Who We Are


“Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.” James Cromwell

Meet Ashton Neally-Andrews

Ashton has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for nine years. She holds certifications in Veterinary Social Worker through the University of Tennessee at Knoxville as well as Social Work Supervision through NC NASW. Ashton’s specialties have focused in the medical, aging, end of life/hospice care and Veteran population. Ashton’s training as a Veterinary Social Worker revolved around a strong understanding of the human-animal bond, the link between human and animal violence, pet loss and bereavement, and addressing compassion fatigue within the animal professionals field.  Outside of Social Work, Ashton has worked in the Veterinary field for the past 13 years as an urgent care Client Care Specialist at a local veterinary practice which allowed for the unique opportunity and perspective of the human-animal bond from the professional side as well.


Ashton has spent a portion of her career presenting and teaching others in the areas of navigating difficult situations and communication strategies as well as assisted in the development of virtual trainings in Compassion Fatigue for veterinary professionals through a partnership with a colleague at Royal Canin pet supply company. In keeping with Ashton’s love of teaching the next generation of Social Workers, Ashton continues to function in the role of a Field Instructor for the University of North Carolina Wilmington to provide clinical supervision for Masters and Bachelors level Social Work students in their internships.


Meet Gina Scarzella


Gina has been involved in Veterinary Medicine for over 20 years and has seen a need for assistance for pet parents increase over the past few years. It led her on a mission to pursue a Veterinary Human Support Certificate through the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. This program gave her a new outlook on Veterinary Medicine. She is passionate about helping pet parents make difficult decisions about Veterinary care, make end of life decisions and also support those working in Veterinary Medicine.  


She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, VA and then Veterinary School at St. Matthew’s University. She started her Veterinary career in equine medicine and quickly realized there is a disconnect between “work-life” balance. This led her to return to College Road Animal Hospital (where she worked in high school) and allowed her to figure out what makes her passionate about being a Veterinarian. 


She lives in Wilmington with her husband David, who is an entrepreneur and owns two craft beer and wine shops in Pender County. They have three dogs and two cats which keep them laughing. They love the outdoors, travelling and spending time with friends and family. 



Veterinary Social Work Team