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Heartland Veterinary Services - Large Animal Veterinarians


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. 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. 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. Kelly Barratt DVM

Dr. Kelly Barratt graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2005. She joined the Heartland team shortly after graduating and is now a part owner. 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. Areas of interest include milk quality, dairy herd health, small ruminants and non-traditional roles for practicing veterinarians. In early 2015 she began working half time for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario as a Quality Assurance Programs analyst, specifically to assist the implementation of Dairy Farmers of Canada's proAction program in Ontario.  Outside of work, Kelly enjoys travelling, hiking with her dogs and competing in dressage with her horses. 

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 daughter, Julia.  In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, various other sports and traveling. 

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, dairy production medicine, as well as equine lameness diagnosis and reproduction. In the future she hopes to further expand her knowledge in dairy nutrition and genetics, as well as equine reproduction. Meredith lives in Listowel with her husband and two dogs Molly and Tucker

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. Daniella Rizzo DVM

Daniella recently graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2017. She joined the Heartland team after completing the Summer Dairy Institute at Cornell University, a 6 week intensive training program for dairy veterinarians. 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, dairy production medicine, bovine surgery, and equine primary care.

Daniella lives in Listowel and enjoys travelling, hiking and playing hockey in her spare time. 

Dr. Elisabeth Begley DVM

Elisabeth has recently joined the professional staff of Heartland Animal Hospital & Heartland Veterinary Services. Originally from the Ottawa area, Elisabeth graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2016. She will be providing comprehensive high-quality emergency care for our food animal and equine patients. Her practice interests include bovine and small ruminant medicine and surgery.