The Pearland Animal Cancer and Referral Center team is second to none. With a passion and expertise for helping pets, each team member strives to give you and your pet her best. Our greatest honor is your trust in us to care for your beloved four-legged family members. Read on to learn more about the women who work so hard to make this practice great.
Melissa Parsons-Doherty, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Dr. Parsons-Doherty was born and raised in Canada, where she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at the Atlantic Veterinary College, Prince Edward Island. After graduating from veterinary school, she moved south to the United States to train as a veterinary oncologist, completing a rotating internship in medicine and surgery at Garden State Veterinary Specialists, New Jersey, and an oncology internship at the University of Georgia. She then spent a few years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she completed her residency and became board-certified in medical oncology at Louisiana State University.
After completing her training, Dr. Parsons-Doherty returned to Canada to work and teach at Ontario Veterinary College’s Animal Cancer Center. Her experiences there were formative—she was amazed by the relationships her clients formed when facing their pets’ cancer diagnoses together, and she decided she wanted a practice of her own that would be dedicated to the client experience. Her ultimate goal was to create a practice where she could spend valuable time with people and their pets through the cancer process, providing help and support whenever needed.
A warmer climate beckoned, so Dr. Parsons-Doherty packed up her family and moved to Houston, where she accomplished her vision—the first specialty Houston-area veterinary hospital dedicated to the care of dogs and cats with cancer.
Dr. Parsons-Doherty and her husband, Kevin, have been married for 22 wonderful years, and share their home with seven pets: two German shepherd dogs, Bryson and Cruiser, and five cats, who include Skippy and Little One, and three adorable kittens named Poppy, Holly, and Cherry.
Texas life suits Dr. Parsons-Doherty much better than the frigid north, and she says she will take being too hot over being too cold any day of the week! When the scrubs come off, you’ll find her listening to country music, taking in the newest romantic comedy, or noshing on seafood, her favorite food. She is still trying to master the ever-elusive work-life balance, but she enjoys getting crafty by decorating and sewing when she has “off” time.
When she daydreams, Dr. Parsons-Doherty sees herself far from Houston traffic, relaxing on a tropical island with the warm ocean breeze in her hair.
Irene Garcia, LVT
Irene graduated from Vet Tech Institute of Houston and became a licensed veterinary technician in 2013. She wears two hats at the clinic—she’s in charge of our entire inventory, and she performs veterinary technician duties.
Irene lives in Pearland with her husband, son, and a variety of four-legged family members. As a child, Irene was never allowed to have pets, so she’s making up for lost time in the pet department. Her morning roll call includes:
- Ellie the cat, whose nickname is Belly
- Cassius the Doberman pinscher, who is a very good boy
- Marcie the German shepherd, whose heart belongs to Cassius
- June the cat, who is lovingly called Juneba for her uncanny impression of a Roomba—she cleans up every crumb of dropped food
When she’s not taking care of her menagerie, you’ll find Irene sitting squarely on the fence, which makes her exceptionally easy to please. Her taste in music runs the gamut, she enjoys all movie genres except horror flicks, and she’ll try any kind of food. In fact, when her scrubs come off, you can often find Irene exploring the many excellent Houston-area restaurants.
Briana Radford, CVA
Briana, a certified veterinary assistant from Missouri City, Texas, has been in the veterinary medical profession for six years, but caring for animals has been in her blood since childhood, when she developed a passion for caring for stray animals. She is currently studying agriculture and animal science.
Unlike her coworker Irene, Briana can easily pick music, movie, and food favorites. On her breaks, she can be found listening to ’90’s R&B music, eating Chinese food, and enjoying a clip or two of her favorite sci-fi movies. And, you can always find her wearing something in her favorite color—pink—every day.
Briana and her cherished son share their house with Ali, the European Doberman, and Achilles, the retriever mix. Her five-year plan includes two huge goals—finishing her degree, and becoming a first-time homeowner. When the scrubs come off, Briana might be found practicing one of her secret talents—playing the clarinet, or offering her skills as a freelance makeup artist.
Amy Edgar, LVT
Amy Edgar is a licensed veterinary technician, born and raised in Houston, who was afflicted by the veterinary medicine bug in high school, when she got her first job at a small animal clinic. Amy comes by her love of animals honestly—her parents, who live nearby, and her sister, who lives in Fort Worth, are all huge animal lovers, too.
When the scrubs come off, you can find Amy hanging out at her boyfriend’s cattle ranch in Hempstead, listening to country music. She claims four pets: Labrador retrievers, Ruger and Dude; a horse named Boon; and a pony, Rusty.
If she could travel anywhere in the world, Amy would go to the tropics—as long as there is a Starbucks—but when she’s home snuggled up with her four-legged family members, she’s likely watching sports or comedies and dining on her favorite cuisine, Mexican food.
Welcome to our clinic
Thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about our staff. We are honored to call you our clients and friends, and we look forward to seeing you in our clinic when your pet needs us.