Meet the Doctors

Dr. Sharon E. Dirmeyer, DVM, Fear Free Certified

Dr. DirmeyerDr. Sharon E. Dirmeyer was born in El Paso, Texas, and resided throughout the United States before moving to Tidewater in 1974. Her bachelors degree was obtained at Virginia Tech as an Animal Science Major, with a special interest in physiology of reproduction. As an avid equestrian, she spent 5 years post graduation professionally training and showing horses and instructing riders. She then returned to the Virginia-Maryland Regional college of Veterinary Medicine to obtain her degree. During this period of time she also did a clerkship at the Royal College of Veterinary Medicine in England to broaden the perspective of her education. Dr. Dirmeyer has worked in the area since 1989 with small and large animals, and currently, through Salty Paws, is proud to continue offering high quality compassionate care to companion animals.

Dr. Susan D. Fannin, DVM, Fear Free Certified

Dr. Susan Fannin joined the Salty Paws staff as an associate veterinarian in July of 2008.  She received her BS from Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA in Small Animal Science and received her DVM from Virginia Tech  in 2000.  Dr Fannin and her family relocated from Indianapolis,  where she had spent the previous 8 years working at two, small high quality practices, concentrating on companion animals. She is currently a member of the AVMA, VVMA and the local professional organization, GPVMA. Two of her strong interests are in medicine and behavior.

Dr. Fannin lives in Yorktown with her husband,and three children. Her family also includes 3 cats (Kelvin, Syd, and Zippy) and two dogs (Franny, a chocolate lab and Chessie, a golden retriever). She also enjoys the connections she makes with our clients and their children (the four and two legged kind!).

 Dr. Susan E. Blessing, DVM, Fear Free Certified

 Dr. Susan Blessing is originally from Louisiana. She attended McNeese State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Zoology, then attended LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1987. She moved to Virginia in 2007 to enjoy our wonderful weather and the abundance of outdoor activites available. Dr. Blessing came to Salty Paws in 2009, and has been loving our clients, their pet families, and the total atmosphere since she arrived! She has two pups  (her furry children!) , Paisley and Mia, who love spending time outside chasing balls. In her spare time Dr. B . enjoys biking, hiking, and trying new outdoor adventures.

Dr. Elizabeth H. Johnson, DVM – Fear Free Certified

Dr. Elizabeth Johnson is a 1994 graduate from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. She and her veterinarian husband live in Smithfield with their two teenage children, 3 dogs and 2 cats.


She loves working at Salty Paws because “the clients and staff are the best!”


Dr. Jennifer Edwards, DVM – Fear Free Certified

Dr. Edwards is an Alabama native. She completed her undergraduate studies and veterinary school at Auburn University in 2008 (War Eagle!). She completed an Equine Ambulatory, Medical, and Surgical Internship at the University of Missouri. After completing her internship she decided to move to Virginia to be closer to family. Dr. Edwards has since practiced mixed animal medicine and now solely practices small animal medicine and surgery. Her special interests consist of pain management, behavior, and dentistry. She is passionate about integrating Fear Free methods into practice as well as helping to strengthen the human animal bond with her clients and patients. Dr. Edwards resides in Yorktown with her husband, three children, one Golden Retrievers, Maddie, and her cat, Bait.

Dr. Keith Kremer, DVM

Dr. KremerDr. Keith Kremer is the sole owner and practicing veterinarian in his specialty practice, Veterinary Specialist Care.  Having grown up on a small dairy farm in Nebraska, he showed a strong affinity for all creatures great and small on the family farm at a very early age.  He was among the first veterinary specialists in the Hampton Roads area, practicing in Chesapeake from 1997 – 2000, at which time he moved west for two years to pursue self-employment.  He returned to the area in 2002 and started his practice Tidewater Veterinary Internal Medicine which was later renamed Veterinary Specialist Care.

Dr. Herbert Maisenbacher, VMD, DACVIM

Dr. Herbert W. Maisenbacher, III, VMD, DACVIMDr. Herb Maisenbacher is board certified in veterinary cardiology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania before completing an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and a residency in veterinary cardiology at the University of Florida.

Prior to relocating to the Hampton Roads area, Dr. Maisenbacher was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and was named Small Animal Clinician of the Year in 2012. He has authored many peer reviewed research publications on veterinary cardiology and has contributed to veterinary texts including the Clinical Veterinary Advisor 2nd edition and The ABCDs of Small Animal Cardiology 1st Edition. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of cardiology with other veterinarians by lecturing on veterinary cardiology topics at regional, national and international meetings. He is on the review board for the Journal of Veterinary Cardiology and has appeared on the weekly radio show Animal Airwaves Live several times. Dr. Maisenbacher serves as the Medical Director of Cardiology for Dextronix, a veterinary medical device company.

When he is not working with veterinarians and pet owners to improve the lives of animals with heart disease, Dr. Maisenbacher enjoys Notre Dame sports, running, paddle boarding and every minute spent with his wonderful wife and three children.