Meet Our Team

Emi Kooyman, DVM

Dr. Kooyman spent almost 20 years as a Controller in a Fortune 500 Company before leaving the industry to become a Veterinarian.


During her time as Controller, she had the opportunity to participate in philanthropic organizations and was always drawn to support animal welfare causes. She was actively involved with rescue organizations; fostering, transporting, and sitting on the Board of the local Humane Society. She decided to go to vet school with the intent to provide services to underserved populations and work towards the goal of reducing the euthanasia rate in our shelters.


After graduating from UGA in 2016 and working as a shelter vet for 5 years, she opens this surgery center with the goal of making spay neuter affordable and convenient for all, and hoping for the day there are no more homeless pets.

Mary-Elizabeth Ellard, DVM

Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Ellard hails from Atlanta. She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1985 and a Master’s of Science from UGA 1987. She graduated from UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992 when she entered private clinical practice. After fifteen years, she answered the call to serve its local shelters. For over fifteen years now, she has worked with numerous animal welfare organizations providing both surgical and medical services including high-quality-high-volume spay-neuter and affordable veterinary care for rescues, shelters, and public clients. She is excited now to offer these same kinds of services through Spay Neuter Vets. Dr. Ellard serves on the faculty of the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine with the shelter medicine program.

Dr. Ellard’s other passion is history. She speaks regularly on veterinary

medicine during the American Civil War and leads historic tours in Atlanta. She serves as Secretary of the Georgia Battlefields Association and is a past president of the Atlanta Civil War Round Table. She teaches adult Bible study at Peachtree Christian Church. She and her husband Bill live with a pampered shelter cat named Annabelle.

Sara, Business Manager

Sara has always had a love and deep respect for all animals. Her main career interests lie in business and management, so ever since she was old enough to work, she has been helping manage her own family’s business, gifting her 10 years of office administration experience. During this time she volunteered, fostered, and eventually worked as a shelter manager for three years at her local humane society.


She is honored to hold this Business Manager position at Spay Neuter Vets. She is happy waking up every morning knowing that with every surgery performed - countless lives will be saved.


Her current goals are to work alongside her amazing team to provide affordable yet high quality spay/neuter services to the community. Additionally, she wants to ensure all dog & cat parents feel at ease when dropping their babies off at Spay Neuter Vets, knowing that they will be treated with the utmost care.

Colleen, Veterinary Assistant

Colleen began her animal welfare career in 2009 working at a large animal shelter in Tennessee.  She obtained experience in adoptions, admissions, performed kennel work, and completed behavior assessments.  Upon moving to Georgia, she continued her work as an admissions intake specialist at a local humane society before becoming promoted to a veterinary assistant.  Colleen has been working with Dr. Kooyman doing spay neuter surgeries since 2016 and brings with her a passion for veterinary medicine, especially anesthesia and surgery.  She is currently studying to become a veterinary technician.  When not at work or studying, Colleen lives with her 3 cats and has a very green thumb growing a multitude of house plants. 

Estela, Veterinary Assistant

Estela is originally from Spain where she has a background in hospitality work and education.  She started working at the local humane society in 2019 and immediately fell in love with the animals.  With a special talent for nursing and providing medical care, Estela is currently pursuing a veterinary technician degree.  She has been working with Dr. Kooyman assisting with spay neuter surgeries in a high volume capacity since 2020.   Estela lives with her partner and 2 crazy dogs she adopted from the shelter.  She is fluent in Spanish and is readily available to help our Spanish speaking clients with any questions or concerns.

Lexie, Veterinary Assistant

Lexie has been volunteering with animal welfare organizations since a teen, before officially starting her career in animal welfare in 2017. She has worked in a variety of roles in animal shelters from kennel tech work to adoption counselor before finding her passion in shelter medicine. Lexie has worked in HQHV spay/neuter, and her most recent role was managing the medical department at a local municipal shelter. 

Lexie is eager to help pets and their owners receive the highest quality care possible!

Megan, Customer Service Representative

Megan stumbled into her animal welfare career when she made a career change from working as a mental health counselor to working for a local humane society. Since 2018, Megan has become a jack-of-all-trades having worked in animal adoptions, shelter admissions, assisting with medical procedures, and coordinating foster volunteers. 

Megan met, and was trained by, Dr. Kooyman while they were both working at the local humane society. Megan still works at the local humane society, but works part-time at the surgery center to help our mission to provide high quality, affordable spay/neuter services to her community. 

When she isn't working, Megan can usually be found wandering her local bookstore or spending quality time with her rescued cat and dog.