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- Office Manager
Rebecca has been part of the Highsmith team since 2011. She is originally from Winston- Salem, NC. Rebecca aka Becca started work in the veterinary field in 1993, graduated from Central Carolina Community College in 1997 with a degree in Veterinary Medical Technology. Prior to Veterinary Medicine she attended Brevard College in the beautiful NC mountains.
In 2002 she moved to Wilmington, NC and has worked in a few practices in town, while continuing to volunteer with The Turtle Hospital in Topsail, NC, The Serpentarium here in Wilmington, and The NC Aquarium. 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. We have several pre-vet students that come and go and being part of their journey is amazing. Rebecca also volunteers with the Domestic Violence women’s shelter, The Rape Crisis Center and giving back to the community.
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. She has moved over into the Management side of veterinary medicine here at Highsmith AH.
When not working, Becca enjoys spending time with her husband Chris and their friends. Traveling, going to concerts and crazy obstacle races. They have one 4-year-old French Bulldog 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!
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”.
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!
Jessica- RVT (Licensed Veterinary Technician)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 graduated from the CFCC Veterinary Technician program earning her associates degree in veterinary medical technology in 2021. 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 am looking forward to starting her career at Highsmith and getting to know the awesome clients and pets.
Clara- ReceptionistClara moved to Wilmington in 2019 to work on her middle grades MAT at UNC-Wilmington after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill. However, during Covid, she found she needed a change. She has always loved being around animals and currently has two cats: “Lionel” and “Bagel”. Most of her free time is spent getting snuggles from them, but she also enjoys reading, writing fiction, and playing the piano. She is excited about this new chapter in her life and ready to share some snuggles with more patients at Highsmith.
Amy was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts moved to North Carolina in 1998 with her parents and brother. Attended Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte and earned a degree in Auto body repair and welding. Left the industry over 20 years ago to pursue a fulfilling career in the animal industry. Amy has had compassion and respect for animals since she was little. Amy moved to Wilmington in August 2021 with her husband, 2 kids, a chihuahua named Jethro and a cat named Jack. She started working at Highsmith Animal Hospital in October 2021. Amy enjoys music, going to concerts, nature walks and spending time with her family, the beach and snuggle time with her chihuahua and cat. Amy is excited to join the Highsmith family and looking forward the many adventures to come.