Dr. Uri Burstyn


Dr. Burstyn graduated from the University of British Columbia, and went on to graduate with first class honours from the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, Australia. He worked as a veterinary technician in the emergency room of a specialty hospital while studying to become a veterinarian. After graduation Dr. Burstyn worked as an emergency/critical care doctor, pursued advanced training through a rotating internship in internal medicine and surgery, and was a research scientist with an orthopedic surgery laboratory at UBC. Dr. Burstyn’s clinical interests are focused on surgery and feline medicine. As a veterinarian passionate about cat welfare, he is a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, and regularly attends the American College of Veterinary Surgeons symposium. Dr. Burstyn has published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and has presented at the annual society for neuroscience meeting.

Always an innovator, Dr. Burstyn was the first veterinary surgeon to offer minimally invasive surgery on a routine basis in Western Canada.  Having started offering this option exclusively to our clients in 2010, Dr. Burstyn now provides a province-wide referral service for minimally invasive surgery, and is still the only veterinarian in BC to routinely perform a wide variety of procedures using minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Burstyn lives with 2 cats: Mr. Pirate, whom he raised from a 5 day old kitten, and Trinity, a cat who lost her leg after being hit by a car and was subsequently adopted by Dr. Burstyn when her owners refused to care for her. His professional approach can be summarized as “Kindness, Compassion, and Evidence Based Medicine.”

Dr. Sage Buckner


Hailing from Colorado, Dr. Buckner studied veterinary medicine at the University of Missouri, and did his post-grad at Cornell in New York. As well as the impressive pedigree he brings, just to meet Dr. Buckner is to know the kind of heart and soul he puts into his work.  When he’s not tending to his adorable patients or snuggling up to his two cats at home, you can find him active in his local church community, gardening and cooking with his wife, and adventuring in the great outdoors! The wide variety of outdoor activities, along with the diversity of plants and animals, have given him endless opportunities to learn and be delighted in the PNW.


Head Veterinary Technician

After working as a veterinarian in Thailand for many years, N.J immigrated to Canada with his family and we managed to snag him for our head technician! N.J. currently lives with a ghost dog, and is a passionate and talented photographer. Follow him @njtakespictures on Instagram to see some of his amazing work! NJ was born to work with animals, and you only need to meet him momentarily to see why he inspires so much trust and love with all his patients and our clients. He is a pillar of strength, kindness and hard work within our family.


Veterinary Technician Assistant

Rita should be a familiar face to our clients, having been with us since day one! She’s the Queen of effortlessly juggling 10 tasks at once – outside of work she’s finishing her undergrad degree, hiking with her two big dogs and skiing the local mountains, and in-clinic she’s a master of reception, the lab and the pharmacy! Your pets love her and we do too.


Veterinary Technician

Joining us from her native Chile, where she was a certified veterinarian, Carrol is an extraordinary and inspiring figure in our clinic. Her incredible kindness and thirst for knowledge make her an all-around hero for animals big and small. When she’s not at work Carrol is soaking up the amazing beauty of the B.C scenery, whether it be beach or forest, she loves it all.


The Boss

After an eventful career which began in the back alleys of Vancouver and spanned a number of VOKRA foster homes Lancelot – or Lance, as he is known to his friends – settled on the Arbutus West Animal Clinic as his permanent place of residence/employment. He currently performs the role of front office supervisor, although he occasionally moonlights as a mop. His duties include: sleeping in the former mailbox, knocking things off the front counter, and accepting treats. Lancelot has one pet, Angel, whom he keeps behind the reception counter during working hours. In his spare time Lancelot enjoys developing feline obesity and leading a rich inner life.


Veterinary Office Assistant

With an effervescent personality and a history in animal welfare, we’ve been delighted to add Bonnie to our team in 2019! As well as being that friendly voice on the phone when you call, Bonnie is working her way towards an international Veterinary Nursing qualification, so she can get her hands dirty helping animals all over the world.


Veterinary Office Assistant

Danielle is an adventurous spirit who has travelled the world volunteering in sanctuaries for injured wildlife everywhere from Africa and Asia to right here in B.C! Now we’re lucky enough to have her manning our reception desk, and holding your pet’s paw when they’re going through a rough time.


Veterinary Office Assistant

Harlo is the picture of calm and collected in the chaotic world of veterinary medicine. As well as being an extraordinarily talented artist and animator, Harlo has been the anchor of our reception team since 2018. Developing meaningful relationships with our clients, patients, and our community with their sincere and earnest love for animals, we just couldn’t be happier to have them with us.


Practice Management

Our practice manager extraordinaire has been taking care of things behind the scenes since 2015. She’s a tiny package of big ideas, endless energy and love for all creatures, big and small. She is also our in-house translator for our clients who speaks Mandarin, Taiwanese and Japanese. When she’s not travelling the world with her awesome teddy bears you can find her at various music venues around town grooving to all kinds of funky beats:)


Practice Management

It wouldn’t be a Vancouver clinic without at least one Australian on the team! Rhian is our client care, marketing, and social media guru. Growing up with goats, peacocks, cockatoos, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs and even a giant pig it seems inevitable that she would end up working with animals. Rhian and her two dogs Chewbacca and Trinity are constantly shuffling between our clinics with their collective air of enthusiasm and energy, so you’re bound to run into her at some point! You’ll always see Rhian with a smile and some treats (for both pets and people) taking adorable pictures for our Facebook or Instagram account. Follow us at helpful_vancouver_vet!