Meet Our Team


Patient Care

Dr. Dirk Dekens, DVM - Owner

I was only six years old when I proclaimed to my parents and family that I wanted to become a veterinarian. I didn’t live on a farm nor did I have any exposure to the “field of animal medicine”. Nevertheless I always fostered a keen interest and thirst for knowledge about nature and animals in general. We didn’t have any cats, dogs or large animals, but my dad had built a small aviary which, to my delight, housed a variety of song birds, quails, guinea pigs and two beautiful “striped tree squirrels”, which I aptly named Jeff and Josephine. The quails laid eggs, the guinea pigs multiplied as guinea pigs do , but to everyone’s delight Jeff and Josephine also surprised us with four healthy baby squirrels. The miracle of life was unfolding right in front of us. Needless to say I was in my element!

The only thing that was missing, in my mind at least, was the ability, like Dr. Doolittle, to talk to the animals. Later on, of course, I learned that animals have their own ways to communicate with each other and with us, they just do it differently. The rest, as they say, is history.

I went to vet school in Ghent, Belgium and graduated with a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine in 1986. I owned a small and exotic animal practice in Ghent offering both in clinic and housecalls for my clients but decided to take the big move and emigrated to Canada in 1989. My career since has been varied and stimulating as I worked in a variety of veterinary clinical and surgical settings.

Highlights for me have been my work as an emergency veterinarian at the now closed Calgary Animal Emergency Clinic for about three years and an eight year full-on commitment as the first full time veterinarian hired by the Calgary Humane Society. I also co-founded and owned Sit Happens! Companion Dog Training, a force-free and reward based dog training school in Calgary.

My interests in veterinary medicine revolve around animal welfare, ethical issues in veterinary medicine and the importance of the human animal bond. My greatest pleasure has been and continues to be the interactions with my clients and their nonhuman companions as I travel from home to home. Maybe I do have a bit of a Dr. James Herriot inside of me :)

Dr. Kay Thompson, DVM

Over my life I have had many journeys, some short and sweet and some long and arduous. A defining journey that I continue today is my life as a veterinarian. It technically started upon graduation in 1991 from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, SK, but truthfully the first steps of this journey were in Cardiff, Wales.

I was born in Cardiff and lived there until 11 years of age when emigration delivered me to the foothills of Alberta. In those early years my interests were my ever growing and changing population of pets and enjoying the lifestyle Calgary and area supplied.
After graduation from vet school I practiced in the Calgary area and eventually opened my own clinic while raising my young family. From this accomplishment I discovered a whole new desire for fresh challenges and new experiences that culminated in 15 years of work in and out of Canada with almost 10 years in the Middle East, most recently Dubai.

All these experiences and amazing opportunities have delivered me to Montgomery Village Vet Clinic where I can share my experience with the diverse team providing care that supports the pets and their owners enriching the human-animal bond. I have interests in dentistry, skin diseases, senior wellness, and client care, but hope to continue to expand and develop my skills so I can provide more for our clients.

I'm looking forward to continuing this journey with the team at Montgomery Village Veterinary Clinic!

Dr. Veronica Devall, DVM, CVA-IVAS, CVC-AVCA, CCRT-CRI, VPP-IVAPM - Integrative Veterinary Rehabilitation and Pain Management

My early years were spent on a farm outside a small town in northeast Alberta where my love for all animals developed. As a child I couldn’t get enough of puppies, kittens and anything that stood a little too still. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a veterinarian and to this day I cannot imagine being anything else. There is something to be said about “do what you love.” 

I started my career as an emergency, critical care veterinarian, which turned into a relief (locum) practitioner so I could indulge in my other love, travelling. Over the last half of my veterinarian career, I have pursued specialties in pain management, veterinary rehabilitation and holistic medicines such as acupuncture, herbals and chiropractic. By January 2018, I will have a boarded specialty in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

I have been actively involved in canine sports medicine over the years by volunteering and teaching at sled dog races and agility sporting events, which has finely tuned my veterinary skills. My last trip was to Russia to treat and teach about care of the sporting dog.  My passion is treating our aged, injured and debilitated canine and feline companions and heroes. It is my goal to break the cycle of maladaptive pain, restore, maintain and promote my patient’s optimal function and movement, optimal fitness, wellness and quality of life and have some fun in the process.

My family consists of my boy buddy Elim, an 8-year-old Siberian Husky, and three very energetic and mostly good cats, Mahout, Ratti and Sidd. We recently had to say goodbye to our Willow, she was a beautiful 17 ½ year old Siberian Husky! Yes, I love seniors and so much can be done for them to keep them mobile and happy for years.  My animal family keeps me grounded and they give me the focus and energy to help my patients. I look forward to meeting you and your animal family.

Andrea Lo, DVM

I grew up in Edmonton with a menagerie of exotic animals because a family member was allergic to dogs and cats. We had fish, budgies, rabbits, hamsters, hedgehogs, a chinchilla and leopard geckos. But I’ve always had a love for all animals.

I finished my BSc at the University of Alberta in 2005 and went straight onto a PhD. Halfway through, I realized I wanted to be a veterinarian and finished with an MSc in 2008. I applied to the new University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2013.

Since graduation, I have worked in a feline-only practice and at the Calgary Humane Society as a locum. I am eager to join the team at Montgomery Village Vet Clinic and share my experiences. I am familiar with handling anxious kitties and embrace stress-free practices. I have special interests in dentistry, surgery and chronic disease management.

My young family and I are kept busy with Ripley, a Border Collie mix, Avy, a Great Pyrenees and Ozzie, a little devil of a Devon Rex cat.

In our spare time, we can be found in the mountains – either skiing, hiking or backcountry camping.

Katie Berry, RVT

I studied Animal Health Technology at Lakeland College and graduated in 2012 with the designation of Registered Veterinary Technologist.

I have a special interest in dentistry, cytology, and inventory, and love what I do because I get to assist those who can't speak for themselves, and help strengthen the animal-human bond.

I have a dog, Koen, who is a maltese-cross, and two kitties: an orange tabby named Tyson, and a brown tabby named Mr. Porridge.



 

Kirstin Fredriksen, VTA

I have always had a love for animals! Growing up I was constantly surrounded by animals and fell in love instantly.

I started volunteering at AARCS with my aunt when I was 16 and through this I also received my emergency pet first aid certification. My passion for helping and caring for animals in need started to grow and I knew then that I wanted to work in the veterinary industry.

Once I graduated high school I enrolled in the Veterinary Technical Assistant program. In this program I learned different ways of assisting in the clinic and being able to properly care for animals.

I currently have a six-year-old cat named Molly and a 12-year-old cat named Lucky.


Sharon Labossiere, KPA-CTP CSAT CPDT-KA CTDI CCBW

  After 30 years in corporate finance for multinational companies in Canada, Australia, and the UK, I ended many years of heavy travel to pursue my passion for dogs.

While volunteering with the Cochrane & Area Humane Society, I realized working with dogs was something I wanted to do.  What I didn’t realize at the time was how significant this decision was and the wonderful journey I was about to embark on.  

After working as the Behaviour Coordinator for the Cochrane and Area Humane Society, I opened my own business, 'Hanging With Hounds'. The goal was to keep dogs out of shelters by keeping them in their homes through positive puppy and dog training. 

Over the last five years I have devoted my time to studying, learning and working with dogs from basic obedience and puppy training through to more challenging behaviours such as fear and anxiety.

I recently became a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer. I have a soft place in my heart for rescue dogs and volunteer with three different rescue organizations in Calgary by fostering, providing behaviour modification and training support and foster home education for volunteers.

In addition to behaviour and training, I am a certified canine massage body worker. There’s nothing worse than seeing an animal in pain, and it’s always hard to see our four-legged family members age. I became a Certified Canine Body Worker to help my clients’ dogs thrive physically as well as behaviourally.

Your dog is a central member of the family and you want to see her feeling and performing her best. I want that for you and your dog, too.

Over the years I have shared my life with many dogs, the occasional cat, birds and fish.  

I currently live with two Golden Retrievers, Gracie and Pippa and a foster dog, Lulu, who seems to have adopted us. Two budgies, Banjo and Piglet, and a fish named Henry complete the family.

 

Client Care

Merissa Wilkinson, Client Care Representative

I have been working in the animal industry for over 10 years, learning a great deal about animal behaviour and nutrition. Most recently, I worked as a boarding supervisor at a local pet daycare and boarding centre that had a hospital attached to it. At this centre, they housed dogs and cats that had separation anxiety, geriatric patients, and patients recovering from a variety of surgeries which allowed me to learn more about veterinary medicine. I looked into many different methods of treatments to help the patients and their owners in order to make the animals’ boarding stays as smooth as possible.

In the past two years, I have taken a special interest in hospice and palliative care for animals and how to better help clients during these times. I also work part time at Pet Heaven to gain more knowledge in hospice and palliative care on all fronts.

I am extremely excited to be a part of the Dekens Housecall Veterinary team, to share my knowledge, and learn more.


Sarah Delaforce - Practice Care Coordinator

I moved to Calgary in June 2017 from Brisbane, Australia. I wanted to continue my love of working with animals and see the difference of animal care in another country. Since I was little, I knew I always wanted to work with animals, I started off working as a polo groom, then worked in animal boarding/pet resort and before I moved to Canada, I spent the past 4 years working in a very busy emergency veterinary clinic.

I have always enjoyed the rush and unique cases that came through the emergency clinic every day. It has put the question on my mind as to whether I want to continue my childhood dream to study and become a veterinarian or study veterinary business management. I do hope that one day I will accomplish both dreams and one day return to emergency in Australia.

Back home I have a large array of pets, the love of my life is Ares my ragdoll and Paulie my Blue and Gold Macaw, as well as my 4 dogs, another cat, 2 miniature goats, 2.5 horses (.5 is my miniature horse), a duck, 2 chickens and a range of native Australian parrots. Unfortunately, I could not bring any of my babies with me, so I will be looking forward to cuddling all of your pets when I see them in clinic!

 

 

Marketing & Bereavement Services

 

Darlene Vandevenne, MSW, RSW - Marketing and Bereavement Services 

Many of my fondest memories have involved animals. The horse on my brother’s farm that I rode as a young girl, the cats and the first dog my children grew up with, and the many hamsters and guinea pigs we cared for over the years. I feel grateful to have shared my life with all these animals.

I strongly believe in the human-animal bond and I feel that my life has been richer for having had all these animals around. Now, I share my life with my husband Dirk Dekens, and our little dogs, Cayenne and Chai. Like children, they all have such different personalities and they all have such different interests. I have learned so much from them; for example, how accepting my dogs are and how quick they pick up on my body language when trying to navigate an agility course! I have also learned the importance of play and how it is good for both of us. I could not imagine a life without companion animals.

In working alongside Dirk through Dekens Housecall Veterinary Services, I have seen the tremendous bonds people have with their animals, as well as the pain when faced with a difficult diagnosis or end of life decision. I have experienced firsthand the struggle to make decisions about palliative care and end of life issues with our own dogs and know how important it is to feel understood. As Dirk has been known for providing compassionate home euthanasia’s, I saw a need to offer supportive counselling to our clients around these difficult decisions.

As a professionally trained clinical social worker with over 20 year of experience counselling children and adults with chronic illness, trauma and loss, I saw an area where I could give back to the community. I am here to offer support and grief counselling to ensure that our clients and their companion animals receive the care and compassion they need and work towards a respectful closure.

In my free time I enjoy doing agility with my little dog Chai, cycling, hiking in the mountains, traveling and spending time with friends.


 

What Our Clients Say

Testimonials