MEET THE STAFF
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 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
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
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.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Elsa first joined UCAN in January 2019, as a Registered Veterinarian Technician licensed in the State of Ohio. She 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.
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.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Katie is a Registered Veterinary Technician licensed in the State of Ohio and works primarily in our wellness business taking pet histories, giving vaccines, performing diagnostics, assisting our wellness veterinarian with exams, and making sure wellness appointments run timely and effectively. She is also cross-trained and assists the spay/neuter medical team with surgeries when needed.
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 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.
Tessa assists our Registered Veterinary Technicians in preparing the animals for surgery, monitoring the pets after surgery, and preparing paperwork in the operating room.
Tessa previously worked for All About Animals.
Tessa loves being able to help animals in low-income families. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her husband, reading, and watching television. Her family includes her 3 cats, Goliath, Priscilla, and Aria.
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 and her husband, Edouard, have rescued several animals over the years.
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.
Office and Customer Relations Specialist
Rachel joined UCAN in June 2020. She invoices the wellness services that the pets our income-qualified clients receive 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.
Medical Records and Transport Specialist
Pam invoices our spay/neuter and vaccine clinic clients, answers phones and emails, and assists clients in our lobby. She previously worked in the “human” medical field for 25 years and switched to helping animals in 2020.
She enjoys working at UCAN knowing she is helping the community and their pets. Pam was born and raised on the West side of Cincinnati. Her spare time is spent with her husband of 38 years, 6 grandchildren, and her 3 rescued cats, Coco, Taco, and Bob. Her hobbies include painting, bee keeping, and traveling.