Our Veterinarians

Dr. Amanda Salazar
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. Next, Dr. Salazar headed to Ontario Veterinary College, where she obtained her Doctorate degree. She joined the Main West Animal Hospital family in May of 2016 and has been caring for the area’s pets here ever since. Dr. Salazar has special interests in internal medicine, surgical procedures, and working with exotic creatures.

Dr. Salazar has one animal companion of her own at home: Lexi, a boisterous German shepherd who loves just about everyone she comes into contact with. When she isn’t enjoying Lexi’s company or tending to pets’ needs here at the hospital, Dr. Salazar likes reading, swimming, hiking, and horseback riding. She’s been riding ever since childhood, and her greatest achievements thus far have been taking her pony and horse on the Trillium and A-Circuit horse shows!
Dr. Katie
Dr. Katie has wanted to become a veterinarian from the time she was only four years old. She was too young to even comprehend the details of the profession, but she knew that she wanted to help animals in whatever way she could! Over time, her fascination with the veterinary world only grew. Now, Dr. Katie is a licensed veterinarian with the Main West Animal Hospital team.

A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Dr. Katie began her veterinary journey by volunteering at a clinic down the street from her childhood home. She also started working at a horse barn on the weekends and helping to feed calves at a friend’s dairy farm. Throughout her undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph, Dr. Katie continued to volunteer before heading to Ontario Veterinary College to earn her animal-care degree.

Dr. Katie completed a clinical rotation here at Main West Animal Hospital during her final year of veterinary school, and was offered a job before her first week was over. She gladly accepted, and has been helping the area’s pets and animal owners here ever since. Dr. Katie enjoys performing ophthalmology work and educating new puppy and kitten owners on proper pet care, but her favourite part of the job is forming strong relationships with pet owners and their beloved animal friends.

In her time away from work, Dr. Katie enjoys reading, swimming, boxing, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets. She has two dogs: Cali, a Golden retriever who never tires of eating, and a large, fluffy Great Pyrenees named Atlas who has been mistaken for a polar bear on numerous occasions.
Dr. Aron Bhan
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.

Dr. Bhan is also a Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapist, and enjoys taking a holistic approach to veterinary medicine. He enjoys using laser therapy and natural treatment alternatives to help patients improve. Surgery is another of his passions, as it is very challenging but can have an immediate and enormous impact on a pet’s health.

Dr. Bhan’s wife Nicole is also a veterinarian. At home, they have three Golden Retrievers: Toby, Dexter, and Clifford. Between work and family, Aron enjoys playing sports, playing the drums and acoustic guitar, and singing—only in the shower, of course!
Dr. Joseph
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. He then returned to his hometown and was thrilled to accept a position in the community he felt most comfortable in—Welland. Dr. Joseph is excited to continue his education and experience here at Main West Animal Hospital, surrounded by a fantastic team of fellow veterinarians, technicians, and support staff.

Medically, Dr. Joseph has special interests in cardiology and dermatology, and finds it particularly rewarding to alleviate allergy problems in order to better the lives of both pets and their owners. Most of all, he enjoys witnessing animals he’s treated return to their normal, happy selves.

At home, Dr. Joseph has four cats of his own: Lilly, Grizzly, Daisy, and Batman. When he isn’t tending to their needs or caring for pets here at the hospital, he enjoys watching and playing sports, reading, playing video games, and spending time with his girlfriend.
Dr. Nicole Denouden
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.

Dental surgery is one of Dr. Denouden’s favourite aspects of the job. She’s also very interested in dermatology, especially since she owns a highly-allergic Golden retriever that has experienced many of the same challenges she treats at the clinic! Nicole also loves developing personal relationships with clients, their families, and their pets.

Along with her husband, Dr. Denouden lives with three lively Golden retrievers. No one can leave the house without looking for their shoes, because one of the dogs has certainly carried them off somewhere!

When not at work, Nicole enjoys staying active. She loves outdoor adventure sports like water skiing, wakeboarding, kiteboarding, snowboarding, white-water kayaking, cross-country skiing, and hiking.
Dr. Debbie Hoffele
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. Raboola Phillip Tarzi
Dr. Raboola Tarzi’s mother was never much of a pet person, so young Dr. Tarzi had to write letters every day and slip them into her bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom, and the family room to beg for a companion. His persistence finally paid off when he got his first pet, a lovable rabbit! Dr. Tarzi has known ever since that he wanted to become a veterinarian and better the lives of all the animals that he possibly could.

Born and raised in Markham, Ontario, Dr. Tarzi attended Guelph University for his undergraduate studies before heading abroad to study veterinary medicine at the University of Melbourne in Australia. He graduated as a licensed veterinarian, and has been helping to improve the lives of pets and the families who care for them ever since. Dr. Tarzi joined the Main West Animal Hospital and Heartland Niagara Animal Hospital family in early January of 2018, and serves the pet parents of Welland as an Associate Veterinarian.

Dr. Tarzi has one pet of his own at home, a Husky puppy who is full of personality. She’ll even do all her tricks at once in order to secure a treat, and she starts howling if she doesn’t get them quickly enough!
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