Dr. Heather Brookshire


DVM, DACVO; Owner, Animal Vision Center of Virginia

Dr. Heather grew up in northern Michigan and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with honors from the University of Michigan in 2002. She completed her general veterinary training with Colorado State University and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM), graduating Cum Laude, in 2008. Following this, she completed a one-year rotating Medicine and Surgery Internship with North Carolina State University. Dr. Heather’s focused ophthalmology training consisted of a three-year combined residency program in Comparative Veterinary Ophthalmology with Animal Eye Care Associates and North Carolina State University. She became a Board-Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist after passing the national American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology (ACVO) board examination in 2013. Dr. Heather opened the Virginia Beach location of Animal Vision Center of Virginia in 2015 and has recently expanded clinic hours to The Center of Veterinary Expertise in Suffolk. When she is not at the clinic (or the zoo!) caring for four-legged patients of all shapes and sizes, she enjoys spending time outside with her significant other, Christopher, and their two Italian Spinones, Fergus and Bodhi.


DR. TAYLOR BELK, DVMOphthalmology Resident
Dr. Belk has joined AVCVA for a three-year comparative ophthalmology residency. Originally from Macon, Ga., Dr. Belk graduated from the University of Georgia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resources, while majoring in Wildlife Science. After graduation, she attended UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 2018. She then completed a one-year rotating Medicine and Surgery Internship and a one-year Ophthalmology Specialty Internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Belk will be seeing ophthalmic cases with Dr. Brookshire together in a team setting here at our practice, with supplemental training provided as part of a joint Comparative Ophthalmology Residency Training Program with Animal Eye Care of Richmond. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Justin. They have two fur children: Bob, a yellow Lab mix, and Willow the cat.
DR. AMANDA ROMANECK, DVMOphthalmology Resident
Dr. Romaneck grew up in northern Illinois and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with honors, from Northern Illinois University in 2014. She completed her general veterinary training with the University of Missouri and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM) in 2019. She then completed a one-year rotating Medicine and Surgery Internship with Iowa State University. Dr. Romaneck joined our team in 2020 as an Ophthalmology Specialty Intern under the guidance of Dr. Heather Brookshire. We are so glad to have her continue with our practice for a three-year comparative ophthalmology residency. When she’s not seeing patients, Dr. Romaneck and her husband, Colin, enjoy spending time with their own pets—Dovah, a Great Pyrenees mix, and Kiin, a domestic short hair cat.
DR. JONATHAN HIRSCH, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVSOphthalmology Resident
Dr. Hirsch has joined Animal Vision Center of Virginia as part of his three-year comparative ophthalmology residency in conjunction with Animal Eye Care of Richmond. Dr. Hirsch grew up in Charlottesville and attended Randolph-Macon College before completing veterinary school at Virginia Tech. He completed a large animal surgical residency at University of California Davis and is a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He comes to us with a significant amount of veterinary and surgical experience and has served as staff surgeon for practices in California and Virginia for the past 12 years. He lives in Richmond with his wife and two children.
DR. KATHLEEN ROWAN, DVMOphthalmology Specialty Intern
Dr. Rowan grew up outside of Philadelphia in Berks County, Penn. She graduated from Penn State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she moved to sunny California, where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM) from Western University of the Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. Following veterinary school, Dr. Rowan completed a rotating internship at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Though she knew she wanted to be a veterinarian since she was five years old, her interest in ophthalmology was a more recent discovery during veterinary school. Dr. Rowan has eagerly joined our team this year as a specialty intern under the guidance of Dr. Heather Brookshire. With a special fondness for short-nosed breeds, she has a (clingy) pug named Carl.
Melissa is a Chesapeake local from Great Bridge. She grew up working on Bergey’s Dairy farm at the age of 12, where she developed a love for animals of all shapes and sizes. Melissa has worked locally in small animal care and specialty practice for over 20 years, 17 of which have been spent in veterinary ophthalmology. “There is no better feeling than helping an animal in need. Working with Dr. Brookshire to provide an outstanding level of vision care for animals in our community is the best job in the world,” she says. Melissa has two wonderful daughters, Brae and Leah, as well as four rambunctious dogs: Paisley, Lulu, Eve and Victor. She spends her time off playing and chasing around with her kids, both two-legged and four-legged. As the AVCVA office manager, Melissa is dedicated to making sure every visit is a pleasant experience and that each pet parent leaves with a clear understanding of the treatment plan and future goals.
ASHLYN REISVeterinary Technician Student
Originally from New Orleans, Ashlyn’s love for animals began at a young age. Watching Animal Planet fueled her curiosity and expanded her knowledge of the animal world. When she was old enough, she began volunteering with Villalobos Rescue Center, where she continues to volunteer on visits home. She has been working at AVCVA since 2016. Now as a Veterinary Technician Student, Ashlyn monitors the pets while they are being seen and assists with social media, photography and videography for the practice. What she enjoys most is ensuring that each patient is receiving the best care and that clients understand their loved pets care plan. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry from Old Dominion University and is entering her second year with Tidewater Community College’s Veterinary Technology Program. When she’s not working, Ashlyn enjoys the company of her pets Goliath, a German shepherd, and Lilo, an American Bully, and her daughter Kinsley.
VERONICA BROBSTVeterinary Technician
Veronica holds both an Associate of Science degree and an Applied Science in Veterinary Technology degree from Tidewater Community College. She has been a valued member of our AVCVA team since 2018, when she first worked as intern, assistant, and now as a veterinary technician. Veronica grew up in Virginia Beach and is the proud owner of her dog Vance, who inspired her to turn her passion for animals into a career. She loves being able to support veterinarians at AVCVA in diagnostic, surgical and medical treatment plans to heal pets. At home, she spends her time with her dog, two cats Spooky and Pumpkin, one human child and her fiancé.
JASON BALLVeterinary Technician Student
A Kempsville High School graduate, Jason began working with us in 2019 as an intern from Tidewater Community College’s Veterinary Assistant Program. Now a graduate of this program, he is entering his first year of TCC’s Veterinary Technology Program. Jason’s interest in this field began while volunteering at Evelyn’s Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach. Working with raccoons, squirrels and opossums further developed his growing passion in the veterinary field. His enthusiasm for his job at AVCVA is infectious! Jason assists with patient exams, filling prescriptions and minor procedures, and he is eager to continue his knowledge with technician school. At home, he has six hermit crabs (Dex, Diogi, Brownie, Skye, Sushi and Wonton) that keep him busy.
ANJA JANKOWSKIVeterinary Assistant
Anja grew up in Poland, where she spent summers on her grandparent’s farm. Her love for animals was nurtured there, as she cared for dogs, cats and chickens. After moving to the U.S. in 2008, Anja began volunteering with the Virginia Beach SPCA as a kennel assistant. Walking the dogs was one of her favorite tasks—a highlight for them, and for her! Anja has an Associate of Science degree from Tidewater Community College and is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in Biology at ODU. She enjoys long walks on the beach with her pit bull, Calvin. She has a love for learning and a desire to expand her knowledge base at every opportunity.
KELLY JINARClient Care Liaison / Veterinary Assistant
Originally from Pennsylvania, Kelly has always sought the company of animals. Her love and desire to help her childhood horses, Cookie and Dakota, eventually steered her toward veterinary medicine. After graduating from high school, she first worked as a kennel attendant, launching a 20-year career for her in the veterinary field. As a Client Care Liaison at our practice, she works as both a veterinary assistant and a receptionist. In her free time, Kelly continues her studies and enjoys taking road trips with her pups Ripley, a blue heeler, and Mason, a chocolate lab.
ASHLEY THURSBYVeterinary Assistant
Ashley is pursuing her lifelong dream to become a veterinarian, and is happy to be learning on the job with the AVCVA team. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Old Dominion University and is currently working toward a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Global Environmental Health. Ashley loves spending time with her dogs, Sadie and Rylee, and taking care of her hermit crabs Damon, Stefan and Elena. When time allows, she also enjoys traveling the world with her family and friends. The best places she has been so far? The Grand Canyon and the Cayman Islands.
Samantha was born in Virginia Beach and has lived in Utah and New York as well. She graduated from Centura College in the Dental Assisting program, but decided animals were cooler to be around! Her love for pets led to her work in general veterinary practice for five years before transitioning to specialty practice in veterinary ophthalmology. In addition to greeting clients and their pets at our practice, Samantha schedules appointments, discharges clients and their pets, and refills medications, among other tasks. She lives in Virginia Beach with her fiancé, Andrew, her daughter, Lily, and Poppy the cat.
VALERIE T. GRAVESClient Care Liaison
Valerie is originally from Georgia, where she enjoyed a wonderful, carefree childhood. Between playing with her pet hamster, puppy and bunny and catching critters outside, there was never a dull moment! After moving to Chesapeake and graduating from Great Bridge High School, Valerie completed courses at Tidewater Tech, becoming a computer administrative specialist in 1999. She has worked in the field of accounting and with financial advisors, but has found her happy place working with animals here at Animal Vision Center of Virginia. Valerie and her family live with their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Charlotte, along with two turtles and a gecko. She loves being part of such a compassionate professional practice, whose staff has a love for animals equal to hers!


We have dedicated our practice to offering you the highest level of technology, skill and compassion. From consultation to complete ophthalmic services, our dedicated staff promises the best possible experience no matter how small the patient or procedure.



“When my domestic short hair cat, Fatboy, developed a serious eye infection, I considered taking him to his regular vet. But I decided to take him to Dr. Brookshire instead. He is so afraid of strangers that he normally runs and hides, but to my surprise our visit could not have been more pleasant! Before the exam, Dr. Brookshire won Fatboy over in a matter of seconds with her calm voice and steady hands. After completing the exam and test, Dr. Brookshire determined results while we waited and prescribed the proper medications. From start to finish – under 30 minutes!

Over the next week when I phoned the office with questions, my call was returned before the end of the day with courteous professional advice. I received the same outstanding service at Fatboy’s follow-up appointment, and am happy to report his eye has healed completely. I highly recommend Dr, Brookshire for animal eye care!”

Pamela Ajluni
“It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Dr. Brookshire. We have always felt that she and her staff have always provided us with very professional and special care, everything from eye operations, after hour and holiday visits to help and sustain our beloved “Millie Girl” from blindness.
We have had 3 Cocker Spaniels with the same sort of problems and her care and commitment has by far been the very best!”
Dr. and Mrs. Lynn Edward Weaver
“Our 9 year old cocker spaniel, Mikey, suddenly went totally blind. Our vet referred us to Dr. Heather Brookshire, who examined and described him as an “interesting and puzzling case.” After performing several tests, Mikey was scheduled for surgery. But his blood work came back abnormal. Being very cautious, Dr. Brookshire referred us to an internist and later a neurologist who found Mikey had septic meningitis caused by a severe ear infection. After Mikey had ear surgery and his infection cured, Dr. Brookshire finally was able to perform eye surgery on our dog. Mikey immediately regained his vision and is more lively and happier than he has ever been!
Because of Dr. Brookshire’s expertise and caution, she not only gave Mikey his sight back but truly saved his life. We have the utmost respect for Dr. Brookshire and recommend her without reservation to anyone needing a canine ophthalmologist. She, in our opinion, is a true miracle worker.”
George & Susan Then
“I will never be able to say enough for the miracle Dr. Brookshire performed on our Japanese Chin, Precious. Precious was rushed to our local animal hospital with her eye bleeding. The vet thought it was glaucoma and wanted to remove the eye. We immediately asked for alternatives and they referred us to Dr. Brookshire immediately.

Dr. Brookshire determined that she had a corneal perforation of the left eye, not glaucoma. Dr. Brookshire gave us a couple of options fully explaining every one. We opted to have the surgery and a few hours later, we were able to bring Precious home for recovery.

During her recovery, Dr. Brookshire personally called to check up on her. Because of Dr. Brookshire our beloved pet did not lose her eye and has regained her vision. We will NEVER be able to thank her enough.”

Gary Sanford
“We want to extend to you our congratulations on your new endeavor. The only problem is that it will not be in Brevard County. We were so impressed with you and your colleagues at the clinic in Viera. You were all so caring and very knowledgeable. Billy knew he was in good hands. We will have to start out a day earlier for his re-check next year. It’s a little further to drive to Virginia. We will miss you, but wish you the very best. You are a very caring, competent Veterinarian. Your new patients are very lucky. All the best. Billy sends his love.”
Keith and Libby Cooke
“In December 2014, I received Lisa from a rescue agency. She came with almost no history and was found on the street. She was around 12 years old and blind in one eye with cataracts on both eyes.
Wanting to increase the quality of Lisa’s life I took her in for a vision check by Dr. Brookshire. Dr. Brookshire’s empathic nature instantly relaxed Lisa. She began to wag her tail! We had found the right eye Doctor! While she offered no guarantee, she told me there was a very good chance she could restore Lisa’s vision.
The results were beyond all expectations. Both cataracts had been removed and Lisa had her vision back in both eyes. Both of us will be forever grateful to Dr. Brookshire and her professional and caring staff.
Dr. Brookshire gave Lisa back her life!”
Stephen Moreau
“I met Dr. Heather Brookshire and her awesome team during an emergency. They saw my Taffy immediately and provided treatment and information along with a short and long term plan of care. The team’s efficiency, receptiveness and professionalism have extended way beyond this initial visit as Taffy and I continue to see the doctor regularly. I cannot say enough good things about everyone there. If Taffy and I must make this journey, I am so glad Dr. Brookshire is mapping the course.”
Cathee Giagnacovo and Taffy
“Dr. Heather was recommended to me by my vets at Animal Medical Center. Our beagle, Scooter, had completely lost his eyesight in both eyes due to cataracts. Scooter had been diagnosed as diabetic a few months prior to losing his sight. I was so impressed with Dr. Heather and all of her staff after our first visit. They were so professional and caring. All my questions and concerns were addressed. Scooter had bilateral cataract extraction the following week. Scooter was able to see immediately after his surgery! I am so thankful for all the love and care Dr. Heather and her staff provided Scooter! They are truly angels!”
Pat Bettag
“Anyone who has a Boston Terrier knows how we felt when Rooney couldn’t see the cookies we tossed on the floor for him. He tripped on curbs, missed steps…it was painful. We were referred to Dr. Brookshire for evaluation and got a diagnosis of cataracts on both eyes. I’ll be honest, the cost was a drawback for my husband, but as usual he deferred to my opinion that this was necessary to improve Rooney’s quality of life. The surgery was fairly smooth in spite of an episode under anesthesia, which is not uncommon with an 11 year old dog, but Dr. Brookshire handled it expertly and the final result was life changing for our little dog. He now sees all the cookies, all the birds, and he is now the little guy we brought home so many years ago. Albeit with a gray face and a little more chubby. My husband and I agree that it was well worth the care and expense to have our Rooney back and happy. The care and love provided by Dr. Brookshire and her staff are genuine and we are certain, if its possible, that they love our dog as much as we do and are focused on improving the lives of all her patients and their owners. I say owners, but we dog people know I really meant parents. I would refer and recommend her and her practice to anyone without reservation.”
Denaze and Buddy Llewellyn


For any consultation or referral request, use the convenient form below. You can also download a paper form and fax it to our office.


Sometimes all you need is a quick question answered or need a second opinion to help a patient. Dr. Heather is happy to give you both.


We will gladly provide ophthalmic consultations for your patients at YOUR veterinary practice. Due to increased time allotments, please allow up to one week for these appointments.


We appreciate and accept any animal in need of ocular care. In our hands, your patients will receive the best diagnosis and care possible.