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. Olivia Schmidtz, DVM


I was raised in beautiful Calgary where I completed my BSc in Ecology (2015) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (2020) degrees at the University of Calgary.

My special interests include canine and feline behaviour, dental surgery and dermatology. As a postive reinforcement/clicker trainer (KTP-CTP), I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with clients to ensure both the physical and emotional health of their pets. 

I spend my free time with family, cooking vegetarian food, training my dog and cats, doing calligraphy and getting outdoors. 

I can't wait to meet you and your furry companions. 





 

​Dr. Jill Rankin, DVM


I was born and raised in Calgary and have always had a deep love for all animals.

First I pursued an undergraduate degree in natural science with a major in chemistry and then completed my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary. Besides a love of chemistry (which I’ve tried to hide so I don’t look too nerdy), I also have a deep passion for surgery, internal medicine and dentistry, and have completed the University of Illinois Small Animal Surgical Dentistry Intensive course.

I also love the outdoors and caring for my pets. My favorite hobbies include running, snowboarding, and traveling the world.

I’m excited to be part of the team here at Montgomery Village Veterinary Clinic and can’t wait to meet and help care for all of your furry and lovable family members!


 

Dr. Nita Hynes, DVM

 I was born and raised in Calgary, but have had the good fortune to live and travel with my family in other places including Mexico, the South of Spain, France, Belgium, and New Zealand while I was growing up. My best language is English, but I do speak French and used to be fluent in Spanish. I completed two years of a BFA in Drama and BSc in Biology at the University of Calgary before being accepted into the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at the University of Calgary.
 
During my time in veterinary school, I participated in equine and cattle welfare research and pursued additional training in Animal Behaviour & Training as it is a huge passion of mine and the reason why I became a veterinarian.
 
After graduation from veterinary school, I completed a one-year internship in shelter medicine and surgery at the Seattle Humane Society. I returned to Calgary to continue to work with cats and dogs both in local shelters and in general practice. My special interests are animal behaviour, training, internal medicine, infectious diseases, pediatrics, and soft tissue surgery.

Most of all, I love working with owners and their pets to help support their special bond and find creative solutions that work for each pet and owner.
 
I am a Fear Free Level 3 Certified veterinarian, and a member of the IAABC, which means I am committed to always finding the most low-stress approach to meeting your pet's needs!
 
The animals in my life are my wonderful senior border collie and pony mare. We do lots of training together for tricks, riding, agility, and cooperative veterinary care.
 
I also love to hike, read, and eat delicious food while watching binge-worthy Netflix shows.

I am excited to join the MVVC team and I hope to meet you and your pets soon!



Lauren, RVT Team Lead

I was born and raised in Calgary. I graduated from the RVT program from Olds College in 2013.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with animals. I have an interest in surgical/dental procedures, animal behavior, and animal rehabilitation.

During my spare time I like going to the gym, go to concerts and spend time with friends and family.














Natasha, RVT

I have loved animals since I was very young, so it’s only natural that I pursued a career where I can be surrounded by them and allows me to care for them.

Originally from Montreal, I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Animal Biology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver before graduating from the Veterinary Technology program at the University of Guelph in Ontario in 2018.

Along with a passion for small animal and companion animal medicine, I am also very passionate about wildlife. I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to complete my practicum at the Toronto Zoo after graduation.

I have a strong interest in animal dentistry. One of the highlights of my career so far was performing a dental cleaning on a cheetah!

I spend my free time with my husband and my beloved kitty Sir Maximus Gingerkins. I love traveling the world, getting outdoors with my husband for hiking, camping, scuba diving and experiencing new adventures.




Stacey , RVT

I am a vet tech with a special interest in animal behaviour. I graduated from Olds College in 2018, during which time I had the privilege of attending college with my daughter. While attending at Olds College I was on several school boards and committees. 
 
I currently reside with my husband, our golden retriever Leia, and our two cats, Rey and Luke. I have 6 grown children, and 3 grandchildren.  
 
Taking pride in being fear-free certified, I am working towards the  CPDT-KA certification and will finish the PACE program at Cochrane Humane Society in Nov 2021. 
 
I am also proud to be on my second 2-year term with the ABVTA board of directors.
 
When not working or training dogs you can find me backpacking, hiking, running or enjoying a variety of outdoor activities.





Liv, Veterinary Technician Assistant

My journey in veterinary medicine started after completing the Veterinary Technical Assistant program at Olds College in 2015. Now with five years of experience in general practice and locuming in emergency, I have recently joined the team as a Tech Assistant while pursuing a Natural Sciences undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary!
 
You can find my six-year-old black and tabby domestic shorthairs, Daffy and Astro (they are brothers!), sandwiched on either side of me while I'm glued to my computer screen in study. I am also specially known as "Aunt Liv" to a three-year-old Black Lab named Nori. I find myself surrounded by many animal companions in the places I go - whether it's by my father's whippets in Virginia, my grandparents' cows or my mother's goats in Ontario, the dogs I pet sit regularly, the animals I live with, or patients at the clinic!
 
My main hobby is singing first soprano with the Westwinds Music Society Choral Ensemble, although our most recent season has involved primarily zoom rehearsals! You can talk to me about anything Hamilton-related!!




Jorge E., Veterinary Technician Assistant

I was fortunate to have my first pet when I was 12 years old, she was like my little sister, from that moment I knew that being in contact with animals was one of my deepest passions.
Today we have 7 dogs at home in Mexico where I grew up and where I was born.
My lifestyle is a combination of adventure and science, my favorite hobby is spending time in the mountains practicing different sports.
I’m so happy to be part of the team here at Montgomery Village Veterinary Clinic and  to take care of your family members!
 





Client Care

Vicki, Clinic Manager

I was born and raised in beautiful Vernon B.C. The Canadian “Hawaii”.
I have learned to enjoy what Calgary’s weather brings us for the last 28 years. My husband Ryan and I have two grown kids Zach & Chelsia. We welcomed our first granddaughter-Avanjoleene Dec 2017,
My furry child is Crystal, our 11 year-old German Shepherd.
My love and passion for animals came at a young age. I started my career in emergency medicine in 1998. I have enjoyed working in many areas of veterinary medicine, while owning our own disc jockey company for 15 years.
I have thoroughly enjoyed communicating and interacting with people of all ages.
I look forward to meeting you and your furry family members!








Jillian, Director of Administration



 


 










Erin, Client Care Coordinator




















Kathryn, Client Care Coordinator











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.