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. 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. Jen Hewitt

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 Retriver name 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.

With being an RVT I have had my fair share of animals, at one point my house was all senior critters that had a various of care needs, now I have 2 kitties, an orange tabby named Owen and a brown tabby name Tucker.

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.

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.

Vanessa, RVT

For my whole life I have been in the veterinary world, as my mom is an RVT. I decided to follow in her footsteps and go to RVT school right out of high school.

I graduated the two-year RVT program at Thompson River’s university (in Kamloops) in 2012. I started my career in emergency and after just over a year, I moved to general practice and stayed there for 4.5 years.

In 2018, I took a travelling leave and now work a very rewarding career of locuming/contracting in both ER and general practice. I’m not done travelling, so I currently have no pets of my own, but I happily spoil all the family and friends’ animals in my life.

I’m very into sports and outdoor activities when I’m not travelling, which make for a very nice work-life balance.

Eri, RVT

I have always loved animals, but somehow I found myself working in the financial industry. I also spent years traveling.
I couldn’t give up working with animals so I went to Olds College for Animal Health Technology program.  
In my spare time, I like reading, gardening and walking my cat.

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.

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!!...

Client Care

Jillian, Director of Administration



Erin, Client Care Coordinator

Emma, 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.