Meet Our Doctors

In order to provide 24/7 emergency services to our community we have a team of emergency veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and highly trained client care professional. Our doctors and staff care for over 15,000 emergent and urgent care cases annually. Because of this caseload, AERC has developed a triage index system to help prioritize incoming cases which allows our doctors to exam patients based on criticality, in conjunction with time of arrival. This system has helped save countless lives because it reduced the wait time for these emergent cases. Some of the conditions that our emergency veterinarian treat include trauma, shock, respiratory distress, seizures, bleeding disorders, allergic reactions, fractures, vomiting and diarrhea.


Ashley Sides, DVM – Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Sides is originally from North Carolina and received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then moved to Gainesville, FL and graduated with honors from the University of Florida with her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 2002. An internship in small animal medicine in surgery at Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado brought her to Ft Collins in 2002 after graduation from vet school. She moved to Colorado Springs in 2003 and has been a part of the team at Animal Emergency Care Centers ever since. She is especially interested in soft tissue surgery and critical care medicine.

Outside of work, Dr. Sides enjoys traveling, camping, photography, hiking, painting, rock climbing, and snowboarding. She has 3 dogs (Kobie, a lab, and Lance & Luke, Chihuahuas) and 4 cats (Moses, Sammi, Talus and Coolie).


Jennifer Price, DVM – Medical Director

Dr. Price is a southern USA native, growing up in Louisiana and Alabama. She moved to Colorado after graduation from LSU with a degree in biochemistry. She spent six years working as an organic chemist in Boulder, Colorado, and then went on to pursue her lifelong goal of becoming a veterinarian. Dr. Price attended CSU School of Veterinary Medicine where she earned her DVM degree in 2009. After traveling the country for a few years, she moved to Colorado Springs in 2011 and has been practicing emergency veterinary medicine ever since. Her passions within this field include shock resuscitation and cardiology.

In her spare time, she enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, and climbing with her exceptionally energetic son and spending time with her multitude of rescued pets (dogs, cats, and guinea pigs).


AERC Doctor Supervisor Team


Danika Hayden, DVM

Dr. Hayden grew up in Colorado and obtained her Bachelor of Science at Colorado State University-Pueblo. She then completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She has practiced in several states, including Indiana and New Jersey, but is happy to call Colorado home.

In her free time, Dr. Hayden enjoys rock climbing, hiking 14ers, traveling, and reading. Her family includes a yellow lab, a black lab mix, and a very fuzzy orange kitty.


Kara McArdell, DVM

Dr. McArdell is a 2009 graduate from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation she completed a one-year rotating small animal internship with a focus in emergency medicine, at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in Rhode Island. She joined Animal Emergency Care Centers in the summer of 2010, and has strong career interests in emergency medicine and critical care, cardiology, and soft tissue surgery. The beauty and wealth of outdoor activities brought her to Colorado, where she loves to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Outside of work she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, running, participating in races, and exploring the outdoors. She also has recently discovered a love for CrossFit.


AERC Emergency Veterinarians


Heather Becker, DVM – RECOVER Certified Instructor (BLS/ALS)

Dr. Becker is a Nebraska native. She got her B.S. in Veterinary Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received her D.V.M. from Kansas State University. After working for a year in private practice, she opted to get more advanced training by completing a small animal rotating internship at the Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Akron, OH. During her internship, she acquired her passion for emergency and critical care medicine and upon its completion, she followed her dream to live and work in Colorado as an emergency veterinarian. Her interests in emergency medicine include diagnosis/treatment of shock and CPR, and she is certified in RECOVER CPR Basic and Advanced Life Support.

Outside of work she can be found hiking in the mountains, stand-up paddleboarding with her dog Mercy, agility training with her dog Ollie, running, snowboarding, visiting a local microbrewery, or traveling abroad to new destinations. Mercy is a certified therapy dog with the Go Team Colorado, so Heather spends countless volunteer hours driving Mercy to local hospitals, colleges, high schools, libraries, and other miscellaneous venues for visits. She is the co-owner of Animal Emergency Medical Training, which provides small animal first aid and CPR training to firefighters, first responders, police K9 units, search and rescue teams, and dog boarding facilities.


Rachael Thielmann, DVM

Dr. Rachael Thielmann was born and raised in Goleta, California and attended Texas A&M University for both her undergraduate and veterinary training. She moved to Colorado Springs in 2017, following her husband who currently serves in the Air Force. While she has always enjoyed emergency medicine, she comes to us with a background in small animal general practice.

Outside of work, Dr. Thielmann enjoys running, yoga, and riding horses. At home, she has two-Quarter Horses, a Sheltie, a Corgi, and a sassy orange cat.


Angela Van House, DVM

Dr. Van House grew up just outside of Houston, TX, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Texas Tech University in 2004. She completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Texas A&M University in 2008, where her primary areas of interest became cardiology and emergency medicine. She then moved on to a small animal rotating internship at Kansas State University. After focusing on emergency medicine in San Antonio, TX, Dr. Van House finally got the opportunity to move to Colorado in 2012. She has been practicing both emergency and general medicine since then, but emergency and critical care have always been her passion. Outside of work, Dr. Van House enjoys spending time with her daughter, two dogs, and a cat. She is a life long Houston Astros fan, and her favorite activities include hiking, skiing, musical theater, and exploring the beautiful state of Colorado