Our Team

It goes without saying that we love animals, but we really do take pride in giving the best possible care and attention to you and your pet!

We want 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.

 

Meet our friendly and professional team:

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Dr Amanda (Mandy) Lugsdin- Senior Veterinary Surgeon and Owner

I grew up on a sheep and cattle station near Hay in the Riverina. After completing a degree in Ag Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, I pursued an agricultural career as a commodity risk management specialist.

After leaving the Australian agricultural scene in 2002 to travel abroad, I returned home in 2003 to undertake a degree in Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne. Upon graduation, my rural background found me up to my armpits in mud and cow-dung in the middle of an intensive dairy region in Gippsland! 

Nowadays, companion animal medicine has captured my attention, with special interests in Dermatology, Ultrasound, Small Animal Medicine and all things feline. I have worked extensively throughout beautiful North East Victoria including Wangaratta, Benalla, Myrtleford, Albury and Wodonga.  

I am a cheerful person who is very passionate about developing strong relationships with clients, pets and hospital personnel alike. I also believe in the importance of facilitating our team's further education and personal development, as well as mentoring recent graduates.

Outside the work place I am very family orientated, and have a (rather large) household of 5 children & 4 furry friends! Of course, most of these furry friends were strays in need of a loving home. 

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Samara - Nurse Manager

Hi! My name is Samara.

I spent my childhood growing up in Rutherglen with my parents, along with our beloved menagerie of pets; 2 dogs, a cat, a couple of hermit crabs and a mouse!

I have been nursing in the Albury / Wodonga region for almost 10 years and love sharing and building on my knowledge here at Dr Paws.

Nowadays I live in Albury with my husband Liam, daughter Charlotte and rescue animals, Ziggy & Roo (dogs), Scotch (cat) and 2 Japanese Koi fish.

I have proudly completed a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, as well as a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (General Practice). In the future, I wish to continue my studies, and complete a Diploma in Companion Animal Naturopathy and a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology.

I have many years’ experience working with surgical orthopaedic cases, and have a special interest in critical and intensive care patients. A strong passion for best practice nursing and care drives my enthusiasm for educating other nurses, and creating strong relationships with our clients and patients.

Outside of work, I spend my time practicing Yoga, reading, being outdoors and spending valuable time with my friends and family.

Congratulations to Samara & her family on the arrival of their second child, Will - a beautiful brother for Charlotte! We wish her well and will miss her whilst she is on maternity leave until next year.

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Samantha Williams - Trainee Vet Nurse

Hello, my name is Sammi and I am a trainee Vet Nurse studying with GoTafe in Wangaratta.

I completed Year 12 VCAL at the TEC (Technical Education Centre) Wangaratta High School in 2012, and during this time I completed a number of animal certificates with both Charles Sturt University and Wangaratta Rural GoTafe. 

For the past 3 years I have been caring for our amazing local wildlife, from orphaned to injured animals, from my shelter at home. I work closely with other carers in the area, like the incredible Maisy Enders! I have learnt a lot from her and other shelters in the area.

I am very excited to be working for Dr. Paws Wangaratta, what a great team!

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Jill Hodge - Practice Manager

Jill is probably the first person you will meet here at Dr Paws Wangaratta! 

She brings a wealth of experience to reception from both a nursing and veterinary receptionist background.

Jill has enjoyed an interesting and varied career before she joined the Dr Paws team. From human nursing to hospitality management, local and state Government administration, plus a short stint at a brewery! She has even lived and travelled the world, including Malaysia and South East Asia.

In her spare time, Jill enjoys cooking, baking and spending time with her husband, three children, two dogs and two cats.

She has also recently completed her Certificate in Pet Bereavement Counselling.

Jill is passionate about customer service and animals, and is always making us laugh around the clinic!

Shelby – Vet Nurse

Hi, my name is Shelby and I am a Vet Nurse with five years experience. I enjoy the challenge and reward of working with animals and helping create an enjoyable, relaxing experience for animals at the clinic. I have a special interest in dog training and behaviour, and hope to do further training in this area in the future.

I have two dogs, a German Shorthaired Pointer named Louie, and a Great Dane named Duke. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, camping, cooking, eating and going on adventures with my partner and our two kids.

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Emily O’Sullivan - Vet Nurse

Hi my name is Emily and I started at Dr Paws late November 2018, shortly after completing my year 12 VCE studies in Myrtleford at Marian College.

Around the clinic I can be found serving clients and organising client and in-house orders as well as out the back assisting along side my vets in animal care. I became interested in the industry due to the fact that I really enjoy being around animals, and strive to do all I can to help them when possible.  

I have always had a strong love for animals from the time I was little. I was raised around animals and spent the majority of my time on the family farm in Ovens which was full of cows and horses. This is also where I developed my particular love for horses and everything equine. I particularly love dressage and compete at level three in classical dressage and also enjoy equine archery in my spare time. I also love dogs, cats, and all kinds of wildlife. In the future I hope to expand my skills and knowledge by going on to study vet tech at uni, and would love to eventually expand to work with horses.

I have a 17 hand pony at home called Murphy, two kelpies called Nugget and Cosmo, a cat called Sprinkles, and a rainbow lorikeet called Montie (and a chook!).

Tayla – Trainee Vet Nurse

Hi, my name is Tayla and I am a Trainee Vet Nurse. As long as I can remember I have always loved animals. I have lived on a cattle and sheep farm all my life, and have a gorgeous kelpie named Tara.

In my spare time I like to walk my dog, go to the gym, eat delicious food and spend time with my family and friends.