(336) 835-1082

Our Staff

Dr. Richard Brinegar

A native of Elkin, Dr. Richard Brinegar returned to his home town to build a practice that expresses his love of animals and his passion for veterinary care.

Dr. Richard Brinegar earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University. He has practiced in Winston-Salem and Mount Airy before returning to his native town of Elkin.

He and his wife Ava have three sons – Joshua, Daniel and Paul.

Dr. Brinegar is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians and the American and North Carolina Veterinary Medical Associations.

Dr. Brinegar serves his community in several capacities, including as a member of the Elkin City School Board of Education.

Dr. Greg Dugan

Dr. Greg Dugan does relief for the Animal Ark Veterinary Hospital in Elkin on the weekends.

Dr. Dugan is an assistant professor of pathology/comparative medicine at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Dugan is a native of Pfafftown, North Carolina and has been practicing small animal medicine for 16 years. He attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University for his undergraduate and graduate school and earned his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. He has practiced in Winston Salem, Greensboro, and now does relief work in the Elkin area.

He and his wife have three adult children, Christopher, Shara, and Kendall, and one grandson, Christopher. Also part of their family is a dog, Murphy, a 5-year-old goldfish named Halloween, and a bearded dragon named Sheldon.

Dr. Dugan is a member of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association and currently resides in rural Hall, North Carolina. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, sports, and spending time with his family.

Dr. David Ackerman

Dr. Ackerman has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 30 years. He earned his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from VMRCVM at Virginia Tech. He owned a veterinary hospital and practiced in Western North Carolina, until moving to the town of Elkin with his wife, Alison in 2016. Dr. Ackerman is currently the laboratory director of the Northwestern Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture in Elkin. Dr. Ackerman’s love of animals compels him to continue to work in practice with Dr. Brinegar at the Animal Ark. He and his wife have two grown children, Rob and Chris, living in Charlotte and Raleigh respectively. Prior to moving to Elkin, Dr. Ackerman was on the Cherokee County NC School Board, a sheep farmer, beekeeper, owner of Andrews Veterinary Hospital and North Georgia Animal Emergency Hospital. Dr. Ackerman and his wife, Alison, currently reside in Elkin and are members of the Elkin First United Methodist Church. They are beekeepers who also enjoy their pets, hiking, kayaking, and visiting with their children.

Cheri Marks

Cheri has an Associate’s degree in Business from Pensacola Junior College. She has worked since October 1987 in the field of emergency veterinary medicine and has worked with Dr. Brinegar since February 2003. Cheri enjoys reading, swimming, and spending time with her family and five pets – Missy, Cadbury, Theo, JJ, and Sydney.

Isaac Powell

Isaac came on board in December 2014. He currently attends NC State University, pursuing a degree in Textile Engineering. At NC State, he is on the Sailing Club race team and takes part in service projects around campus. In his spare time, he likes to play sports, spend time with friends and family, and play with his dog, Sadie.

Shelby Powell

Shelby joined the Animal Ark in May 2013.  He spends his time writing, both creatively and freelancing for the Elkin Tribune. Shelby enjoys his time with his family and dog, Sadie.

Joshua Brinegar

Josh Brinegar has been working part-time at the Animal Ark since 2014 while attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and currently as a student at Surry Community College. While not working or attending classes, Josh enjoys time with his friends, family, and his special cat, King David.

Maggie Freed

Madelyn Crews

Rebecca Messick

Alexis Snow

The Brinegar Family

Left to right: Dr. Richard Brinegar with Rhett (scarlet macaw), Ava Brinegar, Joshua Brinegar with King David (siamese cat), Daniel Brinegar with Ollie (chinchilla) & Paul Brinegar with Daisy (Boston Terrier)