Our Talented and Compassionate Veterinary Team!

Meet the veterinarians & support staff of Manchaca Village Veterinary Care here in South Austin. We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your pets!

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

Click or tap on the photos below to read staff bios!…

Doctors

Sandra Ontiveros, DVM

Chief Medical Officer, 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 45 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, two dogs, one cat, three rats, one hedgehog, and three chickens!

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).

Troy Smith, DVM

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).

Taia Lubitz, DVM

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 young daughter Meika, her partner Robert, and other family and friends in Austin. Currently, Dr. Lubitz lives with her rescue dog, Charlie, and cat, Cocoa. She also frequently fosters kittens through Austin Pets Alive.

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

Erin Tolson, DVM

Associate Veterinarian, Fear Free™ Certified

Dr. Tolson grew up on a family farm in Stephenville, TX. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets (Company F-2). Deciding he loved the Aggie football games too much to leave, Dr. Tolson continued his education at Texas A&M and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2018. Since then, he has been practicing in the surrounding hill country area. Manchaca Village Veterinary Care is excited he has joined the team!

Dr. Tolson’s professional interests include cardiology, dentistry, clinical pathology, and pain management. His philosophy as a veterinarian is to approach each case as if he himself is the patient. This leads him to be thorough, compassionate, and eager to answer questions. He enjoys educating clients and having them go home feeling like they truly understand what is happening with their pet’s health. Don’t be surprised if he draws you pictures and shows you x-ray images in the exam room!

Outside of work, Dr. Tolson enjoys sports, music, fishing, and spending time with his wife, Sarah. They have a dog named Riley and a cat named Tweek. Dr. Tolson is also passionate about community outreach and is fond of speaking at local schools to help teach students more about what he considers to be the best job ever!

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

Vanessa Wise, DVM

Associate Veterinarian, Fear Free™ Certified

Dr. Wise is the newest member of our MVVC family. She grew up in Corpus Christi, TX, and received her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University. She stayed on to attend veterinary school and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. Dr. Wise began her career practicing in Houston and recently moved to Austin to be closer to family.

Dr. Wise is passionate about client education, and her professional interests include dermatology and internal medicine. Outside of work, Dr. Wise enjoys running, record collecting, and going to concerts with her husband, Robert. They have a puppy, Maple, a ginger cat named Kitty and a miniature Egyptian tortoise named Sebastian.

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

Kelly Might, DACVS

Board-Certified Surgeon

Dr. Kelly Might 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.

Management

Robert Amoroso

Chief Operating Officer

Rob was born and raised in New York, where he earned his B.F.A. at Long Island University / C.W. Post. His career after school included many years as a design director and marketing professional for magazines and corporate marketing departments, both in New York and 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 design career and put his focus on managing the marketing and business operations of the practice. His experience in brand, 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 dog Penny how to run the business in his absence.

Leta Chandler, CVPM

Practice Manager, Fear Free™ Certified

Leta came to MVVC as a Technician Team Lead in 2014, where her leadership skills and work ethic helped her make the transition to Practice Manager in 2016. Always looking for ways to grow in her field, Leta became a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) in early 2020. A team player, you can find Leta helping out in any part of the hospital during the workday. In addition to heading up staff management, quality control and client relations, she is also a sometime technician, receptionist, coach, and listening ear. 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 has previously worked in the veterinary industry as a receptionist, surgery tech and vet tech in the Austin area. Leta is passionate about the blending of high-quality medicine with an informed and personal client experience. All-in-all, Leta brings a wonderful balance of teaching and leadership to Manchaca Village Veterinary Care.

Leta is the proud owner of a 13-year old Border Beagle named Ruger, who you can find in her office daily. She is an avid saltwater angler and regularly competes in tournaments with her husband, Jeremy.

Beth LeCocq

Marketing & Events Manager

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 is an artist and hand-paints pet portraits and animal art! She also enjoys swing dancing, trying new restaurants in Austin, and spending time with her little tribe of animals. She has two dogs, Mazey and Lucy and an 18 lb. orange tabby cat named Rocco.

Client Care

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, and is a very talented cookie and cake baker. She also recently became a new mom to an adorable baby girl named Murphy.

Hope

Client Care Specialist

Hope is originally from San Diego, CA where she grew up near a farm. Being in such close proximity to animals started Hope’s veterinary journey, as she began bringing home different animals she wanted to keep! She became a licensed veterinary technician in California and has worked in this field for almost 30 years now.

Hope has two cats and a dog named Hazel at home. In her spare time, she enjoys roller skating, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the outdoors.

Deven

Client Care Specialist

Deven was born in Kansas City, MO, but has lived in Austin for almost 20 years. Animals have always been a big part of her life, with her family owning a reptile business when she was younger. Though she has worked in the veterinary field before, she is newly returning to this arena while working on her business as an independent artist. Deven has her Tech I certification and has previously worked for a small animal hospital.

In her free time, Deven enjoys being creative and paints and makes her own handbags. She has a 12-year old dog, Dime and a 5-year old lizard named Genevieve.

Raquel

Client Care Specialist

Raquel is an Austin native, who grew up with a love for fostering animals, as her family frequently adopted and fostered pets. Her love of wildlife and animal rescue led her into the veterinary field, where she was been a receptionist for three years. Raquel truly enjoys helping clients and seeing their pets get the care they need.

Pet adoption is still very important to Raquel, and she currently has a senior rescue, Paul. In her free time, she takes part in all the outdoor activities Austin has to offer, like hiking and canoeing. She also enjoys making candles!

Katelyn

Client Care Specialist

Katelyn grew up in Austin, TX, where she grew up with two cats who sparked her affinity for felines. Now she has five cats and two dogs! Katelyn has always been interested in the medical field, and this is her first position in the veterinary industry. She is excited to learn more about veterinary care and helping clients and patients.

Katelyn loves spending time with her fur-family, along with sleeping and eating good food...so maybe she is also part cat? She also loves exploring Austin and new adventures.

Technicians

Caren

Lead 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.

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.

In her free time, Veronica likes to work out and spend time with her four Sphinx cats: Professor Terror, Doomsday, Fascist Morty and Pickle Rick.

Ariana

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Ariana was born in El Paso Texas, and later moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas, where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Since graduating, Ariana has spent over 10 years in the veterinary field and enjoys working at MVVC.

Ariana two dogs, Candy, a lab mix, and Prince, a golden retriever. She also has two cats --a Siamese mix named Poseidon and Reggie, a dwarf cat, who comes to work with her every day.

Ariana loves to be outdoors in her free time, exploring greenbelt trails and parks with her dogs. She also loves spending time with her friends and never misses a good crawfish boil! We appreciate Ari's work ethic and wealth of knowledge she brings to our team.

Vanessa

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Vanessa comes to us with 10 years experience in the veterinary field. Originally from Georgetown, TX, she left after high school to attend Austin Community College, where she received her Certified Veterinary Assistant Certificate in 2012. Through the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, she earned her CVA I and II and is working on III.

Vanessa is mother to two beautiful twin girls, Priscilla and Briella. She is also the proud fur-mama of Precious the snaggle-tooth chihuahua and Gremlint. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for over a decade, and in her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

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.

Her 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.

Adam

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Adam started out his career in the United States Marine Corps. He is a veteran, having served 4 years after high school. When he interviewed for his first veterinary position as a kennel tech with us, we were impressed with Adam's professionalism and communication skills when he interviewed. It didn't take long for us to take notice of Adam's work ethic, and he quickly moved into a veterinary technician position. Adam has always had a love for animals, and has decided, now, that he 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.

Nicole

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Nicole joined our technician team after moving to Austin from Colorado, where she has lived for the last 13 years. Her career in veterinary medicine began as a receptionist in a veterinary emergency hospital for 3 years while attending school for Veterinary Technology at the Community College of Denver.

When she's not working, Nicole loves being outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and working out--specifically boxing. She also loves going on weekend adventures to new places.

Crystal

Technician, Fear Free™ Certified

Though born in Mississippi, Crystal grew up in Hutto, TX. As a child, her grandmother had a dachshund named Scooter who died from cancer. The loss, while painful for young Crystal, also sparked her interest in veterinary medicine. She knew she wanted to help animals, like Scooter, when she grew up. After graduating, she got her degree in General Animal Sciences from Texas State University. Crystal has now been in the veterinary field for three years and is a welcome addition to our MVVC tech team.

Outside of work, Crystal enjoys spending time outdoors swimming, hiking or paddle boarding. She also loves live music and hanging out with her 5-year-old lab, Chloe. She also enjoys reading and painting when she has some down time. We are happy to have her on our team!

Scarlette

Technician

Scarlette is the newest member of our technician team. Though originally from San Diego, she has lived in Texas off and on for much of her life. She moved to Austin in 2017. Scarlette has a life-long love of animals, starting when she began riding horses as a young girl. She discovered a passion for working in the veterinary field when she began working as a technician two years ago. Some of Scarlette's favorite parts of her job include assisting with dental cleanings and client education.

Scarlette has two horses, Starfire and Athena and a dog, Nyx. In her free time, she enjoys barrel racing and archery. We're excited to have her as part of our team.

Handlers & Assistants

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.

Jasmine

Technician Assistant

Jasmine is originally from Southern California and has spent most of her life in Orange County. Though she has always wanted to work with animals, she got her career start working for the Los Angeles Police Department. She moved to Austin in 2020 to find a new start and is now realizing her goal of being part of the veterinary industry. She loves working with animals and though the job can sometimes be stressful, it always makes her happy.

Jasmine spends her free time with her family, including her four children, a lizard, hedgehog and her dog, Bella.

Crisanta

Technician Assistant

Crisanta was born and raised in Austin, TX. She grew up knowing she wanted to work with animals, having grown up with them, and is focused on making that her lifelong career. She is currently attending Texas A&M Kingsville and studying Animal Science. She wants to continue on in her studies, and is interested in pursuing her doctorate. Crisanta enjoys learning about animals every day and is grateful to be in a position to care for and help them.

In her free time, Crisanta enjoys being outside and loves nature. She also likes spending time with her cat, Lucy, and her dog, Hershey.

Cody

Technician Assistant

Cody originally hails from Cape Girardeau, MO, where he started out in law enforcement. Cody worked for the sheriff's office for eight years before moving to Austin in 2016. His love of animals, and his interested in the K9 unit, brought him to the decision to move into the veterinary field. Now Cody enjoys getting to work with both animals and people.

Cody has two Belgian Malinois at home, Loki and Baldr, and enjoys working with and spending time with them.

Tina

Technician Assistant

Tina is one of those rare humans who was born and raised in Austin, TX! She has always been around animals since she was young, but what piqued her interest in veterinary medicine was her high school veterinary program and FFA. Tina is currently studying Biology at the University of Texas and plans to apply to veterinary school after getting her bachelor's degree. She enjoys having the opportunity to help and care for animals. Tina spends her free time reading books, exploring new coffee shops, and spending time with her dog, William.

Mascots

Petey

Staff Counselor, Feline Equity Officer

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. We look forward to reporting to him for decades to come.

Penny

Director of Canine Relations

Replacing the late Hannah, Penny has ascended to MVVC's canine representative. Penny has been busy winning our hearts. She's a Lab-Plott hound mix, and follows Dr. O and Rob every step. Currently enrolled in UT Texas' MBA program, we are eager to see her expertise at work.