Gary Self, DVM
Dr. Gary Self, a native Of Kirby, AR. He graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Having grown up on a farm, Dr. Self has always enjoyed all kinds of animals – both large and small. However, his main interest now is internal medicine of dogs and cats. He has worked in practices in Jonesboro, Hot Springs, and Malvern.
Dr. Self and his wife, Kathy, have two children and three grandchildren. The newest addition to their household is Lilly, a miniature Schnauzer, who is spoiled rotten!
Dr. Self is also a minister and has pastored churches in Arkansas and Mississippi. He loves to spend time with family, read books, and explore the latest tech gadgets.
Rob Rucker, DVM
Dr. Rob Rucker joined the Providence team in March of 2018. He is an Arkadelphia native, graduating from Arkadelphia High School in 1985 and Ouachita Baptist University in 1989. He went on to work on orthopedic research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences from 1989-92 before deciding to pursue his veterinary degree. He graduated from Louisiana State University- School of Veterinary Medicine in 1996 with a D.V.M. Since then he practiced veterinary medicine in Arkadelphia for 22 years.
Dr. Rucker is married to Dr. Gari Rucker, pediatrician at Arkadelphia Clinic for Children & Young Adults. They have 2 sons: Garrett, sales representative for Sun Pro Solar in Little Rock, and Griffin, a commercial airline pilot. They also have 2 rescued rat terriers, LuLu & Lucy.
In his free time Dr. Rucker likes doing anything outdoors, especially motorcycling and lake activities. He also enjoys playing the Cajun accordion.
Amy Allen, DVM
Dr. Allen was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in South Louisiana. She attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and earned a bachelors degree in Zoology in 1990. She went to work for the Department of Environment Quality for 2 years before attending veterinary school. She graduated from LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1996.
Dr. Allen has been in Arkansas for 21 years. She and her two sons love spending time outdoors and on the lake with their two dogs.
Chris Nelson, DVM
Dr. Chris Nelson, owner of Providence Veterinary Care, is a Malvern native who has practiced veterinary medicine in Malvern since May 2011. Dr. Nelson graduated from Malvern High School in 2002 and Henderson State University in 2006 with a B.S. in Biology. He received his D.V.M. from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, in May 2011. On September 27, 2013, Dr. Nelson purchased Hughes Animal Hospital, from Dr. Richard F. Hughes and changed the name to Providence Veterinary Care.
Dr. Nelson’s exposure to animals from an early age helped to cultivate his interest in the veterinary profession. He grew up in Lono, AR and was active in 4-H, showing livestock. While attending college, he worked as a veterinary assistant at Hughes Animal Hospital and Arkadelphia Pet Care. Dr. Nelson was also involved in community service while in college serving on the Hot Spring County Fair Board and as a volunteer firefighter in Lono.
Dr. Nelson is married to Malvern native Piper Finley Nelson. They are members of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Dr. Nelson and Piper have 2 sons, Grant and Noah, and 3 dogs, a yellow Labrador Retriever named Lily, a mixed breed named Nutmeg, and an Australian Shepherd named Charlee. Both Dr. Nelson and Piper are excited about the opportunity to return to their hometown to provide quality veterinary care.
Dr. Nelson provides both small and large animal (farm) medicine. He enjoys maintaining the health of family pets through preventative medicine as well as diagnostics and small animal surgery as needed. It is also very important to Dr. Nelson to provide on-site health maintenance and ambulatory emergency care for the farms of Hot Spring County and other surrounding counties.
Sarah Finn Whitley, DVM
Dr. Sarah Finn Whitley is a Little Rock native and second generation veterinarian. She attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she graduated with honors before graduating from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. She has practiced in the Little Rock area since 2014.
Dr. Whitley met her husband, Jack, during veterinary school in Baton Rouge. He is a Project Manager for East Harding Construction. They have two boys, Finn and Ford, who constantly keep them laughing. They also have a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, a hound mix, a Belgian Malinois rescue, and a domestic longhair cat. As a family, they enjoy camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing.
Dr. Whitley has a special interest in preventative medicine, soft tissue surgery, and ultrasonography. She loves developing relationships with her patients and clients and assisting in developing healthy lifestyles for pets. Dr. Whitley is excited to call Providence Veterinary Care her new work home!