Meet Our Board of Directors

Our volunteer board is comprised of dedicated veterinarians and animal lovers who generously give their time and energy to support programs that represent our mission.


Dr. Irving Lerner - President

Dr. Lerner is a Miami native and graduated from University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. Three years after graduating he founded Crossroads Animal Hospital in Kendall and stills runs it to this day. He and his wife, Cindy, have been happily married for 40 years and have three children and three grand-children.


Dr. Robert Pane - Past President

Dr. Robert Pane is originally from upstate New York and grew up working on a local dairy farm and in a local veterinary hospital. He completed his undergraduate studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo and went on to get his graduate degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell. He received his doctorate in 1975 and has been with the South Kendall Animal Hospital since 1977.


Dr Larry Bernstein - Secretary Treasurer

A veterinarian since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school in 1977, Dr. Larry Bernstein has a practice that since 1991 primarily offers alternative veterinary medicine. He has two children from a prior marriage and has been married to his wife Karen for over 32 years.

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Dr. Karen Ashby

After her childhood in Miami, Dr. Karen Ashby attended the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced in Wellington for two years before moving to the U.S. Virgin Islands. 5 years after purchasing and operating a veterinary practice, she moved back to Miami to be with family. She joined Calusa Crossing Animal Hospital in 2005 and has been there ever since.


Dr. Bradley Richter

Dr. Bradley Richter has spent over 35 years practicing veterinary medicine in Miami. He graduated with a degree in animal husbandry from the University of Missouri in 1974. After that he received an NIH grant in Nutritional Research. He enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and golf. He has traveled all over the country and is involved in several local and national organizations.


Dr. Connie Sontag- Snyder

Graduating in 1985 from the University of Florida’s School of veterinary medicine, Dr. Sontag- Snyder practiced equine medicine before starting his housecall practice in 1987, The Visiting Vet. Dr. Sontag-Snyder’s more recent pursuit is to find at-risk animals and match them with at risk young men and women. These young men and women are at-risk of living unhappy and non-productive lives because of poor foster care situations. Matching the youth with an animal can facilitate healing for both the animal and the youth involved.


Dr. Claudia Valderrama

Dr. Claudia Valderrama graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. She worked in a mixed animal practice for 7 years before starting Veterinary Relief Services.  Dr. Valderrama hails from Cali, Colombia, speaks English and Spanish, and enjoys the challenges of working in many different practices settings. She is a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and President of the South Florida Veterinary Medical Association. In her free time, Claudia loves to scuba dive, travel on adventures, and do yoga.


Ana Sanchez

After 17 years in the corporate arena, Ana sought a more entrepreneurial life and in 2010 became a Realtor. Today she ranks in the top 10% in terms of sales volume in her REMAX office.  Born in Havana, Cuba, she was raised in Miami and educated at FIU, a graduate of the School of Business and Journalism and Mass Communications. She is a regular foster for special needs dogs at Paws4You Rescue, and does large-scale TNR efforts. She assists the Foundation in fundraising events and communications. She resides in South Miami with her partner of many years, Kevin. They share a home with their rescue dogs Nina and Lobo and numerous cats.


Dr. Hector Roman

Dr Hector Roman is from a farming town in Puerto Rico. In 1989 he graduated from Ohio State, then opened a small animal hospital in San Juan. Dr. Roman served as a board member of the PRVMA (CMVPR) for years. In 2005 moved to Miami to practice emergency medicine and shelter medicine. Currently has a mobile practice. Seven cats and two dogs keep him busy at home.


Christine Septer

Christine Septer serves as Executive Director to the Miami Veterinary Foundation. Chris has a background in association management and animal behavior. In addition to serving as Executive Director, Chris is proprietor and lead trainer at FreeSpirit Training Center.