Asheville Veterinarians

veterinarians, ashevilleDavid Vigee, DVM

Dr. David Vigee is co-owner of Asheville Veterinary Associates and one of the surgeons at our South Office. When Dr. Vigee was a child growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, he would bring home injured animals and nurse them back to health. "I was the neighborhood caretaker of injured birds and other small wildlife," Dr. Vigee said. But it was in the fifth grade that he made the official decision to become a veterinarian. "I chose veterinarian in a Career Education class and it stuck," he said. In the ninth grade, Dr. Vigee started working at a local veterinary hospital owned by J.D. Nall and he "worked there after school and in summer up through college. Dr. Nall was my mentor and my role model." Dr. Vigee has been with Asheville Veterinary Associates since 1999.

He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988. Dr. Vigee has practiced veterinary medicine in various places around the country and the world. He has cared for orphaned animals after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he has worked in Wyoming, and he also joined a Humanitarian Aid Mission to Niger in Africa to develop a vaccine and herd health program. Dr. Vigee was a U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Officer from 1988 to 1996 and was an emergency veterinarian from 1998 to 2000.

He has a professional interest in surgery, cardiology and geriatric medicine and he continues his veterinary education as a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He is also certified in endoscopy from the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Vigee and his wife Alli have one daughter and share their home with a Siamese cat named Cinnamon and a terrier mix named Murphy. Dr. Vigee is a fan of cooking, hiking, fishing, gardening, and traveling.

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asheville veterinarianJoann Lackey, DVM

Dr. Joann Lackey was one of those children that just naturally loved animals. "There was an early and deep connection that I had with animals that persisted as I became older. I was the cliche child who was obsessed with animals from the get-go. My bedroom walls were plastered with animal posters and I was forever harboring the stray cat that was inevitably pregnant," Dr. Lackey said.

She grew up in a Navy family and lived all over the world and believes the rural environment in Scotland may have deepened her interest in animals. While living there, Dr. Lackey had a great friend named Caroline and they would spend weekends together "rounding up sheep, collecting chicken eggs, cleaning rabbit hutches and catching ponies. I say without a doubt that this helped shape my life course in becoming a veterinarian." She also worked in veterinary clinics throughout high school, college and veterinary school. Dr. Lackey has been with Asheville Veterinary Associates since August of 2010 and is an associate veterinarian and the primary surgeon at our West Office.

Dr. Lackey earned her undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry from Warren Wilson College in 1990 and went on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. She was also awarded a Hill's Scholarship and received the "Lady Cow Puncher" scholarship for her work with cattle. In the year between college and veterinary school, Dr. Lackey worked for the American Alpine Institute in Washington state.

"Most gratifying of all is when you save a life or make a difference in the quality of an animal's life," Dr. Lackey said about her work in veterinary medicine. "When the limp goes way, when the itch stops, when they start eating again. I enjoy the art of veterinary medicine as much as the science. I truly love my animal patients and I enjoy my clients." Dr. Lackey is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the North Carolina Medical Association. "Although I enjoy most everything I do within the field, I most enjoy dentistry and surgery," she said.

She and her family have adopted a stray cat named Frisky-Prince and a dog named Allie, a canine from the Buncombe County Humane Society. Dr. Lackey spends most of her time with her two daughters and enjoys skiing, mountain biking, camping, hiking, and exploring new places.

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asheville veterinarianElaine Klesius, DVM

Dr. Elaine Klesius' discovered her love for animals when she was very young. "I was very fortunate to grow up around a lot of animals, and that naturally led to my desire to become a veterinarian," Dr. Klesius remembers. "I spent much of my childhood with my pony and my dog. My family also kept goats, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese. My grandfather raised Polled Hereford cattle and took us out on his farm whenever we visited," Dr. Klesius said.

Considering that early exposure, it's no surprise Dr. Klesius continued to pursue her passion for helping animals as she grew older. As a freshman in college she worked for a second-generation veterinarian in her home town of Maysville, Kentucky, and eventually achieved her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating magna cum laude in 1995. She later worked in the veterinary field in Atlanta, Georgia and Maryville, Tennessee.

She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and joined the team at Asheville Veterinary Associates in June 2014. Her professional interests include dentistry, dermatology, medicine and surgery.

Dr. Klesius and her husband Stephen are the proud parents of two sons, Henry and Lyle. Dr. Klesius and her husband work with The Halstead Family Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that supports education. She also enjoys spending time hiking, gardening, practicing yoga, reading, and playing guitar. The Klesius family has three rescue cats, named Katje, Snowy and Teeny Pepper, as well as a rescued Cairn Terrier named Trixie.

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