Highsmith Animal Hospital
Our pledge to our patients and clients is to always provide the best possible veterinary health care in a totally compassionate and understanding manner.
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.
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 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
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. 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 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 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.
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. 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 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 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 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 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
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’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”.
Pretty as a picture.
Gypsy Rose Loves EVERYONE at Highsmith Animal Hospital!
My "Little" Prince on his Pillow
Truman was found in a kill shelter in SC. His people had abandoned him there. He has found his forever home with us and is a sweet, affectionate big boy.