At Oceanside Animal Hospital, our Care Team is devoted to putting your pet first. This is our #1 priority. We are committed to providing high-quality medicine and a standard of care that exceeds expectations in a caring and compassionate manner.
Sandra Porter - Owner/Manager
Prior to joining the Oceanside Animal Hospital care team, Sandra spent over ten years with the local branch of the BCSPCA where she was involved in animal care and cruelty investigations. The transition to a veterinary career in 2006 was a nice change of pace for Sandra and she has a great appreciation for being able to help our clients take the best care of their pets. In 2011, Sandra became the manager at Oceanside Animal Hospital and on most days, you will see Sandra’s cheerful smile as she spends a lot of time at the reception area trying to make sure that things are running smoothly.
Sandra became co-owner of Oceanside Animal Hospital in April 2014, along with Dr. McKinlay.
At home, Sandra shares her time with her husband and daughter, as well as her sweet cat, Ginny, and the most wonderful little fuzzy dog, Pippin!
Brandon - Client Service Representative
Shortly after moving to Parksville from the Mainland, Brandon decided Animal Care was in his future. He chose a Veterinary Assistant program that required volunteer hours at a local vet clinic. Oceanside took him on and he became a very helpful member of the team, leading to a job offer at the end of his full-time practicum in early 2020!
While his training is in veterinary assisting, he has become one of our client care specialists, helping clients at the front desk, answering calls, scheduling appointments, admitting our patients – pretty much anything and everything! Outside of work, Brandon enjoys music and computers…which has worked out very well for us at the clinic – he’s also our go-to for tech support!
Celine - Registered Veterinary Technologist
Celine joined the Oceanside team in December 2013, shortly after relocating to Vancouver Island from Alberta with her husband, Jeff, and yellow labs, Chase and Brew. Celine graduated from NAIT as an animal health technologist and has a great deal of experience working in small animal veterinary hospitals, providing excellent patient/client care and veterinary support. She is excited to be a part of the Oceanside team!
Celine also takes great advantage of the outdoor adventures that Vancouver Island provides, enjoying hiking, kayaking, and training for competitive obedience. She is active with the Nanaimo Kennel Club and can often be found out and about training Chase and Brew. Celine loves being outdoors and will soon be learning about making jams and preserves as she now has a yard with fruit trees! When she is not working, hiking, training, or preserving, Celine and her husband also enjoy traveling and chillaxin’ around the fire pit under the stars.
Heather - Client Service Representative
Heather has always had a passion for working with animals. Her first job was as a veterinary assistant at Cheam View Vet Hospital in Chilliwack. She spent some time traveling and settled in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she went to university and obtained a degree in Animal Biology. She came back to Canada to take part in a study on Grizzly Bears in Alberta and then returned to Parksville to live on the family farm. She worked at the SPCA and the Nanaimo Veterinary Hospital before joining the team at Oceanside Animal Hospital.
Outside the clinic, she has a farm to keep her busy with alpacas, dwarf goats, ducks, geese, dogs and cats. When life permits small windows of spare time, she and her daughter like to go to the beach and explore new trails.
Kaitlin - Veterinary Assistant
Kaitlin started out by doing her Veterinary Assistant practicum at Oceanside Animal Hospital in early 2019. She fit in so well with our team that we decided we should keep her! Now you are likely to see her helping out at the front desk, assisting the veterinarian during exam procedures or filling in wherever she is most needed.
Kaitlin's other interests include a love of dinosaurs and illustrating books. Outside of work, Kaitlin is kept quite busy by her menagerie of cats, sheep, chickens and a puppy!
Kirstin - Client Service Representative
Kirstin joined the Oceanside team in the summer of 2020, when in the midst of a pandemic she and her husband-to-be decided to leave the city pavements behind them and relocate to the verdant forests of Vancouver Island.
Kirstin, originally from Austria, comes to us by way of Bridge Lake and, most recently, Richmond. Some years ago, after a long career in the hospitality industry, and a short career in the arena of English academics, Kirstin decided to make a dramatic change and enter the world of veterinary medicine at the Steveston Veterinary Hospital in Richmond, B.C. She has come to greatly enjoy working with the four-legged patients as well as the two, giving her the best of both worlds.
When not trying to remember which of the phone lines is the one she put on hold, Kirstin enjoys spending her time unraveling the mysteries of gardening on an island where the growing season seems to be a fleeting moment in time just beyond her grasp. The other 9 months of the year are devoted black lab Una, the cats: Maisie and Hedy, numerous other winged creatures, the compost heap, and her truly patient partner. Kirstin is very happy to be part of the Oceanside team and looks forward to helping our patients and their families get the care and assistance they need.
Lily - Veterinary Technologist
Lily joined Oceanside Animal Hospital in the spring of 2020 after moving to the island from the high desert of New Mexico. She brings varied experiences to the team as a Veterinary Technician including many years in private practice and training veterinarians at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
A couple of Lily’s favorite aspects of veterinary medicine include honing her skills with the microscope and in the Dentistry suite. She is excited to be meeting the pets of Vancouver Island! Lily has traveled between the southwest US and Canada and north to the panhandle of Alaska and back always with her co-pilot chihuahua, Taz. She enjoys trying on different lives and has worked as a sourdough baker, a farm to table pastry chef, and as a small scale organic farm manager. She spent most of her life riding horses in combined eventing and the US Pony Club and has ridden and helped train dozens of horses and ponies.
Samantha - Registered Veterinary Technologist
Samantha joined Oceanside Animal Hospital during the summer of 2013 after moving to the area from……Alberta! So many of our team now hail from Alberta! Sam has lengthy experience as an animal health technologist, including training veterinarians at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Her favourite aspects at the animal hospital are anesthesia and internal medicine. Sam shares her home with her husband, two boys, and their lovely rescue dog. She is an avid cyclist who puts the rest of the team to shame by commuting to work on her bicycle during all kinds of weather!