Our Team

Let us make your experience at Cornell exceptional from start to finish!

OFFICIAL GREETER

Tigger

As our official "Greeter", Tigger comes highly qualifed for the position with excellent animal communication skills.  He serves as our in-clinic staff therapist and will provide high-fives on request. He is also highly skilled as a reception seat warmer and a paper weight. He is a professional napper and has shown extreme prowess at riding the dolly.

In his spare time, Tigger enjoys stealing food, chasing treaties, purring, catnip, bird watching, and providing moral support to those around him. His favourite movie is Narnia.

OUR VETS

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Dr. Mark Gemmill

D.V.M. (1993) Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph
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Dr. Gemmill initially began a career as a dairy farmer on his family farm after graduating from agriculture college in 1984. Three years later, he decided that he needed to explore other options so he returned to the University of Guelph and graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1993. Dr. Gemmill became a partner at the Cornell Animal Hospital in 2000 and has continued as the sole owner since Dr. Cornell’s retirement in 2005. Dr. Gemmill was president of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) in 2015 and currently serves on committees in an advisory capacity.
Dr. Gemmill enjoys sharing his passions for windsurfing, cycling and skiing with his wife, son and daughter. He also enjoys hockey and woodworking in his spare time. He has three cats (Kai, Flotsam, andTiger) as well as a yellow lab named "Ryder".

Dr. Kharli Friske, Associate

B.Sc. (1999) M.Sc. (2001), University of Guelph
D.V.M. (2004) Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph
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Dr. Kharli Friske is a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College and joined the Cornell Animal Hospital in 2006.  She also brings a Masters degree in Animal Nutrition from the University of Guelph to the team.  She and her husband own and show quarter horses.

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Dr. Terra Wakeford, Associate

B.Sc. Hons (2007), University of Guelph
D.V.M (2012), University of Guelph
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We are very pleased to have Terra back at CAH again! Terra previously worked at the clinic while completing her undergraduate and D.V.M degrees, from 2004-2010. After completion of her D.V.M. degree she started work as a general practitioner in the Cambridge area prior to re-joining the Cornell Animal Hospital team.

In her free time, she enjoys hockey, dance, golf, travelling and spending time at the cottage. She shares her life with her husband Scott, their son Maverick, and their new baby girl Makenna. They also have a mixed breed dog named Carter and a cat named Hurley. Terra is currently on maternity leave enjoying life with her new daughter but will be returning in December as owner of the clinic!

Dr. Aaron Amadio, Associate

B.Sc. (2004) Wilfred Laurier University,  B. Ed. (2009) University of Queensland
D.V.M. (2021) Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph
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We are thrilled to have Dr. Amadio join the team full-time. Although Aaron is a newly graduated vet, his rich and varied background has provided him with a multitude of experiences that lend well to his veterinary career, and he brings a keen interest in animal behaviour to the role. Previously, he guided dog sled tours in Halliburton, worked with wolves, and worked at a Farm Sanctuary in New York, so he is at ease working with animals. Additionally, he has a background in outdoor education and has spent time working as vice principal and trip leader for the Boundless School in Palmer Rapids, as well as leading other outdoor adventures; experiences that have honed his communication and team building skills, as well as a love of the outdoors.

In his spare time, he enjoys white water canoeing, visiting animal sanctuaries and being outdoors. When he's not running rapids, he enjoys table top and board games, especially those involving dragons and/or dungeons! He currently is without a pet but expects to add a canine friend to his family very soon.

 

Registered Veterinary Technicians

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Melissa Fickling

Veterinary Technician Program, Georgian College, 2007
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Mel has worked at a variety of vet clinics in the Waterloo area for many years before coming to Cornell. She brings with her many skills and experience as an RVT. As a spokesperson for the RVT profession, she volunteers as a public speaker with the Better Business Bureau. Mel and her partner Kyle share their life with her dog, Theodore (pictured left) and her cat Tumble, as well as Kyle's cat, Oskar. Mel just recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy so she will be on maternity leave for the next while.

Quinn Moyer

Northern College Vet Tech Program 2016 with specialization in Companion Animal Physical Rehabilitation
Conestoga College 2016-17 for Small Business Ventures.
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Quinn joins the Cornell team with many years of experience working in both private practice and emergency medicine. As well as using her RVT skills at Cornell she also works at OVC HSC Primary Healthcare Centre in Animal Rehabilitation. When not working as an RVT, Quinn is a Senior Representative at Primerica Financial Services. She loves going for hikes with her 4 year old lab, Tobey. Family time is always a great time, especially when she gets to see her nephew Lochlan. In the summers she likes being by the water or out on an ATV. In the winter she enjoys skiing and snowboarding, and if she's not out and about, at the gym or on her feet, she is usually snuggled up to her dog with a good book (usually something to do with leadership or personal growth).

Melissa Kawaja

Veterinary Technician Program, Seneca College, 2018
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Prior to becoming an RVT, Melissa did many years of volunteering in small animal practices in the York Region as well as a summer in Taiwan assisting a clinic with a Trap, Neuter, Release program for the stray population. Since graduating, she has worked at a small animal practice in York Region for 2 1/2 years, where she also worked with exotic pets, including small birds and pocket pets. While at Seneca, Melissa adopted her incredibly kind family dog, Tika. Sadly, she has left Tika at her family home now that she lives in Guelph. However, she has brought her sweet guinea pig, appropriately named Honey, with her. Both Honey and Moosie (Honey's sister who unfortunately passed away last year) were adopted from one of the labs at the University of Guelph during Melissa's time there. In Melissa's spare time, she enjoys cooking, arts and crafts, and watching movies.

Katie Chabot

Veterinary Technician Program, Georgian College 2019
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Katie is currently employed full-time at MOVEH in the Neurology Department but comes to us in her spare time to work in a private practice setting. When not working, she likes spending time outdoors hiking and at the family cottage. She also has a new QH-Hanoverian x horse, Nash, and spends time at the barn, riding and training him for the hunter/jumper circuit. She has a kitten named Marcus whom she adopted while at school and a 10 yr. old cockapoo x (her first pet), Bailey, who loves to sit around the campfires at the cottage. Bailey is special because she is a parvo-survivor!

 

 

Tech Assistants

Kirsten Riepert

Veterinary Assistant Certificate with honours, Seneca College 2019
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Kirsten is a great asset at the clinic and we will be sad to see her switch to part time hours as she continues her studies.

Randi Speziale

BSc in Biological Sciences from University of Guelph (2020)
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We are very pleased to have Randi join us full-time for the summer after spending many evenings volunteering her time at the clinic. As well as volunteering at Cornell, she has given her time at a variety of other clinics and kennels as well as the Humane Society in Thunder Bay. When she's not at school or volunteering, she enjoys travelling, reading books, and spending time at her home and cottage in Thunder Bay. As well, she likes hiking, walking and snuggling with her 6 yr old Golden Retriever named Nash. She also has a hamster named Thor.

Laura Hill

BSc, Honours in Animal Biology from University of Guelph (2019)
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Laura has been working in the veterinary industry for 5 years and comes to us with plenty of experience in Customer Service and as a Tech Assistant.  In her spare time, Laura enjoys yoga, horror movies, travelling and hiking with her three year old shepherd mix, Merlot. She also trains service dogs for children with autism and frequently has foster puppies coming and going from her home.

 

 

Melissa Ricciutelli

Honours BSc in Animal Biology from University of Guelph (2019)
OVC Class of 2023
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Mel joins us at Cornell as a part-time tech assistant while she continues her studies as a Phase 2 veterinary student at OVC.

Rachel Keith

BSc, Animal Science from University of Guelph (2016)
RVT in-course Seneca College, projected graduation 2022
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Rachel is currently a student of the vet tech program at Seneca College. We look forward to working alongside her as she broadens her skills and attains the role of RVT in the future. She has been working at a small animal clinic in Toronto up to now and is so pleased to leave the big city behind and join Cornell! She has a passion for horses and has worked on horse farms for many years, as well as a keen interest in animal nutrition. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her 2 yr. old Welsh Corgi, Hurley. She also enjoys beer tasting and jigsaw puzzles, and has an 8 yr old, grumpy cat called Marmar!

Customer Service Representatives

Aimee Gillis

Trios College 2014 - Diploma in Law
Toronto School of Business - 2000
Sheridan College, Certificate in Accounting 1997
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Aimee comes with many years of experience in customer service in the vet industry, having worked in small animal practices and Emergency clinics throughout the GTA. We are so pleased to have her as part of the Cornell team. Aimee loves sports so in her spare time she can be found playing ball hockey, soccer and hockey. She calls herself a crazy cat lady because she has three feline friends, Clyde, Hayden and Marshall, who all have differing personalities and are great friends and provide some good cuddles when she gets a chance to relax.

 

 

Pat Sandford

Hotel & Catering Course, North Gloucestershire College, England.

Yoga Teacher Training, Maureen Rae’s Yoga Studio, Etobicoke.

Reiki, Reflexology, Animal Communication courses.

Adult Learning Course Teaching Certificate, Durham College.

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Pat grew up in England where she loved to escape to the rolling hills, the moorland, or cliff paths beside the sea. Her favourite nature adventures invariably involved horses, cows, sheep, dogs and cats.
Years later in Canada, when her son went into grade one in 1989, Pat realized her dream of working in a veterinary hospital. She has been working in the veterinary profession ever since. Along the way she has cleaned kennels & floors, groomed dogs & cats, assisted in surgery, at the front desk and every other corner of the hospital! The part of working as a veterinary receptionist Pat enjoys most is being part of the beautiful relationship between pets and their people.
Pat has worked at several veterinary hospitals in Mississauga, including Park Animal Hospital where she worked as a receptionist for over 18 years.
When not behind the reception desk, Pat can be found in yoga studios (practicing on her mat or singing) or hiking in the woods with her camera. Pat has shared her life with a long line of kitties, usually the long-haired fluffy variety. Currently, she has two kitty companions, Penny and Michael.

Ellie Graham

BSc Animal Biology and English Literature, U of Guelph 2019
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We are very pleased to have Ellie join the Cornell team. She has had a lot of experience working in the Equine Vet Industry and is now downsizing the patients that she meets! She continues to be an avid equestrian, having a large Argentinian Warmblood that she trains and competes with in dressage.

Practice Manager

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Melissa Farquhar

B.Sc. (Agr) University of Guelph 1985
PhD. Botany, University of Guelph 1990
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As the Practice Manager for the clinic, Melissa brings her knowledge and experience in website and graphic design to the clinic, as well as a thorough understanding of veterinary practice management and daily operations. Normally she works behind the scenes but occasionally she can be found at the front desk, helping out the reception staff.

When she's not at the clinic, she enjoys travelling, and a variety of sports including running, biking, windsurfing and skiing. She also plays the piano in her spare time, as well as gardens. She shares her life with Mark and their son and daughter - Declan and Bronwyn - and of course numerous cats (Flotsam, Kai and Tiger) as well as their yellow lab, Ryder.