ABOUT PERTH VET EMERGENCY
What We Do and Who We Are
Perth Vet Emergency was opened in 2009 as the only dedicated centre in Perth to provide compassionate and urgent care to the pets of Perth after-hours. In the early days, Perth Vet Emergency operated with a small but dedicated team of vets and nurses who trained relentlessly to ensure that they were providing the highest of standards of care. Over the years that followed the team has grown and the number of patients receiving care has increased, however, the culture of compassion and pursuit of clinical excellence has remained.
Our Compassionate and Dynamic Team
Katie Speer grew up on a little farm and was surrounded by an array of animals. The menagerie included her family dog Sandy and over the years came horses, cows, chickens, sheep, and birds.
Katie says that she doesn’t recall a time where she chose her career as a veterinary nurse. But is often reminded by her parents of when they first realised she was to one day work with animals.
“I was about two years old when we started planting trees at the farm. A little grommet covered in dirt that thought life couldn’t get any better until her Dad uncovered a girl’s best friend. It wasn’t a diamond though, it was a worm. A giant monster worm that witnesses recall being approximately 30 centimeters long. It was a good long hour of friendship that followed before tragedy struck – carrying around Mr. Worm caused elongated abdominal distension (not an actual scientific term) and there were now two of him. It was hours before I stopped crying. My parents’ thoughts were confirmed about a year later when I disappeared from my aunt’s house with a frog I found in her birdbath. I had walked home with my new friend and was in the process of brushing its teeth (with MY toothbrush!) when my parents walked in on me. That was the day I found out frogs don’t actually have teeth.”
Katie’s career began after completing a week of work experience at the local Brighton Vet. Five years later it was time to move on. Obtaining a position at a much larger clinic is where Katie found her calling with Emergency and Critical Care. It was also where her love of wildlife took off!
“Everything about being an Emergency and Critical Care Nurse reminds me I am exactly where I am meant to be. Supporting animals and their humans when they need someone the most and being a part of nursing critical care patients. Those are the ones that, when they are finally well enough to go home, make you so proud of what you do.”
Katie Speer loves working at Perth Vet Emergency because of her incredibly passionate colleagues. “Never have I seen a better quality of medicine and care anywhere. I thank my lucky stars that I am able to work in a place where I get along so well with everyone, where I learn something new every day and above all, I am in a place where I know I’m making a real difference.”
She also volunteers to care for wildlife and works closely alongside the Northern Valleys Wildlife Support team to give those animals without humans care.
In her spare time, Katie enjoys motorbike riding, four-wheel driving, and camping. She’s up for anything adrenaline-fuelled or fast.
Her pets include a beautiful rescue dog named Jazz, a black and white Kelpie that enjoys playing fetch and riding shotgun on the farm bike. Katie also shares her bedroom with Ivy a South West Carpet Python, who she credits with giving the best hugs!
Dr Penny Seet
Dr Penny Seet
Just like many vets, Dr Penny Seet decided at a young age that being a veterinarian was exactly what she wanted to do. She was furious her parents wouldn’t let her have a menagerie of baby animals to raise in the middle of suburban Melbourne but that didn’t hold her back.
Penny worked in general practice before moving back to emergency medicine in 2009 and she’s never looked back. Her area of interest includes Feline and Neonatal Medicine.
When asked why she loves working at Perth Vet Emergency, Penny’s response came easily. “I was lucky enough to find a job working with an amazing group of like-minded people who believe we can make a real difference to pets and their families after hours.”
Penny completed Memberships to the ANZCVS in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2011 and Medicine of Cats in 2014. She is a Senior Veterinarian at Perth Vet Emergency and mentors for ASAVA New Graduates.
In her spare time Penny enjoys the Perth sunshine while spending time with family and friends. While she didn’t have a menagerie growing up, she’s certainly making up for it these days. Her furbabies include “Shogun, a Labrador who has had both his cruciates repaired. There’s ˜Wally a Miniature Schnauzer who has already had surgery for an intestinal foreign body followed by near misses where he, fortunately, vomited the foreign body up.” Possum is a Persian Cross “who has the flattest face in the West”, and there’s ˜Bella a British Shorthair who was adopted from a shelter and would love to be a blood donor as she is a rare Type B, but she never grew big enough to donate.”
Becoming a veterinary nurse was a natural progression for Cassie Mulcahy. Her father is a veterinarian who owned his own clinic so she was raised around the industry and has always held a love for animals.
Cassie’s nursing career kicked off with three years working in her father’s clinic. She then spent five years with Midland Veterinary Hospital and has been a valued member of the Perth Vet Emergency team since mid-2015.
While she enjoys all aspects of emergency and critical care nursing, Cassie is particularly passionate about Feline Medicine. “I take great pride in helping minimise the stress for feline patients especially those in critical care. It can be a frightening ordeal for them and it’s important we take extra measures to make them feel as comfortable and safe as possible while they recover”
Cassie commends her colleagues for making Perth Vet Emergency a fantastic place to work. “They’re a professional and caring group of people who want to provide an exemplary level of care to all patients as well as pet owners and other industry professionals. It’s a pleasure to be part of the Perth Vet Emergency team.”
In her spare time, Cassie Mulcahy enjoys endurance riding covering anywhere between 80 to 320km. “There’s nothing better than building an amazing bond with your best friend, the horses while facing challenges and being able to enjoy the beauty of the Australian landscape.”
Cassie’s endurance horse Chase, an Arabian, is the apple of her eye. She describes him as “absolute perfection” and cannot put into words what he means to her. Jade, also Arabian, is retired from endurance racing. “She’s not the brightest individual but she aims to please”. And there is Billy, the youngest of Cassie’s Arabians who is soon to be an endurance horse. “He’s a typical young Arab, Too smart for his own good but he has amazing potential.”
Of course, Cassie’s household wouldn’t be complete without a feline representative. Leo is a hand-reared Domestic Short Hair who loves being the baby of the clan. Eight years later, he still sucks his bottle!
Having a love for the rehabilitation of wild animals, Danielle Wood worked for five years in the husbandry. As well as a passion for wildlife, Dani has also been a foster mum for kittens. But she always wanted to take her knowledge to the next level to further support the animals she loves. Knowing gaining medical knowledge was her next step, Dani pursued her career ambitions with further study before joining our team.
When talking of the most memorable case she has seen since joining the team one in particular springs to mind. It is a dog who had collapsed whose family had no idea what might have happened. Dani was able to assist the Senior Vet in diagnostics work, including ultrasound imaging on the poor pooches’ gall bladder. They were quickly able to diagnose a bee sting causing the pooch to go into an anaphylaxis state. This quick diagnosis was so important in the case. “I remember thinking, this is what they talk about when they say animals will collapse from anaphylaxis. We’ve seen similar cases before through the hospital, but never one this bad,” Dani recalls.
“I always think about that case, because it was crucial for us to have acted quickly in using ultrasound as a tool to find out what was wrong with the patient. It’s really great to be working with such a talented team of vets and nurses who truly make a difference in animals’ lives,” says Dani.
Dani’s favourite part of working in the veterinary industry is the feeling she gets from being able to reunite the sickest of animals with their owners. “Seeing a pet come into our clinic with life-threatening illnesses and injuries and being able to help turn around that animals’ life in a matter of hours and send them out the door with their families – it’s pretty incredible. It’s an amazing feeling. Those cases are what we do it for – to save lives.”
Dani loves working with the team at Perth Vet Emergency, where she can always count on support from her teammates. “Everyone knows their skills and strengths and knows when to jump on in and help with a patient,” says Dani.
Dani is enjoying her chosen career path in the emergency medicine field where each day brings new challenges. Every day Dani is continuing to build her skills and learn from the team around her.
Outside of life as Nurse Danielle Wood, wildlife and exotic animals will always be her passion, which she continues to take on as a hobby.
Dr Kim Binnie
Dr Kim Binnie
Dr Kim Binnie was driven to specialise in emergency medicine because of the challenges and excitement it offers. Kim loves the thrill of making the right decision to save a patient’s life. She finds the adrenaline that arises when faced with a trauma patient is helpful when faced with a decision in a hurry!
Kim says working in the vet industry is hard work, but the rewards it delivers make it more than worthwhile. How committed and caring the Team at Perth Vet Emergency is really stands out to Kim. She also loves working with us for the many opportunities that are available to her career-wise and the fun they have with team activities.
For any vet or vet nurse student interested in emergency medicine, Kim says go for it. There is always something new to see and making a difference and helping a beloved pet when they need it the most is so rewarding.
For Dr Kim Binnie the most entertaining thing about her job is uncovering all the kinds of things dogs somehow manage to swallow!
Kim has an active personal life outside work. She enjoys all things great outdoors from camping and exploring to scuba diving and relaxing at the beach.
Dr Liana Tay
Dr Liana Tay
Despite her demands, Dr Liana Tay was only allowed a goldfish when she was growing up. Nevertheless, she has always preferred animals over humans and believes a career helping animals was written in the stars. Liana started her career as a GP vet but was soon looking for a new challenge. She soon found that emergency medicine offered just that challenge as well as a face-paced nature. Since switching from being a family vet to an emergency vet she hasn’t looked back.
As a new graduate, Liana spent time volunteering with livestock and pets overseas in a community with limited resources. She thrived on the sense of community with the other locals and volunteers. Liana was awed by the sense of ingenuity required in such an environment. She never looked back, and still relishes any opportunity to travel and volunteer.
Of working at Perth Vet Emergency, Liana loves working with the team. She loves the genuine care provided by the vets and nurses for every aspect of a patient’s stay. Plus she loves the copious amounts of cheesecake and training that are available!
On her days off you’ll find Dr Liana Tay cuddling up to other people’s dogs at dog beaches. She has also been teaching (unsuccessfully!) her cat how to skateboard.
Growing up on a sheep and cattle farm in Western Victoria set Louisa Mahoney up for a love of animals and all things nature. After embarking on a career in customer service and retail management, she was looking for a change. Louisa soon found what she was looking for as the Client Relationships/Experience Manager with us. It was the perfect combination of her customer service skills and her love of animals!
Louisa loves her work at Perth Vet Emergency. She says she is constantly inspired by the Perth Vet Emergency Team’s passion and dedication, providing such a crucial service as 24-hour emergency care. For Louisa, the case that exemplifies all these amazing qualities was a young Doberman who required a leg amputation. It was a case involving our veterinarians, veterinary nurses, client care team, and the patient’s own family vet working together. Louisa says seeing everyone come together and work cohesively for the best outcome was a proud moment.
Louisa says the Perth Vet Emergency Team strives for the best possible patient care, treating all its patients as though they were their own pets. The team takes ownership to check in and ensure everything is done for their health and comfort.
Outside of being Louisa Mahoney Client Relationships/Experience Manager, time in nature is one of Louisa’s loves. You’ll often find her out bushwalking and exploring the beach with her kids.
Dr Denise Hong
Dr Denise Hong
For Dr Denise Hong being able to help the bond between pets and their owners is what drew her to want to work with animals. Denise says it is a privilege to provide care for someone’s pet when they seek help. To be the voice of their pet and represent animal welfare – being able to bridge this gap is why Denise became a vet.
Never in Denise’s wildest dreams did she expect to work in an emergency vet hospital! During her internship, Denise was dreading the time it came to do her emergency medicine rotation. But to her surprise, she found emergency medicine interesting, fun, and extremely rewarding. So much so she couldn’t imagine not working in an animal hospital and with such a passionate team of vets and nurses!
There are many patients that hold a special place in Dr. Denise’s heart. But there are two patients that stick out as being memorable. The first is Indy a nine-month-old Kelpie who against all odds survived a 1080 poisoning. And another pup who came in with dog attack wounds that seemed straightforward forward but upon examination a stick was discovered which had impaled the poor pup’s thorax. Luckily with surgery, the pup recovered well.
When Dr Denise Hong isn’t working she loves spending her free time doing art and is well-known for her paintings on pots of some of our patients. She also loves hiking, going to the gym, and yoga.
For as long as Kirsty Hoey can remember she has always wanted to worth with or alongside those that help animals. Seeing the joy in the faces of owners and the faces of their pets when they go home from hospital brings a joy she just can’t describe.
The most memorable patient Kirsty has seen at Perth Vet Emergency was Molly an overweight Pug who was a victim of a vicious dog attack. Unfortunately, it was such a severe attack that it left her needing one of her legs amputated. Molly was adopted by one of our vets who nursed her back to health and is now a valued member of our Perth Vet Emergency family. Kirsty says the team is now supporting Molly in her weight loss journey.
For anyone who is wanting to work at Perth Vet Emergency, Kirsty says to go for it! “Our team is the most supportive, caring and kind bunch of people I have ever met. I left my previous job for Perth Vet Emergency and I do not regret it”, she says.
When Kirsty Hoey isn’t working you can find her and her pup Lilly at one of their local dog beaches, and playing with her children Ryan and Hannah.
Shamilla Gebru has always loved animals but the moment she knew she wanted to work with them was when she volunteered in Mexico. Shamilla was lucky to volunteer in a gorgeous small town helping a local vet which saw many different cases. They saw everything from simple vaccinations to serious cases such as pets who had been hit by cars.
When she moved back to Perth, Shamilla continued her volunteer work, but this time with a couple of local dog shelters. Having never had pets growing up this was her chance to spend time and give her love to many pups. “It is so nice to be able to help and be there for animals in moments when they need us the most. They are precious creatures and we are so lucky to have them as companions”, she says. Volunteering at the shelters only reinforced Shamilla’s desire of wanting to work with animals.
From the moment Shamilla started her nursing course she knew that wanted to work in emergency medicine. As part of her course, Shamilla was excited to do her practical work with us and since then hasn’t left! “I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to do my nursing prac at Perth Vet Emergency which then turned into a job”, she explains.
During her time with us, Shamilla has seen many memorable cases, but there is one close to her heart. A little Dachshund with a severe case of anaphylaxis that the team needed to perform CPR and ventilation. But the little pup’s quick recovery just blew everyone away and always had her tail wagging!
If you don’t see Shamilla Gebru in the hospital, you will most likely find her with her pup. They often spend time at their local dog park or down by the river. Shamilla also spends her free time with family and friends, as well as doing aerial classes.
Amy Firth was born to be a vet, and it is clear to anyone who sees a much-loved family photo of Amy. About eight years old, Amy can be seen playing ‘vet’ with her soft animal toys with a stethoscope around her neck, and a thermometer and other medical tools in hand. Having always loved the idea of treating and being the voice for animals while helping to educate people on animal wellbeing it is no surprise Amy is currently studying vet medicine.
Amys says emergency medicine has intrigued her for quite some time for its sporadic keep-you-on-your-toes nature as well as the many learning opportunities from the range of cases animal hospitals see. Amy joined the Perth Vet Emergency Team to gain experience in the veterinary industry while she completes her studies. And since being a Client Care Specialist she says she’s been able to learn so much more about emergency medicine.
For Amy, there have been so many memorable patients and cases she has seen since she has been with us. But Flynn, a chocolate and white Border Collie, holds a special place in her heart. Flynn was rushed to us when a stake/fence post deeply pierced her abdomen. She has since recovered well and is back on her farm. “She was such a sweet dog and the owners were so lovely. They’ve actually sent me updates and photos on how she has been going”, Amy says.
When not at work (or studying!) Amy Firth can be found at the beach with her partner and her Border Collie Flo playing fetch and frolicking in the waves. Amy also loves the great outdoors, going for hikes, or just watching a beautiful sunset. She also spends time catching up with friends, and is a regular gym-goer.
Kim Gorey always knew she wanted to be the voice for those who don’t have a voice. After falling in love with the fast pace of late-night shifts during her emergency unit studies, she knew emergency medicine was her calling.
For Kim, some of her favourite times in the hospital are when she helps bring a new life into the world when a pet is rushed in for an emergency caesarean. She says there’s no better feeling than being there for a newborn’s first breaths and helping the new mum look after her babies. It’s a love that is shared by all our team at Perth Vet Emergency.
Since Kim has been at Perth Vet Emergency she has seen many amazing cases and patients. But there is one pup in particular who was extremely memorable. This pup had jumped through a window and was losing a tremendous amount of blood. The team found that a number of blood vessels and an artery were severed from the window. After surgery, the Staffy recovered so well you never would’ve known anything had happened! “The next day the little Staffy went home so bright and happy – like nothing happened”, Kim exclaimed.
A little-known fact about Kim Gorey, she is a painter who sells her art online.
Dr Stephanie Morgan
Dr Stephanie Morgan
For Dr Stephanie Morgan her love of animals started at a young age with the multitude of pet guinea pigs she had as a child. Stephanie says she loved accompanying her guinea pigs for their vet visits and watching the vets do their examinations. It’s no surprise to anyone becoming a veterinarian was perfect for her. It combined her love of animals as well as her fascination with medicine.
Stephanie moved into the emergency veterinary medicine field after a family member went into cardiac arrest and she had to perform CPR. Thankfully, her relative recovered but it made Stephanie realise this was the kind of work she wanted to do. “Since then I have always been drawn to emergency medicine and the miracles that you can achieve”, she explains.
For any vet student who is aspiring to work in emergency medicine, Stephanie says to do it! “Take the leap into emergency! The different cases you get to see, the support you have, and amazing learning opportunities have really inspired me”, she says. Stephanie also says working with the Perth Vet Emergency Team is an amazing experience.
A little-known fact about Dr Stephanie Morgan, she is a big gym junkie! If you can’t find her in the hospital you’ll most likely find her sweating up a storm lifting weights.
For Client Care Manager Marie Browne, she has always loved animals as far back as she can remember and it was never even a question that she would have a different career. Her path was mapped out!
Marie stepped into emergency medicine after looking for a bigger challenge, and when the opportunity to work at Perth Vet Emergency came up she jumped at the chance and hasn’t looked back since. Every day in the hospital is different with many challenging cases and she loves to save lives in that setting.
The most memorable cases Marie sees in the hospital is when it has anything to do with Australian wildlife. “I still find these patients fascinating, even after emigrating from Ireland 13 years ago”, she explains.
Marie says she loves working at Perth Vet Emergency for the team. She is constantly in awe of the vets and nurses passion for emergency cases and their high standards of care.
Outside of work you can find Marie Browne at her local dog beach. She even chose her house specifically as it was beside the dog beach! You can also find her out cycling with her kids, kayaking, hiking, chasing sunshine, and new water holes.
Dr Stephanie Pattison
Dr Stephanie Pattison
Dr Stephanie Pattison graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology and a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery in 2010. After graduating she spent some time working in general practice before moving into emergency medicine.
Finding her passion in this area of veterinary science Stephanie pursued further study. And in 2015 she attained Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Emergency and Critical Care.
Stephanie is particularly drawn to feline medicine and toxicity management.
Throughout her career, Stephanie has expanded on her interest in supporting and developing our graduate veterinarians to become Clinical Manager. It is a role focused on educating, expanding, and advancing the skills of our team to become confident emergency veterinarians and nurses.
Stephanie also supports the wider veterinary community by regularly presenting at further education seminars. Through these seminars, she is able to share her skills and knowledge to help others in their professional development.
Stephanie has been a fundamental member of our Perth Vet Emergency family for over 10 years. She finds the care and commitment to excellence one of the reasons why she is passionate about working with us.
“We combine our strengths and work together so each patient gets the best from all of the people that work together on the floor. We strive to be better all the time, by sharing experiences and making constructive use of feedback. And by actively improving our knowledge base all the time with continuing education. But more importantly, we love what we do,” she explains.
At home, Stephanie has a beloved chocolate Persian name Bear Cat who was adopted from Cat Haven. Bear Cat is also a loved member of the Perth Vet Emergency family. He has served his fellow felines by providing countless essential blood donations for those in need.
For Dr Stephanie Pattison, what makes emergency medicine so rewarding is the combination of challenging cases as well as the variety of cases she treats. Nothing beats that feeling of treating a seriously ill patient, helping them to recover and return home with their families.
Growing up in beautiful Alaska, Emma Boone loved being out and about in nature observing the wildlife. So it was of no surprise to anyone when she chose a career working with animals.
Emma brings a wealth of knowledge to the Perth Vet Emergency Team from working with animals all her life. She first started her career in large animal farming before, after many years, moving into wildlife research. But it wasn’t until she moved to Australia that she made the jump into veterinary nursing.
Beginning her veterinary nurse career working in a country general practice, Emma loved the diversity of cases she saw. But after moving to a practice in the city she began to miss the emergency cases she used to see. Deciding emergency medicine was where her heart was she applied to join our team.
Since joining our team Emma has been excited to learn more about and improve her skills in emergency medicine. “Perth Vet Emergency has provided a great working environment and I am able to constantly learn more and improve my nursing skills,” she says.
Out of all the cases Emma has seen, the most memorable cases are the ones involving Australia’s unique wildlife. “Being from overseas, I find the marsupial wildlife cases the most interesting and unusual,” Emma explains.
When not at work you can find Emma Boone going to the local dog beach and making new friends with the dogs there! In her spare time, she also loves taking part in triathlons, hiking, camping, and traveling.
Michelle Michael has always wanted to be an advocate for animals, to be able to give a voice to those who cannot speak. “I believe it is our duty to provide our pets with the best care possible. Animals are a big part of human lives and it is my wish we can treat them with the respect they deserve,” she explains.
As a vet student, Michelle was intrigued by the idea of emergency medicine. Since joining our team she has no doubt emergency vet care is where she belongs. “The cases we see are always interesting and ever-changing. I also love being able to support our clients by providing them with the sense of security that there is always a place to go for help even after hours,” she says.
Michelle describes working with Perth Vet Emergency Team to be like working with your close family and friends. There are always opportunities to grow and develop your knowledge and skills. And the camaraderie makes it a joy to go to work every day. The entire team wish is to see every patient walk out of the hospital happy and health explains Michelle when talking about the passion the team has, “Every single person that works at PVE are super passionate about delivering the highest standard of care not only to the patients but also to their families.”
For Michelle, the most memorable cases are the ones where a patient has been in hospital for many days. Seeing them steadily improve each day before sending them home to their families with a smile stick with her.
Another case Michelle won’t be forgetting anytime soon, was when she had to juggle holding and walking six dogs! All six came in for chocolate ingestion and being tangled up with their leashes!
Loving to travel, Michelle Michael does whenever she can. Whether a new country or city, experiencing the life and culture of another place is something that she enjoys.