After serving her country as a member of the United States Army, Amanda attended a few colleges in search of a career she would be happy with. When she saw a commercial on television advertising a program in veterinary technology, she knew instantly that she wanted to help animals as a Veterinary Technician! Amanda hasn’t looked back since—she’s now a proud member of the Friendship Animal Hospital family.
Amanda is originally from Oceanside, California, and has since lived all over the United States and even in Japan. She followed in her grandfather’s footsteps and became a member of the Army’s Military Police force—meeting her husband, Phillip, at her first duty station in Kentucky and even serving for 15 months in Tikrit, Iraq—before being stationed in Anchorage, Alaska.
Amanda and her husband relocated from Anchorage to Denver, Colorado so that she could attend the Bel-Rea Veterinary Technician Institute. She graduated in the fall of 2014, and quickly secured a job as a Surgical Technician at a local hospital while simultaneously running her own pet-sitting and hospice care business. A few years later, the pair moved to North Carolina to be closer to family—after serving pets and owners in a number of animal hospitals in the area, Amanda was thrilled to join the Friendship Animal Hospital team in the summer of 2018.
Amanda’s interests outside the world of veterinary care include making art, sewing costumes for Renaissance Fairs and Comic-Cons, playing video games online, watching her favorite horror movies, and doting on her own animal companions at home. She and Phillip share their lives with six cats—Ash, Godiva, Shadow, Smolder, Panda, and Jasper—as well as a mellow Albino Milk Snake named Calici and two dogs: a rambunctious Terrier/Pointer puppy named Archer and a Siberian Husky, Willow, who is a retired service dog and now enjoys relaxing at home in the air conditioning.
Amber has wanted to work in the healthcare field for as long as she can remember. She’s also had many opportunities throughout life to help animals. For Amber, combining her passion for pet care and her fascination with the world of medicine simply makes sense! She’s proud to serve the area’s pets as a Veterinary Assistant and Kennel Assistant with the Friendship Animal Hospital team.
Originally from Rock Hill, South Carolina, Amber attended York Technical College to earn her Veterinary Assistant’s certification. She graduated with honors in February of 2017, then signed on as a daycare attendant at a pet resort in Charlotte, North Carolina. Amber was thrilled to join the Friendship Animal hospital family in the spring of 2017—her favorite parts of the job are getting to know the clinic’s boarding dogs and interacting with pets and owners alike while assisting in the examination rooms.
Amber’s favorite pastimes outside of work include hiking in the great outdoors and spending quality time with her family. She lives in Clover with her husband, Shane, and their two wonderful children, Payton and Bryson. The family shares their home with a multitude of pets: a Basset Hound/Beagle mix named Bruster; Yoda the Chihuahua/Yorkie mix; a kitten named Mesa who believes that she’s one of the dogs; Chester the ball python; two mice named Lily and Shakes; and a Jack Dempsey fish who goes by Sammy.
Audrey grew up in Baltimore, Maryland with her parents, sister, and the constant company of the family pets. She would frequently bring home stray animals she encountered, and her mother was always willing to help return them to full health and find them loving homes. Audrey knew early on that a career spent caring for pets was the perfect path for her!
Audrey has lived in Charlotte for 27 years. She joined the Friendship Animal Hospital team nearly 15 years ago—she was a client before she was an employee, and volunteered to help in the kennels when the practice moved into its new facility. The rest is history! Audrey has been serving the pets of this area as one of the hospital’s Kennel Technicians ever since.
Away from work, Audrey is an avid traveler and loves to explore the country whenever she gets the chance. She also enjoys bowling several nights a week, working in her yard, and relaxing with her own pets at home. Audrey has two dogs—Lulu, the laid-back elder, and the much more trouble-prone Miss C—as well as a trio of cats named Purrcy, Love Bug, and Toby.
Emily was a teenager when her family cat fell ill—her experiences made her realize that she wanted to help others through difficult times with their own pets. What better way to do that than by serving as a veterinary professional? Emily uses her skillset and innate compassion for animals every day as a member of Friendship Animal Hospital’s talented care team.
Emily is from Sterling, Virginia and attended college at Radford University before moving to Prescott, Arizona for two years. She then relocated to Asheville, North Carolina and started studying veterinary technology at Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College. Emily then returned to Arizona to begin working as a receptionist in a pet clinic in Chino Valley; she quickly became a Kennel Assistant before working her way up to a Veterinary Assistant position.
Emily continued helping pets in Arizona for a number of years before moving to Charlotte to be closer to family. She signed on with a local animal clinic in 2014, then joined the Friendship Animal Hospital team in the summer of 2016. She has a particular passion for dentistry work and alternative therapies that help with pain management, such as laser treatments and natural medications. Most of all, Emily likes getting to know patients and their owners on a personal level over the years.
Away from work, Emily enjoys knitting, playing video games, and creating cosplay outfits for Comic-Con events. She and her fiancé, Andrew, share their lives with a menagerie of pets. They live with three dogs—Jillian the toy poodle; a three-legged Chihuahua named Jasmine; and a goofy Labrador/Pit Bull mix named Bindi—as well as nine cats who go by Juni, Juliette, Jarvis, Cloud, Tifa, Yuffie, Ratatouille, Torque, and Miss Kitty. The couple also owns a pair of guinea pigs, Jenova and Aerith, as well as a corn snake named Kelly and Kronk the bearded dragon.
Heather had a variety of pets while growing up in Charlotte; she cared for everything from dogs and guinea pigs to fish and hermit crabs. She never tired of visiting the zoo and poring over her collection of books about different animal species. Heather always knew that a career spent tending to animals was the perfect fit for her—she decided to dive headfirst into the veterinary world, and hasn’t looked back since!
After her college years, Heather took a position at a local animal hospital to get her foot in the door of the animal-care world. It wasn’t long before she was hooked! Heather helped pets and animal owners at two different pet hospitals for a total of six years, meeting Dr. Panuska at one of them, before joining his team here at Friendship Animal Hospital in September of 2016 as a veterinary receptionist.
Here at the hospital, Heather enjoys building one-on-one relationships with the area’s animal owners, and she never tires of swapping fun pet stories. She’s also fond of placing follow-up calls to check on recovering patients after their time at the clinic is over.
In her spare time, Heather likes kayaking, boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding, and jet-skiing on the lake. She also enjoys hiking, crafting, cheering on her Carolina Panthers, and spending time with her dog. Heather lives in Indian Land, South Carolina with Triton, a comedic Boxer who loves going to local dog parks, visiting the lake, exploring the beach and mountains, and pretending he’s a lapdog even though he weighs more than 60 pounds.
Tracy is originally from Syracuse, New York, where pets were a constant in her household growing up. She was especially inspired by her grandfather, who always helped feed wild birds and stray pets. For Tracy, helping to care for pets professionally simply made sense! She’s thrilled to satisfy a lifelong dream of hers by caring for the area’s pet owners and animal companions here at Friendship Animal Hospital.
Tracy has an extensive background in areas such as administrative support, medical record-keeping, customer service, and education—she’s happy to put those skills to good use here at the clinic’s front desk. She joined the hospital family in November of 2018, and loves to meet new pet owners and their adorable companions on a daily basis. Tracy is also fond of the way her job allows her to indulge her interests in science and medicine.
Outside of veterinary care, Tracy is passionate about reading and writing, and has even won awards for her poetry, playwriting, and short stories. She also has a background in theater, and has worked as a professional actress for more than 25 years!
Tracy and her husband have three grown daughters and share their home with two black cats: Gus, whose favorite things are his brush, mashed potatoes, and a variety of catnip mice; and Petunia, a cat of many personalities who likes riding along on her parents’ shoulders while chores are done around the house.