I was born and raised in Valrico, Florida and my family roots in Florida extend back to late 1800’s. I first remember wanting to be a veterinarian in 4th grade. I was strongly influenced by the memory of the farm vets who came to treat our livestock. I have always had a love of science and a soft spot for animals.
I graduated from Brandon High School in 1980 and received my doctorate from UF College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. On November 5th, 1990, I founded Boyette Animal Hospital. Our first facility was a 900 square foot “hole in the wall” in the Winn Dixie shopping center. 8 years later we moved to our current facility.
I was fortunate to have wonderful parents who expected a lot from me, and more importantly, taught me to expect a lot from myself. My beautiful wife Cheri and I have been married since 1988 and we have three great kids, Matthew, Sarah and Ellie, that we are very proud of. At home we have 3 dogs, 3 cats, and a chinchilla, all strays of course.
Outside of work, I have more interests and hobbies than I have time. I enjoy just about anything I can do with family and together we enjoy snow skiing, mountain biking, mountain climbing, water sports and fishing. I have been involved in martial arts all my life but I also enjoy guitar, banjo, paleontology and history. One of my greatest pleasures is teaching kids and adults about the natural history of Florida. I have given numerous lectures on that topic to a variety of groups and at the Tampa Museum of History.
I am proud to have served as the medical director for CARE in Ruskin for the last 8 years and also as the president and founding member of the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Foundation, since its inception 3 years ago.
Everyday, I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to help animals and their families and thankful for the wonderful, caring people I work with.
Veterinary medicine is not just a job, it is a passion for Dr. Lorraine Ellwood. Even at a young age she had a love of science and animals. She was the daughter of a naval officer and lived all over the United States and one year in Paris, France. She grew up with dogs, cats, birds and small mammals. She spent many summers with her grandparents in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where she was exposed to horses, farm animals and wildlife. One summer she converted part of the barn into a small hospital for sick farm cats and injured wildlife. After high school she attended The Ohio State University, where she received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in science education and her Master’s of Science degree in physiology. Lorraine spent the next four years studying veterinary medicine at The Ohio State University, graduating cum laude in 1980.
After graduation, Dr. Lorraine decided to stay in Columbus, Ohio and worked for two different clinics for three years. With some experience under her belt, she purchased two veterinary practices in Columbus. She spent the next eighteen years managing her clinics and taking care of all sorts of patients, from dogs and cats to birds, reptiles, pocket pets, pot belly pigs and even some pet monkeys. The most unusual animal she worked on was a rhea with rickets. She was also very involved with her community by sponsoring athletic functions, plus school and civic events. She was president of her veterinary alumni fraternity and an active member of her local and state veterinary medical associations.
She met her husband, Ron, a Columbus police officer, during this time and they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Ashley, in 1990. When her husband decided to retire in 2001, after 31 years of service, she sold her practices and they moved with their daughter and menagerie of pets to Apollo Beach, Florida. Dr. Lorraine wasn’t ready to retire from the job she loved, so she initially worked as an associate veterinarian for Ruskin Animal Hospital. She joined Boyette Animal Hospital in 2006 and also worked as the medical director of the Animal Coalition of Tampa from 2006 to 2014. She was very involved in ACT’s Spay Day and Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs, performing thousands of surgeries - spays, neuters and special surgeries.
Her work with animals came to an abrupt halt in 2013 when she was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma. After months of chemotherapy and treatment, including a stem cell transplant, at Moffitt Cancer Center, she went into remission. However her battle was not over, she suffered three more years of graft versus host disease as a result of her transplant. Finally last year, Dr. Lorraine was able to come back to the profession that she loves. She is passionate about her work there and loves surgery and helping people take care of the pets they love - including dogs, cats and exotic pets.
When she is not working, she is usually with her family, her husband, Ron, and her two poodles, Penny and Bentley, three cats, Smokey, Leo and Missy and rescued turtle, Squirt. She enjoys reading, exercising, camping, traveling and spending time with her family, friends and beloved pets. Her daughter, Ashley, is now a veterinarian and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, Daniel, and their pets.
Dr. Rochelle's dream of becoming a veterinarian began at an early age. Even as a young child, her love for animals was apparent. She grew up surrounded by a variety of numerous pets over the years, including dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, mice and even a duckling! While watching her family veterinarian treat her pets, especially in times of illness, Dr. Rochelle realized without a doubt that this is what she was called to do. Pets are such special family members, and being able to keep those family members healthy and happy is her favorite part of being a veterinarian. Her other favorite part is being able to form long-lasting relationships with pets and their owners, from puppy/kittenhood all the way through the geriatric years.
Born and raised in Tampa, Dr. Rochelle is a native Floridian. She applied to Auburn University on the advice of her high school guidance counselor, whose own daughter was attending vet school there at the time. Rochelle attended Auburn for both undergraduate and veterinary school and is an avid Auburn fan (War Eagle!) She came back to the Tampa area after graduating in 2003 so that she could be close to her family and is so happy that she is able to practice in her hometown. In addition to treating the pets of family and friends, her clientele even includes some of her former elementary and high school teachers!
With an undergraduate degree in Zoology, at one time Dr. Rochelle considered a career in zoo animal medicine. Ultimately, her love for small animal medicine steered her into private practice, but not before the chance to do an internship at Utah's Hogle Zoo. Doing a dental cleaning on a snow leopard is an experience she will never forget! She also spent some time practicing small animal medicine in Colorado before returning to the Tampa area.
Outside of work, Dr. Rochelle enjoys spending time with her family doing a multitude of activities, such as attending concerts, theme parks and sporting events (just to name a few). She and her family also share their home with two goofy, fun-loving Bluetick coonhounds named Charlie and Ella, a German Shepherd named Bear and two guinea pigs (Anthony and Frederick). She has been a part of the Boyette family for a long time and is happy that she can do something she loves while fulfilling her lifelong dream!
Dr. Sarah Hilario joined Boyette Animal Hospital in 2008 after graduating from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After years of trudging through snow and ice, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to move to the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
Animals were a huge part of her life growing up, and after much begging and pleading, she was allowed to rescue a cat from the shelter on her seventh birthday and has been a passionate (some say crazy) cat lady ever since.
The opportunity to spend every day surrounded by animals and those that love them is her idea of the ideal career. Her favorite part of her job is the detective work that comes with trying to piece together symptoms and test results to reach a diagnosis. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and a board member of the Hillsborough County Veterinary Medical Society. Her favorite rescue to support is C.A.R.E. animal rescue in Ruskin, Florida, where she was a volunteer surgeon for many years. She enjoys attending local and national continuing education events each year, and her clinical interests include preventative care, feline medicine, internal medicine, geriatric care, dermatology, and dentistry. Outside of the office, Dr. Sarah enjoys running, hiking, reading, going to the beach, being involved in her church, and spending time with her family. She shares her home in Riverview with her husband and three extremely spoiled pets, including two cats, Tommy Twigs and Mommy, and one Shih Tzu mix named Jasmine.
Dr. Geoff Gardner is a proud University of Florida alumni. In addition to small animal medicine, his interests include the care of swans, pocket pets, and other exotic animals.
He is a past president of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, and is the official swan veterinarian for the City of Orlando, caring for the swans on Lake Eola . He was chosen twice to help care for the Queen's swans in the United Kingdom, and pioneered the use of botulism vaccinations in the swan population. He is the author of the first book on the care and feeding of captive swans.
Dr. Geoff has been a Dachshund dad all his life, but is also a Poodle and Labradoodle parent as well. He, and his wife, Lisa, are proud parents and grandparents. He joined the Boyette family in 2011.
Originally from New York, I grew up in the Tampa area before moving to Gainesville, FL. As a kid, I knew I had an interest in science and realized I loved animals more than many of my friends at that age. I attended the University of Florida for undergraduate and veterinary school - my favorite colors are orange and blue and I am a die-hard Gators fan (GO GATORS!!!!!!!) While in college, I began shadowing and volunteering that paved the way to where I am now and haven't seen myself being in any other career. After graduating veterinary school in 2018, I lived in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area prior to returning to Tampa.
When away from work, I enjoy to travel and explore new cities and cultures, discover new music and artists, going to the beach or hiking through mountains, and most importantly, I love spending time with my three-legged coonhound, Daisy.
While in practice, I have enjoyed learning more about veterinary dentistry, neurology, and ultrasound. I am very excited to be here at Boyette Animal Hospital, to continue to learn, and I am very honored to be a part of your pet's life.
Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, from very early in life she always knew in her heart that her destiny would be devoted to helping the ones that don’t have a voice and frequently unacknowledged rights. This has always been her inspiration and dream.
Dr. Zamora graduated from the University of La Salle, Colombia in 2000 with a degree in Veterinary Medicine. Soon after graduation she followed her dreams and moved to the United States, continuing to pursue her goals and expand her professional development. At that time she began the challenging but rewarding process of attending the University of Florida to become eligible to practice medicine in the US. Upon completion of this program she was accepted into an internship program in Emergency and Critical Care at VREC, Norwalk, CT. This internship experience inspired her to continue working in emergency care and she continued to do so for more than a decade while residing in New Jersey. She became a mother more than 3 years ago and after giving birth to her second child, the scheduling demands of emergency care made it very challenging to maintain a work-life balance. Motherhood lead her to switch things up and she has been practicing General Medicine for the last 3 years. Dr. Zamora loves seeing the wagging tails and hearing the soothing purrs of her healthy clients while remaining passionate about caring for the sick and compromised companions that we love. Her priority is to serve all of them equally with outstanding care and compassion.
Dr. Zamora is happily married and recently relocated back to Florida along with her husband, son and daughter. Her and her family are thrilled to enjoy the great weather of the sunshine state and they love spending quality time with all of the family and friends they are fortunate to have here. Her 3 pets are all rescues, one poodle mix and two geriatric cats that are great with her kids and are the perfect example of love, kindness, loyalty and the perfection of nature.
Dr. Zamora’s secret to happiness has been to value every learning experience, whether difficult or pleasant. Every single patient inspires her to be a better person and she will always fight for animal rights and conservation of the planet.
Born and raised in Riverview, Florida, Matt had always had an interest in science. Throughout high school he had aspirations of becoming a pediatrician but those changed as he attended the University of South Florida and began working as a kennel technician right here at Boyette Animal Hospital. He realized his love for animals, their owners, and the bond they share.
Matt graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and started veterinary school at Auburn University (WAR EAGLE!). Since then he has returned to his hometown to start his dream job.
Dr. Matt looks forward to seeing all of you and your animals and is excited to be a part of the Boyette Animal Hospital staff again.
Dr. Austin Fetner was born and raised in Roanoke, Alabama, where he worked at a small animal hospital for 6 years while attending high school and college. He graduated in 2015 from LaGrange College with a bachelor’s degree in Science and Chemistry. While at Lagrange College he was a founding member of the Lagrange College Humane Society. He went on to pursue a degree from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2019.
In his spare time he enjoys baseball, football, fishing, and being with family.
While growing up he was known as the kid with a zoo since he had 15 dogs, 3 cats, rabbits, a hedgehog, turtles, frogs, hamsters, chickens, horses, and cows. His pet family continues to grow today.
He joined the Boyette Animal Hospital in 2019.
It was almost 34 years ago that my career as a veterinarian began after graduation from Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to entering veterinary school, I was a marine biologist. Since then I have been privileged to have taken care of thousands of dogs, cats and yes even fish patients and their pet families. Over the years, our house has been home to ducks named Pee Wee and Charlie, chickens, fish, a bull frog named Fergie, dogs named Mr Stubbs, Alex, Annie, and Ber, our cats named Muffie, Bob, and Mocha who gave birth to Zipper and Topples in my bathroom at home, and so many more temporary residents who found their way into other loving homes. I feel a special connection with animals and am so happy that I can contribute to their well being. They add so much to our lives and give so much back.
When not working and raising my two children, Melissa (who turned my tassel at Tufts graduation) and Galen, who I am proud to say are both adults now, I can be found singing in a chorus or on stage in a Broadway musical.