Meet the Staff

Dr. Jane Gates

Dr. Gates pretty much knew that she always wanted to be a vet – or an archaeologist (a brief, misguided phase in high school). She loved the combination of science and medicine and being with animals and their owners. She also has a Master of Journalism (that whole left brain right brain thing), and works periodically as a book editor and technical writer. She is currently Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Animal Emergency, our sister co-operative after-hours emergency clinic on Lola St.

Her favourite things are, in no particular order, learning, laughing and loving. She has an amazing husband, Dan, two children, and two Russian dwarf hamsters named Poppy and Penny. She is an avid dressage rider, practices yoga and barre classes(ommm) and power walking, loves cooking (and eating!), and enjoys cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter. She has, over the years, been involved in volunteer activities ranging from Sunday school teacher to helper in riding programs for the disabled.


Dr. Margaret Baar

Dr. Baar has been practising in the Ottawa area since graduation, first working in the emergency field, and is fluent in French and English. She makes the most of Ottawa’s great sports, enjoying running, skiing, tennis, sailing, and walking her dog, Rory. Outside of work, her husband and step-children keep her busy and she is an advid Sens fan!

Dr. Tara Betnaza

Dr. Betnaza (often known as Dr. Bonanza, or some such variation) has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2005, a second career after an adventure as a high school science teacher, which included living in Mexico and Guatemala. She moved to Ottawa from Vancouver two years ago, and contrary to what is apparently common sense, she prefers the weather here.

She loves to travel, and has seen mountain gorillas in Rwanda, climbed a live volcano in Guatemala and narrowly escaped a tsunami in Thailand.

One of her greatest rewards as a veterinarian was helping animals after Hurricane Katrina. It inspired her to participate in other volunteer projects that tend to animals in need. She currently works casually at the Ottawa Humane Society.

Now, Dr. Betnaza spends most of her time with her stellar husband and two little girls. Their family includes a black lab named Mary (as in ‘Poppins’). Mary is  “practically perfect”, but falls short when it comes to barking at strangers and leash walking. They also have a tabby cat named Frankie, who actually is perfect, and Daisy the fish.  


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Stephanie Hale,  Veterinary Assistant

Stephanie Hale will either be found working at the front desk or in the back helping with the animals. 

She has a Weimaraner Velvet (the photo model!) and a cat name Hennessy that are best friends. In her spare time you will likely find her at the barn riding her horse Linus or running half-marathons.  Stephanie is currently training to run the Ottawa Marathon (her first) in May!


Trish Easson, Office Manager

Trish Easson has been working with Dr. Gates since she began practicing animal medicine (i.e. dark ages). Always quick with a smile, you will find her at the front desk on Tuesdays and Fridays. She keeps the wheels running smoothly (most of the time!).

She has two daughters, Jessica and Emily, two very cute cats, Cricket and Sticker (both are tuxedos). Trish likes to spend her free time working out, listening to music, or baking (her caramel corn is extraordinary). 


Cheryl Doyle, Registered Veterinary Technician

Cheryl Doyle is a registered veterinary technician with a great deal of experience in the Ottawa area. She loves to be the devil’s advocate in the clinic (ie troublemaker), and is a great critical thinker and strategist. She occasionally suffers injuries as a result of laughing.

She has two children, Brenden and Linsey, and loves to camp and boat with husband John and the family. She has a Bernese mountain dog named Thunder, who you will often meet at the front desk, an orange tabby named Mojo, and a black and grey cat named Buttercup. She loves to watch her kids play hockey but really doesn’t care to get involved in the Sens/Leaf fight. 


Jolanda Jardine, Registered Veterinary Technician

Jolanda Jardine is a registered veterinary technician from Algonquin College. She has worked and volunteered in the veterinary field for many years, and has a special affection for horses. She loves to laugh, and is always a sucker for a practical joke (usually played on her by Dr. Gates).

Her 2 cats Lionel, and Jimmy, her 2 new pet rats Carmella and Charlette along with her two girls Sofie and Zoe, keep her on her toes. When she is not busy with her two girls she can be found out on the softball field or spending time with her husband Bill. 


Katie Birtch, Registered Veterinary Technician

Katie is also a registered vet tech, an Algonquin College graduate. She is always at the ready with a big smile and a warm laugh (or a head butt!).

She has a beautiful little girl named Violet, and a boy named Dylan . She also has two cats, Gizmo and Spicolli, and is also the proud mother of a lab/shepherd cross named Bodhi (all of her pets are named after movie characters).She keeps buys playing ball during the summer and loves to watch hockey and constantly tells us how her Leafs are the best team ever.

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