Meet Our Team

Russell Welfare, DVM

Veterinarian, Owner

Dr. Welfare graduated from the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical School in 1995 and completed a surgical internship in 1996. He has practiced throughout the South, East and Central regions of the country, which has given him a unique perspective in caring for animals and their humans. He places a strong emphasis on education and prevention, and he believes that when animals come into the office they should be treated with respect and in a manner that decreases the stress they experience. In 2008 he came home to Colorado and started North Powers Animal Hospital. He loves what he does today as much as he did the first day he started practice. His spare time finds him spending quality time with his wife and children, preferably outside, even better if it is in the mountains.

Gwen Carlson, DVM

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Carlson graduated from the University Of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. She moved to Colorado to complete an internship at Colorado State University and has been practicing veterinary medicine in Colorado Springs since 1999. In 2014, Dr. Carlson made the excellent choice to join the team at North Powers Animal Hospital. Her favorite part of her job is working with her patients and their people. Outside of work, she and her husband provide taxi service for their children and cater to the need of their four legged menagerie.

Michele Pyne, DVM

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Pyne grew up in Indiana and graduated from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. Upon graduation she headed to the Western Slope of Colorado where she practiced for a few years. She came to the Front Range 18 years ago, where she enjoys making deeper connections with clients and educating them on how to keep their furry friends healthier and happier. She enjoys the surgical side of veterinary practice, in addition to the very important aspect of dental care. She is very excited to be on the veterinarian team here at Powers Animal Hospital. In her time away from the hospital, she enjoys spending time with her dogs, her 2 horses, and 8 birds. When not caring for her furred and feathers friends and husband, she enjoys cross stitch, reading, wishing she was horseback riding, hiking and camping.

Nancy Milka

Practice Administrator

Nancy has worked in the pet care industry since 2000. In addition to owning a dog boarding facility, she has enjoyed working for veterinarian offices in Colorado as a veterinary assistant, receptionist and managment. When she is able, her love for animals calls her to do canine foster care while promoting adoptions from various rescues. Nancy has a passion for traveling and in her spare time she will be seen walking various trails in the area with her two beloved dogs. 

Karen Fetters, CVT

Office Manager

Karen was a late comer to the vet field. She was a stay-home mom for two amazing, autistic boys for about 12 years while supporting her husband during his Army career. During this time she earned many accolades, to include the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2007. However, after her husband was diagnosed with MS while in Afghanistan, she was compelled to rejoin the workforce. The veterinary field was always Karen’s passion, so she received her Associates in Veterinary Technology at PIMA Medical Institute here in Colorado Springs. Dr. Welfare scooped Karen up while she was completing her externship with North Powers Animal Hospital and she has never looked back. As a certified veterinary technician as well as being the office manager, Karen brings a compassionate fervor to every aspect of North Powers Animal Hospital.

Mac Chittenden, CVT

Mac has been thriving at a rapid pace in the veterinary field. He joined North Powers Animal Hospital after graduating from Pima Medial Institute in 2015. His unprecedented skill level earned him the title of Lead Technician and Inventory Control Manager. For 20 years, Mac has loved and owned over 15 family dogs. Regularly volunteering at local shelters and fostering different breeds of dogs, Mac has personally rehomed 30+ dogs. He enjoys learning on a daily basis, saving the lives of animals, and mentoring team members. Mac’s goals are to further his education specifically in anesthesiology in hopes of becoming a nationally recognized trainer in veterinarian anesthesia. On his time off, he enjoys sushi, hiking, his dogs and recharging at his family cabin in Florissant, CO.

Kelsey Calarruda, CVT

Originally from the beautiful state of Montana, Kelsey moved to Colorado Springs in 2016. She was raised riding horses and loved barrel racing, show jumping and training horses with her mother. Kelsey is a 2019 veterinary technician graduate of the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology which is allowing her to continue her dream of helping and caring for animals. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys camping and hiking with her wife and their dogs!

Kae Brown

Kae has loved animals of all kinds since she was a small child. Growing up near oceans, forests, deserts and mountains gave her many opportunities to work with and learn from both domestic pets and wildlife. As a teenager through young adulthood, she taught riding lessons and volunteered with a therapeutic riding facility in Calhan, CO. In addition to graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in Zookeeping Technology and Pima Medical Institute as a Veterinary Assistant, she was given the opportunity to work with a wide variety of animals at several zoos. She has worked with alligators, other large reptiles, black bears, coyotes, and birds of prey in both wild and captive settings. She has experience with managing freshwater and marine aquariums. She was even given the opportunity to camp alongside wolves to observe and socialize with them in order to gain a deeper understanding of their behavior. She is happy to have started her veterinary assistant work at North Powers Animal Hospital in 2015. In her time off work, she enjoys weekend road trips, hiking with her dog, goofing off with her kids, and working on art projects.

Mary Fraser

Born in Patterson, NJ, Mary moved to Michigan as a young child and was raised on a horse farm in Jackson. She graduated from Siena Heights University, MI, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sports Management. While in college, she played on the varsity volleyball team and was the VP of the Sport Management Association and started the Dodging Cancer Annual Event which raised money for the American Cancer Society. She loves dogs and horses and when she moved to Colorado in 2016, she left her beloved horse with her mom. Mary started working for North Powers Animal Hospital in the summer of 2018. In her free time, Mary enjoys hanging out, hiking and using her volleyball skills to coach kids.

Amy Sword-Hewes

A Washington State native, Amy moved to Colorado in 2016. She misses the rain of the Pacific Northwest, but loves the people of Colorado! She is a Certified Veterinary Assistant through the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association and started working for North Powers Animal Hospital in 2018. Amy enjoys learning under the doctors at North Powers Animal Hospital and, in her free time, she likes to learn as much as she can about different topics in the veterinary industry, including: anesthesia, surgical assisting, cleanliness, safety, animal behavior, laser therapy, and handling techniques. In addition, she enjoys time with her husband, eating chocolate, playing piano and adores all things Disney.

Jordan Gamble

Seeking a new adventure in 2018, Jordan moved to Colorado from her home in Missouri. Her passion for animals has been a lifelong journey. With the encouragement and support of her family, Jordan has loved, rescued and cared for many types of animals from dogs, to pocket pets and reptiles. She is now taking this passion and turning it into a career! She is very active in animal education and advocacy, especially for dogs. Her past volunteer work at rescues and animal organizations has strengthened her direction and mission in life, to make a difference to those animals in need. Jordan also uses her art and media education to be part of the animal advocacy mission. Outside of our office, she is the Business Giving Coordinator helping raise money for a local rescue. Jordan enjoys hiking, working out, learning new ways to be creative with art and spending time with her dogs, snake, and boyfriend.

Rachel Bruening

Rachel was born and raised in Texas on her family’s ranch. She has always had a love of taking care of different animals from small mammals like ferrets and sugar gliders to large animals like horses and llamas. She graduated from Texas A&M University- Commerce in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Animal Science and moved to Colorado in 2017 with her family. She started working in the veterinary field in 2018 and joined the North Powers Animal Hospital team in 2019. In her free time, Rachel enjoys spending time on the ranch with her family.

Candace Bergkamp

Candace was born and raised in Southern CA and came to North Powers Animal Hospital in December, 2019. During her childhood, Candace found time to volunteer for organizations such as 4H and Future Farmers of America. While studying Pre-veterinary Med, she was very active in college serving as President of their pre-vet club, organizing a fundraiser for farm animals who lived on campus, as well as working as a Veterinary Assistant at a nearby veterinary hospital. She loves to learn new things, is a team player and her love for animals is apparent. When not at work, Candace enjoys quality time with family and friends, hiking with her dogs, kayaking and yoga. Her dream is to specialize in animal emergency and critical care.

April Bryce

April came to North Powers Animal Hospital in Summer 2019. Originally from CA, she has been in CO since 2003. Besides having a menagerie of pets while growing up, her background with animals includes an education and career in pet grooming, which she did for 10 years. Her passion for animals ignited the desire to further her education and is currently attending Pima Medical Institute She will complete her Certified Veterinary Technician program in the Summer of 2020. When April isn’t working or attending school, she enjoys hiking with her dog and son, reading and watching Netflix. 

Miranda Dempewolf

Since childhood, Miranda has usually been found where the animals are – be that playing in the yard with the family dog or exploring the shores of south Florida in search of horseshoe crabs and anoles. From elementary through high school, she volunteered with different local animal shelters and participated in equestrian care and training. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mississippi State University in 2015 and is currently pursuing another degree that will bring her closer to her goal of CVT. In 2016 she moved to Colorado with her partner Aaron and ever-expanding family of critters. Miranda transitioned from social services to the veterinary field in 2018 and joined the esteemed North Powers Animal Hospital patient care team in 2020. In her personal time, she enjoys practicing foreign languages, yoga, and video games.

Courtney McIntosh

Courtney started working for North Powers Animal Hospital at the beginning of 2020. She was born in Mesa, AZ, but came to Colorado Springs at the early age of 4. She has always loved animals and loves caring for them. She has a menagerie of animals which include dogs, cats and a llama! When Courtney isn’t at work, she enjoys dancing, singing, and spending time outdoors with her husband, pets and family.

Cheryl Johnson

Originally from Wisconsin, Cheryl has been in Colorado since 1993. Her compassionate nature and love of animals has led her to work in veterinary hospitals in both Denver and Colorado Springs. Currently, she has a variety of pets, including hamsters, guinea pigs, a ferret and a dog. During her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends…and yes, her furry family as well.

Briana Lowther

Born and raised in Colorado, Briana spent most of her childhood enjoying the country girl life on her parent’s ranch. After spending a couple of years learning about veterinary care, she joined the North Powers Animal Hospital receptionist team in October, 2019. Outside of the hospital, Briana spends lots of time with her beloved dogs. Being outdoors has always been her favorite pastime and with that she enjoys being with family, friends, snow-boarding, dirt bike riding and being in motocross, along with bow hunting and fishing!

Ashley Velasquez

Born and raised in Southern CO, Ashley has been a receptionist at our hospital since November 2019. As a young person, Ashley had a passion for all animals. She mostly enjoyed barrel racing her horses, yet was involved in all aspects of 4-H. She loves the opportunity to make an impact in helping others, both animals and humans alike. She understands that exemplary customer service is a core value here at NPAH and makes it a point to show she cares with a smile on her face. In her spare time Ashley enjoys going to the gym, dancing, riding horses and anything outdoors.

Shana Berhiet

Born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO, Shana learned at an early age that helping animals was her passion. She attended Pima Medical Institute to learn more about how to care for them. Shana joined the North Powers Receptionist team in 2020 and it quickly became obvious that her compassion for animals also extends to those who own them. She has a menagerie of fur babies including dogs, cats, hamsters and guinea pigs. Her family is her biggest inspiration because they always push her to be the best she can be. When Shana isn’t working, she loves to hike and spend quality time with family and friends.

Elizabeth Doherty

Although she has always loved animals, Elizabeth found her passion for animals when she and her young daughter fostered and volunteered at Pikes Peak Humane Society. This led her to attend Penn Foster where she received her Veterinary Assistant Certificate. She worked and volunteered for several more shelters and rescues throughout the U.S. and considers fostering and re-homing over 200 cats/kittens her most rewarding experience. After moving about as an Army wife, Elizabeth arrived back in Colorado Springs and decided working in an animal hospital would be the best fit for her. She started reception work with North Powers Animal Hospital in 2017. On her time off work, she enjoys refinishing furniture and visiting her adult children and family in New England.