Ashley Brown

Practice Manager

Ashley grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, with four sisters, two dogs, and a cat named Midnight. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of South Carolina in 2008. She has a background in hospitality and a passion for giving clients the best possible service experience and quality of care.

Ashley started at AHBC as a Client Relations Specialist in 2011. Three years later, she became our fearless practice manager. Her proudest moment came in 2016 when she helped Dr. Goetz and the hospital become AAHA-certified—the highest achievable distinction bestowed by the American Animal Hospital Association for veterinary care in the country and Canada.

Ashley believes the best part of AHBC is our overall commitment to education, thoroughness, and cooperation. Supporting pet parents and pets is the best reward! To accomplish her goal of helping AHBC grow in our knowledge and continue building our impressive team, Ashley is taking online courses to become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. She hopes to earn this honor in early summer 2018.

Ashley’s dedication to AHBC inspires everyone, from staff to pet parents. She helps AHBC succeed in all she does. Her motto is, “Every job worth doing is worth doing well.”

Ashley and her husband live in Raleigh with their four children and two dogs. She enjoys visiting family and, most importantly, spending time with her children: going to museums, reading at the public library, and doing arts and crafts.

Kara Kelly


Kara grew up in Baltimore and started working with animals, as a bather and fluff dryer, when she was just 15 years old. She has more than 11 years experience grooming animals and is essentially self-taught. She joined the AHBC team in February 2017.

Kara loves the variety of the job and working with her hands. Every day—and every dog—at AHBC is different! Kara loves taking shelter animals and making them clean, and whole, again. She believes there is nothing more memorable and rewarding than turning a neglected, distressed animal into a happy and beautiful creature.

Dogs and cats who come to see Kara can feel how much she loves and cares for them—she even talks to them throughout the entire groom.

Kara’s hobbies include running, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, bowling, and taking care of her Boxer, Sarge. She likes to cook and is definitely a foodie! Her spirit animal is the protective tiger. Kara’s motto is, “In everything do 100 percent.”


Tanja Cooper


Tanja grew up in Northern Virginia with 10 brothers and sisters and plenty of beloved family pets, who played a big part of her childhood. She moved to North Carolina with her husband and three children in 1998.

After many happy years rearing her children, Tanja decided to go back to work. She had a strong administrative background in the corporate world, but her heart pulled her in a different direction—she simply loves animals so much. We happily welcomed her to our team in April 2017.

Tanja says she has found the perfect job at AHBC! We certainly hope so; she’s a pretty perfect addition to the AHBC family. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and her positive attitude makes work fun. When sad or stressful situations arise, Tanja is always there to lend an ear, a helping hand, and a smile. Her spirit animal is the sociable brown bear.

Tanja likes to stay active: taking care of her animals, working in the yard, exploring Raleigh’s culinary scene, and visiting her children on weekends. Her motto is, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Melissa Parland


Melissa was born in Parma, Ohio, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, with a minor in Photography. She previously worked as a news and portrait photographer. As much as she liked taking pictures of humans, her heart was with taking care of animals. We were thrilled to welcome Melissa to the AHBC team in October 2015.

Melissa’s first job was at a farm sanctuary, where she looked after chickens, goats, sheep, horses, ducks, pigs, and rabbits. She likes to write mystery stories and enjoys hiking with her trusty Golden Retriever, Piper, by her side. Melissa believes you don’t pick your dog—your dog picks you!

Melissa and her fiancée, who is a vet student at North Carolina State University, are the proud parents of Piper, two guinea pigs, a turtle, and three cats, one of whom Melissa was able to adopt from AHBC after her diligent bottle-feeding and love saved his life.

Melissa also happily gives Typhoon, our clinic cat and mascot, his weekly bath, and takes all the adorable photos of our rescue kittens for Facebook. We think it’s the secret they get adopted so fast.

Millie Pinto


Millie was born in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and relocated to Raleigh with her husband, Tony, and their three dogs, five cats, ferret, and snake. She most recently adopted a micro-miniature pot belly pig!

Millie became an AHBC team member in March 2017. She has dedicated her entire professional life to customer service, working first in management and then in the field of animal care for more than 30 years. She is CPR-certified for animals and works part-time at VSH, the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas. Millie is willing to do whatever it takes to make animals feel and live better. Her vital contributions to AHBC help us provide the highest standards of care.

Her hobbies include traveling, walking, and shopping. Millie lives by the motto, “Treat people the way you would want to be treated.”

Percy Valdez


Percy grew up in Iowa and Illinois as the youngest of three sisters and one brother. His passion and talent for interacting with people led him to a career in retail management. When he learned of an opening in customer relations at AHBC, he knew he could perfectly blend his love of people with his love of animals. He became an indispensable team member in December 2015.

The first love of Percy’s life was Sasha, a Siberian Husky who lived to be 13 years old. He lives in Wake Forest and co-parents the newest addition to his family, Mickey the Chihuahua, with his best friend. He enjoys swimming, bowling, and eating! Percy may not cook, but he is an avid appreciator of food. His motto is to “live life to the fullest every day.”

Percy loves working at AHBC because he meets and supports clients and pets on a daily basis. His spirit animal is the engaging otter. The ultimate people person, Percy is definitely AHBC’s most popular—cheerful, chatty, and beloved by AHBC pet parents! His huge heart is a huge part of AHBC’s success.


Joni Hargreaves

Vet Nurse

Joni was born and grew up in Stovall, North Carolina. She previously worked as an Animal Control Officer in Franklin County and came to the field of veterinary care in 2012. AHBC was thrilled to welcome her to our team in May 2017.

Joni lives in Henderson with her husband, Scott, four children, and dogs Rocky, Xena (Warrior Princess), and Allie, as well as her two cats. She also looks after lots of neighborhood strays, and recently rescued a Chihuahua named Lala who only speaks Spanish!

Joni’s favorite thing about working at AHBC is the spirit of cooperation and dedication. She believes work is better when you look forward to it! Joni’s motto is, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” She holds the record at AHBC for most tattoos—many of them names of her beloved pets. Her spirit animal is the honorable elephant.

Terese Graham

Vet Nurse

Terese was born and reared in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. She grew up with a Dachshund named Rocky and a cat named Mittens, plus a few special goldfish. Her spirit animal is the steadfast lion.

Terese moved to Raleigh to attend college and graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Animal Science, Class of 2017! She started at AHBC as an assistant in July 2016 and later moved into vet nursing. She may one day become a certified veterinary technician.

Terese is always willing to above and beyond. Her favorite thing about working at AHBC is seeing sick animals recover. She loves teaching pet parents the best possible care to meet their fur baby’s unique needs. She happily pet-sits for Dr. Goetz and her AHBC friends. Her favorite pastime is relaxing and spending time with her family, human and furry.


Anna Bengel


When Anna was born, in Greensboro, her parents had six cats…which now seems like a sign. Today she and her husband, Joshua, live in Durham with their beautiful feline family: Poindexter, Mortimer, Edith, Frances, Amelia, Seamus, Minerva, and Wynne. She believes in Hemingway: “One cat just leads to another.” And the philosophy that “until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Six of Anna’s kitty misfits were sent to her as AHBC rescues. Some were sick, some anxious: all quirky. Anna’s motto is: “Every special diet is worth it.” Anna enjoys feeding cats, chasing cats, buying things for cats, and adding to her impressive collection of cat magnets, and cats. The best day of the week at her house is claw-clipping day. She is her cats’ spirit animal.

Anna joined AHBC in June 2014. She is always willing to snuggle, or wrestle, a feline patient—and although she may be an avid cat lover, she does not discriminate. She is pleased to spoil all AHBC pets, even the canine ones.

Anna earned her undergrad degree in Media Communication from the College of Charleston and her master’s in Journalism at Columbia University. She previously worked as a reporter, writer, and editor in New York City and lived in Brooklyn for many years. She runs her own content development and market research freelance business—happily composing away with a rotating circus of cats in her lap.

Jasmine Frasier


Jasmine was born in Raleigh, grew up in California, and returned to this area in 2015. She has always wanted to be a veterinarian, and took a big step toward her goal when she became an AHBC team member in July 2017. Within the first month of joining us, she adopted two rescue kittens, sisters Klondike and Safari.

Jasmine has always had a fascination with animals and animal care. Her first pet was a Pit Bull; today her spirit animal remains the fearless (yet lovable!) Pit Bull. When she was six years old, her hamster died—of natural causes—and she carefully dissected him at home. Her life philosophy is, “Patience.”

Besides animals, Jasmine has a passion for acting. Her credits include “The Originals” television series, and the movies “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Office Christmas Party.” She is so good-natured she lets her AHBC friends call her “Jazzy Jasmine.”

Britney Sutton


Britney was born in Gastonia, where as a girl she fed scores of stray cats, who eventually grew to trust her and her alone; no one else could approach them. Her love of animals brought her to AHBC in March 2017. Her commitment to and knack for understanding animals make her an essential team member.

Britney earned her Bachelor of Arts in History, with concentrations in European and Greek history, in 2015. Her husband, Patrick, is enrolled in vet school at North Carolina State University. Britney’s dream is to become a registered vet technician, and one day the couple hopes to own and operate their own clinic together.

Britney and Patrick are the proud parents of Bella, a German Shepherd, and four gorgeous cats: Hansel, Gretel, Fluffy, and the family’s newest addition, Grimm, whom Britney scooped up from AHBC the moment he was rescued.

Britney’s favorite part of her work is meeting new people and helping new animals every day. Her motto is, “Be nice to everyone!” She also likes to “live every day like it’s your last.” Her spirit animal is the precocious panther.

Eric Viohl

Assistant, Computer and General Equipment Manager

Eric was born in Mesquite, Texas, and grew up with two older brothers and a host of Golden Retrievers. In 2013, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from Campbell University. He previously worked at Raleigh Country Club and Treyburn Country Club, and lives in Raleigh with his dog, Bear.

Eric’s hobbies include bowling, following the Chicago Cubs, and working with computers. He is gaining valuable experience at a web development and coding boot camp, and has taken on more responsibility as AHBC’s computer manager—he keeps all our equipment updated and running smoothly.

Eric comes to work every day led by one mission: to help animals. Lucky for us, he is also great at helping people! His calm, steady, loyal presence makes him the rock of AHBC—you can always count on Eric. His spirit animal is the attentive eagle, or, fittingly, the classic Golden Retriever.