Our Careteam

Ginny Rigsbee

Practice Manager

As early as she can remember, Ginny knew she wanted to work with animals in some form or another. After beginning her career as a veterinary assistant, she became interested in the business aspect of veterinary medicine. Now, she works as Falls Village Veterinary Hospital’s Practice Manager and has served in the animal care industry for over 30 years!

Ginny grew up in Southern Pines, North Carolina with her parents and two brothers. She first became fascinated by the animal care world as a child, when she would visit the local veterinarian’s office with her mother. After finishing high school, Ginny attended North Carolina State University before focusing on the business side of the industry and turning her focus to practice management. She was hired here at the hospital in August of 1984, and has happily been tending to the needs of Raleigh’s pets and animal owners ever since.

As a Manager, Ginny feels that she’s done her job well when the clinic has a busy month, pet owners are happy, and pets are feeling their absolute best. Her favorite part of the day is witnessing the hospital running like a well-oiled machine during peak business hours! In addition to her duties here at the clinic, Ginny is the practice management chairperson for the North Carolina Veterinary Conference held right here in Raleigh and also runs her own small business braiding and clipping horses.

Ginny and her husband, Kenny, have a daughter named Jordan and two sons named Brian and Justin. The family shares their lives with a dog, Bailey; five cats named Jinx, Cleo, Zeke, Zoey, and Butter; and a horse named Cotton.

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Denise Ma’afala

Head Receptionist

Denise loves problem-solving, a skill she uses routinely as our head receptionist here at Falls Village. She draws from a wide variety of experience to provide our clients as well as her fellow staff members with excellent service and advice.

After being born in Waynesville, NC and growing up with a brother and two sisters, Denise joined the Army. While stationed in Germany, she took the opportunity to travel to other countries in the region: Spain, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Holland, East Berlin…

In her civilian life, Denise became a pharmacy tech before turning her hand to animal care.

She has worked in kennels and as a receptionist at practices in Georgia, Fayetteville, NC and of course, here in Raleigh, NC. She remembers fondly the mixed practice that treated horses, pot-bellied pigs and exotics in addition to the standard dogs and cats.

Falls Village was happy to welcome her to the team in 2007, and Denise was promoted to the position of Head Receptionist in 2013.

When asked about her pets, Denise shares the story of her first kitten, Smudge:

“I was driving down a country road when a car in front of me ran over a cat and drove off. I stopped to check on it, and when I saw it was dead, moved it off the road. I then noticed a tiny kitten that she had been carrying in her mouth. I took him home and bottle fed him…he was with me for 14 years.”

Now Denise shares her home with an adorable terrier mix named Howard. Adopted from a local rescue, Howard can be a bit dramatic, complete with pouting and temper tantrums – “just like a 2 year-old child” – if he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. However, he also loves to go for walks and has many fans in the neighborhood. Howard has never met a stranger.

When Denise isn’t busy taking care of Howard, she enjoys hiking, reading, traveling and experiencing great restaurants!

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Jennifer Price

Communications Manager

Jennifer has spent her career in various aspects of the animal care industry. She joined the Falls Village team in 2013 as a technician. Recently, her duties have expanded to take over the role of Communications Manager. It’s a fulfilling combination that allows her to continue to perform the hands-on aspects of animal care as well as engage in developing materials to help our staff and our clients take the best care of their pets.

Jennifer first became interested in the veterinary field as a child. From an early age she had a love of horses that was greatly inspired by reading Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series. Upon realizing that becoming a racehorse jockey was unlikely to be in her future, she considered other careers in the animal care industry. Veterinary medicine seemed to be a good fit, given her aptitude for science.

With this view in mind, Jennifer attended Berry College, a small private school in Rome, Georgia. In addition to earning a Bachelors in Animal Science, as well as minors in Equine Science and in Business Admin, Jennifer gained hands-on experience at the on-campus equestrian center and working dairy. More recently, she has completed courses in Veterinary Technology. Throughout the course of her career thus far, she has held a variety of positions from kennel attendant to managerial.

“In the years that I have spent as a technician, I’ve discovered a real passion for client education. I enjoy being able to utilize my artistic side to create handouts and brochures that assist clients in understanding the conditions that may affect their pets and how to care for them, as well as recommendations for preventative medicine.”

While not technically a North Carolina native, Jennifer has lived in the Raleigh area since before she was able to walk. With hometown pride, she cites it as an ideal location, with its easy access to both the mountains and the beach, and the larger cities of Charlotte and DC also a reasonable drive away. The large number of events – cultural, sporting, and educational – make it a great place to live.

In her free time, Jennifer nurtures her creative side by playing the flute, singing alto in her church’s choir and “tying knots” (as a friend calls her knitting, crocheting, and sewing). Jennifer is also enthusiastic about her recent improvement of her swimming skills and learning to water ski.

As Communications Manager, Jennifer is in charge of the Falls Village Facebook page, so if you have any fun pet photos or stories send them her way! jenniferpricefvvh@gmail.com

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LeighAnn

Head Technician

LeighAnn has a passion for animal advocacy as well as passing along her knowledge and experience to her coworkers. This makes her a great fit as our Head Technician.

After completing her veterinary technician degree, LeighAnn decided to develop her interests in surgery and anesthesia and earned her Veterinary Technician Specialist certification. Certification as a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Anesthesia and Analgesia promotes patient safety, consumer protection, professionalism and excellence in anesthesia care. The Veterinary Anesthesia arena is constantly evolving, thus, the attainment of competence is a continual activity for academy members.

LeighAnn is driven by a desire to make a difference in the life of each animal that she comes in contact with, whether it is through hands-on care, educating pet owners, or finding homes for those pets in need. She believes “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

She shares a story that illustrates her passion for animal care and the building of the human-animal bond:

“Daisy was a dog I took care of who was injured and ultimately paralyzed. She had the best personality and the best attitude, once you got to know her. For 3 months my life revolved around her and her needs. And I quickly learned that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. Many people would have given up on her and they did. But, to me she was a true inspiration. She overcame a terrible injury and situation. When she left this world due to those injuries…I try and smile when I think of her running around causing trouble somewhere. To this day, I think of her often and always remember that every animal deserves a second chance no matter what you may first assume about their situation.”

In addition to her work as a technician, LeighAnn also trains and volunteers as a first responder with search and rescue dogs. In her free time, she enjoys making jewelry and going to art fairs as well as music festivals (the Grateful Dead is a long-time favorite, having attended shows in both 1988 and 2015). Sailing is also a favorite hobby.

Out of the many pets that LeighAnn has shared her life with, she cites a special German Shepherd, Maple, as being the smartest ever!

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Stephanie Richards

Kennel Manager

Stephanie’s love of animals was developed as a child. She used to visit her father during his lunch breaks at the maintenance department at NC State. While there, she would visit all the animals at the vet school. Her family also had many animals at home, from livestock to house pets.

Stephanie has been with Falls Village since 2000, and we are proud to have her step up to be the head of our kennel department beginning in 2016. In addition to her experience in animal care, Stephanie also has a background in Early Childhood Development and has worked in daycare. Her nurturing spirit and generous heart make her a perfect fit for both of these fields.

It’s no surprise that Stephanie makes a priority of spending time with her family: her high school sweetheart and husband of 22 years, 2 children, 4 dogs and a cat. She also enjoys museums, learning about history, going to the lake, and watching movies. Her motto is “To have fun and enjoy life no matter what life throws at me.”

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Julie Pellicore

Study Coordinator

Julie has filled a variety of roles since first coming to work at Falls Village in 1999. When our hospital began participating in clinical trials for various animal health companies in 2014, Julie took the opportunity to transition into the role of Study Coordinator.

In this position, Julie keeps the various trials organized and recruits qualifying participants. She ensures that we follow Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines and all the rules established by the FDA and USDA for the health and well being of enrolled our patients. Julie is passionate about being a part of trials that advance veterinary medicine and help pets live healthier lives.

When she isn’t busy keeping us all pointed in the right direction, Julie enjoys spending time with her 3 dogs and her cat, as well as human family members.

We are currently participating in the international INSPIRE study, evaluating an investigational medication to manage Chronic Kidney Disease in cats so they might live healthier lives. For more information please visit http://www.catswithkidneydisease.com or call us at 919-847-0141 and ask for Julie.

Photo of  Julie  Pellicore

Some of our friendly front office staff

Some of our friendly front office staff

A few of our talented technicians

A few of our talented technicians

Caring kennel staff

Caring kennel staff

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  • pet cartoons

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