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Arun Veterinary Group

Our compassionate and diligent vets are committed to ensuring that your pets receive the best treatment.

MATT GITTINGS
CEO

Matt arrived as a fresh-faced graduate in August 2000 and never left. He fell in love with the practice, and after supportive mentorship from John Cattell, was offered a partnership in 2004. In 2006 he and his wife Sarah took over ownership.

Away from Arun Vet Group, Matt has 4 young daughters to keep him busy along with 4 Border Terriers and a very patient wife. He was once offered the opportunity to trial for Manchester United Football Club but decided to focus on becoming a vet.

“Arun Vet Group is a very special place to work. It is a practice steeped in history and tradition and I view my tenure as a form of guardianship. I am driven to provide our clients with the highest level of service where excellent communicational skills are paramount, enabling strong, trusting relationships to be built. I am extremely proud to lead such a wonderful team and work with such devoted pet owners.”

SARAH GITTINGS
CEO

Sarah qualified in 1998 at the Royal Veterinary College in London where she and Matt met.

Before taking time away from veterinary work to raise her family, Sarah worked in various practices before settling with Matt in West Sussex. Sharing Matt’s vision for AVG, they both took ownership of the practice in 2006. With the girls now growing up fast, we welcomed Sarah back to clinical work in 2018.

At home, Sarah is an extremely busy Mum to her  4 daughters, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 5 guinea pigs and a selection of bantams! Its hard to believe Sarah has any free time, but when she does Sarah likes to squeeze in long dog walks, running, birdwatching and also crochet (which she is very good at!)

KATIE SMITH
OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

After graduating, Katie spent a few years developing her passion for emergency and critical care and achieving her certificate. She loves the challenge of treating very sick or injured pets and guiding their owners through this scary and upsetting situation.

Katie has held various leadership positions within the practices she’s worked at, most recently running a 24/7 Small Animal Hospital on the South Coast. After this hospital was bought by one of the big corporate groups, Katie decided that corporate practice wasn’t for her. She is delighted to have joined the passionately independent team at AVG.

Outside of work, Katie enjoys spending time with her husband, toddler, terrier and 2 cats, mostly in a state of barely-organised chaos! She likes good vegetarian food, good music and exploring the beautiful South Downs countryside.

EDRIC CROSS
CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Edric arrived as a locum but was persuaded to stay after falling in love with the practice. He graduated in 1986 and brings a wealth of experience to the practice.  Edric is holds a certificate in small animal surgery and is an Advanced Practitioner. Edric is based at our Storrington hospital and can mainly be found in theatre performing various procedures in orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery.

In his free time he enjoys wildlife, photography and taking Crumble, his Hungarian Vizsla for country walks. Crumble is a very popular member of the team and is often seen being spoilt by one of us when she comes to work!

 

JENNY ALEXANDER
CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Jenny qualified at Glasgow University in 2011. She joined AVG in February 2018 and is one of our clinical directors at our Storrington hospital

Jenny loves her job and meeting all sorts of animals and their owners. In particular Jenny has a passion for feline medicine and in 2020 achieved her certificate in medicine.

Out of work Jenny is owned by a 10 year old cat called Myrtle!

CLAIRE BOUNDS
CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Claire qualified from Cambridge University in 2012 and has worked in small animal practice in West Sussex ever since, originally joining AVG in March 2020. After having to relocate to Hampshire, Claire waved a sad goodbye to the Storrington clinic but is very excited to be returning to our new Chichester hospital as one of our two Clinical Directors.

Having developed an interest in internal medicine, Claire gained her Certificate in Small Animal Medicine in 2018 and became an RCVS Advanced Practitioner in 2019. Her passion is getting to know each individual patient and finding the best treatment option to suit them.

Claire enjoys walking in the South Downs with her husband and spaniel, Ember. At home Claire tries her hand at gardening with her keen “helper”, Pod the cat!”

LAURA JENNER
CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Laura joined the AVG team in March 2021 and is now one of our clinical directors at our Chichester hospital.

Laura grew up locally in Chichester and went on to graduate from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. Laura then achieved a surgical certificate in 2017 and became an advanced practitioner the following year. Laura has experience in orthopaedic surgery and has a passion for all knee conditions.

Out of work, Laura lives locally with her young family, enjoying not only family time but trail marathons, gardening and generally being outdoors.

Laura has a cat called Bramble and also a small flock of hens.

RICHARD WHITTINGTON
LEAD VETERINARY SURGEON

Richard qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2001. Richard has worked at various small and large animal practices from Somerset to Worthing but also enjoyed a year working as a locum in Australia. Richard joined the practice in 2013 and is an integral member of our team, enjoying all aspects of the job but specifically ultrasound, his true passion.  Richard is lead vet at our Pulborough surgery and takes pride from delivering a personal GP style service to his clients.

He is a devoted dad and husband and loves spending time with his family, especially his French Bulldogs, Rupert and Myrtle. In his spare time, Richard enjoys country walks, badminton and good food. Considering his sense of humour, if he wasn’t a vet he would have made a great comedian!

LISA CHALMERS
LEAD VETERINARY SURGEON

Lisa joined the team in May 2017.  Lisa studied veterinary medicine at the Royal Veterinary College in London, and has been based in West Sussex since graduating in 2001.  Lisa is lead vet at Westergate and enjoys building lasting relationships with clients.

After spending four years in mixed practice, she decided to mix business with pleasure and so spent the next three years alternating travelling with locuming, including a spell in Greece neutering cats, and also in Kenya, with the duty vet on the Rhino reserve at Lewa. She is hoping not to need her darting skills in Westergate!

For the last eight years Lisa has worked in small animal practice, where her main interests lie in medicine, and building a rapport with clients and their pets, and is proud to think that many clients also come to regard her as a trusted friend.

When not at work Lisa is keen on keeping fit, and spending as much time as she can enjoying the beautiful outdoors of West Sussex.

 

“I’ve always been impressed by Arun Veterinary Group’s independent, family-style practices. Compared with some of the more corporate practices in the local area they strike a really nice balance between commitment to quality and consistency of care and showing real value when it comes to client costs. I’m really excited to be a part of it.”

SUZANNA HEBERT
VETERINARY SURGEON

Suzanna graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2008. Before working with us she completed an internship at the famous Firtzpatrick Referral Centre. She is an enthusiastic team player who believes the sacrifices of the job are worthwhile when you see an injured animal return to full health.

Suzanna enjoys gymnastics, sailing, archery, running and cycling. She would love to complete another triathlon but in the meantime got tremendous satisfaction after completing a charity ‘Mud Run’ with the team.

Suzanna returned to us in 2020 after maternity leave and is based part time at our Ashington branch.

“I started at Arun Vet Group in 2014 and feel very lucky to work with such a nice bunch of people, both staff members and clients.  Being a vet is a privilege but at times it can be a difficult job.  However, coming to work and being alongside such a dedicated group of people who have become friends just as much as work colleagues makes it a lot easier when it gets tough.  We have great team spirit proved earlier this year by our sponsored mud run which was unsurprisingly very muddy!!

I look forward to being part of the team for years to come and to see how the practice develops with Matt’s master plans!”

CHRISTIAN DONSWIJK
VETERINARY SURGEON

Christian qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 2013, he joined the Arun family in November 2017. Christian has a lot of experience within the surgical field, he leads our laproscopic key hole surgery based at our Storrington hospital. In 2020 gained his surgical certificate. His favourite part of his job is seeing sick pets make a full recovery, he enjoys carrying out diagnostic work ups to ensure the best possible care can be given and a smooth recovery.

In his spare time Christian is very active, he does a lot of running and cycling and is partial to a few hours gardening.

ELENA PAPA
VETERINARY SURGEON

Elena graduated in 2009 from the University of Camerino.

Shortly after graduating, Elena completed an internship-gaining significant experience and started to pursue her interest in Diagnostic Imaging and Internal Medicine. Elena then decided to broaden her experience across all aspects of veterinary medicine by working in general practice whilst still maintaing a focus on ultrasound.

After moving to the UK, Elena gained further experience helping to solidify her skills and develop her knowledge in CT and MRI.

Elena has been working on the South Coast since 2015 and is currently studying towards her Postgraduate Certificate in Diagnostic Imaging.

Elena joined us at AVG in March 2019.

 

SUSIE SMITH
VETERINARY SURGEON

Susie qualified as a vet at Liverpool University in 2009. Prior to her veterinary medicine degree, Susie had previously achieved a degree in Bioveterinary Science.

Susie has worked locally in the West Sussex area. In June 2019 Susie joined our Westergate team on a part time basis.

Susie loves being a small animal vet and enjoys all areas of practice, however her real passion is dermatology and she is shortly to commence her studies working towards a certificate in dermatology.

Outside of work Susie is kept busy with her young family and her beloved horse ‘Oliver’ who she enjoys competing in affiliated dressage competitions

SARAH REED
VETERINARY SURGEON

Sarah graduated as a vet in 2007 at the Royal Veterinary College.

After spending some time working for the PDSA, Sarah settled into small animal practice where she gained a special interest in rabbits, guinea pigs and rats. Sarah joined the Worthing team in August 2019 but is now based at our Ashington branch where many of her patients have followed her to.

Out of work Sarah lives with her partner and is kept busy by her 3 cats – Poppy, Elle and Darwin. Sarah also has quite a range of hobbies! These included knitting gardening, riding and surfing. Aside from that Sarah is rather partial to a good old pub lunch!

LIZZIE GALLIGAN
VETERINARY SURGEON

Lizzie graduated from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2017.

Deciding to stay in London, Lizzie initially spent 3 years working in a small animal clinic before deciding to move to Sussex to join the AVG team in late 2020. Lizzie is based at our Storrington hospital.

Lizzie has a dog called Sol and a cat called Gremlin and she spends any spare time out and about with her dog, playing tennis and practising yoga.

MEG CHALMERS
VETERINARY SURGEON

Meg qualified at a vet from Nottingham in 2018 initially working in a busy farm practice in Wiltshire.

Following this, Meg moved to Sussex and we were thrilled to welcome her to the Westergate team in December 2020.

Meg is a devoted Mum to her beloved Cocker Spaniel, Scout and enjoys spending her spare time exploring the South Downs and taking part in various sports.

IVAN SLIOUNIAEV
VETERINARY SURGEON

Ivan qualified as a vet in 2013 from University College Dublin.

After completing an internship at a specialist referral practice in Ringwood, Ivan then spent the next 3 years working in a small animal practice in Southampton.

Ivan then made the move to West Sussex, competing a surgery certificate before joining the team at our Storrington hospital, where we were delighted to welcome him.

Ivan is passionate about soft tissue surgery as well as laparoscopic, orthopaedic and reconstructive surgery.

Ivan is kept company by his two feline friends, Lily and Auri and in his spare time enjoys martial arts and a range of outdoor hobbies including camping and hiking.

GABBY SANTORO
VETERINARY SURGEON

Gabby qualified from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2017 and has worked in small animal practice ever since.

Gabby joined the team at our Storrington hospital in 2021 and has a passion for small animal medicine. Gabby is currently working towards her certificate in medicine which she hopes to achieve soon.

Out of work, Gabby lives with her family in Surrey, including her rescue dog Alan who makes the perfect partner for a walk in the country and a pub lunch!

TOM THEOBOLD
VETERINARY SURGEON

Tom graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2016 before working at a busy Veterinary hospital in North Devon for 3 years. He then locumed all over the country including many out of hours and emergency clinics, before deciding to settle with AVG. Tom enjoys the varied caseload and challenges of being a primary care GP vet but has a particular interest in internal medicine. He hopes to undertake a medicine certificate in the near future. Tom is based at our Chichester hospital

Outside of work, Tom enjoys all things outdoors with his Labrador Wilson. They are both at their happiest by the coast and in the sea.

ELEANOR O'LEARY
VETERINARY SURGEON

Eleanor graduated from University College Dublin in 2014 after which she moved to the UK. She has worked in Hampshire for several years in small animal practice before venturing across the border into West Sussex. She is currently working towards her certificate in Small Animal Medicine but enjoys work as a general practitioner. Eleanor is based at our Chichester hospital.

Eleanor lives with her partner in addition to a feline companion called Purcy. Eleanor treated Purcy as an injured stray and he has had her wrapped around his paw ever since. In her spare time, Eleanor enjoys gardening, baking and exploring the local countryside.

BEN COLWELL
VETERINARY SURGEON

After working for the practice for several years, Ben took a short break to broaden his horizons. It didn’t take long for Ben to realise how much he missed us and the benefits of working for an independent practice. We were therefore delighted to welcome him back in August 2021. Ben is based at our Pulborough clinic.

Ben qualified from Bristol vet school in 2013 after previously completing a degree in neuroscience. Ben has worked for a number of West Sussex practices after having completed internships at Fitzpatrick referrals with Ashington vet Suzanna, and a medical internship at another small animal hospital. Ben’s medical interest has continued and he is shortly due to complete his certificate in Small Animal Medicine.

Ben is a doting dad to his young son Finn, balancing work and family time. He lives locally with his girlfriend and two dogs. Daisy, a very clever Border Collie and Nellie, a cheeky French Bulldog. When Ben is not chasing after Finn, Ben is quite a regular in the gym and after years of martial arts training is now co-founder of a fight club. Most recently Ben has taken up cycling and can now be found occasionally sporting a lycra number in the county lanes of West Sussex.

EOIN CREMIN
VETERINARY SURGEON

Eoin graduated in 2021 from the University of Surrey and immediately joined the team at Ashington. Eoin has since joined the team at Pulborough and divides his time between this clinic and Storrington. Eoin had previously spent a considerable amount of time with the team ‘seeing practice’ which is part of a veterinary university degree.

Eoin is super active and a bit of an adrenalin junkie. When not at work he enjoys several thrill seeking sports such as white-water kayaking and rock climbing. Eoin also enjoys down time and is a rugby supporter, often enjoying watching a game or two from the fantastic selection of West Sussex Pubs the South Downs have to offer.

HANNAH JACK
VETERINARY SURGEON

Hannah graduated for the University of Liverpool in 2004 and has been working in small animal practice ever since. She spent many years working at a Hospital practice in Surrey, latterly as a Clinical Director, before joining AVG in March 2022. She is based at our Chichester hospital.

Hannah has a passion for building long standing client relationships and loves all aspects of caring for pets. Currently, Hannah is studying towards her certificate in Small Animal Medicine and has recently trained in the use of Acupuncture.

In her spare time, Hannah loves to spend time with her young family and her Whippet. They enjoy trips away and adventures in their campervan.

ORSOLYA VASAS
VETERINARY SURGEON

Orsi graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest in 2015.
After initially working in a small animal practice in Hungary, Orsi moved to the UK in 2016.

Since living in the UK, Orsi has worked in first opinion small animal practices in the Midlands and Sussex.

With a strong interest at diagnostic imaging and internal medicine, Orsi achieved her diagnostic imaging certificate in 2021. Orsi is based at our Chichester hospital.

In her spare time, Orsi loves spending time with friends and enjoying the great outdoors. Orsi also loves to cook and bake and is Mum to her beloved ginger cat who she hand reared from birth.

DEBORAH DI MARTINO
VETERINARY SURGEON

Deborah qualified in 2014 at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Teramo. After moving to the UK, Deborah has worked in small animal clinics and hospitals between London, Northamptonshire and most recently, West Sussex. Deborah joined AVG in February 2022 and is based at our Worthing clinic.

Deborah is passionate about small animal medicine and is currently working towards her post gradate certificate in this field.

Out of work Deborah enjoys the outside life and spends time hiking and exploring nature. She has also spent time volunteering in Cyprus on a small animal neutering program and hopes to repeat the experience in the future.

JASMINE BARNES
VETERINARY SURGEON

Jasmine graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2021 and joined AVG in 2022.

Jasmine started her veterinary career working in a small animal clinic in Southampton before moving to West Sussex to join the Westergate team.

Out of work, Jasmine has two dogs. Hazel the Cocker Spaniel, Chester the Labrador puppy and two reptiles – a Chameleon called Rambo and a Crested Gecko called Zeus.

KATHRYN FOWLER
VETERINARY SURGEON

Kathryn graduated as a veterinary surgeon from University of Melbourne in 2014 and joined AVG in 2022.

Kathryn is based full time at our Worthing clinic.

Out of work Kathryn loves to travel, cook and get creative in the kitchen cooking for friends and family.

CAMERON ROBERTSON
SDEV HEAD NIGHT VET

Cameron qualified in 2004 and after working in both mixed and small animal practice he soon found his passion for emergency medicine. He joined us at SDEV in February 2018.

During the past 8 years Cameron has worked in different parts of the UK as a sole night vet in emergency medicine and critical care.

In 2019 Cameron achieved his BSAVA Certificate in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. His knowledge and empathy along with his vast experience enables us to offer a first class emergency service to our AVG clients and other practices subscribing to SDEV.

When not working or spending time with his partner and twin sons. Cameron enjoys walking, photography and karate.

ALEJANDRA PALOMO
NIGHT VETERINARY SURGEON

After qualifying in 2009, Alejandra worked as a vet in her hometown of Malaga for 4 years. During this time she gained huge amounts of experience working in a local dog shelter as well as a local out of hours hospital. The big wide world beckoned and Alejandra began to travel, finding herself quickly in the UK.

Alejandra has worked in several local practices along the South Coast. It was during this time that her passion for surgery was ignited and Alejandra now holds a certificate in Soft Tissue surgery and anaesthesia. Most recently, Alejandra has been working in another veterinary hospital where she has worked day and night shifts before joining SDEV in 2021. Alejandra is based at our Storrington hospital as one of our night vets.

Out of work, Alejandra enjoys walking her dog, travelling and spending time with friends exercising.

SANDRA ANDAUNUCHE
NIGHT VETERINARY SURGEON

Sandra graduated as a vet in 2017 at Complutense university of Madrid (Spain). Since then, she has been working in two of the most prestigious hospitals in Madrid where Sandra has gained a lot of experience. This year, Sandra is due to finish her postgraduate certificate of anesthesia and soft tissue surgery in small animals with the Autónoma University of Barcelona (Spain) and Emergency Surgery and Critical Care GpCert with Harper Adams University (UK).

Sandra has been working in the UK since 2018.
Sandra is passionate about Emergency and Critical Care night work along with soft tissue surgery. Sandra enjoys the variety of work and describes each night as a new adventure! Sandra is night vet at our Chichester hospital.

Sandra loves to dance and horse ride and has taken part in rhythmic gymnastics since she was 12 years old, having participated in 2 national championships with her team. The sport has taught that ‘we never give up’ and to ‘always think with our heads whilst feeling the love in our heart’. A very good mantra for any veterinary surgeon.
Sandra considers herself a strong person, emotive and passionate with her job. She is always there to help her team and her patients.

Back home in Madrid, Sandra’s two dogs are cared for by her partner, Shaylo, the beagle and Tango the boxer. Sandra’s shifts allow her to return extremely regularly several times a month.

CHRISTINA BIRKS
NIGHT AND DAY VETERINARY SURGEON

Christina graduated in 2017 from St George’s university in Grenada.

Swiftly moving away from the sunny shores, Christina begun her career in a mixed practice in North Wales. She then moved on to Surrey where she worked nights and this is where her love for emergency work begun.

As well as nights, Christina also does some day shifts and divides her time between our two hospital sites.

Christina is passionate about critical care cases and in her spare time loves to go hiking on the beautiful South Downs.

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