We are committed to caring for your pet – while maintaining the highest level of safety for our Associates and pet owners. We thank you for your continued patience and support. Learn more about our COVID-19 response and guidelines.
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 Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, we are now requiring all staff and clients to wear masks while in the building, regardless of vaccination status. The safety of both our staff and clients is of the utmost importance to VCA RIVER. Thank you for your continued support.
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Melissa Mays

DVM
Melissa Mays
Chief of Emergency
Emergency & Critical Care
Melissa Mays

Dr. Melissa Mays graduated from the University of West Florida with honors in 2006 with a BA in Exercise Physiology with an emphasis on Pre-Professional Biology. She continued her education at The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine where she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. While at UF CVM she received various awards and scholarships including the Florida Veterinary Medical Association Student Excellence Award and the American Association of Feline Practitioners Award. Dr. Mays then continued to successfully complete a 1-year rotating small animal internship at VCA Aurora and VCA Berwyn Animal Hospitals in Chicago, IL.

She and her three dogs recently moved to Chattanooga to take on the role of Chief of Emergency Medicine at VCA RIVER. In her free time, she enjoys paddle boarding, dining out, and the Florida Gators.

See our departments

Emergency & Critical Care

The Emergency Medicine Department at VCA RIVER is a full-service ICU focused on providing evidence-based medicine at an advanced, critical care level. We utilize a number of employees with expansive knowledge, experience and licensure from our board certified emergency and critical care veterinarians to our licensed technicians.

Our emergency department currently has 3 specialists boarded in emergency and critical care and 5 full time emergency veterinarians. We also have over 12 licensed technicians, several in licensing programs, and 1 pursuing their specialty license in emergency and critical care.

VCA RIVER hosts a rotating veterinary internship for 1 year following graduation from veterinary school. Our 5-6 interns rotate through the emergency department and team up with our senior emergency veterinarians and specialists to provide 24-hour care for your pets.

Additionally we have a state-of-the-art facility with MRI, CT, Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, Endoscopy, Fluoroscopy, digital radiography, full service in-house Antech laboratory and two surgical suites. Because we are also a specialty practice, we are able to draw upon the knowledge and experience of our boarded specialists in other departments if needed to bring your pet the best possible care. We work together as a team to put your pet's treatment and care first.

Our Emergency & Critical Care Team

VCA Regional Institute for Vet Emergencies and Referrals

2132 Amnicola Highway

Chattanooga, TN 37406

Main: 423-698-4612

Fax: 423-622-8145

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Specialty Appt Hours:

Mon-Thu: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Are you a Primary Care Veterinarian? We have dedicated resources for you.

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