Growing up in a military family, Dr. Cottrell lived in Europe and much of the southeast U.S. before returning to Tennessee. After graduating Cookeville High School, she attended Tennessee Technological University where she lettered in Track and earned her degree in Pre-Veterinary Medicine/Animal Science. While in vet school, she studied marine biology in Gulf Shores, Mississippi during the summer months. She earned her D.V.M. from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and was then granted an internship at Hollywood Animal Hospital in south Florida. After completing her internship, she stayed on as an associate where she continued to study emergency medicine and became a member of the International Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society. Later, she relocated to Charlotte, N.C. and joined the Animal Medical Hospital. She has been with Copeland Veterinary Hospital since returning home six years ago. She has two daughters, Lauren Elizabeth, who attends Algood Christian Elementary and Oliva Claire, who attends Cumberland Presbyterian Nursery School. They have 5 dogs and 1 cat.