Rene Dabasinskas – Practice Manager/Owner
Growing up on several small farms, Rene fell in love with animals. She tells childhood stories of piglets being born during a bitter cold winter and rushing them to the gas oven since that was the only source of heat to be had. She also had a lamb named Susie whose mother didn’t make it through the birth. She took the orphaned lamb into her bedroom and Suzie slept in a box by her bed between bottle feedings until she was old enough to join the herd. As Susie grew, she would watch for the school bus so she could greet Rene at the pasture gate.
Through the years, Rene has had lots of other animal friends including a blue and gold macaw, alpacas, llamas, rabbits, several breeds of horses, and of course dogs and cats. In addition to loving them as pets, Rene also tried her hand at breeding, training and showing alpacas, Wire-Haired Fox Terriers, Great Danes, Giant Schnauzers and Friesian horses.
Rene earned her BS degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee where she met and married Dr. Wally. After graduation, Rene worked for advertising agency for several years and then helped her father start up his ethanol technology consulting firm. Rene and Dr. Wally purchased their first veterinary practice in Virginia in 1992, just after the birth of their daughter, Dr. Kristin. CAMC is the fifth veterinary practice that Rene and Dr. Wally have owned and operated. While Rene used to have time to work as a receptionist full-time while managing the practice, she now spends most of her time in her office dealing with paperwork, HR issues, IT and accounting. She still loves to pop up front so she can say hi to our clients and patients when she has a few minutes between tasks.
Rene spends her free time having fun with her husband and her daughter. Her hobbies include cooking, reading, enjoying the Florida sunshine and traveling. Her favorite thing to do is get out of town on a cruise!
Meet Our Veterinarians
Dr. Wally Dabasinskas -Medical Director/Owner
If you made it to my bio page, welcome to Coastal Animal Medical Center! We are a family owned and oriented practice with some of the most dedicated and caring doctors and staff that I have had the privilege to work with.
As for me, I am the cliché of “wanting to be a veterinarian since I was a kid”. I attended the University of Tennessee for undergraduate school then the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating at the ripe old age of 24. It was in Tennessee where I met my best friend, Rene, and convinced her to marry me. At the age of 27 we purchased our first veterinary hospital in Virginia, and my future veterinarian daughter, Kristin, was born. Over the next several years we added several vaccination clinics to the fold and became one of the first hospitals in the area to perform and teach CO2 laser use for surgeries.
After a few more years and wanting a change of pace, I sold those practices and became Chief of Staff for several corporate veterinary hospitals including one mixed animal practice in Cody, Wyoming. That is where my incorrigible friend, Sage, came into my life. She was a German Wire-Haired Pointer who accompanied me for the next 15 years in veterinary practice. Sage went to work with me each day, and I believe she touched many people’s and pets’ lives along the way.
After several years in Wyoming, Rene and I missed our families in Virginia and decided to return to Virginia to open 3 hospitals in the Richmond area with Banfield. At these hospitals we were among the first to perform in-hospital cardiac ultrasounds and transmit these results to cardiologists via telemedicine for interpretation. We also were among the first practices in the area to start using radiosurgery versus CO2 laser for soft tissue surgery.
When Rene’s dad retired to Florida, we sold the Banfield hospitals, and I accepted a position as Chief of Staff at Banfield Pet Hospital in Sarasota while we were building CAMC. In May of 2012, we opened CAMC and tried to incorporate all our previous veterinary successes and added 2 complete dental suites with dental radiograph capability. My favorite areas of interest among these would include soft tissue surgery and dentistry.
Although I tend to get much of the credit for the success of our practice, it would not be possible without the best doctors and staff to work with me, the best wife to stand along-side me managing the hospitals and supporting me, the daughter who watched me as a child and then became a wonderful veterinarian in her own right, and a dog named Sage that kept everything in perspective.
When I am not working at the clinic, I may be fishing, boating, camping or golfing. You may even see me riding my motorcycle around the neighborhood. Feel free to stop me and chat, or better yet, stop by the clinic and see what we are all about. And for folks who are already our clients, thanks for trusting us to care for your loved family members!
Dr. Kristin Dabasinskas – Associate Veterinarian/Nursing Manager
Dr. Kristin moved to Florida to attend the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013, after finishing her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Virginia Tech. She has a Giant Schnauzer named Alli (short for Alli-gator), and a cat, who is more like a mini-dog, named Emmy. Being the daughter of Dr. Wally and Rene, she was practically raised in a veterinary clinic. Her favorite part of general practice is forming long-term relationships with patients and clients. On her days off, you can catch her camping, playing board games, baking, or writing. She is also an avid Harry Potter fan and a proud Hufflepuff!
Dr. Mariko Agena – Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Agena is a 2015 graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She credits her love of animals to her first dog, Momo. She is a Colorado native who enjoys her time with her husband and her dog, Sam. Sam’s interests include chasing squirrels and peanut butter. Her professional interests include cardiology and dentistry. She enjoys cooking, pottery, and yoga.
Dr. Karyn Massi – Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Massi is a New Jersey native who has been living and practicing in Southwest Florida since 2009. Prior to getting her veterinary degree, Dr. Massi earned a BA in Music Performance from Ithaca College in 1997. After playing and teaching music for several years, Dr. Massi was inspired to become a veterinarian after she got her first pet, a cockatiel named Buttercup. After catching up on some science courses at Rutgers University, Dr. Massi attended the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and earned her degree in 2009.
In her spare time Dr. Massi enjoys birdwatching, traveling, hiking, reading, and writing. She is an avid concertgoer and music lover, often traveling all over the US to see bands. Dr Massi likes to stay active taking Zumba classes, exercise boot camp, and salsa dancing weekly. Dr. Massi’s bucket list includes birdwatching in Australia, writing a book, learning to speak French, and paying off her student loans. She currently shares her home with four very sweet avian companions, all of which she has adopted or rescued. Dr. Massi is a Ravenclaw.
Meet Our Managers
Dedra – Customer Service Manager/Receptionist
Dedra has always had a passion for animals. As a child her dream was to work with dolphins and other marine mammals. Even though that dream did not turn into reality, her compassion and love for four-legged friends has continued to grow. Dedra began working with animals in June 2005 as a kennel assistant, and at that point, she knew where her heart was. Dedra found her true home when she began working at CAMC in May 2013. Through the years the friendships and bonds, not only with the pets she has taken care of, but also with their families are irreplaceable. Outside of CAMC she enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two dogs Lulu and Titan.
Tia- Kennel Manager/Receptionist
Tia was born and raised in the Lakewood ranch area. In her free time, she likes to ride her horse Whiskey, go boating and do archery. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and their two dogs, Oreo and Ruger. She is currently enrolled at the University of South Florida finishing a bachelor’s degree in criminology. Like most, Tia was drawn to the veterinary industry due to her love of animals, but what really got her hooked was the way she connects with the patients and their owners. “It’s so nice being able to recognize patients and their owners. I love being able to comfort the pets when they are scared because they remember me. Also, I love having great conversations with clients. I really feel like we are all one giant family catching up on what we each have been doing. That’s what makes working at CAMC awesome & rewarding!”
Meet Our Technicians
Lisa – Certified Veterinary Technician
Lisa grew up in Sarasota, and her passion for animals began while she was very young. At the age of six, Lisa began showing and training horses. After high school, she moved to Boston where she earned her BFA from Tufts University & The School of the Museum of Fine Arts. After graduation, Lisa moved back to Sarasota to be close to her family and to continue her pursuits in veterinary sciences. In 2014, Lisa graduated with an associated degree in Veterinary Technology from St. Petersburg College and received her certification the following year. Lisa shares her home with three large dogs, and she has a special place in her heart for huskies. Though she has worked in shelters and emergency medicine, she says she loves general medicine best because she gets to meet pets of every age, and many times, gets to maintain that relationship throughout their whole lives. “It is so rewarding to get to know our pets and clients…They are family.”
Maggie – Certified Veterinary Technician
Maggie came to us from Michigan after graduating from Fox College in Illinois in 2015. Maggie has always been interested in working with animals. Her older sister found the Vet Tech Program, and that is where her career started! Maggie lives here in Lakewood Ranch with her new Miniature Bull Terrier puppy, Eli. She is very passionate about the work she does, and she loves meeting the wonderful clients that come to us. What is most fulfilling for Maggie are the friendships that have been made during her time here at CAMC between her co-workers and even some clients! She firmly believes in the quote “if you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life”. Maggie has always wanted to be on the move, but she says she will be sticking around for a while since the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In her free time, she enjoys relaxing by the pool, napping, and spending time with her loved ones.