Dr. John Schaaf


Dr.JohnSchaafDr. Schaaf is a member of the Inaugural Class of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, 1984.

Before founding NMAH, Dr. Schaaf was on staff at Pender Veterinary Clinic in Virginia, and at another practice in North Carolina.

Dr. Schaaf was born into a large, military family and has enjoyed animals his whole life. His parents always maintained a menagerie of horses, ponies, chickens, dogs, cats and pet birds. He has fond memories of his family being guarded by a series of German Shepherd Dogs while his father served three extensive tours of duty in the Viet Nam War.

Dr. Schaaf’s exposure to Veterinary Medicine dates back to his earliest childhood memories. To this day he has a passion for sharing his expertise and love of animals with children of all ages. His first formal job was working for a group of veterinarians in Virginia starting at age fourteen, and he has worked in Veterinary Medicine continually over 42 years.

Dr. Schaaf has been married to his teenage sweetheart, Amy, for 34 years. They met as teenagers working for a veterinarian, and enjoy each other’s love of animals. In addition to their 4 children, they love their 5 cats, 6 horses, 1 pony, 2 llamas, 3 chickens, and 7 dogs.

Professionally, Dr. Schaaf considers himself a generalist with special interest in minimally invasive surgery, internal medicine, cardiology and oncology.

In his spare time Dr. Schaaf enjoys time with his family including riding and training his horse, Lucky Red Pepper. He jokes that “when he grows up” he would like to be a farmer. Currently Dr. Schaaf works with the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources in Forestry Management, reforestation, and wildlife habitat management projects in Iredell and Alexander County.

His hobbies include Dressage Riding, running marathons, motorcycling, farming and Ballroom Dancing. The Cha Cha Cha and Waltz are his favorite dances.

Dr. David James


Dr. David JamesDr James was born and lived in South Africa until the age of 24. He grew up in a mixed animal veterinary practice and his father is still a practicing veterinarian in South Africa today. Much of his childhood was spent on the farms near his home town where his father traveled to treat sick animals. It was during these formative years that he developed a love of the outdoors and for animals both domestic and wild. He has a passion for African wildlife and has been able to share this world with his wife and two daughters during their annual trips to catch up with their family and the African bushveld. Encounters with lion, elephant, hyena, zebra and giraffe are always possible.

Dr James completed his Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Onderstepoort in Pretoria, South Africa in 1992. He then moved to the UK where his first job was in Scotland caring for cattle, sheep, horses, dogs and cats. His love of small animals then caused him to move to London and concentrate only on dogs and cats. During this time he met his future wife, who is American by birth, and they traveled extensively in Europe.

They moved to Charlotte in 1998; found North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital and it has been a very exciting place to grow as veterinarian.

Dr James and his family live in Huntersville and share their home with their dog Tally and their black and white cat Mafuta (meaning “Fat Boy” in Zulu). In his spare time he likes to fly fish, cycle, kayak and go hiking and camping with his family.

Dr James enjoys challenging medical cases as well as general surgery (soft tissue, oral and orthopedic).

He is a certified PennHIP veterinarian and is passionate about improving our dogs hips through proper screening techniques.

Along with other doctors in the practice he is committed to using advanced imaging and minimally invasive surgeries to improve patient comfort. Ultrasonography, laparoscopy, arthroscopy and cystoscopy are examples of minimally invasive techniques which are employed at our hospital.

Dr. Paul Kritzinger


Dr. Paul KritzingerDr. Paul Kritzinger was born in Namibia in southern Africa and spent his youth growing up in the African wilderness. A family of outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts, they spend every opportunity they had exploring the continent and visiting game reserves and wildlife refuges. This resulted in an initial desire to follow a career in wildlife veterinary services which was shortly curtailed up too many close encounters with wild animals. He was once seen sprinting across the veld wearing only his shoes, with an enraged bull elephant hot on his heels.

He attended high school at the prestigious Diocesan College in Cape Town South Africa. Afterwards Dr. Kritzinger attended the University of Pretoria in South Africa where he received his veterinary degree in 1993. On completion of his studies he traveled to England and began practicing in the quaint town of Ashford in the English countryside. Dr. Kritzinger spent six years in England honing his surgical & medical skills. While living in London he was privileged at times to treat some of the Queen’s horses and the musician Sting’s dogs. He has traveled extensively in Europe as well as the Himalayas, and on returning from one of these adventures, he met Sandy whom he later married in South Africa. After meeting Dr. Schaaf through his longtime friend Dr. James, they immigrated to North Carolina in 1999 and Dr. Kritzinger began working at NMAH. Dr. Kritzinger and Sandy now live in Cornelius on Lake Norman with their son Felix, daughter Jordan, and dachshund mix Molly. Their passion for outdoor activities takes up their recreational time and they can often be found camping in the North Carolina Mountains, in the rain, or fly fishing in various parts of the country. Former competitive triathletes they also enjoy a lot of trail running, road cycling and mountain biking.

Dr. Kritzinger is a keen surgeon and has a passion for excellence in client care. For all your troubles great or small – you just talk to Dr. Paul.

Dr. Valerie Lydolph

Associate Doctor

Dr. Valerie LydolphDr. Valerie Lydolph is a native of Jefferson City, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology in 2002. After completing her undergraduate studies, Dr. Lydolph attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating Cum Laude with honors in Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Go Mizzou.

Dr. Lydolph began her veterinary career in her hometown of Jefferson City, MO in 2006, where she worked for six years as a general and emergency practitioner. She joined the North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital family in the summer of 2012 and is one of the senior doctors.

Her professional interests include emergency/critical cases, orthopedics, and just about any type of surgery. Dr. Lydolph is part of the doctor trio at NMAH that performs the TTA and TPLO procedures as well as extra-capsular surgical procedures of the knee to correct cruciate tears in dogs. In 2013 Dr. Lydolph received her PennHIP certification to help with early identification of hip dysplastic dogs. She is also certified as a USDA accredited veterinarian to provide your pet a health certificate to travel within the states and internationally to any destination. Dr. Lydolph is also a Fear Free Certified Professional. 

Outside of her work life, Dr. Lydolph enjoys biking, bird watching and spending time outdoors with her family. She and her husband, Don, have one two legged child named Emily and several furry four legged children. Their pets include her daughter’s numerous hermit crabs, Robin Acorn and Coco Beans the French bulldogs, and Sully the tabby cat.


Dr. Lisa Bancroft

Associate Doctor

Dr. Lisa BancroftDr Bancroft was born and raised in upstate New York. She received her Bachelors of Science, with a minor in Reproductive Physiology from Cornell University, and then continued her education at the State University of New York, Potsdam, NY, with a Masters in Science of Teaching- Biology. Dr. Bancroft taught high school Biology and Chemistry for 5 years before leaving the education system to start a family and return to school to pursue her degree in veterinary medicine.

Dr. Bancroft graduated in 1999 with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. She has spent the last 15 years as a mixed animal practitioner in rural upstate NY, in the beautiful 1000 Islands region, providing both general and emergency veterinary care to a multitude of animals, while raising her family on their Black Angus beef cow farm.

Dr. Bancroft has a special interest in complementary veterinary medicine. She is certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in Animal Chiropractic. She is also certified by the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in the fields of Acupuncture and Food Therapy; and, she is currently working on her Chinese Herbal Medicine certification.

Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Bancroft enjoys many outdoor activities including snowmobiling, skiing, golfing, kayaking, and biking with her family, which includes two children, two dogs, and a cat.

Dr. Bancroft is very excited to join the NMAH family, and looks forward to warmer weather, less snow shoveling, and providing the best quality care for your pets.

Dr. Denise Hugaboom

Associate Doctor

Dr. HugaboomDr. Denise Hugaboom grew up in Burt, New York with her parents and older sister. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. From there, she went on to receive her veterinary degree from Cornell University College of Veterinary medicine in 2011.

Dr. Hugaboom headed south to escape the snow and start her veterinary career at small animal practices in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and in Aiken, South Carolina. She joined North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital in the summer of 2016. Dr. Hugaboom’s professional interests include pet nutrition, dermatology, and exploring the human/animal bond.

In her free time, Dr. Hugaboom enjoys hiking with her dog Reds, spending time on the lake, cycling, reading, and traveling to the beach or mountains. In addition to Reds, she has three cats named Chubs, Scotch, and Trophy Cat.





Dr. Kelsey Mauer

Associate Doctor

Dr. Kelsey Mauer grew up in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin with her parents and younger sister. She recently became an aunt when her sister and brother-in-law welcomed a little boy named Eli. Dr. Mauer received her undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh where she majored in biology and minored in chemistry and math. She then went on to receive her veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. 

Dr. Mauer began her veterinary career with a move to North Carolina to join North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital in 2017. Her interests include general surgery as well as dentistry. She also hopes to learn more about oncology to ensure patients with cancer receive the best possible care. 

While not practicing medicine, Dr. Mauer enjoys spending time with friends and family, bike riding, playing disc golf, and traveling. She also loves time spent with her two pets – Rayna the greyhound and Remy the ragdoll. 





Dr. Erin Koballa

Associate Doctor


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