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 Rachel Yuen – Veterinarian
Dr Rachel Yuen, Veterinarian, joined the team in January 2019 after completing her Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Biology and Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery degree at Murdoch University in WA. Rachel speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin. She grew up in Hong Kong with a wide variety of pets in the past including a green iguana, tortoises, hamsters, frogs and marine fish.
Rachel is the quiet achiever at Direct Vets and brings a sense of harmony to the team, do not mistake her quiet nature though. She is a powerhouse of knowledge and has excelled since starting as a new grad with the team.
Rachel is loving all aspects of being a vet and has special interest in exotics and wildlife medicine. She also has a particular affinity with feline patients. She is currently owned by 2 ginger cats, Comet and Cheeto. Outside of work she enjoys baking and taking Cheeto out for adventures and he rocks his harness.
Dr Zheng Siow – Veterinarian
Dr Zheng Siow finished his Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Murdoch University in the difficult year of 2020. Originally from the multicultural and multilingual Malaysia, Zheng is able to speak both Mandarin and Chinese.
Curiously enough, Zheng didn’t have any pets growing up, but he was so fascinated with animals that he chose to be a veterinarian, seeking to better understand critters large and small. Despite having an imposing figure, he is unexpectedly very gentle and aims to make your pet’s visit to the vet as stress-free as possible. In his free time, Zheng is quite the nerd, reading fantasy novels and playing games.
Finding a new Veterinarian that fits with the DVS ethos has proved to be quite challenging. We are so thrilled to welcome Dr Zheng to the team, so much so, we thought we’d keep him under lock and key (or kennel him at least)!
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 & her husband have 2 cats. Gypsy a beautiful Burmese Diva who was born in 2008 and loves a long snooze in the sunshine and Endora (Dora) who is a long haired tortoiseshell moggie who came to their family as a stray kitten back in 2016. Dora also arrived with her ‘cattitude’. Karen also has a cheeky Rainbow Lorikeet called Lori. She loves to chat & wolf whistle. Karen’s spare time is filled with her other passions. Karen is a line dancer with over 25 years’ experience. Karen has met some amazing people in the line dancing community & they support many charities with fund raisers held regularly.
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.
Always unpredictable and flexible, she keeps our coffee man on his feet with ordering a ‘surprise me’ more often than not. Our fitness motivator (and believe me this team takes some motivation) she is a keen cross-fit advocate and loves her hiking.
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.
Heidi Rasmussen – Veterinary Nurse
Heidi first stepped foot in the clinic for Year 10 work placement in 2017, but soon returned as a school-based trainee undertaking a Certificate III in Companion Animal Services in the following year. Upon completion of her course, Heidi was recognised as the Victorian School-Based Apprentice of the year, and shortly after, the runner-up Australian School-Based Apprentice of the Year. She has received extraordinary recognition for her dedication to her studies and we could not be prouder to have been part of this journey with her.
The ‘wannabe vet’ of the clinic, Heidi dreams of one day earning her degree, currently studying pre-vet qualifications, shadowing the vets when the opportunity arises, and studying to obtain her Associate Degree of Veterinary Nursing. She will make an extraordinary vet one day and hopefully will be a DVS recruit.
Heidi has two beautiful dogs, Dartanion and Atticus, who she unfortunately had to leave behind when moving from Perth to Melbourne in 2016, but regularly visits them each year.
Being unable to currently adopt pets of her own, she loves to be around winged, clawed, and pawed patients alike, getting in extra cuddles whenever possible.
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. The 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 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.