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. Saoirse Murphy

Veterinarian
Team member since 2019

Hi! I’m a graduate of University College Dublin, I moved to here from Ireland in the summer of 2019 to experience life in Toronto! I started out as a locum vet at our sister clinics before becoming a full time member of the family at Wellesley Animal Hospital in October 2019. Growing up my family had many different pets, from horses and dogs to budgies and even a tortoise! It came as no surprise that from a very young age I was determined to become a veterinarian.  My veterinary interests include surgery, emergency and preventative medicine.

 


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.

 


Dr. Nicole Pitulia

Veterinarian (part-time)
Team member since 2019

Hej! Trevligt att träffas! My name is Dr. Pitulia and I am the Swedish veterinarian at Wellesley Animal Hospital. I swapped Sweden for Scotland when I decided to become a veterinarian, and I am a proud graduate from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating in 2018, I worked in small animal practice in London, UK, before relocating to Toronto.  I have a licence to practice veterinary medicine in Sweden, the United Kingdom and Canada! My veterinary interests include nutrition, dentistry and dermatology.  My calling to become a veterinarian came later in life, after having pursued a degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and an MSc in Preventive Cardiology at Imperial College in London, UK. I enjoy applying my nutritional knowledge to animals, and am hoping to combine my professions and specialise in animal nutrition in the future. I speak fluent Swedish and English (and a little bit of French) and am happy to chat to you in any of those languages! I look forward to meeting you and your furry friends

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!


Ben, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician
Team member since 2016

Hi there! I’m one of the RVTs here at Wellesley. A native to Toronto, I’ve been with animals as early as I can remember. After I finished my secondary education, I knew I wanted to work with animals. I discovered the wonderful world of Veterinary Technician and have loved every bit of it since. Graduating from Seneca College in early 2016, I was immediately picked up by Wellesley. I got my RVT license in 2017 and love spending my days helping pets and people alike!

Pets: A crazy zoo consisting of 2 cats, Max and Juno, and 2 dogs, a German Shepherd named Oscar and a Shepherd mix named Spencer.
Fun Fact: I’m the reigning Karaoke Champion of Wellesley, 2 years running.
Heroes: Luke Skywalker


Kristen, RVT

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


Amie

Veterinary Assistant
Team member since 2016

Hello! My name is Amie, and I am a veterinary assistant/dad-joke-teller at Wellesley. You can usually find me cooing over your cat, or giving your dog belly rubs no matter how wet it was outside. I started out at our sister clinic Front Street Animal Hospital in 2016 after graduating from the Animal Care program at Durham College, and found my family at Wellesley just a few months later. I am also the resident weight loss coach here, helping your chonks shed some pounds and emailing you weigh-in reminders! I surround myself with animals, having two cat-sons at home, and also pet-sitting your fine felines and exotics on the side. On the rare occasion I’m not petting kitties, I like to play video games (RPGs), listen to music, and watch anime.

Pets: Two cat-sons, former clinic cat Todd, and brother George Weasley.
Heroes:
Stev-O, JB (I am slowly morphing into her likeness), Chester Bennington, Beatrix Kiddo, Sir David Attenborough
Fun Facts: I only just watched Lord of the Rings for the first time in December, 2018 and I have been kicking myself since.


Kirstyn

Animal Health Advocate
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


Carissa

Animal Health Advocate
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


Kat

Animal Health Advocate
Team member since 2019

Hello, my name is Kat!! I’m the newest animal health advocate at Wellesley, joining the team in February 2019, and I have a lot of customer service experience. I started my working journey at Tim Hortons for 4 years, moved on to Home Depot for 2 years, then a Rogers Call Center for 2 years, and I have now been in the veterinary field since leaving Rogers in 2014. I love what I do. I love knowing that even though I am not treating pets medically I do play a part in their experience at the hospital, and I strive to make every visit as pleasant and efficient as possible.

Pets: Sage (Bengal mix) and Goya (Siamese)
Fun Fact: You get two; I am 1 of 7 children, and I used to sing in talent shows.
Heroes: Hayley Williams of the band Paramore.


Chiwai

Animal Health Advocate
Team member since 2015

Hi, I’m Chiwai! I started with Wellesley in 2015 as a high school placement student firmly set on becoming a veterinarian, and have been here ever since! I’m currently in veterinary school, so you’ll mostly see me on weekends and around the holidays, doing everything I can to help animals and gain experience. My love of pets stems from Yo-Yo, a special needs talking cockatiel that delighted me as a kindergartener, and Diamond, a handsome and brave Bichon Frise. Our adventures together are the stuff of legends! I couldn’t be happier to contribute to Toronto’s pet community and dedicate my life to caring for animals in need.

Pets: Diamond the Bichon Frise
Fun Facts: I speak Cantonese, and my favourite song is Fly Like An Eagle
Heroes: Dr. Ma


Aishlinn

Animal Experience Liaison
Team member since 2018

Hi I’m Aishlinn! I’m the animal experience liaison here at Wellesley. My love of animals started with a hamster named Chip when I was 6 years old. From then on I was surrounded by animals, running my own pet sitting business and working for a dog daycare throughout my teens and early twenties. Typically you’ll find me in the back, cuddling your animals and crying over their cuteness (literally). When I’m not at Wellesley Animal Hospital I’m studying Advertising and Marketing at Centennial College, or visiting my family overseas.

Pets: Harley-Quinn and littermate Bane (pictured)
Fun facts: I am a dual citizen, Canadian and Irish
Heroes: the team here at Wellesley


Solara

Animal Experience Liaison
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 Experience Liaisons. 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 Experience Liaison
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 Experience Liaison
Team member since 2019

Bio coming soon!


Johnathan

Animal Experience Liaison
Team member since 2019

Hello, my name is Johnathan, and I am an animal experience liaison 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.