Dr. Petra Juzwishin Warnock’s life has been dedicated to the care and pursuit of knowledge of animals. Studying veterinary medicine in Australia, Petra undertook significant additional study and care of native wildlife including possums, bats, kangaroos, koalas, reptiles, and a plethora of birds. She culminated her studies by doing a rotation at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in Queensland. Petra’s areas of interest include dental health, soft tissue surgery, exotic, and geriatric medicine. She has done extensive veterinary volunteer work with wildlife in Canada, the US and Australia. Petra's immediate family is comprised of her husband Randall; three sons, Grayson, Aidan, and Hudson; two dogs, Sampiko and Sophie; and their cat Mufasa. Prior to coming to ELVH, Petra was the medical director of an emergency veterinary hospital in Edmonton. Upon arriving back to Victoria where she grew up, Petra is eager to be practicing in a family owned, community minded practice. When not caring for animals, Petra enjoys spending time with family and friends, and a wide range of outdoor activities.
Dr. Randall Warnock grew up on a farm outside of Calgary and lived most of his life on the prairies. With his farming background, Randall entered veterinary medicine planning to specialize in large animals. However, in his last year of vet school, he chose to practice small animal medicine and we are sure glad he did! Randall has a special interest in internal medicine and diagnostic imaging, particularly ultrasound. Randall has successfully completed the advanced small animal soft tissue immersion course. Prior to Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital, Randall worked in emergency at a full service and specialist hospital in Edmonton. When he doesn’t have his head in the books doing extra research in veterinary medicine, Randall enjoys playing with his sons Grayson, Aidan, and Hudson, and a wide variety of outdoor sports including golf, running, skiing, and hiking.
Dr. Natalie Gage was born and raised in Central Saanich and is thrilled to return to the island to work as an associate veterinarian at Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital. Prior to graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Dr. Gage worked as a wildlife rehabilitator, caring for injured and orphaned wildlife in BC including raccoons, deer, and raptors to name a few! Dr. Gage’s areas of interest include feline medicine, geriatrics and soft tissue surgery. Dr. Gage is a Fear Free Certified Practitioner who is passionate about working with owners to make veterinary visits as positive as possible. Along with Dr. McDowell, Dr. Gage volunteers with the Vets for Pets program at Our Place, providing free veterinary care to the pets of homeless people in Victoria. In her free time, Natalie enjoys trail running, hiking, reading and keeping her pitbull Mika and her three-legged cat Izzy out of trouble!
Dr. Mary McDowell grew up in North Vancouver and, from the age of five, knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. After graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, she practised small animal medicine in the Lower Mainland for several years. Since joining our team in 2016, Dr. McDowell has been thrilled to be an associate veterinarian at Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital. She is a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and World Vets International Aid for Animals. Dr. McDowell is also one of the few veterinarians on Vancouver Island to be Fear Free Certified. She takes great care to ensure that every pet’s visit to the clinic is adapted to their needs, especially if they are nervous or have special handling requirements. Dr. McDowell’s additional areas of interest include dermatology and internal medicine. In her spare time, Mary volunteers with the Vets for Pets program at Our Place, providing free veterinary care to the pets of homeless people in Victoria. Outside of her professional interests, she enjoys running half marathons, hiking, rock climbing, and adventure travel with her husband. Meanwhile, her coonhound Eddie enjoys his time at home.
Amanda, one of our client care specialists, is very passionate about animals. She has a big pack at home, including Annie and Mrs. Potts, both senior kit-izens, and two special needs dogs, Bowie and Mayhem. Bowie is a tiny deaf and blind pup and Mayhem is a deaf and vision-impaired Mini Australian Shepherd. Amanda loves the challenge of taking care of Bowie and Mayhem, and their huge personalities. Amanda loves quilting, gardening, and woodworking, making anything that inspires her. You are very likely to find her sewing in the staff room on her lunch break.
Tara has been with the Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital team for more than 15 years. She likely has the most well recognized voice in the hospital and her smile can always be heard through the phone!!! Tara is our lead client care specialist and makes the hospital run smoothly. Tara and her son have two rescue pets; a cat named Domino and a dog named Shiloh. Tara has an incredible zest for life and endless amounts of positive energy. In her free time, Tara enjoys Zumba and Jazzercise.
Kate is one of our Registered Veterinary Technologist at Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital. Kate was raised on a farm in the Fraser Valley surrounded by animals her entire life. Whether it was horses, dogs, cats, frogs, chickens or whatever animal may have crossed her path that day, Kate was an animal lover. It only made sense that she would spend her adult life working with them during the day and catering to them at nighttime (Kate has a very outgoing cat named Boomer and an energetic Australian Kelpie mix named Maggie). After graduating from the Animal Health Technology program at Thompson Rivers University in 2012, she worked in small and mixed animal practices on the Sunshine Coast and in Campbell River before joining the Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital in October 2015. When not at work, Kate can generally be found somewhere outside, usually with a four legged friend following close behind.
Marina is originally from Japan and has been in Victoria since 2011. After studying at Camosun College for two years she realized she needed to spend more time around animals, so she trained to be a veterinary assistant. When assisting the veterinary technicians and veterinarians, as well as answering the telephones and assisting in reception, Marina strives to give her best to the animals and their owners. On her off hours she spends as much time as possible with her rescue dog, Kellie.
Amy has loved animals since she can remember, especially growing up with her tabby cat Sidney, adopted in 2001. Amy moved to Victoria in 2014 to pursue a career in book publishing but, after four years in the industry, she felt like something was missing. After searching for that missing component, Amy found herself working for a doggie daycare, where she met her Mini Australian Shepherd, Wyatt, and found her passion in looking after animals. Amy wanted to find every way she could to care for animals and she found that when she joined Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital in 2017 as a veterinary assistant.
Amie is one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians at Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital and is a 2014 graduate of the Thompson Rivers Animal Health Technology Distance Program. Amie worked at a small animal and dental specialty hospital for three years and volunteered her time rehabilitating injured wildlife before moving to Vancouver with her Husband and Trudy, their feline fur baby. After 4 years of working in the big city at a mixed animal hospital as Head Technician, Amie and her family decided it was time to move back home to the Island where friends and family were close by and began working at Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital in 2018. Amie has a special interest in exotics, dentistry, and animal nursing. She can be found camping on the beach, reading a good book, or at a pottery class!
Brandi is our senior veterinary assistant, social media promoter, and inventory manager. She is very versatile and experienced in helping the doctors and technicians perform their tasks, as well as keeping the hospital functioning smoothly with many admin duties. She cares for each patient as if they were her own and has a special interest in wildlife rehabilitation. Brandi happily shares her home with her husband Alex, chihuahua Lucy, and two cats Ben and Akasha. She spends her free time hiking, practicing yoga, reading, and travelling the world as much as possible.
Melanie works primarily in the patient care area and is a veterinary assistant. Along with the major role of patient care and assisting the veterinary technicians and veterinarians, Melanie is occasionally called on to help answer telephones and assist in reception. She spends a lot of her personal time with her two dogs, Blanca and Carinosa, and her rabbits Bailey and Lola.