Who We Are

Our Pets (past and present)

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Veterinarians

Dr. Scott Mathison

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Scott co-founded Queen West Animal Hospital in 2000. He received his Bachelors of Science at McGill University, a Masters of Forest Science in wildlife ecology at Yale University and completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College as the class co-valedictorian. His professional interests include surgery, dentistry and practice management. When not at Queen West, Scott can be found at his cottage on the Bruce Peninsula or in the neighbourhood with his children and Standard Poodles, Willow and Violet.

Our Take: after graduating from Yale, Scott attempted to pursue clowning college and although he never passed a single class he still thinks he’s the funniest person in Toronto. He is the president and sole member of the “I love poodles named after plants” club and can often be seen frolicking in the park with his two poodles, Willow and Violet. Known by his staff as the human Google; Scott often preaches about travel, literature and ridiculous facts that no one would ever need to know. He knows how to make (and drink) a killer cocktail and spends an inordinate amount of time trying to find the new “hot spot” which will be impossible for you to ever get in because it’s so exclusive (or so he tells himself). Although he likes to tell the same story over and over again, it never gets old because his story telling technique is unparalleled. Staff and clients alike gravitate towards his ability to make you feel one of a kind and this is why he’s the heart of our clinic.

Dr. Paula Fisher

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Paula received her Bachelors of Science in biology from the University of Guelph, and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College. After graduation, Paula spent two years working in Bristol, England; first at the Bristol Veterinary School’s Feline Centre, followed by small animal private practice. Before working at Queen West Animal Hospital, Paula also was employed at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Toronto. Her professional interests include feline medicine, geriatrics, surgery and emergency medicine. Paula currently lives in Toronto with her husband, Hans, her two lively boys, Nate and Theo and a Siamese named Rudy.

Our Take: PAW-la came back from England after she realized she much rather preferred lattes and brownies over tea and crumpets (that AND the fact her British accent didn’t sound as good as she had hoped after a few months).  She shares absolutely everything; cupcakes, hilarious photos of her two boys and her sweet dance moves with the entire hospital. One day she even gave up her Glory Hole Donut for simply a “hug”. She’s the only veterinarian in history who maintains perfect hair, makeup and overall general appearance no matter what is happening. She is in love with her Siamese cat Rudy (even though he’s tried to kill off the entire staff one by one). Need a shoulder to cry on? She’ll give you three. Paula is one of the humans that are comparable to unicorns; you don’t want to believe they exist but boy oh boy they do.

 

Dr. Justin Surette

Justin completed his undergraduate studies at the University of New Brunswick before going on to complete his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, PEI. Following his Doctorate, Justin moved to Manhattan, NY, and completed a Small Animal Medicine Surgery Internship to further enhance his skills. He then relocated to Toronto, where he worked at several busy practices for over a decade. Dr. Surette’s professional interests include preventive medicine, internal medicine, palliative care and client education. When not in clinic, Justin dabbles as an artist, with a focus on pencil-drawings. He enjoys taking time to travel back to the East Coast to spend time with family.
Our Take: Justin is a thorough, conscientious practitioner who leaves no stone unturned.  Then, when not with clients or working up a case, he quickly morphs into a prolific call-it-like-it-is jokester, who keeps everyone laughing behind the scenes. He tries to be funnier than the other veterinarians, but rarely succeeds. Okay, he’s pretty funny.

Dr. Hana Schwarz

Hana was born in Caracas, Venezuela. At the age of 14 she began volunteering in a well-renowned 24hr emergency practice in Caracas. After graduating from high school, Hana spent a one year student exchange in New Zealand before returning to Venezuela to study Veterinary Medicine.

Hana graduated with honours in 2007 at age 24 and after working for a while in the same emergency hospital where she had volunteered, decided to become and entrepreneur and run her own mobile veterinary service. In the year 2010 anticipating the political, social and economical Venezuelan crisis, Hana decided to join part of her family in Toronto. Hana worked very hard as a Veterinary Technician for 3 years while studying and preparing to write the Canadian National Examining Board examinations. In 2013 Hana achieved her Canadian Certificate of Qualification and started working as a licensed veterinarian in the Province of Ontario. Her professional interests include internal medicine, anesthesia and analgesia, ophthalmology and routine surgery/dentistry.
In her leisure time she enjoys being at home with her family and 2 dogs, Homero (Homer) a Venezuelan mutt that stole Hana’s heart from the very beginning and Darwin, a very social brown Labrador Retriever, Hana enjoys a nice tea in the winter and cooking when in the mood. Her motto: your pet, my passion!
Hana es bilingue y consultas en Español están disponibles.

Dr. Che Ng

Che received her Bachelor of Science (Zoology Specialty) from the University of Toronto, after which she spent two years working in research and education at the Royal Ontario Museum. Che then attended Veterinary Medicine at the University of Sydney in Australia for 5 years.  She returned to her roots, back to Canada and worked as a small animal and exotics medicine practitioner in Barrie and Mississauga before joining Queen West Animal Hospital.  She currently lives in Downtown Toronto with her partner and their young rambunctious Beagle, Emmy Lou.  Her professional interests include surgery, emergency medicine and geriatric medicine. When not in clinic, Che enjoys spending time with her family, cooking up new recipes and baking up a storm!

Practice Manager

Deborah Caira

img_0584Deborah joined QWAH in July of 2013 as Lead Receptionist, and has worked in the veterinary industry for the past 12 years. Deborah has worked as everything from a Veterinary Assistant to Practice Manager. She has also worked in a management capacity in other fields but decided she wanted something a little more meaningful. She has been happily working with pets and their humans ever since.  In July, 2014, Queen West happily promoted Deborah to Practice Manager. Deborah is married to a wonderful guy named Gabe, and they have their own private petting zoo with a Schnug named Frannie, a Spinone named Tess, a Pug named Delilah, and more cats than should be mentioned here.

Our Take: Deb is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to QWAH. It’s a lot to put on her shoulders but it’s unabashedly true. She’s everything one could ever want in a practice manager and has taken Queen West to even greater heights. We love you, Deb!

Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVT)

Sara (Lead RVT)

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Sara spent 5 years in the Television Industry before realizing that she would rather work with animals than camera cables. She entered into the veterinary world as a receptionist and veterinary assistant in early 2008, and earned her associate diploma in veterinary technology through the University of Guelph, Ridgetown College, in 2013. Sara’s professional interests include anesthesia, emergency care, and canine rehabilitation; she also takes care of all things inventory-related at Queen West Animal Hospital. In her spare time, Sara enjoys taking random road trips, hiking, camping, photography, health and fitness, and hanging out in sunny places. She also participates in fundraising efforts for Boxer Rescue Ontario as time permits. Sara has two dogs: a silly Boxer named Sophie and a super sweet American Bulldog named Olivia. 
Our Take: Sara is the most detailed-oriented, organized, conscientious and clear-thinking person in the history of the earth. We’re still waiting for her to make a mistake. It might be a while. We honestly don’t know where we’d be without her.

Janine

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Janine joined Queen West Animal Hospital in January of 2010.  She graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at Seneca College in 2007.  Before starting her adventure at QWAH, she had the privilege of travelling to South Africa and Australia working with wildlife.  She has a Jack Russell Terrier named Diesel.  When she isn’t working you can find her in the Dance Studio.  Janine developed a strong interest in animal rehabilitation in 2014, and received her certificate to practice canine rehabilitation through the University of Tennessee.  Janine will be opening her very own animal rehabilitation facility in January of 2017.  Four Paws Rehab & Fitness was a dream of Janine’s which has come true because of the guidance and support of the staff at Queen West Animal Hospital.  She is excited every morning when she steps foot into the Queen West Animal Hospital, looking forward to her day ahead with the ultimate love of her life, ANIMALS!

Our Take: Janine is the RVT everyone turns to when the s___ has really hit the fan. She has a way of making everyone feel like things are really and truly going to be okay. Her technical skills are second to none and her joie de vivre is so infectious, it’s impossible to be in a bad mood around her. She’s been with us so long, we can’t remember a Queen West without her.

 Chantal

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Chantal joined the Queen West Animal Hospital Team in 2009, after working in a dog daycare for 5 years.  She graduated from the Veterinary Technician Program at Seneca College in 2013 and shortly after became a Registered Veterinary Technician. Her professional interests include dog training/behaviour, client education and preventative care.  When not at work, she can be found in the local parks or training facility with her cockapoo named Tigger.  She also enjoys her down time with friends and family.

Our Take: Chantal has been with us for what seems like a thousand years. Literally. She started as a teenage veterinary assistant and is now one of our senior technicians and will be running Queen West’s new boarding facility. Her profound love of animals is what sets her apart. Not a smoochy pooch or fluffy feline comes through Queen West without being baby-talked by Chantal. The pets of QWAH are so much better off because of it.

Amanda

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As the official co-op student of Queen West, Amanda spent her last two years here learning the ropes of the clinic and is very excited to become an official part of the team in 2015. She is a recent graduate of Sheridan College’s Veterinary Technician program and also has her Bachelor of Arts in Television and Radio from Ryerson University. When she isn’t cuddling her two cats, Lo and C.K., she can be found playing hockey, soccer, spending time with friends or working on her paintings. She is looking forward to caring for all the beautiful fur babies and spreading her infectious dance moves around the hospital.

Our Take: Amanda has a very loud voice, which is both her best and worst feature. Best when our staff meetings become a little too rowdy and we need someone to settle the group down and worst pretty much any other time of the day. Her interests include drinking wine. Anyway, it seems like Amanda has been with us forever. Wise and capable way beyond her years, she’s taken QWAH by storm. Known for what might be termed as a ‘big personality’, Amanda is a tour-de-force. Thankfully, she works for us.

Brittany

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Brittany joined Queen West Animal Hospital in February 2016.  She graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at Northern College, Haileybury Campus in 2015. When not at work, she is usually out to dinner or at the movies with her boyfriend, Darcy, spending time with family and friends, or staying in with her dog, Bella, cat, Leo and rabbit, Jinx.

Our Take: Brittany is sweet to the bone, and best of all, she laughs at all the owners jokes. She seems to be perpetually in an amazing mood, is always willing to help, get involved and brighten up any day!

 

Beth

Beth’s love for animals started at an early age when with her parents, Beth attended Field Trail competitions with the family’s golden retrievers.  It was only natural that she took that love of animals and went on to graduate from the Ridgetown College Veterinary Technologist distance program through the University of Guelph in 2001. Over the last 16 years she has been employed at Emergency Clinics in the ICU, Clinical practice and in Pet Health Insurance. When not working Beth can be found in her back yard with her husband, Sean gardening, enjoying a glass of wine, reading and taking photographs around Toronto and Oakville. She has a senior black lab named Beauty and two spunky young cats, Tyrion (yes that Tyrion) and Peanut . She can’t walk by any dog or cat without stopping to say hello; Sean her husband says that’s why they were late for their rehearsal dinner!

Our Take: Beth has an old timey RVT air about her; like she’s seen and done it all, which she probably has. She’s a big personality, which is always welcome at Queen West. With all the youth in present ranks at Queen West, her battle worn experience is very much appreciated.

Meghan

Meghan graduated with honours from the Veterinary Technician program at Georgian College in 2017. After completing her two co-ops with us, QWAH stole Meghan’s heart and she began her career as a veterinary technician in June 2017. She is extremely excited to see what the future holds and to help all the fur babies in every way she can! When not at work, Meghan can be found spending time with her boyfriend, Rob, and her dog, Doug, and hanging out with family and friends. After living in Austria for 5 months, Meghan developed a passion for traveling and languages, she hopes to explore more of the world soon!

Our Take: Megan has volunteered with us off and on in the past so it only seemed natural she begin her working career at Queen West. She’s quietly confident for a new grad, and already has a manner about her that calms and pacifies. We’re very lucky to call her on of our own.

 

Veterinary Assistants

Megan (Lead VA)

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Megan has been volunteering with different animal rescue organizations for many years. Her passion for animals has brought her to Queen West and she is over the moon to be working with such great clients, patients, and staff. When she is not working she enjoys cuddling up with her kitten, Leela.

Our Take: Megan is the person you want to be stranded on an island with. She’d have a water cooler, hot tub, microwave and Margarita maker MacGyvered in about five minutes. When Megan is involved, everything gets done. She’s a doer, and we really like those kind of people. Yay, Megan!

Michael

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Michael joined the Queen West Animal Hospital team after serving as a volunteer in multiple clinics around the city. A recent graduate of the Life Sciences program at Queen’s University, Michael aspires to pursue a degree in Veterinary Medicine in the near future. When not at work you can find Michael rock climbing, playing soccer, or hanging out with his girlfriend, Caiti and his Sheltie, Scottie. He is excited for the opportunity to meet all of the wonderful cats and dogs Toronto has to offer!

Our Take: Michael is a throwback to an era when men were humble and polite and chivalrous. He astounds us on a daily basis with his hard work, unbelievable friendliness and the jovial manner in which he engages even the most menial of tasks. They don’t really make them like Michael anymore, which makes us all the more fortunate to have him working for us.

Melanie

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Melanie first joined Queen West Animal Hospital as a placement student in 2015. Melanie graduated from the Animal Care program at Sheridan College in 2015 and has been in the Industry for 3 years. Melanie worked at Downtown Animal hospital in 2016 as a Vet Assistant where she attended to urgent care. In her spare time, Melanie loves to hit the gym and go for walks along lake shore with her Chihuahua Beethoven. Melanie’s passion is in the clinical field and has plans to return to school to become an RVT.

Reception

Angie (Lead Receptionist)

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Angie’s compassion and love for animals started early in life, growing up with everything from chickens and rabbits to pigs and cows. Her favourite past time in those days was bringing home any animal that was seemingly “sick or abandoned”. Born and raised in Ontario, Angie decided to make a move to B.C., where she spent 20 years.  It was there she began her adventure in the animal industry,  volunteering at hobby farms and animal shelters, and eventually working at small and large animal clinics. She’s now back in Toronto with her brood, consisting of, two dogs (Tazz & Chai), Leroy the kitty, Charlie her little peanut of a daughter and her best friend, Jeff.  When not working, Angie enjoys cycling around town, chasing her daughter and dogs through the park, reading a good book, and enjoying some down time with Jeff, friends and family.

Our Take: the rumour is that Angie can get upset at home, maybe even raise her voice a tiny bit. It seems hard to believe for us, as we’ve never seen even a glimpse of it. Being a receptionist at a busy hospital like Queen West is not easy, but Angie never loses her cool or makes one feel something’s impossible. She tackles tasks with aplomb; is always calm and collected, even when the world is spinning like a tornado. She’s the ideal lead receptionist, and we’re so much better off because of her.

Nadia

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Nadia lives in the neighbourhood with her family and after being a client and former volunteer of Queen West, she warmly welcomed the opportunity to join the reception team when the opportunity arose.

Our Take: Nadia wins the Lamest Description of Herself by a landslide. Overly self-deprecating and humble, she is one of those special people one rarely encounters. With a heart the size of a football, her incredibly loving and caring demeanour provides needed repose from the hustle and bustle of living in downtown Toronto. She’ll stop you in the hallway just to check in, and give a hug if needed, or snuggle a dog for no reason, other than she senses it’s necessary. The world needs more Nadias. We’re pretty lucky to have one of our own.

Shannon

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Shannon is thrilled to be part of the team at Queen West. Working with animals has been a passion of hers since childhood – a passion that was recently revived when the opportunity to return to school was taken. She graduated from Georgian College’s Animal Care Worker Program, specializing in Enforcement/Animal Cruelty Investigations, has trained with Noah’s Wish for Disaster Relief for Animal Rescue, and is a former Adoptions Supervisor for the OSPCA. Her future goals include continuing her education with a focus on veterinary disciplines, and ultimately becoming an Animal Cruelty Investigator. Shannon currently resides with her cats – Sylvester, April, Daisy, Munchkin, Lupa, and Catillac, rats Penny and Houdini, and 2 Albino Cory catfish.

Our Take: Shannon has been with us forever and we cannot imagine Queen West without her. A whirlwind of social consciousness, alternative perspective, activism, alchemy and the black arts, every work place needs a Shannon. A modern witch of sorts (meant as a compliment), it would be easy to imagine a spellbook in the bag she carries around. Shannon is one of those people who will probably be with us when we shut the doors for good decades from now. She’s that much a part of our past, present and future.

David

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After spending much of his early life growing up with dogs, David is not quite sure how he ended up in a household caring for three rambunctious cats Luna, Lemur and Trevor. In any case he has made it his life’s goal to figure out if someone can be both a dog and cat person. In an attempt to assist with this vital work he has enthusiastically joined the Queen West Animal Hospital team. In his spare time David can be found watching movies, reading or fighting the never ending battle against cat hair which has taken over his apartment. David is looking forward to becoming an important facet of Queen West’s reception team and meeting (as well as likely making baby voices at) any and all animals that come into the clinic.

Our Take: David’s the kind of guy you go to when the chips are down. If he was a bit taller, he’d be the receiver to whom the quarterback would throw the hail Mary. Self-assured and quietly confident, he’d catch the pass, no questions asked, and let you take all the credit. A team of Davids at our front desk would be perfect, if it weren’t for the fact we like our other receptionists so much.

Heather

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Heather came to Queen West in search of a place where she could work around animals all day. After completing a degree in sociology and a certificate in restaurant management, she realized that she was better suited following what she was passionate about – and so far it’s been great! When Heather is not at the clinic you would most likely find her at a Jays game, a local patio, or shopping along Queen Street. She loves being active and enjoys exploring Toronto with her husband, James and black lab, Stella.

Our Take: Heather is a smiling, bubbly, happy, youthful winner. The kind of person who’s not yet had anything go wrong in her young life. AND, she’s likes Led Zeppelin, which no one saw coming. Within a few weeks of starting with us, she seemed like a pro. Though a barista in a past life, she’s oddly reluctant to make cappuccinos for us, which is a bit sad. That said, she’s an amazing person, and we’re so lucky to have her at Queen West.

Lauren

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Lauren’s love of animals can no doubt be traced back to her childhood when injured rabbits, mice and neighbourhood cats were regular visitors in her house. While her studies at both Boston University and Michigan State University did not take her into the veterinary industry, her love for seeing happy and healthy animals did not fade. Ultimately, it was this love that lead to her joining the Queen West Animal Hospital team in September of 2015. When not at work, Lauren can be found spending time with her husband Jason, their dog Nico, and their (slightly cranky) cat Moka. She also like to lift weights and sing songs to dogs that she doesn’t know in the park. Her husband enjoys that last hobby of hers far less than she does.

Our Take: Lauren bailed on her American homeland as soon as Trump became President. While not completely accurate, it makes for a good story. Truthfully, Lauren is a no-nonsense but compassionate receptionist. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have Lauren move to Canada, and wish her well during her maternity leave.

 

Animal Haus

Chantal

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Chantal joined the Queen West Animal Hospital Team in 2009, after working in a dog daycare for 5 years.  She graduated from the Veterinary Technician Program at Seneca College in 2013 and shortly after became a Registered Veterinary Technician. Her professional interests include dog training/behaviour, client education and preventative care.  When not at work, she can be found in the local parks or training facility with her cockapoo named Tigger.  She also enjoys her down time with friends and family.

Our Take: Chantal has been with us for what seems like a thousand years. Literally. She started as a teenage veterinary assistant and is now one of our senior technicians and will be running Queen West’s new boarding facility. Her profound love of animals is what sets her apart. Not a smoochy pooch or fluffy feline comes through Queen West without being baby-talked by Chantal. The pets of QWAH are so much better off because of it.

Lauren

 

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Lauren has had a lifelong passion for animals – always finding a way to surround herself with any type of animal. She completed her co-op placement in high school at Queen West Animal Hospital nearly 10 years ago. She was happy to join the team again this past Christmas. Lauren has spent the past 6 years working in the animal care industry; at a dog daycare as well as owning a dog walking company. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her Greyhound Snoop to various parks and spending time with friends and family.

Melanie

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Melanie first joined Queen West Animal Hospital as a placement student in 2015. Melanie graduated from the Animal Care program at Sheridan College in 2015 and has been in the Industry for 3 years. Melanie worked at Downtown Animal hospital in 2016 as a Vet Assistant where she attended to urgent care. In her spare time, Melanie loves to hit the gym and go for walks along lake shore with her Chihuahua Beethoven. Melanie’s passion is in the clinical field and has plans to return to school to become an RVT.

Kathleen

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Kathleen is a former pastry chef and self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady”. After spending a decade working in kitchens, Kathleen decided to make the switch to animal care and attended Seneca College’s Veterinary Assistant program. She is fascinated by animal nutrition, and plans to continue her studies in nutrition at University of Toronto.

Kathleen lives in High Park with her husband and three cats: Spike, Didi, and Daniel Day-Lewis (pictured). In her spare time, she enjoys hosting dinner parties, gardening, and spending time with her six brothers and sisters.

Sheneil

After finishing high school, Sheneil attended George Brown St James Campus in the Pre-Health Program.  After receiving her certificate, she then lived in the small town of Haileybury where she attended Northern College and registered for the Veterinary Technician program. Upon leaving, Sheniel returned to the city to pursue a career with companion animals.  She is currently living with her family in Scarborough and in her spare time enjoys crafting, practicing a new language or spending time with loved ones. In the future, Sheneil wants to further her schooling and travel the world.

Chris

After attending the University of Toronto for 4 years studying neuroscience, Chris realized his initial interests in medicine and research were not the career paths he wanted. This left him with a bit of a career conundrum – now what? Opting out of returning to school, Chris tried his hand at multiple fields, but nothing really stuck. Eventually, however, he found an opening at a boarding facility and had an epiphany; life is just better when surrounded by animals. Now, having joined QWAH, he hopes to keep learning more about the industry. When not at work, Chris loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen, as well as eat at new and interesting places.

Allie

Earning the nickname “Dr. Dolittle” as a child, Allie always knew she wanted to work with animals. After adopting her first dog, a rambunctious young rescue, in 2009, Allie decided to enroll in obedience classes with her and absolutely loved it. Since then, she’s been learning as much as she can about dog behaviour through reading, attending seminars, and volunteering. She currently works part time as a co-instructor at a well-regarded dog training company. In her spare time, Allie enjoys reading, teaching her dogs new tricks, and spending time with family. She currently lives in Don Mills with her two dogs, Rosie and Sully, and two cats, Amigo and Libby, and couldn’t possibly love them more.

Samantha

Sam graduated with honours from University of Ontario, for life science and forensic psychology but it wasn’t until fourth year she realized she wanted to work with animals. Following her passion, she started to apply for many jobs, when the opening at Queen West was found. She now enjoys spending her time with animals all day and continuing to learn in an environment she loves. In her spare time, she is always with her puppy, Huck and either found hanging with friends and family or cooking in the kitchen.

Where

Queen West Animal Hospital is located in the heart of the Queen West neighbourhood in downtown Toronto.

931 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M6J 1G5

Hours

Monday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am – 8:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Thursday 8:00am – 8:00pm
Friday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 8:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday Closed

Queen West Animal Hospital is closed every other Wednesday from 1 to 3pm for continuing education. Because we love it.


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