Meet Our Staff

Vista Falls is no ordinary Veterinary Hospital

Our extra special group of caring professionals are what sets us apart!

Having a modern facility with state of the art equipment is a huge plus for any Veterinary Hospital competing in today’s marketplace, but it’s not the primary characteristic that sets them apart from their competitors. The single most distinguishing feature that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary Veterinary Hospital is the people who treat and care for the patients.

The staff members of Vista Falls Veterinary Hospital are a special group of people that truly care about your pet. Perhaps more importantly, they have the training, skills and experience that are required to provide your pet with the correct diagnosis and treatment in order to restore their health and give you peace of mind.

Dr. Tim Emery, DVM

Head of Medical Staff

Dr. CJ Dabiero, DVM

Associate Veterinarian

Sarah Stertzbach, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Jessica MacGregor, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Arlene Ballard


Dr. Tim Emery, DVM - Veterinarian

I received my BS degree from Tulsa University and then my DVM degree from Oklahoma State in 1989. Upon graduation, I joined a partnership in Tulsa, Oklahoma where I began a satellite practice, Woodland Animal Hospital South.  After several years, I sold my partnership and moved to Gastonia, NC to perform surgery for four hospitals with Veterinary Healthcare Associates.  I then moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina and after two years opened Etowah Valley Veterinary Hospital.  My family and I were led to sell this practice in 2005 to enter the mission field where we lived and served as missionaries in Debre’ Zeit, Ethiopia for two years. This was followed by time in Milot, Haiti, Zambia and Uganda. We most recently completed a three year mission stent in Mafikeng, South Africa with Christian Veterinary Mission, teaching degree and diploma students in Animal Health Studies and sharing the Gospel through a new church plant in the local village of Lokaleng.  We moved back to the States in November 2015.

In April, 2017, I founded Vista Falls Veterinary Hospital,  in scenic Mills River, North Carolina, where I plan to practice for many years to come.

My beautiful bride, Cathi, and I have been blessed with nine wonderful children, a golden retriever, Suma, a miniature yorkie, Mondu, and Berne-doodle, Fynn-lee and one cat, Max. In practice, surgery is my special interest but enjoy all aspects of veterinary medicine.  “Furry Pediatrics” is my specialty.  I enjoy sharing the Gospel, hiking, camping and building projects with my family.

Dr. CJ Dabiero, DVM - Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Dabiero grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated from Ross University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 and finished his clinical studies at Auburn University.  He spent three years in a general practice before moving back home to North Carolina. Dr. Dabiero and his wife, Rebecca who is veterinarian oncologist at Upstate Specialty Hospital, have a young son and two labs. 

Dr. Dabiero is an avid outdoorsman whose passions include, hiking, fishing, camping and wood working. In his professional life, Dr. CJ’s interests include ultrasonography and surgery. 

Sarah Stertzbach, RVT - Registered Veterinary Technician

Sarah recently graduated from the technician program at AB Tech in August of 2020. She is the middle child of three girls. Originally from Ohio, her family relocated to North Carolina in 2008.

When she is not taking care of animals at work and school, she enjoys spending time with her cat, Callie, and dog, Turbo. When not in her scrubs, you can catch her spending time with her closest friends.

Fun fact: Sarah’s BFF is a cat


Jessica MacGregor , RVT - Registered Veterinary Technician

Jessica grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. She lived in Murfreesboro, TN for 15 years and moved to NC 8 years ago. She graduated from Penn Foster, an online distant learning program 5 years ago, but has been in practice with the veterinary industry for over 20 years.

She enjoys relaxing by the campfire on cool evenings with her husband and 2 kids. She also enjoys Hiking, kayaking, and gardening on the weekends. She has 7 beautiful chickens, 3 cats, and a handsome, mix breed dog named Hitch.


Arlene Ballard - Receptionist

Arlene Ballard is our beloved receptionist of 5 years and running. She is married to her husband Sam and has 3 fur babies at home. Arlene was born on a small farm in Polk County where she developed her love of animals and moved to Henderson county 40 years ago.

She looks forward to her kisses and snuggles from our daily patients.