Dr Robert McLeod, D.V.M.
Dr McLeod's Bio
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 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 Julia Kaczkowski, D.V.M.
Part Time Veterinarian
Dr Kaczkowski's Bio
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.
Dr Rachel Loppe, D.V.M.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr Loppe's Bio
Rachel Loppe is a Veterinary Intern at the Creston Veterinary Hospital. She is a recent graduate (2021) of the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Originating from the Fraser Valley, Rachel grew up around various animals, including dogs, cats, horses, and rabbits. She completed her undergrad at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. Moving to Calgary with her husband in 2015, she worked at a veterinary clinic and for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) before being accepted into veterinary school. She then started her veterinary studies in 2017 at Calgary.
During her time in Calgary, Rachel developed a passion for dairy production and medicine. She loves herd medicine and working with farmers to achieve a healthy, productive herd. Rachel also enjoys working with horses and small ruminants.
In her spare time, Rachel likes to play soccer, a sport she has played since she was 7 years old. She also enjoys spending time with her husband (Steven). They love hiking together and, more recently, have taken up rock climbing and kayaking. Together, they have 4 pets; 2 dogs (Tia and Emmy) and two cats (Barton and Harvey).
A love of the outdoors and the community of Creston brought her to the CVH to start her career, and boy, she is ecstatic to be back in BC. Rachel loves helping people and their animals, and she looks forward to seeing you and your creatures, both great and small!
Dr Zoe Noble, D.V.M.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr Noble's Bio
Veterinarian Zoe Noble was born in Victoria BC and grew up in both Victoria and Vancouver. She spent the majority of her childhood and adolescence at the barn where she spent every possible hour with horses- doing everything from playing polo to 3-day eventing. She knew that she wanted to be a Vet from the age of 3 and so in addition to horses, her supportive parents let her have all sorts of pets- dogs, cats, lizards, birds, and a variety of small mammals.
After graduating high school in Vancouver, Zoe went to UVic where she got a degree in Microbiology. While at school Zoe worked at a bulk food store where she was, at least partially, a professional peanut butter maker. She also worked at the Victoria Polo Club and spent one summer helping to track butterflies with an ecological survey company. It was during this contact that she was first introduced to the beauty of the Creston valley.
Upon graduating from UVic, Zoe and her husband Lochlan (a physicist and wild land firefighter from Golden BC) moved to Scotland where she went to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine in Edinburgh. She was able to go on many adventures around the UK and Europe with her husband and dog. They especially enjoyed touring distilleries, and she is quite the scotch buff. Rover (the dog in the photo) is from Nakusp originally but has been to Paris, and London, as well as many quaint villages across Scotland. During school, Zoe worked in PR at the Roslin Institute (famous for being the birthplace of Dolly the Sheep). She loved the opportunity to work with people who were passionate about making science fun and accessible to everybody. She also became a certified sheep shearer and did research on BC’s bighorn sheep population.
Zoe’s favourite part of veterinary medicine is working with clients and their animals as a team and tries her best to spread positivity wherever she goes- you might see her wearing her favourite bright pink coveralls on-farm from time to time. She is especially passionate about animal behaviour- having firsthand experience with her dog, which can be quite grumpy at times, and preventative medicine. She loves treating all animals from ovine and bovine farm practice to dogs and cats (and everything in between).
Zoe, Lochlan, and Rover are ecstatic to be back in BC and are excited to become part of the Creston community. When she isn’t working, Zoe enjoys walking Rover, hiking, xc skiing, snowshoeing, spearfishing, horseback riding, and generally spending time outside with her family.
Dr Aiyanna Hoogsteen, D.V.M.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr Hoogsteen's Bio
Dr Aiyanna Hoogsteen was born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, where she knew from a young age that she wanted to become a veterinarian. She spent much of her spare time working at a dairy farm, horseback riding, and volunteering at local clinics. Aiyanna studied Animal Biology at the University of Guelph before being accepted into the Ontario Veterinary College in 2017.
During her studies, Aiyanna completed a 3-month placement in Kenya through Veterinarians Without Borders, where she traveled to local farms and taught smallholder dairy farmers about cow nutrition, disease prevention, and calf care. She also worked in the OVC Large Animal Hospital, caring for everything from horses to pigs to alpacas, which fostered her passion for equine medicine.
In 2020, Aiyanna first came to Creston to work as a student intern at Creston Veterinary Hospital. After four months, she had fallen in love with the valley, the community, and the clinic, so she is ecstatic to be back and starting her veterinary career at CVH!
Aiyanna loves the day-to-day variety that comes with working in a mixed animal practice and is eager to get to know the people and animals of Creston. She is especially interested in equine medicine, small animal surgery, and pain management. She is also a Fear Free Certified veterinarian and so strives to make every pet’s visit to the hospital as fun and stress-free as possible.
Aiyanna has three cats that stayed with her family in Ontario: Pumpkin, a sassy ginger tabby who is the queen of the house, and Mercury and Minerva, a brother-sister duo who are as cute as they are mischievous! While Aiyanna is sad not to have her kitties with her, she knows it won’t be long before she finds a fluffy companion to share her home with here as well!
When not at work, Aiyanna likes to spend time in the great outdoors – hiking, camping, paddle boarding, and kayaking. In the evenings, she can be found connecting with friends and family or curled up with a good book. Aiyanna is excited to become part of the community and looks forward to exploring Creston and the surrounding areas to enjoy all that BC has to offer!
Assistant Practice Manager & Inventory Manager
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.
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 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
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.
Carrie Woodall, R.V.T
Recruiting, Registered Veterinary Technologist
Marketing, Registered Veterinary Technologist
Lyn moved to the valley to join our team in 2018 after spending 5 years working in a small animal hospital and canine rehabilitation practice on Vancouver Island. She completed her 3rd year of Animal Health Technology with Thompson Rivers University at Creston Veterinary Hospital while under the mentorship of Dr. McLeod and the RVT team. She attributes many of her academic successes to the lessons learned at Creston Vet and could not have jumped into the world of large animal medicine without such a strong support network. Lyn loves goats, camelids (llamas/Alpacas), poultry, and dairy cows and looks forward to expanding her medical knowledge on these species in the future.
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. With Scritches Rat Rescue she had the opportunity to become a published writer, featured in West Coast Veterinary Magazine, featuring her work with rescues and the difficulties financial limitations can pose on the care of rescue animals. Lyn continues to expand her knowledge of exotic pets through continuing education but has recently shifted her focus to “Emergency and Critical Care” as well as “Mental Health and Wellness” to bring more knowledge to the community about depression and suicide in the veterinary industry. Lyn spent 2 years living in the beautiful Creston Valley before having to return back to the lower mainland. We are very lucky to have been able to keep her on the team as she supports our RVT’s and administrative staff through her remote work. When not working Lyn and her husband, Pascal, can be found hiking, kayaking, camping, and exploring their way around B.C. They dream of being able to drive across Canada one day and go on some LONG hiking and kayaking trips but their many pets think they should probably just stay home and cuddle…. Their house is home to 2 very spoiled rescue cats, 1 rescue bearded dragon, and the recent addition of a Russian dwarf hamster named “Hamlet.”
Lyn has moved to the Creston Valley with her husband Pascal, 3 cats (Penny, Moose, and Odo), and 1 Bearded Dragon (Elon). So far, they have enjoyed the breathtaking 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.
Tanya Schobert, R.V.T.
Registered Veterinary Technologist
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.
Tara Halonen, R.V.T.
Registered Veterinary Technologist
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
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!
Junior Veterinary Technologist
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!
Junior Veterinary Technologist
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.
She has two grown married children and a lovely granddaughter, all of whom live in Saskatchewan.
She and her husband share their home with a five-year-old border collie mix, Katie.
Alexandra is a Veterinary Assistant in Creston, BC. She has lived in Creston, BC, all her life and is proud to call it her home. Alexandra graduated from Prince Charles Secondary School back in 2019 and has worked at the Creston District Community Complex for various jobs since 2014. Alexandra has taken multiple first aid courses to further her education to help others.
Animals have always added a special something to her everyday life. She has loved animals ever since she was little. She has the passion and love to make sure all animals are safe and taken care of, and ready to live happy and healthy lives. Alexandra is passionate about taking care of and helping everyone in need. She loves the emotions and personality that animals have and the comfort that animals bring her.
She has 2 older brothers, a twin sister, 2 loving parents, and 2 pets. A sassy, chaotic, and playful, red Siberian husky named Jersey, and a cuddly, dramatic grey cat named Rowdy(named after Toronto Blue Jays player Rowdy Tellez). Both Jersey and Rowdy are always very jealous of each other. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her family and friends, hike, hang out and cuddle with her pets, and she loves taking her puppy for walks and running around with her in any field. She loves all things sports, such as playing, coaching, and watching. She plays numerous sports such as hockey, soccer, competitive swimming, volleyball, and the occasional baseball/softball.
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.
Receptionist & Veterinary Assistant
Reception Team Lead
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 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.
Marla and her husband Perc moved to Creston in 2020, happy to be out of Calgary’s big city and enjoy the beautiful weather and growing options the valley has to offer. Along with them came their 12-year-old labradoodle, Smudge ‘The Wonder-dog.’ They were excited when both of their sons, along with their families, joined them here not long after, looking to put down roots in the valley as well. Marla is Granny to six grandchildren, and seeing them all the time brings great joy to her life.
Marla has had many and varied jobs over the years, but common themes in all of them have been administration and efficiency and caring for people both at happy times in their lives and in the tough times. The Creston Veterinary Hospital has provided the perfect opportunity to combine each of these skills. Working in reception and the call center allows Marla to be the productive and organized person she naturally is. At the same time, working in the clinic offers the chance to celebrate new life and milestones with the clients and come alongside them in the difficult time of loss that inevitably comes to all pet owners.
Outside of work, Marla and Perc will be looking to find their forever home where they can host their family and friends, plant a garden full of fruit, veggies, and flowers, maybe get a few chickens, and explore God’s beautiful creation here in the valley. When winter comes, you’ll find Marla reading, knitting, playing piano, playing games, and hanging on the couch with Perc watching movies.
Call Centre Attendant, Receptionist
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.
Call Centre Attendant, Receptionist
Being born and raised in the valley, Ali was very excited to return home and get back to experiencing the small-town community connection – which is exactly what the clinic delivers. She’s always loved animals, so much so that her parents said if she got a job, she could spend her money on whatever she would like. So, at the age of 14, she got her first job and got her first puppy, Molly, and energetic and spunky bichon Shih Tzu cross. Not long after joining the team, Ali quickly (within two weeks) managed to adopt her first fur baby, Flo, a loving, pesky kitty (and has her eye out for a doggo as well, even though her boyfriend doesn’t know it). Ali sought to move back to Creston for the slower, more outdoors-oriented lifestyle, as well as getting to spend more time with her family, all of which primarily reside in the valley. In her free time, you can find her doing any number of outdoor activities – such as hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, camping, or tending to the flower bed – or simply enjoying a new craft beer on the porch with her family while soaking in the evening summer sun. With a young niece and a nephew on the way, Ali enjoys every moment she gets to spend watching them grow, whether it be at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays or reading bedtime stories while sipping hot chocolate.
Ali looks forward to meeting you and assisting you with your fuzzy companion care!
Call Centre Attendant, Receptionist
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!
Several months after the start of the covid-19 pandemic, Steve and his partner Marcus decided to move away from the city. They visited Creston BC and loved the mountains so much they made it their new home. Steve had many pets growing up and always wanted to work with animals but never had the chance, so he joined the team at Creston Vet Hospital as a receptionist. He enjoys working with people, contributing to the community, and strongly believes that animals make our lives better. His role as a receptionist involves booking appointments, filling prescriptions, answering the emergency phone line, and getting bags of dog food down from the top shelves where no one else can reach. Although he has no background in veterinary medicine, he hopes to use the other skills he has developed to help the people and animals of this town.
The other members of Steve’s family are a 3-year-old savannah cat named Cody who also bravely made the cross-country trip on the move from Ontario to BC, and soon to be a new puppy who was born here in Creston. His partner works from home as an IT director for a consulting company based out of New York. Steve has several pastimes which include hiking, canoeing, gardening and woodworking, as well as cooking and baking sweet treats for his friends and neighbours. In the coming years Steve and Marcus hope to have a small orchard and maybe 1, 2 or 10 more animals to love.
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.