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(336) 288-2688

Lee Allen

Position: Director of Operations

Background: I have almost 22 years of veterinary medical experience. The first nine years were as a veterinary technician where I received training in diverse clinical settings. This training included small animal advanced dentistry, large animal research, and small animal emergency medicine. The next 5 years were spent working as a territory manager in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia for two leading veterinary supply distributors.

I received my BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1996. My family resides in North Carolina, and I have one brother and one sister. My brother graduated from NC State University and owns the Aquatic Management Group in Raleigh. My sister is a Duke University graduate, and she is in her 1st year at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine studying to be Boarded in Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Hobbies: I am an avid sportsman. My special sport’s interests are golf and tennis. More than anything, I love spending any available moment with my wife, Dr. Kelley Gebhardt. We both are very passionate about outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, kayaking, and mountain biking. It is not unusual for us to drive to the mountains for a quick hike and then return the same day.

Pets: Before I met my wife, I worked very long hours and never had any pets. So, when we met, I immediately fell in love with her two dogs (Ruby and Nugget). Since then, we have added three cats to our family (TJ Sexy Meow Meow, Nimbus, and Uno). Ruby and Nugget are no longer with us (crossed Rainbow Bridge), but we have provided a furever home for two new pups (Wyatt & Josie Earp). I never imagined that all our pets would have filled my life with so much joy. We love our pets so much and life would not be complete without them.

Shoneka L. Barnes

Position: Business Manager

Background: Originally from Wilmington Delaware, I moved to North Carolina in 1992 to attend College. I graduated from North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University with a BS degree in Animal Science. I started my career in management in 2001.  I really enjoy working alongside veterinary professionals because we share the same compassion and love for all animals.

Hobbies: I like playing volleyball, watching sitcoms, and dinner with a movie with my husband.  I also love laughing at all the funny little things my two sons say and do.

Pets: I have an adorable 13-year-old Shih-Tzu named Missy.  Missy joined our family after suffering from a broken pelvic bone after being hit by a car. After a month of trying to find her parents without success, she had stolen my heart, and had to go home with me.  

Angie Clark

Position: Customer Service Specialist

Background: I have been interested in all things medical for as far back as I can remember. I was fortunate to be able to work in the medical/dental industry in business management and on the clinical side for over 15 years prior to starting my family.  It was a natural transition for me to start back to work in the veterinary field. With my love for animals, I am able to work with not one but two of my passions being a part of the Happy Tails Team.

Hobbies: I stay pretty busy raising and homeschooling my two children. I love being a tutor with Classical Conversations homeschool group. I enjoy reading, eating out and spending time with my family and friends. I like planning and taking road trips. With our schedules so busy, I’ll take any opportunity to snuggle with my kids or cat and take a nap.

Pets: A little over a year ago there was a tiny 1.2 lb kitten with giant ears that needed a home. Chester is now 11 lbs and has since grown into his ears and into our hearts. He has settled in nicely and can be found sleeping in his favorite spots or joining in whatever activity the kids are doing. You can be sure that whatever he’s doing, Chester reigns over the Clark household.

Cyndi Abernethy

Position: Veterinary Care Team

Background: I graduated from Central  Carolina Community College with  an AAS degree in Veterinary Technology. I have worked in general practice for several years including an equine practice and a mixed animal practice. I have been working in emergency medicine for more than 10 years. What I love most about emergency medicine is that it is different every day. While I hate that the patients that we see each day are either sick or in pain, it is incredible to see how much their owners love them.

Hobbies: My hobbies include keeping several horses on our fifty acre ranch and competing in endurance races. Endurance is defined as any distance greater than 50 miles, while the shorter distances of 25 to 35 miles are called limited distance. I hope to eventually have a horse that I can compete in 75 and 100 mile distances. The rest of my time is taken up with my 3 dogs and 5 cats. I love to read, so any day it is too wet to ride, I can be found curled up with a cat or dog and a good book.

Pets: My dogs are Reacher-a great pyrenees, Conan-a border collie, and Fiona-a border collie/pyrenees mix. My cats are Puck, Caliber, Hobbes, Trane and Flexi-Floozie. The horses are River-my current competition horse, Luna-my retired 50miler, Justin-semiretired endurance horse, Ari-my oldest at  29 years, Hayli-my orphaned daughter…I bottle raised her, and last but not least, Gabbi-my husband's 28 year old mount.

Melissa King

Position: Veterinary Care Team

Background: I have been working in the veterinary field since 2001. I first started as a kennel assistant, and then began working as an Emergency Technician at a specialty hospital in 2006. Working Emergency, I found that I loved the faster pace, as well as being there when clients and patients needed us there the most. After working ER for several years, I was promoted to Shift Supervisor in addition to my regular duties. I did this for 4 years before deciding that I wanted to focus strictly on the medical side of our field and rejuvenate my love of patient care. I also went back to school and graduated in 2015 with my Associates in Biology.

Hobbies: My hobbies include anything geeky! I love going with my friends to Renaissance Faires, ComicCons (I got to meet David Tennant, John Barrowman and James Marsters), and fishing in the ocean. My friends and I will also get together and play games randomly (MTG, Munchkin, D&D, etc.), as well as meet up to watch Doctor Who when it airs. And if a movie has a midnight release date (especially if it's a comic book or Star Wars movie)? You just might see me there dressed up!

Pets: I have 2 dogs and a cat. My yellow lab is named Nimbus (after the broomstick from Harry Potter) and she is a couch-hog. She will shove you off the armrest (or simply flop on you if you're in the way). My other dog is a Boston Terrier named Mongo (from Blazing Saddles), and it's a good thing he's pretty. I adopted him when he was a puppy who had Parvo, and his original family couldn't afford to treat him. His hobbies include snoring and spazzing. My cat Sneakers enjoys stomping on you while you try to sleep and laying in the bathroom sink. She is also very good at bossing the dogs around.

Kelsey Lindeman

Position: Veterinary Care Team

Background: Born and raised here in Greensboro, North Carolina, I have always had a fascination with animals and have more recently found my proclivity for medicine.  I have been working in the veterinary field for approximately four years but have only recently begun working in emergency, and I’m definitely enjoying the new challenges and fast-paced environment it offers.  Outside of being a tech, I graduated from Guilford College in December of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and have gotten my exotic animal fix by interning with facilities such as Greensboro Science Center and the Conservator’s Center.

Hobbies: Hiking and camping are among my favorite things to do when I have the means.  I also enjoy reading a wide variety of genres from biographies to fantasy, cooking all manner of cuisines and playing Four Square.

Pets: My one and only dog, Spock, has been my companion and dear friend for seven years now after I “rescued” him from Craigslist. We enjoy chasing wildlife and snoozing on the couch together. 

Allison Parker

Position: Customer Service Specialist

Background: I’ve always had a love for animals. As a child, I named all my stuffed animals and would basically have goodbye parties when I had to part with them. When it comes to work, I have two loves:  animals and window film.  I’ve worked in and out of the veterinary field and the glass and film industry for almost twenty years. Since I started working, I’ve balanced the two. I’m a full-time sales representative for a window film company and work part-time for Happy Tails and another local small animal practice.  Balancing my two work loves is sometimes tiring, but I truly love what I do. 

Hobbies: I love to take my kids and our dogs to the park or the zoo. Our favorite vacation spot is the Beach. We are definitely Beach Bums. We are also big football fans. Most Sundays, Monday nights, or Thursday nights you can catch us at the Panthers Stadium or watching the game on TV with a big crowd of family and friends. We love to entertain, and my husband loves to cook. Our house is always a gathering place for friends, family, and good food. 

Pets: We have lots of pets; six to be exact. Before we were married, my husband, Ricky, had two cats. They are Ragdolls – Sly and Tassie. I also had two cats that I bottle-fed: Hemmie  (A Hemmingway Cat – she has six toes on her feet) and Finley. We merged our cat households, and there has never been a dull moment since.  We have a Pit Bull named Gabby who has to be my favorite old lady on the planet. She is truly my person. Recently, we got a new puppy named Winston. He’s a European Doberman and has made waves since the day he got off the plane. 

Heather Peeler

Position: Veterinary Care Team

Background: I started out in the veterinary field with an internship at a local animal hospital during my senior year in high school to see if it was the path I wanted to take. After high school, I attended NC State as an animal science major and got heavily involved in the agricultural side of animal care. There wasn’t a college year that I didn’t live out at the state fair since I was busy showing animals and helping out with several booths. Since working a few different jobs, including being a bus driver for NC State’s Wolfline and a R&D intern at a Pfizer lab, I have finally found my niche in emergency medicine. I love coming in every night to a new challenge.

Hobbies: My hobbies include horseback riding, soccer, reading, and cross-stitch.

Pets: I’m currently at my pet limit with two dogs and a horse. I got both of my dogs from an animal hospital I worked at. Addy is my Boxer mix that came in as a parvo puppy and saw me for the push-over I was. I took her in, treated her, and now she’s my comic relief. Tyson is my chocolate lab that I adopted after he had orthopedic surgery to repair a broken leg. He is decidedly the anti-lab because he is so laid back and would much rather stay inside than go out and play. That leaves my horse, the love of my life (shhh, don’t tell my fiancé). He is a 15 year old Quarter Horse gelding who is my partner in crime. Chances are, if I don’t answer my phone, I’m at the barn.


Crystal Huffman

Position: Veterinary Care Team

Background: I attended Western Carolina University for biology with a minor in history. My original plan was to attend veterinary school, but I knew I wanted a family first. So instead of going to veterinary school, I attended school to become a veterinary technician. In 2004, I graduated with honors from Stafford Institute for Veterinary Technology. I have worked in the veterinary field since my teens, but have focused on emergency medicine and critical care for over 15 years and counting. My other specialty is being a wife and mom. I am happily married to my high school sweetheart, Ian, and we have three boys, Andrew and Ivan, who are twins born in 2001, and Harrison is our youngest born in 2007. I love working nights and weekends because it allows me to benefits of being a stay at home mom so I can homeschool and be involved with all my kids activities. During the weekends, I am able to fulfill my calling in emergency medicine. It's amazing to be both a stay at home mom and working mom!

Hobbies: My family and I are registered members of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe which is based in Hollister, N.C. We are very proud of our heritage and attend pow wows as often as possible. I frequently visit local preschool and elementary schools to discuss Native American culture and of course have given talks about animal safety for kids.  My favorite past time is reading, and my favorite authors are Jodi Picoult and Mary Higgins Clark. I also enjoy singing and used to perform in musicals a lot as child and teen. My husband is a fan of classic and sports cars so we frequently attend car shows when possible.

Pets: I am definitely a cat person and I am sure someday I will qualify as the crazy cat lady! However, right now my husband keeps me grounded and we only have one feisty cat named Luna.  Of course I love the pups as well! I am a sucker for Great Danes and Golden Retrievers.

Carla Speaks

Position: Veterinary Care Team

Background: As a child, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Veterinary medicine. As a senior in high school I obtained my first fulltime job at a local animal hospital. I started out as a kennel assistant but quickly worked my way up to become a veterinary technician. After high school, I studied Biology at UNCG. In 2009, I married my high school sweetheart and we began our family when our son was born in 2012. After working in two different veterinary practices, I found my passion in emergency veterinary medicine. I enjoyed the fast paced environment and working directly with the doctors and patients. In 2015, we expanded our family with the birth of our daughter. I have continued my career in emergency veterinary medicine and am very happy to become a part of the Happy Tails team.

Hobbies: Spending time with my family is my favorite thing to do when I am not working. I enjoy traveling to the beach and the mountains. When I can find time, I like to swim and snow ski. 

Pets: I am a proud owner of two wonderful dogs and a new kitten. My 10 year old female Shih Tzu is Lil Dog. Deuce is my boxer/pit mix who will be turning 8 this year. The most recent companion we added to the crew is a female kitten named Khloe. 


Laura Thayer

Position: Veterinary Care Team

Background: I have been in veterinary medicine for over seven years, and I have been so thankful every day that this field seemed to find me. After two wonderful years at a day practice, I found my calling for emergency medicine and ever since have been happy to go to work.  I am originally from a small town in Iowa, but have lived here in North Carolina for over 14 years.  I have two beautiful children who keep me busy most of the time.

Hobbies: I enjoy everything outdoors. My partner, Daniel, and I enjoy hiking, the occasional all-day 4-wheeler rides, taking the kids to the pool, and teaching the kids how to fish in our backyard pond. I also enjoying reading, crocheting (even though I’m told I have lots more to learn), and re-finishing old furniture.  I completely embrace my craft making side. 

Pets: We share our home with our amazing, one year old American Staffordshire Terrier, Azura.  She is a wonderfully obedient and loving companion for us, and is an attentive friend for the children. We couldn’t imagine life without her. 

Brenton Tucker

Position: Veterinary Care Team

Background: From a very young age I knew I wanted to work with animals. I’ve always had a special bond with them. I started my Veterinary career at Cobb Animal Clinic in 2004 as a veterinary technician. While I greatly enjoyed my time there, I felt there was just something missing. An opportunity to work in veterinary pharmaceutical research at TransTech Pharma, Inc. presented itself to me in 2006 and I was ready for a new challenge. I feel that working on the research side of things helped to round out my knowledge and experience in this field. My work in research was great, but much different than general practice and I missed that interaction with patients and clients. I began looking into emergency medicine and found Happy Tails Veterinary Emergency Clinic. I had always heard great things about the Tail and wanted to get my foot in the door quickly. I made the transition to emergency medicine in January 2010 and the rest is history. I am surrounded by skilled technicians and wonderful doctors that practice great medicine.

Hobbies: I love anything outdoors. I exercise regularly and try to stay as healthy as possible. I play basketball as much as I can. Spending time with family and friends is also very important to me.

Pets: I have two beasts that reside with me, Rhino and Cairo. Rhino is a beautiful blue Weimaraner and Cairo is a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog mix. Rhino is a wild man when he goes outside, but inside he curls up to the size of a small house cat and just wants to be held. Cairo is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known. My wife and I adopted him from the Guilford County Animal Shelter when he was four months old and he has been perfect. He has the most expressive ears I’ve ever seen and an appetite unmatched. They are both great dogs. I also have an orange and white cat, Marko, which lives with my mom, sister and brother. Unfortunately, our pups don’t quite know what to do with cats, so we don’t chance it. Life is not complete without these companions.

Adam Wisecarver

Position: Veterinary Care Team

Background: For as long as I can remember, I've always had a special love for animals. I have always been surrounded by them and was always the kid bringing home a stray. The only natural progression for me was to be around them in both my daily professional and personal life. I began my animal health career at North Elm Animal Hospital working as a kennel attendant/veterinary assistant. Working there laid the entire foundation for my knowledge of animal behavior and placed my feet on the pathway to becoming a technician. After a few years of kennel work, it was time to focus the entirety of my attention toward the medical aspect of the field. I happily took a position at Gate City Animal Hospital where I am also currently working. Gate City has an incredibly talented team of doctors and an exceedingly compassionate and skilled staff. After a few years of honing my technical skills, I was eager for a chance to broaden my horizons by stepping into the emergency medical field. When the opportunity presented itself to become a part of the Happy Tails team, I gladly accepted the position and have been learning something new and challenging with every shift! Here, I am surrounded by an exceptionally adept staff and accomplished team of doctors. I am constantly expanding the boundaries of my veterinary skill set. 

Hobbies: I love to read, listen to music, attend shows, and paint. I stay fit by playing basketball and running. It is also a joy to work with animals outside of a professional setting.

Pets: I have a beautiful red Pit Bull named Ruby. I was presented with the opportunity to adopt her when her foster owner felt that we would be a good fit. Although Ruby has had a somewhat rocky past, she has made a full recovery and is a loving little wiggle pig who is my best friend and most loyal companion. She goes absolutely everywhere with me! This doting and winsome little girl is my absolute heart and soul.

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