Can you tell if a cat will be friendly, aggressive or laid-back simply by taking a quick look at its color? That question has perplexed cat owners and scientists alike for years. Although it's pos ...View Article
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Meet Our Staff
Dr. Ontiveros (known to clients and co-workers as "Dr. O") grew up in El Paso, TX. She received her Bachelor in Zoology from UT 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.
Dr. O has been practicing general medicine and emergency medicine since she graduated in 2004. Dr.O and her husband Rob are the proud parents of three young children and MVVC's puppy canine mascot-in-training "Penny." Her professional interests include surgery and internal medicine.
Dr. O is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).
Dr. Smith was raised in Austin where most of his family still lives. He 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 in private practice since 1991.
He has 2 dogs and 3 cats, and is an avid fly fisherman. His professional interest include internal medicine, diseases of the ear, and laser therapy. In his spare time, Dr. Smith works as an EMT and volunteer firefighter for the Manchaca Fire Department.
Dr. Smith is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).
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, 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 is formerly our Technician Team Lead, and now is our Practice Manager. Her most important responsibilities include staff management and client relations. Leta is always happy to chat with you, so don't hesitate to ask for her.
Leta holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from West Texas A&M University, and has spent the last several years working her way up as a receptionist, surgery tech and vet tech at Southwest Hills Vet and Oliver Animal Hospital, before coming to MVVC in 2014. 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 is a native Austinite and graduated Texas State University with a BSAG 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.
Rachel is a native Austinite who began working as a veterinary receptionist in 1994. Since joining MVVC in 2007, Rachel has worked as a kennel attendant, receptionist, surgical assistant, technician and triage lead, before being promoted to our Client Care Manager. Rachel works closely with our valued clients and ensures the front office is running smoothly, among a great many other things!
Rachel is dedicated to improving the human/animal bond through education and excellent customer service. She is a proud mom to her son Jaxon and furry friends "Mango" and "Cricket."
Mary is a native Texan, born and raised in Austin. She attended Texas State University and received a Bachelors degree in Zoology. Mary also loves to bake, having learned so much in her previous job at a bakery. 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. Her home is shared with 2 dogs, "Brooklyn" and "Harley."
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.
Originally from Lubbock, TX, Beth has a B.F.A in Theatre Performance from Eastern New Mexico University. Her background in Social Media Marketing and Events 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 at the front desk, and work with animals full-time. In her spare time, Beth has an art business and hand-paints pet portraits and animal art!
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!
Terri was once our long-time office manager, and then retired after fulfilling 20 years of dedicated service! But like Michael Jordan, stars can’t really, truly retire. So she came back in the form of a special projects consultant and part time receptionist, doing what she loves, which is talking to clients.
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)!
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. She is currently attending ACC for her veterinary technician license. In her spare time she enjoys pet sitting, volunteering with local non-profits, and exploring Austin with her wonderful boyfriend and their chihuahua, Heureux and jack-russell terrier, Kal-El.
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 was born and raised in Asolo, Italy, adding some fascinating 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 simultaneously 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 new trails in South Austin with her dog Sky, an American Staffordshire Terrier / Doberman mix.
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.
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 on the world tour, Dia joined MVVC and is currently working on earning her Texas license. MVVC is thrilled to have Dia, her bubbly personality and her experience, on the team!
Dia and her husband Mark have three grown children and six grandchildren, and share their lives with two dogs, four cats, and a bird. In her spare time, Dia enjoys spending time with family, reading, cooking, and exploring Austin.
A native Austinite, RJ's passion for animals began as a young tot, sharing bites of tree bark with the dog next door. She had a variety of pets growing up and 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” to avoid confusion) and developing into an important member of the clinic staff. Alongside her interest in Japanese culture, 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!
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.
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. She is currently getting her Veterinary Assistant certification and is eager to continue her career as a full-fledged technician very soon.
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 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.
Bio coming soon!
Rob grew up in New York and comes from a graphic design and marketing background. When he and his wife Sandra (Dr. O) decided to purchase MVVC in 2013 from the Smith family, he quit his job as an art director and put his focus on managing the branding and business operations of the practice. When not in work mode, Rob keeps active with neighborhood Board work and distance running. He is currently training for his 5th and final marathon, in a bid to qualify for Boston. Pictured here was his best fur friend, Hannah, who recently passed away. Rob’s been spending time training his new puppies Penny and Kylo, how to run the business in his absence.
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.
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.