Meet the Team

Dr. Jennifer Merlo, DVMfear-free-certified

Dr. Merlo originates from central New Jersey, where her love of animals began. Her desire to be a veterinarian began at the age of 5 and was intensified through her years of horse-back riding and exposure to veterinary medicine. Dr. Merlo attended the University of Delaware where she received her Bachelor's degree in Animal Science with a minor in Biology. She attended The Ohio State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, earning her DVM in 2004 and pursuing equine medicine. Following graduation she returned to the East Coast to complete a rotating internship at Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in Ringoes NJ. Her interest in internal medicine and complex diagnostic workups was sparked during this time, and Dr. Merlo went on to complete two additional years of training in equine internal medicine at North Carolina State University. In 2007, Dr. Merlo relocated to Charlotte to be closer to family and pursued a career in small animal practice.
She practiced in the Charlotte area as a small animal general practitioner from 2007 through 2011. Her desire to continue to improve her skill set, knowledge base and widen her experience, led her to take a position as an emergency veterinarian at Carolina Veterinary Specialists (CVS) in Matthews in the spring of 2011. Dr. Merlo became the director of the Emergency Service the following year as well as becoming heavily involved in the training and education of the veterinary interns each year at CVS.
Dr. Merlo enjoyed the fast pace nature of emergency medicine as well as the in-depth cases, complex workups, and professional comradery with the specialists, but longed for the bond with clients and patients that she had in general practice. Following the birth of her daughter in 2014, Dr. Merlo elected to go back into general practice and in 2017 was fortunate enough to open Chestnut Arbor Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Merlo is excited to be able to provide high quality medical care to the pets of Matthews and looks forward to creating lifelong bonds with them and their pet parents.

Dr. Merlo's areas of interest continue to be internal medicine, ultrasonography, preventative care, neonatal and pediatric care. Dr. Merlo has extensive training in both ultrasonography and echocardiography as well as internal medicine. In addition, Dr. Merlo has a strong passion for the Fear Free initiative - she feels that by reducing stress in our patients we can provide a more pleasant experience for both pet and owner. The happier a pet is to see the vet, the more often they will come to see us and the better medical care we can provide.

Outside of work Dr. Merlo can be found spending time with her daughter, two boxers and two cats. She enjoys being outdoors, cooking, reading, wine tasting and laughing with family and friends.

Kali Oates - Veterinary Nurse Assistant and Reception Team Memberfear-free-certified

Kali is from the greater Charlotte area and recently graduated from Sun Valley High School in Monroe. She grew up with animals of every shape and size; guinea pigs, ducklings, fish, cats, and her favorite animal; dogs. She is passionate about animals and their health and is very eager to learn as well as providing excellent service to our clients.

Kayla Schotanes

My name Kayla Schotanes and I have extensive experience in customer service and the veterinary industry. I am originally from Ridgewood, NJ and was raised in Tampa, FL. I moved to the Charlotte area to further my education at Johnson & Wales University, where I earned my Associates Degree in Baking & Pastry Arts and will be completing my Bachelors in Sports/Event Management during the Winter 2019 term. When I am not working or doing homework, I do enjoy watching a variety of professional sports including football (Go Panthers!) and ice hockey (Tampa Bay Lightning), as well as spending time with my pets.

Throughout the years, my family and I have enjoyed 2 dogs, Candy (cocker spaniel) and Chanel (beagle mix), and 2 cats, Princess Charlotte and Princess Primrose. The two dogs keep the house going at home with my mom in Tampa, FL. While my cats keep my apartment going here in Charlotte. Having had both the canine and feline species, I am happy to assist anyone with my knowledge that I have acquired over the years to assist owner’s in caring for their pets. My goal is to put the patients and their owners first to ensure that both have the best, most fear free experience possible.

Colleen Perkins

I've recently relocated from the Finger Lakes region of NY to be closer to my grand-kids. I've rescued 10 pets including 3 cats, 5 ferrets, and 2 dogs. I enjoy being outdoors and am looking forward to rescuing another dog in the near future so I have a hiking buddy.

I enjoy working in veterinary because animal lovers are the best kind of people!


I'm Melly. I've always had a love for animals. I believe they deserve the love, attention and care they give us unconditionally. I like making friends with every patient we meet. I was raised in the city but I always wanted to meet horses and cattle. I am very happy to work with a very friendly set of people with very good work ethic as well

Our Veterinary Hospital

Chestnut Arbor is a full-service veterinary hospital created by Dr. Jennifer Merlo. We welcome pets in need of routine vaccinations as well as sick patient care, orthopedic surgery and dental care. Our hospital is different than other veterinary clinics, however, because our staff are Fear Free Certified.

Love and Care for your Pet

Chestnut Arbor Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to providing Fear Free Certified wellness exams, dental care, ultrasound diagnostics, senior pet care, spay & neuter procedures, nutritional counseling, vaccinations, orthopedic care, puppy & kitten classes and at-home euthanasia for pets and owners in Matthews, Weddington, Mint Hill, Hemby Bridge, Indian Trail, Wesley Chapel, Wildwood, Ballantyne and the surrounding areas.

Chestnut Arbor Veterinary Hospital

Chestnut Arbor Veterinary Hospital provides veterinary services in Matthews, Weddington, Mint Hill, Hemby Bridge, Indian Trail, Wesley Chapel, Wildwood, Ballantyne and the surrounding areas.

Call us at (980) 262-2180

2925 Matthews Weddington Rd, Matthews, NC 28105

We are proud to be a Fear Free Certified Practice


2018 Award of CMG


We accept insurance by

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