About Advanced Animal Care

Advanced Animal Care was opened in 2001 by Drs. David & Leslie Steele to provide the Mount Pleasant community with quality veterinary services. To this day, our goal is to provide complete and compassionate medicine, surgery, and preventive care to pets of all ages, while building long lasting friendships with pet owners.

In 2011, Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant became one of a select group of veterinary hospitals to be accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. To be accredited by AAHA, our hospital must demonstrate an exceptional level of medical care and client service. AAHA’s standards cover every aspect of our hospital to assure your satisfaction with the level of care both you and your pet receives.

The AAHA Standards of Accreditation are widely used as benchmarks to measure excellence in veterinary medicine. Our hospital has been successfully evaluated by an AAHA practice consultant on approximately 900 standards that directly correlate to the care we are providing your pet. The standards are periodically reviewed and updated to ensure they remain consistent with changes in veterinary medicine and technology.

We are proud to be an AAHA-accredited practice and believe this helps keep us on the leading edge of veterinary medicine and focused on continuous improvements to assure we can offer the quality and range of services you expect and deserve for your pet.

We recently obtained approval from Mayor Linda Page to proclaim National Pet Week® for our town, and went on to receive proclamation from Governor Nikki Haley to proclaim National Pet Week® for the entire state of South Carolina.


Meet Our Doctors

Drs. David and Leslie Steele both attended Auburn University (War Eagle!) graduating with honors from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992 and 1994 respectively. (For more information about Auburn University, College of Veterinary Medicine, click here). They moved to Mount Pleasant in 1994 and Drs. David & Leslie opened the practice July 1st, 2001. The Steele’s have two beautiful girls, MaryLou and Olivia and several “four-legged children.”

Doctor David Steele | Advanced Animal Care

Dr. David Steele obtained a degree in Microbiology before attending Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. He has worked in various practices and emergency clinics over the years and has received advanced training in behavioral medicine, ultrasonography, surgical carbon dioxide laser, soft-tissue and reconstructive surgery. He is certified in Low Stress Handling – Silver Level. He is currently the director of medicine at Advanced Animal Care and has a special interest in preventative medicine and clinical behavior. He is a member of Palmetto Presbyterian Church, practices the art of Tang Soo Do, loves to play the banjo and has a special interest in fitness and exercise.

Doctor Leslie Steele | Advanced Animal Care

Dr. Leslie Steele also earned her degree in Microbiology prior to attending Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. After moving to the Low Country, she opened and operated for 9 years The Charleston Cat Clinic in Peninsular Charleston. She is now practicing at Advanced Animal Care with a particular interest in internal medicine, soft tissue surgery and feline medicine. She is currently the director of the East Cooper Pet Relief. This non-profit organization is working to provide care for feral and stray animals and population control in the East Cooper area. ECPR will focus it's resources on low cost spay/neuter and medical care for homeless animals as well as pets of low income families. Dr. Steele is also a member of the choir at Palmetto Presbyterian Church.


Meet Our Staff

Tara Shepard | Advanced Animal Care

Tara Shephard, Office Manager
Tara is originally from Rochester, NY and graduated from Cazenovia College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and moved to Charleston in 2008. Before joining Advanced Animal Care, Tara worked in group homes and nursing homes and decided to take her passion for helping people to the animal side of health care. She has her Silver Certification in Low Stress Handling, and a Radiology Safety Training Certification. Tara enjoys getting to meet all of our furry patients and help their owners with any questions they may have. In her free time, Tara enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends – including her dog, Mabel; and two cats, Merle and The Governor. She can also be found playing with Star Wars toys and Hot Wheels with her son, Liam.

Jessica Martinez | Advanced Animal Care

Jessica Martinez, Technician Manager/Marketing Coordinator
Jessica attended the University of South Carolina and is currently working towards her veterinary technician license and certification through AAHA’s DEVT Program. She has worked at Advanced Animal Care since 2011 and enjoys the relaxed and welcoming environment of the office. Jessica has always been drawn to science and helping animals. At Advanced Animal Care, she gets the best of both worlds! She has her Silver Certification in Low Stress Handling, and has her Purina® Nutrition Certification and Radiology Safety Training Certification. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her husband, friends and family. She has a dog named Deebo, and two cats, Binka and Dash.

Kristen Knurek | Advanced Animal Care

Kristen Knurek, Technician
Kristen earned her Bachelors Degree in Animal Science from the University of Massachusetts. She joined Advanced Animal Care in November of 2012. Kristen has always had a great interest in science and learning about anatomy and medicine. At Advanced Animal Care, she gets to take her interests and use them in the welfare of animals. Kristen is certified in Radiology Safety and is working towards her Silver Certification in Low Stress Handling. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, baking, and hanging out with her furry kids and her fiance, Tim.

Michelle Polanco | Advanced Animal Care

Michelle Polanco, Technician Assistant
Michelle was born in Miami, Florida and moved to Charleston in January of 2011. She joined Advanced Animal Care in September of 2013 and has loved being able to care for every furry patient. Michelle has always been passionate about animals, and truly enjoys meeting every new furry patient and their owner. Michelle is working on her Silver Certification in Low Stress Handling. When not at the office, she can be found spending quality time with her friends and family.

Katie Melton | Advanced Animal Care

Katie Melton, Receptionist
Katie Melton is the receptionist at Advanced Animal Care. She is currently enrolled in the Radiology Technician Program at Trident Technical College. She considers herself lucky to have such a fulfilling job and loves being able to help every patient, and spend time around such cute patients! Katie holds her Veterinary Client Service Specialist Certification. In her spare time, she can be found spending time with friends, family, and her own fur babies, 1 dog and 3 cats.