Born in ‘The Natural State’, Arkansas, Dr. Nicholas Vaughan was raised on being both aware and respectful of Mother Nature and how she orchestrates all of our surroundings in harmony. Nicholas has been formally trained in bio-med engineering, veterinary medicine and most recently an MBA (focusing on sustainable business)- at the University of Texas at Austin. The rest of his studies have led him from Baton Rouge to Beijing, Philadelphia, Knoxville and Berkeley. Dr. Vaughan earned his veterinary degree with honors at Louisiana State University.
Nicholas began his career in Cape Cod, MA and then music began to outweigh sailing as far as hobbies so he moved to Austin in 2004 and has been helping progressive pet owners in Austin ever since. Dr. Vaughan currently serves on multiple veterinary school advisory councils helping to formulate innovative ideas for education, pet-wellness and exam room interaction. For the last decade he has been a guest lecturer all over the world offering over 50 hours of continuing education a year on nutrition and preventative medicine. His passion for pet nutrition has earned him the reputation of the “Obesity Sheriff” in the vet community. He has also furthered his training at the University of Tennessee to be certified in Rehab medicine and small animal rehab therapy.
Outside of practicing the art of medicine, Dr. Vaughan focuses his energy on human well-being, nutrition, Yoga, fitness, creative writing, theatre, studying philosophy, motorcycles, music and of course- working tirelessly to get you to laugh and smile. Nicholas is involved in numerous community philanthropies including the development committee for Austin Pets Alive!, Big Hearts for Brave Hearts, Junior Achievement and a founding member of the philanthropic 512 Society. You can always spot him running around Lady Bird Lake or BMX riding with his son Fields while his wife Ashley watches with reserved approval. A self-described music snob and book critic… each visit with Dr. Vaughan will bring you and your pet happiness and most of all, wellness.
Dr. Vaughan is also an advisor at Bond Pet Foods where they ensure optimal pet health by developing natural, minimally processed dog and cat food.×
Dr. Tim Julien was raised in a rural town in the foothills of the Ozark mountains in south central Missouri. From a young age he was pretty sure he wanted to be an engineer/microbiologist working to discover a novel renewable energy source. He was wrong. Turns out he loved animals and helping people with their animals way more than math or laboratories.
In the summer after sophomore year in high school Tim met his future wife, Christine, at nerd camp (a.k.a. Missouri Scholar’s Academy). He followed her to Washington University in St. Louis. While there he was an All-American distance runner in track and cross-country and confirmed that dogs and cats are way cooler than calculus and petri dishes. After graduation the wedding (foreshadowed above) occurred. Tim went off to the University of Missouri to earn a veterinary degree while Christine worked on her doctorate in computer science.
Tim followed Christine to Austin when she accepted a faculty position at UT. He has practiced high quality medicine in Austin since 2004 with a conscious aim to educate his clients and to provide authentic and approachable choices to facilitate the best decisions possible with regard to the care of their pets.
In his free time, Tim enjoys pick-up basketball, the occasional run, cooking (and eating), traveling the globe with Christine (and eating), and hanging out with his two amazing daughters, Maya and Cora. He has an elderly Lab Border Collie mix named Casey who has just recently started to come out of her “puppy phase”. The Julien family recently returned to Austin after spending a year in northern Italy in support of Christine’s research opportunity. While he will miss Trentino-Alto Adige, he is happy to be home and excited to meet you and your pet.×
Cindy grew up in East Texas and now finds herself on the East side of Austin… coincidence or fact? Well, its a fact- she is from Whitehouse, TX but has had a love for the hill country that developed from her childhood.
And guess what Aggie fans- we finally got one! She is surrounded by Tigers and Longhorns but is strong with her “Gig ‘em!” pride as she attended A&M for undergrad and vet school. Cindy has a strong and practical sense of traditional medicine and has special interests in internal medicine, FELINE medicine and more than anything, forging long relationships with clientele. Because lets face it, you will see each other out in Austin!
Speaking of, Cindy loves llamas, chickens and goats and is saving money so she can have a small farm but in the meantime she spends time on Barton Creek Greenbelt, hanging at Zilker or shopping with Tippy her 8 yr old border collie mix. She is a member of the TVMA, AVMA, CAVMA and has completed a mission trip to Honduras assisting the locals with basic veterinary medicine.×
Dr. Jena Webb was born and raised in Belton, Texas- just a hop, skip and a jump from the great city of Austin. Her love for animals started at an early age and by the first grade, she declared that she would become a veterinarian (But still and Artist at Heart). She attended Texas A&M for both her undergraduate and veterinary degrees. After graduation, she moved to the “Land of Enchantment” to complete an internship at VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center. Jena’s veterinary interests include internal medicine, ultrasonography, and preventative care. She enjoys educating her clients and taking a unique team approach to determining the best treatment for each individual pet.
Jena is owned by a sassy tabby named Piper. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, getting a little crafty, traveling whenever possible, and all of the great food and music Austin has to offer.×
Dr. Kate Thompson was born and raised in the coastal town of Waveland, Mississippi – a beautiful place
that’s barely a speck on the map. She was surrounded by the love of a small, tight-knit family and is the
proud daughter of an elementary school teacher and salesman. Her childhood was spent exploring the
beach which led to a more than healthy interest in animals and science.
Her formal education was completed in northern Mississippi. Over time, Kate’s eclectic personality and tendency to “fly by the seat of her pants” (as her mother would say) would lead to an avid interest in emergency medicine and critical care. She moved on to an internship in Chattanooga, TN where Kate developed a thick skin and a love for the mountains. However, the ultimate plan was to migrate to the vibrant Austin where she now calls home.
Kate was first employed at a busy, locally owned emergency hospital where she was lucky enough to
meet her incredible husband, Dr. John Pullen. She brought her sphinx cat, Baldy, to the relationship and
together formed a family with an independent outdoor cat named Karen and the sweetest old lady lab
Kate enjoys being outside and traveling to as many places as possible. On a sunny day, you
can find Kate reading a creepy novel at Zilker with Abby gnawing on a slobbery ball nearby.
Kate believes that this is the best occupation because of the potential to help both pets and the people
who love them. She hopes to meet each family with sincerity and the intention to exchange and
combine her medical training with your knowledge, beliefs, and lifestyle. Come meet Kate at PAZ
Veterinary where kindness is the highest priority and every voice is heard!
Dr. John Pullen was raised in southeast Houston. Both of his parents were in the computer
science industry and encouraged his childhood interests in science, music, and art. His interests in science grew but his skills in piano fell [b] flat and he never really figured out how to color in the lines. Early on, he started volunteering and got a job at a small veterinary hospital where he took his dog, Andy. His love for treating animals sparked there, and John went to the University of Houston to become a chemist. He tried… for several years, but learned chemistry was not his passion. He moved to Oklahoma State University where he pursued his passion in vet med and years later, John started practicing ER veterinary medicine in Austin.
During his time in ER, John learned plenty and made lasting relationships with his clients and coworkers, including his lovely wife, Kate. Kate recently joined the PAZ family and John HAD to follow (not true, they were hired together). He wants to continue to practice high-quality medicine and develop lasting relationships. John’s goal is to clearly explain what options are available and how we can accomplish wellbeing together.
He’s not just a vet! John also loves most things outdoors on the water: canoeing, kayaking, sailing, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling (he’s a novice at many but getting better at any opportunity). Kate and John have a very independent outdoor cat Karen, a snuggly Sphinx cat Baldwynn, and a sweet old black lab lady Abby. For those who read this far – I lived in a boat and it sank.×
Dr. Jane Mellencamp grew up in Seymour, Indiana on a farm that raises crops and cattle. She realized early on that Veterinary Medicine was her calling and earned an undergraduate degree in Biology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She then moved to Columbus, Ohio and received her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University. During her time in Columbus she developed a love for live music, making Austin perfect for a chosen home.
Her professional interests include soft tissue surgery, dentistry, hospice care, and preventative medicine. In her free time she enjoys bring-your-own-vinyl night at the ABGB, seeing as much live music as she can, and visiting the beautiful state parks of Texas. She shares her home in South Austin with a dog named Donna June, whom she adopted from Austin Pets Alive! shortly after moving to Texas.
Dr. Mellencamp takes pride in client education and believes answering the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of diagnostics and treatment helps pet owners make the best decisions for their family.×
As a kid lying in a tiny kid bed, Dr. Santoni would dream that she had become her favorite animal of the week. Upon waking, she’d lay quietly and wonder why her animal spirit had to be trapped in the puny body of a six-year old. Dani has moved beyond her childhood dreams but they still cement her love for animals and her desire to care for them as a veterinarian.
Dani had the good fortune of being born and raised in Mexico City — a cosmopolitan blend of new traditions and indigenous art and culture that led her to study anthropology at UTSA. After college, she spent a few years working in policy, political campaigns, and even the Texas Senate- a great career no doubt but it left her longing for her childhood dream of being a vet.
She left her career, and spent the next three years working as a veterinary technician while she completed her veterinary school prerequisites. In the meantime, Dani became one of the first techs at PAZ — back when it was Corner Vet in East Austin. After her hard work at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine she was quickly extended a full time job as a vet back where she started in East Austin.
Dani has a passion for international veterinary medicine and wants to learn more about how veterinary medicine can improve animal welfare and the lives of everyday people. She has completed veterinary externships in Africa and throughout Latin America to focus her brand of empathy – an important tool that she wants to share with the clients at PAZ East.
Dani loves to cook, eat, drink, and be merry. She practices her down-dog at Black Swan Yoga, but you might catch her on a lunch-time run around Lady Bird Lake. She hopes to be a good guitar player one day, and would like to dance more often. She shares her home with a tiny white cat named Baby B, a giant rescue Doberman named Lilith, and her best-friend and partner who is also a dog-nerd.×
Dr. Melissa Tackett is excited to be joining the Paz team as she is such an advocate for positivity, the Fear Free movement, and the human-animal bond. She is originally from Knoxville, TN and a 2018 graduate from Lincoln Memorial University’s veterinary college. Dr. Tackett also attended undergrad at LMU to complete her Bachelor of Veterinary Medical Technology degree.
Like many veterinary doctors, Dr. Tackett knew from a very young age that she wanted to love on pets forever and make that her career. I mean, she did have a pretend clinic set up on her grandparents’ porch when she was in elementary school where the neighborhood kids would bring their dogs over for her to give a dose of love to, not much has changed as she still loves on every pet that she sees, but now she gets to actively participate and make their lives healthier and therefore happier- making medicine fun and less stressful.
Internal medicine cases, geriatric medicine (She is a SUCKER for a grey muzzle), and anything related to German Shepherds all fall under her umbrella of professional passions.
In addition to that, Dr. Tackett is a firm believer that teamwork makes the dream work which is why she loves client education. She feels as though when owners understand a medical condition fully, they are empowered to make great medical decisions for their pet. For her, forming a relationship with her clients is just as important as the relationship she forms with their baby/her patient. Dr. Tackett is also a big fan of chronic disease management because she gets to develop that bond, her client learns, and she enjoys being able to offer a multimodal approach to a disease process- another reason that she loves Paz.×
Dr. Colby Kiefer was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. For most of his childhood, he was denied access to furry companions—the sheer horror of an untidy household and “the smell” was too great for his parents. Thus, his budding interest in vetmed was forced to remain a quiet smolder. Eventually, through incessant pleading and practiced puppy dog eyes, a four-legged friend by the name of Callie was welcomed into his home; the first steps towards a career as a veterinarian were taken.
Colby completed his undergraduate education at Tulane University in New Orleans majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. When not in class, he spent most of his time waiting tables, going home for free dinners, playing music in a handful of bands, working at a bouldering gym, and exploring all the things New Orleans had to offer. He then applied to and was accepted into the University of Tennessee (“the other UT”) College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville, TN.
His professional interests include surgery and dermatology—he can’t resist poppin’ a pimple. But, what really gets him jazzed up about vetmed is helping to facilitate an environment for clients, patients, and coworkers that is welcoming, respectful, and conscious of the different backgrounds and experiences that each individual brings with them. When in the hospital, you’re likely to catch him smiling.
Colby currently lives in East Austin and shares his abode with his partner, two dogs (Rayna James and Sully), and a kitty cat (Stevie).×
Dr. Reagan Wilson is excited to be joining the PAZ team. She grew up in Ocean Springs, MS with her mother that loved to rescue anything and everything from chimney sweeps, baby raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and even a mouse. She attended Auburn University for both undergraduate and graduate school. She received a bachelor degree in Zoology and graduated Veterinary School Magna Cum Laude in 2003.
She attended veterinary school initially wanting to become a zoo vet, hoping to travel the world. She has volunteered at zoos across our country, Nashville Zoo, San Francisco Zoo, Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, and Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. However, after completing school she realized that small animal practice was her calling. She moved to New Orleans to start practice. After Hurricane Katrina, her now husband moved to Austin to pursue his career in music and she followed. She has been practicing and providing emergency care in the Austin area since 2006. After having 2 kids she has decided to return to day practice.
She is looking forward to providing high quality care and forming long lasting relationships with her client’s and their pets. She has a love for internal medicine, emergency medicine, soft tissue surgery, as well as educating her clients on the benefit of preventative care such as dentistry. Her father is a dentist and she grew up watching him help people tremendously and sees the importance for our four legged friends.
In her spare time she loves playing with her kids, listening to music, and trying to find some time for yoga and hiking. Before covid she loved traveling to other countries and enjoying the many restaurants and live concerts that our amazing city has to offer.×
Dr. Kelly Might, DACVS was raised in Bedford, Texas, a town between Dallas and Fort Worth. 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. Dr. Might completed a 1-year rotating internship at PetCare Veterinary Hospital in Santa Rosa, California. He then went on to perform a 1-year 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 minimally invasive surgery and orthopedics. While at Washington State University, Dr. Might published multiple manuscripts and found great interest in orthopedic research. After 9 years away from home, Dr. Might, his wife, and two children returned to Austin, Texas. By teaming up with Dr. Allman and performing mobile specialty surgeries, Dr. Might is able to provide complicated surgical procedures to many pets that would not otherwise be able to receive specialty care. When not at work, Dr. Might enjoys cycling and spending time with his family.×
Dr. Sirois worked in veterinary clinics from the age of 16 and decided while she was working in Austin that she needed to go to vet school. She graduated in 2016 from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine.
While in school, she was very involved in the American Animal Hospital Association and in leadership of the Integrative Medicine Club. She also completed a 10-week fellowship in Clinical Pathology at Texas A&M. After graduating, she entered an internship program at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado. During that time, she received in-depth training in internal medicine, surgery, neurology, and emergency medicine.
Dr. Sirois completed her residency in 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Radosta at Florida Veterinary Behavior Service and remained as an associate for an additional year. Her special interests include feline behavior, a holistic approach to medicine, and the impact of other illnesses on behavior. She has given many CE lectures to veterinarians (live and virtual) and consulted with industry groups. She regularly writes educational articles for sites such as PetMD and All About Cats.
Dr. Sirois learns something new about behavior almost daily from her Chihuahua-Pug mix, Molly, and her three cats (Chupie, Ducati, and Stanley). When not working, she enjoys tennis, history documentaries, and working on puzzles with her family.×
Dr. Spencer Wolfe grew up in Houston, Texas. Her parents taught her to love and respect animals at an early age, which blossomed into a passion for veterinary medicine. She’s a proud Aggie and earned her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University. From there, she trekked up to Kansas to earn her veterinary degree from Kansas State University. After enduring several Kansas winters, this Texan gal came to Austin to surround herself with vibrant culture, good food and pet-loving people.
Her professional interests include preventative and internal medicine, orthopedics and rehabilitation — and she’s also a sucker for tiny dogs. Dr. Wolfe finds the most joy in creating lasting relationships with pets and their people. She strives to use both science and empathy to collaborate with owners and offer quality care tailored to each pet’s individual needs. In her free time, you can find Spencer on walks with her two chihuahuas or on a mission to find the best breakfast taco in Austin. She looks forward to getting to know you and your pet!×
Dr. Garcia Lindborg grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico- “The Land of Enchantment”. She loved working and training her family pets as a child, and like many veterinarians always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. She graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Biochemistry in 2005. She then attended Colorado State University where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2010.
Dr. Garcia Lindborg moved to Austin, Texas in 2018 with her husband and 6 fur babies. They immediately fell in love with the culture and knew they had made the perfect decision. They love that Austin is extremely pet friendly and that there is always something new to explore; not to mention all the amazing breweries and restaurants the city has to offer. In her spare time, she also enjoys dancing, hiking, movies, and training her dogs to do new tricks.
Dr. Garcia Lindborg has a passion for preventative care, the human animal bond, animal behavior, and the fear free movement. She feels that nothing is more rewarding than providing great client education to help pet parents make the right medical decisions for their pets. She truly loves this profession and strives to provide the compassion and care needed for everyone facing uncertainty and stress when coming to a veterinary clinic. She wants to make sure your fur baby is well taken care of and stays happy and healthy while at the veterinary clinic. She is extremely excited to join the PAZ family and cannot wait to meet you and your furry family members.×
Suzanne came to us originally from Illinois. After high school and college there and a little bit of normal life in the Midwest, she decided it was time to get weird and move to Austin after only spending 2 days here on a road trip! She’s lived in Austin since 2016 and never looked back!
Her favorite part of being a certified veterinary technician is preventative medicine, but a nice foreign body surgery can always be fun!
You can find her taking her pugs Matilda and Willie out hiking, going to concerts, brunchin’ it up with friends, or trying to be a bad ass on the roller derby track playing on the Hell Marys for the Texas Roller Girls!×
Ella was born in Hawaii, and after living across the U.S. as a youngin’, found herself in Austin, Texas. She’s currently working towards her undergraduate degree in biology at St. Edward’s University
Ella got a taste for veterinary medicine after shadowing at PAZ in spring 2019, and is now excited to be an official member of the PAZ family! Hopefully one day she can be one of the Top Dogs and be a veterinarian herself!
Animals have never been absent in Ella’s life- volunteering at shelters, working in horse barns, doing school research with honeybees, and even completing an internship with the San Antonio Zoo’s bird department are just the beginnings of her journey. She claims two wonderful family pups back in San Antonio, Fiona and Violet, and a chunky, cuddly hamster named Shinji who keeps her company in Austin.×
Although not from Austin, Michael comes to us from Elgin, a.k.a. The Country. Michael has a weakness for every creature on this planet, even the spawns of Satan… and that’s why he has two at home: Two cats named Chile and Mango. One of Michael’s favorite cat quotes is “Your house will always be blessed with love, laughter and friendship if you have a cat.”
You will usually find Michael outside enjoying what Austin or the countryside has to offer. You’ll even maybe catch him hiking with Mango! Michael has such a positive attitude for what he does, that he ties it to never having to work a day in his life. Paz being Fear Free is what brought him to us, “I am on this path to help animals, not make them scared or feel threatened.”
Michael’s two passions in veterinary medicine are client education and patient care.×
From the ranch dogs of Stockdale to the show dogs of Dallas, Michael’s formative years in Texas, growing up around lots of pups, helped build a foundation and interest in animal welfare. After having spent over a decade on the East Coast for college and work thereafter, he left the world of politics and start-up businesses to move back to Texas to be closer to his roots.
Michael worked in non-profit animal welfare and wellness, both in clinical and surgical settings, for years before finding a natural fit at PAZ. During this time, he worked with underserved communities throughout Travis County. Through these years he honed a particular skill working with nervous, anxious, and under-socialized animals. A lifelong musician, Michael found a beautiful marriage in his faculty for non-verbal communication and his passion for animal welfare. Michael strives to bring a deep awareness of subtle animal behaviors to every pet he meets and is constantly studying and refining his methods to yield positive and rewarding animal interactions. Michael shares his home with a quintet of cool cats and the only dog who could make it all work in harmony: Stella. He finds balance by drumming, reading, biking, connecting with family and friends and bagels.×
From the time Ksenia was a child, her grandfather helped instill a love and passion for taking care of all kinds of animals- from spiders in the garden to bunnies found stranded in the fields he was farming. Even though she double-majored in psychology and philosophy, she always knew that nurturing animals is what made her feel most fulfilled. Previous experience at a non-profit agency working towards a no-kill shelter initiative further instilled her belief that this is what she was meant to do in life.
Ksenia started as a technician assistant and was soon promoted to vet tech and surgery tech. She is the proud mama of Juna, her heeler mix, 2 cats, and 3 leopard geckos. She has been a vegetarian since the age of 19 and is a die-hard Packers fan. She enjoys reading, crime documentaries, concerts, good coffee (even bad coffee is okay), and going to the beach.×
Raised in Kyle, Texas, about 15 mins out of Austin. I grew up in a big household of 5 kids so there was always something going on. Very big sports family. Grew up playing softball, volleyball and did competing weight lift in high school. Grew up on the field since my brothers were also involved in baseball and football.
I have grown up with all types of animals from as small as hamsters to as big as horses. I always knew I wanted to work in the animal industry since I was a little girl, I started off working for Taurus academy and was able to work with amazing trainers and learning everything about the behavioral and training aspect for our dogs. I have been a vet technician for about 1 year and I a currently enrolled in school to become a licensed vet technician. I am also enrolling to get my grooming license since this is something I am also very passionate about.
I am the proud fur-momma of Zeus who is a 65lb shar pei/pit bull mix cuddle bug and Athena who is a 60lb pitbull. On my free time I am either traveling, going on social outings with my Zeus and Athena , going out to the ranch, baking or having family nights playing board games or going out and playing volleyball or softball.×
Originally from North Carolina, I have been working in animal welfare for over 7 years. What started out as a hobby volunteering at my local animal shelter has evolved into a fulfilling career. In addition to treating and loving on your beloved pets, I also spend time rehabilitating wildlife at Austin Wildlife Rescue.×
With roots in New Orleans, it’s no surprise that Kate has settled here in Austin where the weather is nice and people know how to have a good time. After graduating from LSU, Kate made a leap of faith to move away from Louisiana on a whim to pursue a career in film. Between gigs, Kate knew she had to find something else more sustainable and was hired on by Karma Dog Training as an assistant trainer. Fast forward three years and Kate is now leading Puppy Kindergarten and couldn’t be happier to have such a fun and rewarding job. If you’ve got puppy questions, Kate is your go-to girl.
Growing up, Kate was always surrounded by animals and as an only child, her dog became her best friend. Frequently her mom would come home with stray or injured animals so she learned to be compassionate from a young age. With knowledge in animal behavior and excellent people skills, it’s no surprise Kate has found a family with PAZ. When she is not busy helping people and their pets, Kate enjoys practicing yoga, aerial arts, discovering new music/food, and spending as much time as possible soaking up the sun and water on the Greenbelt. If she isn’t out and about with friends, you bet she is at home cuddled up with her pup, watching either cartoons or horror flicks.×
Vanessa was born in California and raised (for the most part) in Texas. She started working with animals in 2012 as a volunteer dog walker at a local shelter in Fort Benning, Georgia. Vanessa knew she wanted to work with animals even more closely after that and landed a job as an adoption counselor at a Humane Society in Alabama.
Over the years, Vanessa has worked with many wonderful people and feels lucky she’s been able to see so many animals find good homes. After years as an adoption counselor, Vanessa moved back home to Texas and worked as a receptionist at an animal clinic with a focus on rehabilitation and a holistic approach. Vanessa loves helping people and animals alike, and nothing makes her happier than an animal who has a long life free of cruelty and sickness. She takes pride in the fact that she gets to help ensure animals live a happy, healthy life full of love and friendship.
In her spare time, Vanessa is a hardcore cross-stitcher, crocheter, video game streamer on Twitch, and roller derby badass for one of the tops teams in the world.×
Chrissy is a born and raised New Jersian, with a love for the outdoors, and an insatiable enthusiasm for dog-snuggling. Fine art and photography are the elements of her formal education, leading her to a decade-long career in wedding photography management in the Northeast. In time, a workplace filled with furbabies was on the horizon.
She transplanted to Austin in early 2019, with husband, Sean and their Blue Heeler, Koda. She is happiest while helping others, creating art, or experiencing the natural world. PAZ vet really encompasses not only her fondness of these things, but her in opinion- all things ‘Austin’. Chrissy feels right at home here surrounded by loving, creative, animal advocates.
Born & raised an Austinite, Rita’s compassion for animals started young. Her parents frequently found strays hiding in her room and her passion for helping animals didn’t stop there. Since she couldn’t keep every stray in her room, she started volunteering on weekends at a local vet clinic from ’96-’98. A dozen practices, 22 years, and countless pets and fosters later, Rita has found her home at PAZ.
Working in the veterinary field is fast-paced, always gives her something to learn and do, and she finds it incredibly rewarding. With no pets of her own currently (bunnies on the way!), Rita loves being able to care for others’ furry friends and soak up all their puppy love.
In her spare time, Rita enjoys crafting, sewing, drawing, visiting graveyards and watching horror movies. She’s also all about reading anything and everything on architecture and interior design.×
Even though Nikki LaCour was born in Lubbock, Texas, she made her way to Austin as soon as she could in 1984! She took a brief sabbatical to go back to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University where she obtained an undergraduate degree in Animal Science and Natural Resources and Chemistry. As a college student, she followed her passion working as a veterinary technician in Emergency and Critical Care as well as working at a general care practice. Her passion for animals and their pet parents followed her through her entire college career and beyond! After graduating Texas Tech University, she quickly left Lubbock to come back to Austin, Texas where she left off. In 1998 she worked as a technician (general practice and critical care) here in Austin until 2014.
Over the years of being a technician, she developed a new budding passion for the business side of veterinary medicine, and was graciously mentored by another manager so she was ready to accept a position as a Practice Manager in a general practice hospital in Round Rock, Texas. Being successful in Round Rock, she was given another opportunity 16 months later to become a Regional Operations Manager for 16+ practices from Austin to Boston (Eastern US) supporting and helping to develop processes. During her time as a Regional Operations Manager, she developed a passion for identifying and mentoring new leaders within her region. After a little over a year, she moved from Regional Operations Management to Integration Management in the same large veterinary company experiencing hyper-growth (growing from 13 clinics to over 280 in roughly 3 years) clinics and staff ranging from small, 1 doctor practices to emergency/specialty hybrid practices with over 100 staff.
Managing the emotions around change, training and helping to support practices in new partnerships was exciting. Nikki was traveling extensively and although she loved her career, she was looking for something different. Then, she found Paz Veterinary! Joining the team in January of 2020 as Director of Operations.
Nikki has a husband, and an 11 year old son as well as 4 dogs (2 mini dachshunds, a chihuahua and a chiweenie). She is also a plant enthusiast, owning over 300 plants.
She is super excited to be part of the amazing Paz Tribe!×
Karen, who hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, grew up an introverted child who found a natural solace in animals. She was raised with cats and dogs but also any animal that needed care.
She started her career in veterinary medicine as a kennel attendant and receptionist over 15 years ago. She decided this was a path to pursue and became a veterinary technician shortly after. Moving to Austin about 10 years ago, she continued along the path and worked for an emergency animal hospital before taking a year off to reset and travel the world. She heard about PAZ through a friend and decided that it would be a great place to utilize her skill set and further her belief in the strong human/animal bond.
She has two lovable pets named Beeju, a nine year old pitbull, and Judas Goat, a small black cat who runs the house. Outside of veterinary medicine, her hobbies include yoga and meditation, and anything that inspires empowerment and respect for nature and all of its inhabitants.×
Having been born in Texas into a military family, Troy has had the joy of living throughout this country and even abroad but Austin remains home. Time and place hold no boundaries in Troy’s wanderlust of veterinary and animal care. He has been immersed in this career for over 285 full moons (23 years) and enjoyed each one of them with great admiration.
Troy claims the force of the Universe is what delivered him to PAZ Veterinary and he reminds people daily of his gratitude on finding a place where he can put his passion and experience to the call of animal stewardship. He has been able to combine his own philosophy of animal care with his desire to serve others, all while fitting in with an eclectic group at PAZ.
Troy’s first foray into animal care was in 1989 – right after the San Fran quake shook the city to shambles including the lives of the dogs and cats. The SF Humane Society quickly put his talents to use and his experience with giving was amplified through the eyes of animals. His natural curiosity led him to practice manager positions but he still thrived in treatment of sick animals, whether holistic medicine, as a chemo-tech, critical care and emergency tech, no job was too tough for Troy.
He has been able to call on experience from different regions of the US and they have all been paired well with technical duties. He remains worldly in his compassion and brave with his guidance and has become a great father figure for dealing with emotional clients as well as emotional employees. PAZ Veterinary is thankful to have kind and patient leadership through Troy and his love of veterinary medicine.
Troy finds so much rhythm in the mantra below-
“Love and care for the animals…but…
never forget to do the same for the people.”×
Melissa was born and raised right here in South Austin. She spends part of her time at Texas State University studying Psychology. She joined PAZ Animal Collective to be part of an awesome team, and has quickly become a leader among our tribe.
When she doesn’t have her head in the books in San Marcos, she likes hanging out on the San Marcos river with her two pups, Riley and Wayne. If she’s not up front catering to the wagging tails and the smiling faces visiting PAZ, you might also find her riding bikes or playing disc golf with her family in one of Austin’s many parks.×
Dru has dedicated most of her life to working with animals. From training farm dogs during her free range childhood in the woodlands of North Mississippi, to earning her Bachelors Degree in Equine Science, to fostering and adopting Retired Racing Greyhounds, she has always found joy in the practice of Compassionate Animal Care.
After leaving her long-time career as a horse trainer and instructor in the Pacific Northwest, Dru made her way to Central Texas, where she turned her talents to pet grooming for the next decade. It was through grooming for an animal hospital that her interest in becoming a Veterinary Technician took root and began to blossom. She eventually realized that Austin was where she felt most at home, and heeded the voice of Karma that called her to PAZ Veterinary in 2016.
When she’s not organizing and managing the PAZ clinic inventories, you’ll find Dru practicing Yoga, working on her next Yarn Project, or out in Nature hiking and camping. She also volunteers with Greyhound Adoption League of Central Texas – Central Texas Chapter, hosting Meet & Greets, assisting with medical records, and advocating for Greyhounds and other Sighthounds in need of Forever Homes.
Dru currently shares her home and her heart with Taavi, aka Mr. UberSnoot Ambassadog, adopted from GALT-CTX in November 2018.×
Hailing from Austin, TX, Ashley the Queen Bee had early aspirations of becoming a cowgirl, riding horses and working a ranch. She also deeply admired the veterinarian profession and had dreams of becoming (or marrying) a vet one day. One wish down and one to go as she is the better half to Dr. Nicholas and proud mother of the two kinetic babies you see around Paz Vet, Redding and Fields Vaughan
Ashley grew up with a deep love and fascination of all living creatures and frequently brought home stray kitties, birdies, and anything that was looking for love. A passion to nurture was cultivated by her mother, who is a labor and delivery nurse, and whom also instilled an education of care and responsible medicine. Ashley loves to be around all furry friends and believes their unconditional love is one of the worlds greatest gifts and is necessary for those seeking a fulfilled life. Paz Vet has also been a creative outlet for Ashley as she has had the opportunity to work with some of Austin’s greatest minds (VUKA-Impact HUB-Seeds Interiors) in creating an environment where you can feel like you are home when you bring your loved one to see our amazing staff!×
Although not a native to Austin, Rachel is a native to Texas. Having lived far north, southeast, and central, she’s had a little taste of everything this state has to offer. Austin has always felt most like home though, so after completing her Veterinary Technician degree in Houston, she officially moved to the south side with her two cats, Tanny and Mitch. Similar to most veterinary professionals, Rachel has always felt a connection with animals and never really considered a career in any other field. She feels lucky to do what she loves everyday and is excited to continue learning and shaping herself into the best tech possible. Rachel enjoys low key outings with friends and family but is happiest at home, with some coffee, her cats, and The Office.×