Jeff M. Legato, DVM
Don’t let the accent—or the lack of one—fool you! Dr. Jeff Legato was born in Georgia and grew up in the Athens area. His original degree was in geology, which was kinda-sorta-maybe used while he worked at a research lab for 15 years. During that time, he began riding and showing horses. This led to his decision to switch careers, so he started veterinary school at the (gulp!) age of 40! After graduating from the University of Georgia at Athens in 2005 and doing an internship in Sunset, LA, he was an equine vet in Greenville, NC until 2008. He moved his family back to Georgia in 2009 and spent two years doing relief work until a full-time position opened in Norcross, GA. After seven years he was given the opportunity to have his own practice close to home, and he’s now happy to be the owner of Sycamore Veterinary Services, where he is a USDA-accredited veterinarian offering small animal, livestock and equine veterinary care. Dr. Legato and his wife Shelly have a daughter (Stefanie) and a granddaughter (Heidi), as well as two cats named Odin and Luna and two dogs named Dahlia and Ginger.
Karen has been an avid animal lover her entire life and ridden horses since before she could walk. Her initial career found her in human resources, business development and client retention. Her passion and love of animals brought her back into the field of veterinary medicine. Karen has been a Veterinary Technician since 2007, upon completing her studies at St. Petersburg College. Her desire to further her education and career with animals lead her to Berry College, where she completed her Pre-Veterinary Sciences. Following her dreams of riding her horse and year-round good weather, she relocated to Norco, CA and completed her Bachelor’s in biology and animal science, at La Sierra University, where she met her husband, David. They relocated back to Georgia in 2018 and purchased their 122 acre farm in Stephens, GA, Oglethorpe County. They share the farm with their 5 horses, 2 goats, a miniature cow, 9 chickens, 4 dogs, 2 cats, and a parrot.
Born and raised in Oglethorpe County, Evie has lived in Georgia all their life. They have always loved animals and have a menagerie of pets, currently counting in at 21 cats (including 5 fosters!) and 5 big dogs. They has a hobby of making friends with stray cats and giving them funny names before inevitably adopting the critters. Evie lives with their Mum, Dad, and three brothers, and they currently attend Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA.
Michaela was born and raised in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains spending the majority of her childhood living in Canton. She found her passion for working with animals through going to work with her mom who was a veterinary technician for over 30 years. She is currently earning her degrees at The University of Georgia as a double major in Biological Sciences and Applied Biotechnology with an area of emphasis in Applied Economics with the hopes of attending vet school. After two years of working at a dog boarding kennel and four years as a volunteer stable hand at a local barn, she decided that a mixed practice of equine and small animal medicine would be her dream job. In her free time, Michaela is a volunteer with The Guide Dog Foundation and recently adopted her former service dog in training Coleman after his release from the program; she also recently adopted her kitten, Capone.
Samantha was born in Connecticut and moved all over, but having spent most of her time in Georgia, this is where she calls home. She has always been passionate about animals. She has ridden and cared for horses her whole life and continues that passion for riding at a local barn in Winterville. She also owns a dog named Pepper. Currently, she attends UGA as a Junior working on a double major in Biological Science and Applied Biotechnology with an emphasis in Animal Science. In the future, she hopes to attend vet school and work as a small animal or equine veterinarian.
Valorie is originally from Powder Springs, GA, where she grew up with her parents, younger brother and a variety of pets. Her college years earned her an Associate of Fine Arts degree in 1993 from Young Harris College, as well as both a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1996 and a Master of Fine Arts in Fabric Design in 2001, from UGA. Valorie worked as a Veterinary Technician throughout college, finding a true passion to help animals and the love of medicine a strong force in her life. Continuing with that love of medicine, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and RN license in 2012, working for 6 years as a Public Health Nurse in Athens and Oglethorpe County before resigning to focus on the needs of her 4 children. At that time, Valorie began volunteering at local animal shelters and became a foster mom for a local animal rescue. It was during a vet visit with some foster kittens that the opportunity to return to the job she had always loved presented itself, and she joined the Sycamore team as a part-time veterinary technician. Valorie has lived in Lexington, GA with her husband, Kevin, since 1998. They reside there now with their four children (Evie, Oliver, Niall, and Liam), 5 dogs, 8 (maybe soon to be 10) cats and any number of foster animals, depending on the day.