When she was younger, Dr. Amanda Salazar’s parents leased a small pony named Treasure for their daughter to show competitively. Shortly after they brought the animal home, it became lame and couldn’t jump. Dr. Salazar spent every day going to the barn to nurse Treasure back to full health, and she never forgot the satisfaction she felt from helping to relieve her pony’s suffering. It was then that she decided that she would one day become a veterinarian!
Dr. Salazar was born and raised in Mississauga and attended the University of Guelph after high school to study animal biology. At the same time, she began volunteering and subsequently working at a nearby animal clinic.
Dr. Bhan grew up on a farm outside of Welland, and spent most of his time raising and caring for sheep, goats, chickens, geese, and other farm animals. Simply put, caring for animals has always made Dr. Bhan happy—he knew a veterinary career was the only choice for him!
In high school, Aron enrolled in a co-operative education placement program and was placed at Main West Animal Hospital. He knew immediately it was the career for him. He attended the University of Guelph at Ontario Veterinary College to complete his studies, accepting a job at Main West in 2007. Now he’s a full-time veterinarian at the clinic.
During his childhood summers in Italy, Dr. Joseph saw many local cats and dogs who were afraid of humans and couldn’t receive proper medical treatment as a result. It was then that Dr. Joseph realized he wanted to work in a profession that would truly make a difference—for him, a career in veterinary medicine was the only choice that made sense!
A native of Welland, Ontario, Dr. Joseph began volunteering in local animal clinics during his undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph. After graduating with a degree in animal biology, he was accepted into the Ontario Veterinary College, where he received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
Growing up in Aurora, Ontario, Nicole spent a lot of her childhood on the farm tending to horses. She even got to help her father when some of the mares were giving birth! This set the stage for the future Dr. Denouden’s career path of choice: veterinary medicine.
Dr. Denouden completed her Bachelors of Science degree at the University of Guelph and studied veterinary medicine at Ontario Veterinary College. After graduating in 2010, she worked at a few other clinics in the Niagara region before coming to Main West in 2012. The move made sense considering Nicole’s husband, Dr. Aron Bhan, also works as a veterinarian here! Dr. Denouden says the team felt like family from the very first day.
Dr. Hoffele grew up in a small town in Ontario spending time at her grandparents’ farm. At a young age, she knew that she wanted to become a veterinarian. Dr. Hoffele graduated from the University in Guelph in 1988 and has had a long career starting in Hamilton, Ontario, moving to Nova Scotia and now back to Welland. She started an animal hospital in Hamilton and worked in several clinics in Nova Scotia. Dr. Hoffele was also able to work with a wildlife rehabilitation centre and some of the most unusual animals she treated there were a seal and a pelican!
Dr. Hoffele currently enjoys working part-time at Main West Animal Hospital. She has 2 boys whom are home schooled, and involved in gymnastics, robotics, and lots of other things! Dr. Hoffele and her husband enjoy travelling; and recently spent a year visiting 16 countries.
Dr. Erin Hamaba’s childhood cat was her best friend in the world growing up. When her beloved pet passed away, Dr. Hamaba vowed to help other animals in whatever way she could. That’s why she decided to become a veterinarian! Now, she’s able to help pets and their owners on a daily basis as a part of the Main West Animal Hospital team.
Dr. Hamaba is originally from Scarborough and began her veterinary career as a Veterinary Assistant. She graduated from Seneca College in May of 2012 as a Registered Veterinary Technician, then moved to Toronto to launch her animal-care journey. In 2015, she moved to St. Kitts in the Caribbean to attend Ross University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and become a licensed veterinarian. Next, she completed her year of clinical studies at Purdue University in Indiana before moving to the Niagara Falls area.
Dr. Olivia Mazzorato has adored the company of pets ever since she was a little girl, but she started to fall in love with the science and medicine behind veterinary care during her high school and university years. When she secured a part-time job as a Kennel Attendant, it sealed her fate—Dr. Mazzorato knew that she was destined to work with animals professionally! Now, she’s proud to care for pets on a daily basis as a member of the veterinary team here at Main West Animal Hospital.
Dr. Mazzorato hails from Burlington, Ontario and earned her undergraduate degree in life sciences from McMaster University in 2014. She started volunteering at a local veterinary hospital and was hired on a short time later, and then started volunteering at an equine referral hospital and at the Bat Lap at McMaster University, where she cared for the school’s colony of brown bats.
As a pet owner herself, Dr. Natalie Chow recognizes the many difficult choices in the road of pet parenthood and the overwhelming amount of information that’s out there. She’s always wanted to help guide others through hard choices and serve as a trusted resource for animal owners. That’s why she decided to become a veterinarian! Dr. Chow is proud to serve as a member of the veterinary team here at Main West Animal Hospital.
Dr. Chow was born in Macao, China before immigrating to Canada with her parents at the age of four. She’s been in Markham ever since! She was only 12 years old when she started helping at a local pet store, and later secured a co-op position at a local vet clinic for four months to get her first real taste of veterinary medicine. Next, Dr. Chow volunteered at another hospital for three years and served in various research positions while completing her collegiate education.
Dr. Jen Kishbaugh grew up in Cheektowaga, New York, where her family kept everything from dogs, birds, and rabbits to hamsters, gerbils, fish, and even a snake. In fact, it was the hours spent learning about and caring for her very first pet, a hamster named Critter, that convinced Dr. Kishbaugh to become a veterinarian! Her passion hasn’t quit. She couldn’t be happier to help pet owners and their adorable animal companions here at Main West Animal Hospital.
During her undergraduate studies, Dr. Kishbaugh volunteered at the Aquarium of Niagara and also worked at a local small-animal and exotic veterinary clinic. Next, she moved to the Caribbean to attend veterinary school at Ross University in St. Kitts, and completed her clinical training at Cornell University before starting an internship on Long Island. Dr. Kishbaugh worked in several specialty, emergency, and critical care facilities after her schooling, volunteering with local wildlife rehabilitators on Long Island in her spare time, before moving to Washington, D.C. There, she joined the Smithsonian’s Global Health team to focus on emerging infectious diseases.