Our Team

Our team is committed to educating our clients in how to keep your pets healthy year round, with good nutrition and exercise.

Dr. Adva Barkai-Ronayne

Dr. Adva Barkai-Ronayne

Owner / Veterinarian

Since early childhood, there was never a doubt in anyone’s mind as to Dr. Barkai’s future career choice.

After completing her military service she went to Europe to pursue her DVM degree. Dr. Barkai graduated from university in 1997, yet didn’t feel as though she was done being a student. In 1999 she went to England and in 2000 completed her Masters of Science degree in Wild Animal Health at the Royal Veterinary College in London, UK.

Though she loved her years in university and the world of zoos and wildlife, Dr. Barkai felt it was time to explore private practice and small animals.

Since returning to Canada she has worked as a locum vet in a variety of places, including a large 24-hour emergency hospital in Toronto, a small practice in Labrador City and a mixed practice in Ontario.

Dr. Barkai also worked for 4 years at Truro Veterinary Hospital where she worked together with Lisamarie. Opening Russell Lake Animal Hospital is her opportunity to realise her dream and turn her vision into reality, by creating a cutting edge, high-tech hospital that is able to provide the best and latest medical care and is a warm and personal care environment at the same time.

Currently, her pet friends are Sir Francis the cat and Lulu Bell, her deaf, mixed breed dog. Together, with Lulu Bell, they are learning to navigate the world without sounds.

Dr. Samm Wambolt

Dr. Samm Wambolt

Veterinarian

Dr. Samm’s love for animals has been lifelong. From the time she was a little girl, she dreamed of the day that she could wear the white coat and save animals. She has always been driven to make a positive impact on the lives of both pets and their people.

Dr. Samm began her veterinary career at the Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus, in Truro, Nova Scotia, where she obtained a two year Pre-Veterinary Medicine program and later completed a four year Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree, majoring in Animal Science. She was accepted to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program in 2012, where she then obtained the four year Veterinary Medicine degree.

Her special interests in the veterinary field include public education through the use of humor and the medicine side of client relations. She prides herself on using her skills to work with clients in a team-based approach. In addition, she always strives to ensure a good experience for all of her patients and their guardians, and will often use positive reinforcement and an individualized patient approach during examinations.

A public educator, she can often be found doing interviews and educational videos on a range of topics. Dr. Samm loves all of her patients dearly and loves receiving photos of them. She keeps every card, photo and gift received from clients, as they serve as a constant reminder for why she does what she does.

Be sure to check out Dr. Samm’s video blogs on her Facebook page: Dr. Samm, DVM!

Dr. Lindsay MacNeil

Dr. Lindsay MacNeil

Veterinarian

Dr. MacNeil did her undergrad at NSAC and graduated from Atlantic Veterinary College in 2013. She has a special interest in surgery, critical care, and dentistry.

In her spare time she can be found at her home with two dogs, three cats, and her daughter. Her hobbies include hiking and kayaking.

Lisamarie Risser

Lisamarie Risser

Lisamarie has been working in the veterinary industry since 2002, after completing the Veterinary Assistant program at Maritime Business College. After graduating, Lisamarie worked with the Truro Veterinary Hospital as a Veterinary Assistant where she stayed until joining with Russell Lake Animal Hospital to become Hospital Manager in 2011.

The pets in Lisamarie’s world include two wonderful cats, Mickey and Stix, a Pionus parrot named Olive, two Cockatiels, Mellon and Nigel, one very goofy Cockatoo and a flock of very interesting guinea fowl.

When not at work Lisamarie can usually be found doing bird-related activities – anything from cleaning up after the messy bunch to making bird toys or enrichment items to just enjoying their crazy antics.

Melissa Kervin

Melissa Kervin

Before attending college, Melissa volunteered at Hope’s for Wildlife where she helped care for a variety of wildlife including raccoons, squirrels, songbirds, and deer.

Melissa graduated with a diploma in Veterinary Technology from Dalhousie Agricultural College in May 2015. She took her VTNE in 2015 and became a Registered Veterinary Technologist.

She joined Russell Lake Animal Hospital in the fall of 2015 and plans to carry on her career in small animal practice there. Her special interests are in the areas of veterinary dentistry and anesthesia, but she is also very excited when she gets to spend time in the lab looking under the microscope at the wonderful world that can be found in blood smears, urine and poop samples or ear swabs.

The pet friends included in her life are five friendly Shih Tzu’s, Dot and Lou being her own.

Julia Lynch

Julia Lynch

Julia always had a great passion for animals from a very young age, and knew that one day she would be pursuing her dream of a career in the veterinary industry. In 2014, Julia attended the Vet Assistant program at Maritime Business College and graduated with her diploma the following year.

Julia became a Vet Assistant at Russell Lake Animal Hospital in 2015, during the last few months of her program, and is currently working toward becoming a Veterinary Technician.

Her pet friends include Cooper the Beagle, Lexi the Border Collie, her cats Chester, Jack, Milo and Simon, and her rats Ted and Betty.

Janet Munday

Janet Munday

Janet joined our team in June 2020. She comes from a background in Wildlife Biology and worked in Zoo Animal Care for years in Ontario and British Columbia before making the transition to veterinary medicine.

She graduated from Douglas College as a Registered Veterinary Technician in 2012 and practiced in British Columbia for years before recently adding Nova Scotia to the list of provinces she’s called home. She has a special interest in both nutrition and radiography (she loves taking x-rays!). When not in the hospital she enjoys getting out into nature with her dog Royce, or laying on the floor at home and letting her trio of guinea pigs, Snap, Crackle, and Pop, crawl all around her.

Christina Miller

Christina Miller

Christina is a long-time RVT with a passion for exotic animal care and medicine. She joined Russell Lake Animal Hospital in August 2020, and is working towards her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Exotic Companion Animal medicine. Her other professional interests include clinical nutrition, transfusion medicine, and anesthesia.

Originally from Québec, she graduated from Vanier College’s Animal Health Technology program with honours, and the Prix d’Excellence d’ATSAQ. While working towards her Bachelors in Agricultural and Environmental Science (majoring in Applied Zoology) from McGill University, she worked as a technician in a busy general/emergency practice, taught reptile and amphibian animal care as a regular speaker at Vanier College, gained her RLAT status (now retired), and performed many private consultations on exotic animal physiology and medicine. She held an interim curator of reptiles, amphibians, and fish position at a small zoo, and coordinated exotic patient care at another hospital.

Christina keeps busy with her two dogs, Juno and Ella, and too-many-to-count reptiles and amphibians (who are mostly retired teaching animals and rescues). She looks forward to serving the exotic patients of Russell Lake!

Melissa Mason

Melissa Mason

Bio coming soon!
Katherine Ralph

Katherine Ralph

Bio coming soon!
Cathie Bell

Cathie Bell

Cathie Bell is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed.

Cathie has been working with dogs for over 25 years. Her training methods are based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis, a scientific approach to training. Cathie has studied with Dr. Bob Bailey, traveling to Hot Springs Arkansas, and then to Maryland to perfect her training skill using chickens as a training model. Cathie has 3 levels of training with Dr. Bailey to date.

Her training methods and behaviour assessments are strongly based on the work of Drs Karen Overall and Sophia Yin. She attends conferences and skills training yearly to update her knowledge and improve her skills.

Currently, Cathie is the director of the Pawsitive Directions canine program at the Nova Institution for Women in Truro, NS.