Dr. Elizabeth Lara was born in Seattle and grew up amidst a menagerie of animals in rural southern Oregon, from gerbils and rabbits, to sheep, goats, cows and horses, along with dogs and cats. At a very young age Dr. Lara knew she wanted to be a veterinarian, and even has a poster she made about this from kindergarten. She attended undergraduate training and veterinary school at Oregon State University, where she graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2009.
For thirteen years, Dr. Lara served in the United States Army Veterinary Corps, as a Veterinary Corps Officer, in California, Iraq, Texas, Kuwait, and Washington. Her military positions ranged from providing comprehensive veterinary care to military working animals, including dogs and horses, practicing at and managing a small animal veterinary hospital, inspecting commercial [human] food production facilities for their sanitary practices, instructing new veterinarians joining the Army, and directing a veterinary internship program for new Army veterinarians.
Throughout her career thus far, Dr. Lara has developed a keen interest in the intersection of animal health, human health, and the health of our planet. Many diseases affect both people and animals, such as rabies and leptospirosis, and environmental situations affect the health and wellness of all living beings. In 2015, Dr. Lara became boarded as a Veterinary Preventive Medicine Specialist through the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, and she completed a Master of Public Health degree at Oregon State University in 2016.
After many years in the military with frequent moves and several deserts, Dr. Lara is happy to be settling back in the northwest, where she enjoys gardening, riding horses, spending time with family, hiking, and engaging conversations.