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    Jenna Hand she/her

    Jenna joined Park Animal Hospital in early 2015 to fill a reception/assistant vacancy. Her positive and calming influence on everyone around her, animals and people alike, made her a very important part of Park life - so important that in July of 2018 she became our hospital manager. We are fortunate to have someone so caring and thorough who knows this hospital inside and out to steer us through all of the inevitable ups and downs. 

    Not long after being hired, Jenna adopted Smush, a Persian who was found by one of our clients in her backyard, un-neutered and without a microchip. Jenna also has another rescue cat, Murphy, a rescued Schnoodle named Ozzie and a rescued Mini Golden-doodle named Clara. Her favorite things to do are bike riding with her dad (in 2022 that included a ride to fundraise for The Farley Foundation) and binge watching anything on Netflix.

    'I love being a part of the Park family - every single person here has so much love for the animals we help each day. I couldn't ask for a better team.'

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    Mads Christensen he/him

    Mads is the guy we go to when something needs fixing - whether it be a door falling off the hinges or a computer acting up, he always seems to find the answer. He also happens to be Dr Gitte's husband ...which may explain why she is so happy all the time :D 

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    Gitte Fenger, DVM (pictured here with Goldie) she/her

    Originally from Denmark, Dr Gitte moved to Canada when she was 8 years old. She grew up on a hobby farm with sheep, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, canaries, budgies, cockatiels, hedgehogs, chinchillas, gerbils, dogs, and cats.

    Dr Gitte graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in 2000. She joined Park Animal Hospital in 2005 after spending the first five years of her career at a practice in rural Ontario. In 2010 she bought Park Animal Hospital from its founder, Dr Mirek Hainish, upon his retirement.

    Dr Gitte really enjoys being a general practitioner and is especially passionate about behavioural problems, nutrition, ophthalmology, and breed-specific predispositions. She loves the opportunity to mentor students.

    Dr Gitte’s passion for the humane treatment of animals continues outside the clinic. In 2014 she helped to convince the Bowmanville Zoo to stop declawing their lion and tiger cubs, a practice they had undertaken for the previous many decades, and the following year she became the Ontario Director for The Paw Project with whom she is working towards ending declawing in North America. She is an active member of OCAW (Ontario Captive Animal Watch - an organization that was instrumental in the 2019 success of Bill S-203 [the 'Free Willy' bill], ending the captivity of cetaceans in Canada) and the GBAQT (Grey Bruce Aboriginal Qimmiq Team - a charity that provides veterinary care for dogs in remote Ontario indigenous communities). She is also an associate producer for the recently released film 'Corky' (https://vimeo.com/ondemand/corky).

    When she is not championing for animals, Dr Gitte enjoys yoga, horseback riding, hiking, traveling, and relaxing with her family. She and the love of her life, Mads, share their home with Betty (an itchy olde English bulldog mix), Sparly (a sticky Shih Tzu / Lhasa Apso mix) and Lucy (a bouncy Shih Tzu) all of whom have come to them “second hand”. They are expecting the arrival of 2 feline family members next spring, pending the healing of their hearts on the loss of their beloved Luna Aug 21/23. 

  • Barbara Alexandre, DVM she/her

    Dr Alexandre graduated from the University of Guelph in 2008 - with 2 kids under 4 years old! She has a deep passion for caring for animals and hopes at least one of her now four children will one day follow in her footsteps.

    When not at work, Dr Alexandre is busy chauffeuring her kids to their various sports activities and, when she does get a minute to herself, she enjoys reading and biking. She is a self-admitted 'yogi fail' but hasn’t ruled out giving it another go.

    In addition to her 4 human kids, Dr Alexandre has a rescued Pixie-bob cat named Max and also looks after her parents' pets Molly, Marley, Alabama, Zoe and Dougie (a rescued shepherd cross who is near and dear to her heart and is her phone screen saver ...shhh don’t tell her kids!).

  • Melanie Pettersen, DVM she/her

    Dr Melanie Pettersen joined Park Animal Hospital like a missing coffee-guzzling puzzle piece in October of 2021. She loves surgery and deep-diving into complicated medical cases.

    When not at work, she thoroughly enjoys chasing (and being chased by) her adorable twins and Greyhound Hank.

    Oh, and she moonlights as a professional snuggler (at least that's what we think, she hasn't given us her real bio yet, lol!).

  • Heidi Wong, DVM she/her

    Dr. Wong is a dedicated and compassionate vet with a background in biology and a genuine passion for animal care. She began her academic journey at McMaster University, where she studied biology and earned her degree in 2010. Driven by her love for animals, she continued her education at the Ontario Veterinary College, graduating in 2014 with a DVM degree.
    Heidi has a keen interest in surgery and dentistry, showcasing her commitment to ensuring the well-being of her patients. Her enthusiasm for feline medicine is evident in her dedication to addressing the unique healthcare needs of cats. Dr. Wong is also known for her eagerness to tackle dermatological cases.

    Outside of her professional life, Dr. Wong shares her home with two feline companions, Bilbo & Princess Teabeanie Tortellini and one human companion too!

    She has a diverse range of hobbies and interests. An avid indoor rock climber, she finds excitement in conquering climbing challenges. During the warmer months, she embraces the beauty of climbing the Niagara Escarpment. Her adventurous spirit is further showcased through her love for travel, where she seeks new experiences and explores different cultures. Nature holds a special place in Dr. Wong’s heart, evident in her outdoor pursuits. Whether it’s canoeing on tranquil waters, backpacking through scenic landscapes, or camping in the wilderness, she finds rejuvenation in the great outdoors. 

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    Christine Coia (pictured here with Bella) she/her

    Thanks to a lifelong friendship with our one and only Madeleine Masters, Christine was convinced to join Park in December of 2019 - and she fit right in from day 1! Christine was literally at the forefront of keeping us all safe throughout the pandemic, keeping our door closed so we could stay open to care for your pets. It is also her voice you hear on our answering machine :)

    In addition to their son (Logan) and daughter (Astrid), Christine and her husband Chris have a brown tabby cat named Olive, a gentle German Shepherd named Bella, and a boisterous American Bulldog named Prince.

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    Beth Masters (pictured here with Charlie) she/her

    Beth graduated from Humber College’s Film and Television Production program in 2017 with an end goal of working as a sound technician in film and television. She joined Park in early 2020, taking after her sister, Tori, who worked as a receptionist at Park from 2013 until 2018. In addition to having shared the front seat at Park, Beth and Tori also have kickboxing in common, a sport they get a kick out of together! Beth and her husband, Dom, hope to make their own furry family one day - perhaps a mix of dogs, cats, hedgehogs, and rats - but for now they enjoy occasionally babysitting for Tori and her husband, Christian. 

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    Kaitlyn Tidd (photo coming soon) she/her

    Kaitlyn joined Park in October of 2019. Her passion for animals and the environment make her a perfect fit!

    Kaitlyn graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at Georgian College in 2013 and from the Law Clerk Advanced program at Durham College 4 years later. She has 2 chihuahuas (Moose & Barlow) and 3 cats (Autumn, Storm & Havok).

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    Madeleine (Maddi) Masters (pictured here with Purrogie) she/her

    Madeleine (aka Maddi) is a proud veterinary technician! She started her animal lifestyle from day one - living with 3 old English sheepdogs as her assistant caregivers. She was introduced to horses around 7 years old and that became her life outside of school until about 24 years old.

    Maddi attended Georgian college to become a veterinary technician in 2007, and says it is the best decision of her life! Her favourite part of school was dentistry, which led her to become our dental 'go-to person' here at Park.

    She worked with Dr Hill at Bloor Mill Animal Hospital for the first 3 years after finishing tech school. His mentorship gave her the confidence and skills that have helped mold her into the tech she is today. The next part of her journey took her to Endsmeet Animal Hospital in Bermuda. This was a life experience she will never forget! She enjoyed the island life for 3 months and celebrated her 25th birthday there. Returning to Canada was tough but then she locked in an interview at Park and soon became a fundamental part of the Park family.

    Maddi has the biggest heart when it comes to fur-babies. During her first year at Park she rescued Purrogie (kitty in her photo). Purrogie made her the fur-mama she is today. She now has 5 rescue dogs:  Winston, Eddie, Leo (daVinch), Prada, and Chawrlyy.

    Maddi's passion at Park is dentistry which includes helping cats and dogs maintain a healthy mouth through all of their years. Since taking in Leo (a Frenchie) she has been focused on brachycephalic awareness and education. She loves to learn and share her experiences to help educate clients.  

    'I love being a veterinary nurse, and it makes it even more amazing being a part of our team at Park Animal Hospital!!' - Maddi

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    Courtney Barbosa (pictured here with Bug) she/her
    fear free


    Courtney and her 2 cats, Bug and Mouse, were born and raised in Bermuda. She decided to come to Canada to pursue her studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Guelph in 2018 and then from Sheridan College's Veterinary Technician program achieving her 'R' status in August of 2020.

    Courtney joined Park in October 2019 and - so very fortunately for us - has decided to stay in Canada for the time being. 

    When not working, Courtney's favourite thing to do is to explore scenic walking trails, but only when it isn’t too cold; her winters are spent drinking tea while wrapped in a cozy blanket.

    In the fall of 2020, Courtney adopted a Lab mix named Ryker who would come to work with her almost every day. Ryker passed away suddenly on August 8, 2022, but throughout his short life he taught her much about how complicated life can be and to live life to the fullest each day. In addition to her cats, she now shares her life with a gentle, deaf Chinese Shar Pei named Lucki, and Louie, a happy Lab-mix rescued from starvation in Manitoba.

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    Wes Riendeau (pictured here with Squishy) they/them

    Coming to Park Animal Hospital is a family tradition older than Wes - their parents started bringing their Labrador retrievers to Dr Hainish in March of 1995, almost 30 years ago! Growing up loving all creatures great and small, and volunteering with us during high school, it was no surprise to us that Wes would choose a career allowing them a lifetime of caring for animals. They soon enrolled in the veterinary technician program at Georgian College and we jumped at the chance to hire them as soon as they finished the program!

    Wes has 4 pets (a happy beagle named Squish, a polydactyl cat named Kirby, a leopard gecko named Nemo, and a corn snake named Max). In their spare time, Wes plays softball and hockey and loves to draw and sing. 

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    Alicia Gilks (pictured here with Captain Peeps) she/her

    Alicia’s passion for animals led her to complete a high school co-op program at a veterinary referral clinic. From there she went to work in a pet store until we recruited her in November of 2000, one of the best decisions we ever made! Alicia has worked here longer than anyone else - even her boss!

    Alicia (pictured here with our beloved Captain Peeps) shares her life with her daughters Erilynn and Abriel, 2 cats (Fluffy, a handsome but badly injured stray cat Alicia rescued in the winter; and Lucky, Fluffy’s mother who Alicia also rescued) and a varying number of rats. Always in her heart are Bunny (Alicia’s beloved Pekingese dog) and cats Molson, Mookie, Mr George, Owl, Kitty and Cat (her ‘soul-kitty’ who was rescued from the pet store where Alicia worked).

    Depending on the season, Alicia enjoys swimming or skating and can often be found with a book in hand. Her favourite author is Stephen King.

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    Carolina Gallegos (pictured here with Miata) she/her

    Carolina has been a part of the Park team since 2011. She has a spinach-loving green budgie named Birdie NumNums whom her neighbour’s sister found in their chimney.

    You will find Carolina cheerfully greeting you and your pets for appointments as well as caring for them behind the scenes when you have to leave them with us - and she is most likely the one who will report test results to you as well.

    Despite being allergic to both dogs and cats, her love of animals is so strong that she refuses to let her immune system win! And we are so glad, because animals always feel so safe and comforted by her.

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    Carissa Rideout
    Veterinary Assistant

    Carissa joined Park through her highschool co-op program in 2022. She is currently in Grade 12 and her future goal is to work with animals either as a veterinarian or in research. She has two sisters, two brothers and a pet turtle named Tank! Carissa is an avid dancer and she also loves to crochet, knit, hike and swim. She has an interest in learning about all types of animals. 

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    Declan Rideout
    Veterinary Assistant

    Declan started at Park through his highschool co-op program in 2022. He is completing grade 12 and hopes to work in optometry or animation. He has three other siblings and a pet Turtle named Tank! He previously had a border collie and an Anatolian Shepherd. Declan’s favourite hobbies are drawing, hiking, fishing and video gaming. He also likes to swim, ski and play basketball.

    This bio may sound somewhat familiar…. that’s because Carissa and Declan are twins! 

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    Mercedes became an official part of our Park family in July 2019. She happily lazes in her cat tree found in the center of our clinic. If not in her tree, she is typically chasing a recently opened can of food or the sound of a treat bag. Food is the way to this girl's heart. She accepts the occasional petting session but will let you know when she's had enough. Mercedes unexpectedly fit perfectly into the clinic cat role and we are lucky to have her.


    We strongly believe in getting and giving a good education. To this end, you will often see a student at Park. They may join us in the appointments & in surgery. There is no better way to know if veterinary medicine is an appropriate career choice unless you have experienced life behind the scenes. We require that all volunteers be at least 16 years of age and follow all confidentiality rules that apply to the rest of the team.

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    Our Angel, Pitsou

    Pitsou had been coming to Park Animal Hospital since he was less a year old, but he didn't move in until   September of 2017 in his 15th year when his beloved life-long companion became unable to take care of him.   He settled in to our hospital better than we ever could have hoped for - fearlessly patrolliong all areas, seemingly oblivious to the danger that dogs could pose him! Diabetes and missing most of his teeth didn't slow him down one bit. He enjoyed  cuddles and had perhaps the loudest purr you would ever hear - and when we stopped petting him he was quick to reach for our hands with his paw to get just a little more love. Pitsou passed away surrounded by love March 6, 2019.

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    Our Angel, Captain Peeps

    This feisty little black kitty arrived in the arms of one of our clients in the fall of 2012. She had been seen living on a street corner for a while and then one day she was gone. The next time our client saw her, Peeps was badly injured. She scooped her up and brought her to us.

    Peeps was a mess - she was covered in so many lice and nits that she looked brown instead of black. She could barely walk and had uncontrollable diarrhea. She was skin and bones, had only 1 tooth left and, worst of all, she had sustained a terrible eye injury. We tested her for feline immunodeficiency virus and sure enough this little street cat was positive. We decided we would try to save her and give her a comfortable life with us for whatever time she had left - which turned out to be just over 5 years.

    Peeps passed away peacefully surrounded by love on October 26, 2017, due to multi-organ failure. Even though she was with us for many years, you might never have seen her unless you spent time in the treatment area of our hospital. There she would patrol the grounds and catch up on beauty sleep in her many beds and all the sunbeams she could find. She was sometimes mistakened for Goldie, our other black clinic cat, until a closer look would reveal a missing eye. Unlike Goldie, she was probably the baddest clinic cat ever but that didn't stop us from loving her deeply or being ever so proud of her. She was a perfect fit for our Park family and we miss her dearly.

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    Our Angel, Goldie

    Goldie arrived in a cardboard box outside our front door on August 20, 2010 – the day after Gitte & Mark officially took over Park Animal Hospital. She turned out to be the most wonderful “hospital warming” gift ever!

    Even though she was emaciated, loaded with fleas, missing most of her fur, had bloody feet, a badly ulcerated upper lip, a growth on her tongue and a hole in the roof of her mouth we could easily see that she had a gentle and trusting soul. There was a note in the box with her explaining that she had been living in the backyard of some people who kindly had fed her but could plainly see this sweet cat was in desperate need of serious medical attention. We searched unsuccessfully for her family, and then adopted her ourselves.

    From her first day here, Goldie settled right in to the hospital, and in to our hearts. Indeed she became the heart of our hospital. She made herself at home on the reception desk counter (on a bed next to the catnip jar, of course) from where she could survey all of the comings and goings.

    With on-going loving care from all of her Park mommies and medical attention for her food and flea allergies, eosinophilic granuloma complex and chronic kidney disease, Goldie’s health vastly improved. She clearly enjoyed her many roles as omnipotent supervisor, misled mouser, loving lap-warmer (especially at our weekly staff meetings), and all-around-giver-of-comfort at our hospital.

    Goldie passed away on the evening of Wednesday, September 27, 2017. We surrounded her with love and peace as we said a tearful goodbye to this gentle girl who graced our hospital for 7 wonderful years. We still don't know who left her on our doorstep all those years ago, but we are exceptionally grateful that they did.

South side of Burnhamthorpe, just East of Ponytrail

We acknowledge the traditional keepers of this land: the Anishinabewaki, Haudenosaunee, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations. Miigwetch.