Meet the Team


Our caring and compassionate veterinary care team!

Meet the Veterinarians & Team of River’s Edge Veterinary Hospital in Metropolis! We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your pets!

Please call us at 618-524-7500 to speak to one of our caring veterinary staff members!

Owner of River's Edge Veterinary Hospital

  • Dr. Karla Cunningham
    Owner of River's Edge Veterinary Hospital

    Dr. Karla Cunningham is a 1996 graduate of the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine. She and her husband Ed live in Eddyville, Illinois with their terrific son Ethan, born in March 2010. She is very pleased to be providing medical care to pets in Massac and surrounding counties. Having served as an assistant professor for the U of I College of Veterinary Medicine from 1998 through 2007, she is dedicated to educating pet owners in the best way to care for their furry friends. When not at River’s Edge, Dr. Karla and Ed can usually be found with Ethan at a Scouting activity.

    Dr. Cunningham’s interest in pet dental care began when she started River’s Edge in 2007.  Many of her small animal patients had severe dental disease that caused them pain of which their owners were unaware.  As she started treating these animals and received feedback from their owners about how much better they felt afterwards, the desire to learn more about dentistry grew. Over the years she has participated in many continuing education seminars focused on pet dentistry and learned even more about how best to treat and prevent dental disease. River’s Edge Veterinary Hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment modalities including digital dental radiography, electronic anesthetic monitoring devices, pain management and tooth saving procedures. These technologies along with Dr. Cunningham’s expertise will ensure that each of her patients receive superior care for their dental needs.
    Her favorite quote is by Henry David Thoreau. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”


Practice Manager

Veterinary Technicians

  • Alisa Adkins
    Veterinary Technician

    Alisa was born and raised in Massac County and graduated from Joppa High school in 2009. She then attended Shawnee Community college for two years, and transferred to Murray State University in August of 2011. She Graduated from Murray State University with a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology in December of 2013, she joined the Rivers edge
    team after graduation. Alisa Loves spending time with her Pets; Cletus, Phoebe, Dahlia, Mopurr, and Journey. Alisa loves to spend time outside hiking, and camping, and loves to travel whenever she gets the chance. Alisa has been a member of the Rivers edge team since 2013, and looking forward too many more years. 

  • Ellen Aly
    Certified Veterinary Technician

    Ellen has been working at River’s Edge Veterinary Hospital since October of 2008. Prior to that, she had been a Registered Veterinary Technician for over 35 years in Indiana and Michigan. She grew up in central Illinois and moved here to be close to her parents when the opportunity arose. She is now our inventory specialist. She semiretired two years ago to care for her aging parents.

    She is married and has many pets including 4 cats, 3 dogs, 2 horses and 2 mules. She and her husband live on a farm in Pope county near the Shawnee National Forest, where they love to ride the trails. 

  • Markesha Jones
    Veterinary Technician

    Markesha grew up in Wisconsin with a huge heart for animals. Country living is what she prefers but school brought her to the fast city life of Houston. She Graduated in 2017 from The Vet Tech Institute of Houston with a degree for applied Science in Veterinary Technology. After graduating and gaining more hands-on skills, she traveled back north finding herself in the beautiful, quiet country lands of Kentucky.  She enjoys spending time outdoors with her three dogs: Ruca, Siren, Zazu and family. When she has free time, she loves to do crafts; woodworking, painting, crochet, and ceramics. Markesha has been with us since November 2020, and is excited to continue to care for animals as well as educate their loved ones for long happy healthy lives.

Client Care Specialists

  • Krystle Callais
    Client Care Specialist

    Krystle joined River's Edge Veterinary Hospital as a receptionist in the summer of 2020. She has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication with a focus in Advertising. Before joining River's Edge she worked in television news for nearly 10 years.

    Krystle lives with her husband, Jacob, and their two dogs Sirius and Bailey. Together they both enjoy hiking, traveling, and taking part in competitive Pokemon Trading Card Game events.

    Krystle is excited to be a part of the River's Edge team and looks forward to helping you and your pets.

  • Connie Beck
    Client Care Specialist

    Connie grew up in Central Illinois.  She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of Illinois on 1998 and her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Illinois in 2001.  Connie and her husband Jack have lived in Pope County since 2011.  She worked in the utility industry for 23+ years and has successfully obtained and harvested 3 businesses. She retired from the University of Illinois Extension as a County Director in 2019 having served the lower east six counties (Saline, Gallatin, Pope, Hardin, White and Hamilton).

    Connie joined the River’s Edge Veterinary Hospital Team in November of 2020 and has always had a love of people and animals.  She is a Master Gardener and enjoys spending time in the garden, with her family and reading.  Connie looks forward to building lifelong relationships with River’s Edge and its clients and patients.

  • Carrie Bullock
    Client Care Specialist

    Carrie, a graduate of Shawnee Community College, lives with the love of her life, Joshua Cartwright & two sons – Marshall & Justus on a farm in rural Pope Co. They all have a passion for animals; large, small, tame, & wild. She currently has 4 dogs, 5 cats, 2 horses, & 1 mini donkey. She has been rehabbing animals since childhood when her dad brought her a baby raccoon, pigeon, squirrel, opossum, and fawn. As well as re-socializing neglected dogs & cats. Carrie enjoys the outdoors, hiking, foraging for wild medicinal & edible plants, riding ATVs, and reading classic literature, watching classic movies (all things Jane Austen) and spending time with family and friends around a bonfire! Carrie is a self-proclaimed “Flower Child” who loves essential oils & healing crystals & herbal teas! “I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE PART OF THE AMAZING TEAM AT RIVER’S EDGE!”, says Carrie.

Veterinary Assistants

  • Carisa Kline
    Veterinary Assistant

    Carisa was born and raised in Massac County, and graduated from Massac Country High school in 1989. She resides in Metropolis with her husband Jack. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, her standard poodles, and playing golf in her spare time.

    Carisa was interested in going to college for an occupation in the veterinary field, however went into the banking industry and worked in that field for over 23 years. She is now enjoying an occupation that is very important to her.. taking care of pets, and educating pet owners.

  • Jerri Jenkins
    Veterinary Assistant

    Jerri graduated From Hardin County High School in 2017. She resides in Hardin County where she has 2 horses, 1 cat, and 4 dogs. She enjoys spending her time going camping, fishing, and horseback riding. Jerri joined the River’s Edge team in the summer of 2018 after completing a one semester Veterinary Assistant course at Southeastern Illinois College.

  • Layla Miller
    Veterinary Assistant

    Layla was born and raised in Massac County and graduated from Massac County High School in 2018. She then went on to the University of Illinois where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science in 2022. She now resides with her family and two cats, Macy and Blossom in Metropolis. Layla joined River's Edge team in the summer of 2022 following graduation.

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Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Metropolis Office


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm