Our Careteam

Linda Ewer

Business Administrator

Linda joined the Mission Veterinary Hospital team in 1998 after a friend told her that Dr. Heflin was looking for someone to take over the clinic’s bookkeeping. Since she had a business degree and was up for the challenge, she gladly accepted Dr. Heflin’s offer! In January of 2003, she was promoted to her current position of Business Administrator.

Linda was born and raised in Wisconsin with two brothers and two sisters. After eight challenging years of working full-time and attending college part-time, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Alverno College in Milwaukee. In 1996, Linda and her family relocated to the warm weather of the Rio Grande Valley.

Although she’s often working behind closed doors on projects or crunching numbers, Linda likes to periodically walk through the hospital, visiting clients and giving hugs to nervous pets. She absolutely loves working with the staff, clients, and their beloved pets!

Linda’s two children are grown up now and on their own, so she and her husband now share the house with two Yorkies: Tiffany and Pumpkin. They know how to sit, shake a paw, and give high fives!

When Linda isn’t at the clinic, you can find her doing projects around the house, swimming, biking, running, and going on mission trips. Since 2009 she has trained and competed in over 10 sprint triathlon’s, a few duathlon’s, and even a half-marathon.

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Linda Cortez

Practice Manager

Growing up on a small ranch on the outskirts of Mission, it was impossible for Linda not to connect with the animals that she cared for daily. She knew early on that pets would be a part of her life forever—what better way to share her love of animals, Linda thought, than by working at a veterinary hospital?

Linda began at Mission Veterinary Hospital shortly after graduating high school. She briefly lived in San Marcos, where she also worked for a local vet. After returning home and working at a dental office, she was asked to join the Mission Veterinary Hospital team again, and gladly accepted. She’s been here since 1991 and is now the Practice Manager.

Linda says that managing the excellent team of doctors and staff keeps her on her toes at all times. She particularly loves the daily interactions she has with clients, and is especially happy when she can help put a smile on someone’s face!

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Rudy Rios

Receptionist

Rudy admits that he started in the veterinary profession simply looking for work. As time went on, though, he developed a deep passion and appreciation for animal care. Now, Rudy has the honor of being Mission Veterinary Hospital’s longest-dedicated employee, celebrating a 20-year career here in February of 2014!

Rudy was born and raised in the Mission area along with nine other siblings. He grew up on a farm, so animal care was always second nature. He began working at Mission Veterinary Hospital in 1994 as a kennel assistant, then began helping out with large animals. During this time, Rudy was involved in many sleepless nights with the vets, taking care of after-hour emergency cases! In 2003, he started a new positon as a receptionist, where he’s stayed to this day.

Rudy has been married to his lovely wife Lali for over 28 years. They have a daughter and a son, and Rudy is a Grandfather to two wonderful boys. Rudy and Lali share their home with Milo, a German Shorthair Pointer.

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Racheal Alexander

Receptionist

Born on the island of Trinidad and Tobago, Rachael has worked at Mission Veterinary Hospital since March of 2008. It was here that she discovered she has a sweet spot in her heart for animals! Apart from giving animals the best care possible, Racheal also enjoys interacting with people and educating clients on proper pet care.

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Angela Contreras

Receptionist

Having grown up in Mission around pets, Angela knew that being around animals could change her mood no matter how hectic her day had been. She can’t imagine a better place to work than with the caring staff and loving pets of Mission Veterinary Hospital!

Angela’s aunt used to work for a neighboring veterinary practice and heard about an opening at Mission Veterinary Hospital. She knew Angela had experience in an office setting, so she referred her. Angela loves interacting with the animals that walk into the clinic, forming a bond between employee and pet. She also enjoys answering client questions to help owners get a better understanding of their pet’s care.

When not at work, Angela spends most of her time with her children and family. She also has one pet of her own: Molly, a cream-colored Maltepoo. When time permits, she likes swimming, fishing, and being outdoors.

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Yolanda Perez

Receptionist

Yolanda was a client here at Mission Veterinary Hospital before she was an employee. When she brought her pet in for a check-up, she and Dr. Heflin started talking about jobs; before she knew it, Yolanda was submitting an application! She’s been a part of the clinic family since May of 2015 and couldn’t be happier.

Yolanda grew up in Mercedes, Texas with her mother, grandmother, two sisters, and a brother. The family constantly brought in strays, which Yolanda knows contributed to her love of animal care early on in life! Here at the hospital, she’s particularly fond of interacting with clientele and their furry companions, and loves providing a reassuring smile or comforting shoulder for those who need it most.

Outside of work, Yolanda enjoys drawing, gaming, spending time with friends and family, and caring for her own pets. She has a lazy black cat named Shadow and a loveable elderly Schnauzer who goes by Charlie.

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Julie Tallabas

Receptionist

Julie grew up here in Mission, and moved to the outskirts of town during her childhood. It was then that her family was able to get chickens, turkeys, cows, and even peacocks—it didn’t take long for Julie to fall in love with animal care. Working with the earth’s creatures has always brought her joy, and she’s thrilled to do so professionally as a member of the Mission Veterinary Hospital family!

Julie started here at the hospital in early 2016 after moving back to this area from Kennedy, Texas. She serves as a receptionist, and especially loves comforting animals around the clinic and playing with the pets in boarding.

At home, Julie shares her life with two pets of her own: Munchkin, an adopted puppy who was born with no ear canals; and an aging pug who is stronger than ever after two successful mass-removal procedures.

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Mila Estrada

Veterinary Technician

Mila’s passion for animal care started before she can even remember—her mother tells her she bottle-fed an abandoned rabbit when she was only a baby! She came to Mission Veterinary Hospital in 1995 and will be celebrating 19 years of dedicated service in 2014.

Mila used to work at Winn’s for 13 years, where she was in charge of the pets, toys, and tool departments. After the store closed, she came to Mission Veterinary Hospital. Here, she loves working hands-on with dogs and cats, and also enjoys going out on farm calls to see horses and cattle. When the opportunity is available, Mila enjoys attending continuing education classes to further her veterinary knowledge.

At home, Mila likes taking care of her animals, which include two horses, two dogs named Abigail and Kevin, two Siamese kittens, and between 30 and 40 goats. Her goal someday is to show her goats at local livestock shows!

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Carlos Rodriguez

Veterinary Technician

After graduating from Sharyland High School in 1993, Carlos worked on cattle ranches for 10 years before joining the Mission Veterinary Hospital team in 2001. He and his wife have two boys who are both actively involved in the Future Farmers of America program and love raising show goats and pigs.

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Doris Salinas

Veterinary Technician

Born and raised in McAllen, Texas, Doris received her Veterinary Assistant diploma in 2006 from Penn Foster University. She joined the Mission Veterinary Hospital staff in 2007 as a receptionist, and was promoted in 2009 to a Veterinary Technician position. She’s currently continuing her education to receive her certification as a registered veterinary technician (RVT).  Doris chose to pursue this field because her love for all animals was undeniable.  The feeling of saving lives, maintaining good health in these animals, and educating clients on proper care and maintenance is one of her daily goals.   She feels animals are people too.

Doris and her husband live in McAllen with their wonderful son. They also share their home with nine dogs, three cats, and one dwarf bunny, which the majority of her pets were rescues.

When time permits, Doris enjoys keeping fit, shopping, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.

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Kathleen Quinn

Veterinary Technician

Kathleen felt drawn to the veterinary profession since the eighth grade. When she saw a local junior college near her home that offered a program in animal care, Kathleen knew it was the only choice for her!

Kathleen was raised outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her two brothers. She attended Harcum Junior College, graduating in 1980 with an Associate’s Degree in Animal Management. She then attended Penn State University, receiving her Bachelors of Science in Animal Production in 1984. After working in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Kentucky, Kathleen arrived at Mission Veterinary Hospital in October of 2007 after meeting Dr. Heflin and his wife through her children.

Having worked as a veterinary technician for the past 30 years, Kathleen is most amazed by the technological changes that have come about over time. She remembers running tests manually, when they’re now performed completely by machines!

Kathleen has two sons and two daughters. The family shares their home with Waller, a golden retriever who loves swimming in the pool. When not at work or spending time with family, Kathleen enjoys cross-stitching, watching her family’s favorite college sports teams, the MLB, and the NFL.

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Maribel Rojas

Veterinary Technician

Although she wanted to be an actress growing up, Maribel had decided by high school graduation that she’d rather be in the medical field. Since she didn’t find human nursing particularly appealing, she thought she’d look into the veterinary profession! Now she cares for pets every day as a Veterinary Technician at Mission Veterinary Hospital.

Maribel—Belle to those who know her—grew up in McAllen with her parents and older brother. She attended the Florida Institute of Animal Arts in Winter Park, Florida, where she completed several internships at different animal clinics. After moving back to the Valley, she worked at a number of animal clinics before finding her second home at Mission Veterinary Hospital in May of 2008.

Belle’s favorite part of coming to the clinic every day is the welcoming environment. She says her coworkers and employers are truly like family—plus, she gets to spend time with furry friends that she makes every day!

Maribel still lives in McAllen, along with her husband and their identical twin boys. Their pets include four Chihuahuas: Shrek, Baby, MingMing, and Mickey; a min-pinscher named Mya; Rottweiler mix Chata; Bull Terrier Chika; and several outdoor kitties that the family feeds.

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Gabriel Espinoza

Veterinary Technician

Gabriel grew up right here in Mission alongside his four siblings, and has adored the company of pets for as long as he can remember. He never tires of learning more about the veterinary world! Gabriel serves as one of the hospital’s Veterinary Technicians.

Gabriel first joined the Mission Veterinary Hospital family in September of 2009. He’s been helping to improve the lives of the area’s pets here ever since, and especially enjoys the diversity of cases he gets to see every day.

At home, Gabriel cares for three pets of his own: Daisy Denise, an English bulldog; Milo the feisty Chihuahua; and a pit bull named Achilles.

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Christianne Jones

Veterinary Technician

Growing up, Christianne always felt drawn to the animal-care world. It wasn’t until her own family dog fell into ill health during her high-school years, though, that she knew she wanted to work in veterinary medicine. Christianne hasn’t looked back since—now, she’s a Veterinary Technician here at Mission Veterinary Hospital!

A Mission native, Christianne studied biology at the University of Texas-Pan American before moving to Houston and transferring to the Veterinary Technician Institute to earn her Technician’s licensure. During her studies, she became an Intensive Care Unit Technician at a nearby emergency clinic. After graduation, Christianne worked for a year before returning home to Mission and joining the hospital family as a Licensed Veterinary Technician. Here at the clinic, she enjoys placing IV lines and drawing blood samples, and is also becoming quite fond of working with large animals like horses and cattle.

Christianne has a few pets of her own at home. She lives with her rescued cat, Thomas O’Malley, as well as a loveable dog named Fiona.

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Elizabeth Escobedo

Veterinary Technician

From nursing baby birds that had fallen out of the nest to raising horses from birth, Elizabeth has been eager to learn more about animal care ever since childhood. After a stint in architecture, she decided to follow her true passion: veterinary medicine! Elizabeth is proud to care for the area’s pets on a daily basis as one of Mission Veterinary Hospital’s Veterinary Technicians.

Elizabeth is a native of McAllen, Texas, and often came to the clinic as a child with her family’s own pets. Her animal-care journey began when she started volunteering with shelters and rescue organizations; she then took a job at a mobile clinic as soon as she was old enough. Elizabeth attended the University of Houston after high school to study architecture, then transferred to the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, where she is currently earning her Bachelor’s degree in biology. She plans on applying to veterinary school in the near future!

When she has time between her busy school and work schedules, Elizabeth enjoys going on road trips with her boyfriend, playing sports, fishing, and spending time with her own dog at home. Beauty is a parvovirus survivor—after a difficult early life, the happy and healthy dog now has nothing but love and slobbery kisses for everyone she meets. Beauty lives with her best friend Kilo, a rescue from Austin, Texas, and the two are inseparable.

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Leslie Bowman

Veterinary Technician

Leslie grew up as an only child, and her family pets were her constant companions. She cannot remember a time when she didn’t adore the company of animals! For her, working in the world of veterinary medicine simply makes good sense.

Leslie attended Texas A&M University-Kingsville to study animal science. When she learned about a new program in Veterinary Technology that was being offered, she jumped at her chance—Leslie was one of the first five people to graduate from the program, and she’s been a Veterinary Technician ever since!

Leslie interned right here at Mission Veterinary Hospital during her stint in Technician school, and accepted a full-time position with the clinic after graduation. In addition to her passion for educating clients on proper pet care, she’s particularly fond of dental work and loves to polish and scale pets’ teeth. She even plans on heading back to school soon to start work on her specialty in veterinary dentistry!

Away from the office, Leslie enjoys spending time with family, going to the gym, reading great books, traveling, and hiking with her dog, Gigi.

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Megan Hudson

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Megan’s mother instilled in her a compassion and love for all animals at an early age. When her high-school counselor told Megan about the Veterinary Technician role, she knew that she’d happened across the perfect career path! Megan hasn’t looked back since. Now, she’s thrilled to tend to the pets and animal owners of Mission here at Mission Veterinary Hospital.

Megan is from Buffalo, New York and attended Medaille College to earn her Associate’s degree in veterinary technology. She passed her National Veterinary Technician exam in 2009 to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician, then began working at the same hospital where she had completed her internship. Next, Megan continued school and earned her Bachelor’s degree in biology in the spring of 2010.

Megan relocated to Texas from New York for her husband’s job in early 2017, and joined the team here at Mission Veterinary Hospital shortly thereafter. She has particular interests in critical care (nothing beats getting a sick patient to eat on their own!), anesthesia, and surgical work.

When she isn’t caring for animals here at the clinic, Megan enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, and trying out local restaurants with her husband, Justin. She also enjoys Skyping with family back home every chance she gets. The couple shares their home with three adorable feline companions—Large Marge, Vivienne, and Phyllis—who love to wake Megan up at 5:00 a.m. on a daily basis to demand their breakfast.

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Oscar Saenz

Veterinary Assistant

Oscar didn’t join the veterinary profession just because he loved animals; he loves interacting with pet owners as well! He’s worked as a veterinary assistant here at Mission Veterinary Hospital since March of 2014.

Around the clinic, Oscar enjoys getting information on pet patients and talking with their owners. He also likes helping the veterinarians in any way possible.

Oscar has several pets of his own at home. The oldest is Manotas, a Rottweiler who Oscar says is a great security guard. Next is Kratos, a pitbull who likes to patrol the backyard. The youngest of the bunch is Broly, a puppy who enjoys playing for hours outdoors with Kratos.

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David Arechar

Veterinary Assistant

David is a pet owner himself—he knows exactly how much animal companions mean to the families of the Mission area. As a Veterinary Assistant here at the clinic, he’s able to use his skills to better the lives of pets every single day.

David joined the hospital team in June of 2015 after being referred here by a fellow co-worker, who also happens to be one of David’s very good friends. His favorite part of the job is working hands-on with the pets who visit the clinic; David is still amazed by how far a calm and collected attitude will go when working with a nervous patient!

At home, David lives with his wife, son, and the family’s mixed-breed dog, Nyxie.

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Erick Bazan

Veterinary Assistant

Erick has been surrounded by his family’s pets all his life—he’s always wanted to have a better understanding of how to best tend to his animal companions. By working in the world of veterinary medicine, he’s able to gain hands-on experience in the industry while spending time around the pets he loves!

Erick is a Mission native and joined the hospital team on the recommendation of his friends. His favorite part of the job is getting to greet the wide variety of pets that visit the clinic on a daily basis, and Erick particularly enjoys chatting with loving pet owners just like himself.

Away from work, Erick likes parkour and free running, shooting, and fishing. He has one pet of his own at home: Nacho, a pug with seemingly endless amounts of energy.

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Omar Rodriguez

Veterinary Assistant

Thanks to his father’s own passion for the earth’s creatures, Omar grew up with everything from goats and sheep to chickens, turkeys, and a horse. He’s enjoyed the company of animals ever since he can remember! Omar gets to tend to pets’ needs every day as one of Mission Veterinary Hospital’s Veterinary Assistants.

Omar enrolled in a program in his high school to become a Certified Veterinary Assistant, then volunteered at three other local veterinary clinics before beginning his stint as a volunteer with the Mission Veterinary Hospital team. It didn’t take long for him to receive a job offer! Omar has been with the hospital family ever since, and particularly likes bathing dogs and tending to large animals.

Away from work, Omar enjoys tending to his animals at home, working on home renovations with his father, gardening, practicing his archery skills, and woodworking.

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