rescue kitties at home, Doodle Bug and Lil Girl.  When she’s not working she enjoys spending time with her fiancé and reading a good book.

Stacey, Veterinary Technician

Stacey previously received her B.A. in Technical Design Theatre before returning to a life-long dream of veterinary medicine. She is currently a veterinary technician student at Gaston College. In Stacey’s free time she enjoys reading, crafting, poetry and dinner parties with friends.

Lisa, Customer Service Representative

Lisa has been in the veterinary industry for over 10 years and has a love for rescue animals. Lisa and her husband Richard of 32 years currently have 2 dogs (Frankie and Leo). She loves spending time with her grandson R.J. cooking and playing the Nintendo Wii.


Elisabeth, Veterinary Assistant

Elisabeth was born and raised in Charlotte, NC and has been with our hospital since 2019. Elisabeth is currently attending the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine where she will earn her DVM.  When she is not studying, she enjoys baking for her friends and family and hiking at nearby parks.

Lauren, Veterinary Assistant

Lauren is a true South Carolina native that has been with our hospital since 2020.  She will be attending Gaston College in the fall, working towards her goal of becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her 8 dogs and family.

Haley, Veterinary Assistant

Hayley is originally from a small town in Ohio and has only been in the south since 2020, joining our team in 2021. She enjoys spending time with her wonderful fiancé and their zoo of 1 dog, 4 cats, a hamster, a snake and a bearded dragon.  When she is not working, she enjoys traveling, swimming and meeting other furry (and not so furry) friends.

Katherine, Customer Service Representative

Katherine is another South Carolina native and has been with our hospital since 2021.  She has been in the field since 2018 and her favorite part of working in the industry is learning about animal behavior.  Katherine currently has 5 dogs and 3 cats and enjoys traveling and hiking in her free time.