Our Veterinarians

Hillcrest Animal Hospital has a skilled team of veterinarians who welcome you to our practice. Proudly serving Central Arkansas. At Hillcrest Animal Hospital, it is our daily privilege to provide quality vet care to your cherished pet, with compassion and competence. We hope to ensure a positive impact on our patients, pet owners and the local community. 

at Little Rock Animal Hospital

Dr. Larry Nafe

Dr. Larry Nafe graduated from the University of Missouri’s School of Veterinary Medicine Summa Cum Laude in 1976. Upon graduation Dr. Nafe completed an internship and residency at the Anima lMedical Center in New York City. In 1979 he joined the faculty at Louisiana State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine as an assistant professor in Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department. During his tenure, he directed a Neurology/Neurosurgery/Internal Medicine referral practice in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. In 1981, he was named head of Small Animal Medicine where he directed the academic curriculum of the fourth-year veterinary students. He was board certified in Neurology/Neurosurgery in 1982 and in Internal Medicine in 1983.

In 1983, he and his wife established Hillcrest Animal Hospital where he started a specialty referral practice. He remained an adjunct professor, lecturer, and consultant to LSU’s Veterinary school until 1985. Dr. Nafe has published over 30 scientific articles and has held multiple positions in the College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He was awarded founding member status in the Veterinary Neurosurgical Society and awarded one of the initial neurosurgery training certificates by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Soiree platinum award winner 2012. Currently a co-investigator with Dr. Joan Coates at the University of Missouri for an NIH grant investigating novel therapy for canine degenerative myelopathy. When he is not in the clinic, you can find Dr. Larry fly fishing or playing golf.

Dr. Joan Nafe

Dr. Joan Nafe grew up in Little Rock and graduated from Hall High School in 1969. She attended Vassar College and Colgate University, where she graduated with a B.S. in 1974. She then attended the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, where she was honored as the top Arkansas student. In 1979, Dr. Joan completed a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, where she met and later married Dr. Larry Nafe. They have a daughter, Laura, who is an assistant professor at the Oklahoma State School of Veterinary Medicine. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Joan enjoys reading a good book and spending time with her Doberman, Ben.

 at Little Rock Animal Hospital

Dr. Sonya Lavergne

Dr. Sonya Lavergne received a B.S. in Zoology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1986 and worked at Hillcrest Animal Hospital for one year prior to entering veterinary school. She graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine with honors in 1991, where she received the American Animal Hospital Associations Award for clinical proficiency in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. Upon graduation, Dr. Lavergne rejoined Hillcrest Animal Hospital as an associate veterinarian and has maintained a special interest in Small Animal Medicine and Ultrasonography. She spends her spare time riding dressage on her horse, Abe. She and her husband also have a multitude of animals including dogs, cats, goats, cows, chickens and donkeys. Her daughter, Jessica, is currently attending UAMS Medical School in Little Rock. Her son, Zach, is finishing his senior year of college in Colorado with a computer science degree.

 at Hillcrest Animal Hospital

Dr. Laura Erikson

Dr. Laura Erikson received a B.S. in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University in 1980. She then spent two years with a large breeding operation in Central Oklahoma, and one year in a Ruminant Nutrition Lab prior to entering veterinary school. Dr. Erikson graduated from the OSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. She worked for ten years in a mixed animal practice in Conway, Arkansas prior to joining Hillcrest Animal Hospital in 1997 as an associate veterinarian. She co-authored an article on Cytauxzoanosis in cats in 2008 with Dr. H. M. Brown at the University of Georgia. She served on the board of CARE for nine years, and now volunteers frequently with the Faulkner County Humane Society. She raises Appaloosa horses and has a menagerie of guinea pigs, dogs, cats, and chickens on her farm. 

 at Little Rock Animal Hospital

Dr. Shari Butner

Dr. Shari Butner grew up on a parakeet farm out in the country near Bryant. She attended CAC High School and earned a business degree from Harding in Searcy. After graduating from LSU’s Veterinary school in 1997, Dr. Butner lived and worked for a year in Clarksville, TN. She has been with Hillcrest Animal Hospital since June 1998 and now works part time on Wednesday afternoons.

 at Little Rock Animal Hospital

Dr. Andrea Razer

Dr. Andrea Razer grew up in Harrison and Little Rock. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Hendrix College in 2000 with a B.A. in Biology. She also received the Johnson Biology Award for outstanding achievement in Biology. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004, where she received the Avian Medicine Award. While attending vet school she completed three preceptorships at Hillcrest Animal Hospital and joined the clinic as an associate veterinarian upon graduation in 2004. Outside of work she stays busy with three boys, four cats and three dogs.

Dr. Anna Clark

Dr. Anna Clark was born and raised in Russellville, AR. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arkansas Tech University in 2005 with a B.S. in Biology and received the Tri Beta Outstanding Senior Biologist Award. Prior to attending veterinary school, she worked as a research technologist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital for three years. Dr. Clark was accepted to the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine as the top Arkansas student and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2014. She joined the clinic as an associate veterinarian in December 2014 and has a special interest in surgery and clinical pathology. She and her husband, Daniel, recently had their first child, Paul in 2017. They attend Parkway Place Baptist Church. In their spare time, they enjoy camping, hiking, and four-wheeling with their two dogs.

Dr. Caroline Pennington

Dr. Caroline Pennington grew up in Dumas, Arkansas. She began volunteering at the veterinary hospital at a young age and fell in love with veterinary medicine. She received her B.S. degree in biology at Ouachita Baptist University and earned her DVM at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. While in vet school, she completed an externship at Hillcrest Animal Hospital, and then officially joined the Hillcrest team in the summer of 2017. She and her husband have a lab mix, Goose, and two cats, Gypsy and Sebastian. The dog is always happy, and the cats are never satisfied.