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Dr Deborah Cottrell earned Bachelor's Degrees from the University of Texas in Biology  and Chemistry. She then worked toward a Master's Degree in Molecular Genetics for a year and a half, after which she was accepted to Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine. After earning her DVM, she moved to Florida and opened West End Animal Hospital in 1986. She was recognized for her work with ferrets and bats, as well as dogs, cats, and other small mammals. In 2010, she was awarded Veterinarian of the Year by both the Florida Veterinary Medical Association and the No More Homeless Pets Coalition for her work with animal rescue groups.

In 2004, she married Iaon Cottrell, who began managing the practice in 2003, thus making West End a family business. She enjoys hanging out with her husband and their two dogs, CZ and Juliet. She and Iaon have had a succession of hobbies and sports, and are currently having fun doing obstacle racing and playing disc golf. Dr Cottrell also enjoys writing, cooking, and reading science fiction. 


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Dr. Erin Hampton, a native of Gainesville, began volunteering at West End when she was 16, then worked as a receptionist and later as a veterinary technician. In 2011, Dr. Hampton graduated with honors from the University of Florida with dual majors in Biology and Animal Sciences, and a minor in Chemistry. She was accepted to the UF College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated with high honors in 2015, and immediately began work at West End as a veterinarian. She is especially interested in internal medicine and surgery.

When not at work, Dr. Hampton enjoys spending time with her husband (also a veterinarian) and their 5 fur children (3 dogs, 2 cats). Her hobbies include running, obstacle course racing, camping, and hiking.


Dr. Fred Schirmer earned his undergraduate degree in Microbiology from the University of Florida. He was accepted to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, and worked as a microbiologist until he graduated from vet school in 1988. He has been a crucial part of West End Animal Hospital since 1989. He previously has worked in mixed animal practice and emergency practice. He enjoys working with a variety of animals, especially greyhounds, goats and primates. 

When not at work, Dr. Schirmer enjoys spending time with his wife (a teacher),  nine children, and seven grandchildren, as well as Annie, his ferocious guard dog, and multiple grand-dogs and cats . Together they enjoy Gator football, traveling to the beaches and mountains, and family gatherings at holidays.  In his capacity of Justice of the Peace, Dr. Schirmer has performed the wedding ceremonies of Debbie & Iaon Cottrell and Erin & Matthew Hampton, as well as those of several of our technicians.


Dr. Claire Stevens grew up in Southern California and graduated with a BS in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from the University of California, Davis in 1999.  She received her DVM from UC Davis in 2005.  She completed a year-long internship at East Bay Veterinary Specialists in Walnut Creek, CA in 2006 and has since practiced in California, Texas and Colorado doing both emergency medicine and small animal general practice.  She particularly enjoys dermatology, internal medicine, and feline medicine.

She has been an invaluable part of the West End team since 2012.

Dr. Stevens has been married since 2006 (her husband is also a vet).  They have a human son, who is always at the top of her list of “hobbies”, but she also enjoys cooking, 80’s movies, hiking, veggie gardening, and traveling when she gets the chance.  Their animal children include a Pit Bull mix (Jezebel), a Border Terrier mix (Olive), and 3 amazing cats (Blueberry, Butter and Kevin).