Our experienced and professional veterinary staff are here to make your visit with your pet enjoyable and stress free.

Dr. Byron Hamlund


Dr. Byron Hamlund grew up in Victoria where he worked a variety of jobs before returning to college to pursue a career in veterinarian medicine. After graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010, he headed home to the West coast where he worked in Courtenay as an associate for five years. Seeking a change of pace, Byron spent some time doing relief work all over BC, gaining valuable experience, before purchasing the Dogwood Veterinary Hospital in October 2016.

Dr. Hamlund looks forward to developing long term relationships with new and existing clients of the Dogwood Veterinary Hospital. He enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine but finds dentistry, surgery, internal medicine and interacting with the clients and their pets to be most fulfilling.

In his spare time he can be found exploring the outdoors, walking and hiking with his dogs – Emilee (Standard Poodle) and Cleo (Golden Retriever) and spending time with friends, family, and his daughter, Hazel.

Dr. Krista Huxham


Dr. Krista Huxham grew up in the Comox Valley and we are delighted to have her return and join our team at Dogwood Veterinary Hospital.

Prior to Veterinary school, Dr. Huxham completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Bioscience from the University of Saskatchewan. She is published in the Canadian Journal of Animal Science for her work in swine behaviour and welfare and has spent time working with both farm and companion animals.

Dr. Huxham has been working in the Veterinary field for the past five years and through this experience has established a passion for internal medicine, nutrition, surgery and overall pet wellness. Krista’s approachable manner and friendly nature will put you and your pet at ease while visiting the hospital.

At home, she has two chihuahuas named Suki and Sprout and is working on building a hobby farm at her home in Black Creek. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding, gardening, walking her dogs, camping and spending time at the various beautiful lakes and rivers on the island.


Practice Manager / Registered Veterinary Technologist

Erika Spuehler is one of Dogwood Veterinary Hospital’s newest team members. She and her husband moved to the Campbell River area from Ontario in 2013, and have enjoyed every minute of it.  In 2008, Erika graduated with distinction from the 3 year veterinary technology program offered by St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario. She immediately passed the registration examination and has maintained her registration status ever since.

Since her graduation, Erika has worked in small animal, mixed animal and emergency medicine. Erika’s passion for animal care and her strong belief in the human-animal bond led her to be involved with animals from an early age: from growing up on a farm to volunteering at veterinary clinics and wildlife rehabilitation centres throughout her high school and college years.

Erika spends most of her time outside her profession exploring the island with her dogs and husband. A true animal lover, she also lends her time and home to fostering for CR Paws and the CRSPCA.


Office Manager

Sarah Kirk is our newest team member at Dogwood Veterinary Hospital. She has lived in Campbell River since 1986. Sarah began her career in the veterinary field shortly after in 1988. Sarah then spent the next 21 years in the veterinary field, beginning as kennel assistance, then a veterinary receptionist and finally moving on to become the veterinary hospital office manager.

Sarah changed careers from working in the veterinary field to become a small business owner in Campbell River, and then worked as a receptionist/manager at a local spa before coming full circle to her true passion and calling in life, joining the Dogwood Veterinary Hospital.

Sarah has owned a vast array of different species as her pets; from reptiles, birds, chickens, pocket pets, cats, dogs and horses to name a few. Currently, Sarah has 3 dogs,  “Emerson” and American Bulldog mix, “Berry” a Pit Bull mix and “Popcorn” a purebred Chihuahua, along with several aquariums which are home to a large variety of freshwater fish.

Sarah spends her time away from work fish keeping, home décor, reading, fishing and camping with her husband, son and their 3 dogs.  Sarah also volunteers for a Vancouver Island-based dog rescue group, helping people find their new best friend.


Veterinary Assistant

Nikki Wilson was born and raised in Toronto but drove West to Campbell River with her husband, their two children, and pets in the Summer of 2014. Nikki has had a love for animals from an early age and decided that working with animals was going to be her career. Fittingly, she has been a veterinary assistant for the past 25 years.

Her full household of fur babies includes 2 dogs (Hank and Gertie), 2 cats (Mabel and Sawyer), and a fish named Comet. Even with her hands full, Nikki is always ready to go on an adventure and explore what the Island has to offer.  She has a passion for healthy living, and loves to put on her running shoes and train for the numerous marathons she has completed in, as well as a few fitness competitions.

Nikki is always eager to teach clients the importance of good nutrition for their pets, and is very much enjoying this new life style and is excited to be a new team member of Dogwood Veterinary Hospital.


Veterinary Assistant

For as long as she can remember, Raya Roberts has had a great love for animals. Every lost dog would be brought home, where it would be kept safe until the owner could be found, and any cat awaiting attention on a sidewalk received an ample amount of affection.

Working in the veterinary field for the last 8+ years has allowed her to work closely with animals and gain a deep connection with, and understanding of them. She treats every patient as though they were her own: with patience, love and compassion.  Although she performs the day to day duties of a Registered Veterinary Technician, she is enrolling in the distance program offered through Thompson Rivers University to become a registered RVT.

Raya loves the outdoors and spends much of her time in Vancouver Island’s beautiful wilderness; camping, hiking and fishing. You can also find Raya walking daily in the local trails with her dogs Luke (Treeing Walker Coonhound) and Miya (Lab/Pit bull SPCA rescue).

Raya and her husband Scott plan on purchasing property where they can eventually house a variety of animals, big and small. They currently live in town with their dogs, three cats (Quido, Nala, & Pie~u) and leopard gecko, Pedro.

Melissa Zizek

Registered Veterinary Technologist

Melissa joined the Dogwood Veterinary Hospital team in May of 2019. She was born and raised in Ontario and has travelled to many places across the country as a military spouse. Melissa and her family chose Campbell River to call home during the summer of 2018.

A move to the Northwest Territories in 2015  presented Melissa with a unique opportunity to develop her skills and passion for working with animals as she became the NWT SPCA shelter manager. It was at this time Melissa realized her keen interest in the technical and medical aspects of animal care. She then applied and was accepted into the 2-year Animal Health Technology Program at Grand Prairie Regional College.

When not at work Melissa strives to seek out hidden charms and walking trails that the island has to offer. Melissa shares her adventures with her Husband,  their two sons and her 2 dogs, Hannah Banana (Ridgeback Elk Hound cross) and Luna ( Eurohound cross). Melissa is also “ mom” to two adorable cats, North and Robbie Rotten.


Veterinary Assistant

Laura was born and raised in beautiful British Columbia.  When Laura was 3, her family moved to her aunt’s farm where she made many animal friends including dogs, chickens, cows and horses. That is where her love and respect for all creatures big and small really started.  Over the years, animals have become her passion and she could not imagine life without them.

Laura has been working in the veterinary field since 2007. She does a bit of everything at the hospital, including administrative duties, client relations, providing nursing care and keeping the hospital running smoothly.  She knows that a career involving animals is the only one for her.

In her spare time Laura enjoys the outdoors, exploring the backroads, finding new fishing holes and photographing wildlife and landscapes.  At her side on her many adventures, you will find her boyfriend and their 2 beloved dogs Haven (Pitbull Husky cross) and Gunns (Lab cross). Both of Laura’s fur babies came from the local SPCA as puppies and have enriched her life and become her best friends.