Originally from Sri Lanka, Dr. Dhawala moved to Saskatoon with his family when he was 15 years old. Dr. Dhawala attended the University of Saskatchewan and then the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, Dr. Dhawala worked as a mixed animal veterinarian – treating all animals from cats to cows and everything in between. Dr. Dhawala (and Emma) moved to Vancouver Island in 2020 and has been loving it ever since. When not at the clinic, you’ll find him around water either Scuba diving or fishing or hanging out at home with Emma and their two rescue dogs (Asha and Mira) and one cat (Milo)



Born and raised in Victoria BC, Dr. Emma left the island to complete an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University in Calgary before heading further east to Saskatoon for her veterinary degree. Tired of the cold, Dr. Emma (and Dhawala) returned to the Island and has been living here ever since. Dr. Emma loves taking their dogs on long walks and hikes but is equally happy to hang out at home with a good book.

Dr. Peter Watson, DVM

Dr. Peter is joining our Garry Oak Team as a consistent locum on Thursdays and Fridays. He was trained at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, SK where he became friends with Drs Emma and Dhawala. Following graduation, Dr. Peter returned to the island to practice large animal medicine at Mill Bay and Ag west. While he loves large animal medicine, he wanted to add small animal practice back into his work and has begun working as a locum at a few small animal hospitals while balancing his large animal work. While not working, Dr. Peter can be found taking care of his farm with his wife (he has cows, chickens, 2 cats and a dog), playing hockey or the piano. We are so lucky to have Dr. Peter join our team.

Dr. Lesia Hyzka, DVM

Dr. Lesia Hyzka will be joining our team from Monday to Wednesday to cover Dr. Emma’s maternity leave. Dr. Hyzka worked with Emma at Hillside Veterinary Hospital and was one of her mentors after graduation and have been friends with her and Dhawala ever since. When not working as a Veterinarian, Dr. Hyzka can be found weaving on her loom, taking care of her Irish Wolfhound and cats or spending time with her family. We are so lucky to have Dr. Hyzka join our team.



Julie, who also graduated from Claremont, has been a Registered Veterinary Technologist since 1985. She is the mother of Daniel (currently working in Alberta) and 2 cats (Tux and George). She has a hobby farm with sheep and chickens as well as being a long time leader and volunteer in 4-H. She is particularly skilled with handling and care of cats, creating as stress free a hospital experience for them as possible. Her skills and education are put to work assisting in anaesthesia, dentistry, and surgery, and performing all in-house laboratory procedures.



Lynne is a registered veterinary technician that joined our team February 2022. Originally from Ottawa, Lynne moved to the West Coast in 2022 and has been loving the Island ever since. Lynne loves all things outdoors – she loves to hike, camp, paddleboard, etc. In her free time, she is working towards starting her own advertising business. She speaks both English and French (and an extremely small amount of Spanish). When not exploring the outdoors, she will be found snuggling with her curious cat Charlie, reading a book.



Tara is a registered veterinary technician who joined the team when Dhawala and Emma took over the practice. She comes all the way from Cobble Hill to work with the Garry Oak team once a week. She grew up on the family Dairy farm so knows her way around all kinds of critters. Tara is a huge outdoor enthusiast and has traveled all around the world, most recently New Zealand, to go on some incredible hikes. She has a dog (Jess) and 2 cats (Stumpy and Tippy) – all of whom join her on camping trips and adventures.



Born and raised in Victoria, Nicole started her career with animals after completing the VA program at Sprott Shaw in 2021. She hopes to continue her education and become an RVT in the near future. When she’s not getting kisses from puppies at work, she’s typically enjoying the outside with her dog Remy, playing dungeons and dragons, or at home with her 3 snakes, Sabel, Skip and Miso watching the newest season of Drag Race.


Veterinary Technician in training

While originally from Victoria BC, Brianna has spent much of her time travelling the world and working abroad. Following graduation, Brianna set off and travelled to New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Thailand, and many more! Brianna returned to Victoria and completed the Veterinary Office Assistant program before joining our team. Brianna loves anything outdoors and has recently taken to silversmithing.


Veterinary Technician in training

Elleni completed her veterinary assistant program at Sprott Shaw College in 2020. Originally from South Africa, her family now has a hobby farm in the Cowichan Valley where she assists with the care of the chickens, sheep, and geese as well as her dog, Benji, and cat, Evie. Her hobbies outside of work include enjoying the outdoors and reading a good book with a cup of tea.



With 20 years of dog handling experience and the training co-ordinator for Vancouver Island Search and Disaster Dogs (VISD), Trish has a wealth of knowledge. She has recently retired from the Provincial Government,and is a former LPN and Emergency Medical Technician. Trish is happily transitioning to veterinary care as our part time Veterinary Assistant. She is kept on her toes by two young Malinois in training.


Veterinary Assistant

Danika is one of our veterinary assistants. An Island born local (from the Comox Valley), Danika joined our team in January 2022. A multitasking professional, Danika is also currently finishing her final year of her Psychology undergraduate degree at Kwantlen polytechnic university. She hopes to use her experience and degree for community outreach. In between balancing work and school, Danika loves cold water dipping, taking her full of beans dog Luna for long walks and camping.