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CCAS Staff

Liz McCauley, CCAS Executive Director

Liz McCauley, Executive Director

Pictured with Flip Flop

Liz McCauley, a native of Pennsylvania, became the first Executive Director of the Cape Coral Animal Shelter in June of 2019.  With over 30 years of experience and a master’s degree in Business with a specific concentration in Non-profit Leadership and Management, Liz was instrumental in setting up all aspects of the shelter prior to opening in March of 2020.

In 2007, while adopting her first dog from a local shelter, a staff member told her he was most likely a “puppy mill breeder dog”.  From that moment, Liz’s life was forever changed, and she has spent the last 14 years fighting to strengthen the animal cruelty laws nationwide through tougher legislation and educating people about animal neglect and abuse.

In 2015, Liz became the Executive Director of one of the largest open admission animal shelters in Eastern Pennsylvania where she had previously served on the fundraising committee, the board of directors, and as a foster.  During her tenure, she led the organization in expanding the foster program, developed relationships with other rescues, implemented new programs and procedures, and substantially increasing live release rates for both dogs and cats—an extremely difficult task for a shelter that is responsible for county-wide animal control.  Liz became a Pennsylvania Humane Police Officer in 2016 and assisted with animal cruelty investigations throughout the region.

In March of 2018, Liz took the job as Shelter Manager for the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Striving to ease the burden placed on animal control facilities throughout Florida, Liz developed relationships with rescue partners and worked tirelessly to save unwanted, abandoned, and abused animals.

Her passion for animals, experience in rescue, and education in the non-profit sector will help guide CCAS as we fulfil our mission to save and protect the animals of our region and find them forever homes.  Liz resides on Pine Island with her husband, Bobby Mierzejewski and four misfit rescues—Shiba Inus Abbey and Holly, Rat Terrier/Australian Cattle Dog Buckey, and Chihuahua/Schnauzer Oliver.

Melanie Waite, Director of Operations

Pictured with Lollie

Melanie Waite joined the Cape Coral Animal Shelter as the Director of Operations in November of 2019 and was instrumental in establishing all clinic and shelter protocols. In 2009, Melanie graduated from the PIMA Medical Institute in Albuquerque New Mexico as a Certified Veterinarian Assistant. She completed her externship at the Humane Society of Albuquerque, where she assisted with over 100 spay and neuter surgeries daily. Melanie also worked at the shelter’s veterinary clinic, where she assisted with routine office visits, vaccine clinics, and various other medical cases. This is where she learned the importance of spaying and neutering and fell in love with the shelter world.

After relocating to Florida in 2012, Melanie knew she wanted to continue working at a shelter. She accepted a position as processing technician/intake kennel technician at Gulf Coast Humane Society. Before long, an opportunity to assist with spays and neuters became available, and in 2015, Melanie was promoted to Spay/Neuter Clinic Manager. In 2016, Melanie took part in a certification process through the ASPCA/Humane Alliance, receiving elite training for best practices in spay/neuter clinics.

In 2017, Melanie was promoted to Medical Manager, additionally responsible for Processing and Rehabilitation. Throughout her career, Melanie has assisted with over 70,000 spay and neuter surgeries. She has experience with multiple positions within the shelter, and we are fortunate that she brings this vast knowledge and experience with her to Cape Coral Animal Shelter and Veterinary Clinic.

Melanie resides in Cape Coral with her husband, Jason, son Braedon, and three rescue dogs—Chihuahua Ratty, and Catahoulas Mortimer and Ellie Mae.

Melanie Waite, CCAS Director of Operations
Jodi Gross, CCAS Office Manager/Human Resources

Jodi Gross, Office Manager/Human Resources

 Pictured with Belgium

Jodi Gross is originally from New Jersey and moved to Florida in 2018. She began her career as a real estate auditor before refocusing her career to human resources—working for Fortune 500 companies including Ernst & Young and Prudential. Jodi holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Ithaca College, and she is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR).

Jodi had dogs growing up and got her first cats—Chester and Isabella—after college, which led to her enthusiasm to help animals. She found her passion working with a non-profit in New York City in 2000, which quickly cultivated into volunteering with various animal welfare organizations. Jodi’s animal experience includes several years of fostering dogs, cats, and kittens—specifically special needs, seniors, medical and hospice cases. She also participated in multiple Trap Neuter Release programs, transported numerous animals including flying cats to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah and caring for animals after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She also trained volunteers, wrote multiple policies and procedures for animal care, and worked many adoption events and fundraisers for various animal organizations.

Jodi officially brought her managerial skills and passion for animal welfare to Cape Coral Animal Shelter in March of 2020, although she volunteered for several months prior to our opening. Her responsibilities include overseeing our cat intake, adoptions, events, and volunteers, as well as accounting management and human resources.

A resident of Cape Coral, Jodi currently adores her two adopted senior dogs, Max the German Shepherd, Gus the Beagle/Hound mix, and several cats.

Miguel Medina, Facilities Manager

Pictured with Clyde

Miguel Medina was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in Germany, Louisiana, and Kentucky as an Army dependent. He moved to Florida in 2013 and he and his family began volunteering with local rescues where he found his passion in fostering, rehabilitating, and rehoming previously unwanted pets.

After a career in the food service industry, in July of 2018, Miguel began working as a Kennel Technician at Gulf Coast Humane Society where he learned all aspects of working in a shelter. Having honed his skills, particularly in handling challenging dogs, he welcomed the opportunity to accept the position of Facilities Manager at Cape Coral Animal Shelter upon opening in March of 2020. Miguel manages kennel operations and staff, volunteers, and overall maintenance, organization, and cleaning protocols for the entire facility.

Miguel particularly enjoys transporting animals to CCAS from rural shelters throughout southwest and central Florida and has established outstanding relationships with animal control officers and rescue partners. Known for his sense of humor and positive attitude, if you hear the words, “Rodger Dodger,” you know Miguel is close by.

Miguel resides in Cape Coral with his “better half” Rachel McGowen and daughters Trinity and Catelin. Their rescue fur family consists of Boxer Koto, Chihuahua mix Coyote, and two Pittie mixes, Gracie, and Tess.

Miguel Medina, CCAS Facilities Manager
Dr. Kristie Welsh, CCAS Veterinarian

Dr. Kristie Welsh, Veterinarian

Pictured with Muffin

In August of 2020, Dr. Kristie Welsh became the first full-time veterinarian hired for the Cape Coral Animal Shelter’s low-cost veterinary clinic. Born and raised on a small farm in rural Kentucky, Dr. Welsh completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky where she received a B.S. in Biology. She went on to Auburn University where she graduated in 2004 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Welsh moved to Florida in 2004 to practice in the Sunshine State and has held various positions in veterinary hospitals throughout the region prior to coming on board at CCAS. Known for her compassion for pets and pet parents, her attention to detail, and vast knowledge, Dr. Welsh brings her many years of clinical experience to establish our clinic as one of the best in the region. What she loves most about her field is internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and educating owners on preventative care for their pets. She prides herself in treating each and every pet, from turtles to dogs, as if they are her own.

Dr. Welsh resides in Cape Coral with her husband Chris, son KC, and three miniature Dachshunds—Keegan, Keely, and Kaiden.

Dr. Chad Weddell, Veterinarian

Pictured with Chad

In February 2021, Dr. Chad Weddell joined our Cape Coral Animal’s low-cost veterinary clinic as a part time veterinarian.  Dr. Weddell was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He has been in a practicing veterinarian for over 22 years.  Dr. Weddell is board certified in Veterinary Preventive Medicine and has earned a master’s degree in public health and a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree from the University of South Florida.

Dr. Weddell moved permanently to Southwest Florida in 2019 to enjoy the year-round warm weather of Florida and all that it has to offer. He loves small animal internal medicine and enjoys working with pet parents to ensure their cherished pet’s optimal health and well-being while providing low cost, high quality animal healthcare.  He brings a wealth of experience in small animal veterinary medicine and loves being part of the devoted team at Cape Coral Animal Shelter and their noble mission to find forever homes for every animal at the shelter while serving the community.

Dr. Weddell resides in the area with his family and their sweet tortoise-shell cat they adopted from the Cape Coral Animal shelter. His favorite past times are fishing of any kind, billiards, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family who visit often now that he lives in Florida.

Dr. Chad Weddell, CCAS Veterinarian