Our Team


DRA. MARCELA PINEDA, Medical Director

Dr. Marcela Pineda graduated from University of the Americas in Quito in 2014. She then went on to work at an animal shelter in Ambato and PAE (Protection Animales del Ecaudor) Ambato. She also has experience working with organizations such as RADIOVET in Quito, SAVE in Ibarra and DOG&CATWALK in Quito. Dra. Marcela has also had the opportunity to do internships at several hospitals in the USA, and in 2018 she was asked to be a presenter at the "International Symposium on Non-Surgical Contraceptive Methods of Pet Population Control" in Boston to talk about her results on the study she did using the non-surgical castration program in the rural communities around Cotacachi. She has been the Medical Director of Amici Cannis Animal Hospital since 2016.

DR. ANGELA EGAS, Associate Veterinarian
DR. JOSELINE AYALA, Associate Veterinarian
PAUL MORENO, Lead Veterinarian Technician
DARWIN MORALES, Veterinarian Technician + Volunteer Trainer
JOAN CHICO, Veterinary Technician
ANDRES MORALES, Veterinary Technician
LUIS GUANDINANGO, Veterinary Technician

Consulting Veterinarians

Heather Steyn pic

DR. HEATHER STEYN, Foundation Director / Consulting Veterinarian

Dr. Heather Steyn graduated from Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She also did a 5 year residency program with the American College of Theriogenology. Dr. Steyn built and ran several hybrid general/specialty hospitals in Colorado in her US career and officially retired from practice in 2017. Her interests include Internal Medicine, Soft Tissue Surgery, Dentistry, Ultrasound, and Behavior. Dr. Steyn was the founder of Amici Cannis USA, and is on the Board of Directors of the Foundation Amici Cannis Hospital de Animales. She fell in love with Ecuador on a vacation in 2013 and then worked hard to dedicate all of her energy and time to achieve opening the hospital in Cotacachi in 2016. Dr. Steyn now lives full time in Ecuador where she can volunteer her time to the Foundation, and in her spare time she loves to raise and milk sheep, make artisan cheese, horseback ride and farm.


DR. BETH MANGIA, Consulting Veterinarian

Dr. Beth Mangia is a University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine graduate. She practiced Companion Animal Medicine in the Atlanta area for 28 years, with a special interest in preventative medicine. After selling her practice, Dr. Beth and her husband retired to Otavalo, Ecuador in 2016, where they share their home with two rescue dogs and a rescue cat. Dr. Beth consults with the Amici Cannis team when needed, and does behind-the-scenes work such as instituting the Cotacachi Roaming Dog Census and writing grants for funding our important work. She takes advantage of the year-round spring weather in her garden and is an avid bird-watcher.

Dr Alan Ledis photo edited

DR. ALAN LEDIS, Consulting Veterinarian

Dr. Alan Ledis graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation he began working in private practice treating companion animals in various clinics in several different states. Dr. Ledis moved to Massachusetts to establish his own private practice and during that time he took many specialty courses in Dentistry, Orthopedic Surgery and Emergency Medicine. He also started volunteering for the McKee Project, a community based spay and neuter program in Costa Rica. After selling his practice in 2007, Dr. Ledis began working for Second Chance Animal Shelter and Wellness Center and helped establish one of their satellite clinics in Springfield Massachusetts. He retired in 2016 and moved to Cotacachi, Ecuador, where he became a consulting veterinarian with Amici Cannis Animal Hospital.

Phillip pic

DR. PHILLIP STEYN, Consulting Veterinarian Radiologist

Dr. Phillip Steyn was born and raised in South Africa. He went to veterinary school at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, then ran a general practice hospital for 7 years before immigrating to the United States. Dr. Steyn did a residency at Texas A&M and became a Board Certified Radiologist. Dr. Steyn moved to Colorado and was a professor at Colorado State University for 18 years teaching Radiology. He then started a private business as a TeleRadiologist which grew into an international company reading radiographs from all over the world. Dr. Steyn is working with Antech Imaging Services currently and also consults for Amici Cannis Hospital de Animales. We are proud to have a Board Certified Radiologist volunteer his time for the Foundation! In his spare time, Dr. Steyn loves to farm, fish and horseback ride.

Board of Directors

JIM MACKAY, President
DR. HEATHER STEYN, Vice President
JAIME MIÑO, Treasurer