Dr. Donna McWilliams
Dr. Donna always knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. As a high school student, she volunteered at several vet hospitals, and now offers that same courtesy to interested local students from Veterinary Science Academies at Lakeland and George Jenkins Senior High School and McKeel Academies in Lakeland, Florida. Dr. Donna did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech, where she became fascinated with both human and animal behavior. She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 1993, and then went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Psychology in 1995, focusing on Neurological Research, before pursuing her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian.
After graduating with her DVM in 2002 from Virginia Tech, Dr. Donna married her best friend, Kevin. A year later they relocated to Florida, where she joined a four-doctor, AAHA-certified companion animal practice in Tarpon Springs, where she practiced until 2007. In May of 2007, Dr. Donna, her husband Kevin, and their 4-legged children moved to Lakeland to purchase My Pet’s Animal Hospital. In 2009, Dr. Donna purchased Sarasota Animal Hospital, a 2-doctor AAHA-certified practice, with her colleague, Dr. Mark Downing, who serves as the Medical Director.
Since moving to Lakeland, Dr. Donna has become involved in various community groups and activities such as the Chamber of Commerce, NAWBO, ABWA, BNI, Emerge, Leadership Lakeland (Class XXVII), Leadership Polk (Class VII), The Lakeland Rotary Club, Lakeland Business Leaders, and the Lakeland Runners Club. Donna & Kevin welcomed their daughter, Shae, into the world in June of 2009. Prior to the birth of their daughter, she was also a member of the Lakeland Landsharks (triathlon club), and hopes to pursue this interest again in the future. For now, she stays fit with HakaFitness and running.
Dr. Donna is currently serving as the President of the Ridge Veterinary Medical Association, is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association. She is certified in Canine Rehabilitation (physical therapy for dogs) and in Veterinary Acupuncture. She practices Integrative Veterinary Medicine, which combines Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, or TCVM, [Acupuncture, Medical Massage, Herbal Therapy and Food Therapy], with traditional (Western) Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Erin Rothrock
Dr. Rothrock has always had an interest in the unusual animals. She gained experience working with reptiles, birds, and aquatic animals while working at the Columbus Zoo during undergraduate school. This experience spurred her decision to study exotic animals. Her love of the exotic pets is not restricted to medicine. She currently cares for 13 exotic pets of her own and has experience caring for a wide range of species. This experience is vital as a lot of problems that exotic pets experience are related to inappropriate care.
She studied Biology at The Ohio State University where she received her Bachelor of Science with Honors and continued her studies at the University of Illinois where she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. While at the University of Illinois, she volunteered in the Wildlife Medical Clinic caring for sick and injured wildlife. This experience allowed her to work with native wild animals and gain more experience in the treatment of birds and small mammals as well as educate the public on these amazing animals.
Her furred, scaled, and feathered companions include 2 dogs, 2 cats, a blue and gold macaw, Timneh grey parrot, 4 snakes, 5 geckos, and 2 tortoises. When she’s not working or at home caring for her animals she can usually be found on her bike, in the pool, or running around the lake. She enjoys competing in triathlons and hopes to make it to the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii one day.
She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Florida Veterinary Medical Association, Ridge Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, and Association of Avian Veterinarians.
Dr. Mark Downing
Dr. Mark was born in Guatemala City and lived there until he was 10 yrs. old. He is the youngest of four children. His parents decided to move to the United States in 1982 and bought a small hardware store in LaBelle, FL. He attended the University of Florida where he received dual degrees in Liberal Arts and Sciences and Agriculture. He was invited to join the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998 and graduated four years later. Dr. Downing has been practicing small animal medicine in the Tampa Bay area since he graduated in 2002.
Dr. Mark joined the My Pet’s team in February of 2008. His patients are comforted by his gentle nature and hands-on approach to their overall health and wellness. His special interests include dermatology, internal medicine, and surgery. He believes in offering high quality medicine and enjoys spending time talking with clients to address their concerns.
Dr. Mark has a Dalmatian named Taylor and a cat named Cleo. Personal interests include golf and movies. He is very close to his family and enjoys spending time with his parents, sisters, nieces and nephews.