Nathan C. Batts , DVM
Dr. Batts was born in Wilmington. He is an alumnus of E.A. Laney High School and attended North Carolina State University for all eight years of his post high school education, graduating from N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr. Batts began working at Needham Animal Hospital as a veterinary assistant when he was a junior in high school. After receiving his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Batts took part in a year long internship at the Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Akron, Ohio. At this specialty practice he studied surgery, internal medicine, radiology, and oncology under board certified specialists. Following his internship, Dr. Batts spent the next five years in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia practicing emergency veterinary medicine. In August of 1997, he returned to Wilmington as an associate veterinarian here at Needham Animal Hospital, buying the practice in the spring of 2005. His primary areas of interest are surgery, ultrasound, and internal and referral medicine. Dr. Batts and his wife Heather share their home with their children Stephanie, Layla Faith and Asher, and their pets, Hilary, (a cat whose main goals are to eat, sleep and be petted) Chewy, a Wheaten Terrier, and Princess Leia, a Morkie. When not working, Dr. Batts enjoys spending time with his family and friends, fishing, scuba diving and playing soccer. He and his family attend College Acres Baptist Church, where he is active as a Life Group leader and usher, and part of the men's ministry as well as various other committees
Timothy Ford , DVM
Dr. Ford, originally from Scottsdale, AZ, graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. He began working at Needham Animal Hospital in 1995 while completing his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. After receiving his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, he completed a two year residency at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Ford's interest in options to improve a beloved animal's quality of life led him to earn the Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians certification in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. Ford has been a veterinarian at Needham since 2003. Dr. Ford's primary interests are practicing in a Fear Free, bond-centered manner, focusing on medical acupuncture, preventive medicine, and dermatology. Dr. Ford resides in Wilmington with his wife Laura and their two sons, Brooks and Wells. He is an active leader in his sons Boy Scout troops, loves camping, hiking, woodworking, and his Peloton. Dr. Ford and his family have two lab mix rescues, Onyx and Luke, and a mischievous Whippet named Hiccup.
Matthew Gentile, DVM
Dr. Matthew Gentile, originally from North Haledon, New Jersey, received his Bachelor's in Biology from The University of North Carolina Wilmington and his DVM from Ross University of Veterinary Medicine. He worked for Needham Animal Hospital back in 2011 as an assistant and re-joined our team in 2018 as a veterinarian. He worked for a small animal practice in Las Vegas before re-joining our team. He shares his home with his Rottweiler, Klaus, and two labs Walker and Boomer. On his off time he enjoys cars, motorcycles, surfing and hiking.
Dr. Stacia Thompson, BVSc
Dr. Stacia Thompson, originally from Minnesota, received her Bachelor's in Marine Biology from UNCW in 2004. She worked at Needham Animal Hospital as a veterinary assistant from 2004 to 2008, where she found her true calling and pursued her veterinary career. Dr. Thompson graduated in 2012 from the University of Melbourne, Australia with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. While in Australia, she enjoyed working with the local wildlife, providing veterinary support to the Aboriginal communities and exploring the outback. Her veterinary interests include ultrasonography, dermatology, internal medicine and marine animal medicine. She re-joined her Neehdam family in June of 2014, and she is excited to be back! Dr. Thompson enjoys the beach, playing tennis and cooking in her spare time. Dr. Thompson was our employee of the month in January of 2018!!
Laura Elliott, DVM
Dr. Laura Elliott is a native of South Carolina and has moved around the United States before settling down in Wilmington in December 2018. She has been practicing veterinary medicine since 1995. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Clemson University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University. Dr. Elliott's professional interests include internal medicine, dentistry, surgery, and exotic animal medicine. She shares her home with her husband, Jeff, her miniature Bull Terrier, Princess Buttercup, and four prehensile tail skinks (lizards). In her free time, she enjoys growing orchids, cooking, and astronomy. She was our employee of the month in April of 2019!
Amber Merrill, DVM
Dr. Amber Johnson joined the Needham family in June of 2020. She grew up in a rural area of North Carolina, where her love for animals began at an early age. From assisting on the farm to coordinating enrichment activities for wildlife, Dr. Johnson knew she wanted to provide the best care possible to animals in need. Dr. Johnson received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Campbell University. Shortly after, she moved to Wilmington, NC to pursue a master’s degree before she went on to earn her DVM at Western University of Health Sciences in Southern California. While she loved the California weather, scenery, and cultural diversity, she was ready to reconnect with her Southern roots and family. After completing veterinary school, she practiced in Charlotte, NC for 2 years. She was happy to return back to Wilmington to be with her fiancé. Dr. Johnson enjoys many aspects of small animal medicine, however, her special interests includes gastroenterology, dermatology, and endocrinology. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her cockapoo, Sharlott. She also enjoys traveling and relaxing with a good book by the lake or ocean.
Stephanie Crow, DVM
Dr. Stephanie Crow is originally from King, North Carolina. She attended North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2006. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Portia Milbradt Scholarship for Veterinary Geriatrics. She practiced in Raleigh, NC for several years before moving to the beach. Her veterinary interests include senior care, internal medicine, and wellness & preventative care. She shares her home with her husband, two sons, and several four legged children... Pea, Tony, and Captain Noodles. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering at her sons' schools, collecting sea shells, cheering on the Wolfpack, and spending time with her family.
Steve Jaffe, DVM
Dr. Jaffe graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1973. He has been a member of the Needham Animal Hospital team since early 2003. His interests include dermatology, internal medicine, parasitology, and exotic medicine.
Heather graduated magna cum laude from UNCW with a B.A. in Elementary Education and Political Science, and went to work at Snipes Elementary. She married Dr. Batts in 2003 and came to work with him at Needham after the birth of their daughter. Heather, who shares her home with Dr. Batts, their children Stephanie, Layla Faith and Asher, and their pets, Hilary, (a cat whose main goals are to eat, sleep and be petted) Chewy, a Wheaten Terrier, and Princess Leia, a Morkie. She enjoys cooking, sewing and spending time with her church family.
Carly, who started with the Needham family as a receptionist in March of 2004, became our practice manager in late 2007. She attended the University of Vermont and graduated in 2003 with a B.S. in Animal Science. When not working, Carly enjoys spending time with her husband Josh and her friends, traveling and going to the beach. Carly and Josh share their home with Brody and Vada, her 2 mixed breed dogs, and her 4 horses. She also has backyard chickens, which provide some very delightful eggs to the Needham staff. Carly was our employee of the month in April of 2018!!
Christina, our client services manager, has been with the Needham family since April of 2013. She graduated from Framingham State College in Massachusetts with a Bachelor's degree in Biology with a concentration in Wildlife Management. Christina's interest is in wildlife and marine animals. She has worked in law enforcement, veterinary hospitals, zoos, humane societies, and as a herpetologist educating children on reptiles and amphibians. She was a board member for the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project and the Sea Turtle Stranding Team Coordinator for almost 6 years. Aside from her love of animals, Christina loves photography and scuba diving, and currently volunteers at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher as a scuba diver. Christina shares her home in Carolina Beach with her husband, Julio, her two beautiful daughters, and her fur babies Kira (German Shepherd), Toby (lab mix) and Tyler (kitten).
Sarah joined our Needham family on 11/1/2020 as part of our reception team. She is originally from San Diego, CA and moved to Wilmington this year. She attended Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC for science and graduated in 2017. Prior to working here she worked at Panera Bread since the age of 16! She shares her home with her boyfriend, Matthew, shepherd/lab mix puppy Halpert and Maine coon mix Pudge. She enjoys lounging around the house and going to the beach!
Registered Veterinary Technicians
Jennah Bosch , RVT
Jennah has been a part of the Needham family since January of 2009. She is originally from Tarboro, NC. Jennah began work in the veterinary field in 1994, and graduated from Central Carolina Community College with a degree in Veterinary Medical Technology in 1999. After a 4-year stint in Richmond, VA to work in emergency and critical care, Jennah moved back to NC and helped establish a new veterinary emergency clinic in eastern North Carolina. She returned to general practice in 2007, and moved to Wilmington a couple of years later. Jennah’s career has spanned emergency and critical care, radioactive Iodine treatment, general practice, management, oncology, exotics, surgery, radiology, and much more. She has experience teaching at a veterinary technicians school and teaches hands on skill for students in online vet tech programs. Jennah is Fear Free Certified (all 3 levels), as well as certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in Basic and Advanced Life Support. She is a former NC Association of Veterinary Technicians board member (President and Vice-President), and a previous advisory board member for Central Carolina Community College’s Veterinary Medical Technology program. She is an active volunteer and board member with Island Women, a non-profit organization on Pleasure Island. Jennah, and her daughter, Cooper, enjoy travelling, movies, going to the beach, and shopping. They share their home with Kion, their Pitbull, and their cats, Jake from State Farm, Peppermint Sparkles, and 2 Robovorski Dwarf Hamsters, Robo D. Mouse and Dash O'Pepper!
Nani started August 2020 after she moved from Manassas, VA but she grew up in Hawaii and Hilton Head, SC. She has a degree in Biology from the University of South Carolina and in Veterinary Technology from the Community College of Northern Virginia. Prior to working here, she worked for 5 years as a veterinary technician at an exotics vet. She shares her home with her Aussie/Husky, “Muu”, her Bearded Dragon, “Tiny Tim”, and her two ferrets “Cyril Figgus” and “Leeloo Dallas.” In her free time you can find her reading, sleeping, working out or traveling to see her family.
Amanda Fierstein, RVT
Amanda joined the Needham family in 2016. She is from Annapolis, MD. She graduated from the Vet Tech program at Cape Fear Community College in May 2019. She shares her home with her fiancé, two purr-fect pups and five awesome kitties! She was our employee of the month in October of 2019!
Christina joined the Needham family in June 2012 as part of our medical team. She is Florida born and lived in Maryland before moving to Wilmington. She received her Associate in Arts from Cape Fear Community College, and in December 2014 received her Bachelor's in Business Administration from NC Wesleyan College. Christina enjoys playing the piano, music, Disney, spending time at the beach and going on adventures. She currently shares her home with her 2 fur baby dogs, Sunny and Hoyt, and her 2 cats, Nugget and Merlot ("Tripod"). She is a volunteer with Carolina Boxer Rescue and French Bulldog Rescue Network.
Denton joined the Needham Family in March of 2020. Denton is from Thomasville, NC and moved to Wilmington in 2017. He attends All American Aviation Services in Wilmington and is expecting to graduate in 2022. He shares his home with his boyfriend, Ryan, his cat Piper, and his dogs Kippy and Zuko. He was our employee of the month in December of 2020!
Devon Horniman joined the Needham family in November of 2015. She will be a part of the medical team. She is originally from Briarcliff, NY and moved to Wilmington in 2012. She attends Penn Foster and is studying to be a vet tech. She is expected to graduate in 2022. Prior to working here she worked at Sunnyfiled Equestrian Farms as a head trainer, Interscholastic Equestrian Association coach, barn manager and Zone 3 region president of Interscholastic Equestrian Association. She shares her home with her husband, Nathan, children, Grayson (3) and Charlotte (1) and two fur babies Dakota and Vito. On her off time she enjoys riding horses, camping, spending time with her family and reading books. She received a bachelors and psychology from Goucher College in Towson, MD and a Masters in Forensic Psychology from John Jay in New York City.
Ronnie Kruse joined the Needham family in November of 2020 as part of our medical team. He is from Leland and currently lives there. He attended Cape Fear Community College for Veterinary Medical Technology and graduated in 2020. He came to us from Capeside Animal Hospital. He shares his home with his daughter, Madelyn, boyfriend, Antwain, and two cats, Bonnie and Chloe. He enjoys taking Madelyn to the park and swimming!
Alexis joined our Needham family in August of 2019. She has been in Wilmington since 2014 and is originally from Burlington, NC. She attended UNCW for film studies and graduated in 2018. She shares her home with her boyfriend, Jon, and her furbabies, Diesel (German Shep/Lab x) and Khan (Maine Coon Mix). On her off time she enjoys watching films, cooking, and creating YouTube videos. She used to be a thrower on the UNCW's Women's Track and Field Team! She was our employee of the month in November of 2019!
Kiersten joined us in May of 2019. She is originally from Mooresville, NC and moved to Wilmington in 2016. She attends UNCW and is studying psychology and professional writing and she is expected to graduate in 2021. She shares her home with her one year old cat Oakley who she rescued when he was 3 weeks old. On her off time she enjoys going to the beach and spending time on the boat. She was our employee of the month in October of 2020.
Jennifer joined the Needham family in May of 2019. She is originally from Hendersonville, NC and moved to Wilmington in 2014. She attended UNCW for criminology and graduated in 2018. Prior to working here she worked with paws4people helping train assistance dogs for veterans and children with disabilities. On her off time she enjoys hiking, traveling to new places and going to the beach! She was our employee of the month in December of 2019!
Casey Horne started here on May 24th and she is originally from High Point, NC and moved to Wilmington in 2013. She attended Cape Fear Community College for general education and graduated in 2016. Prior to working here she worked as a receptionist and tech assistant at Cape Fear Diagnostics for sleep studies and EEGs). She shares her home with her boyfriend, Michael and best friend Stephanie and her dog EmmyLou. On her off time she enjoys DYI projects, skiing, fishing and anything she can do with Emmy. She LOVES the Panthers and country music. She was our employee of the month in November of 2020!
Lia is a part time employee that helps out reception when they are in need! She is an amazing part of the Needham family and brings so much joy to the entire animal hospital.
Brittany Dumire joined the Needham family in November of 2020 as part of the reception team. She is from Chicago, IL and moved to Wilmington in 2007. She attended Cape Fear Community College for nursing, but may change her major in the future. She is also a server at Nicolas Italian and previously worked as a flight attended for American Airlines. She shares her home with her boyfriend, co-worker, and 2 dogs, Clyde and Zeke. She loves playing with her dogs, taking them swimming at the pond (a lot!)
Daycare and Boarding Staff
Rachel has been a wonderful addition to our Needham family since July 2016. She works on our Boarding and Daycare Team. She has attended classes at Longwood University and Cape Fear Community College. She used to work as a farm tech on an organic farm and animal sanctuary and educational camp and taught children's summer camps on sustainable farms, animal husbandry and proper animal care. She grew up on a family farm in Mathews, Virginia and was always bringing strays home because of her lifelong passion for animals. She shares her home with her furry loves, 8 dogs, 5 chickens, and a flock of semi-wild ducks. She loves art, music, hiking and outdoors, crafting, spending time with her 2- and 4-legged family, and she is a very talented singer! She was our employee of the month in September of 2019!
Emily joined our Needham family in April of 2018. She is originally from right here in Wilmington. She currently attends Cape Fear Community College and wants to go to the University of North Carolina Wilmington and would like to go to North Carolina State for Veterinary School. She shares her home with her Pomeranian, Faith, and her cat Ellie Belle. She loves the mountains! She was our employee of the month in April of 2020!
Shelby joined the Needham family in July of 2018. She is originally from right here in Wilmington and she went to Brunswick Community College. Prior to working here she worked in Health and Wellness and has experience as a CNA, med tech, and medical aide. She shares her home with her daughter Oakley Ann, and enjoys fishing, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. She would like to one day be an RN. Shelby was our Employee of the Month in July of 2019!
Kenzie joined our family in April of 2019. She is from right here in Wilmington and is currently enrolled in the vet tech program through Penn Foster. She shares her home with her 2 dogs, a rat terrier Sophie, and a lab mix Luna, and her fiancé. She enjoys going to the beach and watching Netflix in her down time and she absolutely loves animals!
Maddie joined our Needham Family today, 6/16/19. She is originally from right here in Wilmington. She attends Cape Fear and is studying in their vet tech program and is expected to graduate in 2021. Prior to working here she worked at Island Ice Factory and Port City Java. She shares her home with her mom, stepdad, grandmother and dog Ollie. On her off time she enjoys movies, the beach and traveling! She was our employee of the month in February of 2020!
Courtney joined the Needham Family in February of 2019. She moved from Temecula California to Wilmington in 2014. She enjoys spending time with her fiancé and her golden retriever, Whiskey and her awesome cat Garfield! You will see Courtney working with both our reception team and daycare and boarding!
Keaton joined the Needham family in November of 2019. He is from right here in Wilmington, NC. He shares his home with this handsome tabby "Jones". In his spare time he enjoys kayaking, his aquariums, and drawing.
Heather joined our Needham Family in November of 2020. She has been a welcome addition to our team and helps us get things together at the end of the day. She is from and lives in Carolina Beach and attends Cape Fear Community College for her Associates in Science. She is expected to graduate in 2022. Prior to working here she worked at a children's camp and she shares her home with her mom, dad, 3 younger siblings and her cat Sophie. In her off time she enjoys going to the beach! She was our employee of the month in March of 2021!
A New England girl from Pittston, ME, Tina has been grooming since 1990, when she did an apprenticeship in Maynard, MA. When not fluffing tails and taking manes, Tina is, in her own right, the female version of Bob Villa. One of her greatest passions is home improvement, and you can more often than not be assured that is what is being done in her spare time. Tina's passion and love of animals runs over into her home life, where she shares her home improvements with her rescued fur (and some fur-less) babies- 8 dogs, 5 cats, 5 birds, 1 sugar glider, and 1 baby squirrel.
Nate joined the Needham Family in April of 2020. He is from Dayton, OH and relocated here to work with our rehab and medical departments. He comes with 8 years veterinary experience as an RVT and CCRP and his education comes from Sinclair Community College in applied sciences. He shares his home with 3 cats (Pete, Dexter and Cao) and his French Bulldog, Larry, and his boyfriend Will. In his spare time he enjoys spending time outdoors, bike rides and gardening. He is looking to pursue his VTS (Physical Rehabilitation) and certification in Companion Animal Pain Management.
Tayler graduated from South Granville High School in Creedmore, NC in 2014 and is originally from nearby Sneads Ferry. She joined our Needham family to work in boarding and daycare in October, 2018. Tayler's love of all animals is evident and her job responsibilitles were expanded in July, 2019 to include learning about animal rehabilitation and how to assist in caring for patients with a variety of physical impairments. When she's not working to help animals, Tayler enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the beach and playing soccer. She was our employee of the month twice! Once in January of 2019 and once in June of 2020!
Leif joined our Needham team in October, 2019 after moving to Wilmington from Starkville, Mississippi. She holds a master's degree in animal physiology from Mississippi State University and has worked in the veterinary field since 2011. Leif is currently attending classes to obtain her degree in veterinary technology and is on course to become a NC Registered Veterinary Technician. Her longterm goal is to become a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner through the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Leif shares her home with her cat, Mogli, and enjoys reading in her spare time. She was our employee of the month in March of 2020!