Dr Robert McLeod, D.V.M.


Dr McLeod's Bio
Dr Mcleod was born in Victoria, BC and grew up in Victoria, Ottawa, and Whitehorse. After completing high school at Spectrum Community School in Victoria, he attended UVic and UBC, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology. He became inspired to be a veterinarian while working on a dairy farm in Tsawwassen, BC and graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon in 1990.

Dr McLeod practiced medicine in Swift Current, SK and Comox, BC before he moved to Creston to join Dr Dave Perrin, who was the founder of Creston Veterinary Hospital, and who later retired to write the Country Vet Series. In Dr McLeod’s many years of practice, he’s developed a special interest in dairy medicine and orthopedic surgery.

Dr McLeod is an avid aviator! He uses this vehicle to bring veterinary care to remote clients and it also serves as an air ambulance. He volunteers his time with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, CASARA, and plays hockey as a goaltender with the Creston Old Timers. Dr McLeod’s two children, Kathleen and Alexandra, both attend the University of Calgary and major in Education and Business respectively. He has 3 dogs: Zeke, the Lab Pointer (master of the ball flinger), Kona, the crazy Lab (mischief and mice hunting specialist), and Piper, the photogenic border collie. He also has 3 cats; Ruckus (so named because he made such a fuss when he strayed into the veterinary clinic) and two other 3-legged cats that take care of his hangar, Lucy and Elvis. These two are awesome mousers despite their handicaps!

Dr McLeod is passionate about making Creston Veterinary Hospital responsive to community needs. He has been committed to the Creston Valley since he first arrived in 1993, becoming co-owner in 1996 and noting that the community required a veterinarian who could handle all species. It requires a continuous veterinary emergency presence and he is proud that he has been able to offer that. Creston Veterinary Hospital has grown significantly over the years and now requires several veterinarians to lighten the load. He continues to mentor the younger veterinarians as a payback to the community and profession he loves.

John Wallis, B.S.F., R.P.F.


John's Bio
John is a co-owner at Creston Veterinary Hospital, assisting with management and personnel issues for the past 20 years. Over this time he has had the privilege of working with the many dedicated staff members that have all contributed to the success of the clinic. He and Rob have been friends since high school and have worked on many projects together.

John graduated from UBC with a degree in Forestry in 1986 and continued on to work as a professional forester in both industry and as a consultant. During this time he has gained varied experience in business management.

John enjoys a variety of outdoor activities and still works seasonally as a field forester. Much of his time is spent with his wife, Hilary, and their “sled” dog, Cara. Their three daughters are now independent, two married with dogs of their own, as well as one pet pygmy goat, and one daughter finishing university. They have been a family of many pets over the decades, ranging from dogs and horses to budgies and hedgehogs. Having spent some time at veterinary clinics as a client, with a background in business, John brings a different and welcome perspective to clinic management.

Dr Julie Gailius, D.V.M.


Dr Gailius' Bio
Julie spent her early years on Vancouver Island and moved to the Creston Valley in 1999, where she and her siblings grew up on a small mixed farm in Canyon. The farm was also home to a variety pack of critters (horses, cattle, chickens, turkeys, cats, dogs, and the occasional pet bird and rodent). When not in school, she rode Norwegian Fjord ponies and played piano and alto recorder.

Julie studied Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Saskatchewan prior to being accepted into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (Saskatoon, SK). During her time at the WCVM, she remained focused on rural mixed practice, with the goal of returning to BC. Julie returned to Creston in 2017 and joined the Creston Veterinary Hospital. She is passionate about practising rural mixed animal veterinary medicine.

Julie currently lives in Erickson with her two cats – Valdy (a perky orange tabby who is allergic to the world!) and Vance (a shy black kitty). She spends her spare time rock climbing, hanging out with her cats, and playing the guitar.

Dr Julia Kaczkowski, D.V.M.

Locum Veterinarian

Dr Kaczkowski's Bio
Dr. Julia Kaczkowski grew up in Lake Country, BC, where she spent most of her formative years as a self-described barn rat at an equestrian facility. After studying animal biology at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, Julia attended veterinary school in Saskatoon at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. She spent a brief period of time exploring the maritime provinces before deciding to return home to beautiful British Columbia. Julia is so happy to be back in her native province and firmly believes that B.C. is indeed “The Best Place on Earth”.

At the clinic, Julia’s favourite aspects of veterinary medicine range from feline and equine medicine and wellness to animal behaviour. She finds great reward in working together with clients to create tailored health plans specific to every pet’s individual needs. Julia also has a special interest in pocket pet medicine, especially rabbits (having a rabbit of her own, she admits she may be slightly biased).

Julia has always been an outdoors enthusiast, and in her free time, Julia enjoys hiking, scrambling, backcountry camping, rock climbing, trail running, kayaking, skiing, and snowshoeing. With its wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities, the Kootenays are the perfect fit and Julia feels fortunate to live in this spectacular region. When at home, Julia enjoys the company of her two critters: Captain the Rabbit (a pompous bun who takes his name a bit too seriously) and Pinot Noir the Cat, a very emotionally attached feline who takes great pleasure in decorating Julia’s home with large amounts of cat fluff.

Belinda Bouchot

Assistant Practice Manager, Call Centre Attendant

Belinda's Bio
Born and raised in Coastal BC, Belinda started her career in the animal industry in 1998 as a certified Veterinary Assistant. Although she enjoyed some exciting years as a business owner and instructor in the beauty and movie industry, when the opportunity arose, she leapt at the chance to pursue her lifelong dream of working with animals.

Over the years, she pursued further education and training in different aspects of the animal hospital to widen her knowledge of the practice as a whole. Her training expanded into reception, client care, canine rehabilitation and hydrotherapy, alternative modalities, nutrition, and weight management. Eventually, she became more involved with fundraising events, administrative duties, managerial/team leadership roles, and practice evaluation.

If asked what she thought was her greatest accomplishment in her career, it would have to be her participation in small animal rescue. Since early childhood, Belinda was known for bringing home all sorts of stray and injured animals. As an adult, she was able to contribute more to their care from lobbying the government to fostering and helping to find many happy, forever homes. Her children were raised to love and respect all animals and were also actively involved in helping to care for the menagerie of rescues over the years.

By 2014, with their two children raising families of their own, Belinda and her husband, Eric, escaped to the Creston Valley to enjoy a quieter lifestyle. Planning on early retirement, Belinda could finally spend more of her time on outdoor activities like gardening, hobby farming, and hiking with their dogs.

Alas, it wasn’t long after becoming a client at our hospital that Belinda soon found herself “back in the saddle”. Believing strongly in the human-animal bond, she is thoroughly enjoying her time working in our Call Centre and has recently stepped in as Assistant Practice Manager. Belinda most enjoys following-up on the care of our patients by answering or directing any questions or concerns, working as a liaison for our busy doctors and technicians if needed.

Having limited experience with large animals, she is very excited to be learning about our beautiful valley’s large animal clientele as well. So much so, that she is now hoping to rescue a few goats and possibly a donkey or a Llama (or two)!

At last count, Belinda shares her home with 2 beautiful rescue dogs; DeDe, a rambunctious and snuggly Boxer mix and Todd, a mischievous Blue Heeler; 3 demanding senior cats, Mr. Biggs, Granny Smith, and Tabitha; one dog-loving, 3-legged cat named Vincent; one young plant-eating cat named Brady; 7 pet chickens; and 13 pet turkeys (yes, they all have names too!).

Rochelle Christensen, R.V.T.

Marketing & Recruiting Director, Registered Veterinary Technologist

Rochelle's Bio
Rochelle always knew she would pursue a career working with animals. She grew up in Canmore, AB, where wildlife sightings are commonplace. Driven by her curiosity and inclination to nurture, Rochelle became infatuated with the creatures she encountered and made numerous attempts to connect with them on some level. Naturally, she was an enthusiastic science student, excelling at Biology, which she later studied at Capilano University in Vancouver. It was during this time that she had the fortunate opportunity to volunteer with both the Bamfield Marine Science Centre and the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Association.

Rochelle began working at the Creston Veterinary Hospital in the summer of 2014 as a Veterinary Assistant, returning to school in the fall to complete her final year of Animal Health studies at Lakeland College in Vermilion, AB. Upon graduation, she gained valuable work experience at a 24-hour emergency and specialty practice in the Okanagan, where she achieved her R.V.T. designation after successfully writing a national licensing exam in July of 2015 and has since returned to work for Dr. McLeod full-time.

Since her arrival, Rochelle has taken on many roles. From student to Veterinary Technician to Hospital Director, she now spearheads our marketing and recruiting endeavours. This assignment provides a welcome change from her technical skill set, allowing her to creatively bridge the gap between our veterinary services and the communities needs.

Rochelle enjoys gallivanting outdoors with her partner, Jeremy, their two rescue pups; Daisy and Jo-Jo, and their soon to be, newborn son. Rochelle has already begun her maternity leave, and together, they look forward to becoming humble students. They especially can’t wait to introduce their little man to all of their favourite Kootenay activities, like hiking, camping, swimming, and snowboarding.

Rochelle will be on maternity leave until September 2021 as she welcomes her first child, Owen!

Katelyn Samson, R.V.T.

Hospital Team Lead, Registered Veterinary Technologist

Katelyn's Bio
Originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Katelyn fell in love with animal care while grooming part-time in high school. After moving to Halifax and taking a year of Makeup Artistry and Design, she was accepted into Dalhousie Agricultural College for Veterinary Technology, beginning her journey towards a career in veterinary medicine.

Katelyn began working in the field during her final semester of technical school and instantly recognized a family of people who shared in the same enthusiasm for caretaking. Drawn to the relationships built with clients and patients alike, she knew this was exactly what she wanted out of a career and to this day, it is what she loves most about being a Veterinary Technician.

Katelyn graduated in April of 2017 and discovered a keen interest in nutrition, homeopathic medicine, and small animal behaviour and training while she worked part-time at Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives. This experience also broadened her knowledge of home prepared and raw diets, essential oils, and homeopathic methods. Katelyn is a proud Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional and uses these skills to look after a pet’s emotional wellbeing, in addition to their physical wellbeing, which allows her to provide her patients with the most inclusive healthcare possible.

“I love educating clients and sharing my experiences of my own Shih Tzu, Kida, who struggles with separation anxiety, a heart condition, and mild allergies”.

Katelyn moved across Canada in December 2018 with her boyfriend, Jeremy, their 2 cats, Nala and Oliver, and Shih Tzu, Kida, and thrilled to call Creston their new home. In her free time, Katelyn enjoys walking the local trails with her little family, drawing portraits, reading, and playing the occasional video game.

Tara Halonen, R.V.T.

Registered Veterinary Technologist

Tara's Bio
Tara has had a love for animals since a young age and they have been a big part of her life ever since. She first volunteered with our clinic in her last year of high school, though she pursued a long and rewarding career with Creston Fire Rescue before rejoining the team at Creston Veterinary Hospital in 2002.

While working as an assistant, Tara began studying for her diploma in Animal Health Technology through the Thompson Rivers University Distance Education program. With the support from Dr. McLeod and her amazing coworkers, she received the hands-on experience necessary to graduate and became a Registered Veterinary Technician in 2010. Tara enjoys the fact that Creston Veterinary Hospital is a mixed animal practice because throughout the day her patients may be large or small, and as result, the years in practice have never been boring.

Outside of work, Tara enjoys many adventurous outdoor activities, exercising, and camping with family and friends. Tara shares her home with husband, Mark, son, Caelan, and their favourite fur-buddies, LadyBug, a Border Collie/Lab cross, Percy Blackstone, a black and white DSH cat, and their newest addition, Zeus, the Blue Heeler puppy.

Carrie Ukrainetz, R.V.T.

Registered Veterinary Technologist

Carrie's Bio
Carrie graduated from the Animal Health Technology program at Lakeland College in Vermilion, AB in 2005. She moved to the Creston Valley with her husband, Steve, and their two young boys in the summer of 2014. After a brief hiatus to raise her growing family, Carrie returned to the veterinary field and joined the team at Creston Veterinary Hospital in 2016. Carrie especially loves the variety of patients she helps treat; from domesticated cats and dogs to more exotic species like owls, turtles, alpacas, and even a bald eagle.

It’s been difficult not to take home every stray animal that comes through the clinic and Carrie has shown great restraint; however, last year they adopted Reggie, a very loving Golden Retriever mix. As it turns out, good things come to those who wait, because he could not have been a more perfect fit for their family. Outside of work, Carrie enjoys a variety of sports which include hockey (go Jets!), slow pitch, golf, and a rekindled passion for rock climbing. Carrie looks forward to helping you and your fur-family very soon!

Bronwyn Bush, R.V.T.

Registered Veterinary Technologist

Bronwyn's Bio
Having grown up in Calgary, Bronwyn usually spent her summers on a beef and wheat farm in SE Alberta. As an only child, she learned to cherish animals for their unique and loyal friendships, developing a passion for their care early on. It’s no surprise that she grew up with many pets including rodents, reptiles, and her best friend of 17 years, a Cocker Spaniel/Bichon named Chuckey.

As an adult, Bronwyn adopted many other animals while attending the University of Calgary for her BSc in Psychology. She had a rewarding career working with children, teenagers, and adults with Autism and one day aspires to unify her two passions; healing animals and assisting people with special needs.

Bronwyn realized she had chosen the right career path the second time around while attending the Animal Health Technology program at Lakeland College in Vermilion, AB. Surrounded by people who shared her compassion and enthusiasm for the care and companionship of animals, she knew she’d found her calling. Bronwyn came to Creston on her practicum in May 2019 and
enjoyed the exceptional learning environment and welcoming staff, as well as the clients and their pets so much that she enthusiastically accepted a full-time position. Bronwyn has a special interest in emergency nursing care and thinks that the best part about being a Veterinary Technologist is that every day is different. It keeps her on her toes and encourages her constant

Bronwyn has a 10-year-old chihuahua (guard dog) named Astro, who has a large personality in a tiny body. She also shares her home with a tuxedo cat named Hugo and a grey tabby named Edward. The furry trio spend their days cuddling each other and loving any human that comes around. Outside of work, Bronwyn enjoys outdoor adventures, snowboarding, and true crime podcasts.

Tanya Schobert, R.V.T.

Registered Veterinary Technologist

Tanya's Bio
Tanya Schobert joined the team at Creston Veterinary Hospital in June 2020. She graduated too many years ago to count but has a young at heart attitude that does not tire easily. After working in Manitoba at the Winkler and Morden Veterinary Clinics for over 25 years, she decided that a new start in the warm Creston Valley would be a lovely way to say good-bye to the province of extremes (and that goes for weather, bugs and ticks!).

After her initial visit to Creston, convincing the family to move wasn’t hard! Packing and moving within a month was a whirlwind, but so worth the effort. Tanya, her family, and their pack; an American bully named “Havana,” a one-eyed cat named “Sparrow” and two Quarter Horses, “Lincoln and Rosie” are all settled in now!

Being an RVT is not for everyone. The work expectancy of a “tech” is 5-7 years, and, like any other job, some days present a few challenges. However, Tanya maintains that the team and clinic culture is what can make or break it. It’s not just the brilliant weather that attracted her to Creston, but the incredible work ethic, warmth and compassion that each member of the team exudes. Tanya loves puppy and kitten snuggles, but she counts herself fortunate to have found such a close-knit and caring team to work alongside.

Tanya is especially looking forward to meeting everyone in the Valley and working with their companions. Visiting and listening to clients’ stories, and ensuring that pet ownership is mutually rewarding for all parties, is her most cherished role. She says her “job” as a technician is to maximize client education, empathy, and be a voice for all creatures, big and small. Tanya would like to take this opportunity to thank the community in advance for entrusting her with their animals care.

Lyn Vargas

Marketing, Registered Veterinary Technologist

Lyn's Bio
Lyn joins us from a small animal hospital and rehabilitation practice on Vancouver Island. She is a 3rd-year student at Thompson Rivers University and has come to Creston Veterinary Hospital to finish her final year of Animal Health Technology. After finishing her certification in the Veterinary Office Assistant program in 2014, Lyn has gained close to 5 years’ of experience working in a variety of roles as a receptionist, veterinary assistant, and a rehabilitation assistant. Lyn has a passion for all animals, but a special place in her heart for exotic species, such as reptiles and pocket pets. This was demonstrated in 2014 when she opened Scritches Rat Rescue; a Victoria-based rescue dedicated to the health and wellness of domesticated rats. Lyn is also a published writer who has been featured in West Coast Veterinary Magazine for her work with rescues and the difficulties financial limitations can pose on the care of rescue animals. After becoming a Veterinary Technician, Lyn hopes to continue her education with a focus on wild and exotic species, as well as emergency and critical care of domestic animals.

Lyn has moved to the Creston Valley with husband Pascal, 3 cats (Penny, Moose and Odo), and 1 Bearded Dragon (Elon). So far, they have enjoyed the breath-taking views and a number of outdoor hikes that Creston and the surrounding communities have to offer and they look forward to continuing to hike, kayak, paddleboard, canoe and camp their away around this beautiful valley. Lyn and Pascal have visited Iceland to admire its extensive hot springs and most recently visited Australia, where they experienced their first cageless dive with sharks. YIKES! The two said they wouldn’t trade that experience for anything else in the world and that it really opened their eyes to how magnificent these often-misunderstood creatures are. When not adventuring abroad or exploring what home has to offer, the couple enjoys being creative. Lyn enjoys drawing, painting and photography, while her husband enjoys building scale models of steamships and historical replicas. Although new to the valley, they are excited to live in a town that embraces artists and outdoor adventurists so fondly and they look forward to the many new memories they will create in the years to come.

Carrie Woodall, R.V.T

Recruiting, Registered Veterinary Technologist

Carrie's Bio
Carrie was born in Williams Lake, BC but grew up in the beautiful Creston Valley; first on an apple orchard in Erickson, and later, on a farm in Lister, a place her parents still call home. As a child, Creston proved to be the perfect playground for Carrie; she spent the summers camping and participated in Dairy 4-H, Horse 4-H, reining, and Extreme Cowboy Racing with her friends and family. Now Carrie resides on the “Half Way Ranch” located off the Alaska highway. In 2009, mentored by Dr McLeod and the rest of the support staff, Carrie completed her high school work experience at Creston Veterinary Hospital and enrolled in her first year of Animal Health studies at Lakeland College in Vermillion, AB. She continued to work with CVH and completed her Animal Health Technology degree at Olds College in 2015, writing her licensing exam shortly thereafter. Carrie continued to challenge herself both personally and professionally; taking on more leadership roles and dedicating her practice to the wellbeing of our clients, pets, and staff. In 2015 she became our first ever Practice Manager, a role she embraced fervently until January 2020. October 2020 Carrie will be covering Rochelle Christensen’s maternity leave as our Recruitment Coordinator. Carrie loves spending time working with her partner on the Halfway ranch, training horses and flying fishing when she gets the chance. Carrie shares her home with her faithful Australian Shepherd, Gypsy; three horses, Jiggs, Kodi and Mickey.

Alexandra Hayes

Student Veterinary Technologist

Alexandra's Bio
With an agricultural background, Alex knew from a very young age that she wanted to work with animals. She grew up in the Creston Valley playing soccer and participating in the local 4-H clubs with equine, dairy and photography projects and acquired her first horse, Sterling, when she was just nine years old. After high school, Alex attended Lethbridge College for three years, where she completed two Agricultural Technology diplomas, majoring in both Plant and Soil Science and Animal Science, all while competing with the Lethbridge College Kodiaks Women’s Soccer team.

Throughout the years, Alexandra has enjoyed learning about the dairy industry and spent many summers working as a farm-hand and milker at Mountain Valley Dairy, in addition to working at several fruit stands and farms throughout the valley. In 2018, she worked in Kamloops as a Parent Seed Summer Associate with BASF and Bayer Crop Science, gaining valuable work experience in the Canola industry. While Alexandra certainly enjoyed studying plant agriculture, she maintains that her passion is working with animals, particularly farm animals, and has since returned to her hometown of Creston to work with Creston Veterinary Hospital. Alex joined the team in November 2018 and is thoroughly enjoying her transition into the field of veterinary medicine.

A life-long learner, Alexandra has recently completed a certificate course in Agricultural Business Risk Management and is working towards becoming a veterinary technologist through Thompson Rivers University. The 3-year Animal Health Technology (AHT) distance program commences in January 2020 and will allow Alex to obtain the theoretical portion of her training by distance education while gaining clinical experience at Creston Veterinary Hospital.

In her spare time, Alex enjoys taking photos of our beautiful valley, playing with her dogs Orsa, the Maremma Sheepdog, and Charlie, the Collie cross, as well as working with her horses, Sterling, the Fjord, and Ariel and Cookie, both quarter horses. She continues to play recreational soccer and also works to expand her family farm business, Haygan Farms. She hopes that one day it will become fully self-sustainable, with a small Jersey herd, beef cattle, and chickens.

Amanda Brookwell

Student Veterinary Technologist

Amanda's Bio
Born and raised in Creston, BC, Amanda has always had a love for animals. She began attending Equine 4-H at 8 years of age, and when she turned 13, she started to become more interested in barrel racing, travelling around to do so. Amanda graduated from Prince Charles Secondary School in January 2014 and moved to Alberta to work at a horse breeding facility in small town
Bassano, Alberta, where she gained experience in artificial insemination, stallion handling, and semen collection.

Amanda moved back to Creston in the fall of 2014 to work at Overwaitea Foods before joining our team in October 2016. Amanda has grown immensely during this time, both professionally and personally, which is evident in the meticulous care of her patients and ever-growing responsibilities. Her new role as a Veterinary Technician Trainee requires her to help with billing,
client communication, lab diagnostics, and on-call rotations with the veterinarian. Amanda enjoys all aspects of her job but has a special interest in small animal dentistry.

Amanda shares her life with Cajun, a Jack Russel Terrier who was born in their family home in Creston, 9 years ago, and Linc, the newest addition, a bright and playful Red Heeler puppy. Together, they are very active, love to play fetch (it’s all about the ball), and enthusiastically follow Amanda on her many adventures. Amanda also cares for her barrel horse, an 11-year-old Quarter Horse mare named Jess.

Hiking, walking with her dogs, dirt biking, hunting, fishing, and riding horses are among Amanda’s favourite outdoor pursuits. As an avid barrel racer, she has won the purse on several occasions and even won a saddle in 2016. Amanda is looking forward to barrel racing this summer and starting agility with her puppy, Linc, before she heads to school to pursue an education at Olds College to become a Veterinary Technician. We are so excited for her future!

Tessa Chambers

Veterinary Assistant

Tessa's Bio
Tessa was born and raised in the beautiful Creston Valley and loves calling it “home”. She has been an animal lover all of her life and has a passion for helping those in need. Tessa began working with horses after joining 4-H at the age of 12. She was then employed at Creston Flats Stables & the Therapeutic Riding Centre before landing her current role as a Veterinary Assistant at Creston Veterinary Hospital in 2015. As a Veterinary Assistant, Tessa assists with surgical preparation, farm calls, patient care, equipment sterilization, hospital cleaning, and numerous other duties. Tessa thoroughly enjoys her role at the clinic and is considering the idea of furthering her education in the veterinary field to enable her to delve deeper into all this career has to offer.

Tessa is part of a large blended family that all have varied careers and interests in retail, esthetics, sales, nursing, and construction. Tessa; however, has found her joy in animals! Tessa got her first horse when she was 13 and has been devoted to riding and training “Izzy” ever since. In May 2018 “Izzy” had her own baby and now Tessa is working with “Jupiter”, the feisty filly who’s growing very large, very quickly. Tessa loves horseback riding, hiking, swimming, and most outdoor activities that Creston has to offer.

Kristi Renz

Veterinary Assistant

Kristi's Bio
Bio coming soon!

Trish Woodall

Reception Team Lead

Trish's Bio
Trish and husband, Jay, moved to Creston in 1991 from Williams Lake, BC following a job transfer while Jay was working as a journeyman for BC Tel. They made the trek in the middle of a winter snowstorm with all of their belongings, two toddlers, and a 6-week-old baby in tow! In the spring of ‘91, they bought their own place, a 10-acre orchard, and received a crash course on orchard operations from their welcoming neighbours. They spent 15 years working the orchard and in that time raised their 4 daughters, Candace, Catharine, Carrie, and Colleen. 4-H became a big part of their lives and space was made on those 10 acres to keep horses, cows, chickens, rabbits, goats, and cats. There were a lot of memories on that farm.

During that time Jay continued to work for BC Tel (now Telus) and Trish began working as a milker at Mountain Valley Dairy. Trish was always fond of cows and gained vast amounts of knowledge in organic dairy production and bovine management during her time there. The dairy was a huge part of her life, but after 12 years, Trish retired from the farm to pursue a less physical career as a veterinary receptionist, though no less demanding. At the time, Trish did not have much experience working with the public, but her love for animals, paired with her genuine and helpful nature, saw her excel in all areas of her work. She thoroughly enjoys making an impact on the animals lives, connecting with clients on a personal level, working with a collaborative and caring team, and the fact that there’s never a dull moment in veterinary medicine!

Trish and Jay both find pleasure in their horses and horse activities. Jay’s hobbies are team roping and mounted shooting, while Trish enjoys trail riding, liberty training, and Extreme Cowboy Challenges, which she looks forward to pursuing with her new filly. Trish also enjoys hiking, backpacking, running, fitness classes, taking her Australian Shepherd, Rudy, for long walks, and snowshoeing in the winter. Most of all, Trish loves spending cherished moments with her family.

Kate Hadikin


Kate's Bio
Kate was born in Creston and this is where she and her husband, Sean, raised their three children together and where they are fortunate enough to watch their grandchild grow-up, too. Throughout her childhood and to this day, Kate has never been able to turn away from a stray or injured animal, which is why she’s in her element at Creston Veterinary Hospital and such an integral part of our team.

Kate began working as a Receptionist in 2011 and has grown in her role over the years, taking on many different responsibilities. From scheduling appointments to filling prescriptions, maintaining medical records, and relaying important information amongst the veterinary team, Kate is always attentive to our clients and pets needs.

At home, Kate has four dogs; Molly, 11, Bailey, 10, Abby, 8, and Sophie 6, and eight cats; Nugget, Cali, Annabelle, Lucy, Reggie, Gabby, Sylvester and Deck. Yes, Kate has what you might call a small zoo, but she has an extraordinarily big heart and finds it difficult to say “no” to animals in need. In her spare time, you can find Kate walking, hiking, and swimming throughout the valley, usually with her family in tow.

Brittany Dyer


Brittany's Bio

Brittany first joined Creston Veterinary Hospital in 2015 as one of our Call Centre Attendants, where she helped triage calls and relay important information between clients and staff. She’s since mastered the position and has been promoted to Reception, a role that requires proficiency in hospital protocols, sharp critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, compassion, a positive attitude, followthrough, and excellent communication and teamwork skills. Brittany is most grateful for the opportunity to merge her love of animals and public service into an exciting and rewarding career in veterinary administration.

Brittany was born and raised in the Creston Valley and has decided to raise her young son, Carter, here as well. Her family includes an 8-year-old Retriever mix named Diesel, who is a gentle, playful, and snuggly giant, and Peppa, a Holland Lop who keeps them laughing with her silly bunny antics. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys the outdoors by going for walks, hiking, or relaxing by the water, especially with her family and friends.

Megan Holland

Call Centre Attendant, Receptionist

Megan's Bio
Megan is one of the first team members you will speak with when you call or visit the Creston Veterinary Hospital. A long-time Alto in the Blossom Valley Singers, Meg’s other hobbies include making jewelry, playing the piano and ukulele, and getting out to explore the fantastic surroundings of this area. Her husband and herself love swimming and walking in the warm months, and snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the cold. She met Stephen while teaching English in South Korea, and the two have been travelling the world since. While living in Australia, Meg had the chance to help in an animal sanctuary in Tasmania, helping to rehabilitate and release injured wildlife.

Having been raised in Creston, Megan was keen to return to this beautiful valley. Her family has always taken in creatures in need, and while working at the veterinary hospital she fell in love with (and adopted) Cricket, the 3-legged, half-tail cat. She looks forward to helping you with your animal friends.

Kayla Olson

Call Centre Attendant, Receptionist

Kayla's Bio
Born and raised in Creston and currently residing in the small community of Wynndel, Kayla lives with her husband, TJ, and their three furry family members; 9 year old Denali, a bossy German Shepherd, 6 year old Finn, a laid back, long-haired tabby, and 1 one year old Sawyer, a playful rescue pup.

Ever since Kayla can remember, the daily operations of a veterinary clinic have held fond memories for her. With her mother working alongside Dr. Keith Marling, she was fortunate enough to experience just how extraordinary the veterinary field is. With a keen willingness to learn, Kayla would help her mother with weekend kennel cleaning and after-hours patient care, and upon graduation from high school, Kayla took a position as a receptionist at the Kootenay Animal Clinic. This role helped her to build a strong foundation of customer service skills and allowed her to continue to serve the people and animals of the valley until the retirement of Dr. Marling in 2009.

Kayla joined the Creston Veterinary Hospital in November 2018 as one of our Call Centre Attendants and is now eagerly and skillfully transitioning to a position with our Reception team.

During her days off, Kayla enjoys time with her family, goes on pack walks with her friends, camps and boats on Kootenay Lake!

Amber Frei

Office Assistant

Amber's Bio
Amber was born and raised in the Creston Valley. Although she has moved a lot in her adult life, she always comes back to her roots. Amber has always been intrigued by animals and her adventurous soul kept her in nature searching for wildlife. She has a soft heart and is usually in the company of one of her rescues.

Amber started her employment with the clinic in 2015 as a Call Centre Attendant, then moved from Creston for a year and upon her return, the clinic welcomed her back as an Office Assistant. Her tasks include billing, typing up SOP’s, and other important office errands and responsibilities. Ambers attention to detail, professionalism, and pleasant demeanour help our clinic run more efficiently.

Amber shares her home with her fiancé, Rory, his children part time, their rescue dog, Sally, and their rescue cat, Chloe. Amber also stays busy helping her brother and sister in law on their farm. Raising pigs and chickens for food, feeding and caring for goats and horses and learning the ways of farming and self-sustainability. She takes pleasure in hiking the many mountains we have in the area, walking her dog, Sally, scenic drives with no destination, creating recipes, and spending time with her family and friends.

Lori Luczka

Call Centre Attendant

Lori's Bio
Born and raised in beautiful Creston, BC, Lori chose to come back after spending 26 years in Saskatchewan working at the U of S, handling everything from assisting the Associate Dean Academic at the Edwards School of Business to Graduate Programming in Anatomy and Cell Biology, Physiology, and Pharmacology. With a soft spot for animals, she’s raised numerous dogs and cats over the years, all of whom will hold a special place in her heart.

After moving back last November, Lori was thrilled to have the opportunity to join our team in February 2019 as a Call Centre Attendant; a fast-paced role that requires unique attention to detail and exceptional communication skills. A true “people person”, she is eagerly getting to know each and every one of our clients and their pet’s, making sure to get as many snuggles as
she can as they come through the door.

Outside of her full-time hours at the clinic, Lori enjoys spending time with family. Her mom, stepdad, father, and brother still reside in the Creston Valley, and she often visits them in town or on their farm, helping where she can. Lori also enjoys painting with various mediums, but her true passion lies in writing; a dream that recently came to fruition with the release of her first
book, Lost, a local story in which she depicts a man’s fight for life.

Ryan Joy

Reception Assistant
Ryan's Bio

Ryan is one of the newest team members at Creston Veterinary Hospital. He is our very first Reception Assistant, a role that was established in July 2020 to provide relief for our Client Care Specialists amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Ryan is kind, patient, and professional; proving to be more than just a helping hand, he has become a welcome asset to our team. He’s the first familiar face you’ll see when you visit our hospital, always extending a smile and his full attention before offering you a bottle of cold water and a shady spot to sit while you wait. In addition to our current comprehensive cleaning and safety protocols, Ryan ensures client and staff safety by maintaining an arduous sanitization schedule, keeping exposure to COVID-19 to a minimum. From cleaning and grunt work (“Ryan, can you reach that for us?!”) to processing payments and providing an exceptional customer experience, Ryan’s our go-to guy!

Ryan was born and raised in Creston, BC, alongside his two older sisters. Graduating from PCSS in 2018, he has future aspirations of becoming an electrician. Grateful for this new position as a Reception Assistant, Ryan knows it will help him to acquire further skills in serving the community prior to attending Selkirk College in January 2021. Ryan’s fur-family includes his very loyal and beloved 14-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Oreo, and a 7-year-old fluffy feline named Cat. Oreo is a friendly dog who grew up with kids, taking on the “teenager lifestyle” of constant sleeping and eating, which he continues to enjoy into his golden years, and Cat is a typical cat! When not at work, Ryan enjoys hanging out with family and friends and has an appreciation for food and sleep. Ryan is looking forward to meeting and working with the Creston community and their pets.

Compassionate veterinary care in the heart of the Kootenays.
We are your hometown vet.


1605 Dogwood Street
Creston, BC V0B 1G0


Mon: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tues: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thurs: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat - Sun: Closed


Have a question? Use the form below to send us a message! A member of our team will get back to you as quickly as possible. If you need immediate assistance, please give us a call at 250-428-9494.

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