Veterinarians


Shawn Penn, DVM

Dr. Penn is the owner and President of Southwood Drive Animal Clinic, P.A. Shawn, a Lufkin native, came to Southwood Drive Animal Clinic as a full-time veterinarian in 1999. He became a partner in 2005 and then full owner in 2015. Shawn earned Bachelor of Science degrees from Texas A&M in Agricultural Economics and Veterinary Science in 1993 and 1997 respectively. He also chose to pursue his doctorate at his alma mater and graduated from veterinary school in 1999 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Prior to vet school, Shawn served as an intern for Congressman Charlie Wilson. After leaving Texas A&M, Shawn worked a short time in Missouri and Illinois before he moved his family back to Lufkin and came to work at Southwood Drive Animal Clinic. He is a graduate of Hudson High School where both his sons also attended. He has been married to Stephanie for 25 years and they have 2 boys, Wade and Ben. Wade is a junior at Texas A&M University and Ben is a senior at Hudson High School. They have 2 dogs, Belle and Sadie, and 2 cats, Rascal and Ninja. Shawn served as a board member of Harold’s House from 2011 to 2017 and currently serves on the Hudson ISD Board of Trustees. He participates with his family in 4-H, FFA, and sports activities and enjoys the outdoors. He is an active member of Timberland Drive Church of Christ and enjoys activities with friends and family.


Doug Ashburn, DVM

Dr. Ashburn graduated from Texas A&M University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1981. After graduation, he practiced at Glenwood Animal Hospital in Tyler, Texas. In 1983 Dr. Ashburn moved to Lufkin and began practicing at East Texas Veterinary Clinic. During this time he also became a managing partner in the Diboll Veterinary Clinic, Inc. In 1988 he purchased 20 acres and a small house just outside the loop on Southwood Drive. After an extensive remodel of the house he opened Southwood Drive Animal Clinic in August 1988. Over the years Southwood Drive Animal Clinic has undergone a metamorphosis from a simple clinic with 2 exam rooms to the modern state of the art animal medical clinic you see today. He sold his shares to Dr. Penn in 2015 and is currently working at the clinic on a part-time basis. He lives in Lufkin with his wife Susan and their Miniature Schnauzer, Tess. The Ashburns have a grown daughter, Elyse, who lives and works in Washington D.C. with her husband Paul. Dr. Ashburn has always been active in local civic organizations. He has served as Veterinary Science Leader for the Angelina County 4-H, member and president of the Lufkin Host Lions Club, board member of Hospice in the Pines, board member and president of the Lufkin Independent School District as well as many more. He is also an active member in his church. In his spare time, Dr. Ashburn enjoys woodworking. You can see his craftsmanship throughout the clinic. He also enjoys traveling with Susan, especially to Washington D.C. to visit family.


Wendy Blount, DVM

Dr. Blount graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992 and completed a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at Texas A&M in 1997. She began practicing at Southwood in 1998. She treats dogs and cats only, and currently sees appointments at Southwood Drive Animal Clinic two days each week. Dr. Blount provides Continuing Education Seminars to veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and animal control officers. She has recently served as Medical Director & Surgeon for SpayNeuterNac and O’Malley PET low-cost spay-neuter clinics. As well, she taught a college course on “Medicine and Behavior in the Animal Sheltering Environment” for Duquesne University, for 7 years. In 2012 she was named the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) Companion Animal Practitioner of the year, for recognition in the areas of: distinctive contributions to advancing the standards of professional practice; leadership and contributions to advancing organized veterinary medicine at the local, state and national levels; involvement in civic activities and contributions to community life outside veterinary medicine; contributions to continuing education through seminars and papers presented and published; and contributions to refining techniques and improving methods of veterinary practice.


Stan Blackwell, DVM

Dr. Blackwell holds a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine, and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Michigan State University. Additionally, he holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He is a licensed veterinarian in the states of Texas, Michigan, and North Carolina.

While in school, Dr. Blackwell contributed to a published scientific paper in conjunction with Michigan State University and the Detroit Zoo to determine the effects of niacin deficiency in bull snakes. He was vice president of his senior class.

After graduation from Veterinary College, Dr. Blackwell worked as a small animal veterinarian in various veterinary hospitals in southeast Michigan until he started his own veterinary hospital. Dr. Blackwell worked with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to heal injured wildlife including swan, owls, deer, and fox that were rehabilitated and returned to the wild. Dr. Blackwell has volunteered his time to zoos and worked with the Southeast Michigan Veterinary Medical Association to raise corporate donations to fund a new veterinary hospital at the Detroit Zoo.

Dr. Blackwell owned Maple Veterinary Hospital in Michigan. After selling his practice in 2010, he relocated to Texas accepting a position with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

After leaving the USDA, Dr. Blackwell returned to his first love of small animal medicine and is grateful to be a part of the exceptional Southwood Drive Animal Clinic team.

Dr. Blackwell is married to his college sweetheart who shares his love of all creatures great and small that have brought joy to their lives. Over the years, they have opened their home to injured or unwanted animals who have needed love and care. The Blackwell’s furry friends have included dogs, cats, a skunk named Spunky, rabbits including a rehabilitated cotton tail rabbit named Abbott the Rabbit, chinchillas, reptiles, and several birds including an African Grey Parrott named Jeffrey. They currently enjoy living with their indoor cat, Adonis, who gives hugs and head butts to show his affection.

In his spare time, Dr. Blackwell enjoys gardening, magic, gathering with friends, and reading. Since 2012, Dr. Blackwell and his wife have had the pleasure of performing as the king and queen in the Gobel School of Dance annual ballet.


Mike Ward, DVM

Dr. Ward is a Nacogdoches native and grew up on a family-owned dairy. He graduated from Nacogdoches High School in 1963 and began his pursuit of a veterinary career by attending Texas A&M University. He received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1969 and after short periods in Mesa, Arizona and Pasadena, Texas he returned to Nacogdoches and started North Street Veterinary Clinic. He continued his education in 1973 by studying embryo transfer at the University of Cambridge. In 1982, Dr. Ward and his brother, Dr. Jim Ward, opened Ward Animal Hospital. Since then he has been a well-respected permanent fixture in the Nacogdoches community where he served on the NISD Board of Trustees for 6 years. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Mary Jane, for over 50 years, has 2 daughters, and 3 grandchildren. He is a member of AVMA, TVMA, and AABP. When he is not at the clinic, he enjoys working on the family farm, woodworking, restoring old cars, and being a grand-dad.


Management


Tammy Carlton, Clinic Manager

Tammy hails from Trinity County where she graduated from Centerville High School. She attended Angelina College before transferring to Sam Houston State University. She came to Southwood in 2002 with 16 years of experience working as a Veterinary Technician. After gaining experience in various positions within the practice, in 2013 she became Practice Manager. Tammy and her husband Sam are co-owners of TOY Ranch, which they operate with their three children, Ben, Corey, and Allison, along with six grandchildren. She enjoys perch fishing with her grandkids, sports, showing livestock, and traveling. She loves her Life Group family and is an active member of Harmony Hill Baptist Church.


Technicians


Kathleen Geye, RVT


Kathleen joined the staff of Southwood Drive Animal Clinic in 1990. She was born in California and was raised in Houston. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University, with a degree in Animal Science. She became a Registered Veterinary Technician in 1991. She enjoys gardening, reading, stained glass, jewelry making and has recently started quilting. She shares her home with two dogs, a cat and several goldfish.


Shelbi Hughes

Shelbi joined the SWDAC family February 2018 as a Certified Veterinary Technician. She has been passionate about animals and their well-being her entire life. Shelbi started her career in the veterinary field as a Kennel Technician and soon became Veterinary Technician. She has also served as a receptionist. She hopes to further her studies to become a Canine Rehabilitation Assistant in the near future. Shelbi has been a dog mom to Scootie (7 years), Boone (4 years), and Baby (16 years). She and her husband, James, are now expecting their first child, a girl named Olivia.


Emily Arrington, Technician

Emily joined the staff of SWDAC in August of 2018. She was born in Austin, Texas and grew up in the country surrounded by many different kinds of furry friends. She studied psychology at Abilene Christian University and then moved Lufkin to help care for her grandparents who can be found every Sunday at the Loop 287 Church of Christ. She shares her home with her 7-year-old Chihuahua, Jacy. In her spare time enjoys cooking, reading, playing soccer, and spending time with her friends and family.


Julie Newkirk

Julie has over 10 years of experience in the veterinary field. She worked in clinics in the Port Arthur and League City areas before joining our team in September 2017. She loves our patients and is very adept at making you and your fur baby feel comfortable. She has loved working with animals from the time she was a young girl. She has one cat, PePe, and enjoys doing stained glass and drawing.


Prisilla Martinez

Prisilla was born in Baytown, Texas. At the age of 7 she and her family moved to Lufkin where she attended school until 10th grade. She then transferred to Hudson High School where she graduated from in 2016. Prisilla is currently attending Angelina College and taking prerequisite classes for the Tyler Junior College Licensed Veterinary Technician Program which she hopes to attend Fall of 2020. She lives at home with her dog, Tank who she loves to take to the dog park. Prisilla loves and enjoys being able to be with her family and friends as much as she can.


Reception


Ashley Opela

Ashley came to us from Houston, Texas where she was born and raised. She previously worked 7 years for PetSmart in the Houston area, after which she transferred to Banfield Pet Hospital for 3 years prior to moving to Lufkin in 2018. She joined our team in April 2018 and now assists our clients and patients on the phone or at the front desk. Ashley has a 15-year-old son, 3 dogs, and 2 cats that she loves dearly. She loves to go on road trips, camping, and fishing with her friends and family.


Cynthia Stephens

Cynthia is originally from Hamilton, Ohio. She moved to Lufkin in 2010 with her son. Cynthia has been with Southwood Drive Animal Clinic since March 2018 and is one of the friendly faces that greet you as you enter our clinic. In her free time, Cynthia enjoys spending time with her husband and 8-year-old son. Cynthia has 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 bearded dragons, and 1 leopard gecko.


Winter Dean

Winter has a love for animals that is beyond explanation. She was born in Lufkin, but grew up in Elkhart where she attended school. After graduation from Elkhart High School, she attended Paul Mitchel Cosmetology School. She has been married for eighteen years and has two beautiful children. She loves hunting and fishing and spending time with her family. She has two miniature schnauzers, Turkey and Odie, who are not only her fur babies, but are valued members of her family. She and her family traveled much of the U.S. with the Navy while her husband was in the service. They moved back to Lufkin in 2020 and she has been part of our team since then.


Kennel Attendants


Paula Staton

Paula joined our staff in August 2015 after moving to Lufkin from Northern Illinois. She has been married for 30+ years and has two sons. Paula has worked in the Veterinary field for 16 years and animals are her passion. She especially loves pugs. She currently has one dog and one cat.


Dariana Tremillo

Dariana was born and raised in Hudson, Texas and graduated from Hudson High School in 2018. She’s always had a love for animals while growing up and currently has a cat named Sushi. She is currently attending Angelina College studying psychology.


Megan Odell

Megan joined the staff of Southwood Drive Animal Clinic in October of 2020. She was born and raised in Lufkin, Texas. Megan has always been passionate about animals and science, running her own dog-sitting business while earning her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas at Austin. She has a cat named Albie, as well as three other family pets, including a beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Beau. Megan is currently applying to veterinary school and hopes to attend Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine.


Breanna Barthol

Breanna was born in Nacogdoches Texas. She graduated from Woden ISD in 2015. She lives with her husband and two daughters,along with her 7 dogs,1 cat,1 goat and 2 tortoises. She’s also attending Angelina college for veterinary medicine. Her passion for animals is out of this world.