Our animal hospital team in Kelowna

Our Team

When your pet needs care, we’re here to help. Okanagan Veterinary Hospital is staffed by a team of nurturing professionals, committed to the health and wellness of animals in . We are dedicated providers of wellness care, preventative medicine, internal medicine, and more.

Our team at Okanagan Veterinary Hospital

Hospital Manager

Mike De Vies, Hospital Manager

Hospital manager at Okanagan Veterinary HospitalMike is our hospital manager and his role is to keep everything running smoothly. He is always interested to hear what you have to say about our hospital – both the good and the bad, please feel free to contact him at any time.

When not at work, he spends time with ‘Spider Pig’ – the world’s tubbiest cat, and dogs, Yogi and Fizz. He also likes to be out an about in the beautiful Okanagan countryside –as long as he does not have to walk up anything to get there.

Customer Service Representatives

Linda Boucher, Patient Advocate

Team member Linda at Okanagan Veterinary HospitalAlthough initially involved with human medicine Linda’s life-long love for animals eventually led to her retraining. In 2011 she obtained her Veterinary Hospital Assistant qualification and has worked at our hospital ever since.

Linda has a passion for our patients and has a specialised role as our Patient Advocate.

She is “Fear Free” accredited and spends her time advocating the best treatment for our patients, and providing information, education, support, and guidance to each and every client who visits our hospital.

When not at work Linda loves spending time with her spouse Brian and her 3 ‘fur-kids’ - cats, Smokey & Tigger, and Codie the Chihuahua.

She loves to go boating and fishing in the summer, and can be found out and about skiing in the winter.

Jessica Sampson

Team member Jess at Okanagan Veterinary HospitalJessica completed her training as a Veterinary Assistant here in Kelowna in 2015. We are extremely fortunate to have her look after our front of house. She handles this role with consummate ease and still has time to offer every client a huge friendly smile. Originally from Lumby, Jess is a complete ‘pet person’ spending time with her cats Nermal, Pumpkin and Kink, dogs Dolly and Nero, and three fish tanks.

When she gets time, Jess loves to decorate cakes and spend time outdoors kayaking or hiking.

Shawna Yarama

Shawna is a natural at making sure that every client and patient at our hospital is greeted with a warm welcome and a sunny smile. She is seldom flustered and is always eager to ensure that your visit at our hospital is a positive and memorable experience.

At home Shawna is kept busy with a whole list of “(M)other things” - looking after her two boys Jack and Seth, and the three cats, Dottie, Smudge, and Libby.

When not dog-sitting her friend’s two dogs, Zulu and Gabby, she likes to spend time quietly contemplating the mysteries of nature and the universe , watching movies, reading, and listening to music.

Registered Veterinary Technologists

Malia Benmore

Malia grew up in Kelowna, and has a deep affection for all living things. She knew from a very young age that she wanted to work with animals. Whilst living in Victoria Malia completed a distance education programmed through Thompson Rivers University and became a Registered Veterinary Technologist.

After 5 years living on ‘the island’, Malia and her husband moved back to her home town. She has two domestic long haired cats, Meeko and Squirt, and when not at work, she enjoys being active and enjoying the hot Okanagan summers.

Betty Caldwell

Team member Betty at Okanagan Veterinary HospitalBetty grew up surrounded by farm animals and a house full of pets. In 1975, with a love for animals and an interest in science and medicine, she graduated as a Registered Veterinary Technician from SIAST, Saskatoon. Since then Betty has worked in most areas of veterinary medicine including lab services, mixed practice hospitals, administration, and companion animal medicine. She moved to the Okanagan from the Prairies 21 years ago and came to our hospital in 2012. She has a keen interest in canine reproduction and has been instrumental in setting up our extensive AI and semen freezing facility.

Betty has a Chihuahua named Paco and a cat called Sushi, and also spends a lot of her free time competing in dog sport and fieldwork competitions with her two English Setters, Mike and Dottie.

In her down time, Betty loves to garden, go camping and boating, and spending time with her super-supportive spouse, Eric, and her grand kids.

Katie Craig

Team member Katie at Okanagan Veterinary HospitalAs a young child, Katie remembers how it felt to witness a dog having 14 teeth extracted during a dental procedure, and when time came to choose a career path she decided to help make other people aware of a pet’s dental needs.

In 2012 she completed the Animal Health Technology Program at Lakeland College, Vermillion, AB. Joining our hospital in 2016; she has been a driving force behind our comprehensive dentistry provision.

Born in Kelowna, Katie enjoys Barrel Racing her three horses – Tucker, Whiskey and Bella, and spending time outdoors hiking and skiing with “the world’s best dog”, Sadie-Mae, a rescue from Mexico.

Rachel Wyatt

Team member Rachel at Okanagan Veterinary HospitalRachel rescued 8 stray dogs in Taiwan and brought 2 dogs with her back to Kelowna. This experience encouraged her to start a career as a Registered Veterinary Technician, and in 2008 she graduated from Thompson Rivers University.

Her experience includes work at small animal clinics and Canada West Specialists and Critical Care Hospital in Vancouver. Rachel has a special interest in canine behaviour and can often be found trying to coax nervous patients out of their shells.

In her spare time she is always out with her young family swimming, hiking, camping and spending time with her dogs Sadie and Bear.

Veterinary Assistants

Melanie Corbin

Melanie grew up on a beef cattle farm in Tappen, BC and made t he most of the surrounding idyllic mountains and lakes - horseback riding, sledding, and boating.

After 18 years as a chef she decided to change gears, and in December 2017 completed the Veterinary Hospital Assistant course and started here at our hospital.

When not at work, Melanie has her hands full with tabby cats, Phoenix and Griffin; Mango – the Corn snake; momma goat Cinnamon, Oreo and Pixy-Stix her two kids; and horses, Freckles, Raven, and Clover.

Her dream is to compete in race endurance events with Raven, and she spends her spare time training towards this goal.

Laurie Kruiper

Team member Laurie at Okanagan Veterinary HospitalLaurie came to veterinary medicine as a result of her “love for puppies and kittens” and began her career “back in the dawn of time”. Originally from Regina, SK, she has been in Kelowna most of her life, and has been with our hospital since its inception.

Laurie treats all of the pets she works with as if they are her own and her commitment to their well-being has made her an invaluable member of our team. Laurie enjoys reading gardening, embroidery, ‘Pinteresting’, and spending time with her kids.

Rebecca Schildpatt

Team member Rebecca at Okanagan Veterinary HospitalRebecca grew up in Lake Country surrounded by pets and has never really doubted what she wanted to do. Having completed the Veterinary Hospital Assistant course, she joined our hospital in 2014.

She is currently in the process of doing a distance learning qualification through Thompson Rivers University and hopes to qualify as a Registered Veterinary Technician in the not too distant future.

Rebecca’s pets include a dog named Jake, two cats – Leia and Jack, and Demo – a milk snake.

When not at work, she loves to shower affection on her goddaughter and go hiking and camping with her husband, Eric.