Humane Alliance: A Program of the ASPCA

Our Staff

The staff is the heartbeat of Humane Alliance—the engine that drives the mission. They have collectively identified boundary-busting solutions for establishing a protocol that is essential to all accomplishments of our program journey. Their efforts are great, and a clear reflection of achievements executed when a staff becomes a team. Needless to say, the staff is the indispensable element in the successful operation of a spay/neuter facility, and ours is no exception.

Our Veterinarians

Our Veterinarians

Michelle Amtower, DVM

Michelle Amtower, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Amtower graduated from West Virginia University in 1987 with a B.S. in Animal and Veterinary Science, and the Ohio State University in 1990 with a DVM. She started in spay/neuter and shelter work in 1993 in Greenville, SC, helped with Humane Alliance's opening in 1994, worked relief at Humane Alliance through the '90s and made the move to Asheville and Humane Alliance in 2002. Dr. Amtower competes in various performance events (obedience, agility, carting, etc.) with her Rottweilers. The cats keep the house warm when she and the dogs go to competitions.

Anne Bayer, DVM

Anne Bayer, DVM

Senior Director, Medicine

Dr. Bayer moved to Asheville in 2003 after graduating from Veterinary School at Kansas State University. She was drawn to Western North Carolina by Humane Alliance’s mission, as well as the mountains and rivers, of which she takes full advantage by kayaking, mountain biking, and camping whenever she can. She has two diminutive cats named Ross and Posh Spice, and a dog named Mini.

Karla Brestle, DVM

Karla Brestle, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Brestle graduated from NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. She lives for the day that euthanasia is no longer a method of animal control, and believes that pursuing that through the mission of Humane Alliance is, in some small way, her contribution to that end. She lives with her little crew of Chihuahuas, Skye and The Pudge, in her native Smoky Mountains. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, hiking, motorcycles, photography, and woodworking.

Chelsea Fogal, DVM

Chelsea Fogal, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Fogal graduated from N.C. State in 2006 with a BS in Animal Science and attended veterinary school at Iowa State, graduating in 2011. She cultivated a passion for spay/neuter, shelter medicine and community outreach. She has spent time in Africa working in wildlife medicine, and became a RAVS trip junkie, providing veterinary care for underserved communities out West, worked in two open-admission animal shelters, a Humane Alliance model spay/neuter clinic, and started her own shelter medicine consultation practice to serve small shelters who often don't have access to shelter veterinarians. Dr. Fogal is a modern day nomad, and lived in 10 states before being drawn back to the mountains of North Carolina. She is currently building a tiny house, loves fostering Pit Bull-type dogs, road trips, craft beer (who doesn't?) and aerial yoga. She has one big, goofy Rottweiler named Diesel, and somehow accumulated a motley crew of cats over the years; Barney, Noir, Whitaker, and Bobby.

Lindsay Henschel, DVM

Lindsay Henschel, DVM

Medical Director, Building A

Dr. Henschel graduated from the University Of Georgia in 2008 with a B.S in Biology, then went on to receive her DVM in 2012. During her time as a student, she became the first University of Georgia participant on our Externship Training Program, which instilled in her a passion for spay/neuter. After working in private practice in Atlanta for 2 years, she finally found a position with us in 2014. In her free time, Dr. Henschel enjoys exploring the outdoors, listening to music, supporting the local craft brew movement, and spending time with her two rescue dogs, Kenya and Koko.

Stuart Hovis, DVM

Stuart Hovis, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Hovis joined our team on a full-time basis in November 2013, after working with us on various projects throughout the years. She has previously worked at Asheville Humane Society, Greenville Humane Society, and many other local nonprofits throughout the Carolinas. A graduate from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997, she has been a life-long animal lover, and has for a long time been focused on the advancement of spay/neuter.

Mary Lummis, DVM

Mary Lummis, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Lummis graduated from Cornell University Veterinary School in 1985, after obtaining a B.S. from Cornell in 1981. Her professional experience has included dairy cow practice, feline exclusive practice, shelter medicine in open admission shelters (both private and public), and high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter at a Humane Alliance-affiliated clinic in Buffalo, NY. Outside the clinic, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, including her three children and Lefty the cat.

Meredith Montgomery, DVM

Meredith Montgomery, DVM

Veterinarian

Meredith Montgomery is a native Floridian and graduate of the University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her small animal rotating internship at Angell Animal Medical Center before moving to Asheville to begin work at Humane Alliance. She lives with her fiance and furry family, and is enjoying her dream job in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

Cynthia Nigrini, VMD

Cynthia Nigrini, VMD

Veterinarian

Dr. Nigrini received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and graduated in 2004 from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. After spending her entire life in Pennsylvania and her first eleven years as a veterinarian in private practice and emergency medicine, Dr. Nigrini realized she needed to broaden her horizons, both geographically and professionally.  A move to Asheville in December 2015 and a position at Humane Alliance proved to be the answer to both! When not at work, you can find her traveling, hiking, and supporting the Philadelphia Phillies and Carolina Panthers.  She is also an avid runner and has completed several half-marathons. She is amused at home by the antics of her two cats, Diesel and Throttle.

Michaela Orwig, VMD

Michaela Orwig, VMD

Veterinarian

Dr. Orwig received her B.S. in Psychology from Washington State University in 2008 and graduated from University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. A year-long internship in Shelter Medicine at the University of Illinois fostered a passion for teaching and spay/neuter, and she was more than happy to follow that passion to the beautiful mountains of Asheville!  Outside of work, Dr. Orwig enjoys hiking, binge-watching television shows, and working on house projects with her husband and whichever of their 3- and 4-legged animals feels like accompanying them at the time.

Becky Rhoades, DVM

Becky Rhoades, DVM

Veterinarian

Bio coming soon!

Melissa Saxton, DVM

Melissa Saxton, DVM

Medical Director, Building B

Melissa Saxton left Auburn University in 1982 holding degrees in both Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine. In 2006, after 24 years in private practice in western Tennessee, she moved to western North Carolina to join the staff of Humane Alliance, where she concentrates on passing on her wealth of knowledge to participants of the extern program. When not at work, you can find her playing banjo with her life-partner and fiddle player, Marian. Together, they form the musical duet called 2Doc, and delight in doing their part to preserve the heritage of the original Appalachian Old-Time Music. Their cat, Susie, just listens.

Ann Schneider, DVM

Ann Schneider, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Schneider has led a varied career, practicing internal medicine, running the Eastern Veterinary blood bank, a national volunteer-only canine blood bank, and then joining the spay/neuter movement. Dr. Schneider is a passionate supporter of animal rights and wants to do all she can to prevent animal suffering and homelessness. Having moved to Asheville in June, 2015, she plans on gardening to the point of exhaustion, dabbling in every craft possible, and exploring the amazing countryside with her daughter, Sarita, and their Foxhound, Powhatan.

Carin VanderKlok, DVM

Carin VanderKlok, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. VanderKlok received her B.A. in English and Mass Communications from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1991, and graduated from the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007, with a focus in Zoological Medicine. She has spent time in South Africa, Florida, and at the NC Zoo working with wildlife and zoo species. Since graduation, she has worked in emergency medicine; helped start and taught at a veterinary technician program; served the US Army in the Veterinary Corps; and ran her own small animal house-call practice, which focused on preventative medicine, nutrition, and acupuncture. Dr. VanderKlok, has always admired the mission of Humane Alliance and jumped at the opportunity to be a part of such an "amazing organization." When not at work, she loves to run, hike, travel the world, and spend time with her two dogs: sweet Dude and crazy Stella.  

Sam Yale, DVM

Sam Yale, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Yale graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1994 with a B.S in Ecology, and received his veterinary degree from Kansas State University in 2002. He has been an associate veterinarian for the Seattle Humane Society, and recently moved to Asheville from Portland where he was staff veterinarian at the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon. Dr. Yale was drawn to Humane Alliance due to what he calls our "complete dedication to animal welfare both in and out of the surgery suite." His interests outside the clinic include cycling, birdwatching, and the banjo.