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.
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.
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, and surgery. She shares her home with her husband, Jeff, and their two Standard Poodles. In her free time, she enjoys growing orchids, cooking, and astronomy.
Amber Merrill, DVM
Dr. Amber Merrill 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. Merrill knew she wanted to provide the best care possible to animals in need. Dr. Merrill 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. Merrill 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.
Michael Rowe, DVM
Dr. Rowe joined the Needham family in 2022. He was born and raised in rural North Carolina. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree from East Carolina University. Then went on to receive his DVM from St. George's University in Grenada, West Indies, finishing with a clinical year at LSU in 2019. As a Veterinary student Dr. Rowe spent a summer working and learning at Needham in 2015. After graduation he moved to Wilmington, NC where he began practicing and after 3 years decided to join the Needham family. Dr. Rowe's veterinary interests include surgery, imaging and dermatology. When out of the office, Dr. Rowe enjoys sports, life on the water and spending time with his wife Brittany, sons Jaxon and Grayson, daughter Peyton and of course their 2 dogs Dixie and Scout. Dr. Rowe is excited to provide quality care for the pet community of Wilmington and looks forward to meeting you!
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.
Carly Foster, Practice Manager
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 two mixed breed dogs Teach and Vada, three cats Doug, Ted and Tiki and her 2 horses. She also has backyard chickens, which provide some very delightful eggs to the Needham staff.
Christina Lopez, Office Manager
Christina, our Office 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).
Samantha Pollere, Reception Manager
Sam joined the Needham Family in December of 2021. She is from the Jersey shore and moved to Wilmington in April 2021. She shares her home with her boyfriend, Jack, and their rescue dogs: Jetty (Beagle/Treeing Walker Coonhound mix) and Lilo (Beagle). In her spare time, you can find her surfing in Wrightsville Beach, painting, or thrift shopping. She LOVES hound dogs!!!
Amanda Hufton, RVT, Medical Team Manager
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 2019. She shares her home with her husband and two kids, along with two pups, five kitties and a few chickens! She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and traveling to the mountains. She was our employee of the month in October of 2019 and April of 2021!
Registered Veterinary Technicians
Jennah has been a part of the Needham family since January of 2009. 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. Jennah's love of veterinary medicine has taken her around NC and into VA, and has spanned general practice, emergency and critical care, education, and an array of specialties. She has experience teaching at a veterinary technician school and teaches hands on skills for students in online vet tech programs and during tech student's externships. Jennah is Elite Fear Free Certified in Companian Animal and Avian, 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 a volunteer and past board member with Island Women, a non-profit organization on Pleasure Island, is the former Fundraising and Education Coordinator for the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project, and enjoys being active in the community and the schools through volunteer work. Jennah, and her daughter, Cooper, enjoy travelling, movies, and giving back. They share their home with Kion, their pitbull rescue, and their cats, Jake from State Farm, Peppermint Sparkles, Ed Purrin, and Lunar Eclipse.
Stephanie joined the Needham family in 2021. She is from Rocky Mount, NC and moved to Wilmington in 2020. She attended Miller-Motte College for Veterinary Technology and graduated in December of 2019. She has experience at other local veterinary hospitals. She and her boyfriend, Isaac share their home with their two dogs Milo (beagle) and Forrest (Treeing Walker Coonhound). In her off time she enjoys kayaking, going to the beach, sea shell hunting, and when she doesn’t have sand between her toes she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. She was our employee of the month for May of 2022!
Meredith is originally from right here in Wilmington and went to Cape Fear Community College for Veterinary Technology. Prior to working here she worked at ECVR/AETH. She shares her home with her boyfriend, John, daughter, Finley, and two dogs, Tia and Gertie. In her off time she enjoys UFC, hula hooping, hiking, camping, and horror movies. She loves working in surgery and also really enjoys wound management.
Brooke is originally from New York. She graduated from Alfred State with a degree in Veterinary Technology in May 2023. She shares her home with her boyfriend and 2 dogs: Aspen and Colt. In her off time she enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, going to the beach.
Emily joined our Needham family in April of 2018. She is originally from right here in Wilmington. She graduated from Cape Fear Community College with a degree in Veterinary Medical Technology in August 2023. She shares her home with her roommate and her two cats Ellie Belle and Willow Rose. In her spare time she enjoys reading, Netflix, being outside, and traveling. She was our employee of the month in April of 2020!
Casey joined the Needham family in 2020. 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 husband, Michael, and their dog, Emmylou. On her off time, she enjoys DIY 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 and August of 2022!
Mila joined the Needham family from all the way in Saint-Petersburg Russia! She moved to Leland this year. She attended Saint Petersburg Academy of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2013, so she is actually a veterinarian in Russia. She has specialized in surgery since 2010. Prior to working here she worked at the Animal Hospital of San Luis Obispo, CA as a head tech and Watford City Vet Center in North Dakota as a surgery intern. She shares her home with Bubbles, her Great Pyrenees/Aussie mix and Marsya and Mufasa, her cats that came with her from Russia. In her off time she enjoys hiking, yoga, the beach, guitar, cooking, music concerts, reading, studying, and Netflix. She would like to one day return to being a veterinary surgeon and is currently working on obtaining her American Veterinary License.
Korri joined the Needham family in 2021. She is from Omaha, Nebraska and moved to Wilmington in 2019. She came to us with prior animal hospital experience. She shares her home with her family and dog, Saber. In her off time she enjoys doing digital and traditional art. She was our Employee of the Month for November of 2022!
Alyssa is from Connecticut and moved to Wilmington 5 years ago. She would like to become an RVT specializing in surgery one day. She shares her home with 2 dogs, and 3 cats and enjoys anything involving the outdoors and reading. She also enjoys kayaking and taking the dogs hiking.
Lyric is from Winston-Salem, and moved to Wilmington in 2020. She has been at UNCW and AppState and will be returning to AppState in the fall and is expecting to graduate in 2025 as a registered veterinary technician. She would one day like to go to school to become a veterinarian. She currently shares her home with her roommate and their pets as well as her own two dogs, Dutch Shepherd mixes. In her off time she enjoys hiking, dancing, drawing, swimming, paining, reading, training her dogs and pretty much anything outside.
Erin is from Silver Spring, Maryland and moved to Wilmington 4 years ago to attend UNCW. She is currently in school and looking forward to graduation this year with a Biology degree. For her future goals she would like to continue working with animals and medicine and would like to maybe incorporate nature and genetics. She likes to spend time outdoors, hanging out with friends, camping, hiking, running, reading, playing guitar and traveling. She loves reptiles, music, and just went on her first backpacking trip in the mountains. She is looking forward to learning new skills and growing as a professional in a supportive work environment.
Ursula joined us part time in medical as a veterinary assistant. She is from Lima, Peru but grew up in NC and moved to Wilmington in 2019. She is currently attending Cape Fear Community College for Veterinary Technology and is looking forward to graduating in 2024. She shares her home with her boyfriend, cat (Benny) and a bearded dragon (Sam). In her off time she enjoys musical theater, film acting, dancing and sewing.
Mikayla is from Carolina Beach and just moved back there after attending school in Raleigh for her Bachelor’s degree at NCSU. She is currently continuing her education for vet school. She hopes to be a veterinarian one day. She shares her home with 2 crazy boxers, Banks and Bodie. In her off-time Mikayla enjoys spending time with her friends and family, hitting the beach, being on the water, and paddleboarding.
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!
Maggie was born and raised in NC. She was dual enrolled, taking college classes while in high school. In the future, she would like to do research and testing for pollutants and create improvement plans for heavily polluted wildlife areas. She has two dogs- Chloe and Bella, a cat named Yoshi, and a Bearded Dragon called Nomad. She loves art, puzzles, games (PC/video), the outdoors, swimming and animals! She loves spending most of her free time creating things. She is excited to learn the veterinary field and getting to know everyone, staff and clients. She loves to stay busy and loves listening to music! She was our Employee of the Month for January of 2023!
Sarah is from right here in Wilmington, although she lived in Michigan for a few years, and moved back here a few years ago. She attended UNCW for Marine Biology and plans on going back one day to finish. She shares her home with her husband, Clay and dog Finn, who is a miniature wired haired dachshund. In her off time she enjoys exploring new places and spending time with friends. She also enjoys going to the beach with her husband and puppy. She is excited to learn all the new things she can in the veterinary world and working in an animal hospital. She was our Employee of the Month for March of 2023!
Sarah is from Jacksonville, NC and moved to Wilmington in August. She is currently attending UNCW for Marine Biology. She would love to work in conservation and become a teacher down the road to educate others about sustainability and ways to help our ecosystem and the animals that live within it. She currently shares her home with her boyfriend and her two cats, Boots and Reece. In her off time she loves to read, visit Disney, and watch Star Wars and Marvel movies. She loves to be outside and spend time with family.
Lia joined the Needham Family in 2018! 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.
Kerrigan is from right here in Wilmington and went to Coastal Christian High School and is currently attending Cape Fear Community College. She is getting her Associates of Arts and is looking into the Vet Tech Program. She shares her home with her cat, Apollo and her dog, Rio.
Ana is from Belgrade, Serbia and moved to Wilmington about 20 years ago. She attends UNCW for Pre-Med /Biology and is hoping to add a minor of animal studies. She is planning to graduate in May of 2025. She hopes to one day be an oromaxillary surgeon. She shares her home with her family, significant other, her dog Lucca and a ton of koi fish. In her off time she rides horses, reads, enjoys hunting and fishing, snorkeling and hiking. She also enjoys trying new restaurants and breweries.
Daycare and Boarding Staff
Maddie (Reception for Daycare and Boarding)
Maddie joined our Needham Family in 2019 as a Daycare and Boarding Team member. She works now as the receptionist for the Daycare and Boarding Building. She is originally from right here in Wilmington. 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 husband and her golden retriever, Whiskey and her awesome cat Garfield! She was our Employee of the Month in November of 2021!
Alix joined the Needham Family in February of 2021. She is from right here in Wilmington! She attends Cape Fear Community College for Nursing while also attending Hoggard and is expected to graduate from Hoggard in 2021. She shares her home with her mom, Charlie Beach (Shih Tzu), Daisy (yellow lab), and Bagel (hamster). On her off time she enjoys going on the boat, hanging out on the beach, painting and playing soccer. She was our employee of the month in June of 2021!
Lillian joined the Needham family in April of 2021. She is originally from Smryna, NC (Beaufort) and moved to Wilmington in 2017. She shares her home with her fiancé, 3 cats and one Chihuahua mix! On her off time she enjoys music, car rides, and the beach. She was our Employee of the Month in June of 2022!
Sabrina is from Queens, NY and moved to Leland in 2005. She graduated from North Brunswick High School. Her career goals in life are photography, graphic design and working with animals. She shares her home with her family and three dogs. She loves to draw, sleep, spend time with her family and friends and she loves volunteer work.
Annie would one day love to own her own rescue. She shares her home with her two dogs, Rosebud and Goose. In her off time she spends a lot of time with her dogs. She loves weight lifting and movies.
Lilly is from Maryland and moved to Wilmington in 2019. She would love to one day be an esthetician. She shares her home with her family and dog, Ginger. In her off time she enjoys painting, reading, and writing.
Leah is from Erie, Pennsylvania. She moved to Wilmington in July of 2023. She attended Northwest PA Collegiate Academy. She also has experience working in animal shelters. She shares her home with her husband, two dogs, Bella and Maui, and their gecko. In her off time she enjoys taking the dogs to the dog park, finding new things to do in the area, and spending time with her husband and pets. She enjoys helping animals!
Sydney is from Wilmington, born and raised, and is starting at UNCW this fall. She is hoping to graduate with a nursing degree in 2027 and would like to become a nurse practitioner. She shares her home with her family and one dog and in her off time she enjoys softball, hanging out with friends, watching sunsets and training her dog.
Randi is part of our daycare and boarding team but will also be working the hospital helper position. She is from Winnabow and attended South Brunswick HS. She would one day like to be a large animal doctor. She shares her home with her family, 2 cats (Bow and Rowdy), and her dogs: Luke, Possum, Hyde, Harley, Bailey, and Roxy. In her off time she enjoys kayaking and fishing and she spends most of her time off with family.
Doggie Daycare Playcare Team
Noah is from right here in Wilmington and he joined us in 2022. He is homeschooled and expected to graduate in 2024. He shares his home with his family and mini-Golden doodle and enjoys soccer.
Javan is originally from North Carolina and moved to Wilmington in 2005. He attended New Hanover High School.
Mikhaela is from New York and moved to Hampstead in 2012. She attended Pender Early College High School and graduated in 2022. She shares her home with her family and her dog, Yoda, and kitten Mango. She enjoys crafts, video games, marvel, and music.