Dr Karen Davies – Veterinarian/Practice Manager
Dr Karen Davies graduated from University of Melbourne 1991 with Honours. Her interest in animals started at a very young age. As a toddler, Karen would take the little snails out of their shells and put them in with the big ones, as in her words “they were too little to leave home”. This then stepped up in primary school to rescuing kittens and rearing them from the “crazy cat lady” over the back fence.
Initially working in the shelter system for 6 years, Karen has spent the last 20 plus years in private practice. Over the years, Karen has extended her veterinary interests to include the treatment of exotic species, reptiles and wildlife. Karen is supported in her efforts by fiancé Brett, sons Daniel and Nathan and daughters Brianna, Georgia and Nicole. Karen also now has two gorgeous grandchildren Lily and Ruairidh. She loves her Bulldogs (or should we say is addicted) and two Quarterhorses that call their farm home.
An appreciation from the opportunities given to her by mentoring veterinarians in her school years has seen Karen take on many veterinary and nursing students in the practice, along with teaching positions over the years and Karen often speaks at various community–based events. Her dedication has seen the practice awarded Wyndham Business Awards for New and Emerging Small Business 2012, Small Service Business 2015 and Business Person of the Year 2016. She also has an incredible client following, with many having followed her for more than 20 years, supporting the establishment and growth of Direct Vets. It is quite the achievement for a kid who was told by teachers she would never amount to anything, to have this wonderful team and practice grow with her guidance.
A straight-talker and dedicated animal advocate, Dr Karen will help steer you in the right direction when providing care for your beloved pets. She takes a broad and considered approach, based on her years of experience and will help you provide the best of care for your family members.
You won’t have to look too far for her shadow, Teddy – he will often “assist” in your visits.
Dr Sarah Schultz – Veterinarian
Sarah graduated as a Veterinarian from James Cook University in 2014 and after completion moved back to Geelong, starting at DVS in January 2015. She has two busy little dogs, Paddy a 13yo Corgi cross and Benji who she trains in agility and other dog sports. Coming from a family pet shop background Sarah has a keen interest in birds, reptiles and fish with an Eclectus Parrot, Long Necked Turtles and an amazing saltwater marine aquarium at home.
In 2019 to add to her menagerie, Sarah and her husband Chris welcomed a daughter Claire to the family, since then Claire has been a big part of the DVS family. If you have been a regular at the clinic you may have even met her greeting patients at reception.
Sarah has an interest in avian and reptile medicine, with a broad knowledge in canine and feline medicine and surgery. Honing her surgical skills over the past years Sarah is now an accomplished surgeon. Oh and if anyone is going to find the most weird and wonderful, complex cases we can almost guarantee it will be Dr Sarah. Her ability to see the detail and pick up on the little things means her level of patient care is astonishing and she has a very loyal following of clients at DVS.
Dr Nicole Brown – Veterinarian
At her home, you will find two spoiled rabbits, Sheldon and Pretzel, and a cheeky Border Collie, Caspian. In her spare time, she escapes to the mountains and goes hiking (taking Caspian whenever possible). She also has fun with indoor rock climbing and photography.
Dr Lauren Lyons – Veterinarian
A recent graduate from the University of Melbourne, Lauren started at DVS in February 2022. She has interests in feline medicine and also surgery (but is more than happy to see all the good doggies and other critters).
Having a keen interest in animals since a young age Lauren has grown up surrounded by a menagerie of pets, some including cats, rabbits, chickens, various types of birds, ring tailed possums, mice, and more.
With this interest in animals, it made sense for her to pursue a career that involved working with them. She started with a Bachelor of Science specializing in animal behaviour at Flinders University in SA and found that if she tweaked the course, she would be eligible to apply for vet school! 10 years of university later, she found herself a registered vet.
Sometime later, and now living in Victoria, Lauren shares her house with a cat named Pea whose list of health issues is rather long, a kitten called Freddie who thinks the world is scary, and an Axolotl called Bubba who likes to watch TV.
As a homebody, she likes to spend her free time at home working on various arts and crafts projects, playing video games like the nerd she is, and just relaxing in general.
Karen Donnelly – Veterinary Nurse
After many years working for a large Government department. Karen decided a major career change was in order. Her family was grown up & with their support, she embarked on following her passion. Karen returned to study in February 2010 and commenced working as a Veterinary Nurse at the same time. Karen gained her Certificate IV qualification in 2011 and after 5 years of the commute along the Westgate freeway working for a city based clinic, Karen joined the DVS team in January 2015. Karen loves working closer to home. Karen’s 2 sons now have their own families and with 9 grandchildren, Karen is certainly a busy Nanna.
Karen’s other love is sewing. Karen spends many contented hours in the “girl cave” which is a converted demountable building in her back yard. Karen has made doggie fashion in the past & this includes dressing Mr Puckers (clinic PR manager) & Miss Penny the golden retriever. We love seeing what creative outfits she comes up with and the animals love it, frequently with no pattern or plan her ability to “throw together” an outfit is seriously awesome. Being our matriarch and having come from a public service roll, Nurse Karen provides great comfort to distressed clients during challenging times. She’s that Mum in the team firm but always there for a hug when you need one.
Kim Bowden – Veterinary Nurse
After many years in private practice, we were thrilled to welcome Kim to the Direct Vets’ Team in 2015. Kim and hubby Craig share the house with a farm-load of animals including Golden Retrievers, two cats, guinea pigs, pigeons and whatever homeless waif wandered in from the neighbourhood in the last week. For her dainty size, Kim is surprisingly strong and will help wrangle the biggest of beasts. Her technique of straddling some of the bigger dogs often leaves the staff in stitches. No persona boundaries with this nurse. When it’s a hug your pet needs it is up close, personal and heart felt. She has a heart of gold and a total softie when it comes to patient care. There are often pets snuggled on her clothing at reception or sharing her lunch.
Fostering Penny (one of the Retrievers) turned into a foster fail, and you will often see her in the clinic. Penny was born missing her right kidney, and both the ureters instead of emptying into the bladder, opened closer to the end of the system leaving her incontinent. Surgery to correct the issue was only partially successful and she wears a nappy to catch the drips. She is an amazing comfort dog for patients in the clinic for treatment and will often curl up next to them to lend support.
Alicia Mits – Veterinary Nurse
Alicia AKA ‘Leesh’ started her Certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing with Direct Vets in 2014 and managed to find herself employed before she had even finished. Alicia has been with DVS ever since and is an integral part of the team. With the team award for bravery, Alicia is the only team member (other than Dr Karen) that is permitted the honour of handling Noisy the Eccy. The monster bird has a strong bond with Alicia, often going on trips home or outdoor adventures together. The level of trust animals have with Alicia and her patience with some of the tough ones is a skill to be admired.
Alicia has a gorgeous husky ‘Sparky’ who although now starting to get a little older still loves her walks so much she will put the brakes on when they get to the driveway and refuse to go home.
Alicia is also ‘manager’ for Puckers (the clinic Devon Rex) and oversees all his social media endeavours, keep your eyes open for her Puckers and Elf on the shelf Christmas adventures each your on the social media pages, they are a scream.
Shasta Mendez, RVT – Clinical Team Educator
She worked as the Neurology Coordinator at the Veterinary Hospital of The University of Melbourne. Shasta graduated cum laude from Cosumnes River College, California where she obtained an Associates in Science (Veterinary Technology), in 2001.
Prior to working in Melbourne University, Veterinary Hospital, Shasta spent 5 and a half years in New Zealand, where she worked at Massey University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital (2007 – 2012), as an Anaesthetic Technician. In this capacity, Shasta worked with not only small animals, but large animals and exotics. This role involved Clinical Supervision of Veterinary students, Veterinary Nursing students, as well as Laboratory instruction and coordination.
In 2006 Shasta accepted the opportunity to work at the University of Bern’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Switzerland, for one year, where she worked as an Anaesthetic Technician. There she was responsible for anaesthetic cases, training students, and the daily planning and coordination of the anaesthesia service. Shasta also worked at the University of California Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital for 5 years following graduation (2001 – 2006). Here she worked in the areas of Internal Medicine, Neurology, and Surgery, where she was involved in coordinating the services and instructing Veterinary students in clinical procedures.
Shasta’s interests are in the education of nurses and vets in the areas anaesthesia, critical care, and rehabilitation.
Shasta enjoys travelling, trying new restaurants, going to gigs and concerts. Shasta can often be found cheering her son’s band at local venues.
Claire – Temperament tester and Zoomie master
After being born in March 2019, at the early age of 10 weeks old Claire started her career in the Veterinary industry. Claire can be seen greeting patients, examining cages for patient comfort, taste testing and preparing hospital patient food and polishing the floors at any opportunity.
She has brought such delight to staff and clients alike and is a big part of why DVS is family. It often ends up DVS day care and we love it.
Puckers – Clinic Cat
Puckers was surrendered to DVS in April 2019 with a rectal prolapse that required surgery and ongoing medical management that the current owner was unable to manage. His name is testament to the team sense of humour, as he left “Butt Pucker” marked when ever he sat down, prior to his surgery.
He takes great delight in sitting on other pets in crates, just to establish his, kingliness (yep he invented that word too), demanding to share staff lunches, and raiding the treat containers. He has a bigger wardrobe than Beyonce’ and has numerous servants, aka staff and students.
As is the nature of the Devon Rex, Puckers is the naughty, cheeky Houdini but also a loving lap or neck warmer for anyone who will offer the opportunity. With his own Instagram page @Pucker_up_DVS, we are all blessed to be in his presence.
Teddy – Clinic Pet
Joined the DVS family as an 8 week old pup from New Zealand, in 2014. In the early days he worked as a building site supervisor with Karen’s partner Brett. Then one day he decided he too needed a change of career and joined the veterinary field.
You will generally find “Mr Velcro” wherever Dr Karen is, supervising consults.
You will never meet a more placid fellow, after all anything else would take too much energy he is true to the Bulldog breed.
Clover – Clinic Pet
Born at the clinic in 2013 to Harlo (Dr Karen’s Bulldog matriarch who was also born at DVS) she is quite the accomplished staff member. As an accredited MindDog she has completed her VCE and now studies mechanical engineering with Dr Karen’s son Nathan. She is also assistant trainer working with Chiara, Lisa and Anthony of Point Cook Dog Training teaching hundreds of puppies and their families.
As a mother of 10 she loves when some of her kids come for a visit and then after play is equally glad to see them leave.
Yep back to the couch for a nap.
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