Highsmith Animal Hospital

Highsmith Animal Hospital is a full-service veterinary medical facility, located in Wilmington, NC. Our goal is to help you keep your pet healthy and happy so that you can share that special bond for many years to come. We are committed to promoting responsible pet ownership, preventative health care and health-related educational opportunities for our clients. We pledge to you to stay current on the newest techniques and products available. But the most important point for your pet is the knowledge that each pet and owner is different and special. There is no one size fits all, so with your input we can determine which is the best care for your pet. Please take a moment to contact us today, to learn more about our veterinary practice and to find our more information about how Highsmith Animal Hospital can serve the needs of you and your cherished pet.

Our Mission
Our pledge to our patients and clients is to always provide the best possible veterinary health care in a totally compassionate and understanding manner.
The outside of our veterinary hospital in Wilmington, NC
  • 3335 Wrightsville Avenue
  • Wilmington,NC 28403
  • Phone: (910) 799-5587
  • Fax: (910) 799-8545
  • Email Us
  • Get Directions
  • Mon-Fri: 8:00am - 6:00pm
  • Dr's Hrs: 8:15am - 11:30am
  • & 2:00pm - 5:30pm
  • Sat: 8:00am - 12:00pm
  • Dr's Hrs: 8:15am - 11:30am
  • Sun: Closed
  • David W. Highsmith

    David W. Highsmith, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

    Practice 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.
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    Dr. Melody Speck, DVM

    Dr. Speck was born in the local Wilmington area and attended NC State University for her undergraduate education. She was admitted to the N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 1990. Fresh out of veterinary school she joined the staff of Highsmith Animal Hospital where she has used her knowledge and experience to care for the pets of our clients and further the bonds between people and pets.
  • Dr. Jennifer Anderson, DVM

    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. Kelsey Hays, DVM


    She is originally from Memphis, TN, is a 2018 graduate from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Arkansas in 2013. Dr. Hays’ professional interests include oncology and soft tissue surgery. When she’s not working, she enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. At home, Dr. Hays has a Beagle (Shaker), a mixed-breed goof ball (Jeb), and her sweet cat (Buddy). Dr. Hays is so excited to be here in Wilmington living the beach life with its warm and welcoming community.

  • 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. 

    This year 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 Boston Terrier named Karson.

  • 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.

  • Valerie - Receptionist

     Valerie has been a Wilmingtonian since 1994 when she moved here to go to UNCW. While studying for her English degree she met her husband Stephen, and they were married in 2001. Val began working at Highsmith in 2003 as a receptionist, moved to assistant for 13 years and has recently moved back up front. You can occasionally find her in the back retaining her reflexes and skills involving dog wrestling and cat wrangling. She and Stephen live in Wrightsboro with 3 1/2 cats and 4 dogs in various stages of general chaos. Her dogs range from a15 lb shih tzu mix named Kramer to a 40 lb powerhouse chow, lab, shepard mix named Willow who generally sheds everywhere and takes her role as alpha dog very seriously. And then there's Gabriel, her 70 lb pit bull who thinks that he is a delicate little flower and is therefore a giant muscle of mush; and lastly Sterling, 75 lbs of slightly insane pit bull, boxer and husky who has the most beautiful blue eyes but only the left one works as he was born blind in the right. In her rare spare time, Val enjoys gardening, staying home, and reading books and expanding her library. She and her husband also love to travel, and plan to retire with an RV and Google maps...and dogs.


  • Sue- Receptionist

    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- Receptionist

     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.


  • Nisah- Veterinary Assistant ( Kennel)

     Wilmington native named Nisah like Lisa but with a N and a H and the end. Graduated from Wilmington Early College High School In 2014 with an associate in arts degree. Currently attending Cape Fear, with aspirations of getting into their newly developed vet tech program. She loves animals and people and  to be able to help in any way that she can. Every day she works at Highsmith she is learning to better prepare for my future. As one of the newest family members at Highsmith she couldn’t feel more at home. New mommy to a 1 year old sweet terrier, HoneyDew. Auntie to 1 feline, Alikai. Reading, sketching, and getting lost in nature are how she spend her free time, and food, all food, she loves food.


  • Kim J- Licensed Vet Tech (RVT)

    Kim J. is a Wilmington native. Even as a little girl, she has always had a passion for animals. She graduated as an RVT from Colorado Mountain College in 2004 and joined the Highsmith Animal Hospital family in 2005 and loves her job! She is currently in the nursing program at CFCC to become a nurse for humans as well. When she’s not in school or at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 kids, a cat name Shelby, a bunny named Smudge, a budgie named Mr. Molly and the latest addition- Cheddar Bob, the cutest little Cornish Rex ever in the world.

  • 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.


  • Brittany- Licensed Vet Tech (RVT)

     Brittany is a Florida native who recently moved to Wilmington in August 2018. She graduated from Santa Fe Community College with an Associate’s degree in Zoo Animal Technology in 2008. She then earned her Associates in science degree in Veterinary Technology in 2012 at St. Petersburg College. She became the newest Highsmith Veterinary Technician in the fall of 2018! She has done a variety of exotic animal internships including one at White Oak Conservation center, and one at Disney’s aquatic animal hospital at Epcot! She has also worked with a variety of species including Cheetahs, Rhinos, Sea Turtles and Maned Wolves! In her free time she enjoys going to the Beach, Kayaking and visiting the local aquarium and sea turtle hospital. She is engaged to a great guy named Michael and they share their home with their three dogs named Kenna, Norah and Maggie, and their Ragdoll cat named Tanian.


  • Michelle- Licensed Vet Tech (RVT)

     Michelle moved to North Carolina a year and a half ago, from New York where she was born and raised. She has been in the veterinary field for 28 years,  and became a Licensed Veterinary Technician in 1992 when she graduated from S.U.N.Y Delhi. From there she went on to Colorado State University to finish her degree, when she discovered her love for emergency medicine and exotics. Michelle was a technician manager in the emergency field, while working at an aquarium in New York tending to Penguins. Michelle loves to travel, bake, hike, and go biking with her husband and two children. She has a black Labrador retriever (Hannah), a Dachshund (Daisy), and a cat (Kate). Michelle finally found her family at Highsmith Animal Hospital, where she will continue her love for veterinary medicine.


  • 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. She is also a guide for the Haunted Ghost tours here in downtown Wilmington.

    At home she has the loving support of her fiance Jake and her two furry babies Murphy and Marshmallow

  • Josie- Veterinary Assitant

    Although she has not lived in Wilmington her whole life, Josie is a North Carolina native. She transferred to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Spring 2018 from a community college in her hometown, Roxboro, N.C. She is currently acquiring her Bachelors of Biology at UNCW. Josie joined the Highsmith team in February of 2018. She loves seeing different ages and breeds of dogs & cats while working part time at Highsmith Animal Hospital.
    In her free time, Josie enjoys walking the Wrightsville Beach loop and on the beach with her two dogs. Josie’s newest addition to her furfamily is Honey, who was originally thought to be her dog but now realized she adopted another dog for Gizmo. 
    Honey is a 4 month old shepherd hound mix while gizmo is a two year old chihuahua terrier mix. Although they are very different in size, they are best friends! 
  • Abigail- Veterinary Assistant

    Abigail is a student at UNCW majoring in Biology with a minor in French and Chemistry. She is originally from Wisconsin and moved to North Carolina for school. She has worked with animals for 6 years beginning with volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center for several years and riding horses. She is the mom of two guinea pigs, Potato and Kookie, and one rabbit named Coconut. When Abigail finishes her bachelor’s degree she plans to pursue a master’s in infectious disease: microbiology before obtaining her PhD and DVM licensure. In her free time she loves to cook for friends and family and visit interesting places around North Carolina. Eventually she would like to practice medicine on every continent with a variety of species and run several marathons

  • Meg- Groomer

     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”.