Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
Certified in Avian Practice
Dr. Chris Griffin grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and has been interested in curious creatures for his entire life. Much to his parent’s dismay, he kept a variety of reptiles and amphibians in the house growing up, a passion encouraged by his grandfather (although not encouraged by most of his aunts and uncles).
After high school, Dr. Griffin attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry in 1991. He attended veterinary school at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1995. After three months in St. Martin during which he survived a grade 4 hurricane, he returned to the states to pursue his interest in birds, reptiles and other exotic pets. After spending time visiting some of the most prominent veterinary facilities that focus on avian and exotic pet medicine (Kaytee Externship program, Chilton, Wisconsin,1996; Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, Boston, Massachussettes, 1996; and The Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York City, New York, 1995), Dr. Griffin took a job in Chicago.
Dr. Griffin discovered that it is just too cold up there, and found a position in Largo, Florida, working with two ABVP – Avian boarded veterinarians, Dr. Teresa Lightfoot and Dr. Lucy Bartlett, at the Avian and Animal Hospital of Bardmoor. Within 3 months, his position was certified as a Residency for ABVP (American Board of Veterinary Practitioners) avian practice specialty training, and he completed this Residency in 1999. He also coordinated the student extern program for the hospital during that time, hosting students from many veterinary schools, including Iowa State, Auburn, Mississippi State, Tufts and Texas A&M.
After leaving Florida in 2001, he joined South Ridge Veterinary Hospital in Kannapolis, NC, looking to expand the current avian and exotic medicine service. He passed his specialty boards in 2002, and is now one of approximately 115 veterinarians in the world with this distinction. After more than 2 and 1/2 years at South Ridge Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Griffin decided to open an exclusively avian and exotic pet hospital, catering to the needs of pet birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals (including rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rodents and small marsupials). He is thrilled with the promise the future holds, and is excited about continuing his education and building his skills as a veterinarian for ”non-traditional” pets.
In the past several years, Dr. Griffin has been a presenter at the Association of Avian Veterinarians Annual Conference (1999, 2004 and 2005), the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Annual Conference (1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009), the European Association of Avian Veterinarians Conference (2003), and the First International Conference of Reptile Medicine and Surgery (in Munich, Germany March 2010). He is the co-author of a chapter in the Gastroenterology issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Pet Practice. He was honored to co-author that chapter with his Dad, Joseph W. Griffin, Jr., MD. He is the guest editor of the issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America:Exotic Pet Practice – Topic: Common Procedures.
Dr. Griffin was the conference chair for the 2009 ARAV annual conference in Milwaukee (held in August of 2009). He is also the 2009-2010 President of the ARAV after serving as Treasurer, Secretary, and President Elect over the past 3 years.
Dr. Griffin and his wife Stephania currently share their home with their daughter Aralyn (Born January 23, 2010), 2 leopard geckos, Fred and Wilma, one (sometimes ”Dill”) Pickle (a male Eclectus Parrot), two African violets that somehow continue to survive, and things that go bump in the night. In his ”free” time, he enjoys music [acappella, especially Rockapella (https://www.rockapella.com)], being active within the local UNC Alumni Club, playing and watching a variety of sports, traveling, reading, playing on his computer, cooking and spending time with his family and friends.
Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
Certified in Avian and Exotic Companion Mammal Practice
Dr. Tracey Ritzman is originally from Ohio, and attended North Carolina State University for both undergrad and veterinary school. She has worked all over the United States, including stops in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Michigan. During this time, she has been involved in leading or creating exotic animal practice services in these locations. She is a double boarded specialist, having passed the rigorous requirements set forth by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) for both Avian Practice and Exotic Companion Mammal Practice. She has been involved in speaking at local, national and international conferences on topics concerning exotic pets, and has also mentored veterinary students, veterinary technicians and veterinary technician students. Dr. Griffin and Dr. Ritzman have been colleagues and great friends for over 20 years, and have often wondered what it might be like to work together on a daily basis. Luckily for our practice, we are going to find out how much Dr. Ritzman can add to our hospital!
Dr. Ritzman’s family includes her physician husband Dr. Anjan Chakrabarty and their son Rohan and their rescue terrier/pug dog Dug. In her spare time Dr. Ritzman enjoys spending time with her family, taking their dog Dug on walks, baking and playing the piano and English handbells.
Dr. Edgerton grew up in eastern North Carolina in the town of New Bern. She has wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as she can remember and began her dream as a volunteer at a local vet hospital. With her family’s support she completed her undergraduate degree at North Carolina State University and was well on her way to vet school.
While attending NC State’s veterinary school, she became heavily involved with the Wild Turtle Rescue Team which helped develop her interest and passion for exotic pet medicine. As a senior veterinary student, Dr Edgerton spent several weeks at Griffin Exotics during an externship rotation and enjoyed her experience so much that she joined the GAEVH team in June 2007. She became a full time associate in January 2010 and enjoys working at such a diverse practice.
Dr. Edgerton shares her home with Sprinkles, her cat, Jasper, her Red-Footed Tortoise, and her two bearded dragons, Sydney and Stitch.