The Heart of the Clinic is our Amazing Staff

We are very fortunate to have a staff of individuals who believe in and are truly supportive of UCAN’s mission. Our staff is dedicated to providing the best care possible for every animal that the clinic serves. Without their experience and tireless professionalism, we could not accomplish what we do every day.

Melanie Corwin

Executive Director


Melanie has been the Executive Director of UCAN since July 2012. She was a member of the Board of Directors of UCAN for several years prior to that, serving as a Director, then as Vice-Chair and eventually as Chair of the Board. Her focus as Executive Director is grant writing, development, marketing, risk management, and community outreach to help as many pets as possible.

Melanie became interested in spay/neuter after volunteering at a no-kill shelter for 9 years. She became frustrated when after celebrating each adoption, more animals just kept coming in to fill the empty cages. She realized that spay/neuter was the solution, so she became involved with UCAN.

Prior to UCAN, Melanie worked as an attorney in private practice for 25 years, focusing on profit and nonprofit corporate law, general business law and securities law.

She enjoys reading and playing with her rescue animals, senior dogs Blackie and Teeny and three cats, Katniss, Grayson and Calypso, which she rescued from a hoarding situation when they were just a few weeks old. She also loves helping to save lives by fostering cats and kittens for local shelters.

Amy Strabala, DVM

co-Medical Director

Dr. Amy joined us in January 2014, as a spay/neuter surgeon. She later became our Medical Director and oversees all of our medical protocols and medical staff. She is an extremely talented surgeon, expertly handling a variety of types of surgeries in addition to spay/neuter surgeries for our shelter and income-qualified clients .

She previously worked for Banfield Pet Hospital for 8 years, gaining substantial experience in veterinary medicine. Amy has experience in many aspects of small animal veterinary medicine and finds particular interest and joy in surgery and UCAN's mission.

Amy grew up in Northeast Ohio where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology and pre-veterinary medicine from Kent State University. She went on to receive her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University in 2005.

She has had many pets of a wide variety since a child. She currently has a happy and energetic Lab mix named Indy.

Aimee Hrunek, DVM

co-medical director

Dr. Aimee joined our staff in January 2020, when her family moved to the Cincinnati area from Indianapolis. Aimee was previously a surgeon at the Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic in Noblesville, IN. Prior to that, she provided full-service veterinary care, including spay/neuter surgery, to pets in the Indianapolis area.

She obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from Purdue University in May 2009. She graduated from Ohio University, Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in November 2003.

Dr. Aimee currently lives in Cincinnati with her husband Mike, daughter Aubrey, and their dog Reis. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, camping, biking, and exploring the great outdoors with her family.

Elsa Gardner

Registered Veterinary Technician

Elsa is a Registered Veterinarian Technician licensed in the State of Ohio and is our Flow Team Lead, ensuring our surgical flow goes efficiently each day.

She first joined UCAN in January 2019 and graduated from Brown Mackie College in January 2014 with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology.

Elsa loves being able to help so many animals at UCAN and being a part of UCAN’s great surgical team. She enjoys working puzzles, going to the movies, and spending time with her family. Her family includes two kitties, Luna and Mai Tai, and a poodle mix named Bongo.

Claire Armstrong

Registered Veterinary Technician

Claire, a Registered Veterinarian Technician licensed in the State of Ohio, joined us n December 2020. She graduated from Columbus State Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology in 2017.

Claire previously worked for Upper Arlington Veterinary Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, a general practice small animal clinic. She has always had an interest in surgery and loves UCAN’s goal to provide low-cost resources for people and their pets that need them.

In her spare time, she loves watching movies, camping, and baking. Her family includes her 4 cats, Cali, Chui, Berlioz and Hershey and one Russian Tortoise, Leroy.

Katie Mertz

Registered Veterinary Technician

Katie is a Registered Veterinary Technician licensed in the State of Ohio and graduated from Brown Mackie College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology in 2014.  

Katie’s favorite thing about working for UCAN is helping clients and patients that are in need.

In her spare time, she loves to read, spend time with family, hike, camp, and draw. Her main hobby is medical fostering cats and kittens of all ages.

Her family includes her husband, her daughter and five fur babies: a boxer/pit mix named Sindri, a black/white cat named Ineko, a manx named Valkyrie, a tabby named Ruby, and a buff/white cat named Jadam.

Morgan Deno

Veterinary Assistant

Morgan has been a Veterinary Assistant with us since January 2018. She preps cats and dogs for surgery, completes surgical records in the Operating Room during surgery, and monitors the "beach" where pets recover after surgery before returning to their kennels. Morgan also provides the comedy relief to ensure staff members have fun while doing their job every day.

Morgan completed her internship at Onslow Animal Hospital in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Morgan lives in Morning View, Kentucky with her husband Daniel. Morgan’s family also includes four fur babies, a Terrier/Beagle mix named Hailee, a black cat named Potter, a brown Tabby named Hobart, and a grey and white Tabby named Bones.

David Davila

Veterinary Assistant

David assists in helping prep cats and dogs for surgery, monitors the pets after surgery, prepares paperwork in the operating room, and helps with our Friday vaccine clinics.

He enjoys working with UCAN’s team, being able to help clients and patients in need, and helping to keep the stray numbers down in the shelters.

David previously worked at Job’s Peak Animal Hospital in Carson City, Nevada before relocating to Cincinnati, Ohio.

David and his family enjoy hiking, painting, and various family activities.  David also enjoys spending time with his rescued dog, Kona.

Hailey Mays

Veterinary Assistant

Hailey assists in preparing the animals for surgery, monitoring the pets after surgery, preparing paperwork in the operating room, and helping with our Friday vaccine clinics.

She enjoys being able to help the community as well as clients and patients in need at UCAN.

Hailey previously worked as a Veterinary Assistant at All Creatures Vet Clinic.

 Hailey enjoys spending time with her family and her Great Dane, Marley.

Erin Bullock


Erin joined UCAN in October 2013, performing the invoicing for our spay/neuter clients, overseeing the scheduling of clients on our free monthly spay/neuter transports, and helping with many other tasks to ensure our front office operated smoothly.

In July 2022, Erin moved on to working as a Veterinary Assistant. She is the best multi-tasker we have ever met and has always ensured that all clients and pets coming to our clinic obtain excellent service.

She is a passionate animal-lover and she has rescued several animals over the years.

Mindi McCarthy

Surgical Aide

Mindi joined UCAN in April 2015. She runs our pack station, cleaning surgical instruments and putting together and sterilizing all of the surgical packs used by the medical team during surgery. She also handles the tons of laundry we go through every day (every cat gets a towel and dog gets a blanket to ensure they stay warm and comfortable during recovery after surgery). She performs a variety of other tasks daily to help the medical team and the animals we serve.

Before UCAN, she worked in the veterinary field as a receptionist or surgical aide for ten years.

Mindi enjoys spending lots of time with her son, Mason, and her two dogs, a Sheltie named Newt and a rescued Chihuahua named Ladybug.

Rachel Gideon

Office Administrator and Customer Relations Specialist

Rachel joined UCAN in June 2020. She handles our front office and bookkeeping, invoices surgery and wellness clients, and assists customers on the phone and in our lobby.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2015, from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to joining the UCAN team, she worked as a Park Naturalist for Cincinnati Parks for 3 years.

She has been involved in animal welfare for many years, working or volunteering with several local shelters and rescues. In her spare time, she fosters cats and kittens for Crazy Cats Animal Rescue. She has a pit bull mix named Angie and 3 cats named CeCe, Fred, and Wilma.

Tonya Cook

Lobby and Customer Relations Specialist

Tonya juggles our busy front counter and phones, providing excellent service to all of our clients and other visitors.

She spent 13 years running her own professional photography business, but her passion for animal welfare led her to change focus and join the UCAN team.

Outside of work, Tonya enjoys spending time with her family, four resident cats, and a revolving door of endless kitten fosters.