Meet Our Team of Veterinary Professionals
Dr. Hugh Hays
A 1980 summa cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University, Dr. Hays opened the doors of Summertree Animal & Bird Clinic later that same year. Dr. Hays is among the first veterinarians in north Texas to see and treat pet birds. A member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians since 1980, Dr. Hays has actively followed the advancement of avian medicine.
Dr. Hays recognizes the importance of treating pet birds “as a whole”—to provide for both their physical as well as their intellectual needs. In addition to avian medicine, Dr. Hays also has an active interest in the medical needs of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. To this end, Dr. Hays continually seeks to employ educated and compassionate support team members who possess a broad range of knowledge regarding the husbandry and care of nontraditional species.
Dr. Hays shares his home with a border collie, a big friendly cat named Sam, and two African Grey parrots.
Dr. Laura Brazelton
Dr. Brazelton is a caring and energetic veterinarian. Veterinary medicine is truly her calling. She has been working with clients and pets in animal hospitals since high school. Dr. Brazelton received her degree from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. While attending the University of Illinois, Dr. Brazelton volunteered at the veterinary college Wildlife Medical Clinic, caring and treating injured wildlife. Her patients included foxes, rabbits, rodents, hawks, owls, and other birds.
She also served as a member of the executive board of the University of Illinois student chapter of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV). During summer breaks, Dr. Brazelton continued working with exotics as an avian nursery attendant and as a zookeeper at the Brookfield Zoo. During vet school, she pursued further training from experts in exotic medicine at several institutions across the country, participating in externships at the University of Tennessee, the Knoxville Zoo, Louisiana State University, and The Ohio State University.
Upon graduation from vet school, Dr. Brazelton went to work with an avian/exotic veterinary hospital in the Midwest. She joined the Summertree team in 2009. While she loves working with exotic pets and their owners, Dr. Brazelton is truly excited about spearheading our newest venture: helping new owners with their backyard poultry concerns!
Dr. Brazelton currently shares her time at home with two chinchillas and a blue heeler mix. When not at Summertree or at home, Dr. Brazelton can often be found outside, hiking or running. She has an addiction to road trips and the talent of being able to teach anyone how to juggle!
Dr. Jacquelyn Curfman
Dr. Curfman’s interest in veterinary medicine started in high school when she began working in a veterinary hospital. After school, she would report to work, cleaning kennels and assisting the veterinarians and team with the daily care of patients. The seed was planted!
Upon completion of her undergraduate degree in biomedical science, Dr. Curfman chose to work with children—she taught science in middle school for several years. While she enjoyed working with the students, the call of veterinary medicine was never far away. Finally, her passion for animals led her to apply for admittance to the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, where she was quickly accepted.
During her years at A&M, Dr. Curfman served on the board of directors for the Impact Animal Foundation and also volunteered with several rescue groups. She graduated magna cum laude in May 2012.
Dr. Curfman’s veterinary interests include avian/exotic medicine, emergency/critical care, canine and feline internal medicine, and surgery. She really enjoys working closely with her clients to provide the best care available for their pet.
She shares her home with her husband, Chris, and a small “zoo”: two dogs (a Doberman and a paraplegic dachshund), two sphinx cats, a redtail boa, and a ball python. When not a work, you will find Dr. Curfman biking or hiking one of Dallas’ numerous city trails or taking in a music event with her husband and friends.
Dr. Kathryn Levitt
Dr. Katy Levitt is a Dallas native. Graduating from The Hockaday School in 2005, Dr. Levitt first worked at Summertree during summer breaks while she was completing her undergraduate degree at Emory University. It was during those summers that Dr. Levitt made the decision to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian. After graduating from Emory University, Dr. Levitt was accepted to Louisiana State University's School of Veterinary Medicine. While at LSU, Dr. Levitt was the recipient of the 2013 Peri Tumay Memorial Fellowship, the 2014 Salsbury Scholarship, and was inducted into the Phi Zeta Honors Society. Dr. Levitt received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from LSU in 2015, and moved back to Texas following graduation.
Dr. Levitt enjoys caring for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and small mammals … really ANY species that comes into the clinic! She is especially interested in neurology and internal medicine, and in helping owners find a solution to behavioral issues their pet may be experiencing. Dr. Levitt’s goal is for every pet’s visit to be as stress-free as possible. She currently resides in Dallas with her husband, two dogs (a German shepherd and a Pit/Dachshund mix), a very spirited sulfur-crested cockatoo, and a chameleon.
Dr. Sable Murry
Dr. Sable Murry first joined the Summertree team as a high school senior working as a kennel assistant. Following graduation from Texas Tech University in 2009 with a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science, she then received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University 2014. Dr. Murry's veterinary interests include avian and exotic medicine, emergency/critical care, and soft tissue surgery.
Dr. Murry currently resides in Plano with her ball python, Gary; black Lab, Jackson; and two black cats, Zeek and Jetta. When not in the clinic, you will often find Dr. Murry outside hiking or out on the lake. She also loves live country music and spontaneous road trips across Texas.
Rhonda LaBelle, LVT/Practice Manager
Rhonda began her career as a veterinary technician in 1995 with Summertree Animal & Bird Clinic. While she loves all species, Rhonda has a special interest in avian medicine and behavior:
“As a technician, I have seen first-hand the frustrations of pet bird owners when their birds exhibit what I call ‘behavior challenges’. These challenges range from screaming and biting, to feather picking and feather mutilation. It is my belief that pet bird owners have a much better chance of averting many of these problems if they establish proper behavior guidelines when the bird is young and also provide an environment for their birds that encourages natural foraging behaviors.”
Rhonda provides in-home avian behavior consultations for owners who want help with their pet bird’s behavior challenges. She also recommends “new bird visits” for those who want to learn how to establish good behavior guidelines for their new family member.
Gloria, Administrative Assistant
Client Service Team
Patient Service Team
Our kennel technicians work under the guidance of the veterinarians and nurses to provide our patients with a clean, warm, safe boarding facility while they are in our loving care. Kennel technician duties include assisting the veterinarians and veterinary nursing team; daily care of hospitalized patients, such as walking and feeding; assisting in the exam rooms; and cleaning and maintenance of the facility and equipment.