Meet Our Caring and Compassionate Veterinary Team!

Meet the veterinarians & team of Manchaca Village Vet Care in Austin. We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your pets.

Please call us at 512-VET-CARE (512-838-2273) to speak to one of our caring veterinary staff members.

Dr. Sandra Ontiveros

Medical Director, Veterinarian, Fear Free™ Certified

Dr. Ontiveros (known to her clients and co-workers as “Dr. O”) grew up in El Paso, TX. She received her Bachelor in Zoology from the University of Texas in Austin, where she fell in love with the town. She went on to receive her MBA and DVM from Texas A&M, and then returned to Austin to launch her career and raise her family. She is just the third owner of MVVC over it's 44 years in business!

Dr. O has been practicing general medicine and emergency medicine since she graduated in 2004. She and her husband Rob are the proud parents of three young children, MVVC's canine rescue mascot Penny, and now the omnipresent social media star Chuck Norris.

Dr. O's truly enjoys forming a lasting relationship with her clients, and taking as much time as necessary to educate and empower them to make sound decisions about their pet's quality of life. She will treat your pet and advise you as if your pet was her own. The process of evaluating and improving the health of her patients makes her job a profoundly-rewarding experience. Her professional interests include surgery, internal medicine and dermatology, and she’s recently taken up greater interest in PRP therapy. You can frequently find Dr. O at our local neighborhood events engaging clients and giving free advice to the community.

Dr. O is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).

Dr. Troy Smith

Associate Veterinarian, Fear Free™ Certified

Dr. Troy Smith was raised in Austin where most of his family still lives, and graduated from Crockett High School just down the road from MVVC. He received his Bachelor with honors and DVM degree from Texas A&M, and has been in Austin private practice since 1991. After the late Dr. Robert “Larry” Bowen, Dr. Smith became the second owner of MVVC (before passing the torch to Dr. O in 2013). He truly loves being a veterinarian and enjoys going to work every day. He has a special affinity for cats and Petey the clinic cat can often be found in his office (lap) while he's entering his medical notes! We are thankful for his outstanding service as the most senior member of our family, and everyone admires his passion for pet health and wicked sense of humor!

At home, Dr. Smith and his wife, Terri, have 2 dogs and 2 cats keeping them young. On the side, he is an avid fly fisherman and newly-minted blacksmith! His professional passions include internal medicine and diseases of the ear. Over the last few years, his interest in treating Osteoarthritis lead him to the study and practice of Stem Cell and PRP (protein rich plasma) therapy, making MVVC one of the few practices in Central Texas that offer it.

Dr. Smith is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).

Dr. Taia Lubitz

Associate Veterinarian, Fear Free™ Certified

Dr. Taia Lubitz was born and raised in San Diego, California. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley. After a few years working as a technician at a local clinic, she headed off to veterinary school in Grenada, West Indies where she graduated Cum Laude from St. George's University. After three years of island living in Grenada, she headed back to the US to complete her clinical year at Texas A&M University.

While attending veterinary school, Dr. Lubitz particularly enjoyed connecting with clients and pets alike. Acting as an advocate for rescued animals by owning and fostering shelter animals all her life, she also fostered animals (including goats!) while studying veterinary medicine. Dr. Lubitz's special interests include emergency medicine and endocrinology.

Away from work, Dr. Lubitz enjoys spending time outdoors with her 4-year-old daughter Meika, her partner Robert, and other family and friends in Austin. Currently, Dr. Lubitz lives with a rabbit and 2 cats, but is on the look out for the right rescue dog to join the family!

Dr. Lubitz is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).

Dr. Kelly Might

Board-Certified Surgeon

Dr. Kelly Might, DACVS, is our on-call Board-certified surgeon for specialized procedures.

Dr. Might was raised in Bedford, Texas. He moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas at Austin as an undergraduate student, earning a bachelors in zoology and a minor in Spanish. He then attended Oklahoma State University for veterinary school. Early in his first year at Oklahoma State, Dr. Might found his calling for veterinary surgery, and then completed a 1-year rotating internship in Santa Rosa, California, followed by a surgical internship at Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists in Boulder, Colorado. These experiences were then followed by a three-year surgical residency at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.

During his training Dr. Might developed a strong interest in orthopedics. While at Washington State University, he published multiple manuscripts and found great interest in orthopedic research. Dr. Might is now an integral part of our surgical team, and is able to provide complicated surgical procedures to many pets that would not otherwise be able to receive specialty care in the area.

After 9 years away from home, Dr. Might, his wife, and two children returned to Austin, Texas. When not at work, Dr. Might enjoys cycling and spending time with his family.

Leta Chandler

Practice Manager, Fear Free™ Certified

Leta came to MVVC as a Technician Team Lead in 2014, then trained under our longtime manager Terri Smith before becoming our Practice Manager. Leta is currently studying to become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) and expects to earn her certification in 2019. Her most important responsibilities include staff management, quality control and client relations. Leta is always happy to chat with you, so don't hesitate to ask for her!

Leta holds a B.S. in Animal Science from West Texas A&M University, and in the years before coming to MVVC, has been a receptionist, surgery tech and vet tech at area vet clinics. She has a special interest in behavioral issues, including separation anxiety. All-in-all, Leta brings a wonderful balance of experience to Manchaca Village Veterinary Care.

Leta owns a 6-year old Rot-Terrier named Jack, an 8-year old Border Beagle named Ruger, 3 horses and some cattle! And in her spare time, she's a CrossFit Trainer and Coach!

Travis Allen

Operations Manager, Surgery Coordinator, Fear Free™ Certified

Travis came to us in 2015 as a senior technician, and with his experience quickly provided value in other critical areas of the practice. He is currently our operations manager and oversees everything from staff training, to inventory, to surgical oversight. If your pet has undergone any kind of surgical procedure, there's a good chance Travis was the one that coordinated the procedure and answered your questions.

Travis is a native Austinite and graduated Texas State University with a B.S.A.G. in Animal Science and Agriculture with honors. He had a passion for animals from a young age and started as a field trial retriever trainer in 2000. He continued his training in dog behavior in 2003 while he worked as a kennel attendant at a local veterinary hospital. Travis worked his way up to becoming a surgical nurse, with exposure to specialty medicine, including oncology and orthopedic surgery. In 2006, Travis became a Patient Service Director of a large hospital while continuing to substitute as an emergency animal technician at the local EC. Travis has seen every facet of the veterinary industry and is interested in the human/animal bond as well as veterinary management and team behavior/interactions.

Travis keeps a saltwater reef that has been established for 10 years, enjoys outdoor activities, competitive Crossfit and olympic weight lifting. Travis also owns a goofy 3-year old Bull Terrier named Quagmire.

Mary

Client Care Specialist, Fear Free™ Certified

Longtime clients know Mary well, as she has been a fixture in various roles at MVVC since 2010. Mary is a native Texan, born and raised in Austin. She attended Texas State University and received a Bachelors degree in Zoology.

Mary enjoys the versatility in her job, and enjoys educating clients about preventative medicine. Mary got her start in kennel care, moving up to that of a technician. She has since transitioned to client care up front, where she can leverage her technician experience to provide a satisfying and informative experience for the client.

In her spare time, Mary loves to bake, having learned so much in a previous life at a bakery. Mary's home is shared with 2 dogs, Brooklyn and Harley.

Lauren

Client Care Specialist, Fear Free™ Certified

Lauren has lived in Texas her entire life, but moved to Austin 6 years ago and loves it! Lauren has a passion for animals and loves the feeling of being surrounded by fur babies every day at home and at work. Her and her fiancé have a little mini-zoo in their home, including many exotic reptiles and endangered species such as a 12 ft long reticulated python, rescued turtles, chameleons, geckos, poison dart frogs, bearded dragons, 2 ferrets, 2 cats, 2 dogs, a hedgehog, and a flying squirrel!! And as if that wasn’t enough, she has 4 saltwater aquariums in the house where she grows her own corals in a little coral garden. To compliment her love of sea life, Lauren is SCUBA certified and plans on obtaining a master certification soon, with the goal of diving all around the world’s beautiful oceans.

It’s safe to say that animals of all kinds hold a very special place in Lauren’s heart. Working here at MVVC has been such a joy and highlight in her life already, and she looks forward to growing with MVVC and meeting all of the sweet fluffs that come through the doors!

Denise

Client Care Specialist, Fear Free™ Certified

Denise is an A&M graduate and an Aggie to the bone! Her interest for critters started at a very young age, and her parents never knew what she would collect and bring home next. Her love and compassion for animals has grown as her career in the vet field progressed over the past 30 years in Austin.

Denise enjoys the outdoors and especially loves digging her toes in sandy beaches. She likes football and is an avid San Antonio Spurs fan. She and her pets (an Aussie mix Artie, & cats Rome, Remy, Hermes, and Aurora), shares her home with a roommate and more housemates (a Border Collie Chance, and cats Mr. Weasley, Gypsy, and Joy)!

Laura

Client Care Specialist, Fear Free™ Certified

Born and raised in Austin, Laura holds a degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. She got her start in animal care working as a kennel technician and worked her way up to becoming a veterinary technician. She recently transitioned into client care after having the desire to work with people and their pets. In her spare time, Laura is an avid birder and likes to spend her time outdoors.

Liz

Licensed Surgery Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Liz moved to Austin from Washington, D.C. in 2005, but her hometown will always be Lafayette, Louisiana. She started working with us when she arrived in Austin and has been a registered veterinary technician since 2005. She and her husband, Patrick, have a sweet little boy and girl. They share their south Austin home with a Doberman Pinscher named Leo and 3 cats.

Veronica

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Veronica was born and raised in Asolo, Italy, adding some fun cultural diversity to MVVC! Early on, Veronica developed a love for animals by working in a doggie daycare and training facilities.

In 2013, Veronica made a courageous move to the states with her husband—first to San Diego and then to Austin. We discovered Veronica while she brought her dog in for a checkup and to apply for a position. We were impressed with Veronica’s professional demeanor and animal handling skills! Today Veronica has become an integral member of our team.

On her time off, Veronica likes to explore the many trails in South Austin with her dog Sky, an American Staffordshire Terrier / Doberman mix.

Ariana

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Ariana was born in El Paso Texas, and later attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her Bachelors in biology with a minor in chemistry. Since graduating, Ariana has spent 10 years in the veterinary field and is excited about this latest turn in her career!

Ariana owns a 10 years old lab mix named Candy, a 10 year old Siamese mix named Poseidon, a 10 years old long hair cat named Oreo, and a 2 year old Dwarf cat named Reggie.

On her free time, Ariana enjoys spending time with friends and dogs, and loves all kinds of outdoor activities.

Cheryl

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Cheryl grew up in San Jose, CA and moved to Austin in 2016. Her work experience in the veterinary field began in 2009 and includes small animal medicine and large animal husbandry.

Cheryl is well known by our deaf clients, as she is studying American Sign Language at Austin Community College and is close to becoming an accredited interpreter. (Deaf clients: feel free to ask for Cheryl--she loves to communicate with you!

In her spare time, Cheryl loves to explore the food and music scene in Austin, volunteering in the Deaf community, playing with her dogs and working with her husband on their new ranch in Luling, TX.

Dia

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Dia was born in Jacksonville, FL, but as a Navy brat, she has lived all over the world. In her adult life, she moved all around the US, but ultimately chose Texas to be near family.

He love for animals began as a young adult working on a small farm in Nebraska, where she needed to treat the animals. After moving to North Carolina, Dia earned her Bachelors degree, became a licensed veterinary technician and completed her externship at an emergency hospital.

Dia’s travels then took her to Michigan, where she became licensed in that state and furthered her technician career. Now on her final stop of her world tour, Dia joined MVVC and is currently working on earning her Texas license.

Dia and her husband Mark have three grown children and six grandchildren, and share their lives with two dogs, four cats, and a bird.

Caren

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Caren joined MVVC having moved from Fort Worth in August 2018. She started her veterinary career as a kennel technician 4 years earlier while simultaneously getting her Bachelor's Degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.

Caren has 3 dogs; Cooper the Bloodhound mix, Roo the Heeler, and Peggy the peg-leg Catahoula, (whom she describes as her “foster failure!”) And being the typical vet tech, she also has 2 cats, Finn and Jake.

In her free time, Caren enjoys sampling new craft brews and attending concerts. 

Jennifer

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Jennifer was born in California, but grew up here locally and considers herself a bonafide Austinite! As a young girl, she knew early on that she deeply cared about animals when her father rescued an injured calf, splinted its broken leg, and nursed it back to health. It was something about that experience that gave Jennifer a sense of purpose.

Jennifer started at MVVC as a Client Care Specialist, but grew fond of working more directly with the animals. So over the years, she has graduated to a kennel assistant and now as a veterinary technician!

RJ

Technician, Pre Vet, Fear Free™ Certified

A native Austinite, RJ's passion for animals began as a young tot, sharing bites of tree bark with the dog next door. RJ began fostering the moment she was independent enough to do so. Now possessing a BS in Animal Science from Berry College in Rome, GA, RJ has her sights set on becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She has contributed numerous hours at MVVC, beginning as a volunteer intern in 2011 (acquiring the nickname Rachel Junior “RJ”). RJ enjoys playing soccer as well as composing, playing and singing a variety of music. Her dearest love, however, are her cat furbabies, Daisy & Dale, whom she raised from just a week of age.

RJ is currently attending vet school at Lincoln Memorial University, and comes back to work for MVVC during her breaks!

Karen

Sr. Technician Assistant, Fear Free™ Certified

Our worldly Karen was born in California, grew up in England, and then moved to Texas in 2002. She worked mostly retail jobs until she found her passion working with dogs as a kennel technician at a local animal shelter.

Karen spends her down time trying to tire out her cat and three adopted dogs, improving her quilting abilities, and writing fiction.

Chris

Technician Assistant, CVA I, Fear Free™ Certified

Chris was born and raised in Austin, Texas and graduated from James Bowie High School in 2017. He was first introduced to MVVC through the Bowie Internship program and immediately felt at home with the pets, staff and atmosphere. After his internship was complete, Chris earned his Veterinary Assistant Level 1 certification and was hired by MVVC full time while off from school. Chris is now enrolled at Texas State University and is getting his Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science so he can start his path to becoming a veterinarian.

In his free time, he loves to travel and has been fortunate enough to visit Italy, Switzerland, Austria, France and Mexico. He also enjoys spending time with his friends and family on Lake Travis swimming and wakeboarding. Chris is the proud new owner of a German short haired pointer puppy!

Natalya

Technician Assistant, CVA I, Fear Free™ Certified

Natalya was born and raised in Austin, Texas and grew up right down the street from MVVC! She graduated from W. Charles Akins High School in 2017, where she joined the Vet Tech Internship program that introduced her to MVVC. It was there that she learned what it took to be a Technician Assistant and she loves it! As her internship came to an end, Natalya had accomplished her goal of becoming a Certified Veterinary Assistant Level One and was then hired full-time by MVVC. Natalya is currently enrolled at ACC where she plans to complete her basics and afterwards transfer to a University.

Natalya's love for animals began as far back as she could remember. As a child she recalls finding numerous lost dogs around her neighborhood and doing everything in her power to make sure they were returned safely to their families. In her free time she loves to read outside and watch her two dogs Daisy and Chase run around.

Courtney

Technician Assistant, Fear Free™ Certified

Courtney was born in El Paso, Texas but grew up all over the country, moving from state to state as her family was in the military. She graduated from Leesville High School in May 2017 and as soon as her father retired from 21 years of service, she booked it straight to Austin, Texas. During high school, Courtney worked as an intern at her small town local clinic and became very comfortable working with animals and the experience cemented her decision to go to school to hopefully become a veterinarian! Courtney is currently enrolled at ACC for her Associates and then finish her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Wildlife Biology at Texas State University.

Courtney’s love of animals began when she was a very small child. Her fondest memories are that of playing with her numerous family pets and trying to save every small creature that she could find in her backyard. In her free time she enjoys long runs, attempting to tire her very lively vizsla out, and photography.

Adam

Technician Assistant, Fear Free™ Certified

Adam is a Marine Corps veteran, having served 4 years after high school. We were impressed with Adam's professionalism and communication skills when he interviewed. Adam has always had a love for animals, and now as a civilian will pursue a career as a veterinarian after finishing his degree at ACC.

Adam is happily married to his wife Kalai and is the pet parent of two cats, Monte Carlo and Maximus Prime.

Beth LeCocq

Marketing & Events Manager, Fear Free™ Certified

Originally from Lubbock, TX, Beth has a B.F.A in Theatre Performance from Eastern New Mexico University. Beth joined us as a receptionist, to familiarize herself with the trade, before becoming our Marketing Manager. Her background in social media marketing and event planning for dog-friendly events in Austin brought her to MVVC, where she could play an active role in MVVC’s community events, interface with clients, and work around animals (and animal-loving people) full-time.

In her spare time, Beth has an art business and hand-paints pet portraits and animal art!

Rob Amoroso

Director of Brand & Operations

Rob was born and raised in New York, where he earned his B.F.A. at Long Island University / C.W. Post. His professional background as a graphic design and marketing professional includes design and art direction for magazines and corporate marketing. He continued his career in Austin after moving here in 2005.

When he and his wife Sandra (Dr. O) decided to purchase MVVC from the Smith family in 2013, he left his job as an art director and put his focus on managing the marketing and business operations of the practice. His experience in branding, leadership, business operations and a love of animals make working at MVVC a perfect and rewarding fit!

When not in work mode, Rob keeps active with neighborhood Board work, enjoying time with his little kids, and distance running. He is currently training for his 6th marathon, in a bid to qualify for Boston. Rob’s also been spending time training his new dogs Penny and Chuck, how to run the business in his absence.

Petey

Staff Counselor, Feline Relations Manager

After losing our beloved Quasi, we adopted another Persian named Petey in 2013 from a client who could no longer care for him. Petey now patrols the clinic full-time and has earned the devotion of his loyal staff members. We look forward to reporting to him for decades to come.

Penny

Hospital Mascot

Soon after adopting Penny in March of 2016, our beloved Hannah passed away from an aggressive form of cancer. So Penny has been busy trying to soften that loss and win our hearts. She's a Lab-Plott hound mix, and follows Dr. O and Rob every step. Currently enrolled in puppy training, we are eager to see what role she takes as she starts making more public appearances. We look forward to a long, happy and healthy life with Penny.