A "Fear-free" Philosophy
We provide highly individual and personalized care for clients and patients. We have longer appointment times and include the entire staff for developing client relationships. While medicine is the cornerstone of our practice, our mission is to deliver a one of a kind experience that will create a warm and lasting impression on pet and pet-parent alike. Each patient is treated in a calm and gentle manner, always with lots of treats and pats provided. We also know your time is valuable so we utilize convenient services such as online appointment booking, email communication, and patient drop-off services. We encourage you to browse this website to see all that we can offer. Thank your for visiting!
Islington Village Animal Hospital is a full service animal clinic that allows your beloved pet to receive complete veterinary care under one roof. Whether it’s a routine check-up, or urgent medical care, our Toronto animal hospital offers a comprehensive range of services to treat many breeds of animals. For every day care, such as vaccinations, routine examinations, and teeth cleaning, our veterinarian, Dr. Spence, and her veterinary assistants are ready to treat your animal companions on-site. In the event that your pet needs more intensive or emergency care, Dr. Spence is also trained in veterinary x-rays, surgery, diagnosing and treating a variety of medical problems.
Over the years, Dr. Spence has assembled a quality team of highly trained, compassionate veterinary professionals that work hard to meet the needs of all of our valued clients and their beloved animal companions. While we mainly serve the needs of dogs and cats, we also occasionally provide non-specialized services for smaller mammals, such as rabbits and rodents. New patients are always welcome at Islington Village Animal Hospital. We hope to see you and your pet in our office very soon!
Dr. Erin Spence
From a very early age I felt a special bond with animals, and I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 5 years old. When I was a child I was only allowed to have very small pets of my own such as hamsters and goldfish. So I took every opportunity to look after other people’s pets, either through pet sitting or volunteering.
I attended the University of Guelph for a Bachelor of Science in 1994, and then I got into the Ontario Veterinary College in 1998. My first job out of vet school was in Oakville, shortly after which I moved to Toronto to work in a different small animal practice in North York. I was there until 2010 when I decided to open my own practice. I have had a lifelong fascination for medicine and science, and I also enjoy working with people and forging relationships. I love always learning new things, and with this job it happens all the time. I wanted to make a living in a career that challenges and inspires me, and now actually being a vet allows me to do that every day.
I have always felt driven to help animals, to provide them with comfort and safety. Not only that, I love helping owners understand their pets better and guiding them on giving the best care possible. I thoroughly enjoy developing a relationship with my clients. I love getting to know them beyond their pets as with each visit I get to learn more about their families, their jobs, and their lives.
Currently my husband and I live and thrive in Etobicoke, and what we love to do most is play golf. I have Jack the laughing, digging dog who loves to explore his back yard and Whitey the clinic cat who loves to sit on laps. I enjoy physical fitness and outdoor activities such as cycling. My dream is to travel more and soon I hope to get to Europe. I am a member of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the Village of Islington Business Association, and an avid supporter of the Etobicoke Humane Society.
Dr. Johanna Hume
Given that my first word was “Zack”, the name of our family dog, I seemed destined for a career working with animals. Born in British Columbia, I moved to Ontario at the age of 7 and grew up in Toronto’s east end. I did an undergraduate degree at McGill University with a double major in biology and geology, and completed a master’s degree at Queen’s University in reproductive endocrinology. During my studies I volunteered at several animal shelters and veterinary clinics, and as a master’s student I worked closely with the university veterinarian. It was through these experiences that I realized that veterinary medicine was the career path I wanted to follow.
While studying at the Ontario Veterinary College, I spent time in Africa working with the local veterinarians, I did an externship at the San Diego Zoo, and I did rotations in my final year in both large and small animal medicine. It was small animal medicine, however, that afforded the greatest opportunity to forge strong and rewarding relationships with both animals and people over the long term. I never had any intention of doing a specialization because I love the variety that general practice has to offer, though I’m particularly fond of internal medicine and soft tissue surgery. I graduated in 2009, and there’s still nothing I’d rather be doing with my life.
In my spare time I love cycling, reading, board games, playing the piano, and spending time with my family. I currently live in southern Etobicoke with my husband Alex, my daughter Natalie, my son Oscar, and my three amazing kitties, Rufus, Ayla and Lemon.
Dr. Spencer Burley
As a 2017 graduate, I couldn’t be happier to take my first job at Islington Village Animal Hospital! I grew up in Toronto but spent many years away from home, so it’s great to finally be back in town. My undergraduate studies began in Halifax N.S., much to the chagrin of my parents, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in marine biology from Dalhousie University. Knowing that veterinary medicine was always my end goal, I volunteered at a small animal clinic in Halifax, as well an animal behaviour lab at the university throughout my studies. After finishing my degree I moved back to the east end of Toronto where I worked in a local veterinary clinic until I was accepted to the DVM program at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph. While at the OVC I kept an open mind about the possibility of working in the large animal field, but quickly realized that I am a city boy at heart, and the farmers would smell it on me for sure. I did however manage to keep my traveling bug alive and spent time in South America working with a dog and cat shelter in Ecuador, and a wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia. Because South America wasn’t enough, I spent a few weeks in my final year in Australia where I was able to get some great experience with dogs and cats, but also local wildlife. I graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in June of 2017 and am thrilled to be working with such a fantastic team at Islington Village Animal Hospital. The staff here are exceptionally knowledgeable and caring, the clients are all very nice, and the clinic itself is crisp and clean, but also has a touch of home. When I’m not in clinic I can either be found on a tennis court, a hockey rink, or any venue that’s playing live music. I can’t wait to meet you and your furry friends!
Dr. Garrett Schuilenberg
From my childhood obsession with collecting stuffed animals to my parents prying my face off the Toronto Zoo’s tiger exhibit window during our annual visits, I somehow always knew that I would end up working with animals. After dipping my feet into a number of different career choices such as architecture and ecology, I found myself reminded of my love for animals and ended up volunteering at a small animal veterinary clinic in my hometown. Ever since then I have been in love with the idea of providing care for our furry family members and am so excited that I finally get to practice what I love!
As a representative of small town life in Paris, Ontario, I attended McMaster University in Hamilton where I received a degree in Biology. After a number of twists and turns I found myself standing at the foot of the famous front steps of the Ontario Veterinary College – something I had only ever dreamed about. During my time at OVC, I was fortunate enough to have travelled as a student to a number of distant countries, practicing wildlife and small animal medicine in Uganda, Cambodia, and Thailand. In my final year, I relived an old experience at the Toronto Zoo, except this time from behind the scenes during a rotation with the incredible veterinarians there. Leading up to my graduation in 2019, I was drawn back to small animal medicine because of my adoration for the bonds created between pets and their families and my passion for helping to strengthen them.
I immediately felt part of a bigger family when I first visited Islington Village Animal Hospital, and knew this was the place for me. The staff are honest, intelligent, and incredibly caring and my personal values fit right in line with theirs. I’m so excited to begin my journey here!
In my spare time I enjoy discovering new foods (the spicier, the better), travelling, adventuring in the great outdoors, ice hockey, and lounging with my kitty named Hugo.