Who We Are

Meet Our Administration

Janay Austin-Carlson, LVT, CCRP

Marketing Manager

I grew up in a small town in Delaware. While I have always loved animals it didn’t become clear that the veterinary field was my calling until later in life. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina.

In my prior work life, I worked in Public Relations for the State of Delaware and Constituent Relations for a US Senator. After adopting my first pug and volunteering with animals in my free time, I soon realized that I had found my true passion.

I started working at Friendship Hospital for Animals in August of 2006 while I went back to school. I finished my Canine Rehabilitation Program at the University of Tennessee in 2009. After working as a Rehabilitation Practitioner at several specialty practices in the DC area I returned to Friendship in 2014 to launch our Rehabilitation Department.

All of this combined experience has led me to my current role of Marketing Manager where I plan to use my industry knowledge to help highlight the amazing work and staff at Friendship.

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, reading, hanging out with friends and spending some down time at home with my husband Roy and our rescued pugs, Gidget and Louise.

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headshot of Tanya Boris-Cass, bearded dragon on her lapel

Tanya Boris-Cass, RVT

Development Manager

I grew up in a small town on the Jersey Shore. After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Biology, I moved to the DC area and began working as a veterinary technician. I originally had set out to become a veterinarian, but I fell in love with the nursing care side of veterinary medicine and the connection with the patients and pet owners that it allowed me to have. I went on to obtain my license in veterinary technology in 2009.

I have been with Friendship since May of 2003. I started my career here as an Emergency/ICU technician and worked in multiple specialty departments before joining our management team. Friendship has given me the opportunity for a dynamic and rewarding career in veterinary medicine.

Outside of Friendship, I enjoy running, taking ballet class, and spending time with my husband and daughter. We love our bearded dragon, Tortie. We are new to owning reptiles, so it’s a fun adventure!

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brandon holding jack russell terrier outside by lake

Brandon Clement

Specialty Supervisor

I grew up in Northern Baltimore County in Maryland. I always knew from a young age I wanted to work with animals in some capacity. Since I was 16, I have been working in animal hospitals as various roles from kennel assistant, to veterinary assistant, to veterinary technician, to my current role as a supervisor. I just recently received my associates in Veterinary Technology and am in the process of obtaining my veterinary technician license to become a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT).

I joined the Friendship team in May 2021 as a surgery technician. I love specialty medicine and working as a technician is so rewarding. Prior to Friendship, I have worked in a variety of settings including general practice, emergency medicine, shelter medicine, zoo medicine, neurology specialty, orthopedic specialty, and rehabilitation and pain management. Specialty medicine is where my true passion is due to the wide variety of treatment options we can offer our patients. Joining the Friendship team has been unlike any other hospital where I’ve worked. The culture and quality of medicine are unmatched.

When I’m not working, I enjoy exploring DC and all it has to offer and spending time with my Jack Russell Terrier, Leo.

Margaret Cooney, LICSW

Veterinary Social Worker

Margaret is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Washington, DC with a Masters of Social Work from The Catholic University of America.  While new to the world of veterinary social work, Margaret is not new to Friendship Hospital for Animals.  She previously worked at Friendship for close to 10 years in the Client Care and Primary Care Departments before leaving to obtain her MSW.

Her social work career experience includes employment with Medstar National Rehabilition Hospital (NRH) as a Case Manager for hospitalized adult and pediatric patients, a Case Manager with The George Washington University Hospital for hospitalized patients under the care of General Medicine, Cardiology, Cardiothorax Surgery, and Vascular Surgery, and a Service Coordinator with SOME (So Others Might Eat) in their single adult housing program at Shalom House.  While at The Catholic University of America, Margaret completed social work internships on a forensic unit at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, the day program at Bethany’s Women Center for women experiencing homelessness with N Street Village, and discharge planning with inpatient adolescents at The Psychiatric Institute of Washington (PIW).

Margaret grew up in Charlotte, NC and moved to Washington, DC shortly after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in History and International Politics from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.  Margaret spends most of her free time hanging out with her furry roommates – a terrier mix dog named Monster Truck and tuxedo cat named Tippah who both were adopted through the Human Rescue Alliance.

Dulcineea (Dulci) Danaila

Hospital Director


I grew up in the city of Galati, Romania- right on the banks of the Danube River. I earned my Master Degree in Animal Science from University of Agronomical and Veterinary Medicine, Iasi, Romania and worked on a large dairy farm in the heart of Transylvania (Dracula’s country) until 2000 when I moved to the United States.

Here I started my career in healthcare, running operations for several private practices and corporate hospital systems (while secretly wishing to one day go back to vet medicine).

I have 2 wonderful daughters, 2 naughty Australian Shepherds and 3 free spirited barn cats. On my free time I love hiking, playing tennis, soccer and traveling.

Patti Garra

Patti Garra, LVT

Patient Care Supervisor

I was born in Germany (military family) and lived in Kansas and Florida before settling in Northern Virginia when I was 7 years old.  I grew up loving animals and was probably 4 years old when I decided I wanted to work with animals when I grew up.  I spent several summers working at my uncles Veterinary Practice in Tennessee.  I attended George Mason University and earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology.

Upon graduation, I immediately started working for a small Primary Care Clinic in Northern Virginia.  I worked there until I joined the Friendship Family in May of 2011.  I started as an emergency technician and became a Patient Care Supervisor in December of 2013.  Emergency medicine is one of my greatest passions within Vet med.  Helping patients and their people when they need it most is incredibly rewarding and I love that it is constantly evolving and I am therefore, constantly learning.

When I am not working, I like to spend time with my husband, Chris and our 3 kids, Hattie, Maddie and Kyle.  I love everything Disney, and one day would love to work with the animals there.  I am an avid reader, and if I am not at Disney, you can find me at the beach.  My husband and I also enjoy spending time with our two pups, Holly and Dodger.

Ryan Kessler

Client Care and Hospital Operations Manager

I grew up just outside of Savannah, GA but moved around from an early age which I am thankful for as it exposed me to different perspectives and walks of life. My primary background is human healthcare, but I am very excited to be back at Friendship Hospital for Animals. I have always had a love for animals and being able to work in a place where I can contribute to helping our furry friends and their families is fantastic.I live in DC with my lovely wife Jamie. When we aren’t traveling, we enjoy trying new restaurants, playing board games, golfing, binging our favorite shows, and making the most of the wonderful life we have together.

Amy Dahlstedt

Amy Killion

Compliance and Billing Administrator

Since joining FHA in 2007, I have held many positions within the hospital, ranging from ER/CC Technician, Oncology Technician, Technical Supervisor, ER/CC Veterinary Assistant, Patient Care Manager and Training & Development Manager. I recently transitioned into the role of Compliance and Billing Administrator and I look forward to continue providing support to management, doctors, technicians, client care technicians and our clients in order to maintain Friendship values.

I currently live in Mechanicsville, MD with my giant puppy, Bowser and queen of the house, my orange lady cat, Hank! In my downtime, I enjoy cooking, watching food network, drinking coffee and taking a million pictures of my pets being cute.

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Kathy Leef

Veterinary Relations Manager, Community Outreach

I came to Friendship as the Veterinary Relations Manager after a long career in the pharmaceutical industry.  My history with Friendship has allowed me to watch the hospital evolve over the years and it has been very fulfilling to be a part of such an incredible team.  As the relations manager I work closely with all of our  specialists to strengthen our partnership with referring practices as well as focusing on educational outreach in the veterinary community.  My pets are of the four legged kind but a bit large for our facility.  I have had horses and ridden since childhood which is a huge part of why I am and always will be an animal lover.

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Lee Manson, LVT

Specialty Supervisor

I have worked in in the veterinary field for 20 years. I started working at Friendship in 2010. During my time here, I acquired my LVT and have moved through various departments, gaining valuable knowledge. I accepted the role of Specialty Supervisor in an effort to continue to grow within Friendship and maintain the excellent level of care that this hospital has build its excellent reputation on.

I live in Maryland with my wife and our dog, Simba. In my spare time, I enjoy watching and playing basketball as well as traveling.

Cami Phelps, CVPM

Practice Manager, General Practice

I grew up in Northern Virginia and was fortunate to be able to visit downtown and the museums growing up. I have also lived in Annapolis, MD, San Diego, CA as well as Charlotte, NC. I am back home here at Friendship and love being in the DC area again.

I have been in veterinary practice management since 2007 which is when I fell in love with the veterinary field. My favorite part of my job is getting to know our patients and clients and interacting with as many pets as I can. I love being around animals and am very fortunate to have a small part in veterinary medicine. Every day is an opportunity to improve the life of our patients and to help support our clients. To that end, I became a certified veterinary practice manager (CVPM) in 2014, in order to continue growing my knowledge and skills as a leader.

One of my favorite things to do is hike and go for walks with my Miniature Schnauzer, Fritzi. I love trying new restaurants and going to the theater and just being out and about.

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Stacie Ward

Accounting Manager

A D.C. native, I joined FHA in 2004 after spending several years working in accounting and restaurant management. I currently live in Ellicott City, MD with my son Robby and daughter Grace. I have a Beagle mix named Rocky, a Whoodle named Lucy, and I love football season (Go Commanders!!).

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Meg Yagatich

Meg Yagatich, LVT

Practice Manager, Emergency Services

Being part of a military family, I moved a lot as kid. The one constant, no matter where we lived, was our pets. My parents always made every effort to show me how we can care for animals of all sorts, which I credit for my commitment to veterinary care today. I took my passion for animals to North Carolina State University where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology with a minor in Environmental Science. Shortly after graduation, I moved to Maryland and began my vet med journey.

I spent a few years at Banfield and joined  the FHA family in 2013. When I started as a veterinary technician and immediately felt at home. I took every opportunity to learn more and develop my skills for patient care and became a licensed tech in 2015. Trusted with more responsibility as a supervisor, I pushed myself and everyone around me to live up to Friendship’s mission of providing the best patient care possible. I am grateful to continue that work in my current position as Practice Manager, where I strive to provide the support each department and employee needs to do their best work while fostering Friendship’s core values.

I currently live in New Market, MD with my husband, William, and two kids, Brody and Griffin. We share our home, beds and hearts with our fur family, two dogs, Tiny and Tonks, and two cats, Sena and Splotch. In my downtime, I enjoy crafting, running and outdoor adventuring with family and friends.

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Friendship provides state of the art, comprehensive services for our clients and patients. But, more than that, we provide a caring team who understands the unique human-animal bond. View Our Services