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

Medical Director, 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 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

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 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

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.

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 working in the yard and renovating his home in San Marcos. Travis is also an animal lover who has a dog, a pig, chickens, and four cats at home.

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.

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.

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.

Alyssa

Client Care Specialist

Alyssa was born and raised in Austin, Texas. Living primarily in South Austin her whole life, she has a love for the city and lifestyle that Austin is well known for. She has been in the veterinary field for the last six years, working in a small animal practice before joining the MVVC team.

She enjoys spending her free time doing DIY crafts, tending to her plants or going for hikes with her son and dog. Professionally, she strives to make sure the client and patient are taken care of, while building new relationships along the way.

Kelly

Client Care Specialist, Fear Free™ Certified

Kelly recently joined our Client Care team, taking her first career step into the veterinary industry. Originally from Arlington, Kelly moved to the Austin area when she began studying Business at Texas State University. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in Business Management and a minor in International Business. She is excited to finally step into the veterinary field to combine her business knowledge with her life-long love of animals.

When she is not working, Kelly enjoys spending time on the lake, riding horses, playing cards, and reading. She also loves to spend time outdoors taking care of her chickens, gardening, and hanging out with her two pups, Roscoe and Scout. Kelly is an excellent addition to our vital reception staff, and we are glad to have her on the team!

Evarista

Client Care Specialist

Evarista comes to us with a background in veterinary reception, having worked over two years for Austin Veterinary Emergency and Specialty. She is originally from Fort Worth, but has been in the Austin area since 2013.

Evarista loves dogs, reading, and spending time outdoors. She has a ferret named Boo, who loves to give kisses. When it’s time to relax, she also enjoys binge-watching shows on Netflix and making homemade bath salts with essential oils and flowers.

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 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 and has even traveled to India for a bird-watching trip! She enjoys knitting and making sweaters and clothing items for friends and relatives, and is a former dancer who still enjoys taking dance classes. Laura is also a part-time pet sitter and enjoys taking care of animals.

Technicians

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.

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. 

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.

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 also the proud fur-mama of Precious the snaggle-tooth chihuahua, Gremlin, and Mocha the Persian cat. 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.

Sheridan

Technician

Sheridan is originally from Dixon CA, but moved to Austin to experience something new while continuing her career in the veterinary field. She attended Carrington College where she majored in Veterinary Technology. After graduating in 2018, Sheridan went to work at a primary care clinic in Sacramento before moving to Austin this year.

In her free time, Sheridan likes to go hiking and spend time with her two dogs, Ricca and Kuma.

Sheridan enjoys the client education aspect of her job and of course playing with animals. She is a welcome addition to our MVVC team!

Nicole

Technician

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.

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.

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!

Brooke

Technician Assistant, Fear Free™ Certified

Brooke was born in San Antonio, before moving back to her mother's hometown of Austin at the age of 11. While attending Bowie High School, she was accepted into the veterinary internship program at MVVC as well as being an active member of the Bowie FFA. By her 2019 graduation she earned her Level One Veterinary Assistant Certificate. Brooke is currently attending classes at ACC with the goal of transferring to Texas A&M to begin her long journey through veterinary school!

Brooke’s downtime is spent loving on her rescued American Bulldog/Pittie mix named Knox and her latest rescue Olive—a kitten found hiding out in her grandmother’s garage. Brooke has recently discovered a new hobby in travel. She enjoys finding new places to visit and hopes to expand her adventures to other cultures outside of the US.

Natalya

Technician Assistant, Fear Free™ Certified

Natalya was born and raised in Austin, Texas and graduated from Akins High School in 2017. Majoring in Veterinary Medicine at Akins led her to join their internship program where she was first introduced to MVVC. After completing her internship with us, Natalya became a certified Veterinary Assistant Level 1 and came to work for us, officially. She is currently working towards her Clinical Medical Assistant certification and works with us when her school schedule allows.

During her free time, she loves to be outdoors with her one-year old fur baby, King, who she actually rescued right here at MVVC! He was only two days old when a good samaritan brought him in after finding him outside in the cold. Natalya and King love to go to Zilker Park and spend time together outdoors. When she's not with King, she’s probably spending time with friends or using her creative skills to paint and doodle.

Catherine

Technician Assistant

Catherine was born and raised right down the road in Buda, TX. She graduated from Jack C. Hays High School in 2019 where she was an active FFA member, cheerleader, and an intern at MVVC. Upon completion of her internship, she earned her Level One Veterinary Assistant Certification. Currently, Catherine is attending Texas A&M University pursuing a major in Animal Science with her sights set on veterinary school.

Catherine spends her free time loving on her 8-year old mini-beagle, Charlie, and her 15-year old lab named Anna. She also enjoys hanging out with her chickens, traveling with her family and adventuring in Austin. We're happy to have Catherine back with us and getting to be a part of her veterinary journey!

Kaitlyn

Technician Assistant, Fear Free™ Certified

Kaitlyn came to us as part of her high school intern program and is back with us following her graduation from Bowie High School. A life-long Austin resident, Kaitlyn will attend Texas A&M University in the fall, where she is majoring in Biomedical Science and is a part of the honors program. After college, Kaitlyn plans to attend veterinary school.

In her free time, Kaitlyn enjoys crocheting scarfs, hats and stuffed animals. Kaitlyn also enjoys spending time with her friends and family and exploring different restaurants around Austin. We see big things ahead for Kaitlyn, in the future, and are glad to be a part of her veterinary foundation.

Mascots

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.