In order to offer emergency services on a regular basis, we have a team of qualified veterinarians available; our veterinary technicians and other staff members are also here to assist our doctors in providing outstanding care for you and your pet. Whether you have a pet who is in shock or a pet with a fracture, our team of veterinary professionals provides prompt care. We handle over 10,000 emergency cases each year and are fully prepared to help your pets when needed. Some of the conditions that our emergency veterinarian treats include trauma, shock, seizures, bleeding, allergic reactions and fractures or dislocations. We also have the equipment and experience needed to treat fainting, eye injuries, snake bites, poison, hypothermia and respiratory distress.


Ashley Sides, DVM – Medical Director

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).


Gabrielle David – Technician / CEO

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 – CFO

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.


Heather Matz, DVM

After growing up in Washington state, Dr. Matz attended Georgia Tech for her undergraduate and received her degree in biology in 2007. She then graduated with honors from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine where she received her DVM degree in 2011. Following veterinary school, Dr. Matz moved to Colorado to explore the mountains. She has been practicing in Colorado Springs since graduation in both emergency and general medicine where she specialized in critical care and surgery. Outside of work she enjoys ironman triathlons, 14ers, skiing, and playing with her two dogs, Splash and Uli, and her cat Meowface.


Heather Becker, DVM

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.


Cathryn Doyle, DVM

Dr. Cathryn Doyle is happy to be joining the AERC team. She is originally from Baltimore, MD and just recently moved the Colorado Springs area. She received her undergraduate training at Northland College in Ashland, WI, completing her Bachelors of Science in 3 years. She then went on to pursue a dual Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and Masters of Public Health (MPH) through the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and Virginia Tech. She graduated with her dual degrees in December 2013, then went on to complete a rotating small animal internship in Veterinary Emergency and Internal Medicine at the Greenbrier Veterinary Emergency Center in Chesapeake, VA from June 2014 to June 2015. After completing her internship, Dr. Doyle moved back home where she was working in private practice emergency medicine until her move to Colorado Springs.

Dr. Doyle is especially interested in wildlife and conservation medicine and enjoys working with the exotic and more “creepy crawly” critters in veterinary medicine. She also is a big advocate for client education and enjoys working on challenging medicine cases. In her free time, Dr. Doyle enjoys running and hiking, reading everything she can get her hands on, and traveling to exotic locations. She has visited India, South Africa, Great Britain, Spain, and Italy. When she’s not traveling or enjoying the outdoors, she also enjoys snuggling with her cat and her snake and gecko.


Michelle Smith, DVM

Dr. Michelle Smith graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. Directly following graduation, Dr. Smith completed a one-year internship in Critical and Emergency medicine. She then moved to Colorado Springs and has been very happy to call Colorado Springs home since.

Dr. Smith very much enjoys general practice and maintaining close relationships with her patients as they progress through all stages of life. In addition to general practice, Dr. Smith has spent more than 10 years in the fast-paced life of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Smith has also pursued advanced training in small animal acupuncture and chiropractic care. Dr. Smith enjoys utilizing these additional treatment options to relieve chronic pain conditions for her patients. On Dr. Smith’s day away from Dublin, you can find her up the road at the Colorado Canine Rehab and Orthopedic center performing acupuncture and chiropractic services.


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


Clay Johnson

Dr. Clay Johnson was born and raised in the heart of Virginia on a beautiful Black Angus cattle farm. As soon as he was old enough to understand what a job was, he had already decided on pursing veterinary medicine. Clay was surrounded by animals from a young age, being a farm boy, and began working at the local Veterinarians office and farm in 6th grade. Here his interest in becoming a vet was further influenced from bottle feeding fawns to hatching ostrich eggs. Clay went on to study Biology with a focus in cytogenetics at Virginia Tech and received a Bachelor’s of Science. After graduation, He continued working on his research at VT studying the molecular mechanisms of cancer cell physiology. The following year, Clay was then accepted to the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, where he tracked companion and food animal medicine. While in anatomy lab Clay met and fell in love with his wife, Dr. Breanna Johnson. He is a proud military spouse, as his wife serves our country as a Captain in the U.S. Army Vet Corps.

Clay is excited to join our practice and give back to the community by upholding the AERC’s mission of providing your animals with the highest standard of care. He has a special interest in internal medicine and surgery. As lifelong caver and avid backpacker, Clay enjoys all outdoor activities with a focus in rock climbing, hiking, and fly fishing. He and his wife are thrilled to live in the beautiful state of Colorado and be able practice veterinary medicine while enjoy the vast wilderness the Mid-West has to offer.