David W. Highsmith, Doctor of Veterinary MedicinePractice Owner
Dr. Highsmith grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina where he attended N.C.State University at Raleigh as an undergraduate. Since there was no veterinary school in North Carolina at that time, he attended the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, graduating in 1975.
Returning to the Raleigh area upon graduation, he went to work as a staff veterinarian in Garner, NC where he had worked as a kennel assistant while attending undergraduate school.
After 10 years as an employed veterinarian, Dr. Highsmith moved to Wilmington, NC in 1985, where, after a year, he purchased an existing veterinary practice known as Hardison Animal Hospital. Changing the name to Highsmith Animal Hospital, the practice has continued to thrive and grow along with the city of Wilmington.
Dr. Highsmith now employs a staff of 4 veterinarians, 5 certified veterinary technicians, a professional groomer, and 10 other receptionists and assistants.
After several years of planning and design, in December of 2008 Dr. Highsmith broke ground on a new building for his veterinary practice and relocated to the new facility in August of 2009. With the new and larger space, the clinic is able to continue to provide the best of veterinary services for all our patients and clients.
Dr. Melody Speck, DVMVeterinarian
Dr. Speck, a Wilmington native, began working at Highsmith Animal Hospital in 1990 upon graduating from NCSU-CVM. In 2019 she embarked on a “seabatical” with her husband and daughter sailing and traveling Europe. “Mama Speck” has now gladly returned to her Highsmith family. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary care and particularly enjoys preventive medicine, getting new pets started out on the right paw medically and behaviorally. Dr Speck has been a member of the NHC Board of Health and Animal Services Advisory Board for almost 20 years. Outside of work she enjoys long walks on the beach (corny but true) and traveling and sailing on “Wolftack” with her husband.
Dr. Jennifer Anderson, DVMVeterinarian
Dr. Anderson grew up in the Richlands, NC area and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she received her undergraduate degree. After working for a short time in the private field, she applied to and was accepted at N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine where she graduated in 2002. Upon graduation, she joined the staff at Highsmith Animal Hospital where she has honed her skills in diagnostic veterinary medicine.
Dr. Meghan Tayloe, DVM
Dr. Tayloe grew up in the area of North Carolina fondly referred to as Little Washington. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she received her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry. She then attended the N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine and received her doctorate in veterinary medicine in 2000. After graduation she practiced for 7 years at Hillsborough Veterinary Clinic until moving to Wilmington, NC in 2007. In the winter of 2007 she joined the veterinary staff at Highsmith Animal Hospital where she enjoys all aspects of practice from surgery and medical diagnostics, geriatric patient care and working with clients to improve the health and well being of their special pets. She is a founder of Coastal Pet Hospice, offering mobile pet hospice consultation and pet euthanasia services.
Dr. David DiPiero , DVM
Dr. DiPiero grew up in New Bern, NC and attended UNCW for his undergraduate degree. He discovered his passion for veterinary medicine while volunteering with the humane society. Dr. DiPiero is a graduate of the NC State University College of Veterinary medicine. He enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine with special interest in surgery and dentistry. His personal goal is to provide the highest level of compassionate care to all of his patients and ensure that all of his clients feel respected and heard. Outside of the clinic, he enjoys surfing, running, and reading.
Rebecca Boney- Practice Manager
Rebecca has been part of the Highsmith team since 2011. Rebecca aka Becca started work in the veterinary field in 1993, graduated from Central Carolina Community College here in NC in 1997 with a degree in Veterinary Medical Technology. After graduating from Vet Tech School she moved to Lake Norman, NC and was exposed to 4 years of specialty medicine: ophthalmology, surgery, exotics, behavior, and reproduction medicine, among many other crazy things.
In 2002 she moved to Wilmington, NC and has worked in a few practices town. She enjoys volunteer work and keeping things green. She also enjoys teaching the new students that come in new to Highsmith and watching them grow into amazing team members.
In 2018, after being in the trenches for 25 years, Rebecca started looking for a change. She has teamed up with Dr. Highsmith as Practice Manager and is very excited about the future and helping the family continue to grow. This is her work family and she is very passionate in what she does. Helping the clients and their patients is what she has always loved doing. Now, learning the ropes from Dr. Highsmith, and helping him, there is so much knowledge and experience to learn. So, with his guidance she can approach this from a whole new aspect hope to make a difference in the future of Highsmith.
When not working, Becca enjoys spending time with her husband Chris and their friends. Traveling, going to concerts, cooking and running obstacle races. They have one French Bulldog rescue named Louie.
Kim C- Receptionist
Kim C. left the corporate world to persue a more fulfilling career working with animals. She started working at Highsmith Animal Hospital over 20 years ago and has been caretaker for over 15 dogs and cats. She currently lives with two Siamese (Pickles Marie and Chili Bean) and two Toy Poodles (Raisin And Peanut). Kim enjoys music, reading and a wide range of physical activities including yoga and running. She is rarely seen without her faithful companion Raisin.
Sue moved to ILM from Smith Mountain Lake, Va. In the fall of 2010. She had worked in real estate and property management for 24 years and was ready for something new.
Her daughter and her family live near the water and it was important to me to live here too. She is originally born in Michigan on Lake Erie.In early 2011 She walked into Highsmith Animal Hospital. While waiting for Dr.Speck, Guppy one of the hospital cats jumped into her lap then climbed into her purse. She knew right then she wanted to be part of this family. The clients and their pets are awesome. There is not a day that goes by that one of the animals doesn’t teach me something about kindness, trust and unconditional love. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her 3 grandchildren, reading, going to the beach and enjoying life!
Her motto: Treat people the way you want to be treated!
JoHannah came to us in 2017 after just moving to Wilmington from Virginia looking for new life experiences. She started working with animals at the ripe age of 16. She was a kennel assistant/team leader at an animal hospital in Virginia for 5 years, and began petsitting whilst there and has been doing that since 2009. Currently, she doesn’t have any pets but she would like to eventually have a house full of them. She is studying to be a music teacher and went to school for theatre and voice. In her free time she enjoys listening to music, hiking, and visiting different breweries.
Courtney- Licensed Vet Tech (RVT)
Courtney graduated from Bergen Community College in 2012 from the Veterinary Technology program. She moved to Wilmington in 2014 and joined the Highsmith family. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter Kiara and her cats Ella and Doctor Muffin McStuffins.
Anna- Veterinary Assistant
Anna G. grew up in Phoenix Arizona and moved here in March 2007, after graduating from Phoenix College with an AA in Theatre.
After being in the restaurant business for 10+ years, she found a brand new start at Highsmith Animal Hospital in Feb 2017. Starting in the kennel, she has now worked her way up to vet tech asst. Getting to share her love of animals with so many people and pets is the best part of this new chapter at Highsmith.
She is also involved in the local theatre scene and other shenanigans within the city of Wilmington!
At home she has the loving support of her husband Jake and her two furry babies Murphy and Marshmallow
Meg’s love for animals had a clandestine beginning in her early years of playing with wild animals in the forests of the Midwest and smuggling stray kittens into her closet. In the early 90’s she scored a job as a kennel attendant and a dog/cat bather. After moving to NC in 1994 for college, she landed a job at Highsmith Animal Hospital as groomer apprentice. She later became head groomer in 1996. Ever since then, she has specialized in “special needs” customers and becoming friends with all animals. She has also worked several volunteer jobs involving both deer and horses!
She is currently owned by four rescue animals: 10yr old canine “Lt. Dan”, 4yr old feline “The General”, 3yr old canine “Tiffany” and 1yr old “Maude Agnes”.
Matt- Veterinary Assistant
Matt is just an ordinary guy with an extraordinary love for all sorts of critters. He studied Theatre and Psychology at UNCW, which gives him the ability to read minds and wait tables efficiently. He has two dogs back in Charlotte, Perseus and Rosalina, who are beautiful monsters that he loves dearly. Matt is honored to be keeping our local pets happy and healthy. He someday hopes to own exactly two dogs and a cat, and maybe a spider. Matt is excited to join the Highsmith family so he can continue to share his love and care for pets.
Jake - Veterinary AssistantJacob has been living in Wilmington for 7 years now and working with animals for almost a decade. While his passion is exotic animals, Jacob has a deep appreciation of any and all critters. If they walk, swim, waddle, slither, or fly, then Jacob loves them. Jacob has worked at rescues, doggie day cares, and big cat sanctuaries. He's worked with everything from a full grown African Lion to a Teacup Schnauzer. He has made it his mission to help as many animals as possible and to learn as much as he can while doing so. At home, Jacob likes to read, write, and relax with his wife Anna. He's never too far from his dogs Murphy and Mallow, or his leopard gecko Geek. He's excited to meet your pet and give them the care they deserve!
Diamondque - Veterinary AssistantDiamondque is a student at UNCW majoring in biology with a minor in advanced service dog training. She is a military brat and has moved around her entire life, but has found a place to call home in Wilmington, NC. In her free time she loves to dance, go on spontaneous adventures with her friends, and try new food whenever she can. She wants to become a veterinarian so working at Highsmith AH has given her the opportunity to see her future dreams face to face everyday with a group of people that have welcomed her with open arms. She does not currently have any pets BUT she already knows that she will have a cat named Meik from Thor Ragnarok and a pit bull named Winston from new girl. She is unbelievably excited to meet your little critters and begin this amazing journey with her new family!!
Samantha AKA “Sam” moved to Wilmington at the end of 2011 and decided to call this place her home. Originally from Texas, she lived on a dairy farm as a child and her family owned a miniature horse and a few goats. At a young age she knew she wanted to help animals in need. She is currently in the Veterinary Technician program at Cape Fear Community College hoping to expand her knowledge of veterinary medicine. she would like to work with large and/or exotic animals eventually. She has 4 dogs, 3 cats, and a chinchilla. In her free time, she likes to play video games, listen to music, and hang out with her friends. She is excited to start her new journey in the veterinary world and meet all the precious animals!
Kayla- Veterinary AssistantKayla is a Veterinary Technician student at Cape Fear Community College. She is a Wilmington native and has always been connected to helping animals of all kinds. She is excited to be a part of the Highsmith family so that she can learn the ins and outs of the veterinary field and practice what she is learning in her classes. In her free time she loves to try out all of the local spots in town, hangout with friends and spend time with her dog, Luka. She can not wait to give your pets all of the love and comfort during their visits with us at Highsmith Animal Hospital!
Felicia moved to Wilmington, NC fall of 2020. To continue her passion of working in the veterinary field. Ever since she was a young girl, Felicia has enjoyed animals. She has worked at several different jobs in the animal world, from being a veterinary assistant, pet sitting, and helping pets working at a friend’s pet grocery store. She doesn't have any pets currently but is hoping to have 2 dogs in the future. When not working, she enjoys going to the beach and spending time with her family. She is excited for the new opportunity at Highsmith Animal Hospital.
Heather just recently moved to Wilmington from Virginia for a new adventure in 2021. In Virginia, she worked as a kennel manager at a dog kennel and training facility. Her passion has always been to work in the animal field no matter what she is doing. She enjoys working with all kinds of animals. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her two dogs, Luna and Nova, and exploring new places. She is excited to join her new family at Highsmith, start her new adventure and get to know all the 4-legged critters here at Highsmith AH.
Jessica- Veterinary Assistant ( Technician Student)
Jessica was born and raised here in Wilmington NC. Ever since she was a kid, she loved to help animals and knew she wanted to work with them. She will be graduating from the Cape Fear Veterinary Technology Program the summer of 2021 and will be earning her Associate Degree. She has a passion for all animals especially dogs and horses. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, spending time with her family, traveling, and listening to music. She is looking forward to starting her career at Highsmith and getting to know the awesome clients and pets. She is grateful to join the Highsmith Family!