Meet Our Dedicated Tauranga Vet Team
Behind the scenes, our dedicated Veterinarians and Veterinary nurses are ready to meet you and your beloved pets with open arms. Led by practice owner David McDonnell, our experienced professionals include Kate Heller, Sonia McCawe, Dana Perry, Ju Young Park and Tanya Ungerer. They bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and genuine care to every interaction.
MANAGING DIRECTOR / VETERINARIAN
Meet David, our Managing Director. With a farming background in South Waikato, he’s a seasoned Veterinarian with a post-graduate qualification in Dairy Cattle Medicine.
Meet David, our Managing Director. With a farming background in South Waikato, he’s a seasoned Veterinarian with a post-graduate qualification in Dairy Cattle Medicine. He transitioned to Veterinary management after earning a post-graduate qualification in Business Studies, specialising in accounting. Before Tauranga Vets, he served as a Veterinary manager in Te Awamutu and later worked as a business unit manager in a pharmaceutical company in Tauranga.
David, along with his family, calls Tauranga home. They cherish leisure time in the Bay of Plenty with the iconic Mount and Pacific Ocean as their backdrop.
Meet Kate, one of our seasoned Veterinarians primarily based at our Cameron Road clinic. After graduating from Massey University in 2007, she began her veterinary career in mid-Canterbury.
Meet Kate, one of our seasoned Veterinarians primarily based at our Cameron Road clinic. After graduating from Massey University in 2007, she began her Veterinary career in mid-Canterbury. Kate then ventured to the UK, spending two years as a locum Vet while exploring Europe. Since returning home in 2012, she has been an essential part of the Tauranga Vets team, specialising in mixed practice.
Beyond the clinic, Kate’s life revolves around her lifestyle block, tending to her flock of sheep, two calves, her spirited dog Tori, and Leo, the cat. She’s an outdoor enthusiast, enjoying kayaking, biking, and trail running. Kate proudly claims the title of a “retired multisporter” after completing the Coast to Coast race three times. While she’s well-versed in various aspects of veterinary medicine, Kate has a particular passion for challenging eye cases, ultrasonography, and small animal internal medicine. Her commitment to providing top-notch care for your pets reflects her dedication to treating them as her own.
Sonia became a valued Tauranga Veterinary Services Ltd. team member in 2015 when she made the scenic move to the Bay of Plenty from Wellington.
Sonia became a valued Tauranga Veterinary Services Ltd. team member in 2015 when she made the scenic move to the Bay of Plenty from Wellington. She holds a degree from Massey University, graduating in 1998, and has since had the opportunity to work as a small animal Vet in various locations, including New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK.
Sonia’s passion lies in ultrasonography, which she finds fascinating due to its non-invasive nature and crucial role as a diagnostic tool. She’s adept at using it to uncover various conditions, from identifying lumps and bumps to diagnosing heart disease or obstructions like peach pits in the gastrointestinal tract.
Outside her Veterinary work, Sonia relishes a well-brewed cup of coffee, maintains her fitness, and cherishes moments spent with friends and family. She, her husband Peter, their two children Max and Matilda, and their lovable puppy dog Barry, often embark on exciting adventures together. Additionally, they share their lives with a cuddly kitty named Louie, known for spending most of his time cozily tucked under the duvet, enjoying peaceful cat naps.
Dana’s journey led her from the University of Auckland, where she graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences, to her fulfilling career as a mixed animal Veterinarian at Tauranga Vets.
Dana’s journey led her from the University of Auckland, where she graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences, to her fulfilling career as a mixed animal Veterinarian at Tauranga Vets. Her path to Veterinary medicine wasn’t immediate; initially drawn to research science, Dana had a change of heart. Her decision to pursue Veterinary medicine was influenced by her experiences caring for her accident-prone horse, which required her nursing skills on several occasions.
In 2021, Dana fulfilled her childhood dream by completing her Veterinary degree. She officially joined the Tauranga Vets team in January 2022, where she brings her passion and dedication to the field. Dana has strong family connections to Whakatane, making the sunny Bay of Plenty a welcoming place.
Although born in Auckland, Dana’s upbringing took her to Brunei and Dubai, where she spent a significant part of her childhood. This international exposure instilled in her a love for languages and a deep appreciation for diverse cultures, which she eagerly explored through travel before the pandemic.
Beyond her Veterinary work, Dana finds joy in skiing, hiking, and savouring the seaside ambience, all contributing to a well-rounded and adventurous lifestyle.