DR. 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.
DR. 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.
DR. 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.
DR. 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 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. STEVE BOSKOVICH, DVM
Small Animal Veterinarian and Surgery
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.
DR. MEREDITH STURGES, DVM
Small Animal Veterinarian
Meredith was born in Dallas, Texas. She was raised in middle Tennessee. She attended Auburn University for her undergraduate degree. She completed three years of undergraduate and then applied to veterinary school. She then graduated from The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. Directly following graduation, she performed a rotating small animal internship in Austin, Texas for a year. While in Austin, she met her future husband, Joe. She then moved to the Pacific Northwest. She was an associate veterinarian at Advanced Care Animal Clinic for three years. Due to her husband’s job, she then moved to Pensacola, Florida for six months followed by Kingsville, Texas for almost two years. She was an associate veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Pensacola and Animal Medical Clinic, respectively. Her husband’s job has now returned her to the Pacific Northwest, which she is thrilled about. In her spare time, she enjoys watching Auburn football as well as the Seattle Seahawks, running, working out, relaxing, and live music. She and her husband have three dogs, Charlie, Sky and Birdie.
DR. VALERIE PFLUGHOEFT, DVM
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
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, one cat, and one chicken.
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.
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 her family farm in Mount Vernon where she continues to help with their growing flower business. She attended Eastern Washington University where she studied chemistry and biology.
Sally now resides in LaConner, WA with her two children – Maizy, a non-stop Heeler-Border Collie cross & Steel, a rambunctious Quarter Horse. When not working, Sally fits in as many adventures as she can! From backpacking, camping, kayaking, traveling, and riding her horse. She is always on the go!
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.
Office and Business Staff
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 adult children. Karla enjoys hiking with her dogs Jack and Peanut, bicycling, gardening and occasionally riding her horse Em. Puppy sitting the grand pups Ruger, Kimber and Pen is always an adventure.
Customer 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.
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.
Customer Service Representative
Shannon grew up in Virginia as part of a military family, and attended college at North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack!) where she studied Zoology. She has spent years volunteering with wildlife including everything from tigers and lions to snakes and skunks. She moved to Washington in 2016 to be closer to her family (stationed at NAS Whidbey Island), and shares her home with two dogs (Emma and Charles), a kitten (Nissa), a tortoise (Biscuits), a corn snake (Oberyn), and her boyfriend David. She loves working with all types of animals, and spends her free time relaxing with her zoo, watching NC State football, and exploring her new home.