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. 


Bonnie Hutchinson - Practice Manager

Bonnie is our Nurse Manager here at Dr Paws Kotara. She has over 8 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 achieved her goal of becoming a fully qualified Vet Nurse. Bonnie loves every aspect of her job but it’s the feline fur babies that hold an extra special spot with her. She enjoys Medical, Diagnostic and Reception nursing.


She is a fur mum to a lilac Burmese called Minka, and step mum to 2 Labradors named Emma and Molly, a German Short-haired Pointer named Riley and many chickens.


In her spare time, you'll find Bonnie out fishing, on the boat, camping or at Kick-boxing. 


Emma Sanderson- Nurse manager

Emma is our nursing manager here at Dr Paws Kotara. She has 10 years of nursing experience under her belt including small animal practice, mixed animal practice and emergency nursing. Em adores all animals and she is currently studying her Diploma in General practice for which she received a scholarship based on her clinical merit.

Emma strives to lead the nursing team at Kotara by example, she thoroughly enjoys providing gold standard care to all of our wonderful patients and pet owners. Em loves to train and teach younger and junior nurses, finding it extremely fulfilling helping young nurses to grow their passion for the industry she loves. With this in mind she hopes to enter a career as a veterinary nurse teacher in the future.

Em’s new found passion is charity veterinary work, which she discovered when she recently volunteered her nursing and management skills to a charity veterinary clinic overseas whilst on holiday. This is something that is of extreme importance to Em and she hopes to explore and pursue this passion further.

When Em isn’t at the clinic, it is likely that you will find her with her own fur-kids that she shares with her partner David. Em enjoys riding her horses whenever she can and spending time with her friends and family


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.


Gabrielle Holman – Veterinary Nurse

My name is Gabrielle Holman, and I have been a qualified Vet Nurse since 2017. I first started as a volunteer at a Vet in Erina. During my studies I got my first Vet Nurse job and gained experience in anaesthesia and recovery for many difference breeds of dogs.  

I have always had a love for animals and knew from a young age that I wanted to work with and help them. If I’m not at work you will find me out with my horses getting ready for a competition on the weekend. I have a range of animals at home including three horses, two dogs, a cat and a bird.

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!