Mike Lawton, BVMS, BSc, MSc
Medical Director

Dr Mike Lawton aims to build a trusting relationship with clients and patients. His availability and precision leave a lasting impact. He designs treatment plans that work for both the pet and their humans.

Clients appreciate his understanding and empathetic nature. Dr Lawton’s calm presence helps pets relax during check-ups. A former college basketball coach, Dr Lawton finds inspiration from leading a team. This allows him to nurture a positive and fun-filled culture.

Dr Lawton specializes in reptiles and amphibians. He has an affinity for canine neurology and rehabilitation.

Dr Lawton graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, a Masters in Conservation Biology at Acadia University, and then a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery from the University of Glasgow. When not at Firehouse, Dr Lawton enjoys time with his wife, also a Firehouse veterinarian. They have a busy house with two daughters, twin sons, Blue (a blue heeler), and Strawberry Pizza (a Yorkie). When not leading his daughter’s Girl Scout troop or coaching t-ball, Dr Lawton can be found cheering for Arizona basketball.

Alison Alcantara
Hospital Manager

Ali knows the importance of building trust with clients and within the veterinary team. She loves meeting and getting to know clients and their pets. Ali’s favorite thing about Firehouse is how the team learns about each pet so that they can make individualized recommendations for clients. She also loves how the doctors collaborate with clients to ensure that pets receive the best care.

Ali joined the Firehouse team in 2019 as a Client Service Coordinator. In her role as hospital manager, she is passionate about setting up her team for success. She has completed Communication Training and is currently working on her Fear Free Certification. Ali also attends continuing education courses about how to improve the client experience and help develop her team. She loves helping clients with any questions or concerns they may have. Her favorite thing about her role is coaching her team to provide the most successful client and patient experience.

She graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in Psychology (with minors in Latin American Studies and Brazilian Portuguese). Because of her lifetime love of animals, Ali found a home in the veterinary field. Her favorite pastime is eating, but she also enjoys all outdoor activities that Austin has to offer (hiking, swimming, biking, roller skating). Otherwise, she can be found at home, curled up with a good book or watching television with her two pets: Lito, a Lhasa Apso mix, who is Ali’s partner in crime, and Patty, a rescue kitten.

Robert Calabrese, BVMS

Dr Robert Calabrese (“Dr Rob”) offers clients a common-sense approach to their pet’s care. He is collaborative and uses clear communication so clients can make informed decisions.

Dr Rob’s goal is to educate his clients about maintaining their pet’s health and happiness at home. Clients enjoy Dr Rob’s kindness, sense of humor, and empathy. Dr Rob has a special interest in dentistry, nutrition, and preventative medicine. He is also happy to help with reptiles, birds, and small furries like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

He keeps abreast of ever-changing industry trends to offer patients current and well-rounded treatment plans. He partners with specialists and other veterinarians to work through difficult cases. He is a proud member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and is Fear Free certified.

Dr Rob earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in 2009. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. When not working at Firehouse Belterra, you’ll find Dr Rob, his wife, son, and daughter exploring the Texas Hill Country alongside their yellow lab named Turkey. They also have an adopted cat named Snake, who prefers to stay at home.

Barbara Boechat, DVM

Dr Barbara Boechat’s philosophy is that happy pets lead to happier clients. Her friendly disposition and “think outside the box” approach help her connect with clients. She is Fear Free certified and uses her knowledge to make nervous patients comfortable.

She emphasizes preventive care so pets can live long, happy, and healthy lives. Dr Boechat also values communication. As such, she ensures clients are aware of, and in agreement with, each step of the visit. Dr Boechat loves explaining diagnoses and always gives clients treatment options.

Dr Boechat has a special interest in soft tissue surgery, like spays, neuters, and mass removals.

Dr Boechat stays up-to-date with developments in veterinary medicine with continuing education. She reads industry journals, views videos, and attends conferences.

She attended the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. On weekends, she and her husband try new restaurants and breweries with friends. They recently welcomed their new baby, Lara. A lover of all dogs, Dr Boechat holds a special place in her heart for dogs, especially Panda, her mix-breed pup.

Maureen Galleymore
Maureen Galleymore
Client Service Coordinator

Clients love working with Maureen because she is compassionate, thorough, and always willing to help. Maureen wants to make veterinary visits as easy and stress-free as possible for clients and patients. She collaborates with clients to provide personalized care. Clients appreciate that Maureen takes time to get to know them and their pets. Maureen is passionate about helping people and their pets and building relationships with them.

Maureen uses Fear Free techniques to help scared and nervous pets. She reads pets’ body language to understand what they need. If they need space, she gives the pet time to get acclimated while helping the client. Otherwise, she gets on the pet’s level and greets them softly and calmly. Maureen is the resident cat snuggler; she loves checking up on feline patients at the hospital, giving them love, and making sure they are comfortable.

Maureen is constantly learning new skills and ways to improve in her role at Firehouse. After attending the University of Minnesota, Maureen learned that her passions lie in helping people and animals, and she joined the veterinary field. When not working, she loves to go to concerts, watch new TV shows and movies, read, and try new coffee places with her friends. Her heart belongs to Kitten, her tabby cat.

DeAndra Montoya
Client Service Coordinator

DeAndra is a passionate, thorough animal lover. Clients love her detailed communication, including how she asks questions to ensure she understands all their concerns. Her goal is to provide the best possible care for all clients and their pets. Clients also appreciate her sense of humor.

DeAndra is Fear Free certified and uses her skills to make each pet feel comfortable. She loves checking in on pets after their appointments to see how they are doing. For DeAndra, each pet who visits Firehouse is family, and their care extends to after their appointments.

She shares her heart with Capone, her Pit Bull. When not working, she loves to play games and try out new restaurants.

Katie Oleson
Katie Oleson
Veterinary Technician

Having worked with animals since she was a young girl, Katie has a gentle and empathetic nature. She knows that making veterinarian visits less stressful for the patient allows the visit to be less stressful for the client. Katie’s value of preparation assists the team in making quick and efficient decisions in our patient’s treatment plans.

Staying informed with the best, most accurate information to share with clients and even other coworkers is important to Katie as she continues her degree in Science.

During her free time, Katie is traveling and loving on her two Richmond SPCA rescue dogs, Tank, and Captain Morgan.

alex smith

Alex Smith
Veterinary Technician

Alex wants to make clients’ lives easier by tailoring her interactions to each client’s needs to ensure she can answer all their questions. Clients appreciate that Alex always makes sure pets feel safe at their appointments.

Alex approaches patients with caution, judging their comfort levels before beginning treatments. She also gives treats and pets to help them feel more secure. A lifelong learner, Alex follows major animal health organizations, reads articles, and attends training to keep her skills current.

Alex attended school through the United States Air Force and obtained a degree in Criminal Justice. When not working, she likes to go hiking, play volleyball with her friends, and spend time with her family. Cats hold a special place in her heart; she has two of her own: Ned and Momo.

alex smith
Brandy Pogue
Veterinary Technician

Brandy excels at educating pet parents on the best ways to keep pets healthy and happy. She loves knowing that she is helping people and pets every day. A true believer in collaboration, Brandy wants clients to be involved in their pets’ appointments. Brandy understands that veterinary visits can be stressful for everyone, so she takes time to answer clients’ questions and uses Fear Free methods with pets to help them feel secure.

Brandy has been in the veterinary field since 2007 and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Firehouse. She is talented at reading pets’ body language and adapting her approach to their needs. She also enjoys discussing preventative care and dental care. While Brandy considers herself a dog person, she also loves working with small animals and exotics. She also has experience with farm animals. She keeps her skills current by attending CE events, learning from the veterinarians, and on-the-job training. Brandy also volunteers at spay and neuter clinics.

When not working, she likes to spend time with her sons, Nicolas and Jacob, at the river. Her pets include Loki, a rescue American Bulldog mix; Catwoman, a Terrier/Chihuahua mix foster fail, and Kayla, a spunky puppy; and Batman and Stormy, two rescue cats.

alex smith

Amanda Lopez
Veterinary Technician

Amanda loves meeting the people and pets who come to Firehouse. She works with clients to answer all their questions and ensure they leave the hospital feeling confident about their pets’ care and treatment plan. She wants clients to know that they are not alone in their pets’ health journeys.

Amanda reviews pets’ records before veterinary visits and creates a plan to keep the pet comfortable. She also creates notes about how the pet did at their current visit and what Fear Free techniques helped the pet feel secure. She takes time greeting pets and adjusting her approach based on their body language. Amanda is Fear Free certified.

A self-proclaimed cat person, Amanda shares her home with her two rescue cats: Punchy and Pipa. Since she is new to Texas, she loves spending her free time exploring Austin and the surrounding area.

alex smith

Abbey Malatesta
Veterinary Technician

Abbey is an advocate for patient care and comfort. She uses Fear Free techniques to keep pets secure during their visit and to help the hospital not feel as scary. She also takes time to get to know each patient so that she can provide the best care. Abbey loves helping pets live long, happy lives and educating clients on how to help care for their pets outside of vet visits.

Abbey makes personal connections with the clients who come into the hospital. She starts each visit by learning clients’ goals for their pets and creating the perfect plan to help clients reach those goals. She is an active listener and empathetic to clients’ concerns and needs.

Abbey received her Veterinary Medical Technology degree from Mississippi State University. She then graduated from Tuskegee College of Veterinary Medicine. She is studying for her NAVLE (North American Veterinary Licensing Examination) so that she can become a veterinarian.

When not working, Abbey enjoys spending time outdoors, fly fishing, hiking, kayaking, and traveling to new places. She also volunteers at her church. She shares her heart with Sebastian, her cat, and Cumin, a Crested Gecko.

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