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 principal, 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!

Dr. Potter

Dr. Potter is a native of East Tennessee, where he attended East Tennessee State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organic Chemistry. Upon graduation he was active duty service and achieving the rank of Major, Dr. Potter left the military and attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology. He then attended the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2000 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.

For the past 19 years, Dr. Potter has held positions as Associate Veterinarian, Managing Veterinarian, and Relief Veterinarian in East Tennessee and in the Carolinas. Dr. Potter lives in Dunn, NC with his wife Mona and their two dogs. He has two adult children, a son, Jesse, and a daughter, Nikki. He enjoys outdoor activities, fishing, motorcycling, the beach, and spending time with his family and pets.


Alycia, RVT – Practice Manager

Hello, my name is Alycia. I am a registered veterinary technician and the new practice manager here at Johnston Animal Hospital. I started my veterinary career as a technician in specialty surgery where I stayed for about five years up until my family decided to move to North Carolina. When I finally moved I took a job in the Intensive Care Unit at NC State where I worked for about a year and a half before I realized I wanted to make a larger impact on the veterinary world. With that decided, I moved on to practice management.

I have two dogs, Martin and Finnigan, and a cat named Orson. They are my entire world and my life revolves around them. We like to go hiking (bonus if there is a lake or stream!), drive to the ocean to swim and eat tacos, go on road trips, go to park, and hangout with our family.

Cynthia, RVT – Registered Veterinary Technician

Hello! My name is Cynthia. I am a Registered Veterinarian Technician at JAH. My family and I moved to the area from Michigan in 2021. I graduated from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky in 1999. After graduation I moved to Michigan where I met my husband and continued my career as a Licensed Veterinarian Technician for the last 20 years.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my 3 Jack Russell Terriers whom require three mile walks daily. I enjoy gardening with flowers and vegetables. My husband and I enjoy visiting campgrounds with our travel trailer and hiking the different state and national parks around the United States with our Terriers. I am excited to be part of JAH team and to begin the next chapter of my Veterinarian Technician career in North Carolina.

Haley – Veterinary Assistant

Hello, my name is Haley. I am a full-time Veterinary Assistant at JAH. I was born and raised in North Carolina. I was a police officer in Goldsboro, NC from 2019-2021. My boyfriend, Hunter, is currently a K9 officer. My heart has always been with animals and being able to help them is where I wanted to be. I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family during my free time. I am glad to have become a part of the team at JAH.





Selena – Veterinary Assistant

Bilingual Team Member

Hello! My name is Selena and I am a full-time veterinary assistant at JAH.  I have been a part of the team here since 2018, and love helping out the amazing veterinarians and team to take care of all of the wonderful pets that come to visit the hospital.  I have been a part of the Smithfield community for most of my life, and graduated from Johnston Community College.  I have three dogs named Churrumina, Cookies, and Laguna.  In my free time, I enjoy watching and playing volleyball, catching a movie, or being outdoors.




Savannah, PBT- Technician Assistant

Hello! My name is Savannah! I’m returning to JAH after a break to attend my first year of college at UNC-Chapel Hill where I study Clinical Lab Science! I’m full-time at Johnston Animal Hospital for the summer as an Animal Caretaker and Technician Assistant! During my free time I love to hang out with my pups, Lizzie and Harper, and spend time with family and friends!

Nicole – Head of Client Care

Hello, my name is Nicole Collier and I am the Head of Client Care. I originally joined the Johnston Animal Hospital team in 2009. I was born and raised in Johnston County and am a 2004 graduate of North Johnston High School. After graduation, I attended Johnston Community College. I married my childhood best friend in 2006 and we have two boys named Karson and Lucas who we love dearly. They keep us busy, mostly at the ball field. We also have two male Golden Doodles, Moose and Maui. It is safe to safe I am outnumbered with boys but I would not change if for anything.

God is a very important part of who I am and what my life is. I am a church going girl who loves the Lord. My family started attending Temple in Selma in 2016 and we have been going there ever since. I love going on adventures and trying new things. I absolutely love tropical places. I would be fine being stranded on a tropical island somewhere, with my family, of course! Since that might not be practical, I try to visit the beach as much as possible. I also enjoy listening to music, fishing and just enjoying time with my family. Family is very important to me and my kids are my world.

Cindy – Client Care

Bilingual Team Member

Hello, my name is Cindy Macias & I am a full-time Client Care team member at Johnston Animal Hospital. I joined the JAH family in December 2018. I’m the middle child in a large family with 6 siblings. I was born in the “Windy City” of Chicago, Illinois, but my family relocated to Johnston County when I was 6 years old. I have family here, in Mexico, Illinois & South Carolina. You might say that I have plenty of places to travel to now!

I live in Four Oaks with my fiance, Richard, and our 3 fur babies. Suzy is our sassy Chihuahua, Sampson is our overprotective Chiweenie, and Nala is our friendly Pekingese. I can hardly recall a time growing up when I did not have a pet as a member of my family. I love seeing the difference personalities that a pet can bring into the household.

I graduated from South Johnston High School in 2012 and have taken some courses at Johnston Community College towards my Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. In my spare time, I enjoy visiting my family and friends, listening to “oldies” music, dancing, and creating makeup looks. I will forever be thankful in having the opportunity to work with the JAH team and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me!

Sarah, CVT – Client Care

Hello! My name is Sarah. I am originally from Vermont, moved to North Carolina to be closer to family. I graduated from Vermont Technical College in 2000, became  a certified veterinary technician and worked at a small animal hospital for almost 22 years.

I am the oldest of 5 kids, growing up my family has always had pets- ranging from pocket pets to horses. Currently, I live with 7 shih tzus and 2 cats. 3 of my dogs are certified therapy dogs. Before moving, we enjoyed going to our local schools to visit students and teachers; providing emotional support, a dog to curl up with for a few minutes, or a pup to read to. In my down time sewing, scrapbooking, paper crafts and reading keep me busy.
I am looking forward to this next chapter, and to meeting the clients and beautiful pets that come to the Johnston Animal Hospital. Thank you for having me!

Michelle – Pharmacy Tech/Inventory

Hi! My name is Michelle Fenske.  I originally joined the team at Johnston Animal Hospital in 2013.  My husband’s Air Force career took us to Fairbanks, Alaska for the last few years but I am so happy to be back in North Carolina and working with some of my favorite people once again!

I grew up on a small family farm in eastern Pennsylvania where my love for animals (especially goats) began.  I attended college at Kutztown University and graduated in 2010 with a degree in sports management, professional writing, and public relations.  I always dreamt of going into the sports media field, however since my husband is in the Air Force, I had to find a career that I could do wherever they sent us.  When the veterinary field first found me, it was the perfect fit.  Since graduation, I have lived all over the country, spending time in Colorado, Florida, and Alaska.  I love being a part of the Air Force community and getting to experience so many different places and adventures.

In my spare time, I love spending time with my husband and our golden retrievers, Lyla and Nora.  I am a huge Philadelphia sports fan and watch every Phillies, Sixers, and Eagles game that I possibly can.  I also enjoy reading, running, and spending as much time outdoors as possible.  I am beyond thrilled to be back “home” at JAH and can’t wait to see what this next chapter has in store!

Mariana – Animal Caretaker

Bilingual Team Member

Hello, my name is Mariana Ortiz. I am a full-time animal caretaker here at Johnston Animal Hospital. I was born in Ellicott City, Maryland and in 2001 moved to my hometown of Selma. I graduated from North Johnston High School in 2014 and later attended Johnston Community College. I have always loved animals and am so grateful I am able to provide care to animals in need. I have a Yorkie of my own named Tobi, which I consider my full time job. In my free time I enjoy being in nature, traveling, and getting to meet new people!




Matthew – Animal Caretaker

Hello, my name is Matthew. I was born in Johnston County and I am graduate of Clayton High School (CHS). While attending CHS, I participated in the Future Farmers of America. I have always enjoyed animals so the job seems like a great fit. In my free time, I enjoy spending time fishing along with other outdoor activities. I am excited to be a part of the JAH Animal Care team and I look forward to meeting both clients and their pets. 



Alexis – Cross Trained as Animal Caretaker and Technician Assistant

Hello! My name is Alexis! I’m a full-time team member being cross trained in all aspects of veterinary medicine. I grew up in Princeton, NC. I recently graduated from St. Andrews University and am preparing to apply to veterinary school. During my time at St. Andrews, I was able to earn a national title as reserve champion in introductory level dressage. I have four cats of my own! Milo, Rory, Raven, and Morty. In my free time, I like to bake and spend time with my family and cats.