Home Dandenong Veterinary Hospital Hours & Location Contact Us
Meet the Dandenong Veterinary Hospital Team
Dandenong Veterinary Hospital Photo Tour
Our Services
News, Events & Newsletters
Pet Care Information
Remembering Our Friends
Client Communication
International Pet Travel
What’s New On Our Site?
Our veterinarians:    
Dr Darren Shortt Dr Jessica Morse Dr Maureen Anderson
Dr Vidya Jois
Our nursing & support team:    
Melissa Goulden Cassandra Goldsmith Abbey Rumble
Chantelle Watt Elisabeth Haacke Candace Vanzetti
Naomi McBlane Melissa Boots Annie Lui
Melissa Allen (our groomer)




Notable Mentions:    
Dr Robert Jones    
Dr Darren Shortt B.V.Sc.


Dr. Darren Shortt was born in Ireland, and grew up locally, attending Eumemmerring Secondary College. He was actively involved in the school curriculum, local community and local council and as a result was recognised for his contributions with a Community Service Award in 1993 and was nominated as Casey ‘Young Citizen of the Year’ 1995.

His general interest for science of all descriptions ranges from entomology (insects) to cosmology (space) and much more. A fundamental interest that Darren pocessed was his desire to become a veterinarian for as far back as he could remember.

His pursuit culminated with his graduation from the University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Veterinary Science in December 2001. Dr Darren thereafter joined the team at Dandenong Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Shortt enjoys teaching clients and students about health and disease, and on occasion educates pupils of the local primary schools as part of the Australian Veterinary Association’s PetPeP program. As a complimentary teaching role within the formal Veterinary Science training course, Dr. Shortt is a Senior Fellow of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Melbourne University, in his capacity as an Academic Associate.

In January 2006, Dr. Darren Shortt joined in partnership with Dr. Robert Jones at Dandenong Veterinary Hospital.

Darren is pictured here with his former cheeky tabby, Leroy.

Dr Jessica Morse B.V.Sc. (Hons)
Jessica Morse Team Photo


Dr Jessica Morse joined the team at the Dandenong Veterinary Hospital after her graduation in December 2004, later joining the partnership with Dr Darren when Dr Rob Jones moved onto conce ntrate on his aquarium interests. Dr Jessica grew up on a Hereford stud in country-Victoria near the small town of Corryong. After completing her VCE at Corryong she moved down to Melbourne to begin a Science degree at Monash, later transferring to the Veterinary course at Melbourne University. Growing up with many pets and animals prompted her as a child to wish for a job as a Veterinarian, which she worked towards making a reality.

Upon moving to Melbourne, Dr Jessica became the owner of the only pets allowed in her small college room – goldfish. Although not as interactive as the pets she had on the farm, the goldfish brightened up the room and kept her sane during the many long hours of study. She is now the proud owner of Safi – the Birman pictured. Safi was adopted as a stray during Dr Jessica’s uni years, and lived at the family farm for a year before Jessica moved into suitable accommodation to have her back. She is now a well-travelled cat who returns home to the farm for regular visits, with Corryong being a six hour drive away. Jessica also has a Cairn Terrier called Hunter, who also loves the farm trips!

Dr Jessica enjoys living in Melbourne and working at the Dandenong Veterinary Hospital. Dr Jessica got married in November 2007, and after honeymooning in Thailand returned to work as Dr Morse. Dr Jessica joined the partnership in July 2009, being the first female owner the Dandenong Veterinary Hospital has had in over 80 years of servicing the pet owners of Dandenong and surrounds.

Dr Jessica and her husband celebrated their first child's birth in early 2011, second in March 2013, and third June 2015, all boys!. She is now kept busy looking after the kids, working on the business, and working as a vet on a part time basis.


Dr Maureen Anderson BVSc


As far back as she can remember, Dr Maureen Anderson had always wanted to be a veterinary surgeon. Growing up surrounded by dogs, budgerigars, rabbits, horses and guinea pigs might have influenced this decision. She was born and raised in Namibia, one of the least densely populated countries in the world, and a typical family holiday often involved camping in the middle of no-where, going on nature walks or stalking wild animals. Studying to be a vet meant saying goodbye to friends and family and familiar surroundings, to attend the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Hard work and determination allowed her dream of becoming a veterinarian to come true in October 2004.


Traveling is a great passion and working in Europe as well as Australia had always been the plan, so a few months after graduation the backpack was packed and she was on a flight to London. Working in England allowed her to gain important experience in all aspects of small animal medicine and surgery, but also learn a lot about England’s third most popular pet - the rabbit. Since then she has developed a special interest in all so called small furries. Other interests are skin diseases and behaviour problems, and she enjoys doing surgery.

Four years later Australia was calling and with her husband, she put her belongings into storage and flew to Darwin via Singapore. After a trip to the magnificent Kakadu National Park, they bought a camper van and drove to Perth via the amazing and often very desolate Coastal Highway. After working in Fremantle and visiting the rest of WA, they crossed the Nullabor, explored some of South Australia and came to Melbourne for 6 months. By this time they had decided to emigrate to Australia because they had fallen in love with the country. To finish the year of camper van-ing off, they visited Tasmania and then drove to Sydney via Alice Springs and Cairns, and sold the camper. They are now back to stay, choosing Melbourne as their new home.

In her free time Maureen enjoys horse riding, getting out into nature and reading. She has adopted a young epileptic Beagle Cross dog called Anoosheh which is an Afghan name meaning lucky or happy.

Dr Vidya Jois BVSc


Dr Vidya Jois is the newest member of our DVH team. She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2015 and jumped straight into small animal practice, and hasn’t looked back!

Vidya was born in Newfoundland, Canada despite having no Canadian blood (her parents are Indian and Australian!). Four years later, her parents decided Newfoundland was too cold and moved back to Melbourne where the family has been ever since. This has left Vidya with a love for travel- at this stage she has visited nine countries and is trying to add to that list. She and her new husband have scheduled a honeymoon to India later this year.


Vidya and her husband look after a Labrador X named Albi. They both enjoy training Albi and have so far taught him not just the basics but also how to close the door/oven/cupboard, push out a seat at the table for a guest and how to find the keys!

In her spare time Vidya enjoys reading, netball, playing games with friends and long walks (with an eye out for Pokemon to hunt!).

Melissa Goulden

Melissa joined the DVH team in January 2012. Melissa started nursing in 2002 and became fully qualified in 2005 when she completed her Certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing. Melissa was working as a full time emergency and critical care nurse (which she has a special interest in) but decided the nocturnal hours that are involved with emergency were not for her. Instead Melissa decided working full time with us and is enjoying the work life balance that regular working hours allows.

She spends her spare time with Ebony a 17 year old quarter horse thoroughbred. Together they were involved in show jumping but unfortunately Ebony had to retire from her career due to injury.  Her other pets include 3 cats Mista, Rampage and Bella and a Labrador called Riley. Melissa has also recently started a new hobby of scuba diving.
Cassandra Goldsmith

Cassandra has always had a very big love of and passion for animals! This passion comes from her mum, whose own love of animals was something the two shared together as Cassandra grew up. Her mum especially loves horses, even taking Cassandra for her very first ride in the backyard on their pet horse Sam at the tender age of 6 months old.


Growing up Cassandra always had a household full of pets including horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, lizards, guinea pigs, rats, mice and even a pet galah and that’s not to mention the habit she has of bringing home stray and injured animals!

Cassandra has carried the love and respect for animals from her childhood into adulthood and has always known she has wanted to work in the Animal Welfare Industry. This has led her into completing Certificate 1 in Animal Studies and she is currently continuing her education to become a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse. Eventually she would like to specialize is Equine Nursing with the dream of one day opening her own Equine and Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre.

Cassandra currently lives on some property in which she lucky enough to have many much loved pets including her pet fish, 3 cats Xavier, Xander and Sasquach and 4 Siberian Huskies Utah, Arizona, Indiana and Dakota.

Abbey Rumble

Abbey joined the DVH team in April 2013 as our trainee nurse. Abbey’s first job reflected her love of animals, working part time at a local pet shop. This opened her eyes to a world full of different creatures, and the never-ending information that came with them. After completing her VCE studies in 2006, Abbey went on to become a qualified child care worker – which she thoroughly enjoyed, but could never shake the desire to get back into the animal industry… After all, animals don’t talk back to you!

For the last 4 years, Abbey has been working at, as well as managing, a large pet store. She has extensive experience with animals of all shapes and sizes, from pythons and tarantulas to ferrets and guinea pigs, and of course cats and dogs! Abbey’s priority throughout her work revolved around caring for, and focusing on, the wellbeing of all animals big and small. Her knowledge of our furry, feathered and scaly friends has helped many first-time pet owners choose the right companion, as well as educate current pet owners on responsible pet ownership.


Abbey is currently undertaking her Certificate 4 in veterinary nursing and will become a qualified Vet Nurse in 2016, something she is very much looking forward to!

Abbey lives with her little ball of fluff, a Persian cat affectionately called Sprinkles (pictured above), and very cute maltese cross called Harlow. She is anticipating the day that she will finally own a red and tan Kelpie and call it “Raff”.

Elisabeth Haacke

Elisabeth was born and raised in Dresden, Germany. During an exchange to Australia at age 16 she fell in love with the country and someone special and decided to move out here at the age of 22 after finishing her Veterinary Nursing studies in Germany.

In march 2012 she joined the team at DVH in a part time capacity while also caring for their first son. She has since welcomed a second son to the family and has returned to work with us again part time.

Growing up Elisabeth was always surrounded by many pets. Her first ever pet was her fish “Boris” and soon to follow were cats and amphibians. One of her cats “Nurry” was her most loyal and loving friend from age 6 up until 21, they practically grew up together and had a very special bond. Elisabeth knew then she wanted to work with and help animals.

Now Elisabeth lives in the Dandenong Ranges with her partner, her son and their hyperactive German Shorthair Pointer “Izzy”. For the future Elisabeth hopes to be able to enjoy a lot of special moments with her little family and to continue working as a Veterinary Nurse with the team at DVH. She wants to further her education with a university course sometime in the future.


Chantelle Watt

Chantelle did her year 10 work experience with us in November 2009 and joined the team as a Nurses assistant in February 2010. Chantelle is currently kept busy looking after her 1 year old daughter, and continues to enjoy working with us on a regular casual basis. She will return to study Human Nursing when her daughter grows a little more.

Chantelle grew up surrounded bu many different types of animals and developed a soft spot for them before she could even talk. She knew from a very young age that animals would be a significant part of her life and career, which made her decision to to work with them a natural, unquestioned choice.


At home, Chantelle owns two goldfish, which live in an outdoor pond, and a seal-mitted ragdoll called Crunchii (pictured).

Chantelle currently works as our Sunday Veterinary Nurse and does extra shifts as a casual.


Candace Vanzetti





Candace spent her early childhood on her family farm in the south of Western Australia. Bringing home abandoned baby lambs, or baby bambs as she used to call them, helping animals seemed to be in her blood. After completing her secondary schooling in Melbourne Candace took a gap year off to work with orang-utans in Borneo. The experience cemented her dream of working in the animal industry. She moved back to Perth for a year to complete her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2014 and joined our team at the start of 2015.


The flow of stray animals doesn’t seem to have slowed down, with the numerous number of kittens passing through the family home. Gimli was the first adoptee and went from abandoned kitten hiding in a bush to living it up on a queen sized bed on the Mornington Peninsula.
Naomi McBlane

Naomi joined our Dandenong Veterinary Hospital team in June 2015 as a Nurses Assistant, she is currently studying for her Certificate 4 In Veterinary Nursing. Naomi completed her Certificate 2 in Animal Studies with Box Hill Tafe at The RSPCA Burwood back in 2013. Before her Animal Studies Course, Naomi studied Photography at NMIT but knew her true calling was with animals.

Naomi has grown up with animals her whole life, including Pet birds, lizards, hermit crabs and dogs. 

She also grew up playing on her Grandparents farm with all the farm animals, learning to ride horses and feed Calves


Naomi currently has two beautiful dogs at home. Jasper, The Japanese Spitz (Pictured) who was an amazing 21st Birthday Surprise from her Parents, and her family dog, Zoey, The Gorgeous Chihuahua Cross. She is quite clearly very compassionate when it comes to her animals and others. She has always felt connected to animals and has always and will always have a soft spot for them, all shapes and sizes!

Naomi hopes to be a Qualified Veterinary Nurse by the end of 2017!


Melissa Boots


Growing up in a family of crime show nuts, and with a love of animals, Mel has had career ambitions ranging from Forensic Anthropology to Marine Biology and everything in between.

In the end though, working with animals turned out too good to resist. Mel graduated in 2015 from UQ with a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Veterinary Technology as well as a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. After completing uni placement at Healesville Sanctuary during her studies, Mel realised wildlife nursing held a special place for her. What’s not to love about wombat cuddles and Sulfur-Crested Cockatoos wanting to eat you? When offered the chance to work as a nurse at the Sanctuary, she packed up her car and road tripped with her Dad down to (not so sunny) Melbourne. With a keen interest in medical and intensive care nursing, she joined the DVH team in April to get her fix of domestic nursing (and because Kookaburras don’t like cuddling as much!).

One day she hopes to gain more experience in Emergency Nursing. During her downtime Mel likes to keep active through gym, exploring what Melbourne nature and cafés have to offer, walking her housemates gorgeous Labrador Holly and trying new hobbies like aerial silks.

She has one older sister/best friend currently living in England as a teacher and two furbabies still living in QLD with her parents; Jass the crazy Maltese x Jack Russel x Shiatsu and Zuko her demonic DMH. Hopefully they will be joining Mel if she acclimatises enough to call Melbourne home long-term!


Annie Lui


From a very young age in her family home, Annie has had a menagerie of pets like chooks, ducks, fish, yabbies, worms and two very grumpy dachshunds to increase her love of animals. 

Once Annie moved out of home, she soon adopted her soul mate Calvin the cat, and shortly after decided to add Arnold the boston terrier (pictured) to her furr family. 

She then went on to study animals and wildlife in her Bachelor of Science with a major in Zoology and now has just about finished her Certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing (Nov 2016). 


Annie also has been lucky enough to travel and volunteer at a few wildlife sanctuaries in Bolivia, Peru and Costa Rica where she was able to work with sloths, monkeys, macaws and a range of exotic animals. 

With these experiences, along with the qualifications she has, her dream is to one day run her own animal sanctuary and have a very large property where she can have as many dogs and cats as she wants!


Melissa Allen


Melissa began her working life as a Primary School Teacher. Her early years teaching began in Melbourne and then took her to London where she spent a couple of years working and travelling around Europe. Upon returning to Australia she commenced studies in graphic design and thus began her career as a designer, along the way meeting her partner and raising two children.

Melissa grew up with many pets as a child and always had a special love for and rapport with animals. After becoming increasingly involved in animal welfare and volunteering with several rescue groups working at shelters and fostering, she decided to follow her heart and persue a career in working with animals.


Melissa completed her Cert III in grooming in early 2016 and now thoroughly enjoys her job as a groomer.

She shares her home with her three rescue babies - a cat "Ninja", a Kelpie X "Daffy", and a greedy little pug "Puggles".

Notable mention: Dr Robert L. Jones B.V.Sc. (Hons), MACVSc., M.Aquaculture

Rob became a Member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Canine Medicine by examination in 1986. His interest has always been in medicine and especially cardiology and dentistry.He completed his Masters in Aquaculture at Deakin University, Warrnambool in 2004.

In 1999 he commenced as Veterinarian for the Melbourne Aquarium. He now spends many hours with fish and sharks and is one of the few Veterinarians in the world who regularly performs ultrasound on sharks. He has air transported sharks to Japan and regularly consults with other Aquaria around the world. He was part of the team that performed the first Artificial Insemination in a shark in the world in July 2005.

In July 2009 Rob left the partnership at Dandenong Veterinary Hosptial, initially continued to work on a regular basis two days a week. He keept himself busy the rest of the week at the Aquarium or consulting in the aquarium industry.

In 2011, after 32 years at DVH, Dr Robert Jones departed DVH and became a full time consultant in the private aquarium industry, but maintains a number of positions and relationships with the pet care industry as a whole.

Copyright © DVH All Rights Reserved. Site Construction by : Tanya Clarke