About Our Office

The Shirley Veterinary Centre is a purpose built clinic that offers plenty of parking, separate dog & cat waiting areas, appointments, modern veterinary equipment, and ‘in house’ blood tests with results in as little as an hour.  We’re open 7 days a week for better availability with times to suit you.


Dr Catherine Hughes
Dr Catherine HughesLead Veterinarian
atherine graduated from the Royal Veterinary College (London) in 2004 and worked for a couple of years in the UK before coming to New Zealand in 2006 on “holiday” and has never left.

Catherine shares her home with her husband, little boy and two crazy collie crosses. A pony called Nugget completes the family. Interests include horse trekking, skiing and helping to train avalanche search dogs.

Natasha Muff
Natasha MuffPractice Manager / Diploma Veterinary Nurse
Natasha has been working at the clinic since the beginning of her nursing career, she has also worked at After Hours Veterinary Centre and enjoys nursing patients, nurses clinics and the interaction with clients and their pets, you can normally hear her before you see her.

Natasha has completed her certificate in veterinary nursing, Diploma in Veterinary Nursing as well as her Certificate in Captive Wildlife and is hoping to complete her Certificate in Rural Technology when she gets some time . In her spare time she enjoys distance running, baking and entertaining family and friends. Natasha also looks after stray and abandoned kittens, she feeds and looks after them and when old enough she finds them loving and forever homes.

Natasha enjoys working with the team at SVC and calls them family.


Dr Lesley Roberts
Dr Lesley RobertsVeterinarian
Lesley joined the practice in 2000 and works between the clinic and working at the greyhound track at Addington raceway as the Vet.

Lesley is also involved alongside with Dave in the Frozen semen implantation reproduction work that takes place at the clinic.

When not at work Lesley is still looking after her two grown up boys and her three legged greyhound Vesper.

She also enjoys gardening, cooking and entertaining.

Dr DB Simpson
Dr DB SimpsonVeterinarian
Db was born in Fiji and lived and studied in the UK. She moved to NZ around the millennium.

DB is kept busy with her two children and husband Robin and they have an elderly golden retriever called Cane.

Dr Gill Taylor
Dr Gill TaylorVeterinarian
Gill has been a Vet for 30 years and recently became interested in Behavioural Medicine when her own dog started having an unusual behavioral problem. This led to further study in this evolving and unique field of veterinary medicine in 2018.

In her spare time, Gill enjoys skiing, diving and travelling

Veterinary Nurses

Dawn Raines
Dawn RainesVeterinary Nurse
Dawn started work at SVC straight from school which was a very long time ago but had a little break and lived and worked in Auckland and overseas.
Dawn has been back at SVC since 1995 and will probably be here till she retires.
Dawn still loves her job and working with an awesome team.

Outside of work Dawn enjoys travelling and seeing new places and meeting new people, she is also enjoying her new house and making it into her “new home”.

Alana Marshall
Alana MarshallDiploma Veterinary Nurse
Alana started her career and studies at the university of Canterbury with a B.S.C in Zoology then completed her DVN in vet nursing.

She has worked at NZCCM Auckland Zoo and Lyhfields Exotic Vet Clinic.
Alana has worked extensively with wildlife, VetSpecs and Animal Physio.

The middle East has been home for Alana while she worked at her dream job and misses working with the cheetahs and falcons but is happy to back in NZ working with the A team at SVC

Barbara Hawker
Barbara HawkerVeterinary Nurse
Barbara qualified in 2004 as a veterinary nurse through Otago Polytechnic & joined the team at Shirley Veterinary Centre in April 2011.

She works part time on reception where she enjoys greeting our clients either by phone or as they come through the door.

Barbara is our go-to veterinary nurse for any questions & queries concerning canine reproduction, especially using frozen semen.

She owns, breeds & shows boxers & win or lose enjoys spending a day at shows with fellow exhibitors.

Living on a lifestyle block with her husband gives Barbara the opportunity to indulge her love of maintaining a large garden, walking her boxers along the banks of a local river, as well as producing delicious food from her kitchen.

Laura North
Laura NorthVeterinary Nurse
Laura completed her certificate in veterinary nursing in 2014 through CPIT and did most of her placement with us, she enjoys all aspects of her job especially surgical nursing.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She lives in a busy house with her two young boys Louie and Hugo.

She also has a fur family with 8 other furry friends. Pirate the greyhound who was born with one eye, 3 cats, two rabbits, and the latest additions which are two baby Guinea pigs. Laura runs the puppy preschool classes held at the clinic.

Chelsea McLean
Chelsea McLeanDiploma Veterinary Nurse
Chelsea is 23 and originally from Timaru and moved to chch in 2015 to study Veterinary Nursing.

She has one big fluffy cat called Franklin and he lives with her mum in Timaru
In Chelsea’s spare time you can find her at the gym, catching up with friends or working on her online nutrition business.

Paul Thelin
Paul ThelinNursing Assistant
Paul has recently completed his Veterinary Nursing Assistant Certificate from Ara Institute of Canterbury (2018)” and will be going on to complete the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (2019).

While studying he came to SVC to do his work experience/placement and is now a part of the team.

Growing up his grandparents bred and raced Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Greyhounds in Nelson where his love affair with animals started.

Brydie is 28 and born and raised in Christchurch. She is a mum to one cat fur baby, Khiya.
In her spare time she enjoys travelling, going for walks, watching Netflix and spending time with friends and family. Brydie has also completed her Certificate in Animal Care.