Dr. E.J. Kennedy III, DVM - Practice Founder and Hospital Medical Director
Dr. Kennedy graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in June, 2000. Prior to returning to school to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine, Dr. Kennedy was employed by a large, multi-national engineering conglomerate for several years working in various positions such as a Systems Engineer, Regional Technical Services Manager, and International Marketing Specialist. Dr. Kennedy was born in 1959 and was raised in a rural area on the Ohio River approximately 25 miles east of Cincinnati. He has lived in numerous locations throughout the United States (Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington State, South Carolina, and Tennessee) before permanently relocating to North Carolina in 2002. Dr. Kennedy returned to school in 1996 to pursue his dream of becoming a Veterinarian. He eventually established Animal House Veterinary Hospital in Rutherford College, North Carolina in late November, 2009.
When he isn't working, Dr. Kennedy enjoys golf and numerous outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, skiing, canoeing, and backpacking. Less strenuous interests include reading, history, and horticulture.
Dr. Rebekah Parker, DVM - Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Parker graduated from NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2019. She grew up with her family in Shelby, NC and attended undergraduate school at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC where she received a biology degree with a concentration in Wildlife Rehabilitation. She has a special love of wildlife medicine and conservation and has studied abroad in both New Zealand and the Galapagos Islands. Her main veterinary interest is exotic animal medicine but she also enjoys witnessing the unique human-animal bond that develops between owners and their pets and being a part of each pets journey.
Dr. Parker currently lives in Newton, NC with her husband, Benjamin, and their Corgi, Joey. During her free time, she enjoys visiting local breweries and wineries, watching football with friends, relaxing with her family, camping, reading novels, and crocheting.
Dr. Melissa Zebley, DVM - Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Melissa Zebley graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. She is originally from Florida but chose North Carolina as her home shortly after graduating. Dr. Zebley worked in private and corporate practice before starting a mobile practice- Mobile Vet to Pet Veterinary Service. Her veterinary interests include canine and feline reproduction, behavior, dermatology, shelter medicine and genetics. She is also a Certified Penn HIP practitioner.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and taking care of (2) cats & (2) dogs at home as well as reading and occasionally hiking the mountains of NC.
Dr. Valleri Reames, DVM - Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Reames was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up in North Carolina but attended veterinary school at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. She graduated in 1982 and began working at a small animal practice in Lynchburg, VA before buying Eno Animal Hospital in Durham, NC in 1988.
In addition to owning and working in her small animal practice, she was the chief veterinarian of the Carnivore Preservation Trust in Pittsboro. There, she treated tigers, leopards, jaguars, and a host of other rare and endangered animals and was later the veterinarian during the early years of The Conservator's Center, an offshoot of the Carnivore Preservation Trust. She sold her practice in 2011 but continued working there part-time for a year. After a four month hiatus in Hawaii, she returned to North Carolina and settled into the foothills in Collettsville and began working at an emergency vet hospital for several years. Dr. Reames joined the Animal House team in October, 2018 as a part-time relief veterinarian.
She spends her free time on her small farm taking care of sheep, working on the restoration of her 115 year-old farmhouse, and fishing or foraging in the John's River and Wilson's Creek areas. Her dog, Violet, and cat, Ziva, keep her company and help take care of the house and barn.
Anne Kennedy - Practice Manager
My education and background is in Fish & Wildlife Management and Forestry Management.
I love our cats Boo Radley and Annie, and the raccoons that live in our backyard. Hiking, camping, walking, bike riding, and reading are favorite recreational activities.
I love what we do at Animal House Veterinary Hospital and feel that we truly make a difference for our clients and their beloved pets.
Our philosophy is to practice “Modern Medicine with Kindness and Compassion". If we strive to improve just a little bit every day, then we can deliver our very best for clients, their pets, and our community.
Christine Owens – Accounting Manager
I came to Animal House Veterinary Hospital in the Spring of 2010 with a degree in Medical Office Administration. I am a native of Burke County, North Carolina. When I'm not at work I enjoy time with my family, my church family, and hiking the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.
Traci Canipe – Medical Records Transcription and Records Supervisor
I received my Associates Degree in Applied Science for Medical Office Administration in 2011 from Western Piedmont Community College. Graduating with high honors, I began working at Animal House Veterinary Hospital in September, 2014. My position allows me to integrate my love for animals and my passion for the medical field.
I’m a devoted mother to my son Hunter and have 1 dog at home, Belle. When I'm not working for Dr. Kennedy I stay busy taking care of my family.
Ariel Gentry – Client Relations Supervisor/Veterinary Assistant
I started my career here as a receptionist with Animal House Veterinary Hospital at the very beginning when we opened for business. Since then, I have learned work as a Veterinary Assistant in all aspects involving the treatment and care of our patients. I love learning about all of the exotic animals that come here including several species of monkeys, hedgehogs, birds, reptiles, and many others. I am now learning to assist in several areas of the office and business management to help in the behind-the-scene areas of hospital operations as well.
I have an amazing husband, Colby, that helps me take care of all of our animals at home. Together we have 2 dogs - Roxy and Bailey, as well as 2 cats - Bumble and Barnie. We enjoy all types of outdoor activities including camping, hiking, kayaking, and fishing.
I really look forward to continuing to grow with my family at Animal House, seeing what each new day may bring, and learning just how far my enthusiasm and ambition can take me!
Rhonda Looper – Veterinary Assistant
I have been working at Animal House Veterinary Hospital since February, 2015. I am currently pursuing a degree as a Registered Veterinary Technician with a specialization in exotics. Animal House has provided me with a terrific hands-on learning experience in addition to my formal courses in the Veterinary Technician program. After achieving my certification and licensing as a Registered Veterinary Technician, I hope to continue a long-term career with the Animal House family.
I love coming to work each day knowing it will be interesting and exciting. You never know what the day will bring, but at the end of each day we all feel that we've done our very best for every client and patient the we've served. We don’t always win every battle, but my pride in knowing that I did my very best is what keeps me coming back refreshed and energetic every day!
My husband is a retired Army Veteran. We have 2 teenagers and 3 dogs at home. We spent several tours with the army overseas including a tour in The Netherlands. My husband was also deployed to Iraq and Kuwait. Our pets include a Saint Bernard - Lady, a Labrador Retriever- Ruger, that strangely enjoyed the climate in Alaska, a German Shepherd- Krypto, that recently joined our family, and a 3-legged Australian Cattle Dog- River, that loves everything about living life and having fun every day! We also have a chinchilla named Pikachu aka "Chi Chi".
Elissa Bradford - Veterinary Assistant and Lead Groomer
Hi! I'm Elissa. I started working here as a groomer in July 2014 & started training as a veterinary assistant in January 2016. I was born and raised in Alaska and moved to Burke County, North Carolina in 2009. My disabled mother and sister Miriah share our home with a menagerie of pets.
We raise American Pit Bull Terriers and in my free time I enjoy showing them and competing in various sporting events. I've been a dog groomer in this area for over 18 years and truly enjoy the process.
Sandra Barfield - Surgical Prep, Kennel/Veterinary Assistant
I started working at Animal House shortly after they opened in 2009. I have worked at various veterinary practices over the years including an emergency facility. I started out as a kennel assistant and went on to become a veterinary assistant. I have worked in the veterinary field for approximately 30 years- as you can see, I enjoy what I do!
When not working at Animal House, I take care of multiple cats at my home. My hobbies include reading and watching TV.
Miriah Schulte - Kennel Assistant, Grooming Assistant
Hi! My name is Miriah & I started working at here as a grooming assistant in July 2014. I am originally from Mitchell, South Dakota but moved to Burke County, North Carolina several years ago with my disabled mother and sister, Elissa. In April, 2016 I started helping out as a Kennel Assistant also.
In my free time, I enjoy relaxing at home with our various pets, reading, and watching movies.
Ariel Shaw - Customer Service Representative, Veterinary Assistant
I joined the team at Animal House as a receptionist in May of 2017. As a little girl, I knew that helping animals was something that I wanted to do. I am currently enrolled in the Veterinary Medical Technology Program at Gaston Community College and am in the process of trying to make my dream a reality.
My hobbies include hanging out with friends and family as well as playing with my Pit Bull "Moses", and Lab mix "Belle". I also love going to the North Carolina mountains and taking in the view with my family and friends.
Brittany Gibson - Veterinary Assistant
My name is Brittany and I joined Animal House in July of 2018. Although I am originally from North Carolina, I moved to Colorado to attend college. I graduated from PIMA Medical Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2017 as a Veterinary Assistant.
My 11 year old son keeps me busy during my time away from work as well as my 3 dogs, Deuce, Mocha, and Scarlet.
I have had a passion to work with animals for a very long time and I really enjoy the experience that I gain each day at Animal House. Being a part of the Animal House team has helped me realize that everyone plays a very important and vital role in keeping things moving and I really enjoy the team atmosphere. I couldn't imagine doing anything else!
Brooke Gibson - Customer Service Representative
My name is Brooke and I joined the Animal House team in September, 2018. Even though I am very new to the veterinary field, I am enjoying every minute of the work I do and the patients I have met so far.
While not at work, I enjoy spending time with my fiancee, Mark and our son, Ryder. Together we have 2 dogs; Lilah, a 1 yr old Chihuahua and Poe, a 2-yr old Feist/Chihuahua mix.
Working here has opened my eyes to the interest I have to help animals. I hope to further my career in the veterinary field and look forward to learning more about animals each day!
Ashely Mikles - Customer Service Representative
Hi my name is Ashely. I started working at Animal House in November of 2018.
My daughter, Madelyn Joy aka "Maddy Jo" keeps me busy in my spare time but I also enjoy reading and spending time with my family.
Although I am new to the veterinary field, I love to learn new things and am excited to learn as much as I can about the animal world while working here.
Jacob Peele - Veterinary Assistant, Kennel Assistant
Hi there! I joined Animal House as a Kennel Assistant in November of 2018 but I am currently cross training as a Veterinary Assistant also. Although I had previously interned at another veterinary hospital, I didn't continue on into the veterinary field at that point. I enjoy all types of animals but reptiles are my favorite - especially snakes.
My dream is to become a Registered Veterinary Technician at some point in the future with a special interest in reptiles. I am currently enrolled in the Online Veterinary Technician Program through Penn Foster College.
At home I have a few reptiles of my own....Revan - a Ball Python; Penelope - also a Ball Python; Mileena - a Nicaraguan Boa; and Thorne - a Bearded Dragon. I also have Zoey - a nine year old Pug, Henry - a one year old Pug, and Ernie - a six to seven year old Chinese Crested. In addition to taking care of my pets, my hobbies include playing video games and hanging out with friends.
I have already learned so much in the short time I have worked here but I look forward to growing into the veterinary field and seeing where my love for animals can take me!
Miranda Davis - Customer Service Representative, Veterinary Assistant
My love for animals began as a small child - by the age of 7 years old, I knew that I wanted to someday pursue a career in veterinary medicine. I finally started making this dream a reality in May of 2019. I am currently attending Penn Foster College and hope to acquire my Associate's Degree as a Registered Veterinary Technician by May of 2020. After the Veterinary Technician course is complete, I plan to continue into the veterinary field and become a Veterinarian.
I also do pet sitting on the side for various types of animals such as dogs, goats, cats, etc. I have 3 dogs of my own - Nala, Roxy, and Arya; 1 cat - Cleo; 3 snakes - Zoey, Jafar, and Maverick, and several fish. They keep me busy most of the time but in my free time, I also enjoy hiking and reading.
I'm excited to see where my ambitions and dreams can take me and look forward to learning as much as I can along the way!
My name is Caleigh Reece. I graduated from NC State University in May 2019 with a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science and a concentration in Veterinary Bioscience. I am currently applying to several colleges to continue pursuing a career in Veterinary Medicine. I hope to specialize in mixed animals including food animals and companion animals. Go Pack!
I joined the Animal House team the summer of 2017 after my freshman year of college. I had always brought my pets here and was eager to see the flip side of things. I started off as a Kennel Assistant and worked my way up to becoming a Veterinary Assistant. Dr. Kennedy ensures a work environment that doesn't only hold compassion for his patients but compassion for his employees as well. He has not only been an amazing mentor for my career but a life mentor as well. Dr. Kennedy has prepared me to be a better future veterinarian and human being. I have learned so much more in my time here than I could have ever thought imaginable. Animal House is a knowledgeable, educating, hospital that shows great kindness and concern for all that walk through its doors. I love being a part of the impact this hospital makes. I look forward to the rest of my time here, the experience and knowledge I will gain, and the patients I will encounter and grow to love.
In my spare time I enjoy hunting, fishing, painting, hiking, doing cross-fit, and showing cattle across the state. I have 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 goat, 1 horse, and a miniature Scottish Highland steer. My pets and education keep me busy and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Lisa Durmire - Surgery Technician, Lead Veterinary Assistant
I came to Animal House in July of 2012 although I have been working in the veterinary field for several years prior to coming here. I am grateful that Dr. Kennedy has given me the opportunity to continue learning and expanding my knowledge on a daily basis and love the team approach that he uses. I also enjoy being hands on with the different exotic animal species. Working with animals has always been my passion and I can't imagine doing anything else. I look forward to continuing my career here for a long time!
When not working at Animal House, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Sam and my 2 sons. I also enjoy hiking, fishing, canoeing, and various other outdoor activities as well as spending time with family and friends.