Meet Our TeamSmall Creatures Pet Clinic
Small Creatures Pet Clinic first opened its doors in 1994. Since then, it has endeavoured to deliver outstanding medicine, service and compassion to pets and their people in the Walnut Grove community. Continuity of care is important to me — our full-time staff averages 14 years of experience working in veterinary hospitals. Our full-service veterinary facility is located within a clean, bright, 1100-square-foot area. We maintain an open-door policy – visitation of our facilities and/or your hospitalized pet are always encouraged. We appreciate our access to specialists within the Vancouver area and regularly draw upon their expertise. It is indeed a privilege for us to be considered your pet’s health care provider. Celebration of the pet-human bond is a constant source of inspiration for me. Get to know our staff at Small Creatures Pet Clinic by reading about us here:
Dr. Jim Snyder, Veterinary Surgeon
Dr. Jim Snyder was born in Ottawa, where he attended both public and high school. At the University of Guelph, he completed 3 years in the Fisheries and Wildlife Biology program before being accepted into the Doctor of Veterinary program at the Ontario Veterinary College.
He recalls that acceptance as being the single most rewarding accomplishment in his life. In 1980, he began working in a Southern Ontario mixed animal practice devoted primarily to dairy cattle but also serving equine, swine and small animal clients. “What a wonderful way to cut your teeth in practice,” he recalls. “Myself and another young grad shared about 80% of the afterhours ‘on-call’ work, and when that happens in a 6-man practice, it gets very busy.” About a year ago, Jim finally recovered a CD filmed in 1980. It was a television documentary hosted by Sylvia Tyson on CBC’s ‘Heartland’ and profiled each member of the large animal country practice in ‘on the job’ action. “Pretty neat to see it for the first time ever, after all these years,” says Jim.
He is happy to lend it out to anyone wanting a good smile. Jim continued mixed animal practice in Ontario for 3 years, including 2 years closer to home in the upper Ottawa River Valley. Chasing his high school sweetheart across the country, he practiced for 1 year in a rural Saskatchewan mixed animal practice before landing in British Columbia. In 1987, Jim became board-certified in Theriogenology (veterinary reproduction). He is a member of the American College of Theriogenology and the British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association. He is on the Board of Directors (and Medical Director) for Spirit’s Mission, a non-profit organization providing medical services and education to remote First Nations communities in the province.
Prior to opening Small Creatures Pet Clinic in 1994, Jim did embryo transfer work in dairy cattle, and small animal locum practice throughout the province. Jim’s greatest joy in practice is being included in the celebration of the pet-human bond. “People adore their pets, are so proud of them, and gain incredible reward, comfort and insights from them,” he says. “We are honoured every time we are asked to help support that amazing relationship! It is to be enjoyed, celebrated and applauded. I think all of us in the practice are mindful of the privileged environment within which we work.”
Jim’s interests outside veterinary medicine include golf, tennis, reading, boot camp, swimming, biking, running, quadding, canoeing, skiing, windsurfing, and gardening. He considers himself a considerably less-than-mediocre fly fisherman. Jim adores the Toronto Maple Leafs and is always willing to offer unsolicited comments about them. He and wife Jan have resided in Walnut Grove for over 25 years. The Snyders have 2 sons, aged 25 and 21, as well as a dog, 2 cats and tropical fish.
Christine Riendeau – Veterinary Hospital Assistant
Christine joined Small Creatures Pet Clinic in May 2011. She graduated from Surrey College as a Veterinary Hospital Assistant in April 2008. She shares her household with a Siamese cat named “Hubear” and a golden doodle named “Zoey.”Born and raised in Surrey, BC in a bilingual household of French and English, Christine has always had a love and passion for animals and knew that animals would be a part of her future. Following high school, Christine attended Surrey College and earned her Veterinary Assistant diploma. Since graduating in 2008, she has worked in the veterinary field, joining us at Small Creatures Pet Clinic in May 2011.
Christine also holds a certificate in Animal Health Nutrition and loves answering any questions regarding regular and prescription diets, she takes pride in the knowledge she has accumulated. She takes very seriously her responsibility for maintaining our great customer service, assists in animal care and ensures that all our client’s needs and requests are looked after. Christine has taken the lead role with our information management and regularly updates our Facebook page- check it out!
She says she finds her job very rewarding in all aspects; caring for the animals and also making your experience at Small Creatures Pet Clinic a satisfying one. In her spare time, Christine enjoys our beautiful city by going on hikes and exploring new trails, creeks and rivers with her golden doodle Zoey. “I love our quality of care and compassion for our patients, we always strive as a group to give 110% and really get to know each patient and client individually,” Christine summed up.
Candice Johnsen – Veterinary Technician
Candice has loved animals her whole life and has wanted to work with them professionally as long as she can remember. She had a guinea pig named Stardust as her first pet who she loved dearly and carried around everywhere when she was 7 years old. After high school, Candice was undecided what field to work in, so while trying to decide she worked at Subway as a “sandwich artist” (she still makes a pretty delicious sandwich) as well as Panago Pizza.
After a short career in the food industry, Candice decided to attend West Coast College of Healthcare to obtain a certificate as a veterinary assistant, graduating in October of 2003. While in school she did her practicum here at SCPC, where we liked her so much we offered her a job.
And the rest is history! Initially Candice’s focus and primary interest was working with the animals, but she soon came to love working with their families, as well. “I was shy when I first started working here, but then with time I gained some confidence I began to develop relationships with the people who came in with their pets. It was great to realize that people were getting to know me and felt they could trust me with the care of their beloved pet,” she recalls.
At home, Candice has a pretty little grey tabby cat named Bianca, who was a rescue from the streets of Surrey. Also, she has a rescued dog named Molson – an extremely friendly golden retriever / pointer and extremely friendly. He loves to come to work with his Mom and enthusiastically greets everyone who comes through the door. In her spare time, Candice enjoys hiking with Molson at Buntzen Lake, 4x4ing, watching UFC, snowboarding and mini golfing.
To relax, Candace enjoys having a nice glass of wine, spending time with family, going camping in the middle of nowhere (no provincial campsites for this girl!) and reading bad romance novels. She loves to travel when she has time and would love to see more of the world. In the 10 years Candice has worked at Small Creatures, she has enjoyed being involved in helping so many families care for their beloved furry friends. “Providing a high quality of care to our patients is very important to me, and I am proud to work in a clinic that has a very high standard of customer service,” Candace remarked.
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