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Food Animal- Our Team


Large Animal Partners


Dr. Andrew de Haan, DVM

Andrew started working on a dairy farm when he was 12 and continued working there before and after school while attending high school. He worked on a large veal operation for seven years through his undergraduate and veterinary medicine degrees.  Andrew began working at Heartland Veterinary Services in 2004 and has been a co-owner since 2007. His main interests include dairy herd health, bovine medicine & surgery and small ruminant herd health & medicine. He has a special interest in calf and heifer management. Andrew also does some CQA for swine clients. Andrew and his wife Cheryl have four children, Scott, Lauren, Reid and Tessa.


Dr. Christie Morrow, DVM

Christie graduated from OVC in 2010 and her strong interest in dairy cattle medicine led her to Listowel upon graduation. After being away a few years Christie rejoins the Heartland team to pursue her dairy production systems and embryo transfer passions. She completed the embryo transfer training course in Saskatoon with Dr. Reuben Mapletoft in 2013 and looks to explore all opportunities in this field. When not working, you can find Christie enjoying time with her family on their dairy farm with their dogs Lightning and Frankie. The Heartland management team excitedly welcomed Christie as co-owner in January of 2020.

Dr. Kelly Barratt, DVM

Kelly has been on the Heartland team since she graduated in 2005. She is now a part owner and spends her days split between doing dairy cattle herd healths and working with Dairy Farmers of Ontario as a quality assurance program consultant for the proAction program and other Canadian dairy industry projects. Kelly was awarded a “Top 40 Under 40” in Agriculture for North America by Vance Publishing in 2014 and the Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners Award of Excellence in 2017. When she is not at work you can find her working alongside her dairy farmer partner, Adam, and their young son, Noah. Kelly’s other hobbies include riding her dressage horses, travelling, wine and cheese tasting and she has recently taken on a farm project of her own - beekeeping!


Dr. Rod Wieringa, DVM

Rod graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1994. After graduation Rod practiced in Stratford for just over a year before moving to Listowel to work at Heartland Veterinary Services. Heartland's large progressive dairy practice was the main attraction to move to Listowel. Shortly after arriving Alton MacKay asked Rod to start flushing cows with him. In 1996 Rod traveled west to Saskatoon to attend the Embryo Transfer Training Course taught by Dr. Ruben Mapletoft at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Rod and Alton continued to flush cows together until Alton retired in 2002. Rod is a graduate of OVC’s Dairy Health Management Certificate Program and has a strong interest in embryo transfer technologies and dairy production medicine.  Rod lives in Listowel with his wife Lisa and their two boys Matthew and Carter and yellow Lab Henry.



Dr. Thomas Veens, DVM

Thomas graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2012 and immediately joined Heartland Veterinary Services to pursue a career as a farm animal practitioner specializing in dairy cattle.  He became part owner in 2016. Thomas' main focus is herd health, with special interest in reproduction, calf and heifer rearing, transition cow management, disease prevention and protocol development. In addition, Thomas works with bulls at artificial insemination centers and is part of the embryo transfer team at Heartland.  Thomas is also very interested in surgery and enjoys performing many different surgical procedures. Thomas lives in Fordwich with his wife, Angelika, and children, Julia and Henry.  In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, various other sports and traveling.




Large Animal Associate Veterinarians 


Dr. Chantal Stoop, DVM

Chantal joined the Heartland team shortly after graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2018. Beyond medicine and surgery, Chantal has a keen interest in dairy herd management and bovine hoof health.  Growing up on her family’s dairy farm in the Niagara region cultivated Chantal’s passion for agriculture and dairy cattle. Outside of work, Chantal is involved in athletics, 4-H and her Church community.

Dr. Daniella Rizzo DVM

Daniella graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2017, she joined the Heartland team shortly after completing the Summer Dairy Institute at Cornell University, a 6 week intensive training program for dairy veterinarians.  She recently completed the Master of Public Health program at the University of Guelph and spends a portion of her time working as an epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Canada. Daniella grew up in a small town in the Niagara region where she first developed a passion for working with large animals. Her main areas of interest include public health and the OneHealth initiative, emergency medicine, dairy production medicine, and bovine surgery.

Dr. Dave Hunsberger, DVM

Dave graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1981. Upon graduation he accepted a position at Heartland Veterinary Services, a progressive herd based dairy practice – where the cows were. Dave is a graduate of OVC’s first Dairy Health Management Certificate Program and in 2006 attended Dr. Rueben Mapletoft's Embryo Transfer Training Course at the University of Saskatchewan.  He has a keen interest in Advanced Reproductive Technologies in Cattle and Dairy Production Medicine.  Dave is a Certified Practitioner under The Canadian Embryo Transfer Association's Certification Program.  Dave was raised on a dairy farm in Waterloo County, which featured registered Holsteins, and, for a short time, purebred Jerseys. He gained a strong appreciation for the Ayrshire cow working for his uncle Floyd. Dave and his wife Wendy live in Listowel. They have three grown children, Lindsay, Adam and Jonathan.

Dr. Elisabeth Begley, DVM

Originally from the Ottawa area, Elisabeth graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2016. She joined the team in 2017 after practicing mixed animal medicine for a year. She has been providing comprehensive high-quality emergency care for our food animal and equine patients. She has a special interest in small ruminant herd health and medicine and bovine medicine and surgery. Outside of work she can be found spending time with her cat Mister Joe and her dog Lady Esmeralda.

Dr. John Thaler DVM

John graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2015. He joined the Heartland team in April 2016 after having practiced for 1 year as a large animal veterinarian. John has always had an interest in medicine, having completed a Master’s degree in human medical research on osteoporosis. His passion for veterinary medicine was ignited while working with camels, wild pigs and other animals at the Calgary Zoo. His main areas of interest are bovine medicine and surgery, small ruminant (sheep & goat) medicine, and dairy herd problem solving. Originally from New Hamburg, John now lives in Wellesley with his wife and their two pet chinchillas. In his spare time he enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, board games, and whitewater kayaking.

Dr. Melanie Thompson, DVM

Melanie grew up in rural Flamborough near her grandparents dairy farm and began riding horses at a young age. She attended the University of Guelph for her undergraduate degree, and graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2018. During her time at the veterinary college, Melanie worked in the OVC Large Animal Clinic, which gained her lots of valuable experience in complicated cases. After graduating, Melanie worked in her hometown as a large animal veterinarian for her first year of practice. Melanie joined the large animal team at Heartland in 2019 for both food animal and equine practice. She enjoys ruminant medicine and surgery, and working with farmers. Melanie also enjoys equine practice, with an interest in primary care, emergency care and equine reproduction.
In her free time, she enjoys running, riding horses, playing the piano and painting. Melanie lives in

Drayton with her husband Will, and their cat “Mimi”.

Dr. Meredith Vair, DVM

Meredith grew up in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia.  She first gained an interest in large animal veterinary medicine while working at a local mixed practice.  She obtained a BSc. Agr in Animal Science from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and then went on to the Atlantic Veterinary College, where she focused her studies on equine and food animal medicine.  Meredith joined the Heartland team in the spring of 2014 as a large animal veterinarian.  Her main areas of interest are bovine surgery, and dairy production medicine. In the future she hopes to further expand her knowledge in dairy nutrition and calf health. Meredith lives in Listowel with her husband, daughter and son, and two dogs.

Dr. Niki Alsop, DVM

Niki is a recent grad from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2020. Niki comes from a family dairy farm in Feversham, where she spends much of her free time, and where her passion for agriculture, and large animal medicine was fostered. She is excited to join the team at Heartland, and to put her years of schooling to work. Niki has an interest in dairy production medicine. In the future, she looks forward to learning more about dairy nutrition, and genetics.


Dr. Paige Gamester, DVM

Paige hails from beautiful Prince Edward Island and is a 2018 Atlantic Veterinary College graduate. Her passion for food animals began while working on a local dairy farm throughout her undergraduate and veterinary studies. Paige has practiced as a large animal ambulatory veterinarian since graduation, and has a particular passion for dairy herd health management! She also has special interests in small ruminant and camelid health. Paige is a lover of the outdoors, yoga, and good food!

Dr. Tom Gutteridge, DVM

It is with incredible sadness that we share the passing of Dr. Tom Gutteridge.  Known here at Heartland for his vast knowledge of all things (not just veterinary related!), his witty humour, bright smile, beautiful way with words and the warmest hug you could ever imagine.  We are going to miss our dear friend immensely and we know our clients and community will too.



Large Animal Technicians


Chantelle VanderPloeg, RVT

Chantelle graduated from UoGuelph Ridgetown College in 2017 and later joined the Heartland                
team in 2018. She splits her time primarily as a large animal RVT and also part of the small animal team. She grew up on a farm near Owen Sound and that is when her love for animals (of all sizes) began! When given the oppourtunity she loves outdoor activities and sports, being involved in her church community and spending time with her boyfriend, Nick, her family and friends.                


Crystal Cullen, RVT

Crystal graduated from Northern College-Haileybury Campus in May 2004. After graduating Crystal worked in a small animal practice in Elora until she joined the Heartland team in October 2016.
Crystal grew up on a dairy farm outside of Kenilworth and always knew she would work in veterinary medicine. With her years of experience in the dairy industry she was very excited when the opportunity came up to become a member of our large animal team. She now divides her time between farm visits and small animal at both our Listowel and Mount Forest location.  Crystal lives in Listowel with her husband Dave, their 2 girls Avery and Cassidy, their son Wyatt and an Australian Cattle Dog named Wiser. When Crystal isn't at work she keeps busy taking her kids to figure skating and spending as much time outside as the day will allow.


Sarah O'Grady

Sarah joined the Heartland Team as a part-time student in 2013 after completing a high school co-op with us.  In 2017, she graduated from the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus with a diploma in Agriculture, and returned to Heartland full-time.  Sarah spends her time at Heartland working alongside our veterinarians and technicians, on reception, or doing dairy herd data entry.  Sarah lives on a hobby farm outside of Listowel with her two boxers, Bentley and Nova, as well as horses and her growing herd of beef cattle.  In her spare time she enjoys playing with her dogs, riding horses or milking cows for her neighbour.