Meet Our Staff

Lee Allen

Lee Allen

Director of Operations

Background: I have almost 24 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. In 2008, my wife and I opened Happy Tails Veterinary Emergency Clinic to provide a higher standard of emergency veterinary care and service in the Triad Community.

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 Boarded in Veterinary Internal Medicine and practices in New Jersey.

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, and our son Cullen. We both are very passionate about outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, kayaking, and mountain biking. It’s 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 because of it. 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

Shoneka L. Barnes

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.

Cyndi Abernethy

Cyndi Abernethy

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 ten 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 three dogs and five 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.

Ashlyn Blake

Ashlyn Blake

Veterinary Care Team

Background: I was born and raised in the rural area of King, North Carolina and I have worked in the animal industry since 2011. I began with a job as an attendant at a dog daycare, and from there I moved on to my first job in the veterinary field in 2013. I started as a receptionist but quickly found that I worked well behind the scenes and was a veterinary assistant for surgeries and wellness care at a low-cost clinic in Greensboro. My adventurous spirit led me to relocate to Wilmington, North Carolina where I continued my veterinary experience and eventually found my way back to Greensboro and to Happy Tails ER! I have been bitten by the ER bug (as they say) and really enjoy the fast-paced aspect of emergency work, but most importantly, that what we do is vital for our patients.

Hobbies: I am an avid artist and have found myself to be a jack-of-all-trades. I enjoy digital art (which I have been doing since 2008), acrylic painting, writing, and photography. While living in Wilmington, I did a lot of local pet photography and have taken a break to really find my style since moving to Greensboro. I also love to play video games – mostly Destiny 2 and anything from the Pokémon franchise. Since I was raised close to Hanging Rock State Park, I grew up loving the mountains and hiking with my dogs. I’m always looking for the next sunny day to get outdoors and do something adventurous!

Pets: Namira – a sassy black and tan Shiba Inu that runs my household. Marble – a one-eyed calico pirate who gives Namira a run for her money. Severus Snake – a 3 1/2 foot pinstripe ball python. Ryu – a red and blue Betta fish. Scout Ollivander – our newest addition, a Golden Retriever whose personality is yet to be determined!

Angie Clark

Angie Clark

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.

Joanne Gibson


Joanne Gibson


Veterinary Care Team

Background: I grew up in WV and graduated from Fairmont State College as a veterinary technician in 1997. I moved to NC in 1998 and received my veterinary technician license. I have worked in the emergency field since 2002. I love the flexibility of being able to help treat pets with different conditions or sicknesses. I enjoy the challenge of handling exotics and reptiles too. I have found working in the emergency field will make you stay up to date and fresh on the newest medical trends and standard of care.

Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and husband on my free days. We love the outdoors and enjoy camping and going to the beach.

Pets: I have a Chihuahua named Cricket, a Jack Russel Terrier named Scooter, and a new rescue terrier named Milley. They are all squirrel and ball chasers and love to snuggle.

Stephanie Gooch

Stephanie Gooch

Customer Service Specialist

Background: From a very young age, I have always have been very passionate about my love for animals. My first veterinary hospital position was back in my teen years. I started in the kennel area and found myself working wherever I was needed in the treatment areas of the hospital, reception, and even grooming. I have tested the waters with other careers but always find my way back to the animal care field. This has been my first emergency veterinary hospital experience, and I truly love it. Being a part of a team that is here when we are needed the most is very important to me. I’ve always heard that there is an “emergency” bug, and I do believe it has bitten me.

Hobbies: My favorite thing to do in my down time is spending time with my husband, my children, and of course my fur babies. When our schedule allows, you can find us loading up for the occasional spur of the moment lake or beach trip. I have recently picked up the acoustic guitar and am finding my way through learning to play.

Pets:
I am currently “owned” by 3 dogs and 1 cat. There is Gibson my handsome spaniel mix. He specializes in getting belly rubs and watching squirrels. Lou is my maltipoo, my little cuddle bug. She is certain that nothing deserves my attention but her, and isn’t very fond of sharing me or being without me. Kami is the newest addition to my family. She is my blue pit baby. Seems just yesterday when she was such a little thing. These days there is nothing little about her. You can find Kami napping on her back, playing with her favorite feline friend Izzy or bringing any stick up that she can find. She is defiantly a stick hoarder. She has a ton of toys, but she is obsessed with sticks. Izzy is my calico kitty who keeps everyone in check. It’s Izzy’s world and I just get to live in it. Izzy’s favorite past time is napping in comical positions, talking to the birds and stalking squirrels.

Mikka Goclowski

Mikka Goclowski

Customer Service Specialist

Background: Being in love with animals my entire life, I began my career in the veterinary field over twenty years ago. I started out as a kennel technician but quickly found that my calling was behind the front desk. That is where I found my passion for helping clients and their pets. I’m thankful to be able to combine my love for animals with a career that I love.

Hobbies: When I’m not working, you’ll find me reading on the front porch, kayaking with my daughter, or enjoying a movie, or a park, with my youngest son. I also enjoy helping a local rescue group foster cats and kittens.

Pets: My children, and I, currently have one dog, two cats, and a kitten. Our dog, Nala, is a ten-year-old miniature schnauzer. She is my best friend and my constant companion. Our oldest cat, Ariel, is the old lady of our house. She enjoys long naps on the sofa and basking in the sunlight through the window. Juno, our most outgoing cat, is my daughter’s best friend. We rescued her as a one-week-old kitten, last year, from a local animal shelter. She was bottle fed and bonded, immensely, with us through that experience. She loves to play fetch and demands attention on a regular basis. George is the baby of the house and is a sweet, playful kitten. He was adopted, recently, through a local rescue group.

Bridget Hill

Bridget Hill

Veterinary Care Team

Background: I’ve always had a special interest in medicine. I’ve lived in Winston-Salem, NC since birth. During high school, I contemplated what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and thought that I wanted to be a human doctor. I quickly found out that this career choice definitely wouldn’t work for me because I couldn’t stop thinking about my love for animals. I started working in the veterinary field in 2004. My first position was as a receptionist at a local primary care veterinary hospital. After many years, I became interested in emergency veterinary medicine. In order to explore this new interest, I started working for a veterinary specialty and emergency hospital and knew immediately that I had found my passion. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration. I’m currently working towards my Veterinary Technician License. Since 2002, I’ve been happily married to the love of my life and started our little family early in the marriage. I’m the mother of three amazing children which occupy pretty much all my spare time while keeping me on my toes.

Hobbies: My hobbies are very few and far between. My main focus is raising my three children and fur babies. I do enjoy playing the piano in some of my spare time and have a deep love for all genres of music. I also have a deep love for both college and professional football and college basketball.

Pets: Currently, I have 4 pets. My incredibly loving cat, Frank…whom I love dearly…has been with our family since 2011. Frank was abandoned at an apartment complex when he was only 6 weeks old. We fell in love immediately and had to rescue him. Duke, my Boston Terrier, has the best personality and fits right in at our house. We adopted Duke from the Boston Terrier Rescue of NC. He has severe food allergies and has to eat a special diet, but he doesn’t let anything keep him from having fun. Rosie, my other cat, has decided that she has a better life living outdoors. She started out being feral and was brought indoors, but she ran outside one day and refuses to come back inside the house. She still hangs around…probably due to the amazing outdoor housing accommodations that we made for her. She seems to enjoy being spoiled. Last but certainly not least, Kane, my pit bull, is the newest addition to the household. He is a big baby and most of the time forgets how HUGE he is and tries to sit on your lap!

Crystal Huffman

Crystal Huffman

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 kid’s 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.

Codi James

Codi James

Veterinary Care Team

Background: I have worked in the veterinary field for 4 years thus far. I have also assisted veterinarians on my farm animals before beginning my own career path. I have been a technician for 2 years. Working for a day practice was a great way to get a start but working at an emergency clinic has always peaked my interest. I am finishing my Animal Science degree with a Pre-Vet minor at North Carolina A&T. I hope to eventually go to vet school and continue helping others with their family companions.

Hobbies: My hobbies include working on my family’s farm. When I have time from my farm work, I enjoy going to various equestrian sports including rodeo sports which is something I have always done with my family. I also own a small herd of Charolais cattle that I take to fairs in North Carolina.

Pets: Because I live on a farm, I have a range of animals. I have four dogs, Norman (Beagle), Gracie Lu (Pit Bull- Lab mix), Baby Bel (Flat-Coat Retriever), and Patches (German Sheppard- Beagle mix). I also have Thumper (a Domestic Rabbit), Jazz (Green Indian Ring Neck). Of course, I have my farm animals. My horses are Rose, Dakota, Macy, Clint, and Gambler. My Charolais cows are Star, Snowball, Miss Mary, and Blue.

Melissa King

Melissa King

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, ComicCon (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

Kelsey Lindeman

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

Allison Parker

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.

Carla Speaks

Carla Speaks

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 full-time 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 the 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

Laura Thayer

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 enjoy reading, crocheting (even though I’m told I have lots more to learn), and refinishing 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

Brenton Tucker

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

Adam Wisecarver

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.

We are always ready to help!

Scroll down for our contact information.  Our experienced emergency veterinary team is here for your pet’s needs.

We’re here nights, weekends, and holidays for your pet.

Location

2936 Battleground Avenue
Greensboro, NC 27408
Click here for directions.

After Hours Care

Office Hours:
Mon: 6:00pm – 8:00am
Tues: 6:00pm – 8:00am
Wed: 6:00pm – 8:00am
Thurs: 6:00pm – 8:00am
Fri: 6:00pm – 8:00am
Sat: 24 hours
Sun: 24 hours

Contact Us

Call us: 336-285-0173
Fax us: 336-288-2686
Email us: happytailser@gmail.com

Have questions? We’re here to help!

Please complete the form below and a member of our team will respond generally within 24 hours. If you’re in the middle of an emergency situation, please call us at 336-285-0173.

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