More Than 60 Years of Service to Charlotte, NC: Treating Dogs & Cats to the Best
Dr. Richard E. Killough, DVM
Dr. Killough's desire was to be a veterinarian when he was a small child living on a dairy farm in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Dr. Killough and his wife, Kay, graduated together from Indian Trail High School in 1961. After graduation, he was accepted to North Carolina State University, where he continued to pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian. Since North Carolina did not have a school of veterinary medicine, Dr. Killough applied and was accepted at Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1968.
After graduation, Dr. Killough was on the staff of Sandhill Veterinary Hospital in Southern Pines, North Carolina for four years. Dr. Cliff McLean and Dr. Joe Currie were the owners of this AAHA-accredited hospital. Dr. Killough always felt he received wonderful mentorship and guidance for his career in their hospital. Family ties brought the Killough's back to Charlotte in 1972, where they found a permanent home at Long Animal Hospital.
Dr. Forest B. Long was the founder of the hospital, which was established in 1948. He built the hospital on good service to his clients and dedication to the highest quality of veterinary medicine. Dr. Killough has always strived to provide the same high-quality medicine and customer service to his clients. Several years after being in partnership with Dr. Long, Dr. Killough purchased the hospital. Dr. Long continued to be a part of the hospital for many years until his retirement in 1987.
Dr. and Mrs. Killough have two children. Dr. Brian Killough is also a veterinarian and on the staff of Long Animal Hospital, which makes Dr. Killough, Sr. extremely proud! Kay Killough, and Judy Killough (wife of Dr. Brian Killough) are part of the management team. Kara Ruth King, the Killoughs' daughter, is a medical representative with St. Jude's heart division. They have four grandchildren: Jake Killough, Paul Killough, Hannah Killough, and Kara Grace King.
Dr. Brian Killough, DVM, CCRP
Dr. Brian Killough grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and began working at Long Animal Hospital with his father at the young age of 12 as a kennel assistant. Dr. Killough graduated from the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. He enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine and his areas of special interest include soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, endoscopy, abdominal/cardiac ultrasound, and oncology.
Outside of practicing veterinary medicine, Dr. Killough enjoys spending time with his wife, Judy; their three children, Jake, Paul, and Hannah; and their two dogs, Licky and Maggie.
Dr. Brad Brown, DVM
Joined Long Animal Hospital in 1996
Dr. Brad Brown performs small animal medicine, surgery, and pet dentistry. Dr. Brown is a veterinarian with a compassionate personality who emphasizes client education, diagnostics, and practical treatment. He is dedicated to providing you and your pet with exceptional veterinary care. He especially enjoys internal medicine and ophthalmology.
Dr. Brown was born and raised in Jamestown, North Carolina. He attended college at North Carolina State University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry in 1992. After graduating, he entered the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1996.
Following graduation, Dr. Brown moved to Charlotte and became an Associate Veterinarian with Long Animal Hospital. He currently resides in south Charlotte with his wife, Janelle, and their three children. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, gardening, fishing, and following NC State athletics.
Dr. Richard Wittmann, DVM
Joined Long Animal Hospital in 1998
Dr. Rich Wittmann performs small animal medicine, surgery, and pet dentistry. Dr. Wittmann's professional skills and compassionate demeanor are a valuable addition to our practice and he contributes greatly to our dedication to provide you with the very best veterinary care. He especially enjoys small animal dentistry, soft tissue surgery, and internal medicine.
Dr. Wittmann grew up in San Diego, California. In 1994, he obtained a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry. Afterwards, he attended the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University, earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1998.
Dr. Wittmann currently resides in Charlotte with his wife, Nicole, his son, Nicholas, and his dog, Willow. His hobbies include San Diego sports teams, fly fishing, and coaching his son's sports teams.
Dr. Debra James, DVM
Joined Long Animal Hospital in 2008
Dr. Debra James performs small animal medicine at Long Animal Hospital. She is a caring veterinarian dedicated to providing your pets with the best medical care. Her professional interests include ultrasonography and emergency and critical care.
Dr. James grew up in Orchard Park, New York. In 1992, she received an associate of applied science degree from Finger Lakes Community College in natural resource conservation, and in 1998, another associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology from Medaille College. Dr. James worked as a licensed veterinary technician for the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee in the neurology and ICU departments while in school. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee in 2007. Following graduation, Dr. James completed an additional year of training (internship) at a private referral practice located outside of Chicago, Illinois.
Upon completion of her internship, Dr. James and her family relocated to the Lake Norman area. In 2008, she became an Associate Veterinarian at Long Animal Hospital. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. Her activities include co-leading her daughter's Girl Scout troop and various other outdoor activities.
Dr. Bob Messenger, DVM
I was born in Charlotte, in the same year that Dr. Forest Long opened Long Animal Hospital. The earliest years that I can remember were living and playing in a neighborhood two blocks away from the new Long Animal Hospital. I was taught by the nuns at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church up until junior high school year, and then I spend three very productive years in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School system. High school happened for me in Medina, OH. It was during those 4 years that I committed to the pursuit of veterinary medicine as a career.
Following high school, I entered the Ohio State University, and eventually earned my Doctor's degree in Veterinary Medicine, in 1974. Immediately following graduation, I entered the United States Army Veterinary Corps, and served 3 years, which concluded at Fort Greeley, Alaska. It was in Alaska that I met Karen Bond, my bride-to-be. We married and lived in a tiny trailer in Delta Junction, Alaska. I worked my own ambulatory veterinary service in the Alaskan bush, and treated any and all species, any time, any place, and any where, occasionally by dog sled. Our daughter, Kristen, let it be known that she would be making her entry into our lives in 1980, and we decided to raise our family back in my home town of Charlotte. There was no veterinary work available, except for a new emergency clinic located near Presbyterian Hospital, called the Charlotte Emergency Veterinary Clinic. It was a "temporary" job. I stayed there for 20 wonderful years, before moving to other opportunities, also in emergency and critical care medicine. The opportunity to help start an emergency service with the Killough family was one of my long time professional goals, and I am eternally grateful to now have that chance. My new goal is to practice emergency medicine here for at least another 20 years.
Daughter Kristen is now Doctor Kristen Messenger, professor of veterinary anesthesiology at the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. Her younger brother, Kevin, who is also a N.C State graduate, is completing his Ph. D in herpetology jointly at Alabama A&M University, and the University of Nanching, in the Szechuan Province of China. Their mother and I are very proud. "I hear babies crying, I watch them grow; they'll learn much more than I'll ever know, and I think to myself, what a wonderful word" (Louis Armstrong).
Karen and I have been building a house in Mint Hill for most of the last 30 years. Still not done. We share it, such as it is, with a Jack Russell Terrier, a Welsh Corgi, a 3 legged cat, and a small snake collection. When I'm not on the ER floor, I enjoy working a year-round vegetable garden, cooking, pounding on our house, cycling, following the Red Sox and the Buckeyes, working with Boy Scouts, and snake hunting with Kevin.
Dr. Zack Yasin, DVM
Joined Long Animal Hospital in March 2013
Dr. Zack Yasin grew up in Perry, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate studies, earning degrees in Animal Science and Dairy Science in 2007. He stayed at the University of Georgia for veterinary school, earning his degree in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. After graduation, Dr. Yasin moved to Charlotte where he began practicing at a small animal clinic.
Dr. Yasin enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine, and his special interests include internal medicine and soft tissue surgery. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, friends, and his yellow lab, Daisy. He also enjoys skiing, playing soccer, and watching his favorite sports teams, the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs.
Dr. Russell Breckwoldt, DVM
Dr. Breckwoldt was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Southeastern New York State. He received his B.S. in Wildlife Biology at the University of Massachusetts in 1985, and his M.S. in Parasitology at the University of Georgia in 1987. Dr. Breckwoldt went on to receive his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1991 at the University of Georgia. He has lived in the Charlotte area since 1995, opening his own exotic only practice, Carolina Exotic Animal Hospital, in 1996. After taking some time off to be at home with his children, he returned to private practice as an after hours emergency veterinarian. He has a special interest in exotic animal medicine, but is here for all of your pets.
In his free time, Dr. Breckwoldt enjoys playing the drums at his church, exercising, cultivating bonsai, yelling at the Mets, and spending time with his wife and their 2 children. His wife, Dr. Marjorie Widay, is also a veterinarian practicing in Charlotte.
Dr. Frances Deller, DVM
Dr. Deller grew up in Charlotte starting her veterinary career working at Long Animal Hospital at the age of 16. She enjoyed the mentorship of many of the doctors, still practicing at the hospital, as she followed her childhood dream to become a veterinarian. Dr. Turner-Deller obtained a Bachelors in Animal Science, a Masters in Animal Science Reproductive Physiology, and DVM from North Carolina State University. After completing veterinary school, she practiced outside Washington DC in Alexandria, Virginia for 3 years. She was happy to return back to her hometown in 2015 and was married in September 2015 to her husband Dan Deller.
Dr. Turner-Deller loves practicing veterinary medicine with special interest in internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and dentistry. When she is not practicing veterinary medicine she enjoys spending time with her family as well as 3 dogs, Oscar, Emmy (M&M), and Rone (Toblerone) and 2 cats, Lolli (Lollipop) and Poppy(Pop Rocks)…all named after candy. She also enjoys cooking, cycling and running.
Dr. Lauren Forhecz, DVM
Dr. Lauren Forhecz is originally from Tampa, Florida. She moved to northern Virginia as a teenager, and she attended Virginia Tech for her Bachelor's degree. She remained in Blacksburg and worked as a veterinary technician for two years before she went on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. Dr. Forhecz joined Long Animal Hospital in 2014.
Her biggest sense of satisfaction comes from interacting with clients to make a positive difference in their lives and those of the animals they love. Dr. Forhecz enjoys all facets of veterinary medicine, but her special interests include surgery and neurology. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her Pomeranian, Pebbles. She also enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, and cheering on her favorite football team (Go Hokies!).
Dr. Samantha Fulton, DVM
Dr. Samantha Fulton grew up in Great Falls, Virginia. Living outside of Washington DC, she was able to volunteer at large and small animal facilities, which exposed her to caring for creatures of all sizes. She attended Longwood University in Farmville, VA for her undergraduate studies, and earned a degree in Biology with a focus in Animal Medicine in 2009. During college, she was also an active member and current alumni of the TriBeta National Biology Honors Society, as well as Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority. After college graduation, Dr. Fulton decided to earn her Veterinary degree abroad. She graduated in 2014 from St. Georges University of Veterinary Medicine in Grenada (West Indies), after completing her Clinical year of training at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. Towards the end of her clinical year of training, she came to Long Animal Hospital for a 2 week externship to emerse herself in Small Animal Medicine. She fell in love with the staff, practice, and clients, and has been with us ever since!
Dr. Fulton enjoys all aspects of Small Animal Veterinary Medicine, however her special interests include surgery (orthopedic and soft tissue), as well as internal medicine. During her free time, she enjoys exploring Charlotte with her family, friends, and dog Boss!
Dr. Derrich Phillips, D.V.M.
Dr. Derrich Phillips was born in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois and raised in the northeast (New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey). He received his B.S. in Animal Science at Clemson University in 2002, and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia in 2006. Dr. Phillips performs small animal emergency and critical care medicine and surgery. He is dedicated to providing you and your pet with exceptional veterinary care. In his free time, Dr. Phillips enjoys spending time with his wife and their 3 children.
“The doctors and technicians are outstanding. Dr. Springer and Dr. Yasin are exceptional.”