About Altavista Animal Hospital

Altavista Animal Hospital was established in the early 1960’s.  In 1988, with excitement and a passion for helping animals and owners, Dr. Bullins purchased the practice.  After working as a solo veterinarian for 5 years, the practice had grown to the extent that another veterinarian was required.  Dr. Stephanie Chmiel came on board at that time.  We continued expanding our services and on site medical equipment.  In 1998, a major expansion and renovation was undertaken to grow from an 1800 to a 3200 square foot facility.  Dr. Lilla Howle joined the veterinary staff in 2007.

100_9018+4Dr. Sandra Bullins grew up in Henry County, Virginia where she doted on stray animals and her pets and hoped to become a veterinarian.  She attended Radford University to graduate with a B.S. in 1977.  She worked as a veterinary assistant for several years before entering the Virginia-Maryland Regional Veterinary College to graduate with the class of 1985.  Small animal medicine and surgery are her primary areas of interest.  Her hobbies and other interests include her horses, riding, camping, reading and gardening.

100_9011+4Dr. Stephanie Chmiel has loved the outdoors, pets and wildlife since childhood.  She grew up in northern Indiana, and got her B.A. from St. John’s College Annapolis in 1980.  Dr. Chmiel graduated from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989, and moved to Altavista to join the staff at Altavista Animal Hospital in 1994.  She spends her free time caring for 2 dogs, 4 cats, 2 parrots, 3 horses and 2 miniature donkeys, reading and gardening.

101_0033+1Dr Lilla Howle is originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  She hold a B.A. in Journalism from UNC, and received her DVM from North Carolina State University.  She has a small farm in Amherst where beef cattle are raised, and enjoys the company of 2 dogs, five cats and a donkey.  In addition to working on the farm, in her spare time, Dr. Howle enjoys traveling and scuba diving when she gets a chance.

Our Staff