Our Team

Our Team at Portland Vets are all chosen for their genuine love and care of animals.
We all have our own pets in varying shapes and sizes and strive to look after your pets as if they were our own. We all undergo regular continuing professional development to ensure we offer you the most current treatment options and products in caring for your pet.

Learn more about our individual team members their special interests, pets and home life.

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Jenny Christopherson

Jenny graduated from the Veterinary School at Sydney University in 1995. She spent 2 years working in farm practice in the her hometown of Berridale in the beautiful Australian Alps before deciding to travel to the UK and concentrate on building her skills as a small animal veterinarian.
Oddly, she does not seem to mind the weather in the UK and her decision to stay here was both professional and personal. She has married her English ‘knight in shining armor’ and they decided to make their home in East Grinstead. In doing so she fulfilled her dream to build a caring family veterinary practice to the high standards to which she believes all pets deserve.
Jenny has worked in several practices in the UK on her way to opening her own practice, including several referral centres of excellence where she gained valuable experience.
Jenny has always been very patient and caring with her clients and especially takes time to help explain diagnoses, treatments and tests to owners. She believes that clients must be well informed to allow them to make the best decisions regarding their pets health.
In recent years, with such a good team in place at Portland Vets, Jenny has reduced her working hours to be able to spend more time with her 2 daughters and their 3 legged one eyed cat Trevor. She still finds time to be an avid sports fan (cricket at the Oval or a daughter’s netball match) and getting involved with school fund raising.

Kasia Kamieniarz

Kasia has been part of our veterinary team for almost 3 years now. Graduating in Poland in 2016 she adds to the international flavour of the Portland Vets team. After graduating Kasia gained experience by completing an internship in Turkey. She has now undertaken an Advanced Practitioner Certificate in Endosurgery and Endoscopy, so anything requiring a closer look inside without the need of a scalpel and she is your woman! But she will still continue to greet her clients with a welcoming smile and her patients with a cuddle or a stroke.

Kasia is a newly wed and lives with husband Burak and they enjoy travelling to his home country of Turkey in their spare time and home to Poland to see her gorgeous cat Maurys. They will soon be hearing the sound of (four) little feet, when their German Short Haired Pointer puppy arrives in June!

She also likes cooking, sports and learning new languages.

Laura Sulsh

Laura is our Head Vet and qualified from Bristol University in 2009, joining the Portland Vets team in December 2015. She brings with her a special skill set including, key-hole surgery, an interest in exotic and emergency medicine. She is furthering her studies and hopes to gain her emergency medicine and critical care certificate by the end of the year. She is very passionate about veterinary medicine and her enthusiasm is infectious. She regularly shares her knowledge on our social media platforms and at Portland Vets client evenings.

Laura has an eclectic collection of pets; tortoise Kermit, cat Kimi (Raikonnen) and several sheep. She also has an American Quarter horse called Cody, and Cob called Logan, who she shares with her twin sister (also a vet!) And on days off can be found down the stables with these gorgeous young horses!

Rachel Bowron

Rachel has worked in the local area since graduating from the University of Bristol in 1996 and joined Portland Vets in February 2018. She is based at East Grinstead but can be found at Horley or Edenbridge on a Saturday. She has extensive experience of all aspects of small animal practice, but is particularly interested in the treatment of long term medical problems. We are thrilled that a vet of Rachel’s calibre is  part of our Portland Vets team.  Her kind and calm personality make her a natural with her patients.  She enjoys nothing more than exercising her outstanding knowledge and  experience to solve some of the more puzzling, long term, tricky cases.

Rachel is married and has two teenage children. They share their home with two cats, Basil and Humphrey, and some tropical fish. On her days off, Rachel enjoys being a school governor, taking ballet lessons, gardening and going to the theatre.

Alex McInroy

Alex joined Portland Vets in January 2019. She qualified from Liverpool University 10 years earlier and spent several years working at a veterinary hospital in Kent. She has a keen interest in all things medical, and is undertaking a certificate in small animal internal medicine, and is hoping to gain this certificate by the end of the year. This further study has increased her skills in ultrasound imaging, which broadens the skill set available at Portland Vets.

Last summer Alex and her soon-to-be husband found their dream home in Surrey, which they share with Flash, a gorgeous (if a little lazy!) rescue lurcher. He came in to her previous practice as a stray and very quickly ended up going home with her!  He can always be tempted off the sofa for a run, and they have done some “canicross” training together, although Flash is more keen when in the company of other dogs!  Otherwise Alex spends her free time cooking, and enjoying an afternoon tea after a wander around a National Trust garden.

Megan Tucker

Megan left full time vetting in 2018 and has taken her keen interest for education to Surrey University where she is helping the next generation of vets. She  returns every couple of months to us to keep ‘her hand in’!

In her spare time she likes to cook and sew, and is also attempting to “relearn” the piano!

She spends a lot of time walking Buster, her crazy Collie x Springer and training him to be a little less crazy, some hope! He joined her and Fiance Paul in their training sessions to climb Kilimanjaro last year, raising money for charity. They all share a home in Burgess Hill.

Natasha Killick - Head Veterinary Nurse

Natasha, our Head Nurse, joined Portland Vets in 2013 looking to broaden her horizons and advance her career after training and qualifying from a practice in Caterham. Portland Vets are so lucky she chose us to achieve this. Clients and colleagues alike benefit from her ever ready smile and ‘can do’ attitude.

Natasha is a clinical coach and in charge of training our student nurses alongside furthering her own studies; completing her NCert in Anaesthesia in 2018. As if this isn’t enough to keep her busy, she has a gorgeous little boy Henry to run round after, along with his ‘fur sister’ the beautiful but ever so slightly spoilt Bulldog Betty! They live together with her husband Richard in East Grinstead.

Sarah Pearce - Deputy Head Veterinary Nurse

Sarah has been with Portland Vets since its inception in 2004. She is particularly interested in Medical Nursing and running Nurse’s Clinics. Being super efficient and organised she keeps us all on our toes! There is not a piece of equipment that she doesn’t know how to find/fix/replace or service. She maintains the important health and safety standards, assists Natasha in managing the nursing team alongside the further studies in wound management that she completed last year and her undertaking of a Certificate in Emergency Medicine;  you get a picture of how capable Sarah really is!

Sarah stepped down from her Head Nurse role to Deputy when she had her family and reduced her working to 4 days a week. She lives in Crawley with her husband Andy, daughter Charlotte, son Isaac, Lucy the cat, a naughty tortie, and their  gorgeous Border Terrier x JRT, Mabel. Sarah is a keen horse rider and has got back into it in recent years, going regularly now her children are a little older and she has a bit more free time.

Annabel Vince - Veterinary Nurse

Annabel gained her degree in Veterinary Nursing in 2014 from Bristol University and worked in Somerset for a year but luckily for us she wanted to return to her family home in Sussex, so joined the Portland team in May 2015. She is a fantastic edition to the practice, she is a calming influence on those busy days! And has fast become a key team member, she has joined Natasha as one of our clinical coaches, passing on her expertise to our student nurses.

Annabel has a particular interest in behaviour, maybe influenced by her own cross breed Bingley, who has his own take on the world!! When not working or walking Bingley, Annabel spends her time with Wally her horse, riding and enjoying the local countryside around Sussex.

Isabella Kendrick - Veterinary Nurse

Isabella (Issy) gained her degree in Veterinary Nursing in 2018, being our first student to graduate having completed all her training with us at Portland Vets! We were so very proud of her. With her amazing knowledge, care and dedication we had no hesitation in offering her a full time position. She has a keen interest in weight management and Nurse clinics in general. She is always happy to see your pets and advise on all aspects of pet care from puppy and kitten stages, all the way through to the aches and conditions of old age.

Issy has a gorgeous and unusual dog a patterdale/GSD cross, called Willow, who occasionally comes to work with her mum! Issy is a keen equestrian, although not as often as she’d like at the moment! So when not working Issy likes to be out and about enjoying the local countryside.

Portland Vets is proud to be an approved training center, providing practical experience to the Veterinary Nurses of the future. Our very experienced and Qualified nurses and Vets support the trainees through their Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 3 year long degree course. By being dedicated in our provision of training we ensure the quality and competency of the profession continues to remain at an exceptionally high standard.

Our current SVN’s are 3rd year student Abi Riley; 2nd year student Maddi Aloof; and 1st year student Katie Fishwick.

Jenny Kemp - Veterinary Surgeon

Another Australian Jenny at Portland Vets!

Jenny joined the Portland Vets team in April 2013.  In common with Jenny C she graduated from the University of Sydney and shares her vision of providing a high standard of affordable veterinary care with a very personal approach.  It was this principle that compelled Jenny to leave the evolving Surrey veterinary practice in which she had been employed and had worked hard to establish and develop over a period of close to15 years.

During Jenny’s time in Surrey she was fortunate to work in close association with a team of specialist referral vets which was of immeasurable value in developing her professional skills and knowledge.  She has a special interest in geriatric medicine and a definite soft spot for the characterful “golden oldies” of the canine and feline variety.

Outside working hours when she is not being kept busy pandering to the needs of the three grey moggies Scarlett, Emily and naughty Lulu, who share her home near Lingfield, Jenny likes nothing more than getting out in the world, stretching herself physically and enjoying great food.  She gets quite gung-ho on her mountain bikes and in her more sedate moments she can be found pottering in her cottage garden.  Life is for living and her hope for her patients is that they can enjoy life as much as they can too!

Alison Hawker - Head Veterinary Nurse

After staying on a farm when on a primary school outing aged just 7, Alison decided that she was going to ‘look after animals everyday’.  A few years on and her conviction to do just that hasn’t wavered! Alison qualified with a degree in Veterinary Nursing in 2004.  After 2 years in a busy veterinary hospital in Kent she broadened her horizons in Australia for a year. Returning to be Head Veterinary Nurse at a developing practice in South London where she worked closely with the senior vet building the practice into a centre of veterinary excellence.

Alison is a skilled and experienced nurse who joined the Portland Vets team in 2013 and became the chief nurse at our Edenbridge branch, she is also found complementing the team at East Grinstead on occasions too. She has a particular interest in caring for rabbits and running nurse clinics and is always ready to take a baby or injured bird home for extra TLC!

Her special companion of many years, Bobby the budgie, still lives with her parents but comes to stay for holidays and mummy cuddles. Alison is still a fan of travelling and has enjoyed a trip of a life time to the Galapagos. Although she has now put down roots in Edenbridge with her partner Adam, buying their first home together.

Imogen Birch - Student Veterinary Nurse

Imogen joined the Portland Vets Edenbridge team in August 2016. After completing a weeks work experience in the summer we were so impressed with her we were delighted to offer her a position, having lost our last animal care assistant to vet school in the September.

After studying A-levels she is now a registered Student Veterinary Nurse, and is now 2 years into her training here with us at Edenbridge, she is flourishing into a brilliant future veterinary nurse.

Imogen has two gorgeous dogs, Dougie the Labrador and little Freddie. She also has a keen interest in horse riding and has had horses since she was tiny. She is a perfect addition to the team.

Anne Crouch - Veterinary Receptionist

Biog to follow

Sorrel Nation - Veterinary Receptionist

Biog to follow

Emma Tarrant - Veterinary Surgeon

Emma has been with Portland Vets Horley from the very beginning. She graduated from Cambridge University in 2018  having spent some of her training years at our main branch in East Grinstead. Some of her particular interests include cardiology and exotics, but she enjoys all aspects of small animal medicine.
Emma grew up in a house full of animals including dogs, cats, small furries and exotics, so she loves them all!
She is very excited to be working in this new and exciting branch and looking forward to welcoming all the new clients and their pets.
In her spare time Emma enjoys triathlon training, particularly swimming, spending time with her partner Tim and catching up with her family and family dog, German Shepherd Chica. Tim and Emma are hoping that a feline friend will join them in their home soon 🐱

Emma will be on hand with treats and cuddles for all her patients.

Claire Booth - Head Nurse and Partner

Claire qualified as a Veterinary Nurse from The Royal Veterinary College, London, in 2014, and then spent her summer in Africa volunteering at a wildlife reserve before returning to university to complete her BSc Hons in Veterinary Nursing in 2015. Since then she has worked at several practices, gaining valuable experience enabling her to grab the opportunity of being able to run her own practice.

Claire is highly experienced in all areas of nursing, with a special interest in anaesthesia and nurse clinics. She is looking forward to meeting all of your pets for the range of nurse clinics available, including puppy and kitten checks, weight clinics, renal clinics, diabetic clinics, nail clips, anal glands and cuddle clinics!

When Claire is not working she enjoys horse riding, spending time with her partner Robi and their beautiful tabby cat Sebby.

Marion Seymour

Marion is our Head Receptionist and has lived in the East Grinstead area for most of her life, and being a huge animal lover is very excited to be part of the Portland Vets team. Marion is responsible for stock control including processing client orders and online orders, so if you want to know anything she is the person to ask! She’s also famed for her naughty sense of humour and keeps us all smiling.

Marion has previously studied dog grooming at Brinsbury College, so when her Cavalier Rafe needs a trim Marion has him looking dapper in no time! With this gentle soul in her family Marion knows just how special our pets are and looks forward to meeting everybody.

Karen Scott

Karen joined the practice as part time receptionist in April 2007. She moved to East Grinstead in 1991 from Edinburgh ……you’d never guess from her accent! After four years overseas in America and Switzerland from 1996-2000, East Grinstead’s charms drew Karen, husband Graham and three children back to the town. Her family has now expanded and Karen is a very hands on granny, looking after her grand daughters several days a week.

Karen has a gorgeous British Shorthair cat, Islay, and is a real sucker for cute puppies and kittens and rarely can stay behind the desk if there is an opportunity for a cuddle. We love being around her as she is always happy, smiling and enjoying her job. She can do at least 3 jobs at once and still keep smiling! Say hello to our wee smiling Scot next time you are in!

Julie Geue

Julie is another antipodean at the practice! She qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in Australia and moved to England in 1992 joining us part time in 2016. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience, and is known for her straight talking and love of vibrant hair colour! She is now doing two shifts a week on the front desk, alongside looking after client admin, bringing all her skills to reception as well. Julie has a very easy going and relaxed manner and is able to win over the most timid and nervous of patients (and owners!)

Julie has 2 lovely children and they share their home with, in Julie’s words, an air headed Dalmation called Sunshine. They also re-homed a very lively stray kitten from the practice naming her Luna(tic) she was closely followed by Dave, a cat that seems hell bent on causing Sunshine harm, very mischievous! Outside of work Julie likes to be outdoors, either with her dog, gardening or geocaching with her son and daughter.

Nicola Schofield

Nicola joined the Portland Vets team in January 2017 as a part-time receptionist. Previously Nicola worked for Legal and General for 11 years administering bespoke pensions. Thus having a wealth of customer care experience, she will be happy to help you in any way she can. However stepping into the veterinary world Nicola has lots of animal experience too, having had a variety of pets at home, rabbits, guinea pigs and dogs. She currently lives in Crawley Down with her husband and three gorgeous girls. Also not to forget Nicola’s beautiful and very bouncy Springer Spaniel – Skye, who believes she is the perfect lap dog as well as being cheeky and stealing her family’s shoes!

Kat Russell

Kat, our newest part time receptionist joined the Portland Team in 2018, bringing with her a wealth of client care experience from Waitrose. She is super keen and her aim is to ensure that your experience with Portland vets is a pleasurable one from beginning to end! What she lacks in experience she more than makes up for in enthusiasm.

Kat shares her home in Crowborough with Alfie the cutest black and white cat and Missy, an adorable young Blue staffie. So any owners going through the early stages of training a puppy and all the chaos that brings, Kat can sympathise!!

Kat looks forward to meeting all our long established and new clients alike.

Our Patient Care Coordinators are an invaluable part of the team at Portland Vets. They work behind the scenes, assisting our nursing team to care for inpatients, setting up for procedures, helping to keep the hospital clean and tidy, and giving our patients that much needed cuddle.

Lucy Doyle

Lucy has been with Portland Vets since 2018 and has bought her unique and very positive attitude to the team. She has a back ground in client care and personal fitness, along with a great love and respect of animals. She is a very keen ‘eco-warrior’ and has been driving the practice forward to lower its carbon footprint, encouraging increased recycling and growing our own herbs and greens for our rabbit and guinea pig patients. She has also been managing all things social media for us whilst Heather has been on maternity leave.

She has 2 equally unique dogs, the lovely whippet X staffie Indie, such a gentle soul. And then there is Troy! The bull in a china shop of a doberman who keeps Lucy constantly on her toes. She shares these gorgeous creatures with her husband Dom and her 2 teenage daughters, we think she comes to work for a rest!!

Lucy what did we do without you?!

Fiona Austin-Byrne

Fiona recently joined the Portland Vets family as a Veterinary Receptionist, but with her studies in animal care it wasn’t long before she joined the Patient Care team. She now splits her time between looking after the in patients during the week, and reception duties on a Saturday. She brings the same high level of care and dedication to both roles at Portland Vets.

George Christopherson - Director

George is co-owner and founder of Portland Vets with his wife, Jenny.  Before his time at the practice he spent many years traveling the world in Sales & Business development for the chemical industry. He has a MBA from Durham University Business School and is a member of the VPMA (Veterinary Practice Manager’s Association).  It was a natural progression to settle back in this area as he was brought up about 30 mins drive away.
George works at the surgery several days a week helping with administration along with other important roles such as chief maintenance officer, IT consultant and delivery driver for purchases made from our on-line store.
George has founded and manages Lingfield Equine Vets; he employs 6 equine vets who both travel to their patients and also offer inpatient hospitalisation at their stables in Felbridge.
Throw in that he is the father to 2 beautiful girls and Jenny’s chief chef and home help, he may be the exception to the rule that “men cannot multitask”!

Valerie Pollard - Practice Manager

Valerie is a dairy farmer’s daughter who has always had a passion for animals and their welfare.  She qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1995 completing the surgical diploma in 2003 whilst Head Nurse in a referral practice. She joined the Portland Vets team in October 2006 as a part time receptionist after having her first child, but given her qualifications and experience we soon convinced her to come back to nursing. But in 2015 with her youngest son starting school Portland Vets had another role for her utilising her excellent skills and high standards, she was offered the unenviable job as Practice Manager!

Valerie lives in Horley with her partner Grant and her two gorgeous boys, Stanley, and Arthur, and a rather lovely large tabby cat called Mr Finch. Arthur has to have a special mention, as he was the 1st baby boy born after 12 girls from staff over the years at Portland Vets. Valerie is always up for a challenge and if it is for charity all the better! Having done 10k runs and shaving her head all in the name of charity in the past!

Ami Smith - insurance claims

Ami Joined the Portland Vets family in 2007 after moving to the area with her teenage daughters. She had been working as a veterinary nurse for 2 decades so brought with her an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience. We were very lucky that she came along when she did! As the practice has grown Ami has become an integral cog in so many areas. She currently completes and submits all of the practices pet insurance paperwork. Having someone with her knowledge in both these areas is a massive asset . Most of all she is a fabulously kind person and such a pleasure to work with. She has particular empathy and interest with clients who are making hard decisions or grieving the loss of their pet and has a great knowledge and interest in pet behaviour. The consummate professional, kind hearted and approachable, her life has been further enriched by the arrival of her grandchildren. She is the youngest looking, coolest Granny on the planet and is totally smitten – just ask her to show you the photos!

Sophie Kirk

I cannot recommend you all enough. You have the most amazing team of staff from admin, receptionists, nurses & vets I am sooooo grateful for each & every one of you. I am grateful you stepped in when you did …

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Nicola Board

Simply the best …. I’ve been going here since they opened (wellover a decade) as we moved to the area at a similar time as they opened. I’m very fussy and this bunch are fantastic. I’ll always be biased with …

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Mrs Z Wells

We have been a client of Portland Road since January 2007 with our dog Bramble. During such time, Bramble visited on many occasions for various ailments, including major surgery. The team have always been exceptionally supportive particularly, in times of …

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