Our Veterinarian


Dr. Shelli Karl

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a veterinarian. While still in grade school I volunteered at the Nature and Science Center in Bay Village, OH. I then worked for a multi-doctor small animal veterinary hospital during high school.

I went to The Ohio State University for my undergraduate work and graduated with a degree in parasitology. I received my veterinary degree from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983, then was blessed to be selected by NC State University to join their advanced training internship program in small animal medicine and surgery. After working for several years as an associate veterinarian, I started Falconbridge Animal Hospital and later added our satellite clinic, Village Veterinary Hospital in Chatham County. In addition to cats and dogs, I enjoy seeing exotics including reptiles and pocket pets. My specialty is surgery. I enjoy soft tissue surgery as well as orthopedics.

I have a wonderful son Ryan and fiancee Jessica who have blessed this world with my grandson Wesley. My beautiful daughter Jenna will soon be adding a Doctorate to her name as she is graduating from a Physical Therapy program. We have a menagerie of fur babies at this time; Zoey the rambunctious black lab, Gabriel the sweet whippet pup, Aspen the look-alike for Falkor from the “Never Ending Story” and Monte and Simba, 2 kitties that think they own the house!

In my “free time” I enjoy outings with my grandson, traveling, and scuba diving.


Our Staff



Sydney, Pet Care Attendant

I have lived in Durham my whole life and graduated from Jordan High School in 2018. During my senior year in high school, I had the opportunity to take a course in veterinary assisting. I decided to take the course because I plan on attending veterinary school after college. I became a Certified Veterinary Assistant through this program and had previously interned and volunteered at Falconbridge to gain my needed experience and hours. After getting certified, I wanted to work here! I help out caring for the pets who are boarding with us, as well as by helping the veterinarians and technicians with anything they may need.

Until I move to college this fall I live with my mom, dad, and younger sister. We are an active family that likes to travel and being outdoors. We have 2 cats and a leopard gecko. I love nature, science, and obviously animals. When I’m not working with animals I prefer to fill my time with reading, running, and spending time with my family. I will begin my freshman year of college at NC State this fall.


Sam Lewis Atkins, Practice Manager

I was born in Germany while my parents were serving there in the U.S. Air Force. My family moved to North Carolina after their assignment in Germany was finished, and it is here that I was raised.

I have always loved animals, something I acquired from my mother who is a Registered Veterinary Technician. I began volunteering at the hospital where she worked when I was 14. At 16 I applied for a paid position in order to raise money for a trip to Europe. In addition to reception, I have worked in a kennel, as a technician, and given seminars to veterinary hospitals as a veterinary pharmaceutical company representative. I enjoy reception since it allows me to see our patients and clients on a daily basis and to strive to provide the best customer service possible.

My husband, Chris, is a brewer; we love to travel and explore new cultures and cuisine. We have 2 cats, Tonya the queen bee (at least she thinks so), and Lilly the squeaking scaredy-cat. The newest addition to our family is a rambunctious corgi mix named Franklin who likes to cause trouble; fortunately, he’s adorable so no one can stay mad at him long.