Meet our team
Dr Shanaka Sarathchandra
  • BVSc (dist)
  • MANZCVS (small animal medicine)
  • MANZCVS (small animal radiology)
  • GradDipVetStud (Dist)

Shanaka graduated at Massey University 2004, he has worked in Australia, UK and various clinics in NZ. Completing a small animal rotating internship at the University of Sydney 2006 and passed the Australian College Membership exams in Small Animal Medicine 2008 and small animal radiology in 2018. He was received the National Vet Care award for the most outstanding vet for 2019.
He enjoys all aspects of veterinary practice.
Outside of work Shanaka enjoys cooking, trail running and travelling.

Dr Aileen Russell
  • BVSc
  • MANZCVS (small animal medicine)

Aileen graduated at Bristol University 1996, initially being employed as a mixed animal Vet for 3 years in UK before leaving for her OE. Originally only planning to stay in NZ for 1 year but 16 years later Aileen calls NZ home. In 2010 Aileen joined Pet Doctors where she enjoys all facets of veterinary practice including soft tissue surgery and medicine. She obtained membership qualification in small animal medicine in 2018. Aileen has done volunteer work in India with Vets Beyond Borders where she treated street dogs and educated local communities.

Outside of work Aileen enjoys running and exploring the countryside with her 2 ponies Rue and Mia.

Dr Fran Stephenson
  • BVetMed

My name is Fran, I graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2007. After several years working in mixed then small animal only practice in the UK I came to New Zealand in 2013 for a year to travel and work. 6 years later I am still here and work mainly at the Tristram Street clinic with a day a week at Dinsdale. I enjoy all aspects of small animal practice and in my spare time enjoy exploring New Zealand and overseas, crossfit, running and hanging out with my kitten Archie a rescue from Tristram Street.

Dr Jess Caldwell
  • BVSc

Jess graduated from Massey University in 2011. She spent her first three years in practice working in Rotorua and has been with the Hamilton Pet Doctors team since 2016. She particularly enjoys soft tissue surgery. Jess works every Monday at Tristram St. Outside of work she enjoys tramping, gardening and heading out sailing with family.

Dr Pippa Johnston
  • BVSc

Pippa graduated in 2013 with Bachelor of Veterinary Science from Massey University, the third generation in her family to become a Massey graduate. She then returned to her home city of Hamilton and has been working as a companion animal veterinarian since. Pippa has particular professional interests in dermatology, senior pet care, animal welfare and community education.

Dr Rebecca Coote
  • BVSc

Rebecca graduated from Massey University in 2008. She has been part of the Hamilton Pet Doctors team since November. Rebecca works every Thursday at Tristram St. She previously worked with Pet Doctors in Auckland and moved to the Waikato with her family late last year.

Rebecca enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine and previously worked as the primary care vet for Guide Dogs and Customs Detector dogs.  She has a passion for dentistry, surgery and medicine.

Rebecca loves the outdoors whether it is walking the dogs, going on a bush walk or playing at the park with the family.

Dr Celia Upton
  • BS BVSc

Originally from Michigan in the States. Celia graduated from Massey University in 2017 and then completed a rotating internship at Massey's teaching hospital. Celia spent the next two years working as an emergency veterinarian at a referral centre in Auckland before moving down to the Waikato. Celia has a special interest in emergency and critical care medicine as well as a wide variety of other topics. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, baking, and tramping with her partner, Doug, and staffy cross, Lilly.

Dr Karyn Flaherty
  • BVSc
Veterinary Nurse/ Team Leader

Hi my name is Maree,
I have been working for Pet Doctors since 2014, and nursing since 2006. I am very passionate about animal welfare, and enjoy continually learning within the Veterinary industry. I have 2 dogs, called Croc and Toby.

Veterinary Nurse

Hi, my name is Bettina and I've been with Pet Doctors a little over a year now. I enjoy a good coffee and cute kittens. I have a cat named Jasper and a dog named Loki, both are rescues and both are adorable.

Veterinary Nurse
  • Dip VN

I have been working with animals of all shapes and sizes since 2008 including a dog training club and my local SPCA that supported me with a scholarship to attend animal care and veterinary nursing studies. I owned a business in dog grooming for 10 years and still enjoy grooming the occasional small dog.

I have 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rats and over 20 goldfish at home!

Veterinary Nurse
  • DVN 

Completed my studies in the Waikato and spent my first two years nursing in the Bay of Plenty where I adopted my cat Fern and did a lot of work with the SPCA. As lovely as it was living in the Bay I have returned home to work with Pet Doctors for my next challenge. I look forward to meeting you and your pets!

Nursing Assistant

Hello, I’m Scarlett.

I joined Pet Doctors Tristram Street this year in a nursing support role and am also completing my diploma of veterinary nursing at Wintec.

In my free time I enjoy drawing & painting, and really love visiting places where I can see New Zealand’s wildlife (especially birds of NZ).

I have a dog called Darcy and look forward to the day I can also adopt a cat!

Client Relations

Shilo made New Zealand her home in 2019, moving with her husband and 4 dogs from South Africa. Shilo has a real passion for animal behaviour, with her background working in a rehabilitation centre for dogs, including working with feral dogs with the hope they could be adopted and find forever homes.

Shilo is very excited with her role on our reception team at Pet Doctors Tristram Street, where she will be another great team member in our Pet Doctors Family.

Client Relations

Hi my name is Lois,
I moved to New Zealand from England in 2015 and I have been part of the Pet Doctors Team since 2017.
I have a beautiful but crazy lab cross, called Shiloh, and a funny water loving cat called Moe.
I owned a number of different reptiles back in UK including leopard geckos, bearded dragon, crested gecko and corn snakes.

Cattery Manager

All Paws Up! I’m Rochelle and I have been looking after our wonderful cat hotel for the past 7 years, my aim is to help our guests have the most pawsome holiday they can possibly have. I take huge pride in having a pristine, happy hotel full of positive catitude.

Cattery Attendant
Clinic Bird

Tristram is the resident bird at Tristram Street Pet Doctors. He is a cockatiel, the smallest bird in the cockatoo family. He takes pride of place in reception at our clinic, where he sings beautiful songs when he feels like it. He loves to sit in front of his mirror and admire himself, often wolf whistling at his own reflection.

Tristram is often spoken to by all our clients and he loves the attention. If he is not getting any attention, then sometimes he uses his outdoor voice, with not such a beautiful song being sung. He loves his millet and shredding paper, and he really loves to wear his bell as a hat. We respect his bird wishes, and do not handle him, as he is quite happy without humans touching him and messing up his feathers.

We all love Tristram, and you will find all the staff will have a chat to him through the week, just checking in to ensure he is alright. 

Nursing Assistant

Hi! My name is Georgia, Im currently studying with the goal of becoming a vet nurse. Cats are my favourite animal. I have 5 of my own at home! I have a soft spot for special needs animals and can't resist adopting them hence why I have 5 cats.