Dr. Peggy Rucker
Veterinarian and Practice Owner
Dr. Peggy has had a passion for animals since she was born. Growing up in Decota, West Virginia, she spent a lot of time in the mountains and always seemed to find a critter or two that needed help. In 1963, her family moved to Tazewell, Virginia when she was in the 9th grade. She and her husband Dr. Bayard Rucker were Tazewell High School sweethearts. They both graduated from Virginia Tech with BS degrees in Animal Science in 1971 and became the first married couple to be accepted into the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
After their graduation in 1975, they moved to Lebanon and opened Lebanon Veterinary Clinic…which transformed into Southwest Virginia Veterinary Services in 1985 when they moved into a new building. The building has since undergone extensive remodeling and additions, the latest in 2009.
Dr. Peggy and Dr. Bayard share their home with 3 Jack Russell Terriers, 2 Russell Terriers, and 4 Standard Poodles. Dr. Peggy’s favorite pastime is working and playing in the yard with her dogs, planting flowers, doing pastel drawings, and playing the piano. Dr. Peggy is rarely seen without at least a couple of her dogs, they travel with her almost everywhere. She also enjoys doing Agility Trials with her Standard Poodles, Just J, Jolie, Joshua and Jett, and her Russell Terriers, Jenne and Juliette.
Dr. Peggy is passionate about this profession and continuing education. She serves as a mentor at Va Md College of Veterinary Medicine, and has been asked to be a part of the interview process for the class 2024. As a Past President of both the American Animal Hospital Association as well as the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, she has been a speaker at many veterinary meetings where she is often asked about practicing in a rural environment. Her mantra is: “It does not matter WHERE you practice, it is HOW you practice that is important.”
Dr. Michelle Meister-Jones
Dr. Meister-Jones joined SVVS in 2000 after graduating from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. Since 2010, Dr. Michelle has served as the first women Supervising Veterinarian for the Russell County Animal Shelter. She began her career in veterinary medicine working in her Father’s practice in Cleveland, Ohio, and on their mini-farm in Olmsted Falls. Most of her memories and pictures have always involved animals. She cannot imagine her life without them.
She, her husband Billy, and son, Mark, live in Lebanon with their four dogs (Ashland, Jayne, Rory, and Nathan), three cats (Andy, Olivia, and Oz-E), and three turtles (Rascal, Leonardo, and Jolene). She also on occasion raises foster puppies and kittens when needed. She has two stepdaughters: Beth and husband Derrick, live in Richlands with their two daughters and a son; Katie and husband Patrick live in Tazewell with their daughter. She is active in the Stras Episcopal Church of Tazewell. In her spare time, Dr. Michelle also enjoys movies, reading, traveling, cooking for her family, and relaxing on the beach somewhere.