Meet Our Staff

  • Paul Stewart , DVM

    Dr. Paul Stewart opened the Avian and Exotic Pet Clinic of Roanoke in 2010 to provide emergency/after-hours veterinary care as well as daytime therapeutic and preventative care to all birds and exotic pets in an environment suitable for their healing.

    Dr. Stewart obtained his DVM at Kansas State University in 1996 and a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science at Virginia Tech in 1990. For 24 years, Dr. Stewart’s special interests include avian and exotic pet medicine, surgery, ultrasound, endoscopy, radiosurgery, dentistry, and geriatric medicine. He had been the primary care provider for birds and exotic pets in two veterinary practices for 14 years prior to opening this clinic.

    Dr. Stewart has been a guest lecturer at the Virginia/Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, The Southwest Virginia Bird Club meetings and Annual Bird Fair, as well as the Roanoke Valley Bird Club. He completed externships at the Topeka Zoo, the National Wildlife Health Lab and has appeared on Animal Planet’s “Wildlife Emergency”. He is also Veterinarian-in-Charge at Mill Mountain Zoo.

    In Dr. Stewart’s spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, antique car restoration, camping, canoeing, fly fishing, mountain biking, playing drums and guitar, and drawing wildlife. His family pets include tiny dog Tetley (a Chiweenie), Carris the cat, and Casper the “ghost” boa.

  • Taylor Tvede , DVM

    Dr. Taylor Tvede double-majored and completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell College. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology and a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science. Between college and vet school, she worked as a zookeeper in the bird and big cat departments of various accredited facilities and as a raptor center education specialist. She attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical year at the Royal Veterinary College in London, England in the spring of 2021. During her time in school, Dr. Tvede served as the Avian Medicine Club president, the Veterinary Business Management Association chapter president, the Zoo/Exotics/Wildlife Club IWRC coordinator, and was on the in-water dive team and stranding team for the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network. She has a special love for birds and is currently working toward her board certification in avian medicine. 

    Dr. Tvede grew up in Albuquerque, NM where she developed a love for the outdoors, dry heat, and green chile. Some of Dr. Tvede’s favorite activities are running, SCUBA diving, and hiking. She spent 4 months thru-hiking the entire Appalachian Trail in 2021 before joining the team at Avian and Exotic Pet Clinic and is always looking for more trails to explore. 

    At home, Dr. Tvede has a leopard gecko named Skittles and a cat named Makita. Makita was adopted while she lived in the Caribbean. Makita is a well-trained and adventurous cat. She knows numerous commands and enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, and kayaking. 

  • Chrystie Stewart
    Practice Manager

    Chrystie was raised in a small town called Indian Head, MD. She attended college with a focus on Biology/Nursing in Maryland and later moved to New Jersey where she attended a Business School.

    She has worked in the veterinary administrative field off and on since 1996. She began working in medical administrative and accounting offices, but her true calling was more on the “Wild side”. In 1999, she and her husband moved from Maryland to the “Star City” where she stayed home to raise her two wonderful children. In 2010, she and Dr. Stewart opened the Avian and Exotic Pet Clinic of Roanoke.

     “We felt Southwest Virginia needed a place that, almost exclusively, served and cared for the veterinary needs of birds, reptiles, and small mammals”.

    Her favorite part of the job is working alongside a spectacular team and witnessing the confidence and devotion of each of them while caring for and working with the amazing critters that come through the clinic’s doors.

    Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her sidekick, Tetley, a 6 lb Chiweenie. She is a proud mama of two amazing people, Jacob and Sara. Keeping up with these two and running a business keeps her especially busy. She has a great family and friends whom she loves to spend time with. Her hobbies include reading, painting, cooking, travel and outdoor recreation. Her family has owned many pets throughout the years. Currently, along with their dog, Tetley, they have a cat named Carris and an albino red boa snake named Casper.

  • Caterina Calo , LVT
    Assistant Practice Manager & Licensed Veterinary Technician

    Cat joined our team in April 2015 as a licensed veterinary technician. She grew up in Long Island, New York, but has been in Virginia for the last 14 years.

    She started out as a veterinary assistant/kennel attendant in a cat/dog general practice before obtaining her Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from Penn Foster College in 2014. In the Spring of 2019, she obtained her Bachelor of Biology degree from Arizona State University. Her future goal is to earn her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Exotics. After getting licensed, she spent some time working overnights at an emergency veterinary hospital before finding an opportunity to work with exotics.

    Being in the veterinary field for 11 years, her favorite part would be getting to know the patients personally and being a part of the reason they are feeling better and recovering. “My life is being a nurse for animals. They need people like us to have their back when life gets scary and confusing”. In her spare time, she enjoys road trips with her husband, experimenting with art media, and spending time outdoors. She has 4 dogs (Shadow, Iwok, Ruger, and Dakota), 2 cats (Binx and Gouda), and a ferret named Simon.

  • Donna Mays
    Veterinary Assistant

    Donna is one of our amazing veterinary assistants who started working here in August 2010. She was born and raised in Clifton Forge, Virginia and has been in Roanoke since 1973. She first met Dr. Stewart 15 years ago with her first bird. Donna has plenty of emergency experience both in human medicine and veterinary medicine.

    She graduated in 1974 from Dabney S. Lancaster CC with an Associate Degree in Applied Science Nursing, becoming a certified medical assistant. As a certified medical assistant in the human world, she is able to apply her skills in the veterinary world during hours of emergency and during the weekend for our clinic.

    Her favorite part of working with animals is spoiling them when they are under our care whether it be with toys, treats, or extra love. In Donna’s spare time, she enjoys photography, especially of animals. She’s always had animals growing up, such as birds, cats, dogs, fish, salamanders, a turtle, and tadpoles. Showing horses was also a hobby of hers for a couple of years. Currently, she has a “herd” of guinea pigs, 2 hamsters, and 1 rabbit. Her favorite quote is, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”. – Anatole France

  • Anderson Cizmowski
    Veterinary Assistant

    Anderson is one of our talented veterinary assistants. She grew up in Wisconsin Dells, WI, but moved to Virginia in August. For the past 8 years, she has worked with a variety of exotic animals as a Zookeeper where she acquired a plethora of experience regarding behavior, husbandry, and education. Her favorite part of her career is that every day is a new experience and it is very rewarding to meet new pet owners.

    In 2017, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor’s in Biology emphasizing in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. Her goal is to learn as much as she can in the veterinary world so that she can apply in the zoo world again one day.

    In her spare time, she enjoys visiting various zoos, taking professional photographs, going hiking, and buying lots of plants! At home, she has 3 adorable cats named Bradley, Stewart, and Lucas. They keep her on her toes when she is not working. 

  • Jen Thomas
    Veterinary Receptionist

    Jen is one of our superstar veterinary receptionists! She grew up in Huntington Bay, Long Island, New York, but has lived in Roanoke, Virginia for the past 40 years. Animals have had a special place in her heart ever since she was old enough to understand what animals are! She has spent the past 20 years working in the veterinary field as both an assistant and receptionist.

    Jen graduated from Southern Sem College for Woman in Lexington, VA with a major in Fine Arts. Outside of the veterinary office, she enjoys managing her online fashion boutique business, reading, gardening, exercising, spending time outdoors with her pets, creating art, and spending time with her family and husband of 25 years.

    At home, she has 3 dogs (Chesador, St. Bernard, and a German Shepherd mix), 2 birds (Blue and Gold macaw and Umbrella Cockatoo) - all of which are rescues! Over the past several years, she has had many companion animals including rabbits, chinchillas, a hamster, sugar glider, a duck, a precious Goose named Gabby, and a variety of parrots. 

  • Lex Stapleton
    Veterinary Receptionist

    Lex is one of our wonderful and bright receptionists who joined our team in the summer of 2021. She moved to the Roanoke area about a year ago after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a focus on forensics, archaeology, and primate research. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, kayaking, traveling, and biking with her dog, Shiloh, and her boyfriend. She also has two chubby cats at home named Sparrow and Binx who enjoy zoomies at 3 am and hunting for bugs!