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. Tara Pugh

I am so fortunate to have had a true African experience - I grew up in Zimbabwe, living in the national park and on various farms. There I had exposure to a large variety of animals right from the start - from playing with my bunny, Labradors and cats, to the memories I have of feeding the elephants and going for sunset game drives.

Having experiences such as these, my passion for animals grew exponentially!

My family will tell you that from the tender age of five, I said that one day I will be a veterinarian. My pursuit of this dream saw me attend Veterinary School in South Africa. After I graduated, I worked in a rural community near Kruger National Park. There I was involved in educating the local people on primary animal health care. I then had my own practice, working as a wildlife vet that treated, chemically immobilized and relocated wildlife, mostly from the seat of a helicopter. Then I concentrated on small animal veterinary medicine and surgery, gaining valuable experience, with some time spent as a locum veterinarian travelling around South Africa.

Now I have the opportunity for an exciting new adventure in beautiful Canada!

I look forward to meeting you and getting to know your pets!

Dr. Alessandra Bertolucci

I was born and raised in Brazil, where I graduated veterinary medicine. I am passsionate about all aspects of small animal veterinary care and a special interest in dental surgery!

I enjoy many outoor activities, such as scuba diving, sky diving and rock climbing. I also enjoy having time to read and drink coffee.

I am really looking forward to meeting you and your pets. 

Dr. Jennifer Hewitt, DVM

Dr. Hewitt has lived in Calgary for the last 20+ years and attended the University of Calgary and completed both her Bachelor of Science in Zoology and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degrees.

She has been working in the Calgary area as a veterinarian since 2013 and has also worked in Vancouver, BC. Her primary interest is dermatology and has accumulated many hours of continuing education in this field as well as spent time with veterinary dermatologists to learn as much as possible in this field. She is particularly passionate about allergic skin disease and promoting wellness in her patients.  

In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, hiking, travelling, and spending time with her husband and their dogs. She has a Maltese cross named Marvin and a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Archer. 

Katie B, RVT, Medical Director

I am the full-time RVT and Director of Medical Services at Montgomery Village Veterinary Clinic.

Animals are my passion and I’ve always been an advocate for them. I used to bring home stray animals when I was younger so it was natural for me to make animal health my career choice.

I graduated from Lakeland College’s Animal Health Technology Program (now known as Veterinary Technician) in 2012.

Since becoming an RVT, I’ve graduated to adopting clinic kitties and have a brown Tabby named Mr. Porridge (the kitty in our parades and videos!), a Maltese cross named Koen and a hamster named Timothy.

My passions in veterinary medicine are dermatology and dentistry. I keep myself up-to-date by taking continuing education courses on these subjects and staying on top of the latest and greatest to keep our quality of medicine high.

As much as I love puppies and kittens, it’s the senior pets you’ll see me hanging out with in my free time. I love how gentle and wise they are and just seem to have an understanding of the world.

I was incredibly honoured to win the 2019 Veterinary Technician of the year across North America award from Pet Plan. I was so thankful to be nominated by a co-worker and to be taken to Florida to receive my award.

Vanessa, RVT


Michelle, RVT

I grew up in southern Alberta on acreage and have always had an interest in critters big and small.

I graduated from the AHT program at Olds College in 2010 and have worked in a variety of clinics over the years. I enjoy building relationships with clients, working with their pets and seeing great improvment on their quality of life.  

In my spare time I enjoy being involved with my church, going hiking and camping in the mountains, playing tennis and playing a variety of games with family and friends.

At home my husband and I have a crazy young cat named Belle who is always up to mischief :)

Sydney C, VTA

When I was little I would always ask for a puppy on my birthday, and almost every other day of the year. My dad always said no, but then one day, he brought me home a wooden dog and said this was the only animal he’d ever have in the house. Thankfully, he was lying. When I was 12, I got my first dog, I named him Hemi ‘cause my dad was a Dodge man and he raised me to be. Hemi was a Bichon Shi Tzu Schnauzer cross, we think, and he was my whole world.
Ever since I was very young, I always loved animals. I used to pretend I was a dog and crawl around the house, even carry things in my mouth just to stay being a dog.

After going to SAIT for post-secondary school of business, I decided to follow my love of animals and went to Olds College to become a Veterinary Technical Assistant. I graduated in 2015 with high marks and lots of knowledge. My love of animals had grown even more; I didn’t just love being around them, I wanted to help them when they were sick, scared or on their last day. I’ve always had a big heart, for people and for animals, but at the end of the day, I will put an animal before myself.

I grew up with my dad raising me and my two sisters, so I can be very bullheaded and stubborn, but I think that’s also my Ukrainian background.  In a way I think that helps with my career choice because I can help animals and be their voice for their well-being and stick to it, but I am also very compassionate and gentle when I need to be.  I’ve always thought about being a veterinarian, but I like where I am now.My career lets me be the good person who is helping to hold them when they are scared and to comfort them when they need it, and that’s why I went to school.

Unfortunately, I recently lost Hemi. He had a very good life and I think I was a good dog mom. At some point in my life I will have another pet, but for now, Hemi was great enough.

My job is also wonderful in the sense that I can do it anywhere in the world, it allows me to travel, which is the other love of my life.

I can’t wait to see where the veterinary medicine community can take me!


Client Care

Merissa, Client Care Coordinator

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.

Cayleigh, Client Care Coordinator

I recently graduated from the veterinary medical receptionist program at Olds College.

Growing up, we always had animals from cats, toads, salamanders, fish and hamsters. That is where my love of animals came from. I also enjoy rafting, camping, road trips and spending time with dog, Chuck. 

I'm excited to learn more about this field and what I have to offer!

Sage, Client Care Coordinator

I am originally from Medicine Hat, AB but moved to Calgary in 2013. After graduating high school I went to Medicine Hat College and played volleyball for the Medicine Hat College Rattlers and was enrolled in the Kinesiology program.

After three years, I decided to switch and attend Old’s College where I got a full ride scholarship to play volleyball and attended the veterinary medical receptionist and veterinary assistant program.

In 2013 I moved to Calgary and was hired at Western vet specialist centre where I worked there for two years in reception role and assistant role. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience working in an emergency and specialist centre.

Then I decided to travel and I moved to Australia for two years. It was a very good experience that allowed me to be more independent and learn a lot about myself.

Returning back to Calgary in 2018, I went back to Western Vet in the vet assistant role. Most recently, I decided to make a change and work in a General Practice. I joined Montgomery Village vet team, which is allowing me to use my knowledge and skills in a different setting.

On the side I like to play volleyball, travel and visit family and friends. I also have a big passion for esthetics.

Executive Director 

Darlene Vandevenne, MSW, RSW, Executive Director, Marketing 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. 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 my free time I enjoy doing agility with my little dogs, cycling, hiking in the mountains, traveling and spending time with friends.