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).
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.
Megan Lawrence, DVM
Dr. Lawrence spent most of her childhood in California before moving to Kansas where she attended high school and undergrad. She graduated with honors from the Kansas State University in 2014 with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and her Masters of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences (MS). Following graduation she completed a one year rotating small animal internship at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where she fell in love with emergency medicine. She then relocated to Colorado after her internship and joined Animal Emergency Care Centers in July 2015 as an emergency veterinarian. When not working, she enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors, riding her two horses or playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Cinch.
Erica McCall, DVM
Dr. McCall attended the University of California at Berkeley where she received her undergraduate degree in Theater and Performance Studies in 2003. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned additional undergraduate degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in 2010, and then completed an internship at the Denver Zoo Conservation Biology Department in 2011. She graduated from Cornell University with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. Following graduation she finished a one-year rotating small animal internship at VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center. She is very excited to have recently joined the AERC team and has a strong passion for emergency, surgery and exotic animal medicine. In her free time she enjoys cooking, painting, theatre and spending time outdoors with her husband Jeff and their two dogs Oski and Chuck-Chuck. She also likes watching movies and snuggling with their three cats Malcolminamo, Bitey and Baby Cat.
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.
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.
Lauren Hallam, CVT
ICU Nursing Supervisor
Lauren made a few moves as a child but landed in Colorado over 20 years ago. Her passion for animals was apparent from a young age and she started her animal career as soon as she could at the age of fifteen. She attended Colorado State University from 2003 – 2005 with a major of zoology and psychology before deciding that being a veterinary technician was her path. She received her associate’s degree in veterinary technology in 2007 in Fort Collins, CO and completed a rotating internship at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Lauren spent the next four years in general practice, all the while focusing on her goal of working in emergency and critical care medicine. Lauren joined the Veterinary Specialty Center team in 2011 and in January of 2013 she gained the role of ICU Support Staff Supervisor for The Veterinary Specialty Center. Her medical interests include trauma, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, advanced nursing techniques and critical care cases. When she is not working she enjoys all of the beautiful things that Colorado offers. She loves to hike, camp, craft and assist her husband in their photography business. She and him share their lives with a heeler mix she adopted in 2004 and a sheltie that they fostered and eventually adopted in 2009.
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.