Meet The Team

Our qualified staff is here to create a care plan for your pet that fits your needs and  financial situation.

Dr Bayer

Anne Bayer, DVM

Dr. Anne Bayer has an interest and commitment to developing a full service sustainable veterinary care model that helps remove barriers and provides reasonably priced services for cats and dogs. She is keenly aware that many pets go without care or are relinquished to shelters because families are financially unable to secure veterinary services. Providing this model is the mission of Open Door Veterinary Care.

Dr. Bayer has worked in veterinary medicine since 2003. She is especially interested in gentle and low-stress animal handling. She has lived in Asheville since graduating from Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine. Her free time is devoted to mountain biking, kayaking, and entertaining her little dog Mini.

dr symonds

Anne Peden Symonds, DVM

Dr. Anne Peden Symonds completed her Veterinary School at OSU in 1999. She moved to Asheville and worked in private practice for 10 years. While out in general practice she noticed the lack of behavioral care for felines. For the past five years has been concentrating on feline behavior. She has a business that offers in home behavioral consultations called “ADVETCAT”: The Veterinarian Advocate for your Cat. She has just finished 9 years at AB Technical Community College as a full-time instructor for the Veterinary Technology Program. She is a member of the AAFP (American Association of Feline Practitioners, IAABC (International Association of Applied Behavioral Consultants): feline section, and the AVMA (American veterinary Medical Association). She loves all things feline. She has done numerous presentation for state and local organizations including North Carolina Vet Technology Association and the Collider at AMOS. She is on the board of directors for the Asheville Humane Society (AHS) and an active volunteer and foster family for them as well.

She stays busy with two children ages 9 and 12.  She enjoys yoga and hiking with her family.  She has a Doberman named Kona, two cats and a array of foster kittens.


Ben Mays, DVM

Dr. Ben Mays grew up in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas. After completing veterinary school, he returned to his home state to start his own veterinary practice. As the only veterinarian in a rural county, and far away from the urban specialty clinics, Dr. Mays found it necessary to learn a wide range of veterinary procedures spanning the species spectrum of pets and livestock. As his practice grew he was eventually able to indulge his passion for the human/ animal bond, concentrating his efforts on companion animal medicine. This gave him the opportunity to further expand his surgical skill set into an extended repertoire of soft tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures. After 43 years of veterinary practice—and three months of retirement—Dr. Mays has joined the staff at Open Door Veterinary Care. His “specialty”, he’ll tell you, is science-based veterinary care, blended with empathetic compassion for everyone in his exam room—not just the pets, but the people who love them as well.

Dr. Mays and his wife, Linda, a retired English/Biology teacher, raised six children who grew up surrounded by a plethora of dogs, cats, horses, cows, goats, chickens, and whatever orphaned wildlife critters found themselves adopted at Dr. Ben’s veterinary hospital. Now, the Mayses, along with their assortment of critters, live on a small hobby farm in Asheville. With three of their children and eight grandkids also living in Asheville, Dr. Ben and Linda look forward to many treasured hours of family time, hiking, swimming, and savoring the vast natural offerings of Western North Carolina. .


Willa, RVT

Willa Mims graduated from the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Veterinary Medical Technology program in 2006. She became a Registered Veterinary Technician after graduating. She worked in private practice for 5 1/2 years. Then she went to work for a non for profit spay and neuter organization Humane Alliance, which became ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance. She worked there for 8 1/2 years. She developed a love for surgery her time there. She has 2 dogs, 2 cats, and an assortment of chickens.

Meet the rest of our dedicated team!

ann reception



Veterinary Technician


Veterinary Assistant


Veterinary Assistant

ann medical

Veterinary Assistant

Why we’re different

We are creating a future where all pets have access to quality, affordable veterinary care.  We donate back into our Stay Together Fund which helps those who may need some additional financial assistance in times of a medical emergency.

Why we help

We promote access to veterinary care for cats and dogs for all residents to decrease the chance of pets not receiving care, being surrendered to an animal shelter, or euthanized when families experience unexpected veterinary medical costs.

Tour The Clinic

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