Our Staff

Welcome to Holly Springs Veterinary Hospital! We are a full service veterinary medical facility that provides comprehensive companion animal healthcare. We believe in a partnership between you, our veterinarians, and your pet – a partnership designed to promote optimal health, comfort and longevity.

Our doctors are highly trained medical professionals who practice the science and art of medicine with compassion and understanding for each individual pet. Our mission is to provide comprehensive and preventive companion animal healthcare. Whether your pet has an ear infection or a life-threatening illness, we are here to help.


Dr. Hans BernardHans Bernhard, DVM

Dr. Bernhard is a Raleigh native and he has been a member of the Holly Springs Veterinary Hospital team since completing veterinary school at North Carolina State University in 2005. In 2018, he joined forces with NC based Vets Pets veterinary management group to become a managing partner at Holly Springs Veterinary Hospital. He has a deep passion for client, employee, and patient care. Away from the office, “Dr. B” loves spending time with his husband Mitch and their two children, Eva and Landon – often taking trips to the beach or traveling to visit the nearest baseball park to watch a game. During the winter, he enjoys traveling to the most majestic mountain he can find to go downhill skiing. His personal pets include dogs, Molly & Belle and cats, Myrtle & Stormy.

Dr. Aaron TolhurstAaron Tolhurst, DVM

Dr. Tolhurst is a 2012 graduate of the North Carolina State University – College of Veterinary Medicine, where he focused his studies in small animal medicine. His particular interests include preventive medicine and surgery. Prior to attending veterinary school, he received a BS degree in Biology in 2003 from Penn State Erie – The Behrend College in Erie, Pennsylvania. He moved to North Carolina in 2008 and still misses the snowy Pennsylvania winters. When not at work, Dr. Tolhurst enjoys home improvement projects, relaxing outdoors, and spending time with his wife and their cat named Miles.

Dr. GessnerApril Gessner, DVM

Dr. April Gessner graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, completing her clinical year at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Dr. Gessner is passionate about doing veterinary volunteer work in impoverished areas and has volunteered in several countries in Central America, South America, and Asia. While in veterinary school, she started an organization on the island of St. Kitts so that students could gain hands-on experience while also helping the less fortunate with their pets. She was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Ross University for her international volunteer work. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, running, camping, and rock climbing. Dr. Gessner resides in Fuquay Varina with her husband (a veterinary radiologist), her amazing daughter, and three cats who she rescued while volunteering to help displaced shelter pets during Hurricane Florence.

AnnAnn Kranz, Practice Manager

Ann joins our team as our Practice Manager. She has over 20 years’ experience in the industry which include working in a hospital setting in Fayetteville, North Carolina and a sales position in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She currently lives in Apex with her husband Nick, their son J.T. and their dog Ceaser. In her spare time, her family enjoys traveling, camping and concerts. She recently received her MBA this past May from Fayetteville State University.

JoshJosh, Veterinary Technician

Josh started his career at Holly Springs Veterinary Hospital in August 2019. He graduated from a local Veterinary Technology program in June 2017 and became a registered technician in November of 2017. He has a variety of pets, including a Border Collie mix, several exotic species and five cats that take up most of his time outside of work but he would not change a thing.

Ana, Veterinary Assistant

Ana was born and raised in Brooklyn NY. While living there she worked as a Senior MSC Supervisor and also volunteered for three years at The New York Aquarium’s Animal Department for 3 years starting in 1998.  In 2011, she and her family moved to Fuquay-Varina. Before coming to HSVH, Ana was a substitute teacher with Wake County Schools. When not at work, Ana enjoys spending time with her two children (Danielle & Zack), three cats (Mater, Jasmine & Stevie), dog (Daisy) and her husband, Jeff, of 22 years.

LexiLexi, Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant

Lexi has always had a passion for animals growing up, and has dreamed of becoming a veterinarian since she was six years old. She recently graduated with an Animal Science degree with a concentration in Veterinary Bioscience from North Carolina State University. She hopes to attend the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State in the near future. She joined our staff in October and is excited to gain more knowledge and experience about the career path she wishes to pursue.

FeliciaFelicia, Veterinary Assistant

Felicia began working for Holly Springs Vet in September of 2018. She is originally from Goldsboro, NC and a recent graduate of Miller-Motte College Veterinary Technology Program. She plans to take the VTNE in March, 2019 in order to become Registered. She is a proud mother of three and plans to become the mother to a fur baby in the near future.

RaineRaine, Veterinary Assistant

Raine is originally from California, where she first found her love for animals. Since she was young, she has always found herself volunteering and interning with the SPCA and other equine and small animal veterinarians. She started working as a kennel technician and now loves working as a veterinary assistant. Raine is currently in school and plans to eventually apply to veterinary school at NC State. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her wife and two dogs or hanging out at home watching Marvel movies with their two cats.

ChrisChris, Veterinary Assistant

Chris was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. After high school he lived in New Hampshire and Maryland. Chris started volunteering at the Durham County Animal Shelter in high school and continued volunteering at shelters and working in kennels wherever he went. He worked as a veterinary assistant at an emergency clinic in Maryland, as well as North Carolina.  It was then he knew he wanted to work with animals.

Chris moved back to North Carolina in 2013 to attend school and be closer to family. He currently lives in Chapel Hill with a very large dog named Daedra and 3 cats named Emily, Katie and Zoey. In his off time he enjoys reading, building computers and trail riding with his horse Rohan.

KatieKatie, Groomer

Katie was born and raised in Ames, Iowa. Katie has over 14+ years of dog grooming and dog handling experience of both small and large breed dogs. She was very involved in 4H and won numerous Showmanship Dog Awards. She started grooming at a young age at the local dog-grooming salon under professional guidance and later worked for a boarding kennel as their dog groomer. She started her own dog grooming business, while in high school that she ran through community college. Katie has groomed multiple breeds of dogs throughout her career.

Growing up, Katie dreamt of becoming a professional handler. In May 2012, she had the opportunity to work as an assistant to a professional handler in South Carolina. While working for a professional dog handler, she learned everything about dog care, dog show grooming standards, while traveling the East Coast competing in over 100 AKC dog shows. Katie attended the famous Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York City three different years. She was in charge of grooming the dogs to perfection as well as showing dogs. In February 2013, she presented a German Shepherd at the Westminster Kennel Club where she was awarded Reserve Winner’s Dog.

In Katie’s spare time, she loves spending time with her two dogs, Emerson and Beverly (a Golden Retriever and an Australian Shepherd). Katie also enjoys going to the gym, Olympic lifting, restoring furniture and spending time with her family and friends.

JaniceJanice, Groomer

Originally from Rochester, NY, Janice moved here briefly after 9/11. Being an Administrative Assistant for over twenty years, Janice has followed her passion and is now working with animals. She is ABC Certified and loves pampering the dogs she grooms/styles. In her spare time, she can be found at the barn with the love of her life, her horse, Drover. Teaching him tricks and riding the trails. She has had German Shepherds most of her life, but currently has one cat, Chessy. She loves spending time with family and friends, watching baseball and football, and horse shows.

KristynKristyn, Receptionist

Originally from Wisconsin, Kristyn moved to NC in 2002 and never looked back. She was given the opportunity to join HSVH in February 2017, from Banfield. She has had a lifetime of passion for animals and has worked in the veterinary field for many years.

Kristyn graduated from Hodges University with an Associates in Business Administration. Her love for helping people and their pets is one of the many reasons why she loves working here at HSVH. In her spare time, Kristyn enjoys traveling to the beach or the mountains – whichever strikes her fancy, bird watching, and spending time with her family, which includes two dogs (Ares & Tesla), three cats (Ares, Jayd, & Zodiak), and a fish.

PerryPerry, Receptionist

Perry completed high school in 2019. She has always wanted to be a vet and hopes to attend NCSU in order to get her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.

AustinAustin, Kennel Manager

Austin, a recent high school graduate from Southern Wake Academy, was born in Orlando, Florida but was raised in Fuquay Varina, NC. He joined HSVH as part of the kennel staff in September of 2016. He has always had a love for animals ever since he can remember. Including taking care of any stray animal that is lucky enough to cross his path in his neighborhood. In his spare time, he loves to go out for a dinner and a movie. He also loves to spend a lot of time with his family and friends.

JodarisJodaris, Kennel Tech

Jodaris was born and raised in Puerto Rico for 10 years. Jodaris moved to North Carolina with her father, mother, sister and her shih tzu, Zazu. Jodaris lives in Apex and is a junior in High School, where she is taking classes to obtain her long term goal in becoming a veterinarian, a dream she has had since she was a little girl. In her spare time she enjoys listening to music, singing, drawing, and helping people. She loves animals and looks forward to becoming a veterinarian. 

JohnJohn, Kennel Tech

Born and raised in Holly Springs, John is a senior at North Carolina State University and will be graduating in the Fall of 2019 with a degree in Animal Science with a concentration in Veterinary Bioscience. He hopes to attend the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University in the coming years and would like to focus on small animal medicine. John is also a passionate soccer fan and loves playing and watching the game in his free time, as well as spending time with his family and girlfriend, who is also studying to be a veterinarian.

MelanieMelanie, Kennel Tech

Melanie was born in Newark, New Jersey before relocating to North Carolina in 2005. She is currently a senior at NC State University, pursuing a degree in Zoology. Some of her hobbies include playing with her two cats, Smokey and Opie, binge watching shows and movies, and listening to music. She has been able to train her older cat, Smokey, to perform a variety of tricks including sit, stay, and even flipping a light switch!