Dr. Elva Ma

Veterinarian, Medical Director
Team member since 2011

Hello! I’m Dr. Ma. Having had a lifelong passion for animals, my desire to become a veterinarian began at the tender age of 5. As a child, I was only allowed to have very small pets of my own, such as hamsters and goldfish. Over the years, I somehow convinced my parents to expand my care network to a variety of other small mammals, including rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas. Needless to say, from there on I was hooked.

Having also had a lifelong fascination with science, my studies led me to a Zoology degree at the University of Toronto, followed by a Masters degree in Biology at Queen’s University, studying hamster behavior and reproduction. Shortly after, I got into the Ontario Veterinary College. During vet school, I decided that companion animal medicine was the path for me, as it afforded me the greatest chance to strengthen and lengthen the special bond between animals and their human guardians. Since graduating in 2008, I can think of nothing else I’d rather do with my life. While I love the variety that general practice has to offer, I particularly enjoy the areas of soft tissue surgery and dentistry, and I still get giddy with excitement when our littlest small mammal patients come through the door.

When not at the clinic, I spend my time geeking out to mid-90’s indie rock, singing karaoke, bike riding, and taste testing new ramen spots in the city. I currently live in midtown Toronto with my husband Scott, my young daughter Hazel, and my amazing geriatric kitty, Finnigan, who inspires me every day to become a better veterinarian.


Dr. Maria Pilar Villanueva Caro

Veterinarian
Team member since 2017

¡ahora ofrecemos servicios en español! I’m Dr. Pilar! I was raised on a farm in Patagonia, Chile, and have always been in contact with animals. Growing up in this environment allowed me to develop a passion for science, environmentalism, medicine and animal welfare. I began my studies at the “Universidad Austral de Chile” (Southern University of Chile) in 2000, and hold a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Biology as well as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. After coming to Canada, I completed all requirements to obtain my license to practice in North America, so you could say I’ve become a doctor twice in my lifetime! I’m fluent in Spanish and happy to discuss pet care with owners in their native language.


Dr. Melissa Weir

Veterinarian
Team member since 2020

Hello, I’m Dr. Weir! I was born and raised in Calgary, AB. I always wanted cats and dogs but had to wait until I was an adult due to my parent’s allergies (and I wasn’t allowed a snake)! Initially wanting to go into human medicine, I completed my B.Sc. in Exercise and Health Physiology (Kinesiology) at the University of Calgary. I shifted my goal to veterinary medicine in my early 20s and graduated from UCVM in 2015. I was a small animal practitioner in Calgary, then Seattle – USA, before returning to Canada in 2020. My interests are teaching, preventive medicine, dentistry, anesthesia, fear-free handling, and everything cat! While COVID has made exploring Toronto a bit tricky, but I hope to travel extensively when not working. I currently live in Midtown with my partner and our kitty.

Pets: Montreal street cat turned house brat named Minou.

Fun facts: A competitive dancer and gymnast as a child, I’ve re-connected to tap dancing as an adult, and love it!


Dr. Renu Peterson

Veterinarian (part-time)
Team member since 2015

Hello, I’m Dr. Peterson! I hail from Trinidad and Tobago.  My interest in veterinary medicine began while volunteering as a teenager with my aunt and uncle, who are both veterinarians in Florida. I graduated from the University of the West Indies with a degree in Biology and Environmental and Natural Resources Management, and then received my veterinary medical degree from Tuskegee University  school of Veterinary Medicine. I have since practiced veterinary medicine in Florida and Winnipeg before settling into my final home of Toronto. I love practicing small animal medicine and I’m an avid believer in preventative care. When I’m not in the hospital, I enjoy travelling with my husband Roger and watching movies with the boss of the home, my cat Raja.


Jen B, RVT

Practice Manager, Registered Veterinary Technician
Team member since 2014

Hi! My name is Jen, but many people call me JB. I grew up on a farm a few hours away before finishing college and coming to Toronto in 2006. I then spent 4 years working at a pet supply store while running my own dog walking business. Spending so much time outside, I often found injured animals that needed help. Inspired, I took a wildlife rehabilitation course that ignited my interest in medicine and was immediately drawn to the Veterinary Technician program at Seneca College. I graduated with honours in 2013 and took my licensing exams to become an RVT, picking up experience at a hospital in Newmarket before finding my home with Wellesley in early 2014. I took over as practice manager in late 2016, and couldn’t be happier to be in a position where I can help both pets and people!

Pets: A grumpy calico cat named Frost
Fun Fact: I love space exploration and I’ve been a member of the Planetary Society since 2012; I attended the Falcon Heavy rocket launch and my name is actually in space, on board NASA’s OSIRIS REx.
Heroes: James Herriot, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus.


Mari

Boutique & Grooming Manager
Team member since 2019

Hello! My name is Mari and I am the grooming and boutique manager at Wellesley Animal Hospital. I have 12 years of experience as a professional dog groomer as well as a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from York University. My mother is also a dog groomer and she’s taught me everything from dog behaviour to nailing the perfect Schnauzer cut from a young age. She’s also “dragged” me to various dog grooming conferences around Canada, the US, and Japan where it truly piqued my interest in grooming. Grooming is not only a passion of mine, but it’s therapy! I worked at our sister clinics for 5 years as their primary dog groomer and styling consultant. Now I have been graciously given the opportunity to manage the grooming and boutique at our brand new Wellesley location. Though I have much to learn in the way of veterinary medicine and various aspects of the boutique, everyday is a new lesson—taught by my incredibly supportive peers and our amazing clients!

Pets: Although I’ve been surrounded by dogs my entire life, I’ve been “found” by my stray kitten Miu in the summer of 2018. Miu has taught me so much about felines and deepened my appreciation for them.
Fun Facts: I can play flute and the koto aka. Japanese Floor Harp at an intermediate level. I love to jam and make beats with my boyfriend when I do have the time. I also make realistic dog and cat sounds!
Heroes: My boyfriend Logan—he always saves the day and knows how to turn a frown upside down. And all of my music teachers that have taught me to embrace my creativity and passion for music… and everything else!

 


Kristen, RVT

Lead Registered Veterinary Technician
Team member since 2017

Hello! My name is Kristen, but everyone calls me Kris. I grew up in a large family of seven kids, and even more pets consisting of birds, snakes, cats, dogs, hamsters, fish, ferrets, and even a scorpion! This sparked my interest in wanting to work with animals, so I completed the Animal Care course at Durham College, and that is where I discovered the world of veterinary medicine. I graduated from the Seneca College Veterinary Technician program in 2017, and aside from the wealth of knowledge and experiences I gained there, I also adopted my two adorable kitties Foxy and Vita. I began the next chapter of my life at Wellesley Animal Hospital in the beginning of 2018, and I don’t think I could have found a more perfect fit! I love working alongside such dedicated, enthusiastic, loving individuals who share the same passion for animal welfare as I do!

Pets: Two sassy black cats Foxy & Vita, a ball python named Gwar.
Fun Facts: I am a horror fanatic who also has a talent for special effects makeup.
Heroes: Temple Grandin, Greg Nicotero.


Selene, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician
Team member since 2017

Hello, I’m Selene! I started at Wellesley as a placement student in 2017 before signing on and working with this awesome team, who supported me into becoming a RVT. Like many others in this field, I was surrounded with love from all sorts of animals as a child. Having a grandpa who was a farmer in the Philippines, I grew up with dogs, cats, goats, pigs & rabbits in my backyard! Outside of treating and cuddling pets, I love camping, hiking, attempting to bake, & looking at pictures of our former clinic cat, Nuggy. I look forward to meeting and getting to know everyone’s pets!

Pets: Nuggy the clinic cat <3
Fun Facts:
I’m as tall and long as a blue whale’s heart!
Heroes: John Wick & Black Mamba


Chelsea, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician
Team member since 2019

Bio coming soon!

 


Carissa

Veterinary Assistant
Team member since 2018

Hello, my name is Carissa and I am from Hong Kong! I’ve lived in Toronto since grade 9 and just graduated from the University of Toronto with a double major in Animal Physiology & Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I have always been interested in animal welfare and have a passion for helping animals. I have worked as a veterinary assistant in Hong Kong, then joined the Wellesley team as an animal health advocate in November 2018. I am also a wildlife rehabilitation intern at the Toronto Wildlife Centre, providing care to more fluff babies (red foxes, coyotes and tons of pigeons!).

Pets: 2 adorable babies <3 – Bobo (Papillon) & Happy (Border Collie)
Fun Facts: I am a professional blanket burrito that speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin.
Heroes: Google


Kirstyn

Lead Client Services Representative
Team member since 2017

Hello, my name is Kirstyn! I’m one of the animal health advocates here at Wellesley, joining the team in mid 2017. I graduated with a BA in Psychology in 2014, and began my journey to find a meaningful career where I could help people. The pieces of the puzzle came together, as I realized that my love for animals, interest in the medical field, and desire to make a difference could be channeled productively by working in an animal hospital. Shortly after, I found the perfect fit at Wellesley, and couldn’t be happier!

Pets: Fur-baby, Keelee
Fun Fact: Amie and I are actually childhood best friends!
Heroes: Minerva McGonegall in Harry Potter


 

Heather

Client Services Representative
Team member since 2020

Coming Soon!


 

Solara

Lead Animal Care Ambassador
Team member since 2019

Hello, my name is Solara!
I started at Wellesley back in 2017 as a co-op student and am now one of the Animal Care Ambassadors. I grew up all across Canada, mainly on farms, so I’ve known since I was around 4 years old that I wanted to work with animals.
When I’m not cuddling the large assortment of pets that come through our doors I can usually be found racing in a pool, teaching sports to kids or playing every video game I can get my hands on!

Pets: Barry my lovely tabby, Ash Williams my subway kitten, and Solveig and Viljar my rescued guinea pigs
Fun Facts: I have a travel book that contains a list of the best poutine in North America
Heroes: Steve Irwin, Scrooge McDuck, and all the members of Achievement Hunter


Emily

Animal Care Ambassador
Team member since 2019

Hello! My name is Emily. I grew up in Sydney, Australia, and have always had animals in my life, spending most weekends at horse stables and dog walking for neighbours. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to become a veterinarian. Currently, I am studying for a HonsBSc at the University of Toronto, double majoring in Animal Physiology and Bioethics. I am super excited to have joined the Wellesley team and, to learn more about small animal veterinary medicine.

Pets: Bella (a hungry golden Lab)
Fun Facts: I am a varsity athlete (fencing & rowing) at the University of Toronto and have fenced up to a world championship level.


Samantha

Animal Care Ambassador
Team member since 2019

Hi there I’m Samantha! I’m one of the Animal Care Ambassadors here! I just joined the Wellesley Animal Hospital family at the end of 2019 and already cannot wait to see what this new decade has in store for us! I’ve worked in the pet industry since my very first job at a petstore back in Montreal. I moved to Toronto to continue my education in the pursuit of working more with animals and people. I can remember growing up and never feeling like an only child because my mother always called our big tuxedoed Maine Coon cat named Clyde my brother. I’ve always grown up with animals, whether they were rabbits, dogs, little birds and mice I would save from the street, and especially cats! My true inspiration comes  from a trip to Greece and seeing the many stray cats and dogs that live there, I hope to one day help in finding them all fur-ever homes! When I am not at school or the clinic I’m at home watching  Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my two cats, or annoying my boyfriend at parks and markets in search of more things I can collect!

Pets: A Torti cat named Buffy who only loves her mom (Me!) and the clumsy purr machine Angel who loves anyone and everyone!! (Waiting for the day I find my Spike)
Fun Facts: I am addicted to pickles
Heroes: My mom and Audrey Hepburn


Johnathan

Animal Care Ambassador
Team member since 2019

Hello, my name is Johnathan, and I am an Animal Care Ambassador here at Wellesley Animal Hospital. I have spent most of my life having both dogs and cats and I have had a love for animals since I was a young boy. I would be the one socializing with the animal at a party! As a recent graduate of the Animal Care program at Durham college, I am starting to realize a passion I had had for a very long time. I also hope to complete the RVT program at Seneca College in the new future. I am very honoured to start my new career with the Wellesley Animal Hospital.

Pets: Black Labrador Retriever named Cody and a Brown Newfoundland named Bailey
Fun Fact: I went to high school for musical theatre and dance!
Heroes: Gus Kenworthy, Brandon Stansell, Ben Platt.