Our Team at Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital

Dr. Leah Montgomery, DVM


Dr. Leah attended the University of British Columbia, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, then suffered four harsh winters in Saskatoon at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. She managed not to get frost bitten (although her car did freeze completely for three days!) and moved back to the beautiful West Coast in 1995.

Dr. Leah began practice at the Granville Island Veterinary Hospital but after five years she decided it was time for a change. She moved to Coquitlam and began practice at the Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital. In April 2001 she purchased the Hospital from Dr. Kassam and is enjoying both the practice and the management side of veterinary medicine.

Between spaying cats and vaccinating dogs, Dr. Leah manages to find time to ski and snowboard in the winter and rip up the trails on her mountain bike year-round.

And she is the mother of 2 fur-babies, her cats named Sunny and Simon (pictured). "I love dogs!" she protests. "But with my crazy schedule, cats are easier to care for. I am "Auntie" to all the dogs that come through the hospital doors. The best part is I get to give them back!", she says with a grin!

Dr. Ashley Milner, DVM


Ashley graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011 and immediately joined the Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital team. Ashleygot her start in veterinary medicine in 1994, at the tender age of eleven, by attending a day camp for kids at the Burnaby SPCA. For the next decade there after, she worked every summer as an SPCA camp counselor as well as a humane educator.

During university and vet school, Ashley worked at Mosquito Creek Veterinary Hospital in North Vancouver, Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital in Surrey, the Vancouver Animal Shelter, and the Winnipeg Humane Society. She also participated in free spay/neuter clinics in remote areas of California and North Dakota and continues to volunteer for local rescues. Ashley currently offers acupuncture and chiropractic treatments for her patients as well!  

Ashley is the resident "bully breed" expert at Shaughnessy Vet, and the proud owner of two bully rescues, Tiki-Granger, and Jake. You can follow the adventures of Ashley and her bully crew at www.ashleythevet.com

Dr. Sylvia Huang, DMV


Sylvia graduated from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia in 2004 and her first job was as a mixed animal practitioner in Drumheller, Alberta. After 2 years of stitching up horses, doing cesareans on cows, and pulling porcupine quills out of dogs faces, she returned home to Vancouver where she obtained a job at Eagle Ridge Animal and Bird Hospital in Coquitlam. After 10 years of working there, she recently decided she needed a change and joined the Shaughnessey Veterinary Hospital team in July 2017.

Sylvia enjoys geriatric dogs and cats, and will cuddle any puppies and kittens that walk through the door. She also loves working with rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and rats and has a fondness of challenging surgeries. Sylvia lives in Port Moody with her husband, their toddler, one golden retriever named Dexter and her two senior cats.

Dr. Midge Ritchie, DVM


Midge first discovered her dream of being a veterinarian after adopting a little pug named Oliver and an FIV-positive kitty named Sammy. Oliver and Sammy, as well as another pug named Nellie, were with her through thick and thin and the strength of their bond made her realize just how deep the human-animal bond went. As a result, she decided to dedicate herself to the veterinary field with the hope of not only helping animals but also of promoting this special bond that benefits both animals and humans.

While completing her pre-veterinary requirements, she worked at several veterinary practices as a technician to hone her skills. She then moved on to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, completing her clinical training at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in August 2010. Originally from Ohio, Midge recently moved to the Vancouver area via Calgary and New York City.

Midge has a strong interest in internal medicine, especially endocrinology, soft tissue surgery, and management of long-term diseases. As a former education director at a museum, she is also well-qualified to provide client education, which she believes is the cornerstone of a trusting relationship between clients and their veterinarians.

Midge shares her home with her young son, Xander, as well as a young pug named Dexter and her one-eyed kitty, Gia. In her spare time her favourite thing is spending time with her son as well as hiking, going to the beach, yoga, reading, going to museums and art galleries and she has recently taken up knitting and crocheting, which is a work in progress. 

Dr. Amanda Sefcik, DVM


Amanda is a recent transplant to British Columbia from the states. She studied computer science at Dartmouth College and spent a few years as a video game programmer before deciding to change careers to pursue her passion for veterinary medicine.

 Amanda graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 and joined the Shaughnessy team in April 2016. During vet school she spent time with a local shelter and feral cat trap-neuter-return clinic. She also dedicated time to the field of aquatic animal medicine, achieving a certificate of study, and spent time at the New Orleans Audubon Aquarium and Zoo. Amanda also enjoys practicing veterinary acupuncture, which she studied at the Chi Institute in Florida.

Amanda lives in Langley with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats and two rabbits. Clearly good things come in twos! In her time off she enjoys reading, sewing, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her family. 

Laura Crichton, Office Manager


Laura joined the team at the Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital as a veterinary assistant in August 2008 after graduating from the Veterinary Office and Animal Care program at Douglas College.  She was faced with the option to either moved forward with Veterinary Health Technology or Office Management; since she is very good with people, she decided to pursue Office Management and graduated from the Veterinary Management School in Colorado in 2012 and has been managing the amazing SVH team ever since.

A Port Coquitlam hometown girl, she spends her time taking care of her Jack Russell Terrier Mollie, her tuxedo cat Cohen, and her sister's English Bulldog, Rocky. In her spare time she enjoys cooking/baking, hiking and hot yoga. Laura would love to add more furry creatures to her life, but needs to wait until she has more space! Until then, she will just have to cuddle all the ones that come through the hospital doors. 

Jan Werger, RVT (Technician Manager)


Jan hails from the wilds of Whonnock where she spends her off-time tending her garden and trying to convince her canine helper that burying a milk bone will NOT grow a milk bone tree, no matter how well-fertilized!

Jan graduated from the University College of the Cariboo's Animal Health Technology program in 1996. After graduation she worked with Dr. Dennis Jackson at the Granville Island Veterinary Hospital. In 1998 she expanded her horizons to Port Coquitlam, joining the team at the Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital. A few years ago, Jan discovered a flair for teaching, and is an instructor at the VOAC program at Douglas College. The experience allows Jan to share her enthusiasm for this amazing industry with both her co-workers at the clinic and the great students at Douglas College.

Jennifer Yochim, RVT


Jenn is a long time resident of Port Coquitlam who has recently set up roots in Maple Ridge with her husband Jeremy and their new baby girl Kiana. After a couple of years of College she travelled to Australia for a year where she toured the country like many other backpackers from all over the world. Jenn has always had a lifelong love of animals so when she returned from Australia she went back to school where she completed the Animal Health Technology program at Douglas College and has been part of our team since April 2007.

Jenn has added a new fur baby to her family, a Chocolate Lab x Pointer named Ryker who is full of energy and very eager to learn; he definitely keeps them busy and on their feet at all times!

In Jenn's free time you can find her playing in the bush on her rzr, lifting weights at the gym or walking her dog on the dyke.

Lauren Boettcher, RVT


Lauren joined the Shaughnessy Veterinary team in June 2008 after deciding that a career with animals is where she belonged. She started off with being an assistant and then decided that she loved it so much that she wanted to go back to school to become a technician and graduated from the Douglas College Veterinary Technician program in June 2015. Lauren is very interested in the field of animal nutrition,  so she is the go-to person for any of your nutritional questions!

Lauren grew up in Port Coquitlam and now lives in Maple Ridge with her husband Brad, their daughter, Scarlett and her 3 furry kids; 2 Alaskian Klee Klai's named Loxley and Rogue and their Abyssinian mix named Bastian. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys cooking, being outdoors and training dogs.

Kelly Temple, RVT


Kelly was born in New Westminster,  grew up in Port Coquitlam, and still lives there today. Working with animals has always been Kelly's passion; she graduated from the Douglas College Veterinary Office Assistant program in 2011 and has been a part of the Shaughnessy team ever since. She graduated from the Douglas College Veterinary Technician program in June 2015 and is continuing to make a difference in the lives of our furry friends.

As a teenager, Kelly spent her time around horses but currently her life surrounds around her two dogs. Goose, a Beagle cross with a mind of his own and Opie, a pit bull rescue who is scared of the world but is your best friend once he gets to know you; both just happen to be the best cuddlers . 

When Kelly's not at Shaughnessy, she enjoys spending her time with her 3 loves: her husband, Ryan and their two four legged children, Opie and Goose. 

Kristie McDermott, RVT


Kristie started her education with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of British Columbia with a major in English Literature. After graduation, she spent time living in Australia and traveled the country extensively.

While she still loves to read and write, Kristie’s love for all things furry with four legs and a tail pulled her towards veterinary medicine.

This led Kristie to working as a Veterinary Assistant in some of the leading clinics in the lower mainland gaining valuable experience. With a thirst for more, Kristie joined the Veterinary Technology program at Douglas College. After graduating with honours in 2014, Kristie joined the Shaughnessy team and has never looked back.

Currently, Kristie lives in Port Coquitlam with her husband  and two kitties, Bob and Helen. Who knows, there may be a bridge of all things arts and science when she writes her first book about all of her experiences.

Ashley Raymond, RVT


Ashley grew up in Pitt Meadows and she currently resides in New Westminster with her boyfriend Matt and their furry, four legged, hairball maker, Ernie.  Her life long love for animals led her to attend the Animal Health Technology program right out of high school. After being a registered veterinary technician for almost 4 years, she moved to Cambridge, England to complete a 3 year BSc (hons) degree in Zoology. During her studies she completed field courses in Uganda, Scotland, Poland, the Netherlands, and all over England. Her field studies in Uganda inspired her to pursue a MSc degree in Veterinary Epidemiology which she is currently completing at the University of Edinburgh. She also worked in a hedgehog hospital while she was away and while she misses them and the UK dearly, she has been enjoying living in Canada with her fur baby Ernie again. 

When she's not working, she enjoys Netflix binging with Ernie and Matt, doing whatever outdoor sports the season has to offer and exploring the city. 

Becca MacDonald, RVT (Student)


Becca was born in Vancouver, raised in Richmond and recently moved to Coquitlam, with her boyfriend Michael, their cat Gus and their dog Mulder, to attend the Douglas College Veterinary Technician program. She attended the Granville Business College Veterinary Office Assistant Program in 2006 and wanted to progress her career to provide the best she can in veterinary medicine. She has a love of all creatures great and small but has a special place in her heart for furry senior citizens and has adopted two 12 year old Brussels Griffons, with intention of adopting more seniors along her way. Becca also has a love of travel and would love to take her skills all around the world to work with many different species. She developed a taste for ecotourism after her and her best friend went cage diving with great white sharks off the coast of Guadalupe Island. This led to a trip to Chaing Mai, Thailand to lend a hand with the rescue elephants at the Elephant Nature Park. She hopes to expand her story to other parts of the world.

When she is not working you can find her out in the woods hiking through the local scenery, or at the gym training with her boyfriend for Strong(wo)man competitions.

Leanne Benjestorf, VOA (Head Receptionist)


After 20 years in the home improvement retail/customer service field, Leanne decided to make a career change.  She combined her love of helping people and her love of all creatures big and small and went to school to become a Veterinary Office Assistant.  She graduated from Douglas College in September of 2012 and became a member of the Shaughnessy Veterinary team in April 2013.

Leanne currently lives in Coquitlam with her ginger cat Kenya and her newest addition, a rescued three-legged tuxedo cat named Brandon Manitoba.  

Emry Gilchrist, VOA


Emry graduated from the West Coast College Veterinary Assistant program in 2009. After graduation she gained valuable experience at leading vet clinics throughout the Fraser Valley before joining our team in June 2013. She has always had a great love for all things furry and is thrilled that she gets to work with animals every day.

Emry grew up in Port Coquitlam and now lives in Pitt Meadows with her husband and two dogs Piglet and Moo Cow. In her spare time she can be found hiking with her dogs on Burke Mountain or baking delights in her kitchen. She also enjoys reading, crafting and spending time with her family.

Nicole Barclay, VOA

**Currently on  maternity leave**


Nicole joined the team at Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital in January 2011, after a year of maternity leave. She graduated from West Coast College in 2005 from the Veterinary Assistant Program and has been working in Veterinary Hospitals ever since.

Nicole has a true true heart for animals!  She was born and raised on her family's dairy farm in Pitt Meadows. She has experience with all different animals. You name it, she has rescued or owned it!  From Buffalo, to Deer, Goats, Cows, Horses, Chickens, Geese, Peacocks, Dogs and Cats, and the list goes on. 

When Nicole is not working at the Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital, she enjoys spending time with her family, boating, hiking, camping, gardening and working on the family dairy farm. 

Nick Arduini, VOA


Nick has always had a love for animals. He has fond memories of playing with all sorts of creatures at his family farm in Rosa, Manitoba. He has an affinity towards Airedale Terriers as this was his family dog growing up. He graduated from the Veterinary Office and Animal Care program at Douglas College in the summer of 2015 and since then, he has worked in an Animal Emergency clinic. Nick joined the Shaughnessy Veterinary team in July 2016 and automatically felt like he has been there for years.

In his spare time, Nick enjoys hiking, playing sports, spending time with his fiance and daughter and teaching his son to love animals as much as he does. He hopes to have a house full of furry friends in the near future, complete with an Airedale or two!

Karen Go, VOA


Karen was born in Hong Kong but came to Canada when she was less than a year old. She has always had a strong passion and love for animals from a young age, especially cats. Karen had been volunteering with the SPCA and other veterinary clinics before she started working at a veterinary hospital in the summer of 2014. Karen joined the Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital team in February 2017 after she graduated from the Veterinary Office and Animal Care program at Douglas College.

Outside of work and school Karen enjoys eating and cooking a variety of foods and spending time with her Ragdoll cat Miso..

Jessica Mawhinney, VOA


 Jess joined the team at Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital in September 2017 after graduating from the Veterinary Office Assistant program at Douglas College. A lifelong love of animals lead her to enrol in the program and she now enjoys getting to make new fuzzy friends every day.

She grew up in Coquitlam and still lives there now with her two fur babies, a black and white cat named Ellie, and Hobbes, a doberman who insists he's a lapdog. 

In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her dog, camping, travelling, and curling up on the couch with her cat, a book, and a cup of tea.

Ewa Nawrocki, VOA


Ewa was born in England and moved to her current hometown of Port Coquitlam in 1996. Her love for animals inspired her to take the Veterinary Office and Animal Care program at Douglas College. 

She joined the team at Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital in March 2014. Soon after being hired she adopted two guinea pigs named Olive and Sweetpea. Growing up, Ewa had a black Lab cross named Rocky and two bunnies named Avocado & Bunny Boy, who sparked her interest to pursue a career working with animals.  She currently resides in Maple Ridge with her fiance Kevin, her cat named Kirby, her rabbit named Bugsy and 4 guinea pigs named Rubin, Butters, Peanut and Marley. 

In her spare time she loves playing video games, going for long walks in the forest, and watching her favourite show "Hope for Wildlife". In the future she hopes to adopt more animals to add to her family.

Edith Mok, VOA

 **currently on maternity leave** 


 Edith grew up in Coquitlam and has always had a love for animals. Growing up she would constantly ask her parents for a dog, and would try to convince them that she was ready for one by reading and repeating everything she learned. After begging for over a decade, she finally got her first dog.

Edith graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. In 2017 she decided to take the Douglas College Veterinary Office and Animal Care program to pursue her passion for animals. She completed her practicum at Shaughnessy and enjoyed it so much that she decided to stay!

Edith currently lives in Langley with her husband, their daughter, and their two Pomeranians, Odie and Pooky. 

Andrea Scekic, Receptionist


Andrea was born in Port Coquitlam and has lived there her entire life. She has always been passionate about animals and knew she wanted to work with them from a young age. She is currently finishing her bachelor of science degree at S.F.U. and is planning to apply to the vet technician program this winter. Andrea has worked with animals in various jobs for the last 6 years including volunteering at the SPCA , working at a veterinary clinic, and working at a dog kennel. She was very familiar with the practice as she first volunteered there for a year and brought her pets in regularly. She is now the newest member of the Shaughnessy team and is excited to learn new things and cuddle with all of the furry friends she meets at the clinic.

Andrea has two fur babies at home; Ava is her two year old German Shepherd and is her first dog who will always have a special place in her heart. She also has a young rescue cat named Emmett, who is a major escape artist and also the biggest cuddler. Andrea and her boyfriend, Matt, are hoping to soon expand her home and add a second dog when the time is right and when they have more space. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her dog, hanging out with friends, snowboarding and camping. 

Kelsey McAuley, Receptionist


Kelsey fulfilled a passion by entering the veterinary field with the team at the Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital in 2015. She was very familiar with the practice as her family dog, Bailey, had been taken care of by them for many years.  She grew up all over the world; London, Michigan and Port Coquitlam to name a few places. But always felt that the lower mainland here in British Columbia was "home". After moving back in 2008 she now plans to stay in the lower mainland, with her boyfriend Shawn, and fulfill her career in the veterinary field here in Port Coquitlam. 

Kelsey graduated from the Paul Mitchell School of Hair Design but could not ignore her love of animals. She decided to make a career change and follow her heart. She is a dog mom to two beautiful pit bulls, Molly and Brock, and continues to foster other rescues in her home. Brock is the newest member of their family rescued from a high kill shelter. He was twenty minutes away from being euthanized when the organization stepped in and rescued Brock. Kelsey and Shawn quickly fell in love as soon as they saw him and Molly loves her new brother. These two fur children take up the majority of her time but she wouldn't have it any other way. 

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, cooking and watching her favourite shows with Molly and Brock (and Shawn) by her side.

Billy McLaughlin, Receptionist


Billy joined the Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital team in November 2016 and she fit right in! She has always had a passion for animals, so much so that she is currently attending Simon Fraser University, working towards a Bachelor of Science in Biology so that she can attend Veterinary School.

Port Coquitlam is her hometown and in her spare time, she enjoys hiking, playing and coaching lacrosse, spending time with her family and friends and taking care of her Border Collie mix named Jake and her guinea pig named Chloe. **currently away for school**

About Him

Lieutenant Dan - Clinic Ambassador

 **he does not have an email, he prefers face to face cuddles instead**

Lieutenant Dan joined the team of the Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital in June 2014. He was shuffled around between several rescue homes before a lucky series of events connected him to us. Everyone was instantly in love and the decision for him to come live with us was unanimous.

Dan (aka Louie or Daniel-son) has some malformed bones in his spine which is causing some compression of the spinal cord causing his back legs to be a little different. He also was born with contracted tendons in the rear limbs, adding to his issues.  While he will never walk like a "normal" cat, he is very happy and loves helping out at reception when he's not sleeping in his Cat Sac.