Our Veterinarians

Wisdom Animal Clinic’s veterinarians are committed to providing the best quality medical and surgical care in a compassionate and considerate manner. We place a strong emphasis on client education, so you know how to keep your pets happy and healthy. We all have a strong commitment to continuing education by attending conferences, seminars and skill training each year. There is a team oriented approach to medical care by routinely sharing ideas and expertise on difficult cases. The veterinarians meet weekly to share knowledge, discuss cases and strategize about providing the best medical care for patients and services to clients.

Dr. Joanna Pridgen

Dr. Joanna Pridgen grew up in Richardson, Texas and decided to pursue the field of Veterinary Medicine after working in a vet clinic in high school. She attended Texas A&M University and earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. Dr. Pridgen started her career at Wisdom Animal Clinic soon after graduation and became Dr. Wisdom’s partner in 1995. In 2002, when Dr. Wisdom retired, she and her husband, Dr. Russell Woodard, bought Wisdom Animal Clinic.

Dr. Pridgen loves every aspect of Veterinary Medicine, but especially enjoys the challenge of the complicated internal medicine cases. She appreciates the diagnostic work up and maintenance aspect of chronic illness. “I love helping people by helping their four-legged family members”, says Dr. Pridgen.

Dr. Pridgen gives back to the community by participating in the Kiwanis Club of Texarkana, where she is a past president. She is also on the boards of the United Way and Women for A&M Texarkana. Dr. Pridgen is a prolific reader and word puzzle aficionado. She loves horseback riding with her twin daughters, Jenna and Kate, and her husband, Dr. Woodard.

Dr. Russell Woodard

Dr. Russell Woodard has worn many hats in veterinary medicine since graduating from Texas A&M University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. Dr. Woodard had a large animal focus until he and his wife, Dr. Joanna Pridgen, bought Wisdom Animal Clinic in 2002. He had worked part time for the Clinic for several years, but has been a full time fixture after buying the clinic.

Dr. Woodard has become the managing partner, overseeing the day to day operations of Wisdom Animal Clinic. Despite his managerial focus, he still sees patients on a daily basis and especially enjoys the surgery aspect of veterinary medicine. Dr. Woodard can often be found in the surgery suite performing a variety of procedures.

Dr. Woodard was a PRCA calf roper for 8 years. Though he doesn’t have time to rope anymore, he still enjoys riding horses with his twin girls, Jenna and Kate. He is also introducing the girls to the rodeo world through Cowboy Church’s Kids Rodeos. Dr. Woodard and Dr. Pridgen love all college sports but are crazy for their Aggie team.

Dr. Laura Matteson

Dr. Laura Matteson is a country girl at heart, growing up in DeKalb, Texas. She followed a family tradition by attending Texas A&M University where she received a Biomedical Science Degree in 1994, before becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. Dr. Matteson moved back home and joined Wisdom Animal Clinic in June of 1998 and has never looked back.

Dr. Matteson enjoys all aspects of small animal medicine. She especially appreciates that each day is a new beginning with a brand new set of challenges. “No two days are ever the same in veterinary medicine,” says Dr Matteson. “The joy of caring for pets and helping people is truly satisfying.”

Dr. Matteson is married to Darien LaCroix and has two step-children – Kyle and Erika. Dr. Matteson proudly serves in the Texarkana community as the scholarship chairperson for the Texarkana area A&M Club and on the Race for the Cure committee for the past several years. She and Darien are avid Aggie fans (Whoop!) and look forward to the college football season each year. Dr. Matteson is an evolving cook, lifelong traveler, and a beginning painter.

Dr. Scott Likins

Dr. Scott Likins grew up in north east Oklahoma. He joined Wisdom Animal Clinic in 2003 after receiving his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University. Prior to Veterinary School, he attended Oklahoma State University, earning a degree in Zoology.

Dr. Likins enjoys the variety of cases he sees every day at the clinic. There is always something new and exciting that keeps the job interesting. Dr. Likins takes pleasure in researching new trends and advancements in veterinary medicine, which in turn benefits all the doctors of Wisdom Animal Clinic.

Away from the office, Dr. Likins enjoys spending time camping with his wife, Susan, and their four boys. He stays busy with several sports, but especially finds joy coaching his boys’ baseball teams. The Likins family can often be found at local Kid’s Triathlons and 5-k races. Dr. Likins and Susan are also active with the children’s ministry at their church.

Dr. Rachel Parris

Dr. Rachel Parris spent most of her childhood in rural Kansas and attended Pratt Community College and Emporia State University for undergraduate studies. After graduation, she was employed by the City of Emporia as the animal shelter manager for 1 ½ years before attending Kansas State University where she received her DVM in May 2011.

She moved to Texarkana after graduation, began practicing at Wisdom Animal Clinic and has enjoyed the move immensely. Dr. Parris says, “This first year of practice has been a wild ride. I’ve learned SO much and have enjoyed getting to know the people of Texarkana.” Her favorite aspect of practice is nurturing the human animal bond and educating pet owners about the importance of preventive medicine, especially after managing an animal shelter. “To practice veterinary medicine is a privilege. It has been rewarding to take time to educate people about their pet’s needs.”

Dr. Parris has 2 cats and a dog. In her free time, she enjoys working in her new house, running with her dog, going to the movies, and visiting family. “I consider the individuals of Wisdom Animal Clinic to be my family, especially as mine resides so far away. This has been a true blessing to make the move here.”