Dr. Tanya Sparling
Dr. Tanya Sparling, owner of Amherst Veterinary Hospital, and Tantramar Veterinary Hospital in Sackville, is passionate: passionate about animals, passionate about people, passionate about her staff and the practice they work for. Her warm, friendly exterior is genuine, but so is her hard-driving dedication to excellence in veterinary care, and her unbending devotion to the animals entrusted to her hospital.
Tanya graduated from Ontario Veterinary College, Guelph, in 2008, where she received the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Award from the OVMA. In addition to her DVM, Dr. Sparling is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, the Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medicine Association, and the NSVMA’s 2018 “Young Veterinarian of the Year”.
Amherst Veterinary Hospital has been a centre of excellence in Cumberland County for more than five decades. Sparling has built on that reputation, expanding the size of the practice dramatically while increasing the services, technologies and therapies available to patients in our region. The AAHA-accredited facility (North America’s gold standard for the industry) has become a surgical and emergency hub for the region.
Dr. Sparling sets high standards for her practice and high standards for herself. Living with Multiple Sclerosis didn’t stop her from completing the Mont Tremblant Ironman in 2019, successfully finishing the 3.9 kilometre swim, 180 kilometre cycle, and 42 kilometre running course within the permitted 17 hours. Tanya was born in Amherst and grew up in Upper Nappan. She’s thrilled that she’s been afforded the opportunity to contribute to the community where she grew up, and make her home (with her husband and daughter) in Cumberland County. Sparling is an active member of her community and enjoys contributing to charitable causes in the region.
Dr. Carolyn Hollis
Dr. Carolyn Hollis began her career at the Amherst Veterinary Hospital after graduating from the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, P.E.I. She has a very calm and methodical approach to her work and, as our most senior Veterinarian, Dr. Hollis is very supportive and helpful in all aspects of the hospital. Her knowledge and experience are extraordinary assets for patients and staff. Along with her husband, Dennis, and two children Mallory and Evan, they provide a loving home to many pets.
Dr. Emily Youé
Dr. Emily Youé first began at our Hospital while completing her externship in 2010. Upon graduation from the Ontario Veterinary College, she accepted a full-time position with us in 2011. Emily’s mom is an Amherstonian and she has many family members and friends in this area. Since joining our team, Emily and her husband James have had two beautiful children, Kingston and Esmé. Her family also includes two dogs (Rosie and Kisses) and two cats (Mr. Mustard and Tobias). Emily has developed a keen interest in orthopaedic surgery and enjoys her time in the surgery suite with Dr. Ernie Prowse. Emily is a dedicated and empathetic veterinarian and we are so pleased to have her on our team.
Dr. Ernie Prowse
Dr. Prowse has always had an interest in orthopedics and since graduation has devoted a great deal of time and training in this field of veterinary medicine. He has been certified by the Ohio State University for hip replacement surgery, Slocum Enterprises in Eugene, Oregon for TPLO knee surgery and Penn HIP radiography for hip dysplasia free certification from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Prowse finds the mechanics of orthopedics and motion very interesting. From 2004-2011 he worked with Dr.Rushton in Halifax where they completed over 2000 TPLO procedures. On January 1st 2012 he joined our team and has been busy with orthopedic referrals from all three maritime provinces.
Dr. Prowse lives in Truro, Nova Scotia and is married to Pam. Together they have a son Bradley and a daughter Lindsay. He established Central Nova Animal Hospital in Truro in 1987. After selling this Hospital to his Associates he concentrated on orthopedics full time. For the past twelve years Dr. Prowse has volunteered time as Chairperson for the Atlantic Provinces Veterinary Conference.
Dr. Bonnie Harrison
Dr. Ali Frye
Dr. Christina Youé
Dr. Christina, who was born and raised in Ontario, graduated as a DVM from Guelph University in 2011. She started in general practice at an animal hospital in Calgary until 2016. After a brief time off to start a family, she returned to veterinary medicine as a relief vet at several clinics in Calgary up until her big move east to join the Amherst/Tantramar team in November of 2019. Together with husband Ben they loaded up their belongings, 2 kids (Easton and Winsloe), 2 cats and began a cross Canada trip to be closer to family and start a small hobby farm. Christina is very thorough and her goal for each patient’s visit is to make a plan that works for each individual pet/family.
Barb became a member of the Amherst Veterinary Hospital in the capacity as bookkeeper and assistant to the Veterinarians some years ago. At that time, the Hospital was primarily a large animal clinic and because of that, Barb has evolved and has experienced many changes. A valued member of the staff, Barb is very competent as our financial officer. She has a love of all animals large and small and has fostered many animals over the years. Barb not only has a wealth of knowledge but always has a smile for everyone.
We were so happy to have Angy join our AVH team at the end of 2014. Angy originally hails from across the Atlantic ocean - she was born in Bornheim, Germany - and moved to Nova Scotia in 2003. Angy graduated in 2011 as an RVT. Always willing to help out, she can often be heard cracking a joke or laughing with a client. Angy currently enjoys her down time in Tidnish with her husband Thomas, and her small herd of animal friends.
Emily joined our staff in 2007 as a Veterinary Assistant and is now a Registered Veterinary Technician. She is kind and helpful with a special knack for getting inappetent animals to eat. She loves her job and each day it shows in her strong technical skills and thirst for more information. Outside of work she loves staying active and spending time with friends and family, especially her niece Vivian and nephew Jax. We are all looking forward to her upcoming wedding to fiancé Matt in the summer of 2020.
Julie has been with the Amherst Veterinary Hospital since September 2009. She grew up in Springhill and currently lives in that area with her husband and their pets. Julie has worked in the veterinary business since her graduation as a Veterinary Assistant since 2004. Along with assisting our Veterinarians in all aspects of the profession, Julie also is supervisor of our laboratory and maintains inventory control. She has a quiet and positive presence in our Hospital and loves to work with animals. Julie hit the books and recently achieved her RVT status along with Emily MacLean. GOOD JOB JULIE!!
As a graduate Veterinary Assistant and later a Veterinary Technician, Kim has been with us since 2003. Over these years, Kim has developed many techniques and skills to the benefit of her patients and colleagues. She is a busy Mom to her three children, Karter, Vaughn and Nora, along with husband Nick who she married in September 2019. Kim has adopted many animals over the years and has fostered some as well. She is involved in all aspects of the hospital and was recently promoted to Office Manager. Kim’s great attitude and her love for all animals are valued assets at the hospital.
Melissa joined our team at AVH in September 2010 and moved to TVH in 2020. Upon receiving an animal science degree from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Melissa moved to Kamloops, British Columbia. There she successfully completed the Veterinary Technician program at Thompson Rivers University. Melissa is full of energy and often can be found having a conversation with our patients, which they love. We feel fortunate she came back to Amherst to join our team. Outside of work, Melissa’s other job is parenting her son Jacob along with husband Trevor.
Natasha’s love of animals began at an early age with many family pets including dogs, cats and horses. Fortunately for us, she brought that love of animals to AVH in 2009. She is meticulous in her work and loves to help with management and organization tasks. She is involved in bettering the field she works in as a volunteer with the Animal Care Committee at Oulton’s College. Although she loves her work, her heart belongs to Gainz (her super handsome French bulldog).
The AVH family welcomed Sarah into the fold in December 2014. We were very happy to bring aboard this lovely lady. She is a farm girl at heart so she can do just about anything and not be grossed out. Sarah is a 2012 graduate of Oulton College from the Registered Veterinary Technician program. Her dedication and skill set are a testament to her conviction in career choice.
Sarah got married in September 2014 to her sweetheart, Nathan and they have since welcomed 2 beautiful daughters. She works on the family farm as well as here at AVH. She is a very busy girl! Many of you will recognize Sarah as she is an Amherst native.
Alishia Knol started at AVH in 2018. The registered veterinary technician says her favorite part of the job is seeing clients go home happy with healthy pets. “It’s a nice feeling knowing you helped make that pet better,” she says. The newlywed has a dog, Lilly, and a lizard (a bearded dragon) named Drogon. Alishia’s hobbies include video games and painting, reading and hiking. She wants to expand her knowledge in her chosen field, and wouldn’t mind finding time to learn how to swordfight, as well as visit a few places, such as Japan, New Zealand and Disney World.
Renee first joined our team as a high school volunteer in 2012. Soon after, she was hired to help with client services and kennel care. This experience confirmed for her that she wanted to pursue education in animal healthcare. She graduated from Oulton College's Veterinary Technician program in 2016, and obtained her Registered Veterinary Technician status. Renee has lived in Amherst since she was born, and plans to continue living in the town she loves with her husband Stephen and daughter Ensley. She loves what she does, and her compassion for people and animals is evident in her daily work with us.
Kiera has been part of the AVH team since November 2015. She attended college to become a Veterinary Assistant. Her love for animals shines through with everything she does. She has responsibilities throughout the hospital ranging from client care to kennel duties. Outside of AVH her hobbies include walking her dog Shyla and spending time with family and friends. Kiera is originally from Parrsboro but recently relocated to Amherst. Her future plan is to work towards obtaining her RVT status.
Rose D’Orsay is one of our talented client service representatives. Her passion for animal welfare and dedication to helping people has made her an indispensable member of our team. Rose is from River Hebert, originally, but now lives in Brookdale with her husband and daughter. Spending time with her family is a top priority for Rose. She enjoys crafting, watching movies and spending time outdoors fishing.
Gillian Strong hails from St. John’s, Newfoundland. She moved to Nova Scotia for school, and came to Amherst with her husband, who has roots in our community. Gillian has created her own local roots through the YMCA and her involvement in the Amherst Striders--she’s an aspiring triathlete--not to mention all the clients and coworkers she’s met at AVH in her role as a client service representative. “I love that no day is the same…,” says Gillian, “…[and] that I am a part of a strong team that strives to provide the best possible care.”
Roberta grew up in Springhill. After venturing west for a bit, she made her way back home to be near her family. Roberta joined the AVH team in June 2016. We are fortunate to have her here at night keeping the hospital spic and span and lending a helping hand to the technicians. She is passionate about spending time cuddling and talking to the animals, to help them feel as comfortable as possible during their overnight stays.