Powered by passion and love for animals


We provide kind and honest care that goes the extra-mile to ensure the health and happiness of your furry and feathered friend(s), anytime you need us. You can trust that our team of experts will provide respectful care, education and support for your pet’s unique needs.

Our Doctors

Dr. Gordon Rhine


Dr. Gordon, owner of CHFA and a native of Mt. Vernon, IL, received his BA in chemistry and zoology at Southern Illinois University where he graduated PHI KAPPA PHI in 1968. He earned his DVM, with honors from the University of Illinois in 1972. After one year in a mixed practice in Nashville, IL, he returned to the University of Illinois for further study in surgery and medication and was on staff at the veterinary school.

In November, 1975 he opened a new practice in Herrin, IL eventually becoming owner in 1994, further enlarging it to the current four locations. In his free time Dr. Rhine enjoys spending time with his family on his farm north of Marion, fulfilling responsibilities in his church, and hunting with his dogs.

Dr. Kimberly Talley


Doctor Kimberly Talley graduated from Carterville high school in 1988 and acquired a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Zoology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1992. She completed veterinary college at the University of Illinois in 1996 with additional studies in equine and wildlife/exotics medication.

Prior to veterinary school, she completed a Colorado outward bound course, acquired an amateur radio license, and earned a Private Pilot Certificate for airplanes. She participated in the Native American Project and in an internship at the Brookfield Zoo during veterinary school.

She enjoys mountain climbing, camping, skiing, motorcycles, music, and training horses/burros, (especially those acquired through the BLM adoption program). She is currently studying to complete a helicopter pilot add-on rating. Doctor Talley is available to see dogs, cat, exotic pet (birds, reptiles, rabbits, rodents, ferrets, and others) as well as wildlife.

Dr. Laura Portee


Dr. Laura Portee attended high school in Carrier Mills, Illinois. She received her B.S. from Southeastern Illinois College and University of Illinois and then her DVM from University of Illinois. After graduating veterinary school, Dr. Portee became an associate DVM with Central Hospital For Animals in Fall of 1996. She has a special area of interest in canine reproduction, cosmetic surgery, and orthopedics (colnine sports medicine).

Dr. Portee enjoys participating and training for dog shows in conformation (German Short Point) and Obedience, not to mention Horseback riding and competition ranch sorting and cutting. She is an avid gardener and enjoys hunting and fishing.

Dr. Ellen Mcnitt


Dr. Ellen McNitt was born and raised in San Antonio, TX, She received her B.S. from SUL Ross State University and her DVM from Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine. After being employed in a mixed animal practice for years, she then joined the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and was stationed in Arizona, Honduras, and Okinawa. It was in Okinawa that Dr. McNitt met her future husband and moved to Murphysboro, Illinois.
She was employed for nine years with T.O. Miller, DVM in Murphysboro, Illinois, then took an associate DVM position with Central Hospital For Animals where she has practiced for the last nine years.

Dr. McNitt has three pets (2 Chihuahua’s & 1 Spaniel/Retriever) that were all rescues. She enjoys reading, counted cross-stitch, party decorating, arts and crafts.

Dr. Sandy Kayne


Although she started college as an art major, Dr. Sandy Kayne knew that she wanted to be a veterinarian since the fourth grade. She graduated from Southern Illinois University in 3 years, and then obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Illinois in 1982.

After vet school, she worked at a small animal hospital in the Chicago suburbs for two years before moving back to the SIU community in 1984, eventually buying her employer’s Carbondale veterinary hospital in 1991. During her time in Carbondale, Dr. Kayne also served as the Attending Veterinarian at the SIU vivarium for 28 months, supervising the humane care of the many exotic small mammals housed there. She has volunteered thousands of hours with two local animal shelters, donating medical and surgical care for their many rescued dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and rodents. She sold her practice in late 2014.

Still having fun practicing medicine, Dr. Kayne is nowhere near ready to retire! After working a few months at the St. Louis Humane Society, she joined the Central Hospital for Animals in August 2015. Dr. Kayne loves challenging medical and surgical cases, treating small animal exotic species, learning something new every day, and especially getting to know her patients and their human families.

Dr. Kayne is has been happily married to her husband, Bill, for 37 years. They have 3 children: daughter Maya is an artist, son Alex is a mechanical engineer, and daughter Sara is in school to become a chef. Their 4-legged family members include a happy Doberman, named Keena, and her best friend, Smudge, a long-haired white cat. White cat, black dog … pet hair on clothing is a fashion statement! In her spare time, Dr. Kayne enjoys snow skiing, swimming, genealogical research, digitally restoring old photographs and has a cottage business transferring photographs, slides and home videos to digital formats.

Dr. Collin Rhine


Dr. Kiley Mettendorf


Sarah Siefert

Herrin Office/Inventory Manager

Sarah Siefert has been with Central Hospital For Animals since early 2008 and currently holds the position of Office and Inventory Manager at the Herrin location. She graduated from R.O.W.V.A. High School in 2002 and attended Southern Illinois University in the spring of the same year.

Along with her three children, Sarah also has a Doberman Pinscher named “Finn” and three cats. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending quality time with her family.