Our Team

Excellence in veterinary care for the Newcastle pet community.

Conveniently located for pet parents in Kotara, Kotara South, Adamstown, New Lambton, Charlestown and surrounding suburbs. 

We've trained hard to be the best in our fields, and we continue to maintain and expand our knowledge and skills at every opportunity. We also strongly believe in mentoring those new to their field, via traineeships and work experience.

We are proud to be able to provide our pet community with a full-service veterinary clinic in Kotara, Newcastle. Services including surgeries, routine care, dental services, puppy school, vaccinations, desexing. 

Meet our friendly and professional team:


Dr Meg Cassar - Head Veterinarian

Dr Meg graduated from the University of Queensland with honours in 2005. Over the past 13 years throughout her career she has cared for a vast array of creatures great and small. Meg has extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of Veterinary Science. She also has a passion for treating exotics such as birds, reptiles, pocket pets and wildlife. 

She has two affectionate rescue dogs from Central Queensland called Agnes and Dasho. 


Dr Katherine Allen - Veterinarian

Dr Katherine graduated from Sydney University back in 2015, during her time at university she worked as a veterinary nurse to learn the behind the scenes aspects of a clinic. Kat is passionate about animal welfare and has rescue furbabies of her own; three cats, Francois, Tripod and Leo and a Kelpie cross called Luna. Kat loves all animals and is experienced in small animal medicine but she also has a soft spot for the pocket pets (ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits).

Kat joined the team January 2020, relocating from a large busy practice in Sydney and is really enjoying Newcastle and how laid back it is. 

Kat really enjoys meeting new people and their pets, and has a keen interest in surgery. 


Amy Bird - Veterinarian

Amy will be joining in the team in January 2020, after graduating from the University of Sydney and moving to Newcastle. I’ve always wanted to work with animals, and have spent the past six years working as a veterinary nurse while studying to become a vet.

I enjoy all aspects of veterinary medicine, and currently, my special interests are internal medicine and diagnostic imaging. In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors and exploring the beautiful beaches around Newcastle.

I have two rescue cats, Gary and Ginny, a miniature dachshund, Luca and a rabbit, George


Bonnie Hutchinson - Practice Manager

Bonnie joined the team as the Practice Manager in November 2018. She has 10 years nursing experience in small animal clinics, including some reptile work. Bonnie started out young, her first experience was volunteering whilst in high school on a work placement program back in 2007,and by the end of 2012 she had graduated as a fully qualified Vet Nurse.

Bonnie loves every aspect of her job, but it’s the feline fur babies that hold and extra special spot with her. She is fur mum to a lilac Burmese called Minka and German Short-haired Pointer called Riley, and step mum to a chocolate Labrador Molly, plus many chickens.

Bonnie spends her spare time out camping, fishing, kickboxing and has just started Karate.


Jess Smith- Veterinary Nurse

Jess is a vibrant and friendly Veterinary Nurse who has spent the last few years honing her nursing skills whilst working between Newcastle and Maitland. She has a particular interest in medical and surgical procedures, as well as prophylactic care.

Jess loves to spend her spare time outdoors, travelling and (of course) with her two fur babies, Gonzo and Kanye, the mischievous Chihuahuas. She is looking forward to getting to know you and your beloved pets in the near future!


Vas Kandasamy – Veterinary Nurse

Cert IV Vet Nursing

Hi there, my name is Vas and I work at Dr Paws Kotara as a Veterinary Nurse.

I have been working in the animal industry for ten years and completed my certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2010. For as long as I can remember I have owned, loved and been passionate about animals, so now I living the dream and working with them!

Rescuing and rehoming animals has always been important to me, and I am often fostering dogs and cats from local rescue organisations.

Currently I own two dogs called Jemima and Jordy, two cats called Sargent and Sophia, a rabbit called Ebony and a horse called Yogi Bear.

In my free time I love to spend time with family and friends, go on big walks with the dogs and take my horse for a ride.


Melanie French - Veterinary Nurse

Mel has been passionate about veterinary nursing since she first entered the industry in 2007 and over the years has gained experience working in a number of different environments including emergency medicine, shelter medicine, general practice, surgical nursing and ophthalmology. 

She particularly enjoys emergency and critical care nursing, and working together with her colleagues to provide the best care possible for patients. She joined the team at Kotara in late 2019 and has enjoyed meeting so many wonderful clients and their furry family members.


Lorena Sharrock- Veterinary Nurse

Lorena joined the Dr Paws team in 2019 as a work placement student when she decided to follow her passion to work with creatures big and small. She continues to study to complete her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. She has a particular interest in  pet nutrition, radiology and pet dental care due to her 20 years experience in the dental profession.

Lorena has 2 rescue dogs, Zeus and Felix and 3 teenage children which keeps her very busy in her life at the lake.


Annabelle Amodio - Trainee Vet Nurse

I am currently studying to become a veterinary nurse.

I have always loved animals and I am so excited to continue my passion into a future career.

I have lived in Newcastle my whole life and loved growing up with dogs by my side. One being my best friend Chanel who is a Maltese X shih tzu, Bentley a British bulldog and Kirra a rescue British bulldog.

In my spare time I enjoy hanging out with my partner, family and friends, travelling, dancing, exploring new places, trying new foods, and of course taking my dogs to the dog beach.

Mel Kerr - Puppy trainer

Cert IV Companion Animal Services (Dog Training & Behaviour) Delta Institute 

I’m Mel, the Puppy Trainer at Dr Paws Kotara, and I’ve had over ten years’ experience helping owners and their dogs. 

Understanding our dogs and helping owners to do the same is my biggest passion. I find that once owners have a better understanding of their dog, and their dogs behaviour, the relationship between dog and owner strengthens, and almost everything else falls into place. This job is a privilege and I consider it an honour that people allow me into their lives and trust me to help guide them through this journey with their dog.

I’m lucky to share my life with two dogs, a lorikeet and four chickens. Merve is a very serious eight-year old  Kelpie x German Shepherd, his nickname is The Sheriff, as he’s the fun police and likes to make sure everyone is behaving themselves. Merve spends his days patrolling the yard, taking long walks and ensuring everyone is safe. Grace is our five-year old crazy little Whippet x Boxer, her nicknames are  Gracey, Tiger, Devil Dog and Little Munchkin. She likes to keep us on our toes and entertained daily. Grace likes to spend her days lazing on the most comfortable thing she can find and taking likes long walks. Phoenix is our seventeen-year old Lorikeet, who likes flying through the house, native flowers, kisses from her humans and taking nice warm  showers. The Girls are our four chickens, who spend their days scratching around the yard and laying us the most delicious eggs.

In my spare time I hang out with my dogs. If I can’t do that I’ll hang out with other people’s dogs!