Ourvets is a multi-location practice, where each veterinarian’s area of expertise fits together to create an extensive portfolio of veterinary skills and knowledge.

We love our own pets as much as you love yours. If you want the best care for your pet you have come to the right place.

Ourvets offer a wide range of preventative medical services such as vaccinations, nutrition and puppy playschool. We do both routine and advanced surgeries. Our well equipped central hospital has in-house laboratory, digital xray, ultrasonography, CT scanner and emergency and critical care equipment. This enables us to diagnose and treat complex and critically ill pets. Accepting referral patients from all over the South Island for advanced imaging and surgery, we also enjoy a close working relationship with other referral practices should your pet need this. Our veterinary nursing team are dedicated to making your pet’s stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Meet Our Vets
Dr Simon Howarth
Lead Vet

I joined Ourvets as the Lead veterinarian for the Halswell and Riccarton branches in March 2020. After graduating from Massey University in 2009. I initially began practising in Auckland before travelling to the UK and living and working in England for 6 years. During my time in the UK I had many exciting opportunities including learning keyhole surgery, and working with the UK guide dog association. Thank fully returning home for a more relaxed culture and warmer temperatures at the end of 2019 proved to very timely to avoid the border closures with COVID-19. I have experience in most areas of small animal general practice and particular interests in soft tissue surgery and preventative healthcare

I enjoy travelling to new areas and experiencing different cultures and foods as well as watching the latest sports events. My wife, Bethany, and I have a cat, "Wobbles", who was born with a congenital brain defect but it hasn't held her back as she has travelled to the UK and back too!

Dr Zani Van Rooyen

Zani became a member of the team in August 2017 after moving from Rustenburg, South Africa with her husband and two young daughters. She graduated in 2008 from the University of Pretoria and started her work in a mixed practice.

Zani has encountered and treated an amazing variety of patients in her career including tigers, antelopes, lions, and even once preformed a caesarean section on a marmoset monkey!

Within the veterinary field, Zani enjoys soft tissue surgery and general medicine. She is loving getting to know our regular patients, especially since she had to leave her beloved pets back in South Africa with friends and family.

In her free time, Zani enjoys being in the great outdoors, particularly hiking, swimming and taking in all New Zealand has to offer. She also loves reading and of course, spending time with her wonderful family.  

Meet Our Vet Nurses
Catherine Daniel
Practice Manager
  • Cert VN

I joined the Ourvets Riccarton team in June 2020 and have worked as a veterinary nurse since graduating in 1998. I have spent the last 10 years as a Practice Manager and Vet Nurse and love the variety of work this gives me.

I am passionate about making your pets visit to the vet as stress-free as possible and have recently become the clinic advocate for the Cat Friendly Clinic program. As a team, we are all very excited to be part of this.

My partner and I have two children, two spoilt elderly cats and a very energetic little dog who resembles Hairy Maclary.

Brooke Smith
Vet Nurse

Brooke has been a qualified Diploma Veterinary Nurse for 5 years. She joined the team in 2017. As well as a vet nurse, Brooke also takes care of our Kitty City Hotel Cattery. Brooke has lots of experience as a surgery nurse and is a fantastic receptionist.

Outside of work Brooke loves being outdoors looking after her sister’s Samoyed (Sushi) where they go to the beach. Brooke has a special relationship with Sushi having nursed him when he had fractured his pelvis in two places. She also loves playing board games, watching movies, and getting into the outdoors on day walks.

Ella Dixon
Vet Nurse

Ella began at Ourvets in October 2017, quickly establishing herself as a useful and helpful member of the team. She has a customer service background and is very good at reassuring clients whom are a little overwhelmed. Ella enjoys surgery, with the monitoring and post-surgical care being particular areas of interest for her. When required Ella also helps out in the cattery – she is very good at medicating the unwilling and giving sweet cuddles to all the kitties.

Currently Ella is unable to have pets, however plans are in place for a corgi and a goat, perhaps even a cat or two. She is a keen dancer and is often at practice 3 times or more a week, leaving just enough time for hanging out with friends and family.

Grace Mitchell
Vet Nurse

Grace gained her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and has been working for Ourvets since early 2018. She is a capable intelligent nurse, whom can always be relied upon to go the extra bit when required. Nursing our hospitalised patients and assisting in surgery are areas she particularly enjoys. 

When not at work Grace is usually at hockey, swimming, water-skiing and hanging out with her friends and family.  Her animal family includes 2 rescue cats, 2 bichons, interestingly Grace used to have a pet pig called Bluebell.

Caitlin Doherty
Cattery Attendant

I am a full time veterinary nursing student and work at the Kitty City Hotel Cattery every weekend. I enjoy helping the nervous cats settle into the cattery by giving them lots of attention and love.

I am very passionate about animals and I’m super excited to begin my veterinary career!

When I’m not working or studying, I love spending my time with my partner, friends & my pets. I have a gorgeous 13 year old ginger cat named Tiger, he’s a very chatty wee man and loves his treats!