The staff and doctors of MOUNT VERNON VETERINARY HOSPITAL are dedicated to providing compassionate care for your animal companion while enriching the lives of our clients, staff, and community.

Ken

KEN LEISHER, DVM

Associate Veterinarian

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

CHRIS HANSON, DVM

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons Associate/Staff Surgeon
Associate Veterinarian

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:

  • Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995
  • Year Residency in Equine Surgery at:

  • University of California, Davis/Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
  • Clinical Instructor of Equine Surgery at:

  • University of California, Davis/Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
  • 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

    Associate Veterinarian

    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 Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy. She 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 husband, Nick, hiking, kayaking and running. She enjoys riding and has been actively involved in USEA, US Pony Club, and Working Equitation. Dr. Torhorst is a member of the Equitarian Initiative and travels to third world countries helping working equids. She has 3 dogs, 2 horses, 2 goldfish and 6 chickens.

    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

    STEVE BOSKOVICH, DVM

    Small Animal Veterinarian and Surgery, Owner

    Dr. Boskovich graduated from The University of Washington in 1975 and from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981. He has been with Northwest Veterinary Clinic since 1987. As of April 18, 2018, he is splitting his time between NWVC and Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital.

    Dr. Boskovich strives to provide the best possible health care for your pets. He enjoys exploring health care options and he celebrates the relationship between people and their pets. He has received hospital director training through the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and has maintained Northwest Veterinary Clinic’s small animal facility to AAHA’s high standards. He will be bringing these same standards to MVVH.

    Community Involvement: Dr. Boskovich has been a member of the Stanwood-Camano Kiwanis Service Club since 1989 and is currently one of the veterinary advisors for the Steven’s Pass Avalanche Dog rescue team.

    Dr. Boskovich stays active with rowing, hiking, skiing, and windsurfing, SUP (stand up paddling) or just being a beach bum. He also likes to spend time with his family and cooking. He has had many pets through his life having grown up on a mini farm in Puyallup and has a special fondness for Siamese cats and larger hairy dogs. Bella, his fifteen-year-old Shepard mix granny usually makes it to work with him.


    VALERIE PFLUGHOEFT, DVM

    Associate Veterinarian

    Joining our practice in August of 2018, Dr. Pflughoeft (flu-cough-T) has recently completed an equine specialty internship at Great Lakes Equine Wellness Center in Wisconsin. Dr. Pflughoeft enjoys all aspects of equine medicine, but particularly enjoys geriatric care, sports medicine, and behavior. Dr. Pflughoeft’s internship gave her experience in preventative medicine, lameness, reproduction, care of hospitalized patients, and emergency care.

    Dr. Pflughoeft has been engaged with her community Pony Club, 4-H, and endurance riding groups. She looks forward to volunteering with local horse enthusiasts and sharing her passion for horses and educating.

    Dr. Pflughoeft and her husband, Dan, share their home with 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 fish. She hopes to add a backyard flock of chickens soon. Dr. Pflughoeft enjoys distance riding, hiking, rock climbing, reading, knitting and crocheting, and cooking delicious food. Dr. Pflughoeft is also a member of the Equitarian Initiative traveling to underserved populations where veterinary care is unavailable for working equids. She has traveled to the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota and the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. She hopes to volunteer on at least one trip per year and is grateful for the support from MVVH.

    Dr. Pflughoeft is a graduate of:
    • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, BS in Biology in 2012
    • University of Wisconsin, DVM in 2017
    • Intern at Great Lakes Equine Wellness Center June 2017-2018


    CRYSTAL BRAZLE, DVM

    Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital welcomes the relief services of Dr. Crystal Brazle. Dr. Brazle is a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri and has 8 years of experience in companion animal practice along with 1 ½ years of service in high-volume emergency practice. Proficient in all routine surgeries, trauma and internal medicine, Dr. Brazle provides exceptional care for our companion animals.

    Dr. Brazle is the owner of Shuksan Veterinary Services and offers mobile ultrasound services with her main location at Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital. Services include:

    • Full Diagnostic Abdominal Ultrasound (radiologist interpretation included)
    • Limited Abdominal Exam (Urogenital/Pregnancy Evaluation)
    • Follow Up Ultrasound Exam (within 6 months of full)
    • Ultrasound Guided Tissue Aspirates (thorax or abdomen)
    • -CBC must be current within 1 week
    • Ultrasound Guided Fluid Sampling (bladder, gall bladder, thorax or abdomen)
    • U/S Guided Therapeutic Centesis (thorax or abdomen)

    http://www.shuksanvet.com/locations.html


    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.

    Lori

    Sarah Bennett

    Licensed Veterinary Technician

    Sarah graduated from Bellingham Technical School in 2015. Prior to joining Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital, she gained experience working at a local veterinary clinic. She joined MVVH in May of 2018 as a Licensed Veterinary Technician. A favorite part of her position is working with clients on behavior cases. 

    Sarah also works with several local animal shelters and rescues. She almost always has a foster animal or two at home. She enjoys hiking with her dog Gryffindor and traveling. 


    Karla & Em

    Lindsey Tonkyn

    Veterinary Assistant, Veterinary Medication Clerk

    Lindsey grew up in Lyman where she attended Sedro-Woolley High School. Growing up, she was heavily involved with horse 4-H where she was a part of Alger Rough Riders for 10 years. Lindsey now resides in Oak Harbor with her boyfriend Eric and her three horses Chubby, Ginger and Layla, two dogs Cabella and Dally, and cat Mikey. When Lindsey is not working she is riding her horses on the trails or traveling down the road to a barrel race. 


    Client Service Representatives


    Karla & Em

    Alicia Askman

    Client Service Representative

    Alicia joined Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital in 2016 as one of our receptionists and is one of the first faces you see when you walk through the door.  She has an extensive and long history working with horses. Alicia has a degree in equine science and business. Over the past year, she has taken an interest in working in veterinary hospitals as a vet assistant and now as a receptionist. In her off time, she finds pleasure in spending time with her puppy Meeko and enjoying the nature the Pacific Northwest has to offer.


    Karla & Em

    Hailey Kelm-Thomas

    Client Service Representative

    Hailey Joined Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital in March 2019. Hailey grew up in Arlington and loves to spend time on her farm with all 28 of her chickens (Yes… all of them are named) and pony (Cinnamon). Hailey also completely adores her kitty (Lily) and loves to spend time playing with her and taking her on leashed walks. During her free time, she likes to spend time anywhere that is near a body of water, performing in theatrical performances and gardening. Hailey has 3+ years of animal medicine experience and is very exciting to be branching out to equine medicine and looks forward to the future with Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital.


    Karla & Em

    Sami Gartley

    Client Service Representative

    Sami moved from San Diego, California to Oak Harbor, Washington in 2011 when her dad was stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey and decided that Washington was the place for her. Since moving here, she has started school at Skagit Valley College and added to her menagerie of animals. In her free time she enjoys exploring new places and going to the beach. While she is somewhat new to equine medicine, she has worked in the small animal care industry for a few years and loves to continue to build her knowledge every day. Sami’s family currently includes four permanent resident dogs, Precious, Toby, Lilly, and Starza, and one foster dog, Austin, and her cat Stubby.


    Office and Business Staff


    Lori

    Tami Schorno

    Practice Manager

    Tami joined Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital in April of 2018. 2018 marks her sixteenth year of practice management in the veterinary industry. Tami is excited to be a part of the amazing and highly skilled team of MVVH. She also looks forward to building relationships with our wonderful clients.

    Outside of work, Tami resides in Skagit County with her husband Ken. She loves spending time with her two adult children Madisen and Quinten. Tami’s weekends are often filled working with her daughter on their business, BITTERMILK STUDIO, a wearable art line. When not working, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and finding treasures at flea markets.

    Her furry love is a rescue kitty named Oscar.


    Marchele Gamble

    Bookkeeper

    Marchele joined our bookkeeping department in July of 2018. She has many years of extensive bookkeeping experience.

    Marchele was born and raised in the Northwest and has had a lifelong love of animals. For 13 years, she was a 4-H Leader in Snohomish County involved in multiple projects including teaching youth about care and training their dogs. She is also a volunteer for the youth dog show at the Stanwood Camano Community Fair. Outside of work she enjoys training and trialing her dogs in companion events.

    When not participating in dog activities, she enjoys working in her garden, camping, golf and snowmobiling.

    Marchele has two adult sons and two canine kids, Maya and Tinker.