We offer a higher level of care than the average vet clinic with professional interest staff, a diversity of knowledge, and a holistic approach. Our team is made up of more than 60 vets and 90 nurses. Our staff love what they do – it’s more than a job.
Dr Andrew Kapsis, BVSc, MANZCVS (Small Animal Medicine) – Head Veterinarian – Inpatients
Andrew graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1996 and joined the Lort Smith team in 2005. As Head Veterinarian – Inpatients, he is committed to improving the processes, procedures and veterinary care provided to all hospital admissions. Andrew enjoys all aspects of veterinary science but has a particular interest in internal medicine of both cats and dogs. He became a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Small Animal Medicine in 2016. At Lort Smith Andrew is involved in a varied and often complex caseload, which has been made all the more interesting following the acquisition of a brand new 16 slice CT scanner. He says the foreign bodies he’s often called on to remove from the gastrointestinal tracts of animal are always memorable – everything from billiard balls to rubber ducks!
Dr Warren Gatt – Head Veterinarian – Surgery
Warren joined Lort Smith in 1995 and his area of veterinary interest is orthopaedic surgery. At home Warren has a Jack Russell x Pom x Chihuahua called Saffire, who he adopted from Lort Smith. Warren enjoys working at Lort Smith for the large surgical caseload and being able to take an active role in animal welfare.
Dr Patrick Cheah, BVSc – Head Veterinarian – Outpatients
Patrick has worked at Lort Smith since 1993. He is proud to be part of a team of devoted and dedicated staff that help to provide such important work to the community, and enjoys interacting with so many varied pets who arrive every day. While the organisation is always growing and improving, Patrick is glad that one constant always remains – that Lort Smith treats thousands of pets each year that may otherwise not receive the veterinary care they need. For a veterinarian, it’s exciting and challenging work – Patrick reports that there’s never a dull day here! Often he’s required to treat dogs who have literally bitten off more than they can chew – even a Labrador who had eaten a pair of his carer’s underwear!
Dr Tristan Rich, BVSc MANZCVS (Unusual Pets) – Unusual Pets and Wildlife Veterinarian
Tristan joined Lort Smith in 2007. His interests include unusual pets and wildlife, but he also enjoys surgery in general. He likes working at Lort Smith because of the diversity in cases, and having the opportunity to provide a high level of vet care to people who otherwise may not be able to afford treatment. He has a Staffy cross called Cybil, a lop-eared rabbit called Chiko and three chooks (all adopted from Lort Smith!). In addition at home there is a carpet python called Fantus, a short-neck turtle, a bearded dragon, eight green tree frogs and a small fish tank in the kitchen!
Dr Harold Pook BVSc, MVSc – Veterinarian Consultant
Harold joined Lort Smith in 1998 and has over 45 years of experience. He is a medical consultant with an interest in ultrasound, endoscopy and internal medicine. Harold enjoys working at Lort Smith because of the commitment and strong camaraderie among the staff who all work hard to provide high value veterinary care to animals that would miss out if the organisation didn’t exist. A memorable case for Harold was management of an Australian cattle dog with heart failure who was a companion and support to a returned serviceman. Watching the personal growth of the carer over two years while Harold treated his special dog was very moving, as during that time he changed from being a recluse to beginning a relationship, becoming a vegan and being prepared to speak publicly about his personal experiences.
Dr Tracy Tang BVSc, MANZCVS (Small Animal Surgery) – Veterinarian
Tracy graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2010 and joined Lort Smith in 2015. She has a special interest in small animal surgery, particularly in orthopaedic diseases, and achieved membership into the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in 2016. She adopted her cavoodle, Chester, after performing his heart surgery! Chester was born with a congenital defect and needed a new home. Tracy says Lort Smith is a great place to work with its stellar team of vets, and the variety of caseload, which keeps all of them on their toes. She especially loves seeing her patients leaving the hospital with their tails wagging and eager to run back into their carers’ arms.
Dr Jonathan Crawford, BVMA MANZCVS (Small Animal Surgery) – Veterinarian
Jonathan graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2009 and joined Lort Smith in 2016. His area of interest is surgery, in particular large tumour removal and skin reconstruction, emergency surgery and orthopaedics. Jonathan completed a surgical internship at a surgical specialist centre prior to joining Lort Smith and became a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Small Animal Surgery in 2016. He says the best thing about Lort Smith is working with a committed team of people and dealing with a large, complex caseload, offering a very high standard of care. Performing his first Patent Ductus Arteriosus surgery with Dr Tracy on one of the shelter puppies was a particularly memorable experience – ligating an extra vessel at the base of the heart, to prevent the pup from developing congestive heart failure.
Dr Ildiko Plaganyi, BVSc MANZCVS (Feline Medicine) – Veterinarian
Ildiko graduated in South Africa in 1993 and joined Lort Smith in 2008. She is a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Feline Medicine) and has been a general practitioner for over 20 years. Her two rescued ‘cosmic cats’ are called Pluto and Jupiter, both adopted as moggy kittens. Ildiko enjoys working at Lort Smith because it is a dynamic environment where she and her colleagues have the ability to make a real difference to pets and clients of limited means.
Dr Caroline Carlton, BSc, BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Medicine of Cats, Small Animal Medicine) – Veterinarian
Caroline graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2006, and joined Lort Smith in 2013. Her speciality is feline medicine, and particularly feline infectious diseases. Caroline became a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Small Animal Medicine in 2011, and Medicine of Cats in 2012. She enjoys working with supportive colleagues with diverse interests, the large and varied caseload, and the chance to practice high-quality medicine to help animals who otherwise may go untreated. Her furry friends at home are called Caesar and Squeaky – feline, of course!
Dr Tom Rampton, BSc (Hons), BVSc, MANCVS (Small Animal Oral and Dental Surgery) – Veterinarian
Tom graduated in Sydney in 2004, and joined Lort Smith in 2014. He is a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Oral and Dental Surgery. He enjoys practicing high-quality medicine and surgery that focuses on animal welfare, and a memorable moment for him was successfully repairing the jaw of a cat that was in approximately 30 pieces! At home he has an elderly three-legged cat called Zeb, a two-year-old Labrador called Badger, and 11 fish.
Dr Shallan Biddle, BVCs (Hons) PG CertSC MANZCVS (Small Animal Medicine) – Veterinarian
Shallan graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2008, and joined Lort Smith in 2018. She is a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Small Animal Medicine. Shallan enjoys working with the wonderful team of vets and vet nurses at Lort Smith. At home she has a beautiful rescue cat called Dazzle, who she once brought in at midnight to donate blood. Thanks, Dazzle!
Dr Rob Hilton, BVSc (Hons) MANZCVS Cert.VD – Veterinarian Consultant
Dr Rob has over 40 years’ experience in treating allergies, dermatitis and all other skin and ear diseases of dogs, cats and horses. His numerous and notable qualifications include the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (UK). Recognised Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Dermatology, Membership of the European Society of Veterinary Dermatology, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne. Rob has a commitment to ongoing learning and education, giving many lectures and seminars on Veterinary Dermatology. Lort Smith is very lucky to have Rob’s considerable experience and expertise on our team!
Dr Sue Ramoo, BVSc (Hons) MANZCVS (Internal Medicine) – Veterinarian Consultant
Dr Sue graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004 and worked in general practice for 2 years, in a mixed practice on the central coast of NSW. She embarked on an internship in critical care and internal medicine, then commenced a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the University of Melbourne. Since her residency she has worked in various referral practices in Victoria. Whilst she enjoys all things medical, her interests include diagnostic imaging, medical oncology and endocrinology.