The Doctors


Growing up, Dr. Willis’ father was in the Air Force, so her family lived in several states before settling in SC. Since she attended Clemson University for Undergrad, she loves her Clemson Tigers and enjoys watching and cheering for the Tigers during Football season. After Vet School, Dr. Willis practiced for 6 years in the Gainesville and Atlanta, Ga area. She then met her husband Joey, an Abbeville native, and moved back to SC. She has been working in the Greenwood area since 1996 and opened Emerald City Animal Hospital in June 2002.

Dr. Willis and her husband have 2 children, Jonathan and Rachel. To complete their family, they have 2 dogs, Buddy and Raya, who love coming to work with her.

When not at work, Dr. Willis enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys traveling and many activities such as camping, boating and swimming.


Bachelors in Animal Science: Clemson University, 1985
Doctors of Veterinary Medicine: Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine 1989

Special Interests:

Internal Medicine and Soft Tissue Surgery.


Dr. Watkins is the veterinarian for PAWS, a federally licensed wildlife rehab center located in Waterloo SC.

She volunteered as a veterinarian for The UP200 Sled Dog race in Marquette Michigan, which is a qualifying race for the Iditarod. It was a lifelong dream to participate as one of the veterinarians at medical checkpoints but it was a little colder than here in SC.! Checking the health of all the dog teams under a black starry sky, with temperatures in the negatives, was very rewarding.

She feels a special love and deep connection for police and military working dogs. Dr. Watkins is also one of the veterinarians for Greyhound Crossroads, a 501c3 group dedicated to placing greyhounds into loving homes.

Dr. Watkins shares her home with her husband and son. Also partaking of the kibble are 3 dogs and 2 cats. She loves to hike, camp, helps with her son’s Boy Scout activities, and be in the woods; but visiting as a family to our National and State Parks is one of her favorite things to do.


Bachelors Degree in Biological Sciences, with a minor in Aquaculture, Fisheries, and Wildlife Biology: Clemson University, 1997
Doctors of Veterinary Medicine: Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Clinical: Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 2006.

Special Interests:

Soft Tissue Surgery, Radiology/ Ultrasonography, and Critical Care.


Dr. Julia Larson is a 1999 graduate from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Larson grew up in rural Alaska and then moved to California during college. She worked as an associate veterinarian at Woodland Veterinary Hospital in California for the past 12 years. Before that, she spent two years acting as a Clinical Faculty for the Community Surgery Program at the UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.

As a small animal general practitioner, Dr. Larson is passionate about soft tissue surgery and enjoys nothing more than a long day in the operating room. She also has a knack for dental extractions and loves the feeling of knowing that she is helping improve a pet’s health by treating infection in the mouth by removing teeth that are causing discomfort and affecting a pet’s quality of life.

She and her husband moved to Savannah Lakes Village for their next chapter and joined our team in September 2022.

Dr. Larson is also the veterinarian for the Humane Society McCormick County and enjoys community involvement. She has been an active Rotarian since 2004 and is currently a member of the Rotary E-Club of the Carolinas.


University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, 1999.


Special Interests:

Soft Tissue Surgery.


Dr. Melanie Gotham-Emory is originally from New York and grew up in Charlotte NC. She is a 2006 graduate of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Emory has practiced in Louisiana, Colorado, Wyoming and North Carolina while following her husband and his academic career. She has recently relocated to Greenwood from Charlotte NC with her husband and 3 young kids and is excited to be joining the team at Emerald City Animal Hospital.

While not working she enjoys playing with her kids, photography and hiking.


Bachelors in Chemistry with minors in anthropology and biology: University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2002

Doctors of Veterinary Medicine: Mississippi State University, 2006


Special Interests:

Dentistry and dermatology