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Meet Our Team

Our caring and compassionate veterinary care team!

Ivy Veterinary Services is proud to serve Thornton, ON for everything pet-related. Our veterinary clinic is run by a licensed, experienced veterinarian caring for cats and dogs caring for cats, dogs, pocket pets, reptiles, small flock poultry, and exotics.

Our team is committed to educating our clients on how to keep their pets healthy year-round, with good nutrition, parasite prevention, wellness planning, and exercise. Ivy stays on top of the latest advances in veterinary technology and above all, knows that all animals and pets need to be treated with loving care in every check-up, procedure, or surgery.

Dr. Cathy Emms

D.V.M. B.Sc.Agr

My name is Dr. Cathy Emms and I grew up on a mixed farm near Peterborough , Ontario near the village of Warsaw. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a veterinarian and I spent all my time with my Dad helping to milk cows, feed pigs and cattle, clean out pens, put in hay , straw and grain, pick stones, harrow and plow the fields. I loved every part of farming (except picking stones) , and I often helped the cows to calve. I learned to ride on our team of work horses, Maude and Nell, while my Dad had them harnessed for various jobs they did! My friends and I rode those work horses all over Peterborough County from a very young age!

There were very few women in the veterinary field when I was growing up, and I remember that one old vet who came to our farm to do a difficult calving did not want me to be present at the calving because he thought it was inappropriate for a young girl to see. Thankfully, my Dad told him that I always helped in the barn and he would not send me to the house as the vet had requested.

I would take piglets into our house who were cold and almost dead when sows rejected them, and warm them in our wood stove oven and bottle feed them to bring them back to life! It always amazed me when these piglets who were clinically dead, would magically come back to life with a little milk , warmth and care ! I think this is when I developed the expression, ” Where there is life, there is hope!” I do live by that motto and I do not give up on animals without a fight! Any of the piglets that I saved, then became mine to sell, so that was a further motivation to save their lives, but it was hard to send them to market because I named all of them and they became pets.

I also worked for several dairy farmers while going to University. I would milk cows on weekends, and sometimes early in the morning before going to class because I needed work to help pay for my education, but also because this is what I really liked to do. I worked for some wonderful farmers, but the family who influenced me most were the Parkers.

Their dairy farm was located on the Scotch Line near Alliston and I worked there for 2 summers, and did relief milking for them so they could get away at other times of the year also. They were like my second family and I continued to visit regularly well past the time I worked for them. They encouraged me to stay in school and keep trying to get into the Veterinary program at OVC when I was getting discouraged. Without their encouragement, I likely would not be a veterinarian today.

I graduated from the University of Guelph, first in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture ( honours) and then again in 1984 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree (honours). I went into private practice as a large animal veterinarian for Cheltenham Veterinary Services treating beef and dairy cattle, horses, pigs, goats and sheep. After a year I then switched to small animal medicine and surgery when I became pregnant with my first son, and I have continued practicing mainly in the small animal field since then.

I then worked in Barrie for almost 10 years for Dr. Lloyd Fisher at Barrie Veterinary Hospital. This was the opportunity of my lifetime, as Dr. Fisher was one of the best veterinarians I had the priviledge to work with, and I learned so much from him! I will be forever grateful to him for all his guidance and teaching. I also worked for 2 years at Barrie Animal Hospital with Dr. Brian Westgarth-Taylor, and learned a great deal from him also, for which I am very grateful.

In 1997, I started Ivy Veterinary Services with the help of my husband Roger, on our farm property in Essa Township. I am a sole practitioner, occasionally getting locum veterinarians or neighbouring practices to cover for me if I am away, but 95% of the time, when you visit Ivy Veterinary Services you and your pet will see me! My veterinary practice includes cats, dogs, pocket pets ( mice, hamsters, rats, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Ferrets and Degus), all types of birds from small to large, and reptiles of all types. I also occasionally treat and neuter various pet monkeys and lemurs.

My practice is very pet friendly, and we have acres of fields for walking dogs right outside our building. I am an avian, reptile, and exotic veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in this field. I am also well experienced with dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs. I also am certified for Small Flock Poultry.

I perform routine surgeries like spaying and neutering in my hospital. I am also very proficient at many other surgeries such as: the Lateral Ligament Suture Repair for ruptured anterior cruciate Ligaments, surgery to correct Luxating Patellas, feline Urethrostomy repairs, and surgery to correct Entropion, ectopic cilia, and ” Cherry Eye” to name only a few. I have taken continuing education courses to ensure that I use the techniques recommended by board certified specialists.

Roger Emms

General Maintenance

I have been married to Dr. Cathy Emms for 29 years. We have 2 sons Brandon and Dallas, and we are grandparents to Raiden and Jaxson Emms ( Dallas’s boys!). I have worked at Ivy Veterinary Services since opening on October 31st of 1997. I am in charge of repairs, maintenance, landscaping, snow removal and any other “Honey Do” jobs that Cathy dreams up. We work 50 acres of hay and cash crop, have 4 horses and a small beef herd of Angus x Hereford cattle. I play goal two to three times a week in a “semi pro” league at the Nottawasaga complex in Alliston. I enjoy Nascar, and I am Cathy’s “driver” when we go to races: watch for our flag in the crowd on the Speed Report. My favorite driver is Clint Bowyer #15….Drive fast, turn left!


Veterinary Technician

I am an enthusiastic person who has loved animals all my life. I studied Zoology at Laurentian University and have been in the animal care profession ever since.I started working at Ivy in 2013. I have 3 dogs of my own named Rosie, Guinness and Frankie and my newest addition Nugget the cat! I love spending most of my time outdoors camping and hiking with my fur pack as much as possible


Animal Care Assistant


Hospital Manager

I am Dallas’s youngest son and brother to Raiden. I like to see the kitties at the Clinic, they are my favorite. I like all animals though, and I come to the clinic on Raiden’s gator or jeep: he drives me there! I can run fast now and get into alot of things, so I get lots done when at Ivy Veterinary Services.


Office Manager

I am the office manager. I have been running things around here since I learned how to walk. My favorite thing to do is take Steve the pigeon outside and teach him how to fly with Grandma. I love riding the tractors when I visit Grandpa, playing with trucks, riding my gator and jeep, and spending time with my mom and dad. I will be starting school this fall so I won’t have as much time to work at Ivy Veterinary Services!