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!
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.
What would characterize the ideal Practice Manager at a Veterinary Cardiac Hospital? A love of animals? Many years’ experience? Someone who truly cares? We’re pleased to say that our own Erick Kabler fits all these descriptions and more.
Erick received his veterinary Emergency Room and Intensive Care training at the University Of Florida. He managed a busy ER for 10 years prior to joining our practice. But unlike the emergency environment, VetCCC gives Erick the opportunity to form longer relationships with patients and their families. This is a profound difference Erick loves. In addition to his technical skills, he is strong on the business side, with a servant leadership style which benefits the entire team.
He stays busy outside the office, too. Erick is a pilot, scuba diver, nature enthusiast, and—most importantly—the cool dad to his four children: Little Henry, Ava Lilly, Ethan Jade, and Hannah Rose. And let’s not forget Myam the cat, and his favorite turtle, Donatello.
Erick signs his emails with the title, “Proud Practice Manager.” We’re pretty proud to have him on board here as well.
Cardiopulmonary care often involves the use of echo-cardiograms and other sonographic exams. These require the expertise of a trained professional, and Tara DeVoursney, RDMS is exactly that, earning her degree at Cambridge College of Healthcare, and now serving patients at VCCC.
A long-time resident of south Florida and a dedicated proud mom of three adult sons, Tara enjoys her family, travel, the beach, and water sports of all types. She is also totally in love with her two dogs, Bella and Mikey.
Tara finds her career as a medical sonographer hugely rewarding as it allows her to be an important part of a dedicated care team, and see patients improve with the treatments they receive.
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.
Ethan Cabrera has a passion for learning, because he loves simplifying complicated concepts and explaining them to others in ways that are easy to understand. Combine that with being the owner of two dogs and two cats, and you have a solid formula for a successful career in the veterinary field.
With degrees in both Biological Science and Epidemiology, plus a certificate in Veterinary Assisting, Ethan skillfully serves VCCC’s patients as a Veterinary Nurse on his way to aspirations of ultimately attending vet school.
A rare Florida native, he takes time out from his occupation to indulge in two favorite hobbies: woodworking and candle-making.
Ethan wants everyone to know that in his opinion, the workflow, quality of life, environment, and people of Veterinary Cardiopulmonary Care Center are tops in the industry. Of course we agree and appreciate Ethan’s part in making that a reality.
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.
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.
Ashley joined VCCC in 2014 and continues to serve as a talented Client Care Coordinator, maintaining the high quality of customer care for our practice and managing our social media. Born and raised in South Florida, she attended Coastal Carolina College for her Associates Degree in Science.
Ashley is fortunate enough to be the mom to a wonderful little boy, as well as two cats, KeeKee and Storm Trooper, and a few amazing dogs: Cooper, Randy, Girl, Whitey, Roach, and Pistol. Outside of work, Ashley spends a lot of time with her family, snuggling with her dogs and cats, at the beach or outside.
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.
Natalie Byrnes grew up in the Greyhound industry. And if you’ve ever asked the age-old question, “Are Greyhounds treated well?”, she’ll answer with a resounding, “Yes.” Her love for animals wouldn’t have it any other way. When that industry came to an end, Natalie continued her career, first as a kennel assistant at an animal hospital, before moving up to tech assistant, and now as a full-fledged veterinary technician.
Working with cardiopulmonary patients appeals to Natalie because it makes such a positive impact on the lives of the pets we treat here at VCCC, and provides peace of mind to their owners.
In fact, Natalie is quite a pet owner herself, with two dogs – one of which is of course a Greyhound – and two cats. She spends most of her free time with them, as well as with her boyfriend, working out, roller skating, kayaking, and dancing with hula hoops.
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.