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 - Retired November 2021
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 is our Financial Manager here at Needham Animal Hospital. She 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 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). Christina was our employee of the month in July of 2021!
Nathan Faul, RVT, CCRP
Nate, the manager of our Rehab and Medical Teams, joined the Needham Family in April of 2020. He is from Dayton, OH and relocated here to work with us! 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.
Sarah joined our Needham family in 2020 as our Client Service Manager and works with 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! She was our employee of the month in August of 2021!
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! She was our employee of the month in April of 2021!
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 and April of 2021!
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.
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 and April of 2021!
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!
Grace has been a part of the Needham Family since February of 2021. She is originally from Fayetteville, NC and moved to Wilmington in 2019. She attends UNCW for Biology and Psychology and is expected to graduate in 2022. She shares her home with her dog, Henry and two snakes, Soba and Honey. In her off time she enjoys reading and knitting.
Makayla joined the Needham family in February of 2021. She is originally from Creedmoor, NC and moved to Wilmington in 2019. She attends UNCW for Biology and is expected to graduate in 2023. Prior to working here she worked at a veterinary office in Creedmoor NC for two years. She shares her home with her roommate and puppy Milo. She enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and going to the beach. She is interested in going to vet school after graduation and her main interests are wildlife medicine and conservation.
Tara joined the Needham family in May of 2021. She is originally from Wake Forest and moved to Wilmington in 2018. She attends UNCW for Biology and is expected to graduate in the fall of 2021. Prior to working here she worked at Animal Emergency and Trauma Hospital in Wilmington. She shares her home with her dog Daisy. In her off time she enjoys taking her dog to the dog park and going to the gym.
Yeleiry re-joined the Needham family in August of 2021. She is originally from Asheville, NC and moved to Wilmington in 2019. She attends UNCW for Sociology with Pre-Veterinary requirements. She is expected to graduate in 2022. She shares her home with Yria her Golden Retriever and Skeet. In her off time she enjoys surfing, studying, running and going on walks at the beach! We are so happy to have her back!
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.
Marissa Garrow joined the Needham family in 2021. She is from Lexington, NC and moved to Wilmington in 2017. She attends UNCW for Biology and Creative Writing and will be graduating in 2023. She worked as a vet intern in Italy and with Brainjob Communications. She shares her home with her cat, Tempesta. She has a lot of plants and enjoys reading, writing, weightlifting and cooking. She LOVES cats!!
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 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 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.
Sarena joined our Needham Family in June of 2021. She is originally from Lattabra, CA and moved to Burgaw in 2019. Prior to working here she worked with Elderberry Tribe. She shares her home with her partner, Heather, and their two ferrets, Meeko and Skit along with their German Shepherds Bella Ray and Sage. In her off time she enjoys digital art, playing with her pets, video games, traveling, and watching and listening to crime shows and podcasts. She was our employee of the month in October of 2021!
Christie joined the Needham Family in September of 2021. She is originally from Henderson, NC and moved to Boliva at the age of 3, then on to Belville (Leland) in 1997 where she currently resides with her two college aged kids, Ben and Sarah and their three dogs Quirt, Mambo, and Angel. Prior to working here she taught English and worked at as a CNA and also will continue to work in customer service at Home Depot. She attended UNC Wilmington and studied Middle Grade Education. In her off time she enjoys traveling, photography, baking, cooking, reading, crocheting, and working in her yard.
Angelica joined the Needham family in 2021. She is from Wilmington, but moved to Leland in 2013. She attends Cape Fear Community College for general studies and is expected to graduate in 2023. She shares her home with her family and 2 poodles, Marlee and Moose. In her off time she enjoys writing, reading, watching TV and movies, and listening and playing music.
Daycare and Boarding Staff
Maddie joined our Needham Family in 2019. 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. 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! You will see Courtney working with both our reception team and daycare and boarding!
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 family of 5 and 3 dogs, 2 turtles, 1 cat and lots of fish! On her off time she enjoys music, car rides, and the beach.
Doggie Daycare Playcare Team
Hollie joined the Needham Family in 2021. She is from right here in Wilmington and attends Port City Christian Academy and Cape Fear Community College. She is expected to graduate in 2023. Prior to working here she worked for an after school karate academy and helped tutor kids in school. She shares her home with her family and dog named David. In her off time she enjoys dancing at GAFA studios, cooking, baking, art, soccer, and studying marine biology.
Ruby joined our team in June of 2021. She attends Hoggard High School and is expected to graduate in 2023. After that she is interested in pursuing a career in Forensic Psychology. She shares her home with her family and Goldendoodle, Mabel. In her off time she enjoys watching movies, spending time with friends, and listening to music.
Jessica joined the Needham in July of 2021 as our full time groomer! She is originally from Montana and moved to Wilmington in 2018. She comes to us with lots of experience in grooming and animal shelters! She shares her home with her Standard Poodle, Winnie, and in her off time enjoys doing anything outdoors.
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 responsibilities 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 long term 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!
In Memory Of...
Devon Jamie (McDermott) Horniman (March 23, 1984 - June 26, 2021)
Devon was an amazing and special part of the Needham Family. She left us far too early at the age of 37. What we will always remember about Devon is that she had this eagerness to learn and an amazing smile to go with it. She was always happy to help and came to work every day with this amazing positive attitude. Devon was originally from originally from Briarcliff, NY and moved to Wilmington in 2012. She attended Penn Foster and was studying to be a vet tech. 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 shared her home with her husband, Nathan, children, Grayson (4) and Charlotte (2) and two fur babies Dakota and Vito. On her off time she enjoyed 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. Devon brought joy and love into all of our lives and we will hold her memory close to our hearts.