I believe the measure of an establishment or a person can best be assessed by how well people perform in challenging or difficult situations. In 1992, Amherst Veterinary Hospital was recommended to me when I acquired my first dog. During the period between 1992 and 2017, I have had 3 dogs. They all received very good care despite (expected) personnel changes. I have been fortunate to experience extended consistent veterinary care from 3 particular doctors: Allyson Belyea, Nina Speyer, and Claire Beneke. Sadly, all 3 of my dogs had to be euthanized, each by a different vet. Three different dogs, 3 different vets, but 3 similar experiences. Being part of a beloved pet’s last moments is not a sought after occurrence. But, for each dog, Dr.Belyea, Dr. Speyer, or Dr. Beneke (+ technical support staff members) came to my home and were very professional and sensitive, making a heart breaking process tolerable.

Over the years, during happier and more positive times, I have always been impressed with all staff members for their help, support and welcoming approach. Obviously, all animal lovers. There’s a reason my dogs loved going to Amherst even after enduring some unpleasant procedures. (No doubt the availability of treats was a factor in offsetting any reluctance to return to the ‘doctor’s office’ as well!)

Thank you to all doctors and staff members for caring for and about my dogs. And I am sure it is not always easy. I know specifically that some staff members had gotten close to my dogs and it could not have been pleasant to participate in treating their illnesses and experiencing their deaths. Yes, all professionals, but grief is not reserved for owners only. I hope there is a mechanism in place to assist clinic personnel cope with the inherent down side to working in a veterinary hospital. The advantages are obvious but watching animals suffer can not be easy, especially when a particular attachment exists. I applaud your dedication.

I’m anticipating my 4th dog is coming soon and I look forward to visiting the friendly confines of Amherst in the near future.


Ride to Conquer Cancer

The Amherst Ride to Conquer Cancer team should take a bow!  The two day ride event collected through the contributions of those who wanted to support and who love the Amherst personalities and characters and in the bigger picture, those touched by a story related to cancer, the total is in!  8.3 million bucks and $43,000.00 from the Amherst team!

Quality of life – active and healthy, as one is able to participate and contribute, research into cancer has meant a lot to those directly impacted and by those who share the journey with that family member or friend accepting a diagnosis and learning to manage it and ride it out to beat it!

Wendy, Sarah, Marley and Aurora and I are so very proud to know of the Amherst team’s work to put cancer in its place in the history books because of what research has done to take the upper hand.  Congratulations to Grant, his family, team members and to your hubby and you for what you mean to many!

 Bow, bow, wag, wag, and cheers!



Excellent Advice and Care

We have been using Amherst Veterinary Hospital since we adopted Meadow, our Irish Setter, four years ago. All of Meadow’s checkups, vaccinations, allergies, etc. have always been handled in a timely, orderly and user friendly manner by Amherst.

Recently, Meadow had a nasty and serious reaction to a vaccination, which required surgery and continuous observation for about two weeks. Amherst, from its staff to the vets and management, has provided excellent advice, procedures, care, support and advocacy during this time.

In our view, Amherst is an exemplary example of how veterinary service should be provided.

Paddy Aiken & John Gordon

I had the pleasure of working with the staff at Amherst as a part of my Career Preparation program for school. Throughout the seven days of working there I was able to observe many astonishing things that not everyone gets to see. First of all, the staff was extremely nice and patient with not only the animals, but with myself as well. They work with huge caution and take great care of each of their patients. They’re an amazing vet hospital that really does put all of the animals’ safety and comfort before anything else.

Jenna Pereira

Career Preparation Experience

Boxer Testimonial

Jennifer, Kerri & Sheri

Rescue a Boxer Pub Night & Charlie

Our family has taken all our pets to Amherst, cats and dogs, from 1990 until recently when we moved to Victoria. It is no exaggeration to say that the staff at Amherst, Drs. Cumberbirch and Speyer and their team, are one of the biggest losses in this moving transition. They always provided our animals with the most attentive care while also seeing to our needs as pet owners concerned about our dear animals. Over the years they provided thoughtful discussions that left us understanding important choices about treatment as well as the assurance that they would back us up in our decisions. Four dogs and two cats later I can say that never once did I experience anything but excellent and competent care from the beginning of our animals’ lives to their last moments with us. Thank you Amherst!

Kathy S.

Elaine’s Work Experience at Amherst. This is what Elaine had to say about Amherst Vet Hospital:

“Amherst is a great vet clinic. One of the great things about Amherst is that it is very newbie-friendly: there are instruction manuals and task lists for those who do not know their way around Amherst. It made my experience as a short term employee a lot more enriching as I was able to learn things quickly and rely on the books in case I forgot something.”

“Another important aspect that Amherst provides is extremely intelligent and outgoing staff members. Not only did I learn a lot from the technicians and veterinarians about veterinary medicine, but I also saw and got involved in many different cases that I hadn’t had the opportunity to see in other clinics. The staff encouraged learning, and as a student, that makes a big difference with regards to the quality of your experience at a vet clinic!”

“Lastly, I learned that all of the vets at Amherst clinic are special in that they had academic distinction, and it inspires me to work hard while in vet school as it can make a difference in job availability. At the same time, the Amherst vets stressed that the most important thing is to have fun – a valuable tip for the next four years as a veterinary student! In all, I loved my experience at Amherst and am so grateful I was able to be a part of the team. Thank you so much Amherst!”


I have taught dog training for 15 years and am thus very involved with my dogs. I have seen Dr. Grant Cumberbirch at Amherst for all my dogs, and could not be happier to have such a caring vet with high standards on whom I can rely completely. I also appreciate having the other vets available and have always been impressed – I have seen most of the vets at Amherst at one time or another, and although Dr. Cumberbirch will always be my vet I value the clinic atmosphere where all the vets have access to the medical file and ready consultation with each other. The clinic is also remarkable for the degree to which continued learning and high standards are fostered for everyone … the vets often have areas of particular expertise (thanks Dr. Iuliana Sofronia for the phenomenal care with the dental operation!) and it is very relevant to have excellent technicians as procedures such as drawing blood or taking x-rays could easily be stressful for an animal. I have also greatly appreciated the amazing generosity in providing extra follow-up assistance and phone consultations at no charge.

My dog Spartacus is now a very senior mastiff breed and extremely arthritic, and I recently tried laser therapy for him and found it made him a great deal more comfortable. Dr. Cumberbirch thought we could obtain greater improvement and recommended we also try acupuncture. I will admit I was quite skeptical as I had tried acupuncture myself with only moderate benefit, and only because I have implicit faith in Dr. Cumberbirch did I give it a try …

I cannot say enough about how skillful, caring and helpful Dr. Nina Speyer-Ofenberg has been with the acupuncture treatments & combining them with the laser therapy. It is truly amazing what a difference it has made in Spartacus’ life. My students at class have been commenting that he looks happier and more himself than he has in over a year! The acupuncture & laser together appear to have a synergistic effect, and it is truly a joy to be able to see Spartacus enjoy a walk in the sunshine again. As a bonus Dr. Speyer-Ofenberg has also treated and helped with the chronic digestive upsets and anal gland issues he has experienced throughout his life.

If your vet recommends acupuncture and/or laser I would certainly encourage anyone to give it a try – even if you start out as skeptical as I was! This experience has been yet another example of the importance of having a vet you trust who knows your pet well.

So a big thank-you to everyone at Amherst!

Brenda Jagroop

We have taken our dogs to Amherst Veterinary Hospital for more than 10 years. I can not say enough about the staff. They are so attentive, sensitive and highly professional. Had recently needed to bring my dog in and, as always, it was a pleasure and very quickly my pet was back to perfect health. “Thank you” to all the staff at Amherst!

Sandra Mebs - Cody's mom!!

Great Experience

We took “Stella” for her first exam when she was 8 weeks old and our experiences at Amherst have continued to be terrific. My neighbor at that time told us “They have been around for a long time and you can trust this clinic.” Stella is now 5 and has recently been receiving treatment for a chronic ear infection. We mostly see Dr. Nina Speyer, Dr. Yuen and Dr. Sofronia. I find they are so skillful, knowledgeable and compassionate about their work. They never hesitate to return our phone calls and follow up with her progress at home. I also find their pricing very reasonable and the reception staff is friendly and goes over the invoice after our visit.

Rob - East Van.

Care and Attention

My terrier Shamus, (aka the Boss) has been battling kidney disease for a few years. I can’t say enough about the care and attention the staff at Amherst have given us. The Veterinarians are so professional and I truly entrust Shamus under their care. The technicians and nursing staff are such darlings and patiently have shown me how to administer IV fluids for the Boss at home. After all these years, he still wags his tail when he goes to the vet. They are all so caring and have a remarkable love for the animals. It simply shows.


Regular Client

Lulu, my lab came in with a torn nail and paw injury from running in the Endowment Lands and I was seen immediately at Amherst. Since then I have been a regular client for over 13 years with now multiple pets (Bella, Brandy, Banjo) and appreciate all the care and help. Dr. Cumberbirch is a gifted surgeon and he ensures his staff is remarkable and provides excellent care and customer service. I don’t hesitate to recommend any of the Doctors and the team at Amherst to anyone looking for a professional and committed team of animal lovers.


I want to extend my many thanks to Dr. Yuen, for all of her caring and considerate help in dealing with Rumby over the last few years, but in particular the last two, as our cat gradually failed. Dr. Yuen continued to be patient and thoughtful, and at the end, at our home was even more so, and so we found that a good experience.

Thanks also to Dr. Beneke, who filled in when we needed someone and Dr. Yuen was not available.

I would like also, to particularly thank the front desk staff who were consistently patient and thoughtful when dealing with my phone calls, particularly in the last several months. They were always helpful and easy to talk to regarding my needs, so I never hesitated to call. The tech who trained me to do the hydration was also great.


Rumby with her laser therapy “goggles”.

And thanks to Zoe, who took pictures of Rumby in her laser glasses. I am ever grateful for all of the heartfelt care that we received.


Lynn W.

This last June, we lost our beloved Molson to cancer. He will forever live on in our hearts. We want to thank Amherst for all the times that you looked after our best friend. He was the kindest and most loving companion we could ever ask for. He taught us to live in each moment and to love everything around us.

Having had dogs all of my life, I have never had a Veterinary Clinic that treated its patients with as much love as you and your staff. Thank you to Amherst for all of your care over the years. We wouldn’t trust our beloved pet to anybody else.


Janice & Daniel

Cake from shanty



And, here, a little story about Black Jack.  She stepped on a bee in Jericho Park the other day and that is definitely the other side of the coin as far as my appreciation for bees goes.  Poor little Black Jack couldn’t figure out what hit her.  Her whimpering turned to piteous cries and and she couldn’t put her right, hind foot to the ground.  I sat on a log with her on my lap, knowing from her trembling body and pounding heart that I couldn’t give up until the source of her misery was found.  Eventually, I thought I saw a thorn (or possible sting) in the pad of her foot and managed (I thought) to pull it out.  Still she continued to cry and I finally decided to carry her to the nearest veterinary hospital, one that I hadn’t been to for years.  Dr. Nina Speyer-Ofenberg stuck me immediately as a meticulous and caring person.  She listened carefully to my description of what happened and though I couldn’t quite find the spot where I had seen the thorn/sting, she persisted in her search for an entry point and finally managed to see a tiny speck of the remains of what did turn out to be a bee sting.  Black Jack’s foot was swelling quite a bit by this time and she continued to act about as far from “normal” as I had ever seen her.  I was really impressed that Dr. Nina was not only able to see that minute remnant of sting but was also able to pull it out.  A shot of antihistamine and Black Jack’s recovery was instant.  It felt so, so good to see her transform before my eyes to the happy, dancing begging-for-treats little dog I sometimes take for granted.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to Dr. Nina.

Carol Carson

Standards of Excellence

I have used Amherst Veterinary Hospital since 1989 – first with my Springer Spaniel who lived to the ripe old age of 14, thanks to Dr. Cumberbirch pulling her through a terrible illness caused by the clostridium bacteria. I now take my two English Cockers to Amherst and have received superb care for them, especially for one who has a lot of skin allergies and ear infections.Although Dr. Cumberbirch is the vet I usually see, I have seen several of the other vets over the years and all of them live up to his standards of excellence. The technicians and front desk staff are all efficient, friendly, kind, and obviously animal lovers.

I have referred several friends to Amherst and they have had similar totally positive experiences.

S.B., Vancouver

Long Term Client and Patients

Amherst has been our vet clinic for over 15 years. The care has been tremendous, especially from doctors Cumberbirch, Speyer and Sofronia. During the saddest and most stressful times when a family pet is at the end of life, the entire staff has been wonderfully supportive and kind. We would not hesitate to recommend the clinic to our friends.

Janet and Duncan MacPhail

Friendly Staff

My family has been going to Amherst for many years….As long as I remember having furry friends, my parents saw Dr. Cumberbirch on Dunbar Street and now I take my pets (Zuzu and Milo) to Amherst on 4th and Alma. The staff is friendly, caring and show that old fashioned customer service which always makes you feel welcome. They can accommodate me if I need to drop off my pet on my way to work in the morning and have late evening hours which is so convenient. I have seen different Doctors and they always explain what the medical issue/condition is and what the plan will be. They care, take their time and answer my questions. I feel the entire staff is respectful, competent and truly understand the bond between a pet and their owner. I trust this veterinary clinic and they have always been there for all my dear pets and for ME!

Nancy B.

Amherst Veterinary Hospital

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