Our Leadership Team

Stand For Animals Veterinary Clinic has a team of more than 45 veterinary and administrative team members who are dedicated to providing the high quality, personal care our customers—and their pets—deserve.

Meet our Leadership Team


Executive Director/Founder – Cary Bernstein

Cary Bernstein founded Spay Neuter Charlotte — the predecessor of Stand for Animals Veterinary Clinic — out of a profound personal concern about homeless dogs and cats being needlessly euthanized in our region and her belief that spay neuter was an important tool for addressing the problem.  

She dove into the field of animal welfare after an over twenty year career as a development professional focusing specifically on fundraising in the non-profit sector.

Since Spay Neuter Charlotte opened in 2011 and continuing with Stand for Animals Veterinary Clinic today, Cary has channeled all of her attention and passion into fulfilling the mission to provide services to pet owners in the community who are in most need. The organization has had a profound impact in the community, having “fixed” nearly 65,000 dogs and cats, preventing an estimated 1 million litters, and providing basic medical care to more than 20,000 patients and their owners. She is proud to work every day with a team of extraordinary people who are deeply committed to the pet owners who entrusted Spay Neuter Charlotte, and now Stand for Animals Veterinary Clinic, with caring for their beloved family members that happen to be dogs and cats. 

Reflective of Cary’s passion and dedication, the entire team remains committed, enthusiastic, patient, loving and devoted to the cause, every day and for every patient.  

Cary is married to Alan, mom to two two-legged children, Eli and Zoë and Boxer Great Dane mix Hazel, Terrier Dalmatian mix Tillie, and three rescue cats named Leo, Delilah and Mel. 

Cary Bernstein

Medical Director – Dr. Elizabeth Welch, DVM

Dr. Elizabeth Welch earned her bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM) at Auburn University in 2007. During veterinary school, Elizabeth took a keen interest in emergency and critical care medicine as well as surgery. She also was an active member in the shelter medicine rotation at the school.

While completing her undergraduate studies, Elizabeth was a diver on the Auburn Women’s Swimming and Diving Team and earned a spot on Auburn’s first Women’s NCAA National Championship Swimming and Diving Team. After graduation, she moved to the Charlotte area and began practicing general veterinary medicine and surgery. During this time she was integral in the development and management of a local animal shelter where she adopted out many animals to loving homes. She feels strongly that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the love of a pet.

Elizabeth and her husband J are the proud parents of sons Aidan, Connor, daughter, Anna Cait, and dog Carolina.

Elizabeth Welch

Veterinarian – Dr. Stephanie Izurieta, DVM

Dr. Stephanie Izurieta earned a Bachelor of Science with a minor in Economics from Allegheny College in northwestern Pennsylvania in 2008. While there, she also played Division III basketball for the Lady Gators.

She then received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. While in school, she led in the care of the animals on campus, initiated a partnership with the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center's shelter medicine rotation with Purdue University, and completed a field externship with the Humane Society's RAVS program.

Dr. Stephanie's career interests include shelter and field medicine, animal behavior, and pocket pet medicine. She hopes that through her work she can help strengthen the bond between people and their pets. Outside of the clinic, she spends her time with family and enjoys watching and participating in sports.

Stephanie and her husband, Matt, have a daughter, Leighton, and dogs Rocksi, Godric, and Finnick.

Stephanie Izurieta

Veterinarian – Dr. Cat Talley, DVM

Dr. Catherine Talley joined Stand for Animals Veterinary Clinic after nearly 20 years in private practice in California and North Carolina. She graduated from the University of Missouri and settled in California for twelve years before returning to her home state. When not enjoying her work with Stand for Animals Veterinary Clinic, Cat spends time with her family and pets.

Cat Talley

Veterinarian – Dr. Katharyn Gilmartin, DVM

Dr. Katharyn Gilmartin initially from Jacksonville, NC was raised in New York. She attended Colorado State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and received her doctor of veterinary medicine in 2006. Dr. Gilmartin completed a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Massachusetts. She then practiced general and emergency medicine in northern Boston for four years. For the last 7 years, she has been a general practitioner in Boulder County, Colorado and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Throughout her career she has volunteered or worked for various humane societies or non-profits, and has special interest in dental care and surgery. Her desire is to provide your family with high quality and compassionate veterinary care through conventional and alternative approaches.

In her free time, she enjoys running, exercise classes, gardening, reading, hiking and biking.

Katharyn also enjoys spending time with her two boys, Charles and Martin, two cats, Seven and Sammy and black Lab Luna.

Katharyn Gilmartin

Veterinary Team Leader – Jenn Tapp

Jenn is one of the founding team members of the clinic. (She has remained with us through thick and thin!) A Clemson graduate who found her way into veterinary private practice. After many years in private practice, she made her move to Spay Neuter Charlotte, now Stand for Animals Veterinary Clinic to help make a difference in the community and provide affordable pet health care. She is a talented graphic designer and is responsible for the cartoon character brand "Snip Snip Hooray."

She is the proud parent of Mallory, her dogs Macy and BB and kitty Chestnut.

Jenn Tapp

Strategic Initiatives Leader – Tammy Seigel

Tammy has 25 years experience in the non-profit arena. These include work in human healthcare, education, advocacy and social change. Her previous work helping people has translated well to the world of dogs and cats. As a former social worker and educator she believes in the mission and understands the value Stand For Animals Veterinary Clinic brings to the community by providing an opportunity for quality affordable access to everyone who owns a pet. Her interests include time with family and friends, yoga and the outdoors.

Tammy lives with her husband, Adam and dog Tula. Her grown children, Shayna, Andrew and Asher and her granddog, Basil, bring her much joy.

Tammy Seigel

Administrative Team Leader – Nora Allendale

Nora is a Charlotte native, who has always been passionate about animals. Growing up as an only child, her dogs were her friends and siblings. She began her animal career working and supervising at a doggie daycare and boarding facility. Nora joined Spay Neuter Charlotte, now Stand For Animals Veterinary Clinic, in January of 2013 to pursue her interest in animal welfare. She served as a Patient Services Representative, became the Pineville Clinic Manager, then Rescue Coordinator and is now the Administrative Team Leader. She is excited to be part of an organization that offers low cost full service veterinary care, meeting the tremendous need in our community.

Nora and her husband Chase enjoy hiking and riding roller coasters with their daughter, Ever. Margot, their rescue Pit Bull mix likes to hike too.

Nora Allendale

Operations Team Leader – Nicole Hash

Nicole has been in the animal welfare field since 2001, starting as a kennel assistant at a local animal shelter. After two years in a shelter setting, she moved to a job at the shelter’s spay and neuter clinic where she found her calling. Nicole came to Spay Neuter Charlotte, now Stand For Animals Veterinary Clinic, in 2013. Her passion for helping decrease the overpopulation problem in shelters and educating the public about this issue is consistent with our mission to provide affordable spay neuter services.

Nicole is married with two children and has four fur babies at home; Butters, Lou, Joe, and Mac (and a pet fish at work!) with their own Instagram account. Outside of work, you can find her baking or cheering on her favorite hockey team.

Nicole Hash

Data Team Leader – Kelly McVay

Kelly graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in 2012. After graduation, she moved to Charlotte and began working for a doggie daycare as a supervisor, while obtaining her Dog Training Certification through Animal Behavior College. When Spay Neuter Charlotte, now Stand For Animals Veterinary Clinic, opened our Pineville clinic in November 2013, Kelly joined the team as a Patient Services Coordinator. She helped get the clinic up and running. Since then, she has become a part of our leadership team, and helps to manage our data and analysis.

Kelly’s passion for canine behavior and animal welfare keeps her motivated in working towards our mission of ending unnecessary euthanasia in the region and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to feel the love of a pet. In her time away from work, she enjoys reading, trips to visit friends and family in Pennsylvania, and spending time with her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Gryffindor!

Kelly McVay