Dr. Ward

Hello, I’m Dr. Michael Ward, the youngest of six children, born in southern New Jersey where I aspired to be a “Rodeo Star” and a veterinarian. Upon graduating from high school I moved to the Cowboy state of Wyoming to start college and to learn more about rodeo. After several bruises and broken bones I decided that I would rather study hard and admit animals to the hospital instead of them putting me in there. Then I moved to the “Big Sky” country of Montana to get serious about my veterinary studies at Montana State University. In 1994, an opportunity arose to transfer to North Carolina State University to complete my studies. I took it and I have never looked back. I met my lovely wife, Kathy, who is also a veterinarian, while attending NCSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and I graduated in 2000.

After graduation I moved to Johnston County and I worked as a mixed animal veterinarian for the next eight years. In May of 2008, my family of four including Kathy, Brier, Ellie and I, drove to Alaska. I was privileged to work for the summer with sled dogs, reindeer, bears and musk ox and also to enjoy the wonderful sights that Alaska has to offer. This adventure has allowed me and my wife to come closer to our goal of “50 by 50.” “50 by 50” means we want to travel to all 50 states by the time we are 50 years old. Feel free to come in and ask me which states we are missing!

Along with being a veterinarian I am the principle, maintenance coordinator and one of the custodians of our school. My wife does all of the schooling but I help with periodic discipline and I try to keep our school clean and running well. Home school is great for us and allows us to travel, learn and do field trips together as a family.

I enjoy participating in Boy Scout adventures with my son, and helping and watching my daughter ride our horse Duncan. Also, we all enjoy 4-H. My hobbies include traveling with my family, backyard farming (I call this “diesel therapy”) and the outdoors. My interest in chickens began as a child and I still proudly display the Cape May County 4-H Fair Best Egg Award which I won in 1986.

We purchased Johnston Animal Hospital in February 2009 from Dr. Booker, the founder and long-time great veterinarian of Johnston County. I am serious about preventative health care and I believe in open communication with my clients about their pets. I enjoy challenging and complicated surgeries and difficult medical cases. I have fun meeting new people and talking to long-time friends during their appointments. Stop by to say hello, get a tour and see some interesting “Rodeo Star” pictures.

One last thing… People always say, “You must have a lot of pets since you are a vet!” In our home we have a Boykin Spaniel named Chara, a black medium- haired kitty named Emberpaw and a collection of pocket pets and fish my children have obtained. On our farm we have a horse named Duncan, some cows, chickens, a periodic pig and a kennel of Foxhounds. Now you know what this vet has!

Dr. Kathy

Hi, I’m Dr. Kathy Ward, Dr. Michael Ward’s wife and the inventory manager of Johnston Animal Hospital. I was born & raised in Northeastern North Carolina in the town of Ahoskie. My educational background includes an Associate of Arts degree from Peace College, a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from NC State & a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. I have worked as a private practice veterinarian and as an anatomy professor at the veterinary school. These jobs were enjoyable, but my best career move was becoming a stay-at-home Mom when our son, Brier, was born. Brier and our daughter, Ellie, are true blessings from God! Our 4-legged child is a geriatric Lab Mix named Grace who was adopted from the shelter.

We are a homeschooling family. I love to teach! After enjoying several years of training as a children’s leader in Bible Study Fellowship, my favorite thing to teach is the Bible. Other hobbies I enjoy are traveling, reading, gardening, raising laying chickens & picture framing. I owned & operated my own frame shop, Tranquility Framing. In 2008 our family moved to Fairbanks, Alaska. While Dr. Ward worked his summer vet job the kids & I did a hands-on unit study of AK. When Dr. Ward was off we drove, hiked & camped our way around the largest state in the US. It was a grand adventure! I am a firm believer in the saying, “If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there.” I have several life goals. One of my goals is to have an organic beef farm. Another is to raise awareness of orphans and foster children. Also Dr. Ward & I share a goal of “50 by 50.” We want to travel to all 50 states by the time we are 50 years old. Currently he’s in the lead. Be sure to suggest to him that he plans a family trip to Rhode Island so I can catch up!

Registered Veterinary Technicians

Ashley, RVT

Hello! My name is Ashley Worley. I am originally from Florida, but have lived most of my life in Johnston County, NC. My husband, Jake, and I currently live in Angier, NC with our Australian Cattle Dog named Hank. I have always had a passion for helping animals, so I decided to turn my passion into a career by becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician.

I graduated in 2010 with a degree in Veterinary Medical Technology from Central Carolina Community College. In May 2010, I began an internship at Johnston Animal Hospital and joined the team full time later that year. I completed the national and state exams to become a Registered Veterinary Technician in February 2011. Preventative care, client education and dental health have become my favorite topics in veterinary medicine.

In my spare time, I enjoy taking Hank for walks at a park, relaxing at the beach and attending concerts with my husband and friends.

Veterinary Assistants


Hey there! My name is Sasha Hesselgesser and I joined the Johnston Animal Hospital team in May of 2017. I am originally from New Jersey, but my husband’s military career has brought us here to North Carolina. I graduated from West Virginia University with a biology degree in 2014 and I have been working in veterinary medicine ever since. I have two dogs named Loomis and Maggie who add a lot of excitement to my life. I also have 2 geriatric rabbits named Pam and Abby. In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors and seeing the many things this state has to offer. My love of animals started at a very young age, I truly believe that there is nothing better than a fuzzy kiss and a wagging tail!


Hi! My name is Maria Mccartney and I Joined Johnston Animal Hospital in December of 2017. I’m originally from Texas but my husband’s career brought us to North Carolina. I graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Working with animals has always been my passion and have been working in the field since 2003. I have two wonderful children, a son named Carlos and my daughter, Sasha. There is never a dull moment in my house, along with my children I have 6 pets. 2 shih Tzu’s named Kira and Kahn, a Lab named Marley, Heeler/ husky mix named Clay. Then there are my two loudest pets my macaw, Nose and Rocky my amazon parrot. In my free time I enjoy running marathons and spending time with my family.


Hello! I am Shannon Medine, I hail originally from Louisiana. After 12 years in Vermont, I was happy to head back south. I joined the Johnston Animal Hospital team February of 2018. I have always worked with animals in some fashion an I am happily pursuing my goal of becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician. My joys outside of work are my daughter and our little brood of animals, Tupelo, Fernie and Toulouse. I can’t wait to meet you all and hug your pets!


Hi, my name is Karla. I joined the JAH team May 2018 and am happy to be here. I am from Salemburg, NC. I am a recent graduate from Central Carolina Community College’s Veterinary Technology program. I will be taking my national and state board exams soon to officially become a Registered Veterinary Technician. I have a 4 year old Shih Tzu named Miley. Miley and I are always excited to see what adventures life brings us.

Technician Assistants

Ryan – Technician Assistant

Hi, my name is Ryan Allen. I joined the Johnston Animal Hospital Team October of 2017. I was born and raised just outside of Greenville, NC. I graduated in 2012 from NC State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology. I have worked with a variety of animal species in both veterinary and retail environments since graduating. I live just outside of Smithfield with my wife Samantha and my son, Harvey. We have 2 dogs (Adeline and Theodore), 2 cats (Fiona and Arya), 2 snakes (Naja and Veya) and a tortoise named Bebe. We are North Carolina Zoological Members and love to visit the different animal parks and aquariums across North Carolina.

Support Team

Nicole – Head of Client Care

Hello, my name is Nicole Collier, I originally joined the Johnston Animal Hospital team in 2009. I was born and raised in Johnston County. I am a 2004 graduate of North Johnston High School. After graduation, I attended Johnston Community College. I am a homebody, so I did not want to go too far from home. I have two beautiful boys named Karson and Lucas who I love dearly. I also have a golden doodle named Moose who thinks he is one of the kids. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, going to church and sitting on the beach.

Jodee – Client Care

Hey y’all! My name is Jodee Langdon, I joined Johnston Animal Hospital in July 2017. I am married to my best friend D.J. Langdon and we have one dog named Sophia, she is a miniature golden doodle (who is spoiled rotten). I live in Selma North Carolina where I was born and raised on my family farm (Boswell Farms) where we primarily grow tobacco. In my spare time I love spending it outdoors with friends, family and especially my niece and nephew who mean the world to me. Growing up around animals and showing livestock with the Johnston County 4-H program for 11 years has made me have such a strong passion for animals. I am beyond excited for what my future holds here at Johnston Animal Hospital.

Angie – Animal Caretaker

I’m Angie, Head Animal Caretaker here at Johnston Animal Hospital. I have been a team member at JAH since 2011. I live in Micro with my husband Mike, our dog” Little man” and 2 cats Gracie and Milo. We also have 5 grown children that reside in North Carolina, Massachusetts and Texas. I am originally from West Virginia, but have lived in here since 1988 and consider this home My past jobs include Teacher assistant Kindergarten and 1st grade, Teacher asst for children with Autism and special needs and Animal Care Attendant at an animal shelter. I have worked with a local animal rescue group and have fostered quite a few animals with them in past years.

My love for animals and the outdoors came from my grandpa who I followed around like a little shadow. He could never go out in the woods walking, hunting or fishing without taking me with him. I learned to care for the lost, hurt, sick or young creatures he always seemed to find that needed help. He was my hero.

I enjoy my job very much whether it’s comforting a sick animal, caring for one that’s here for a routine exam or giving some extra attention to ones that are staying with us while their families are away.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, visiting the mountains and especially relaxing at the beach.

Taylor – Animal Caretaker

Hey, my name is Taylor and I joined JAH in February of 2018, I am part time in Client Care and part time as an Animal Caretaker. Currently, I am a student at Nash Community College in hopes of getting accepted into their new Veterinary Medical Technology program. My dream is to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. I grew up with cats, dogs, fish and hamsters. As I grew older, my love of animals has expanded. I love every kind of animal and if I can do anything for them, I am all for it. My pets at home are 2 cats (Gene and Tigger), one dog (Gerald) and a bearded dragon named Vader. I also love goats and would love to have one someday. I am so thankful and excited to be able to work at JAH with Dr. Ward and the team. I have enjoyed my time at JAH and I know it is only going to get better!

Katelyn – Animal Caretaker

Hi, I’m Katelyn. I joined the JAH team March of 2016. I am attending JCC and plan to attend NC State in the future to become a vet. I am on the Johnston County Livestock Judging Team and show goats in 4-H.

I am active in my church and our American Heritage Girls troop. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and my dogs, dancing, especially clogging, and reading.

John – Animal Caretaker

John joined the JAH team July of 2017.

Practice Manager

Coral, CVT

Hi, I’m Coral. I joined the Johnston Animal Hospital team in April of 2015. I have been in the veterinary field since 1997 where I started as an Animal Caretaker and quickly developed a love for people and their pets. I became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2001 and have been a Practice Manager since 2009. I obtained my business degree from University of Phoenix in 2012. I am passionate about wellness care and ensuring our clients and furry patients have a positive experience in our hospital every time they visit. I am married with 3 boys and have 2 cats (Peter Parker and Lucy Grace). My oldest son plays travel ice hockey so we spend a lot of our spare time at the various hockey rinks in the Raleigh area. I do a lot of volunteer work in the community and with my church. I love to spend time with my family, playing outside, taking walks or hiking, participating in Cub Scout events, watching movies or just hanging out. I love to spend time in my garden at home as well. I am thankful to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing team at Johnston Animal Hospital.