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
Amanda Benitez – Practice Manager
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, CVT – Outpatient Supervisor
Ally is a Colorado native and grew up in the Springs with her mother and older sister. She developed her love and passion for all animals at a young age and wherever the family dog and cats were, she was sure to be nearby. After high school, it was an easy choice to become a Certified Veterinary Assistant. She began her career by accepting a position at a local day practice and this is where she gained experience in the veterinary field and enhanced her passion for veterinary medicine. After two years at this day practice, she saw an add for relief work at the local emergency animal hospital and the rest is history… Ally has been at Animal ER Care ever since. With encouragement from her peers, she decided to return to school to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. She has been with Animal ER Care for 12+ years now, and, after honing her skills on the floor as a triage technician, she decided it was time to take on a new challenge as a Technician Supervisor. With this role, she hopes to help others learn and develop their skills in emergency medicine and patient care.
Outside of work, she lives with her boyfriend, Rob, and their two dogs, Terry, a golden mix, and Rufus, a rambunctious, young Rottweiler. They very much enjoy their simple life with the dogs while learning new DIY home projects!
Felicia McKitterick, CVT – Outpatient Supervisor
Felicia was born and raised in Colorado Springs. Pursuing her passion for veterinary medicine, Felicia attended Lamar Community College for Animal Science, continued to West Texas A&M University for Biology, and finalized her educational journey at Apex College of Veterinary Technology to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Felicia has been in the veterinary medicine field since 2012 and received her CVT in 2020. Her fur babies include three dogs (Ariat, Cooper, and Burford) and a horse named Tuffy. She enjoys spending time with my family and being there for my pets.
Lauren Flynn – ICU Supervisor
Laura Hovestreydt – ICU Supervisor
Laura was born and raised in Southern California. She moved to Colorado with her husband and son in 2018. After accepting a full-ride scholarship for softball at Cal State University Northridge where she graduated in 2009 with a BS in Biomedical Physics. After school, she started her first job at a general practice where she spent her first 5 years in the field where she realized her passion for caring for animals. Laura was always the kid bringing home stray animals. She recalls from a young age always wanting to be a veterinarian when she grew up with a curiosity to learn more about animals.
Working at am Animal Specialty and ER she fell in love with the medicine provided. Critical care monitoring in ICU is her true passion. There is nothing better than taking on an intense critical case and 2-3 days later watching the patient walk out the door.
Her family includes 4 dogs(Kai, Binks, Melia, and Mongo), 3 cats (Spencer, Baily, and Stella), and 1 potbelly pig named Pickle. Pickle lives on a friend’s ranch back in CA (doubtful Pickles would enjoy snowy Colorado). Rescuing all of them while working at her first GP, her pack is slowly growing older.
Her passions outside of work are exploring CO with her husband and son. They love to go fishing, kayaking, snowboarding, camping, and visiting small old towns. Laura also coaches her son’s baseball team and loves taking him to all his activities. She loves to hang out with all her animals. She loves to take trips back to California to visit friends and family, but most of all go to Disneyland.