Our Staff

Get to know our Veterinary Staff

Dr Nicholas Chuff
Dr. Nicholas Chuff, Owner
Dr. Chuff was born in Ilion, NY and grew up on a small farm in Frankfort Center. He attended Frankfort Schools and Alfred University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Upon graduation, he attended the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University graduating in 1977. Dr. Chuff then entered the U.S. Army at the rank of Captain and first served as the Officer in Charge of the veterinary facilities at Seneca Army Depot, Romulus, NY and Fort Drum. He was then assigned to the 106th Medical Detachment in Seoul, Korea where he was in charge of the Military Working Dog Programs as well as being liaison officer to the Korean Calvary. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for developing the only functional air droppable Field Veterinary Hospital in the Armed Forces . In 1980, Dr. Chuff was married to Consuelo Savidge and entered private practice at Ellisburg Veterinary Clinic, Ellisburg, NY. They have one son Matthew, who is a graduate of Ilion schools, Hamilton College and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Matt is currently a dairy practitioner in Rushford, NY. In 1981, Dr. Chuff moved back to Ilion and opened German Flatts Veterinary Clinic. In 1995, Dr. Chuff decided to specialize in Dairy Production Medicine and became board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Dairy Practice Specialty. Dr. Chuff has over 30 years of martial arts training and experience and is currently a Master Instructor and 7th degree black belt in the American Eagle Style of Martial Arts. His other hobbies include skiing and golf.
Dr. Patricia Clark
Dr Clark

Dr. Clark earned her B.S. with honor and distinction from Cornell’s College of Agriculture in Animal Science and her D.V.M. from Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She has been practicing small animal medicine for over 25 years, with the majority of that time at German Flatts Veterinary Clinic. Her greatest satisfaction comes with treating the more difficult cases and reuniting pets with their families. Her goal has always been to treat her patients’ medical and surgical needs as she would treat her own pets. Dr. Clark lives on a small farm with her husband, John. They have 2 grown daughters, Mary and Andrea. The Clark family raises and shows purebred Oxford and Southdown sheep. Dr. Clark is a member of AVMA, NYSVMS & CNYVMA and also a member of the New York State Academy of Veterinary Practice.

Dr. Heather Sautter
Dr Sautter

Joining the German Flatts Veterinary Clinic team in December 2014, Dr. Sautter earned her DVM from St. George's University of Veterinary Medicine. She graduated with honors from Nazareth College of Rochester in 2005, and soon after took a position as a medical technician within the Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center bacteriology department for almost 3 years prior to returning to school to earn her DVM. Originally from the small town of Marathon, NY, studying abroad allowed Dr. Sautter to experience a wide range of people, cultures, ideals and principles, as well as brought an appreciation for the important role that public health awareness plays in veterinary medicine in protecting the public. In addition, she has a strong interest in alternative/holistic care that she inspires to one-day practice and incorporate along with traditional western medicine. Dr. Sautter lives with her two beloved pets, doggie Gizmo who she rescued from the Caribbean island of Grenada and kitty Gizmo who she recently adopted. She enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor activities and traveling.

Dr. Julie Berntson
Dr Bernston

Dr. Berntson earned her B.S. with honors in Animal Science and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) both from Cornell University from 1990-1998. She initially started practicing veterinary medicine at Burrstone Animal Hospital in New Hartford, NY. She joined German Flatts Veterinary Clinic in 2010 on a part-time basis and has recently returned after a 2 year absence living abroad in Singapore. Dr. Berntson will do her best to pursue the ideal treatment options that meet the needs of your pet. Dr. Berntson lives in New Hartford with her husband Ross. They have two active children, Sarah (14) and Nate (12) and an overactive yellow Labrador named Ember. Ember has a great story which Dr. B will gladly tell you if you ask her. When Dr. Berntson isn’t spending time with her family she loves to cook, garden, travel, hike, go to plays and read.

Dr. Erin McDonald
Dr Erin McDonald

Dr. McDonald is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She and her husband Nathan live in Ava, NY with two cats, chickens and bees. She enjoys gardening, canning and many outdoor activities.





Kris Fahey, CVPM - Practice Manager
Kris Fahey

Kris (Lennox) Fahey joined German Flatts Veterinary Clinic in 1982, working evenings and weekends as a receptionist/assistant. After earning her AAS in Veterinary Science Technology from SUNY Canton in 1987, she passed her New York State Boards and became a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT). Gradually, Kris took over more of the office management and financial responsibilities for the hospital, freeing up Dr. Chuff to focus on practicing veterinary medicine. In 2001, Kris received her Certification in Veterinary Practice Management (CVPM), an international recognition. Kris lives in Ilion with her two sons, Josh and Mike; an English Bulldog named Doug, and three French Bulldogs, Kermit (pictured above), Pippa and Brian.

Licensed Veterinary Technicians
Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith
Courtney joined German Flatts Veterinary Clinic in May of 2013. She lives on a small farm with chickens, ducks and her goat. Courtney also has two dogs, a beagle and a husky, along with two cats. She is an avid hunter and enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephew.

Ashley StephensAshley Stephens Darling, LVT
Ashley is a Licensed Veterinary Technician and comes to us with 4 years of experience. She had spent time with us doing her internship while in college and we are excited to have her back on our team!




Danielle English

Danielle English, LVT
Danielle earned her Associate's degree in Veterinary Science Technology from SUNY Delhi in 2007 and her Bachelor's degree in Veterinary Services Administration from SUNY Canton in 2016. Danielle currently lives in Ilion with her husband and three children, as well as two dogs and two cats.




Jade Mason

Jade Mason, LVT
Jade earned her degree in Veterinary Science Technology in 2017 from SUNY Delhi with future plans to specialize in zoo animals and dentistry. She loves spending time with friends, family, and her 3 dogs. Jade is an avid hiker and loves exploring.

Marian Dodge

Marianne Dodge
Marianne joined the German Flatts Vet Clinic team in 2004. She and her husband Darry have a dairy farm, along with their children Jordanna & Joel. She enjoys photography (especially wildlife), kayaking, tractor and truck pulls, and spending any precious time with her family.

Britany Florian

Brittney Florian
Brittney joined our team in 2018. She enjoys spending time with her fiance, step-daughter, son and two black labs. Brittney also enjoys camping, boating and being outdoors.