Meet Our Leadership Team


Bringing a diverse array of experiences, skills, & knowledge, the AERC Leadership Team is committed to fostering a healthy work environment for our staff, built on the foundation of mentoring, enrichment, and appreciation; empowering our staff to provide the highest level of customer service and patient care.


Gabrielle David, Technician/CEO, CVT
Gabrielle was born and raised in the garden state of New Jersey. She has always had a passion for animals and quickly became part of the veterinary community when she was 14 years old. Through continuing education courses and hands-on training, she acquired the skills and knowledge she has today. She has a passion for excellence in patient care and client service. Shortly after joining the practice she quickly realized she wanted to progress into ownership and was able to achieve that goal in October 2016.

Outside of work she most enjoys spending time with her family and friends.


MJ “Sutton” Spanton, MBA – COO
Sutton is originally from Western Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska (both Lincoln & Omaha campuses) for her undergraduate degree. She has spent the majority of her career serving non-profit organizations and will continue to seek opportunities to serve our community. As the daughter of a third-generational Puebloan, she considers herself a “semi-native” to Colorado, making the long-desired move to Colorado Springs in 2005. In 2010 she completed her master’s in business administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha while providing accounting support to Animal Emergency Care Centers and raising two young boys.

Sutton’s passions are her family, faith, and helping others achieve their potential. She enjoys sports, especially Husker football & volleyball (Go Big RED!), visiting her family ranch in Nebraska, and traveling throughout the beautiful state of Colorado with her husband Steve. Blessed with several pets that live on in their hearts, they currently have one husky-mix named Kiba.


Kayla Autore – Practice Director
Born and raised in New Jersey, I knew from a young age that Veterinary Medicine was going to be my career. In hopes of becoming a Veterinarian, I started a schooling adventure in the field. Once I became a CVT, I really enjoyed this role and it was a hard decision not to pursue my DVM. After being with Animal ER Care for over 6 years now, I have worked in every department as ICU tech, Overnight tech, and Front of House Supervisor-this is where I found my passion for Veterinary Management.

I married my husband right out of high school and began our journey together while he was in the Army. This is when we made the choice to come to Colorado. Now with a son, we enjoy exploring Colorado and the beautiful adventures it has to offer. Our four-legged kids, two Pugs, and an English Mastiff, there is never a dull moment at home!


Jennifer Thrall – Director, Human Resources

Originally from California, Jennifer arrived with her husband of 30 years back in 1999. During his military career they were fortunate to be stationed in Colorado Springs multiple times and knew this would be home when they returned for good in 2015.

With degrees in HR and Business, she oversees the administrative departments for the practice. Although this is her first time in emergency veterinary medicine, she has found her passion for supporting the amazing team of doctors, technicians, and support staff living Animal ER Care’s core values.

Outside of work she enjoys traveling (37 countries down and so many more to discover), hiking, and exploring all of Colorado’s beauty with her husband, two daughters, and Aki her world-traveling pug.


Jazzy Sapp – Director, Operations

Jazzy is a Colorado native and attended the United States Air Force Academy, receiving her degree in business management. After serving in the Air Force she moved back to Colorado Springs and began a career in event management. While this is the first time in emergency veterinary medicine, Jazzy enjoys working with all of the amazing Animal ER Care staff and the extra benefit of helping to support the local community.

Jazzy enjoys spending time with her family, especially her pit bull Kuro, while not at work. She also enjoys cooking (eating too) and will never say no to a new adventure!


Nicole Houston – Director, Finance


Cassidy Martin – Practice Manager

Cassidy grew up on a small ranch on the Western Slope of Colorado surrounded by mountains, thoroughbred horses and Labrador retrievers. She attended Regis University in Denver and obtained a Bachelor’s degrees in Fine Art and Business Marketing. After working years in the polarized sunglass industry, she decided that was not filling her cup. After some reflecting on what some of her driving passions were she stepped into veterinary medicine. This led her to research area technical schools and chose Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. Following graduation from Bel-Rea, Cassidy started at an emergency practice in Castle Rock, CO. When the opportunity arose for an Internal Medicine Technician, she blindly jumped in and has continued in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Emergency hospitals throughout her career. Aside from her time at Animal ER Care, she barely rests chasing her husband, daughter and son around the ski slopes, mountain trails or boating on area lakes in the Summer. The four-legged companions in tow, are a 9 year-old Shih-Tzu, Huff and a Shih-Tzu/Yorkie puppy named, Yeti.


Department Supervisors

Amanda Benitez – ICU Supervisor

Amanda is originally from California and moved here in 2016. She attended the University of California, Davis, and graduated in 2011 with a B.S in Animal Science with an emphasis on companion and captive animals. She has been working in the veterinary field since graduating and found her passion in inpatient care. It is the little things we are able to do in our intensive care unit that mean the most to her. Giving a sick pet extra cuddles, a rambunctious puppy a toy to play with or even setting up a movie for an anxious pet to watch so they do not feel alone.

Her passions outside of work include kickboxing and hiking with her two dogs, Onyx and Koda.


Allyson Schires – Outpatient Supervisor

Felicia McKitterick – Outpatient Supervisor

Lucy Egbert, CVT – CA Supervisor

Lucy graduated from Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in 2004 and jumped into a career in veterinary medicine as a technician. Lucy’s career began primarily in general practice until AERC welcomed Lucy to the family in December 2020. She loves all aspects of veterinary medicine but has realized that her passion lies in providing the best experience for clients. AERC’s Client Advocate position is perfect for her because of her strong will to advocate for people and their pets.

Lauren Flynn – ICU Supervisor

Laura Hovestreydt – ICU Supervisor