Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty Center has 5 new doctors
starting this fall!


We are very excited to announce the arrival of:

welcome cat and dog

Our New Veterinarians

Sabina Sheppard-Olivares MS, DVM (Practice limited to Oncology) started on August 26, 2019

Sabina Sheppard-Olivares

Dr. Sabina Sheppard-Olivares is a graduate of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, where she also worked in a veterinary oncology research laboratory for three years. After receiving three degrees from Texas A&M, she went on to complete a small animal rotating internship at VCA Veterinary Care in Albuquerque, NM, and a medical oncology residency at Kansas State University. She has contributed to several laboratory bench top and clinical research studies in the field of veterinary oncology. Dr. Sheppard enjoys connecting with all her patients and their people, with special interests in hemangiosarcoma, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, and improving the quality of life of cancer patients through attentive supportive care. Dr. Sheppard is originally from San Antonio, TX and loves to explore the Texas Hill Country as well as savor the local cuisine and music scene. Her hobbies include reading, barre, hiking, and spending time with her husband Pablo, their dog Tara, and their recently adopted Kansas kitten- Glinda the Good Witch. 

Jennifer Sinese, DVM (Practice limited to Internal Medicine) started on August 26, 2019

Jennifer Sinese

Dr. Jennifer Sinese is from North Carolina, having completed her undergraduate and veterinary degrees at North Carolina State University. She then spent time in General Practice in the greater Chicago area, where she developed a passion for Internal Medicine. Dr. Sinese went on to complete an Internal Veterinary Medicine and Emergency Medicine internship with BluePearl Veterinary Partners, an Internal Medicine residency at MedVet Medical and Cancer Centers for Pets, and now joins us at HOT VSC. She enjoys all aspects of Internal Medicine, including collaborating with referring veterinarians and owners in a team-based approach to patient care. Dr. Sinese shares her home with two mixed breed dogs, a feisty calico, and a cornsnake.

Lara Curtis DVM (Practice limited to Neurology) will be starting on September 2, 2019.

Jennifer Sinese

Dr. Curtis grew up in Washington State, and knew from a young age that she wanted to become a veterinarian. She attended Washington State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and was accepted for early admission to WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It was not until her senior year of veterinary school that she found her passion for clinical veterinary neurology. Following graduation, she completed a rotating internship at a private practice in Northeast Ohio, but quickly returned to her home in the Pacific Northwest for a specialty internship in neurology that led to a private practice residency in Seattle. Her passions within neurology include spinal surgery as well as teaching and working with students, interns and her support staff.

Dr. Curtis relocated to Austin, excited to get to know a new city, with her two dogs, Maddie and Reggie. Besides veterinary medicine, Dr. Curtis is passionate about helping others find their calling, the Green Bay Packers and good Tex-Mex!

Ana Bascuñán DVM, MS (Practice limited to Surgery) will be starting on September 11, 2019.

Ana Bascuñán

Dr. Ana Bascuñán was born and raised in northern Colorado. She completed veterinary school at Colorado State University knowing that she wanted to pursue Small Animal Surgery as a specialty after graduation. She was selected for a year-long internship at Texas A&M University, after which she was accepted into a residency in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Florida. She spent four years in Gainesville, Florida learning advanced surgical techniques in one of the most prestigious training programs in the country. She also completed her Master’s in Veterinary Science during her residency, including a thesis related to ACL injury. She has authored scientific publications on ACL injury, heart anomalies in cats, and various other topics. Her surgical and research interests include microsurgical techniques, minimally invasive surgery, and cardiovascular surgery.

Dr. Bascuñán is very excited to join the Heart of Texas VSC Team, and to become an active member of the Round Rock community. She looks forward to exploring Austin with her two dogs, Lola and Dolly, and making Round Rock her new home with her three cats - Elmer (the World’s Most Handsome Cat), Poppy, and Pete.

Lauren Foster DVM, DACVN (Nutritionist) will be starting in October 2019.

Lauren Foster

Lauren Foster received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Mississippi State University in 2006. Afterward, she moved to the east coast, where she practiced general small animal medicine and surgery for seven years in Maryland and New York before pursuing a small animal nutrition residency at the University of Missouri in 2013. She completed her residency in 2015, and began a post-doctoral research fellowship, awarded through the Morris Animal Foundation and Blue Buffalo Cancer Foundation. She became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition in 2017, and a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner (CCRP) in 2019. Dr. Foster joins Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty Hospital after spending a year and a half as assistant teaching professor in small animal nutrition at the University of Missouri. She is excited to return to private practice and advance the specialties of nutrition and rehabilitation in the private sector. Lauren has a very soft spot for cats and shares her home with her husband and his cat, Jade. In her free time, Lauren loves traveling, cooking, reading and being active outdoors.