One of Us

Dr. Melissa Johnson


Dr. Melissa Johnson has decades of experience as a veterinarian in the local community, but the Ponte Vedra Beach resident is about to embark on a new adventure as she is preparing to open Sunrise Vet at Sawgrass thanks to a partnership with Sawgrass Pet Resort. The new location is set to open on May 20, and it will serve as the home base while she will still provide her mobile vet service as an option for clients as well.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I’ve spent 20 years in the vet world after graduating from the University of Georgia in 2010, and I’ve been practicing in this area ever since.

It is an area that I love and have called home for some time having been born in Jacksonville and then my family moved down to the beach when I was in high school, and now we live in Ponte Vedra Beach, so this area is definitely my home.

My wedding announcement was even in the Recorder.

Prior to starting my mobile vet I was a partner at a clinic in Jacksonville Beach.

What led you to wanting to start Sunrise Mobile Vet?

It was just time for a change and I was looking to go out on my own and start my own business.

Right now I have a 22-foot sprinter van and I’ve been doing mobile service for three years now.

I like it because it offers a change of pace and I can do things around my own schedule, which has been nice especially with three kids and making time for their busy schedules.

We’ve really grown over the past three years and there are just certain procedures that you can’t do in the van, such as some major surgeries.

It just made sense to setup a home base to go along with the mobile vet, which is still so important and a reall need in our area becasue some dogs or their owners can be elderly and the mobile vet allows for us to come to them.

Now when clients call they will have the option for Sunrise Vet at Sawgrass or for our mobile vet.

How did the partnership with Sawgrass Pet Resort come about?

Kate called and I didn’t know her before our conversations expect that we had some mutual friends in the vet world.

But once we started talking over the phone and in person we realized we have very similar mindsets and approach our businesses and our animals the same.

When you share a mindset like that there is a working trust that is developed.

You have to love animals to work in this world and if you don’t it will show. Kate both share that passion and want to spread it to our local community.

When do you plan on opening the Sunrise Vet at Sawgrass?


On Monday, we should have everything in place and should have everything ready to open.

It’s been fun to watch everything come together, and we got our new blood work machines last Friday, so it’s really coming along.

We will be keeping the mobile service open as well and we’re looking for staff to help be a part of this new adventure.

What are the most rewarding parts about your job?

It’s not just about your related skill, and you realize you’re not just taking care of your furry patients, but you’ve also always got to consider the owners of those animals and how they are doing as well.

It can be a balance at times handling the stress that everyone is faced with but you know that you can play a part in making sure everything goes smoothly and effectivly for all those involved.

Did you always know you wanted to be a veterinarian?


Yes, ever since I was a little girl growing up.

My aunt and uncle were both vets outside of Atlanta and when I was eight years old I remember hanging out with my aunt while she did surgery, and I was just fascinated by it all.

I loved it then and I still love it now years later. I enjoy going to work and making a difference every day.

What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?

This is just a great place to live, and my husband and I knew we wanted to raise our family here. There was no doubt in our hearts.

We love just hanging out at the beach and actually spent pretty much the whole day there over the weekend for Mother’s Day.

I mean we live in a place where people come to vacation, but we live here all year long so you just can’t beat it.