Dr. Fraser was born in Kelowna, but since her mother’s family lived in Grand Forks she went to kindergarten there and then came back to stay in the summers.
Dr. Fraser finished elementary and high school in Westbank, growing up on a farm with horses, cows, cats and dogs and bred rabbits for meat production. Her father was a team roper and she spent many hours at rodeos and working his roping horse. She always knew she wanted to be a veterinarian.
She went to what was known then as Okanagan College in Kelowna and got her prerequisites to apply to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon. While in college, Dr. Fraser spent her time farm sitting, driving draft horse teams, and working in both an equine and small-animal practice in Kelowna. She was fortunate enough to be accepted after only three years of college and headed to Saskatoon in 1991, graduating in 1995.
Her first job was in an isolated, mixed-animal, very rural practice in Carnduff, Saskatchewan.It taught her a lot, but she knew it wasn’t her true calling. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer and she moved back in the fall of 1996 to be with her. While back home, Dr. Fraser saw an ad that the Castlegar Animal Hospital was looking for another veterinarian and she applied, coming out here to meet Dr. Dave Williams that winter. She remembers the narrowness of Paulson Pass and the vast amount of snow that year – it was piled almost as high as the street lights along Columbia Ave. However, Dr. Fraser was back in the Kootenays and somehow it seemed meant to be.
Dr. Fraser started working in Castlegar in March of 1997 and stayed there after Dr. Williams sold the business until 2005. She then went to work in Nelson at the Selkirk Veterinary Hospital until May 2011 when she finalized the purchase of the Arrow Lake Veterinary Hospital and came back to Castlegar.
Dr. Fraser enjoys being a business owner and to be back practicing in Castlegar after her time in Nelson. After 20 years it really is her home. Veterinary medicine consumes most of her time and it’s hard to separate the practice from her personal time. Her hobbies seem to be all animal related or include her pets in some way. Dr. Fraser rode for many years, and after losing her Arab Flash at age 32, she couldn't be without and got another named Rock. She does obedience and agility training and competition with her dogs. She has four Pembrokes- the girls are Devlin,Sophie and Artemis ( 13, 9 and 8 years and all retired) and one new male puppy named Emris. Her new passion is Australian Cattle Dogs and she has two- Remedy, a blue pictured here and a new red female puppy named Helix. When not at work and she can find the time she likes to paddle, hike and cross country ski. She currently has 3 cats at home- Phoebe, Gus and Barnes and has rounded out the farm with two goats- Davinci and Hugo and many happy chickens, the oldest being 11 years old now.
Dr. Emilie Shepherd-Maika
Dr. Emilie came to Arrow Lake Vet in 2018 and has become a welcoming face to her many patients.
Melanie has recently joined the team after moving to Castlegar from Vancouver. She has a Master of Science degree focused on nutritional effects on chronic disease and spent a year in East Africa organizing clinical research trials. Through these adventures she has always had a love for animals and fostered rescue dogs, fed and de-wormed stray animals in Kenya, and adopted her most beloved pup, Brinley, who is a rescue from Northern Manitoba.In her spare time, Melanie enjoys gardening, baking, backcountry camping and canoeing. Ask her about her sourdough starter and you might get some recipes!
Melanie has previous experience in veterinary management and is very excited to join the Castlegar community and help with your and your pets' needs.
Amanda came to Arrow Lake Veterinary Hospital in 2017 from a background in river guiding, gardening and customer service. She's worked hard to gain skills and now leads our Veterinary Assistants. She loves all the animals that come to our hospital and shows a genuine interest in caring for our patients and learning about the veterinary world.
Sherri came to Arrow Lake Vet with a love of animals that is rarely seen. She has 9 ferrets (Olive, Annie, Frankie, Carmen, Charlie, Riley, Bishop, Felix, Oscar), 2 dogs ( Dakota and Louie), 4 cats (Earl, Neo, Miss Kitty and Gracie), as well as an alarming 6 pet Tarantulas (Hazel, Paris, Jinkx, Yvie, Blue and Trinity)! She fits right in with the team and we couldn't be more thrilled to work with her.
Client Care Specialist
Shanna is our wonderful full-time receptionist. After many years in the human medical industry, Shanna decided it was time to fulfill her passion to work with animals by joining our team in 2019. In her spare time she enjoys adventuring with her daughter Sierrah and fur-buddy Bella.
Client Care Specialist
A familiar face to some, she has worked over 30 years with a local veterinarian. She has done just about every aspect of the assistant and client care specialist's positions. After a small time in retirement, Camille has decided she has missed the client interaction and the veterinary industry.
New to the team, Nancy is a welcoming team member who jumps from the back to the front to help in many aspects of the patient/client experience.
Mikayla Van Asperen
Mikayla joined our team in July and has been an amazing help keeping the hospital in top condition.
Zoe assists in numerous aspects of closing down and cleaning the hospital at the end of the day after she finishes school. She hopes to be a future Veterinarian and we will support her as she gains knowledge and skills along the way.
Haegen is our incredibly hard-working part-time kennel assistant. He has graduated high school this year and we are happy to see him grow both within and outside the clinic.
Peanut was surrendered to the Trail SPCA because of her obesity. She originally weighed in around 21lbs! Obesity in our companion animals is a significant problem and as anyone who has tried to diet their pets knows, not easy to remedy. However we were tough on Peanut and it was amazing to see her go from barely able to walk and struggle to breathe to a cat that can now jump on counters and run. She weighs about 11 lbs now. She's a friendly girl and is very clever at 'hunting' for food we may have foolishly left out.
Oscar may be paralyzed, but he's still the fastest cat in the clinic! He is a diva that scoots around the clinic making everyone fall in love with him. He is especially vocal and if the door is left open he will be out in the lobby on an adventure.
Our latest addition is Boris, a flame point Siamese. He was originally adopted from the Trail SPCA
by Dr. Fraser to join her 3 cats at home. However, he and Peanut quickly became bonded and we couldn't separate them so he lives here. He was an exceptionally shy cat in the beginning but Peanut showed him all her tricks and now he is a naughty, chatty Siamese whose specialty is tripping you up so you remember to pet him.