MEET THE STAFF
The Heart of the Clinic is our Staff
We are very fortunate to have a staff of individuals who believe in and are truly supportive of UCAN’s mission. Our staff is dedicated to providing the best care possible for every animal that the clinic serves. Without their experience and tireless professionalism, we could not accomplish what we do every day.
Melanie has been the Executive Director of UCAN since July 2012. She was a member of the Board of Directors of UCAN for several years prior to that, serving as a Director, then as Vice-Chair and eventually as Chair of the Board. Her focus as Executive Director is grant writing, development, marketing, risk management, and overseeing the operations of the clinic and the consignment store, Wags to Riches, which is a permanent funding source for the clinic.
Melanie became interested in spay/neuter after volunteering at a no-kill shelter for 9 years and becoming frustrated when after celebrating each adoption, more animals just kept coming in to fill the empty cages. She realized that spay/neuter was the solution, so became involved with UCAN.
Prior to UCAN, Melanie worked as an attorney in private practice for 25 years, focusing on profit and nonprofit corporate law, general business law and securities law.
Melanie enjoys playing with her 5 rescue animals, two dogs (Peanut and Blackie) and three cats (Katniss, Grayson and Calypso).
Jessica joined UCAN in February 2014 as the clinic manager. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the clinic. She had previously worked in the veterinary field for 8 years at Banfield Pet Hospital and in management for over 15 years. She attended St. Cloud State University where she acquired a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.
Working at UCAN has been very rewarding for Jessica, it has been a great way for her to combine the love she has for both people and pets alike.
Jessica has called Cincinnati home for the past four years with her rescue dog, Olive, and her cat, Baghera.
Amy Strabala, DVM
Amy joined the clinic in January 2014. She previously worked for Banfield Pet Hospital for 8 years, gaining substantial experience in veterinary medicine. Amy has experience in many aspects of small animal veterinary medicine and finds particular interest and joy in surgery and UCAN's mission.
Amy grew up in Northeast Ohio where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology and pre-veterinary medicine from Kent State University. She went on to receive her doctorate of veterinary medicine degree from The Ohio State University in 2005.
She has had many pets of a wide variety since a child. She currently has a happy and energetic lab mix named Indy.
Hannah Rice, DVM
Hannah started at UCAN in October 2016. She graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 after obtaining a BS in molecular genetics from Ohio State University. She spent two years in general practice and became particularly attracted to surgery after working with HART rescue through a private practice. She truly believes in the mission of UCAN to decrease pet homelessness through spay and neuter and is excited to be part of the team.
She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, her dog Bailey, and her cats, Smokie and Blackie. She enjoys reading and spending time with her church friends and family at various functions around the city.
Kathryn Smith, DVM
Katie started at UCAN in December 2017. She graduated from the University of Glasgow College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. She worked at Banfield Pet Hospital for 8 years after graduation and particularly enjoyed her time in surgery.
She truly believes in the mission of UCAN, to decrease pet homelessness through spay and neuter, and is excited to be part of the team.
Katie lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband, 2 kids, and 3 dogs. She enjoys spending time with her family, running, and reading.
Samantha Stephenson, DVM
Samantha relocated from Alabama to Northern Kentucky and started working at UCAN in May 2018. She graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006.Samantha is excited to support UCAN’s mission to decrease pet homelessness through spay and neuter.
Samantha lives with her husband, 4 kids, 3 dogs and 2 cats. She enjoys spending time with her family and gardening.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Sarah started at UCAN in September of 2016. She completed her Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology in 2012, after graduating from Brown Macke College.In the evenings, she teaches dog agility classes and spends most of her weekends showing her rescued dogs Shasta, an Australian Shepherd, Hemi, a Border Collie and her Sheltie, Sasha. Her house is also shared with four rescue cats, Callie Marie, Tabby Jean, Thumper Ash and Stormy Faith.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Christina started with UCAN in December 2016; she graduated from the University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash, with an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology in April 2016. Previously, Christina spent four years as a Kennel Technician in a private veterinary practice.She lives in Cincinnati with her rescue dog Max, a pit-lab mix, and is looking forward to adopting a cat soon!
Shelby first began working for UCAN in August 2014, first as a Surgical Aide making surgical packs and then as a Veterinary Assistant.
Before UCAN, Shelby worked at Banfield Pet Hospital in Mason for two years.
She has a son who means the world to her.
Shelby’s family also includes two cats, Miss Polly and Zaps, that she rescued from UCAN and her two dogs, a Shih Tzu named Carl and a Boxer Pointer mix, also rescued from UCAN, named Patty.
Mariah started at UCAN in May of 2018. She is working towards earning her Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Techonology.
In the evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays, she grooms dogs, cats and small pets to horses. When she is not working, she is home caring for her pit bull rescue Paco, and her four other pets, Shaka Zulu (a South African Boerboel), Amerika (a Belgian Malinois), Major (a Dutch Shepard) and Spawn (a Dutch Shepard).
Mindi started working at UCAN in April 2015. Prior to that she worked in the veterinary field for ten years. Mindi is responsible for putting together all of the surgical packs for surgery, cleaning instruments and cages and otherwise assisting the medical staff as needed.
Mindi enjoys spending lots of time with her son, Mason, and her dog, Newt.
Morgan started working at UCAN in January 2018 as a Veterinary Assistant. Morgan completed her internship at Onslow Animal Hospital in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Morgan lives in Morning View, Kentucky with her husband Daniel. Morgan’s family also includes two fur babies, a terrier/beagle mix named Hailee and a black cat named Potter.
Medical Record Specialist
Mollie started at UCAN in August 2012 as a receptionist at our front desk. After taking a break to attend school, Mollie came back in December 2014. Mollie graduated from Northern Kentucky University in December 2016, with a degree in Criminal Justice. She will begin school to obtain her master's degree at the University of Cincinnati this May, while working part-time at UCAN. She performs the invoicing for all of the clients who obtain services at the clinic each day and also assists with many other tasks.
Mollie is crazy about Boston Terriers and is particularly crazy about her own sweet Boston, Bailee, who she loves dearly.
Medical Record Specialist
Kelly started at UCAN in June of 2017. Prior to joining UCAN, she was in the nursing program at Cincinnati State. She then went on to work in private home healthcare.
She lives in Hamilton County with her husband and three kids including her dog, Olive, and six cats, Pretty, Squirrel, Prince, Kimmy, Binx and Taco.
Erin began working at UCAN in October 2013. She is responsible for scheduling the clients on all of the free transports that UCAN schedules. She completes the admission paperwork for clients over the phone and assists them in checking-in on the mornings of the transports.
She and her partner, Edward of ten years, have three crazy rescue dogs, Timmi, Jack and Scarlett.
Randy Picadio, Sr.
Transport and Facilities Coordinator
Randy Picadio, Sr. joined UCAN in May 2017. He takes extraordinary good care of all of the animals on our free transports from various locations, so everyone has access to our low-cost services. He is also responsible for keeping our facilities and transport vehicles in good working order and repairs.
Randy was formerly a Police Sergeant with the Village of Elmwood Place for 10 years. Prior to that he was Deputy Sheriff with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office for 15 years.
He currently resides in Butler County with his wife. They have four grown children, a dog named Duke, and a cat named Milo. He enjoys riding his Harley in his spare time.