Our Veterinarians

When a family member is under the weather or suffering from discomfort, he deserves the attention of a caring, competent physician with the skills to diagnose his ailment and the compassion to treat him with tenderness.

At Quail Corners Animal Hospital, an expert staff of veterinarian doctors and a skilled team of technicians are here to do just that. Under the directorship of our highly skilled veterinary doctors, your pet is always in good hands. We're ready when your pet needs us.

John Isaacs, Medical Director at Raleigh Animal Hospital

John H. Isaacs, Regional Medical Director

An Arkansas native, Dr. Isaacs grew up in Little Rock and attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (WooPigSoooie!) He was unaware of veterinary medicine until he was in college and worked on a cattle ranch and met a veterinarian for the first time. He ended up volunteering for Dr. Jolly and then pursued veterinary medicine at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Dr. Isaacs now enjoys helping his clients enjoy their lives with their pets. He says maintaining excellent health allows dogs and cats the ability to be expressive and to show their love and affection for their human family members. Although being a veterinarian has many challenges, the benefits far outweigh them. Dr. Isaacs and his wife Melinda (a horse- and dog-person) share their home with Metta, a dog Melinda rescued from the streets in India; Cheddar Bob Master Cat, a frequent blood donor. Dr. Isaacs enjoys scuba diving and fishing, but not at the same time.

Dr Laura Russell at Quail Corners Animal Hospital

Laura Russell, DVM and Co-Medical Director

Dr. Russell is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), a Diplomate-American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine & Feline) – (DABVP) and a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP). She completed her veterinary schooling at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been practicing in North Carolina since 2003. She has extensive experience in both primary care and emergency medicine and joins Quail Corners Animal Hospital as a co-Medical Director. Dr. Russell lives in Durham, NC with her husband and two young children.

Alise Baer, D.V.M. at Raleigh Animal Hospital

Alise Baer, DVM

Originally from Ocean City, Maryland, Dr. Baer joined the QCAH family in 2015. She shares her home with three dogs (Pyro and Finder, Border Collies; and Nick, an Australian Shepherd), and cat Wren. Dr. Baer enjoys working with clients to figure out what may be wrong with their pets and then keeping them healthy. She loves seeing clients keep their dogs active and healthy by training them to do new things! A graduate of NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Baer decided to become a veterinarian when she was just eight years old. When not at work, she is training Finder to play flyball – they both love it!

Kady Gjessing, DVM at Raleigh Animal Hospital

Kady Gjessing, DVM

Dr. Gjessing is a graduate of the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has been at Quail Corners since 1991. Currently, her family consists of four cats – Ivan, an 18+-year-old Siamese; Roubaix and Henrietta, littermates who don’t look like each other and have opposite personalities; and finally, a new tortie kitty who is yet to be named! In addition, she has two spoiled beagles, 13-year-old Miss Moneypenny, and Addie. Dr. Gjessing understands the strong bonds that develop between her clients and their four-legged family members, and strives to keep her patients healthy throughout their entire lives. In particular, Dr. Gjessing embraces the challenge of allowing senior pets to age with dignity. A native of New York, Dr. Gjessing enjoys competing in road cycle races, doing New York Times crossword puzzles, road cycling, gardening, and road cycling.

Shannon Jarchow, DVM at Raleigh Animal Hospital

Shannon Jarchow, DVM

A native of North Carolina, Dr. Jarchow, began practicing veterinary medicine in 2004 in Roanoke Rapids. She started her scientific career in biochemistry, obtaining her master’s degree studying the structure and function of cancer proteins. Yearning for more, she then moved into education and taught chemistry to the talented students of St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee. She found veterinary medicine to provide the ideal combination of her love of teaching and scientific investigation.

Graduating from the University Of Tennessee College Of Veterinary Medicine, she moved back to her home state and has enjoyed practicing veterinary medicine every since. Dr. Jarchow’s many talents, compassionate attitude, and expansive veterinary skills make her a stellar asset to the medical team. Considering her special interest in feline medicine, it’s not surprising that her oldest nephew Nathan calls her the ‘cat doctor’, a moniker reinforced by the three cats that greet her every evening. Oreo, Indiana, and Hawkings, ages 10, 8, and 3 provide her with unending displays of humor, affection, and mischief.

Mary Margaret Pepe, DVM at Raleigh Animal Hospital

Margaret Mary Pepe, DVM

Dr. Pepe has been with us since 2007. When Dr. Pepe was a freshman in high school in Ohio, her horse was sick and she felt helpless. That was when she decided to become a veterinarian so she could help sick animals, and led her to The Ohio State University, where she earned her DVM. Although she only practices on small animals, Dr. Pepe still loves horseback riding and has a Thoroughbred named Maestro. She and her husband (also a veterinarian) also have two dogs, Ty and Suni, who are both yellow Labs, and three cats, Rudy, a domestic shorthair, and Rudolph and Ralphie, Maine Coon Cats. Her most memorable case involves a dog who had a tumor on her lip that was causing problems and becoming necrotic. The owner had continued to postpone surgery because she wasn’t sure it would help much or the dog may not do well afterwards. She finally agreed to the surgery, and Dr. Pepe was able to remove the tumor with a laser procedure. The dog was more active afterwards, and the owner was so happy that she could hold and kiss her dog again.

Cynthia Piver, DVM/CVA at Raleigh Animal Hospital

Cynthia Piver, DVM, CVA

Dr. Piver, a North Carolina native, grew up in Chapel Hill and attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her undergraduate studies –GO HEELS! She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. She spent several years working as an equine veterinarian and as a mixed animal practitioner before focusing on small animals. Dr. Piver also attended The Chi Institute for Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA). This has enabled her to provide alternatives (such as acupuncture and herbal medicine) when standard treatments at not working. Dr. Piver and her family live in Cary. They have two four-legged children, Lilah and Thatch, who are both Labrador Retrievers. In their spare time, the Piver family enjoys snowboarding, boating, wakeboarding, and camping.

Amanda Virkus, VMD at Raleigh Animal Hospital

Amanda Virkus, VMD

Dr. Virkus, a St. Louis native, began her career as a systems engineer in defense, but quickly realized she had more of a passion for animals and began to pursue her veterinary medicine journey instead. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and joined the Quail Corners Animal Hospital family in 2017. Dr. Virkus shares her home with two cats, Pax and Conway, who can high five on command (if you bribe them with food).