JOHN R. ZACCARDI, DVM
Dr. Zaccardi has been practicing veterinary medicine in Northwest Washington since 1983. He enjoys all aspects of large and small animal health care. He works closely with his clients and patients to provide preventative health care as well as a full range of ambulatory and emergency services. While Dr. Zaccardi has a special interest in equine dentistry, reproduction and lameness work ups, he also offers comprehensive diagnostics using digital ultrasound and xray.
Over the years, Dr. Zaccardi continues to work diligently to educate and support our local 4H and Pony Clubs through clinics and presentations. He also serves as veterinarian on call each year at a number of events including the 4th of July Rodeo in Sedro-Woolley.
Dr. Zaccardi, his wife Patrice and their children, have made their home in Skagit County and enjoy many outdoor activities including hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and a variety of snow sports.
Dr. Zaccardi is a graduate of:
- Gonzaga University / BS in Biology in 1975
- University of Idaho / MS in Animal Nutrition in 1977
- Washington State University / DVM in 1982
Memberships include: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners and Washington State Veterinary Medical Association.
KEN LEISHER, DVM
Dr. Leisher lives and practices veterinary medicine primarily on Whidbey Island where he provides a wide variety of ambulatory equine health care services. His practice includes preventative health care, lameness, reproduction and emergency care. His practice philosophy emphasizes the importance of the human-horse bond, and incorporating the science of horse behavior to improve his patient’s quality of life.
Dr. Leisher places an emphasis on dentistry. He regularly attends meetings and courses on equine dentistry to stay current on the latest advances. He is also available at the hospital for dental appointments and special procedures.
In addition to equine medicine, Dr. Leisher also cares for large and small ruminants, including llamas and alpacas. Before joining MVVH in 1997, Dr. Leisher practiced in an equine and large animal practice in Yakima, Washington for 12 years.
Dr. Leisher is active in serving the community in which he lives and practices. He is eager to volunteer his time whenever possible to horse owner groups, conducting clinics and educational programs.
Dr. Leisher and his wife Peggy have lived on central Whidbey Island since 1997. While one of their pleasures is traveling and experiencing different local cultures, they feel privileged for the opportunity to stay home and enjoy their beautiful surroundings on Whidbey Island, and support local businesses, farms, and farmer’s markets.
Dr. Leisher is a graduate of:
- Washington State University / BS in Animal Science in 1978
- Washington State University / DVM in 1982
Memberships include: American Veterinary Dental Society, American Veterinary Medical Association, and American Association of Equine Practitioners.
CHRIS HANSON, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons Associate/Staff Surgeon
Dr. Hanson joined MVVH in the spring of 2000, in time for the opening of the hospital in August 2000. Dr. Hanson played an integral role in the design of the surgical facilities.
His primary focus is equine surgery, and management of hospitalized medical and surgical patients. Surgical services include a variety of soft tissue and orthopedic procedures including arthroscopy and laparoscopy. He also provides out-patient and ambulatory health care for his patients, including pre-purchase exams, dentistry, lameness evaluation, reproduction and preventative health care.
Over the years, Dr. Hanson has volunteered his time to the community through a variety of speaking engagements, wet labs at the hospital and has served as a judge at local school Science Fairs.
Dr. Hanson enjoys running, and skis when he can with his son. Much of his free time is devoted to his son’s academic and athletic pursuits. Hiking and camping are favorite family activities. Hopefully trail rides and pack trips will again become a family activity as their son gets older.
Dr. Hanson is a graduate of:
- University of New Hampshire/BS in 1990
- University of Tennessee/College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994
Internship in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at:
Year Residency in Equine Surgery at:
Clinical Instructor of Equine Surgery at:
Memberships include: American College of Veterinary Surgeons, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners and Washington State Veterinary Medical Association.
CASSIE TORHORST, DVM, CVA, CVSMT
Joining our team in April of 2017, Dr. Torhorst has spent the last 7 years in general practice as an equine associate with an emphasis on lameness and sports medicine. During this time Dr. Torhorst received her certification in Veterinary Acupuncture and her certification in Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy.
Dr. Torhorst has a solid background practicing both preventative and emergency medicine, dentistry, reproduction and lameness work-ups. Dr. Torhorst also offers additional modalities of care and rehabilitation through her use of chiropractic, acupuncture and herbal therapies.
Dr. Torhorst enjoys using alternative therapies to reach treatment goals. She feels that a combination of conventional and alternative therapies can often times benefit the outcome of simple to the most challenging cases.
Outside of work, Dr. Torhorst spends time with her fiance Nick, hiking, kayaking and running. She enjoys riding and has been actively involved in eventing along with some endurance competitions. ”Elle” and “Chuck” are her dogs and Cassie has recently started doing agility with “Elle”. Her family also includes a cat named “Roxy” and two very important gold fish.
Dr. Torhorst is a graduate of:
- University of Wisconsin, BS in 2006
- University of Wisconsin, DVM in 2010
- Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine, CVA in 2013
- The Healing Oasis Center, CVSMT in 2016
DR. SKAGGS, DVM
Small Animal Veterinarian
Dr. Skaggs graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. She then completed her equine internship at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in 2004 and worked at Pilchuck from 2003 until early 2013 as an equine ambulatory clinician.
In 2013, Dr. Skaggs switched her focus to small animals where she specializes in general medicine and surgery services.
With an emphasis on preventative care, Dr. Skaggs strives to strengthen the human/animal bond by enabling pets to live the best life possible with their humans.
She enjoys hiking and camping with her English Mastiff (Becket) and Catahoula mix (Ferra).
She also enjoys riding her horse (Gigi) as well as a run on the trails with Ferra.
Our Support Staff
The support staff at Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital works together to meet our patients’ diverse health care needs while providing exceptional client service and veterinarian support. It is our collective goal to insure the best care possible for each patient while maximizing the time of our veterinarians.
Licensed Veterinary Technicians and Veterinary Assistants
Our dedicated technicians and veterinary assistants are responsible for a wide range of duties and assist our veterinarians in nearly everything they do. A typical day may include daily rounds and treatment of hospitalized patients, animal husbandry, assisting in radiography, admitting and discharging patients, preparing for and assisting in surgeries, monitoring anesthesia, lab work, dentistry, ICU monitoring, artificial insemination, stallion collection, foal watch as well as supply and inventory control. You may frequently speak with one of our technicians or assistants in absence of a veterinarian to review discharge instructions, lab results and patient progress. Perhaps you’ll meet one of them in person as they will frequently travel and work with the veterinarians in the field.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Lori has been working in veterinary medicine since 1987 and has been licensed in Washington State since 2000. Prior to joining MVVH in June of 2000, Lori spent 10 years working at the University of California at Davis. While experienced in all areas of equine practice, Lori has tremendous interest in neonate, ICU and hospitalized case work. Lori grew up surrounded by animals and was an active member of her local FFA group throughout school. Lori makes her home in Mount Vernon with her husband Chris Hanson, DVM, their son Aidan, one dog and one cat.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Kaitlyn grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to the Pacific Northwest in the spring of 2014.
She graduated from Carrington College California with a degree in Veterinary Technology, and has been in the veterinary field for over ten years now. Kaitlyn has a special interest in veterinary anesthesia and critical care.
She lives with her fiance and yellow Labrador, Levi. She loves both dearly! Outside of work Kaitlyn lives a very active lifestyle and her hobbies include weight lifting, running, hiking, reading and anything Disney!
As a veterinary assistant Sally can be found both on the farm and in the hospital with our veterinarians. Setting up, assisting and breaking down after procedures and surgeries. Sally will also be found in the front office assisting with month end filing and on the phones when needed. You just never know where you will meet Sally.
Sally grew up on a family farm with a variety of pets and livestock. Over the years she has been involved in several 4H groups. Sally attended Eastern Washington University where she studied chemistry and biology.
Sally enjoys many outdoor activities including camping, hiking, horseback riding and helping on her family’s farm.
Sally makes her home in Mount Vernon with her fiancé Devon, her hamster and her horse.
Office and Business Staff
Customer Service Representative
In the front office, Kirsha will likely be the one who will greet you when you arrive. Kirsha’s is the voice you will hear most on the phones and is your link to the veterinarians. She will guide you through routine appointments, informational calls and will expedite schedule changes and dispatch veterinarians to emergencies. Kirsha comes to us with a background in customer service and has experience in a small animal practice as well as many volunteer hours at the Skagit Valley Humane Society.
Kirsha makes her home in Mount Vernon with her daughter Kashlyn. Any spare time she has will find her dirt biking all over the state, going to car shows and fishing with her family.
Karla has been with us since 1996. She reviews every invoice produced by our veterinarians to help insure that they are complete and error free. Karla also processes payments and generates monthly billing statements and reminders. Karla is available to answer any billing or payment questions you may have.
Karla and her husband Terry make their home in west Mount Vernon. They have two children. Karla enjoys running with her dogs Jack and Peanut, bicycling, playing softball, gardening and occasionally riding her horse Em.
Linda oversees the day-to-day hospital business. This includes, but is not limited to, client communication and service, human resources, community outreach, special event coordination, financing, marketing and receivables. Please call Linda to coordinate vaccine or dental clinics, educational programs for your group or a tour of our hospital.
A transplant from the East Coast, Linda made the Skagit Valley her home in 1989. Prior to joining MVVH in 2001, Linda spent over 15 years in print media sales and management on the east and west coasts.
When away from the practice, Linda enjoys many outdoor activities including golf, hiking, fishing and gardening. Linda volunteers her time to several local groups such as Skagit Adult Day Care, Youth Dynamics and is a Skagit Women in Business board member.