Our Team

We have a highly caring team of quality individuals who love what they do in caring for your pets!

The Cooke Veterinary Medical Center opened in Chesapeake, Virginia in November 2002. The hospital was designed by Dr. Denette Cooke to offer the patients and clients warm, comfortable, and charming surroundings while providing our guests with the highest quality and highest technology veterinary medicine available. We strive to involve the entire health care team, which centers on the owner, to heal our patients together.

Our health care team has been chosen for their knowledge, passion, and love of veterinary medicine. Our team includes the following individuals who love to care for your pets:

Dr. Denette O. Cooke, DVM, CVADr. Denette O. Cooke, DVM, CVA

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

Dr. Denette Cooke was born in Norfolk, Virginia and grew up in Virginia Beach, where she graduated from Green Run High School.  She then attended Berea College in Berea, Kentucky in 1987 and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry.

After working as an environmental and industrial chemist for 5 years, she attended the University of  Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Cooke graduated with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. She practiced small animal medicine and surgery in Lynnwood, Washington for 2 years before moving home to be closer to family and friends.

After working at Pembroke Veterinary Clinic in Virginia Beach for 4 years,  she opened The Cooke Veterinary Medical Center in Chesapeake, Virginia in 2002. Dr. Cooke enjoys all aspects of general practice, including surgery, dentistry, and internal medicine. She especially enjoys senior patients with their unique needs and she integrates ancient, evidence based medicine (acupuncture and herbals) into their healing protocols to alleviate pain, thereby giving many patients a higher quality of life than western therapy alone. She loves to incorporate the best aspects of all medicine to help the clients offer their pets the best approach to medicine that is possible. She completed her certification in acupuncture in 2008 where she attended the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in Reddick, Florida.

Dr. Cooke keeps her medical and surgical skills on the cutting edge by attending extra continuing education every year that is required by the state of Virginia. She has special interest in a ‘whole pet’ approach to healing that incorporates family life style, breed life style, physical exercise, diet and nutrition, and the best medicine to maintain a healthy and productive life for your pet!  She enjoys lecturing to health care groups on integrative veterinary medicine, such groups include the Alternative Medicine Club at the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Chesapeake Public Health Department, and the Prudent Center in Suffolk.

When Dr. Cooke is not practicing veterinary medicine, she enjoys gardening, outdoor activities, motorcycling, and spending time with family and friends. A good day is walking a pack of dogs in the park! Her pack includes Italian Spinonis, Corgis, a heart stealing mutt and 2 gorgeous domestic shorthaired kitties!

Dr. Carolyn EdsonDr. Carolyn Edson, DVM

Dr. Edson grew up in Greenville, NC, graduating summa cum laude from East Carolina University with a double major in Biology and Chemistry. Her strong passion for all creatures led her to follow her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She worked as a veterinary technician for several years before attending NC State College of Veterinary Medicine and graduating in May 2017.

Dr. Edson loves to travel and during the winter of 2015 volunteered in Africa working with Dr. Carolyn Edson with a Patientseveral different species with a rescue organization in Tanzania. She has also completed a shelter medicine externship in Asheville, NC and a Dental externship in Durham, NC. She has a special interest in animal behavior, internal medicine, and surgery. Dr. Edson has worked in Ocean Isle Beach, Myrtle Beach and around Wilmington, NC and is very excited about joining our family here at Cooke Veterinary Medical Center!

During her free time, she enjoys the beach, live music, traveling and spending time with her two rescue dogs, Bailey and Titus and her fiancé, Aaron.

Dr. Angela Ives, PhD, DVMDr. Angela Ives, PhD, DVM

Dr. Angela Ives was born in Chesapeake and grew up in Virginia Beach, where she graduated from First Colonial High School. She attended the College of William and Mary and graduated summa cum laude in 2013 with a major in biology. Dr. Ives taught undergraduate-level physiology at William and Mary before attending the College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, where she graduated with her PhD in virology and neuroscience in 2017, and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2020.

Dr. Ives has special interests in exotic medicine and has completed externships at the National Zoo and the Bronx Zoo. She also completed a shelter medicine externship at the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., and has volunteered at the Virginia Beach SPCA. She loves to travel and volunteered for a summer at a wildlife rehabilitation and research center in Botswana. Dr. Ives is very excited to join the family at The Cooke Veterinary Medical Center!

During her free time, Dr. Ives enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking on the beach with her three rescue mutts, reading a good book, and traveling.

Lisa JonesLisa Jones, LVT

Office Manager, Licensed Veterinary Technician

I was born and raised in the Virginia Beach area.  After graduating from Green Run High School, I attended and graduated from Central Carolina Community College in 1984 with a degree as a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT). Over the years I have  worked in emergency and small animal practice in the Tidewater Area since that time. I have a special interest in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, diet and nutrition and preventive medicine.  I have been with Dr. Cooke since the practice opened in 2002. In my spare time, I practice Tai Chi. I have a various assortment of dogs, cats, and a few exotic animals.

Marcie WillisMarcie W.

Team Coordinator, Veterinary Assistant

I joined the Cooke Veterinary Medical Center as a Veterinary Assistant in May 2005. I have over a decade of experience in the veterinary field. I have worked in all aspects of the veterinary hospital and am the Team Coordinator. Of all the clinics I have worked in over the years, the Cooke Veterinary Medical Center has the most intuitive,  caring doctors and staff.

I grew up in North Carolina, where I started working at a small animal clinic at the age of 20. Working in North Carolina and Virginia has given me experience with large animals, exotics and small animals. Working with such a variety of different types of animals has taught me many caring and compassionate handling techniques. I enjoy spending time and bonding with the pets that typically do not enjoy seeing the vet, so that I can try to make their experience less stressful.

I spend most of my free time with my son, husband, and playing with my pack of energetic Pugs!

Kim UptegraphKim U.

Administrative Assistant

I’ve been with the Cooke Vet family since 2009. I am the happy voice you hear at the other end of the phone! I am happily married with two children and have a Boxer named Mia, a French bulldog named Breezy, and 3 kitty sisters, Emma, Annie, and Nada. I love everyone’s pet, although I am a little partial to Boxers and Frenchies!

Phyllis CookePhyllis C.


I joined the Cooke Veterinary Medical Center team in 2006 after my retirement from another career. I serve as an administrator handling Quick Books, accounts payable, and payroll. Other jobs I enjoy are typing in reports and lab work, as well as helping out with the laundry and holding sleepy babies after surgery. I have two orange cats, Matlock and Mason, and a Papillion mixed dog named Tippi.

Alexis MadgeAlexis M.

Veterinary Assistant

I joined the Cooke Veterinary Medical Center in the Fall of 2013. I enjoy coming to work each day and helping our patients and meeting their owners. I always knew I wanted to work in this field. I grew up in Michigan ice skating and coaching hockey. I joined Club Med when I was in my early twenties, which allowed me to live in different states and countries. I love spending time with all my animals, traveling, and snorkeling.

Donna ThomasDonna T.

Veterinary Assistant

I am a Veterinary Assistant with over 15 years combined experience in small animal and exotic animal veterinary medicine. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Old Dominion University. My areas of interest include microbiology and laboratory diagnostic testing. I began here at The Cooke Veterinary Medical Center in 2007. I enjoy life with my husband Ben, our two children, and our kitties.

We Are Actively Involved in the Community

We have a passion and love for veterinary medicine and improving the lives of pets and humans through our dedication to the following communities, which we support with our time and money: