Our Staff

Dr. David Hudson, DVM Dr. Hudson earned his DVM degree from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986.  He began practice in a mixed animal practice in Monroe, N.C. and after two years, began a mobile large animal practice.  He opened Sun Valley Animal Hospital as a mixed animal practice in 1990 which subsequently transitioned into an exclusive small animal practice.  Dr. Hudson has continued to practice small animal veterinary medicine and surgery for the past 28 years at Sun Valley Animal Hospital, mixing small animal practice with hospital management.  During his time away from the hospital, Dr. Hudson enjoys spending time on the water with his family and friends, cycling, fishing, and just puttering around in the yard.  Dr. Hudson resides in Weddington, NC with his wife Gina, and their two dogs Dixie and Gracie Lou.
Dr. Patrick Barker, DVM Dr. Barker graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University and has been practicing with Sun Valley Animal Hospital since 1999. Prior to veterinary school, he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Barker grew up in Shelby, North Carolina, and currently resides in Union County with his wife, Kimberly, his daughter, Trudi, as well as their spunky and chatty cat, Pixie. Additionally, he has his daughter’s sweet goat, Nom-Nom, and several dogs that all reside on the family farm. Outside of veterinary medicine, he enjoys rooting for his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers and North Carolina Tar Heels, partaking in the thrills of fantasy football, running, obstacle course racing, hiking, water sports, and traveling.
Dr. Melissa Rios, DVM Dr. Rios was raised in Pennsylvania and moved to Matthews with her family in 2001.  She attended North Carolina State University for her undergraduate studies, earning her Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science with a minor in Spanish in 2010. She studied at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2015. After graduation, she completed a small animal rotating internship at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Charlotte for one year, then joined the team at Sun Valley Animal Hospital In August 2016. Dr. Rios and her husband, Michael, currently live in Matthews with their two rescued cats and a dog. Dr. Rios enjoys spending time with family, watching movies, cheering for Duke (this hobby was inherited strictly through marriage), reading, and golfing.
Dr. Bechard, DVM Dr. Bechard is a Greensboro, NC native and attended Appalachian State University and UNC-Greensboro for undergraduate studies, earning and undergraduate degree in biology in 2006. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. After graduation, she was accepted into an internship program at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Charlotte and upon completion worked as an emergency veterinarian there for four years. She joined the team at Sun Valley Animal Hospital In May 2015. Dr. Bechard and her husband currently live in Wesley Chapel with their sons and dog. In her free time Dr. Bechard enjoys spending time with her family, listening to a variety of music, watching sports (especially the Tarheels!), traveling, reading, and being outdoors.


If you’re looking for a Veteranarian, you can stop now.

You’ve just found the best! I have 4 cats, ages 7 – 18 years of age, and have been coming to SVAH since the early 2000’s. I have the highest regard for Drs. Hudson, Barker, Romero and Christenberry. My “babies” have seen each Doctor at one time or another. All are professional, friendly, thorough, informative and inspire confidence. Never have I ever felt pressured to pursue particular tests or therapies. I have always been given pertinent information and appropriate options. They provide exceptional services at affordable prices (especially important when you have multiple pets!).

Last but not least, let me say a few words about the staff. Equally as important as the Doctors, they are the first people you meet upon your arrival and the last upon your exit. They set the tone for your entire experience. No matter how good the practice may be, if you don’t feel welcome/comfortable, will you return? I think not. One thing I find truly impressive, is getting a follow-up phone call the next day inquiring about the welfare of my pet. (Even my “people” Drs’ office staff doesn’t do that).

A special Shout-Out to Diane, Lori and Becky whom I see most often! Always friendly, you can even “hear” the smile on the phone. Helpful, caring, kind and professional. A real pleasure doing business with them. Also not to be forgotten – all the techs, Beverly being one, they too provide exceptional service. I highly recommend SVAH…The very best in animal health-care!”

D. Woloszynek

SVAH2webeditsOur Staff