We are dedicated to clients who desire the most advanced veterinary medicine and professional care available for their pets.
Our culture is one of continuous change and improvement in our hospital and ourselves. We place great value on new innovations in Veterinary Medicine, and we aim to compassionately provide the highest quality care available for your pets.
Great strides are being made in the quality of human, as well as veterinary medicine. AVDH veterinarians embrace these new technologies, pharmaceuticals and procedures and have embarked on a new and exciting era. We are committed to providing compassionate, high quality care to the pets in Austin and the surrounding areas.
Navigate through our veterinarians’ pages to learn more. We invite you to stop by to see us anytime and take a hospital tour. Check out what our clients say about us. While you are here, enjoy one of our delicious cappuccinos that some say are even better than Starbucks! You can even like us on Facebook to get a peek into our eventful hospital activity.
Dr. Barrett Donop, DVM
AVDH is lucky to have Dr. Barrett Donop as a partner. Since graduating from TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000, he has been practicing exclusively at AVDH. Dr. Donop’s professional commitment to utilize advanced veterinary medicine and diagnostics on every patient ensures the most favorable results possible. His “sleuth-like” diagnostic skills combined with his top-notch surgical abilities improve the quality of life experienced by AVDH patients. Learn More…
Dr. Jeremy Varga, Owner
Dr. Jeremy Varga joined the AVDH team in 2008 and became a partner in 2011. He was awarded top surgeon in the Texas A&M 2008 graduating class. Dr. Varga’s enthusiasm in embracing technology and his commitment to excellence makes him a rising star in national veterinary medicine. He has a special interest in gallbladder, liver and digestive diseases with pending publications on canine gallbladder disease. Learn More….
Dr. Sarah Kneupper, DVM
Dr. Sarah Kneupper, otherwise known as “Dr. Sarah” is a 2015 graduate of Texas A&M University. Dr. Sarah’s strong work ethic and commitment to veterinary medicine make her a natural fit at Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital.
Dr. Sarah attended an advanced ultrasound course and is skilled in diagnosing liver and gall bladder disease, splenic tumors as well as cardiac conditions. When not working, she and her husband, Brandon, and their son, Josiah, enjoy family time outdoors. Sarah’s hobbies include: hiking, camping, water skiing, and scuba diving. Learn More….
Cyndy Dyer, Client Concierge
For almost 30 years, Cyndy Dyer has been a huge part of AVDH’s success. Cyndy ensures that each client receives the highest level of service. Her personal touch is felt by our clients and staff.
Her 30 years of veterinary experience makes her an essential part of the team. AVDH is lucky to have this amazing women. She is loved by all who work with her.
When not taking care of AVDH clients, she can be found spending time with her son Jerry, daughter-in-law, Nicki and her grandson, Jase. Cyndy’s hobbies include cooking, sewing and crafting.
“The hospital is a huge part of my life”, states Cyndy. “I love our clientele and the people I work with.”
Leslee Hurwitz, Hospital Director
Leslee Hurwitz joined our staff in 2007 after working for almost 20 years with The Iams Company. As a regional manager, she worked with hundreds of veterinary hospitals across the nation and received extensive training in leadership, human resources and customer service. As Hospital Director, she is responsible for human resources, teambuilding and community outreach.
As an incurable animal lover, she established our Wags to Riches adoption program and personally rescues outstanding candidates for treatment, training and adoption.
“I believe everyone should have a pet,” said Leslee. “Research has proven over and over, when people have pets in their lives they live longer, they are more active, more social and more empathetic. Building pet families is a huge part of my life.”
When not working, Leslee can be found spending time training her horses in South Texas and helping her husband, Dr. Hurwitz manage their ranch, Transition Ranch.
Shannon Paddie, Client Relations Specialist & Veterinary Technician
Shannon has extensive experience in the veterinary profession. She is multi-talented and multi-tasking at AVDH. Her past experience as a veterinary technician makes her capable of working both the front and back of the hospital. Her favorite part of the job is interacting with all the animals.
Since joining AVDH, Shannon has assisted the doctors in the surgical suite, radiology, endoscopy, and medrx exams. Her favorite procedures are gall bladder removals and orthopedic surgery.
“Every day I learn something new. I love what I do. It is extremely rewarding”, says Shannon.
Currently, Shannon is a Client Relations Specialist. She is well versed in educating clients on procedures, medications and post-surgical care. She also coordinates our weekly outdoor marque. We are very lucky to have her on our team.
When Shannon is not helping clients and patients at AVDH, she spends time with all 5 cats and 2 dogs. She also enjoys the live music scene and camping with friends and family.
Magdalena Chwalek, Veterinary Technician
Magdalena Chwalek is a Veterinary Technician at AVDH. She earned her Bachelor’s in Equine Science from Colorado State University. Before joining AVDH, Magda worked as Head Veterinary Technician for a veterinary hospital in Vail, Colorado.
It was there she developed her skills and knowledge in phlebotomy, cytology and lab test analysis. However, her favorite part in veterinary medicine is surgery. Magdalena has a talent for understanding and running AVDHs on-site CT.
“It is fascinating how advanced technology has such a big impact on improving the quality of care of our patients. A patient can come in, unable to walk, get a CT scan and have back surgery all the same day,” says Magdalena. “It is amazing.”
Magda also has the important job of ordering all veterinary supplies. She keeps everything in stock and makes special orders for clients.
As a native of Poland, Magdalena has traveled extensively and has chosen the United States as her home. We are happy she chose Texas! When not busy at AVDH, she enjoys spending time with her Arabian horse, hiking, and Austin’s music scene.
Brianna Reed, Veterinary Technician
Brianna Reed is a native Texan. She joined the AVDH team in 2013. Since joining AVDH, Brianna has quickly embraced the hospital’s cutting edge technology.
Brianna has received specialized training in New Jersey during a weeklong training seminar with Alfa Wassermann. This state-of-the-art blood chemistry analyzer quickly and accurately diagnoses kidney, liver, thyroid, diseases.
Brianna is efficient in surgery, dental procedures and diagnostic imaging. She takes great pride in assisting the doctors in the operating suite. The procedures that most interest her are the orthopedic surgery and tumor removals.
Brianna is the proud mother of three cats, two dogs, a bunny named Bun Bun and a horse named Fish. When Brianna is not taking care of animals at AVDH and at home, she makes Bri’s Creams and Essential Spoils a line of organic cosmetics such as shampoo, lotion, and bath sugar scrubs.
McKayla Donovan, Business Accountant and Facility Coordinator
McKayla has been working at AVDH since 2012. She started as a part-time Client Relations Specialist and is currently the Facility Coordinator and Business Accountant.
McKayla graduated cum laude from Trinity University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and magna cum laude with an Associates Degree in Wildlife Management. She is currently preparing for the CPA exam.
When not working or studying, McKayla, along with her Black Lab, Pepper enjoy guiding dove hunts for Transition Ranch in Brackettville, Texas.
Sammy Cook, Veterinary Technician
Sammy began her career at AVDH in 2014 as a Client Relations Specialist. Her prior experience in the boarding kennel business prepared her for providing excellent customer service.
Although Sammy enjoyed her position as CRS, she soon came to realize that her real passion was working hands-on with the animals. Consequently, Sammy began her journey as a Veterinary Technician in 2015. Sammy attended courses in Feline and Canine Pain Management, Basic EKG and Chagas with Kelley, another AVDH technician. Her favorite thing she learned about was how to read pain signals in the pain management course.
When Sammy is not helping the patients at AVDH she enjoys riding horses, and spending time with her dogs Elley and Beau and her two cats Boo and Banjo.
Kelly Caldwell, Veterinary Technician
Kelly is our Jersey Girl. She joined the AVDH team as a Veterinary Technician in November of 2014. Before joining AVDH, Kelly worked as a veterinary technician and receptionist in South Jersey veterinary hospitals. Kelly graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a Bachelor’s in Psychology.
Her favorite part about AVDH is getting to snuggle with client’s pets and our rescue dogs. Kelly is known around the clinic as our resident baker. Her signature goodies are cinnamon sugar cookies. And yes, we love them!
Morgan Biggerstaff, Client Relations Specialist
Morgan joined AVDH in 2015. Her friendly personality and ability to multi task make her a natural fit as a Client Relations Specialist.
When not at AVDH, Morgan enjoys kayaking, bass fishing, and spending time with her family. She is the mother to a dog named Jack and a cat named KeKe.
“My favorite part of this job is seeing our patients on their rechecks. I like seeing how far they have come since their surgeries.” Morgan also enjoys filling prescriptions, “I enjoy learning what each of the medications do and how they help our patients.”
Karina Engel, Client Relations Specialist
Karina arrived from the Portland, Oregon area in August of 2015 and began working at AVDH immediately. Her positive energy and bright smile light up the lobby and her excellent customer service makes her a perfect fit at AVDH.
In addition to all her responsibilities at the front desk, Karina conducts all post appointment callbacks. Karina’s personal touch ensures that clients understand how dedicated AVDH is to their patients.
After work, Karina is busy raising a daughter and a son. Adding to her family is “Tenacity of Great Proportions” a Bichon known as “Portia.” The name suits Portia as she has a very large attitude. Balancing out the pack is a Havanese named Juliet. Karina’s hobbies include reading and bike riding.
Michelle Rivers, Veterinary Technician
In 2000, Michelle began her career as a veterinary receptionist in her home state of Illinois. Since then, Michelle has transitioned into the role of veterinary technician. Michelle moved to Austin in 2012 and joined AVDH in 2016. Her vast experience in veterinary emergency hospitals, zoos, and wildlife medical clinics is a great asset at AVDH.
Michelle is currently enrolled in Cedar Valley College pursing her Veterinary Technology Degree. When Michelle is not working, she enjoys traveling to other countries, exploring new hiking trails, and finding adventures with her dog Hannah.
Mommy Doodle, Patient Greeter
Mommy is our 1st dog in the Wags to Riches adoption program. She has officially been greeting our clients since 2008.
Mommy takes her job very seriously. Coming to work is the highlight of her day. She ensures all dog treats are fresh and the floor is clean of all organic particles (except pickles). She lifts clients up when they are feeling down and amuses the AVDH family.
When not at work, she can be found eating with Dr. Hurwitz, riding with Dr. Hurwitz, sleeping with Dr. Hurwitz, basically anywhere with Dr. Hurwitz.