Marc LaudonioDVMMedical Director & Practice Owner
Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Marc D. Laudonio worked at Sea World of Orlando where he was involved with animal education, care, conservation, and the rescue of sick and injured marine animals prior to becoming a veterinarian. Also while living in Orlando, FL, he volunteered at the Audubon Society working with injured raptors, fostering an interest continued to this day.
Dr. Laudonio attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, earning his DVM in 1998. His senior clinical year was spent at the University of Minnesota, where he learned how much he would rather live in a warmer climate! After spending some time working in and around New York City, where he learned both small-town and fast-paced city medicine, Dr. Laudonio moved to Tucson with his wife, Vita.
Dr. Laudonio has practiced in Tucson since year 2000, and has furthered his knowledge of general medicine, advanced dentistry, critical care, exotics care, and emergency medicine, and is passionate about all types of surgery including soft tissue and advanced orthopedics. He is a member of several veterinary organizations, including: American Veterinary Association (AVMA), Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AZVMA), Southern Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA), American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
When not caring for various animal species, he enjoys many hobbies and interests, some of which include automotive restoration and fabrication, aviation, gardening, hiking, mountain biking and the great outdoors. He spends most of his leisure time enjoying being with 'a la famiglia,' meaning 'with the family.' At home the Laudonio's currently have three canine companions, two feline companions, a guinea pig and a hedgehog, with whom they share their lives.
Jen BeckerDVMAssociate Veterinarian
Dr. Jen Becker joined the Acacia family in January of 2015. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, attended the U of A, and then spent four (very cold!) years of Vet school in Prince Edward Island, Canada, where she received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. After graduating, she moved to the Seattle area where she worked in a small animal practice for 4 ½ years before moving back home to sunny Arizona.
Dr. Becker spends most of her free time with her husband, Dan, her 3 dogs and 3 cats, but she also enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with friends. Her special interests include animal behavior, exotic animal medicine, and shelter pet medicine, and she is constantly working to expand her knowledge and improve her skills in these areas. In May of 2015 she accepted a position as a member of the Board of Directors for the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter.
Michelle CoverdillDVMAssociate Veterinarian
Dr. Michelle Coverdill joined Acacia Animal Hospital in July 2016. She was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and earned her Bachelor's degree at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She then went on to receive her Master's degree and DVM from the University of Florida. Prior to veterinary school she worked as a technician for almost 10 years. After graduating veterinary school in 2014 she practiced at a busy 3 hospital small animal practice in Gainesville, Florida for 2 years. Dr. Coverdill has a particular interest in internal medicine, urgent care, exotics, surgery and integrative medicine including rehabilitation.
When she’s not working, Dr. Coverdill enjoys spending time with her husband and their 'kids', which include three dogs, a cat, a tortoise, and about 20 snakes! In her free time she loves reading, baking, running, photography, hiking, and traveling.
Vanessa OlsenDVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline)Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Olsen is a native Tucsonan, graduating from Rincon High School, and then with Honors from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Health Science. She went on to graduate in 1987 from Colorado State University with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and began practicing small animal medicine and surgery in Green Valley and Tucson, as well as serving as a control veterinarian for American Endurance Ride Conference-sanctioned horse rides in Arizona and New Mexico.
In 1995, she became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, certified in Canine and Feline Practice. Her professional interests include internal medicine, feline medicine, neurology, allergy/dermatology, and the newer ideas of the fear-free practice.
She and her husband Ron are owned by two half-Bengal cats, Canelo and Chispa; she does miss her Arabian gelding Zimara Nito, together nearly thirty years. She and Ron enjoy world travel, scuba diving, cycling, hiking, reading, and fine food and wine. And she loves to tell stories in the exam room, many of which start as, “I remember when…”
Dr. Olsen is delighted to re-join the Acacia family on a part-time basis and is eager to meet you and your furry family members.
Brendan DeSmetHospital Manager
Brendan left the corporate world to begin working with animals as a career back in 1998. After being employed as an adoptions counselor and trainer of volunteers at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona for about three years, he moved into the veterinary field where he could be more directly involved in medicine and surgical practice. Having been a senior technician in a large emergency and exotics veterinary hospital for many years, he then eagerly joined Dr. Laudonio in his dream to begin a brand new practice. Accepting the challenge of managing a new start-up and taking it into the future, Brendan has been here since the very start in 2010.
Brendan is a member of VECCS (Veterinary and Emergency Critical Care Society), of AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association), and he continues to work with local animal rescue/welfare groups. In the past he served as co-organizer of the Veterinary Food Drive for the Tucson Community Food Bank, on the organizing committee for the Tucson Canine Classic, and on the Board of Directors at the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter. Currently, he is an organizer with SPEAK and Earthlings Experience, both local animal rights organizations. He shares a happy home with his fiancé and 4 rescued dogs.
Shelby - TECHNICIAN SUPERVISOR
Shelby joined the Acacia family in August 2017. She was born and raised in Texas, and always had a passion for animal welfare. She obtained her Bachelor's degrees in Animal Science in 2012, and her Master's degree in Biomedical Science in 2017 from Texas A&M University (Gig' em!!). After graduation, she and her husband were looking for a new adventure, so they moved to Tucson and they have quickly fallen in love with the city! She enjoys exploring the beautiful landscape, and finding new delicious restaurants. In her free time she enjoys cross stitching, crocheting, and hiking. She has 3 adorable cats and 2 dogs, a Yorkie named Scruffy, and a Dachshund name Luchi.
Ruby is a graduate of the Pima Community College Veterinary Technician program, joining Acacia in mid-2014. She is always working to expand her knowledge on all things furry, scaly, and in-between. In her spare time she enjoys eating, reading, camping and binge-watching Netflix. She loves her adopted cat, Marla.
BIO COMING SOON...
Jo is an Arizona native and moved to Tucson in 2009. She completed schooling as a veterinary technician from Pima Community College in 2012, but has been involved in the animal field for nearly 20 years. She has been actively involved with equine rescue since 2009. Jo has a particular passion for equines, exotics, and avians. She has an avid interest in animal behavior.
When she's not at Acacia, she spends her time looking after her 6 dogs, 6 cats, 2 horses, 3 conures, 2 reptiles, assorted rabbits, and poultry (among other species) that she calls her family.
Ever since I was little I knew that caring for animals is what I wanted to do. I started as an assistant in Littleton, Colorado, eventually making my way up to supervisor of the boarding kennels. I was absolutely in love with my job but I wanted to further my horizons. So, the hubby and I packed up and moved to Tucson in May 2016 and although most people don't understand why I would move to the desert, I have fallen in love with Tucson. I love exploring the art all over the city, trying new restaurants, and hiking through the beautiful mountains. I have 2 cats, Matilda and Nala, and a gorgeous pup, Ginger. My furry babies are a large part of my life, and I am very excited to expand my knowledge in the veterinary field, especially with exotics.
Hi there! My name is Ginny and this human is my momma Janette! She always talks about how she wanted to work with animals since she was young. Out of high school she went to Pima Community College and graduated from the Veterinary Technology Program where she found me! When I got to my new home I had 2 sisters named Autumn and Noel, who mom calls 'kitty cats.' Recently I got a new brother named Tonic, who we call 'Wild Man.'
Mom joined Acacia Animal Hospital in 2017 and always comes home smelling so interesting. She tells me that she works with exotics and birds but I definitely smell dogs. In mom's free time we sometimes go hiking or visit people but mostly we play in the yard or cuddle on the couch (she tells me I'm the best cuddler). I hope your furry or non-furry baby loves her as much as I do, I know she'll love them!
Stephanie graduated from the Pima Community College Veterinary Technician Program in May 2019, and she has been working at Acacia since November of 2018. She loves dogs, cats, and all other creatures. Her favorite part of working in this field is anything microscope related. She is excited to use the knowledge that she has obtained in the technician program to further her career, and is always eager to continue learning everything this field of study has to offer.
Alex joined the Acacia family in April of 2018. Originally from San Antonio Texas, Alex began her career with animals in shelters and south Texas animal rescues in 2014. Now Alex finds herself in Tucson and is constantly broadening her knowledge on all things animal related and has a particular interest in exotics.
Alex enjoys spending her free time exploring Tucson with her husband, working on cars, and doing projects around the house. Alex and her husband share a 7yr old spoiled pitbull and a 1yr old mischievous ferret, both of whom are rescues.
Amanda joined the Acacia family in July of 2018. She is a Tucson native and Pima Medical Institute graduate. She has been working in the veterinary field since 2015 and became a Certified Veterinary Technician in January of 2018. Amanda is very passionate about her field and her love for animals continues to grow more and more every day. Amanda's love and interest of animals extends into her very own family which includes 7 dogs, 8 cats and many exotics including an adorable pig named Penny.
Lauren grew up in Eugene, Oregon and has joined us here in Arizona as a student in the Veterinary Technician program at Pima Community College. She started her career here at Acacia as an intern in the August of 2018. She enjoys working with all types of animals, and is especially interested in working with exotic species. While she loves living in the desert and all the interesting animals it brings, her goal is to one day work with marine mammals in a coastal city.
Jess joined the Acacia family in October of 2018. She has loved animals her whole life and has always been passionate about animal health and care, which led her to this profession. Jess graduated from Carrington College in 2015 and has been in the animal care field ever since. She has two fur kids of her own named Bentley who is a 5yr old dachshund, and Vada who is a 1yr old Retriever rescue. On her free time she enjoys spending time with her loved ones, hiking, swimming, dancing, working out and eating. She thrives to grow and learn more every day and is especially excited to gain more knowledge and skills working with exotics.
Emily joined the Acacia family in 2017 after being a client for years. Most of her time outside of work is taken up by her son and four cats. When she's not busy with them she enjoys road trips and cheering for UofA sports.
Rebecca - CSR SUPERVISOR
Rebecca began her journey as a customer service representative in 2015 working at a small animal clinic and wanted more knowledge and experience working with avians, reptiles and other exotics! She is currently working towards a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and has an interest in forensics and animal cruelty investigation. She loves reading, listening to true crime podcasts, traveling, and snuggling with her four pets- her Rottweiler Gus, her dachshund Kori, and her two cats, Maddie and Emma.
Misty has always been passionate about helping animals. She has been in Tucson for about 19 years and currently attends the University of Arizona where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources with an emphasis on Wildlife Conservation and Management. Her free time is spent with her husband, 4 children, 2 dogs, 2 cats, snake, and hammy. She also enjoys travelling, volunteering at the Desert Museum for Raptor Free Flight and helping rehabilitate wildlife. In the future, she hopes to either become a bat biologist or help with conservation efforts through a zoo. She thinks all animals are fascinating but absolutely adores bats and raptors, and of course loves cats and dogs.
For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to work in the animal field. I grew up helping my grandparents care for the animals on their farm in Mexico every summer. In high school I joined FFA and had the opportunity to work with various different animals, including raising my own pig! I graduated high school with my vet assistant certification, and I have worked as a kennel tech at a boarding facility. Since then I have found a home at Acacia, where I have come to love the vast array of critters that come through our doors. In my free time I enjoy reading, exploring the outdoors, and playing with my little kiddo, Momo.
Kenya comes to us from Los Angeles, California where she began her experience working at an emergency practice. It was then that she became passionate about patient and client care. Through her years of client service she has always loved animals but bridging the gap between quality control and customer service is her bread and butter. In her spare time she loves traveling, camping on Mt. Lemmon, and the never-ending training of her very anxious pup Alfred.
Allie began her journey in the veterinary field after going through an Assistant certification program in 2017. After joining the Acacia family in April 2018, she eagerly moved on to continuing her education to be a Veterinary Technician. When she’s not working or going to school, she’s at home with her girlfriend and two cats, Oliver and Waverly, or playing D&D with her friends.
Currently in school to become a certified veterinary technician, Hannah began her career in veterinary medicine with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. It was there that she discovered her passion for animal health and wellness. When Hannah isn't at Acacia caring for patients, she's spending time with her fur baby, Alice Cooper, and scale baby, Leather Face!
I’ve always been interested in the medical field and in high school I found my love for veterinary medicine through FFA and animal rescue. I’m currently in Pima’s veterinary technician program to become certified. In my free time you’ll usually find me with a litter of kittens or other foster kitties. I have 2 cats Callie and Rio, a crazy dog named Luna and many fosters!