Tonnie M. Ray, DVM, has worked in the veterinary field for over 30 years and has always had a working interest in avian and exotic species medicine. While earning her bachelor of science degree in veterinary medicine, she worked and studied at UT-Knoxville’s College of Veterinary Medicine in the avian, exotic, and wildlife program as well as their critical care and intensive care unit. She earned a second degree as a licensed veterinary medical technician at Columbia State, and her veterinary degree at UT-Knoxville’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Ray has worked with PetCo as their primary veterinary consultant, with FloridaWild in their avian/exotic program as head of their ARC injured wildlife care & rehabilitation program, and with the Audubon Society in creating a surgical unit for avian fracture repair and rehabilitation for re-introduction back into the wild. She has devoted her life and studies to avian and exotic animal care as well as those in the wild that are injured and have no owners to care for them.
While working with the former Emergency and Exotics Center here in Nashville, Dr. Ray noted that many of the exotic patients that visited were suffering from chronic long term vitamin deficiencies and preventable environmental conditions which would have been avoided with proper care and client education as to the needs of these special pets. This awakened her desire to create a veterinary facility in Nashville specifically dedicated to the care of avian and exotic species where they could go for proper veterinary care and advice from educated professionals.