Dr. Tacy Rupp moved from the northeast to south Florida in 2000. Seeking refuge from the northern winters, she joined the specialty medical care field here and was the first board-certified veterinary cardiologist based in south Florida. She established the Veterinary Cardiopulmonary Care Center in 2007 and has provided compassionate cardiac care in Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties ever since. Dr Rupp also has a special interest in advanced pulmonary medicine and offers complete respiratory diagnostic and therapeutic care.
Dr. Rupp received her DVM from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. She performed a small animal internship at North Carolina State Veterinary Teaching Hospital, then returned to The Ohio State University to complete her residency in Cardiology and her Master of Science degree. She remained at Ohio State while serving as a clinical instructor, sharing her passion for cardiology through teaching cardiology to veterinary students.
Dr. Rupp has a menagerie of pets – dogs, cats, birds, a guinea pig, and a rat. This is, in part, thanks to her husband, Dr. Greg Rupp (also a veterinarian) and to her son, another enthusiastic animal lover!
Ricardo is our Practice Manager here at VCCC. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University, completing his Health Care Administration degree with a minor and certification in Business Accounting. For the last 15 years, Ricardo worked in human medicine with a passion for cardiology. In 2022 he had the opportunity to move to veterinary cardiology, which has been an amazing experience for him, expanding his knowledge.
Apart from work, he loves spending any time he can with his family and adorable dog Rio, a Shih Tzu mix that has been a part of his life since he was eight weeks old. When Ricardo has free time, he also enjoys adventuring on a bike trail, traveling, trying new foods, and soaking up the sunshine.
Dr. Lawson attended the University of Tennessee and practiced as a primary care veterinarian in that state before deciding to pursue specialization in cardiology. His fascination with the physiology of the heart, and passion for the difference he can make in each patient’s life through medical intervention led him to join our team.
Dr. Lawson has moved to South Florida with his wife and their two cats, Obi Wan Katnobi and Luke Skywhisker. A devout Christian and a self-described nerd, Dr. Lawson spends his free time trying new foods, relaxing on the beach, and exploring everything South Florida has to offer.
Dr. Rangel was born and raised in Miami, Florida. After graduating from the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Rangel completed a rotating internship at Coral Springs Animal Hospital, followed by a critical care specialty internship at the University of Illinois prior to joining our team.
Dr. Rangel is focused on lengthening her patients’ health spans while educating and guiding her clients on cardiac disease and management.
In her free time, Dr. Rangel enjoys long boarding, salsa dancing, reading, spending time with her family, friends, and her best friend Kobe, a short haired dachshund.
Hannah is our Cardiac Sonographer here at Veterinary Cardiopulmonary Care Center. She is an ultrasound school graduate, after which she began her work in human medicine. Previous to ultrasound school Hannah attended certified nurse assisting school and as a teenager was a barn manager caring for over 30 horses.
She enjoys cardiology as a specialty because she has always been interested in cardiac disease and prevention. Working with animals and caring for them is her passion. The opportunity to intertwine the two things she loves most, ultrasound and animals, is a reward every day. True to her roots, Hannah’s main hobbies remain riding and working with horses.
Rachel Panarites is the Client Care Supervisor for our hospital. She absolutely loves taking care of animals and serving their owners.
Rachel graduated high school in 2012, went into the veterinary profession right away, and never looked back. She joined the VCCC team in early 2020, based on a strong desire to expand her knowledge in the fascinating specialty of cardiology.
Her personal life revolves around animals as well. Rachel has two pets: Moo, a beautiful Labrador, and OC, her cat. What’s more, she’s an avid equine barrel racer. And whenever possible, Rachel takes advantage of the south Florida lifestyle and heads to the beach.
There are few things in life VCCC Veterinary Nurse Caitlyn Manfred enjoys more than Penn State Football, especially since that’s where she earned her degree in Animal Science. But an even greater love of Caitlyn’s life is Arie, the Wirehaired Terrier mix she rescued as a puppy. Caitlyn and Arie do everything together, including fostering loads of other puppies and kittens.
The field of Veterinary Cardiology appeals to Caitlyn because she knows that VCCC is really making a difference in the quality of life of its patients, and giving pet owners more time with their best friends.
A native of Rhode Island, and having been a Vet Tech since 2019, Caitlyn likes to travel, spend time with family and friends, and discover new coffee shops and restaurants. Now and then you might hear her say, “Go Nittany Lions!”
Veterinary Nurse Kristen Bell loves animals … all types of animals. That’s no surprise, as she was raised on a farm. This passion for four-legged creatures prompted Kristen to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Small Animal Science from Delaware Valley University before embarking on a career in the veterinary field.
Having been a Vet Tech for a general practice, a Lead Tech, and an Assistant Practice Manager, Kristen always had her sights set on the specialty of Veterinary Cardiology, which led her to VCCC. She finds great satisfaction in being able to manage cases and see how much a patient’s quality of life improves from medical intervention.
During her free time, you might find Kristen at the gym (she’s a personal trainer), at the beach, or going for a run, playing tug-o-war, or simply cuddling with Polaris, her Pitbull mix, who she rescued several years ago. That’s a favorite pastime for someone who loves animals as much as Kristen.
Kendall Scasny is part of our team as a dedicated Veterinary Nurse. Kendall hails from the Midwest, where she started her first job working as a kennel technician for a small animal hospital. She knew she had found her passion working in the veterinary field. Upon relocation to South Florida, Kendall quickly advanced her career, focusing on her hands-on approach to learning and expanding her skill sets.
Outside of work, Kendall enjoys scuba diving, discovering all the underwater unknowns of the area. She also loves to bake and spend time with her not-so-mini pig, Otis.
Athena attended the University of Florida where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences. After seven years of working in general practice, Athena joined our team. Over the years, her passion grew for animal healthcare, and eventually she decided to accept the challenge of specialty medicine in cardiology.
Athena is not only amazing with the animals she works with, she is also the best dog mom to her boys, Henry and Jackson. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her furry family, playing video games, and watching anime.
VCCC takes client care seriously, and that’s a value shared by Client Care Coordinator, Jessica Santacruz.
Jessica began her career in the veterinary field in 2016, and came on board with our hospital in 2019. She loves working in the cardiopulmonary field because each patient is unique. She also loves Asian food, being outdoors, exercising, reading—and of course her two adorable cats, Bentley and Bella.
Although Jessica has called south Florida home for over 20 years, she’s also lived in New York and Colombia. A seasoned traveler who enjoys all kinds of new experiences, Jessica’s favorite destination is Costa Rica.
Gabriela Ferreira loves helping others. That means interacting pleasantly with VCCC clients, showing compassionate care for their pets, and assisting VCCC staff – all reasons she excels in the role of Client Care Coordinator.
Gabriela also stays busy in her free time. She explores the nature trails at local parks, listens to classical music, is a talented artist, and is a big crystal collector.
Currently pursuing a degree at Broward College, Gabriela has lived in south Florida all her life. And with a self-confessed cat obsession and three cats of her own – Luna, Pumpkin, and Buddha – it’s a life she finds very fulfilling.
Alexis has had a passion for animals since childhood. Her dreams came true in 2016 when she started her career in the veterinary field, and she has not looked back. From being a kennel technician to a veterinary technician, Alexis has enjoyed every second, and loves working at VCCC even more. But her greatest joy is her handsome American Bulldog, Dalmo, and her mischievous rabbit, Emmett, which have been by her side many years.
In her free time, Alexis loves making candles and is a huge foodie. She enjoys trying different restaurants, and has a passion for traveling, hoping to make it to her dream destinations soon.
Christina is a VCCC Nurse Assistant who loves working alongside the Veterinarians and Nurses to treat and rehabilitate animals. Her love for animals came from spending time working on her grandfather’s farm, raising small farm animals. Christina attended Florida Atlantic University where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, with the ambition of choosing a career in veterinary medicine.
Outside of work, her favorite hobbies are painting, watching scary movies, and going for car rides with her dog, Beau.
Courtesy. Efficiency. Respect. Those are the values Virginia Loike brings to her position as Nurse Assistant at Veterinary Cardiopulmonary Care Center each day.
Virginia graduated from California College with a Veterinary Technician degree in 2019. She immediately began her career in the field, just as the COVID pandemic swept the country. As Virginia herself says, “It’s been difficult at times, but working with animals helps reduce the stress.” She loves Cardiology because it gives her the ability to study unique cases and provide excellent care for patients.
In her free time, Virginia volunteers at an animal shelter. But she’s sure to leave some energy for a special friend who demands a lot of attention, is super active and playful, and is also very talkative. That would of course be her cat, Spleens.