Meet the team at Killamarsh


Veterinary Surgeons

Dr Ian Lowe

BVetMed, GPCert (ExAP), PgC EAS, M.R.C.V.S. (Director)

Consultant in Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery


Ian graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2004. He became a practice partner in October 2009 after working at Ark for 18 months, and has since taken over sole ownership of the business.

He has a special interest in the care of exotic pets, wildlife and zoo collections. He completed a European certificate in exotic animal practice and a PgC in exotic animal studies, in order to keep up to date with modern treatment developments and current best practice. This enables him to treat lots of weird and wonderful creatures - from reptiles and amphibians, to marmoset monkeys and meerkats. Ian not only deals with first opinion exotic cases but accepts referrals from other veterinary practices throughout the UK.

In 2018, he was recognised nationally and nominated for his dedication to working with exotics in veterinary practice.

During his free time, Ian enjoys all outdoor sports, going to the gym, cooking and DIY. Alongside looking after his collection of poultry and two energetic Border Terriers - Leaf and Twiggy.

Dr Lara Hueston

BVSc, GPCert (ExAP), PgC (EAS), M.R.C.V.S.


Lara graduated from the University of Melbourne (Australia) in December 2013. She’s been working in the UK since then, originally in a mixed practice down in Kent – predominantly with small animal, zoo and exotics. Lara has always had a special interest in exotics and zoo work, having been involved in various veterinary, zoo and volunteer projects around the world - including South Africa, Costa Rica, Thailand and Australia. She joined the Ark team in June 2016.

She is a member of the British Zoo and Exotics Veterinary Association. Lara has completed her European certificate in exotic animal practice and a PgC in exotic animal studies in order to keep up with modern treatment developments and current best practice. She not only deals with first opinion exotic cases but accepts referrals from other veterinary practices throughout the UK. Her main interests lie in reptile and avian medicine.

She enjoys the large diversity and variation of cases the job has to offer with the ever-growing exotics caseload. She is extremely passionate about the education and promotion of adequate care of exotic species and is always happy to answer any husbandry or diet related questions. Lara loves building rapport with clients to ensure the best care is achieved for their pets.

In her spare time, Lara enjoys watching sports, playing in bands and going to see live gigs.

Dr Thomas Vowell
BVSc (Hons), BSc, MAppSc (Wildlife Health)


Tom graduated from The University of Sydney (Australia) in 2015. Before moving to Sheffield and joining the Ark team earlier this year, he worked in a semi-rural mixed practice in Sydney, where he particularly enjoyed working with exotic animals and wildlife. He has had a passion for exotic animals from a young age, and has kept all kinds of pets - bearded dragons, geckos, snakes, tropical fish, axolotls, budgies, cockatiels and rabbits, in addition to some much loved dogs and cats.

Before studying to be a vet, he studied Biodiversity and Conservation at University, and did a Masters degree in Wildlife Health.

His favourite aspect of the job is working with our large exotic caseload; especially being in theatre and performing routine or emergency surgery on lots of weird and wonderful species.

When he is not working, Tom likes playing touch football, woodworking and spending time with his wife and young son. He is really looking forward to doing some more travelling throughout the UK and Europe.

Dr Fiona Brindley
MVB, PgC SAM, M.R.C.V.S.


Fiona graduated from University College Dublin in 2012, and has been working in small animal practice ever since. She moved over from Ireland to join the Ark team in July 2015.

She has a large interest in rabbit medicine and preventative treatment. One of her other passions is tackling pet obesity through regular weight clinics and dietary advice - she enjoys working alongside our clients to help their pets shed some pounds.

Fiona recently completed a PgC in small animal medicine, and is now a certificate holder within the veterinary medical field.

She enjoys cooking at home, playing board games and cuddling her handsome cats, Oscar and Max.

Dr Dawn Jackson

BVM&S, M.R.C.V.S.


Dawn graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2016. Originally from Cambridge, she moved north to settle in Sheffield and joined Ark in 2017, after seeing practice at the surgery as an EMS student on placement.

She enjoys the variety that general practice brings, and has a particular interest in dermatology, soft tissue surgery and pathology. Dawn can often be found in our extensive in-house laboratory (which is her favourite place to be) peering down the microscope to assess blood and urine samples, or to take a closer look at species of parasite.

Outside of work, she enjoys walking, swimming, reading, and anything sci-fi related.

Dr Thomas Bunn

BSc (Hons), BVetMed, M.R.C.V.S.


Tom graduated from the Royal Veterinary College of London in 2018. During his studies, he was heavily involved in student animal welfare, and zoological and mountaineering societies. He also undertook placements with zoological and exotic veterinary teams in the UK, New Zealand, and California, as well as wildlife conservation work in Kazakhstan.

He had been working in a small animal practice in South Yorkshire for 18 months before joining the team at Ark in January 2020. He is enjoying developing his skills in all aspects of practice, but is especially interested in zoological medicine, emergency care, and pathology.

During his spare time, Tom enjoys getting outside to climb, hike, and run. When the weather isn’t up to it he can be found bouldering indoors or planning further travelling holidays. He has a pet royal python at home named Bernard.

Dr Mauro Zampetti

GPCert (ExAP), M.R.C.V.S.


Staff bio and photo coming soon.

Veterinary Nurses

Claire Bernard

Registered Veterinary Nurse


Claire joined the Ark team in 2002. She first started out on reception, but quickly discovered that she much preferred the nursing element of the job after gaining some experience as an auxiliary nurse. She completed her veterinary nurse training with us and qualified as an RVN in December 2015.

She is also a clinical coach, which means that she is able to oversee nursing students and sign off their practical on-the-job training.

Her favourite place to be is theatre, where she enjoys monitoring anaesthetics and providing care to animals during recovery. She loves running behaviour and weight clinics, providing advice for owners who may be struggling at home with their pet's behavioural problems or weight issues.

Claire has a rescued cat called Trex who takes up most of her time outside of work. She likes to relax by watching the latest blockbuster at the cinema, or catching up on a good boxset.

Darran Julian

Registered Veterinary Nurse (C&G Cert VNES)


Darran joined the Ark team in June 2008, having previously spent many years working in retail. He took the opportunity to fulfil his lifelong ambition to work with animals, and completed his veterinary nurse training with us and qualified as an RVN in October 2015.

He is also a clinical coach, which means that he is able to oversee nursing students and sign off their practical on-the-job training.

Darran most recently passed his exotic nursing certificate (C&G Cert VNES) as he has a great love for all exotics - especially reptiles and birds. He finds it very rewarding to support our exotic vets with inpatient care and husbandry. His favourite aspects of the job are assisting with surgical procedures and monitoring anaesthetics in theatre, and taking x-rays of our patients during investigative treatment.

He enjoys playing his guitar and listening to music. He also spends some of his time reading factual books and is full of useless information - which means he's great to have around during a pub quiz, as his level of general knowledge is amazing.

Michelle Billard

Registered Veterinary Nurse


Michelle joined the Ark team in June 2012. She started her nursing career at the age of 17 in a mixed animal practice, before moving on to work in a small animal surgery caring for companion animals.

She is a clinical coach, which means that she is able to oversee nursing students and sign off their practical on-the-job training.

Her main interests include teaching students and wound management. Michelle is also very keen on running our diabetic and geriatric nurse clinics - she has a real soft spot for 'golden oldies' and can often be found making a big fuss of our patients to help them feel at ease.

Outside of work, Michelle enjoys reading, going out for long walks or spending quality time with her family - as well as Sam the dog and Florence the cat.

Rebecca Wills

Registered Veterinary Nurse


Rebecca joined the Ark team in September 2013, having previously worked at Sheffield Greyhound Trust as a kennel hand for retired track dogs in search of new homes. She also studied animal management at college and gained a distinction.

She began her veterinary nurse training with us and qualified as an RVN in October 2018.

The favourite aspects of her role are radiography and laboratory work, and helping other members of staff whenever she can. Rebecca especially enjoys working with our exotic patients, and she is currently studying towards her exotic nursing certificate.

During her free time, she enjoys socialising with friends and family, or exploring the Peak District with Zak - her much loved German Shepherd.

Hetty Harrison

Registered Veterinary Nurse


Hetty joined the Ark team in January 2020 after previously working in a small animal practice for four years. She qualified as an RVN in 2017 whilst studying at the College of Animal Welfare, and is still very much in love with nursing. She enjoys all aspects of her job, but particularly likes surgical nursing and theatre work. Hetty has a keen interest in wildlife and exotics, and is hoping to complete her certificate in exotic nursing in the near future.

She is also a clinical coach, which means that she is able to oversee nursing students and sign off their practical on-the-job training.

She has three dogs at home, two Jack Russell Terriers - Jimmy and Teddy, and a rescue Dachshund cross called Reggie, in addition to four budgies. In her spare time, Hetty enjoys adventuring and going for long walks with her boys and spending quality time with family.

Jasmine Eyre

Student Veterinary Nurse


Jasmine joined the Ark team in January 2016, as one of our receptionists. She gained a distinction in animal management and began her nurse training in September 2017. She is currently studying her second year.

She has always had a desire to work with animals from a very young age, having had previous work experience in canine hydrotherapy centres and as a volunteer for the Chesterfield RSPCA.

Jasmine's favourite part of her role is assisting in theatre - where she gets to help with anaesthetics and patient monitoring. She also loves caring for our inpatients following surgery, and for any sick or injured pets that are admitted for treatment.

Her spare time is spent looking after her three guinea pigs and Ernie the cat. She also likes to read and study at home, as well as watching films and meeting up with friends.

Management and Support Staff

Lisa Clay

VPAC, CVPM (Practice Manager)


After previously working in both independent and corporate practices around South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, Lisa joined Ark in August 2018, covering both branches in Dronfield and Killamarsh.

She has a background in nursing and management, having already qualified as an ANA and C-SQP. Her most recent certificates also include administration and practice management.

The job role of practice manager is quite varied and challenging, and this means that her responsibilities include staff management and recruitment, financial reporting, client relations, marketing, and maintenance of premises and equipment. Lisa says that the most rewarding aspect of her job is ensuring that daily operations run smoothly in each practice.

She is the proud owner of two rabbits, Dot and Dash, who take up a lot of her time outside of work. Her other interests include travelling, taking drum lessons and retail therapy.

Cindy Kent

Receptionist


Cindy joined the Ark team in June 2003. She is one of the few remaining original members of staff, working with us for just over 16 years. You will usually find her covering the reception desk at our busy Killamarsh branch.

She came to us having previously worked in the office admin and customer service sectors, and wanting a complete change of pace and industry.

Cindy's favourite parts of her role are welcoming new clients and pets to the practice, and already knowing many of our existing clients by name - as she has lived in Killamarsh all of her life. She also enjoys having extra responsibilities such as stock ordering for the Killamarsh site.

Her time at home is spent caring for Mo the tortoise and Messi the cat, as well as socialising with friends and family. She enjoys going swimming on a regular basis, and travelling to sunny destinations - especially the various Greek islands.

Denise Reilly

Receptionist


Denise joined the Ark team in December 2009, as she was looking for a new challenge following a career in the wholesale hair and beauty profession. You will usually find her covering the desk at our busy Killamarsh practice. She was born and raised in Eckington, so knows the local area and most of our clients very well.

She really likes the variety that the job brings, as no two days are ever the same.

Her spare time is generally spent reading, visiting restaurants for nice meals out and travelling abroad. Denise also owns a Lhasa Apso named Charlie, who she loves to spoil.

Donna Fletcher

Receptionist


Donna joined the Ark team in September 2014, after working in the insurance industry for a number of years. You will usually find her covering the desk at our busy Killamarsh practice, underneath a mountain of pet insurance paperwork. She is one of two staff members who share the task of submitting our client's pet claims.

Her favourite part of the role is chatting to our clients on a daily basis, and meeting all of the cute animals.

Donna has recently passed her Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award (AVRA) Gold certificate.

She has a very busy home life and tries to balance work with her husband, two young daughters, and Pebbles the cat - who was originally rescued as a stray. Donna loves going to the cinema with her family, and having nights out with her close girlfriends.

Karen Brown

Receptionist


Karen joined the Ark team in May 2019. She has worked in the veterinary industry since 2001, and decided earlier this year that she would enjoy a change of practice.

You will usually find her covering the desk at our busy Killamarsh surgery, which has given her a growing interest in all of our exotic patients - especially reptiles. She also loves to observe surgical procedures when she gets the opportunity.

Karen is a Killamarsh local and can often be seen walking around the area with her old Staffie, Tag. Outside of work, she enjoys meeting up with friends and holidaying in the sunshine.

Yvonne Roberts

Receptionist


Yvonne joined the Ark team in July 2019. She wanted a complete career change after previously working in various administration and retail roles.

You will usually find her covering the desk at our busy Killamarsh surgery, where she likes meeting and chatting to our clients. She also loves having puppy cuddles at every given opportunity.

During her spare time, Yvonne enjoys watching football with a glass or two of wine, and taking her much loved Cockapoo, Pep, for long scenic walks.

Amy Brewster

Receptionist


Amy started working at Ark in February 2020. Prior to this, she worked as a receptionist in several other veterinary practices around the Lake District and Sheffield. She likes making all clients and their animals feel comfortable and special, but has a real soft spot for cats.

Her hobbies and interests include tattoo design, going to music gigs and festivals, and retro 90's cars. In her spare time, Amy also enjoys cat sitting as well as looking after her own three cats - Guido, Bella and Fat Pez.

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