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Meet Our Team


We’re dedicated to your pet’s care.

The veterinarians and care team at Rice Village Animal Hospital works tirelessly to provide compassionate care for your pet.

Dr. Rita Jou

Dr. Rita Jou


Dr. Rita Jou grew up in San Antonio, Texas. She left Texas to complete her undergraduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she studied Brain & Cognitive Sciences. Upon graduating from MIT in 2004, she worked in the field of human neuroscience research in Boston and New York City, until she found her passion for veterinary medicine.

Dr. Jou attended the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts where she obtained both her Masters and Doctoral degrees. She practiced as a small animal veterinarian for several years in Boston prior to her move to Texas in 2018. Dr. Jou’s clinical interests lie in preventative health, nutrition, and behavior.

In her time away from the hospital, she enjoys spending time with her family, which include her husband, two young children, two dogs, and an elderly cat.

Dr. Alan Herron

Dr. Alan Herron

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Alan Herron was born in Southern Indiana and received his veterinary degree (DVM) from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University. After graduation he worked for one year in a private AAHA hospital in Evansville, Indiana. Dr. Herron then went on to complete a two-year research fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical School. After his fellowship ended, Dr. Herron went to the Animal Medical Center in New York City and was named the Thomas-Astor Resident in Pathology in a training program that was sponsored by the Animal Medical Center, New York Zoological Society (Bronx Zoo) and The Rockefeller University. After completing his residency, he embarked on an academic career that included the University of Miami Medical School, Columbia University and Baylor College of Medicine. His research expertise is in genetically engineered mice as models to study human disease, cancer research, zoonotic diseases, and elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus. He held senior faculty appointments at the University of Miami, Columbia University and Baylor College of Medicine and had grant supported research and numerous publications in elite medical journals. He is one of two veterinarians that have been promoted to full professor at Baylor College of Medicine.

Since 2013 he has worked as a part time relief clinical veterinarian in Houston and is now joining the staff of The Rice Village Animal Hospital as a part time associate veterinarian. He enjoys routine veterinary clinical practice and the medical management of pet animals and wellness management. On a limited basis he can review histopathology through his lab at Baylor College of Medicine.

Alan and his wife Helena enjoy watching movies on the big screen, gardening, travel, eating authentic Chinese food and spending time with their two Silky Terriers.

Anita Martinez

Anita Martinez

Practice Manager

Anita started her career in veterinary medicine in 2006. She was the Director of Pet Nursing/Veterinary Technician in her previous job and currently works as Lead Veterinary Technician/Assitant Practice Manager-in-training and is the supervisor of the kennel technicians. She is also our Safety Coordinator. Anita is a Certified Veterinary Assistant Level II. She has participated in an Emergency First Aid for Pets course, with an emphasis on CPR for animals.

She enjoys spending time with her family, most importantly her young daughter Selene. She is so excited to watch her grow! She is also going to school to obtain an Associates Degree in Animal Sciences. Anita has three pets: “Lacy,” a Pitbull Terrier; “Jasmine,” a chocolate Lab mix; and a cat named “Duncan.” In her spare time, she enjoys reading, music, kickboxing and outdoor activities.

Anita says, “I love animals and get satisfaction when helping pets. I like to have the opportunity to make a difference in any way possible!” Here she is pictured with a regular patient “Bella.”

Nancy Quinteros

Nancy Quinteros

Client Service Representative

Nancy was born and raised in Houston, Texas. After working in retail for some time she decided to join the RVAH team. Nancy has found a great deal of joy in working with our furry friends and their owners. Every day she looks forward to being able to help our clients and to see our patients, welcoming them with a smiling face and providing compassion and care. Nancy’s love for all animals has just continued to grow since joining our team.
Ashley Padilla

Ashley Padilla

Client Service Representative/Receptionist

Ashley was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She moved to Houston last year to pursue her career further, not only in animal medicine but also in human medicine. Ashley has always had a love and passion for animals and has dreamed of having a career combining the two. Rice Village Animal Hospital has helped her begin this journey.

Ashley is CVA certified and is currently enrolled to obtain her associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her loved ones, and keeping in touch with her family back home. She is a happy fur mom to her 4-legged pets: Tina, her playful Pitbull, and Tinker, a tabby cat.

Monica Alfaro

Monica Alfaro

Veterinary Technician

Monica was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Since she was a child she loved helping animals She moved to Houston in 2014 and began working in the veterinary field as soon as she had the opportunity. She is passionate about the well being of all her patients. Monica always looks forward to coming to work and enjoys every moment of it and the Journey it will take her on. She always strives to provide a Fear Free visit for all of our patients to ensure that they feel safe and have a positive experience. When not at work she spends her free time with her 2 children and her own fur babies.

Noel Oden

Noel Oden

Veterinary Nurse

Noel has been working in the veterinary industry since 2014. She has worked in the relief world and has been able to experience a wide range of hospital protocols. She joined the team at RVAH in November of 2019 and has been working hard to advance her career through education and training. Noel is currently enrolled in school in order to obtain her Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. Noel is very patient with her care and focused on Fear Free techniques as well as preventative care. In her free time, Noel enjoys being mom to her son Ezra and their 3 fur babies.
Nicole Gearhart

Nicole Gearhart

Pet Stylist

Our newest Pet Stylist, Nicole, joined RVAH in May 2020! A Houston native while also having grown up in Louisiana, she began her career with animals in 2010 and a grooming career in 2012. She takes pride in her work and believes in the quality of not only her grooms but the time spent with her fur clients!

In her spare time, she enjoys all things outdoors and traveling. She’s a “mom” to her rescue dog Gus – her best buddy and sometimes, traveling partner!

Necole Woodson

Necole Woodson

Kennel Supervisor and Veterinary Assistant

Necole was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She worked in retail most of her life but decided she needed to make a change, one that would bring her joy. Her love for animals led her to Rice Village Animal Hospital in 2019. Her favorite part of being a Kennel Technician is bringing the animals joy during their stay and giving their owners peace of mind while they are gone. In her spare time, Necole spends time with her children exploring nature.

Edith Escobar

Edith Escobar

Kennel Technician and Client Service Representative

Edith was born and raised in Houston, Texas. After her first year at Texas State University, she decided to extend her knowledge of the veterinary field by joining RVAH. Since joining the team her love for animals has only grown. Edith recently received her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and continues to expand her knowledge with the help of everyone at RVAH.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two pets; Lucy, a cute little dog adopted from BARC, and Hazel, a sweet little cat who was adopted at the ASPCA. She also enjoys listening to music and catching up with her close friends.

We’ve been serving Houston since 1976.

The team at Rice Village Animal Hospital has been your preferred Houston veterinary hospital for a long time, and we know how important your pet is to your family. Please contact us with anything you may need, big or small.

How can we help you?

Our Address

2348 Rice Blvd.
Houston, TX 77005
Click here for directions.


Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sun: 5 pm - 6 pm Boarding Check-in and Pick-ups
Doctor's Hours by Appointment, Walk-ins, and Drop-Off Services Welcome

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Please complete the form below and a member of our team will respond generally within 24 hours. If you wish to schedule an appointment or have an urgent question or problem please call us at 713-527-0489.

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