Meet Dr. Harrington: A Florida Transplant in Texas

Dr. Lisa Harrington is a veterinarian at Northwest Veterinary Hospital.

I grew up in Florida where the weather was always hot and my family was always doing something outside. Some of my favorite memories include island hopping on the intercoastal waterway, watching space shuttle launches at the Kennedy Space Center, and walking on the beach at night to watch sea turtles lay their eggs.

Dr. Lisa Harrington with her dogs, AT-AT and UsidoreIn Florida, even taking the bus was unique; I remember spotting manatees and porpoises from my window seat as we drove around the neighborhoods by the river.

When I was 13, I volunteered at my first animal clinic and, by the time I was 15, I was working as a veterinary assistant. I felt a calling to help innocent creatures who couldn't help themselves and my mentor, Dr. Jim Kaseta, was a huge inspiration to me. He showed me what it was like to be a great veterinarian and helped me realize just how rewarding and challenging this job could be.

After high school, I attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!). During my time as a student, I worked at various animal hospitals around Florida, a few veterinary conferences (NAVC), local zoos, and in the school's research department.

As much as I love Florida, I wanted to go somewhere new. After staying in Austin for an externship at a specialty animal hospital, I fell in love with the city and decided to move here. I am really enjoying all that Austin has to offer including swimming in fresh water (without the fear of getting eaten by alligators), accessibility to outdoor activities, amazing live music, and great food.

These years in the veterinary field have taught me many things, including self-care. I love my job, but sometimes I experience compassion fatigue. When this happens, I know I need to take care of myself so I can take better care of my clients and patients. My husband and I travel often in order to decompress. I enjoy seeing what life is like for people in other parts of the world and gaining perspective about things outside of my own experiences. Some of our favorite spots so far are Asheville, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; and Culebra, Puerto Rico.

At home, I have three pets of my own. My cat, Lilly, is very affectionate and always bumps my arm to get my attention. My dogs, AT-AT and Usidore, who are brother and sister, love to wrestle each other, run around, and beg for broccoli and peas. In the future, I want to rescue some farm animals because they need love too!

I enjoy the support that comes from VetCor’s large community of practices who prioritize quality of care and trust my decisions as a veterinarian. I feel grateful to be able to advocate for these amazing creatures, strengthening and being part of the human-animal bond, and helping pets feel better.