Our Team

Dr. Rob Klemmensen

Rob graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991, where he also met his wife and business partner Elaine.  After practicing as both associates and later as practice owners, Rob and Elaine came to the West Kootenays in 1997, taking ownership of the West Kootenay Animal Hospital and starting a family.

While the ensuing years of child rearing and running a practice have been very busy, Rob would tell you that there is no where else he would rather live and work. Working with an amazing team of people while helping concerned owners provide care for their animal loved ones is a privilege and pleasure.

Living here also provides Rob with ample opportunity to enjoy the mountains, woods, rivers and lakes he loves. When not at the work, Rob can be found mountain biking, cross country skiing, or kayaking, often in the company of his Cairn Terrier, Maisy, who is determined she will one day catch those squirrels on their adventures together.  When not enjoying the outdoors, Rob can be found at home reading and drinking coffee in the company of Stella, his not-so-keen on adventure snuggle dog. That works too!

 

Dr. Elaine Klemmensen

Growing up on a family farm, Elaine developed a deep appreciation of the outdoors and a connection with animals at a young age.  An interest in science and medicine as well as a desire to work with animals led her to a career in veterinary medicine.  What came as a surprise was how much she enjoys working with people too, as she discovered connecting with clients and building lifetime relationships with them, to be one of the most rewarding parts of her job.  She feels fortunate to share and help nurture the bond people share with their pets everyday.

Mountain biking, skiing, kayaking and hiking take Elaine outdoors into the mountains she loves but perhaps her biggest passion is travel.  Always keen for an adventure off the beaten path, she dreams of heading off to explore a new part of the world.  Elaine is also an “closet”artist whose main gallery is the walls at West Kootenay Animal Hospital.  Creating delicious meals and relaxing with a good book (surrounded by Maisy, Stella and Nigel the cat) are other hobbies she enjoys.

Arriving in the Kootenay’s with little more than two veterinary degrees and a new baby, Elaine is very proud of the Animal Hospital she and Rob built together.  However, she feels her biggest accomplishment is raising two amazing, compassionate and adventurous children and still working together and enjoying adventures with her best friend and partner everyday!

Dr. April Hahn

Dr. April Hahn grew up in the small town of Gananoque, Ontario.  As a second generation Veterinarian, April has learned a compassion not only for our 4 legged companions, but also a keen understanding for the deep relationship that they represent to their owners.  April, like her Father, is most genuinely thrilled when working on difficult problems or decisions, and using her skills to assist clients to a truly positive outcome

Shortly after graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph (2007), April travelled to New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for work, play and growth.  During this time she interacted with many different people with an equal amount of different approaches to medicine, work and life in general.  In practice today, April draws from her journey to offer her own unique brand of care that is kind, creative, respectful and fair.  

April and her husband Brent, plan on sharing their life passions for skiing, mountain biking, music, scuba diving, travel, and the outdoors, with their 2 children Oliver and Felix.  After moving to the Kootenays, in 2010, it was an easy decision to take up roots in this special little corner of B.C.

Dr. Christel Stanton

Christel grew up in Rossland, BC and always felt it was her home, even when attending schools as far away as St. Louis, Edmonton and Saskatoon. Following graduation from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008, Christel started work in mixed animal practice in Cranbrook, BC. Develping her skills as a veterinarian during this time, was a wonderful experience but the West Kootenays were calling her home.  She made the move to Castlegar in 2010 and was happy to be able to work and live, closer to family and friends. She started work in Nelson, in small animal practice, working mostly with dogs and cats but also developing a special interest in pocket pets such as rabbits, small rodents, guinea pigs, reptiles and some birds.  During her years in Nelson, Christel felt priviledged to experience and enrich so many relationships between people and their animal companions. 

In the last few years Christal has started a family and has two young children, Lane and Chasey that keep her very busy at home.   When not at work she loves getting outside and into the mountains.  Together she and her family can be found enjoying one of their favorite activities together.  Camping, quading, hiking, fishing, skidooing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, snowboarding and pretty much any other activity that takes them outside and into the mountains she grew up in!

In the years since graduation, Christel has found she enjoys the challenging cases in veterinary medicine, but has also discovered she derives great satisfaction in seeing the joy and comfort animals can bring to the owners.

Jennifer

Jenn still holds a special place in her heart for her Alberta roots, but since 1995 has called the West Kootenay area  home.  Jenn graduated from the Olds College Office Admin. Program in 1989 and worked at a Parole office.  However, since 1997 she discovered her love of the human animal bond and has had the opportunity to provide client service as a receptionist at West Kootenay Animal Hospital.  There is nothing that makes her more enthusiastic about her job than having a client leave with a smile.

As proud as she is of her important role at work, family is the centre of Jenn’s world and being voted “Best Mom” year after year by her son Josh feels pretty good!  With husband and best friend of 25+ years, Greg,  Jenn enjoys  camping, quadding, kayaking, travelling abroad and geo-caching (so far Australia ranks as the most distant destination for this).

Closer to home, baking, gardening, scrapbooking their travel memories, watching hockey or reading her  favorite author , Ann Rule,  are ways Jenn enjoys her “down time”.    And if you don’t find her doing those things, she’s probably cruising around in her 1967 Convertible Ford Fairlane.   Jenn and her family share their home with Princess Chloe, a very spoiled Chihuahua Mix!

Brenda

Brenda joined the team at West Kootenay Animal hospital in 2004. She loves to help people, so her role as receptionist is a natural fit.

Brenda has roots that branch deep and wide in the community of Fruitvale where she was raised, and where she has raised her own family with her husband Garth. Raising her three beautiful daughters and seeing them become compassionate people is what she is most proud of in life.

When not at work Brenda gives back to her community volunteering, or spending time with friends and family. She loves to relax camping or just enjoying time by the water. Having a grown daughter studying in Kelowna to visit also gives her a great opportunity to get her fix of city life occasionally.

Caitlin

Caitlin graduated from Olds College in 2013 and joined the team at West Kootenay Animal Hospital shortly afterward as a Registered Veterinary Technologist. She grew up in Krestova, and is very happy to be back in the Kootenays and near her family.

Caitlin is finding her position at West Kootenay Animal Hospital to be very rewarding. She loves being part of the process of helping animals return to health, and to be able to work in a place where puppy or kitten snuggles are part of the daily routine!

Family and friends are a top priority for Caitlin. This includes her cats Omar and Purdy, as well as the cat and three dogs she gets to see regularly at her parent’s home near-by. She enjoys being a scrap booker, golfer, baker, and cook, and loves any opportunity to joke and laugh.

Caitlin is very proud to have graduated with good grades from a demanding college program, and really values all the relationships in her life.

Cherie

Cherie grew up in Welland, Ontario and graduated from the Veterinary Technology program at the University of Guelph.  She has gained experience in her field by working in a variety of settings including humane societies, small animal practices and also an emergency clinic.  What Cherie loves most about her chosen profession, is watching the animals in her care recover from a major injury or illness and knowing she made a positive impact on that pet and owners life.  With a smile, Cherie admits that in her last position she was known as the cat or chihuahua "whisperer"!  While she is proud of her ability to work with anxious and nervous pets, she does not consider this out of the ordinary for a veterinary technician and says that some day she would love to pursue a veterinary technician specialty, in anesthesia.

 

While Cherie loves being a veterinary technician, she sometimes jokes that she should have been an astrophysicst or maybe a philosopher!  She loves asking the "big" questions, exploring new ideas and learning about a variety of topics.

 

Outside of work, Cherie recharges by spending time with her family; three cats, Milo, Noah & Buttons and her special buddy, Zero a Chihuahua/Pug mix.  Yoga and hiking are ways Cherie finds time to recharge.  She is thrilled to be living in BC together wih her partner Norm and faithful Zero.  She is looking forward to exploring the beautiful area she now calls home.

Stephanie

 

Stephanie spent most of her childhood in Rossland, but moved to Summerland in her late teens.  She was very excited to move back to the Kootenays and start her family and career.  Stephanie has always loved learning and takes pride in her varied education.  She has completed her Residential Care Aid and Education Assistant certificates as well as the Early Childhood Education program.  Most recently, Stephanie completed the Dental Assistant Certificate with honors and she is excited to apply the knowledge she has gained from these courses to a career in veterinary medicine.

 

Stephanie’s positive energy spills over into every aspect of her life.  She is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys camping, hiking and fishing with her family and friends.  Stephanie admits to being a self proclaimed “adventure junkie” and loves activities that make her heart skip a beat.  She loves quadding, sledding and has tried sky diving, zip lining and looks for opportunities to experience new adventures.

 

Family is the one thing Stephanie values above all else and she is quick to say “without the support of my family, I would not be the person I am today”.  Stephanie looks forward to building a life with her partner and sharing many adventures with her two young children.  Her goal is to have a life that is rich in everything she values:  love, laughter, adventure, knowledge and family.  

Amy

Amy grew up in Fruitvale and lived there her whole life until moving to Kelowna in 2013 to attend school. Amy graduated from Okanagan College in 2015 with a certificate in office administration. She worked in Kelowna, at the school district, following college graduation but the Kootenays where calling her home.  It was then that the opportunity to work as a Client Care Specialist at West Kootenay Animal Hospital came up and both Amy and the team are excited she made the move back home.

 

Amy has always had a passion for animals, especially cats. She grew up in a large family with 5 children so it was quite hectic, but they always had family pets. Amy currently has a kitten, Stella, and is very fond of her sisters dog, Charlie. Spring and summer are her favourite seasons to get out in the mountains to explore.  Whether it be a hike with friends or a weekend camping in the wilderness with her family, Amy loves the outdoors. She also enjoys reading and drawing in her spare time.  Family and friends are most important to Amy and she is very happy to be living back home close to her favourite niece, Lainey.

 

Working at West Kootenay Animal Hospital has been very rewarding, and she can't wait to see what the future holds. 

Tara

Tara recently moved to the West Kootenays from the prairie’s in Southern Alberta. Growing up she has always been surrounded by animals and has spent her time volunteering at Humane societies; SPCA’s as well as working in the veterinary field. Working in veterinary medicine is very rewarding for her, she loves being hands-on in providing patients with the best standards of care. Her work in the veterinary industry has instilled the importance of ethical treatment of animals and public education. 

Tara’s passion for helping animals is what lead her to the West Kootenays. She recently graduated from an Environmental program and intends to combine her interests in animal welfare and wildlife conservation to peruse a career in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Tara’s main focus is on the ethical treatment of our wildlife, she intends to give wildlife a voice through public education and rescue facilities.

The Kootenay’s have become Tara’s home and when she is not working she can often be found exploring the area. Hiking, camping, canoeing and running are some of her favourite activities but Tara also enjoys her quiet time snuggling up with her two cats.