In consideration of the COVID-19 crisis Powers remains open 24/7 for emergency care and is accepting new specialty appointments. However, please review changes in our emergency and specialty appointment protocols here.
Emergency Veterinarians in Colorado Springs, CO
Our team of experts is here to help, don’t hesitate to call us at (719) 473-0482.
Specialty and Referral Veterinarians
Lee Wilwerding, DVM, Founder
Dr. Wilwerding earned his DVM from Iowa State University in 1994 and has worked exclusively with companion animals throughout his career. He spent three years in Maine working with an orthopedic surgeon, and has continued to develop his orthopedic surgery skills, including such procedures as fracture repair and stifle stabilization (TPLO, Tightrope and extracapsular). He also has extensive experience in emergency/trauma and soft-tissue surgery. He likes to say the operating room is his happy place as he’s in there solely focused on helping a pet get well.
Dr. Wilwerding moved to Colorado in 1998 and founded Powers Pet Emergency Services in 2005, adding rehabilitation in 2010, and expanded his practice to include specialty care in 2015.
Outside of the practice you’ll find him enjoying all that Colorado has offer including as many days of fresh powder as possible.
Lee Wilwerding, DVMFounder
Brianna Backlund, DVM, Medical Director, Diplomate ACVIM (SAIM)
Dr. Backlund is an internal medicine specialist originally from Seattle, Washington. She earned her DVM from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Pullman, going on to complete an internship in small-animal medicine and surgery from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and her residency in internal medicine at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (DACVIM).
Dr. Backlund’s clinical interests include immune-mediated disorders such as hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia and polyarthritis, gastrointestinal disease management (IBD, gastrointestinal lymphoma), and renal (chronic renal failure) and hepatic diseases (chronic active hepatitis, other inflammatory or infectious hepatobiliary diseases).
In addition, she is a skilled endoscopist and provides bronchoscopy, rhinoscopy, cystoscopy and endoscopy services.
Off duty, Dr. Backlund enjoys spending time with her family, running, and appreciating the natural beauty of Colorado.
Originally from Indiana, Dr. Brandy Cichocki obtained her veterinary degree from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she completed a rotating internship and then a small animal surgery residency at Oklahoma State University. Following residency, she obtained a position as an assistant professor at Purdue University and focused solely on small animal soft tissue surgery. She has a passion for soft tissue surgery and enjoys the diversity of the case load. Dr. Cichocki has experience with oncologic, thoracic, abdominal, gastrointestinal, urogenital, and minimally invasive surgery.
In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities, reading, spending time with family and friends, and pampering her two cats (Finn and Avery). She is excited to be a part of the team at Powers Pet Emergency and Specialty and get to know southern Colorado.
Brandy Cichocki, DVM, MSDiplomate ACVS – SA
Edmund Leigh, DVM, Diplomate ACVR (Radiology)
Dr. Leigh began his career as a geologist working on civil engineering projects in Vermont and Colorado, eventually making his way to Alaska exploring for gold. After several years, he returned to school to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian, earning his DVM with honors from Colorado State University in 2001, then completing a one year internship in small-animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City.
Dr. Leigh returned to Colorado and practiced small-animal medicine in the Denver area for two years before being accepted into the radiology residency program at North Carolina State University. After completing his residency training, he became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology in 2007.
Dr. Leigh worked as a veterinary radiologist in Raleigh, North Carolina, before moving back to Colorado in 2008. His professional interests include small-animal abdominal and musculoskeletal ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and spine.
Dr. Leigh lives in Palmer Lake with his wife and son. He also shares his home with a Labrador retriever, a border collie mix, and a geriatric cat. When not working, he enjoys time with his family, mountain biking, skiing and hiking.
Edmund Leigh, DVMDiplomate ACVR (Radiology)
Samantha J. Salmon, DVM, MS (Residency Trained in Cardiology)
Dr. Salmon joins the Petcardia team in August of 2020 at the Powers Pet Emergency and Specialty located in Colorado Springs. After obtaining her doctorate degree in veterinary medicine at Colorado State University in 2016, she completed a one-year small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at the University of Minnesota, and a three-year residency in cardiology at the University of Georgia. While she enjoyed her time spent in Minnesota and Georgia, she is excited to return to her native state to practice veterinary cardiology.
Dr. Salmon also holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in environmental health and toxicology from Colorado State University. She strives to apply this knowledge to enhance the health and wellbeing of those around her, and to work toward leading a healthy, environmentally conscious lifestyle. During her time off work, she enjoys spending time with her family, long-distance trail running, brewing kombucha, and hanging out with her two cats named Bambi and Beetle, and Golden retriever named Bee.
Samantha J Salmon, DVM, MSResidency Trained in Cardiology
Emergency and Critical Care Team
Arielle Aylor, DVM
Dr. Aylor is a native of Colorado, born and raised in Colorado Springs. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Colorado State University, and attended veterinary school at the University of Edinburgh where she graduated with distinction in 2017, joining the Powers practice later that year. Dr. Aylor’s clinical interests include emergency medicine, internal medicine and cardiology. When not working, she enjoys hiking, travel, cooking, and watching movies with her cat, Frodo.
Arielle Aylor, DVMEmergency
Dana Goddard, DVM
Dr. Goddard earned her undergraduate degree at Colorado State University in 2012, and her DVM from Michigan State University in 2016, joining the Powers team that same year. She grew up in a military family and moved to Colorado Springs in 2000, living here until veterinary school then deciding to “come home” to practice medicine. She has a senior yellow Labrador named Pippin and, outside of work, she enjoys playing sports like lacrosse, basketball and softball, watching medical television shows, and visiting breweries with friends.
Dana Goddard, DVMEmergency
Christopher Korte, DVM
Dr. Korte joined our team in the spring of 2015. He earned his degree in veterinary medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1998. After graduation he began working in a mixed animal practice north of Kansas City, MO. A strong interest in equine medicine then took him to Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky for few years. A desire to be closer to family guided him to Colorado in 2012. Dr Korte has a special interest in surgery and trauma medicine. Outside work you can find him spending time playing and helping to coach hockey with kids. He also enjoys horseback riding, skiing, hiking, playing multiple sports and spending time with his wife and four kids.
Christopher Korte, DVM Emergency
Erin Dixon, BVM&S
Dr. Erin Dixon is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Before finding her niche in emergency medicine, she worked in mixed animal practice with a variety of species including pigs, goats, donkeys, sheep, cattle, small mammals, reptiles, and birds.
Dr. Dixon's professional interests lie in helping all kinds of animals, whether they have fur, scales, or feathers. Dr. Dixon is also keenly interested in animal behavior and welfare and enjoys making fearful pets feel more comfortable when they are in the clinic.
Prior to earning her veterinary credentials, Dr. Dixon attended the US Coast Guard Academy and served as an officer in the United States Coast Guard.
When not at work, Dr. Dixon can be found hiking all over Colorado with her two dogs, Huckleberry and Kit or curled up with a crossword puzzle and her three cats.
Erin Dixon, BVM&SEmergency
Samuel Parell, DVM
Dr. Samuel Parell was born and raised in Indiana. He comes from a family in animal medicine, as his father is a veterinarian, and his mother is a wildlife biologist. It's not hard to understand why he chose veterinarian medicine as his life's career. He completed his undergraduate degree at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, and earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Pullman, Washington.
When not in the hospital, he spends most of his time adventuring outdoors with his dog Bella.
Samuel Parell, DVMEmergency
Robyn White, DVM
Dr. White is originally from Norristown Pennsylvania. She attended veterinary school at St. George’s University where she also obtained a master’s degree in public health. She completed her clinical year training in Wisconsin and graduated in January 2018. Her interests include emergency medicine and surgery in addition to anesthesiology. She also enjoys working with some exotic species such as small mammals. In her free time, she enjoys horseback riding, hiking, and exploring Colorado. She lives with her two cats, Harley Quinn and Cleopatra.
Robyn White, DVM Emergency
Sadie Brown, DVM
Dr. Brown was raised in northern New Mexico. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of New Mexico. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2018 and then continued her training with a small animal rotating internship at Alpenglow/Aspen Meadow Emergency and Specialty in Boulder and Longmont Colorado. After completing the yearlong internship, she returned to her husband’s hometown, Colorado Springs, to join the Powers Pet Emergency & Specialty team. Dr. Brown’s professional interests include emergency medicine, internal medicine, geriatric care, and enhancing patient care through empathy and clear communication.
Outside of work, Dr. Brown enjoys relaxing at home with her husband, Brandon, cats, Ari and Cricket, and pit bull puppy, Koten. Dr. Brown also listens to audiobooks like they are going out of style, engages in medieval recreation, and generally enjoys exploring all that Colorado Springs has to offer.
Sadie Brown, DVMEmergency
Hillary Myers, DVM
Dr. Myers grew up in Massachusetts and attended Northeastern University in Boston, graduating with a B.S in Biology in 2006. She ventured to the Caribbean to attend veterinary school at St. George’s University, completing her clinical rotations at Washington State University and graduating in 2014. She enjoys the diversity veterinary medicine has to offer.
She recently moved to Colorado and enjoys hiking, backpacking, camping, snowboarding, traveling, baking and simply hanging out with her husband, two kids and two dogs.
Hillary Myers, DVMEmergency
Mark Sutton, DVM
Dr. Sutton was originally born in Seattle, however having lived in seven different states, he finds it difficult to say where he’s “from.” He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona and received his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Washington State University. During the course of the program, he gravitated towards emergency and critical care and has since pursued this interest after graduation. On his days off he enjoys hiking, camping, and fishing in the mountains with his two dogs Addie and Arlo.
Mark Sutton, DVMEmergency
Dorothy Kociuba, DVM
Dr. Kociuba is originally from Chicago, IL. After highschool she moved to Fort Collins, CO where she completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences and earned her DVM at Colorado State University. She completed a rotating internship at Premier Veterinary Group back in Chicago only to realize that Colorado was truly her home. Dr. Kociuba enjoys fast-paced emergency medicine and has a passion for integrative medicine/pain management. Now living in Colorado Springs, Dr. Kociuba enjoys her down time, listening to a good audiobook, and spending as much time as possible outside - hiking, camping, skiing - anywhere she can bring along her pup, Eliza.
Dorothy Kociuba, DVMEmergency
We have several additional Emergency veterinarians who work on a part time basis as needed and we consider them important members of our team.