Dr. Mark Epstein is a co-owner and Medical Director at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook. Originally from Atlanta, GA, he graduated with honors in microbiology from North Carolina State University in 1981 and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Georgia in 1985. He came to Gastonia to work at Forestbrook that same year and has called it home ever since. Continuing his training, Dr. Epstein became board-certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in Canine and Feline Practice in 1993, and continues to be the only veterinarian with those credentials in Gaston County. He was re-certified in both 2003 and 2013.
He enjoys working with pets, their owners, and his team each day, and has a special interest in the field of pain management in animals. Pain management has been a focus of continued learning, so much so that he has been additionally certified by the American Academy of Pain Management as well as the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management as a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP). Having developed a high level of expertise in this area, he has been called upon to author book chapters and peer-reviewed veterinary journal articles, and is a widely sought-after national and international speaker on the recognition, prevention, and treatment of pain in dogs in cats. Additionally, he has participated in national and international veterinary professional leadership rolls, including serving as the president of ABVP and IVAPM, and served as a Chairman of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Senior Care Guidelines and Pain Management Guidelines Task Force.
Dr. Epstein's local professional accomplishments include assisting in the development of the Veterinary Emergency Clinic of Gaston County, and of the Gaston College Veterinary Technology Program, for which he received the honors of NC Veterinary Medical Association Presidential Award and the University of Georgia Young Achiever Award in 1995, and the Gaston Chamber Small Business Man of the Year award in 1996. He has contributed to pet-related articles appearing in local publications such as the Gaston Gazette, Gaston Lifestyle Magazine, and others. Other community leadership experience includes being the past president of the Gastonia Jaycees, United Arts Council, Temple Emanuel, and Gaston Dance Theatre. Additionally, he has served in leadership capacities with the local Chamber of Commerce, Gaston Festivals, United Way FEMA Board, the City of Gastonia Planning Commission, and the Gaston Interfaith Trialogue. Currently, he is a proud member of the Gastonia East Rotary.
His biggest blessing of all is to be married to his wife, Janet. They have four children, Chris, Jamie, Hannah, and Torrie, and a stable of animals including dogs, cats, a horse, two turtles, and some fish. His hobbies include soccer, hiking, and making this corner of the world a little better through interfaith dialogue. He has an interest in genealogy and has even co-authored a book about his family history called The Epsteins: Our Illustrated 300-year Journey from Lithuania to Pennsylvania and Beyond.
Dr. Dick Hay is the co-owner and Medical Director at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Davidson. He was born and raised in Toccoa, Georgia, a small town in the Northeast corner of the state, and obtained his BS from Davidson College in 1977. He spent his junior year of college studying in France and considers it one of his defining college and life experiences. He continued his studies by earning a Masters of Science degree in Comparative Physiology and spent two years as a research assistant in the Small Animal Medicine Department at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. It was during his studies there that he fell in love with the profession and went on to obtain his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the same school in 1985. Dr. Hay became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 2000 as a specialist in canine and feline medicine and surgery. He enjoys all aspects of general practice, especially the relationships between pets and their owners.
In recent years, Dr. Hay has become interested in Integrative Medicine and has pursued his certification as a Veterinary Acupuncturist. His wife Pam is a retired college professor at Davidson College and they have two adult children. Dr. Hay is active in several community organizations including the Davidson Housing Coalition and the Davidson Lands Conservancy. When not at work, his favorite pastimes are hiking and traveling.
Dr. Jodi Werfal is a veterinarian and co-owner, as well as the medical director, at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel. Her interest in veterinary medicine began during a mentor program in high school and she went on to obtain a degree in Veterinary Technology in 1984. She graduated from Louisiana State University with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1991 and has been working with TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals. In 1994, she because the director of TotalBond Veterinary Care at Bethel, formerly Bethel Animal HealthCare Hospital. Her professional area of interest includes all aspects of small animal surgery, including laser surgery.
Dr. Werfal is enjoys being active in community projects and currently shares her home with her husband Greg, who is also a veterinarian. She has two daughters, both of whom are currently attending college. In her spare time, Dr. Werfal enjoys hiking, gardening, traveling, and tending to the family's menagerie of pets.
Dr. Hadley Harris is a veterinarian and co-owner at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel. Originally from Rock Hill, SC, Dr. Harris grew up in a household full of animals and has been an animal lover since she was a small child. She graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Animal and Veterinary Sciences and was very active in the pre-veterinary programs. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine and performed a small animal rotating internship following graduation at a local referral and emergency hospital. She joined the TotalBond family in July 2015 and has loved every second of it.
At home Dr. Harris has two dogs, Paisley and Charlie, and two cats, Webster and noodle, all of whom are rescues. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, being outdoors, and spending time with her family and friends.
Dr. Isabel Plourde is a Veterinarian and Co-Owner at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Kenyon College and graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. She joined the TotalBond team following graduation and spent her first year and a half rotating between the five locations. Now, Dr. Plourde primarily practices at our Lake Wylie, SC location. Her special interests include internal medicine and helping patients who have long-term conditions feel better on a day-to-day basis. She is trained to perform full abdominal ultrasounds, which aids her internal medicine interest. She works hard to keep your pet’s visit as low-stress as possible.
She shares her home in Charlotte with her husband, their new baby girl, and two dogs named Cash and Badu. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling. A fun fact about Dr. Plourde is that one of the experiences that influenced her decision to go into veterinary medicine was a semester spent abroad in Kenya studying wildlife management.
Dr. Wes Spangler is the co-owner and Medical Director of TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Paw Creek and a Fear Free Certified veterinarian. He is originally from a small beef cattle farm in Southern Virginia and says that his time on the farm shaped his lifelong passion for animals. He completed he undergraduate work at Virginia Tech and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University in 2017. Dr. Spangler moved to the Gastonia area following graduation where he spent two years at our Forestbrook location as an associate veterinarian before moving to Paw Creek. His professional interests include cardiology, oncology, and surgery, as well as providing understandable, yet thorough, client education.
Outside of the hospital, Wes spends much of his time outdoors hiking, biking, kayaking, and more with his newly adopted dog, Shadow. He enjoys watching and playing music, exploring the area with friends, and just relaxing with his cat, Rikku, while watching Game of Thrones.
Dr. Kim Langholz has wanted to be a veterinarian since grade school, and is currently the co-owner and Medical Director at Riverbend Veterinary PetCare Hospital. Dr. Langholz originally took a different path and used her biology teaching degree to be a research technician. After a variety of research positions, Dr. Langholz decided to get her Masters of Education in Special Education. She taught grades 6-12 at a hospital school for many years. She then served as the Director of the Challenger Learning Center and after hearing a particularly inspiring speech from an astronaut, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian! Dr. Langholz graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000.
Originally from Iowa, Dr. Langholz has lived in Arizona, California, Missouri, and North Carolina, and is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in 4 states. She is married and has an adult son, a daughter-in-law, two delightful granddaughters, and one dog, Tebow. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and painting. She enjoys watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting but would like to become skilled in watercolors particularly.
Dr. Emily Messner is an associate veterinarian at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel. Her veterinary career comes from two passions - the joy of helping others learn and understand and the fascination with living systems. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Arkansas followed by her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from Oklahoma State University's College of Veterinary Health Sciences in 2014.
She first came to TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals as an extern during her senior year and joined the team as an associate following her graduation. She has rotated around the TotalBond hospitals, namely our RiverBend (formerly Mountain Island Lake) and Paw Creek locations. As of 2017, she has been a staple at the Bethel location and is eager to help as many pets as possible. Her areas of profession interest include behavior, dermatology, preventative care, and internal medicine.
She is owned by a 7-year-old Beagle mix named Belle who she adopted from the Fayetteville Animal Shelter in Arkansas and has been a terrific travel companion ever since. She and her husband Dylan enjoy letting her nose lead them through the hiking trails of North Carolina. They (not including Belle) are also active members of the Gaston County Jaycees.
Dr. Emily Nutt is an associate veterinarian at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel. She attended Kenyon College for her bachelors in 2010, and went on to complete her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University in 2016. While there, she also obtained her Master of Public Health, Veterinary Public Health Specialization in 2015.
Dr. Nutt began her career in veterinary medicine as a receptionist in 2006, and her favorite part about being a veterinarian is building relationships with clients. Originally from Lake Norman, NC, her first pet was a horse names Jackson. She currently shares her home with a mixed breed dog, Bentley, and enjoys spending her free time walking her dog, doing yoga, horseback riding, gardening, and hanging out with friends and family.