Meet the staff

If you’d like to learn a little more about the staff, please browse the sections below!


Christine Fife BVM&S MRCVS – Owner and Veterinary Surgeon

After qualifying from Edinburgh University, Christine spent several years in mixed farm, small animal and specialist equine practices across the UK and abroad also setting up and running the veterinary unit of a rescue centre. She has always been a keen horse rider, is interested in and has competed in all aspects of horse riding, from dressage, show-jumping and eventing, to endurance and driving. Christine has in addition to a young family at home also got many animals at home, including horses, sheep, dogs, cats and farm birds! She thrives on continuously evolving the practice for the needs of her patients and clients. She understands how much a pet means to an owner, but also how important it is to anybody with an illness to be understood and cared for.

Doreen Maitland BVSc (Hons) GPCertEqp MRCVS – Veterinary Surgeon

After qualifying from University of Queensland, Australia, Doreen has spent several years in both mixed, small and equine practice, both here in the UK and in Australia. Doreen is now working with us part-time following a double maternity leave, but still enjoys travelling, horse-riding and skiing around her time with us. She thoroughly enjoys working up any cases in her quiet thorough way, making sure her patients are well cared for!

Nursing Team

Sasha Watson - RVN

Sasha has been with the practice since 2016 and is well known by clients. Gaining her qualification in veterinary nursing this year she is putting it to good use. Sasha is an advocate for sight hounds after she rescued her Lurcher Zander. 

Fiona White - RVN

Fiona seems to have been with animals forever. Initially trained in agriculture, then specialised in dairy, after that she trained as a veterinary nurse and LOVED IT. Fiona has always rescued animals be it large or small she currently has Frankie the collie, Charlie the Tibetan terrier (nicknamed Alexa as he watches your every move) and Arthur the cat!

Susie Patton - (RVN)

Susie has been a part of our nursing team since March 2021 and joins us after an extended career break but has loved being back in the Veterinary industry world once more. Now that her grown up children have less needs she enjoys “attempting to tame” a huge allotment. Time spent in the fresh air, digging and weeding until the sun goes down when a well-deserved drink is all that is needed to end the day.

She currently lives with her 14 1/2yr old Hungarian Vizsla, 2 Abyssinian cats, 3 guinea pig, a rescue rabbit, 2 tortoise hatchlings and of course the gorgeous Bear her 1yr old Golden Retriever who assisted on his delivery, on one of her earlier Saturdays back in May 2021.

When time allows around all the animal husbandry needs, Susie loves to travel, walk, ski, eat out & spend time with friends and family.

Reception Team

Penny Steele – Receptionist

Penny had a childhood passion for animals which prompted a BSc Hons in Animal Science and a succession of pets sharing her home the years. Currently Penny has 2 rescue cats Mendip and Wookey who rule the roost. Penny has the knowledge, understanding and empathy to support you as you welcome your new pet, strive to nurture them, fret about them when unwell or injured and when you have to say that final farewell. A familiar journey repeated and shared.

Katie Haime ANA – Receptionist

Katie joined the practice in 2007 with a keen interest in animals and a BETEC National diploma in animal care, during time in the practice Katie qualified as an ANA and worked in all areas of the
practice. Katie left to have her son and re-joined the team again in 2018 and has been working on reception ever since.
Katie’s Hobbies include exploring the Dorset coastline with her son and 11 year old springer spaniel Madison, socialising with friends and getting creative, be that with cooking, gardening, colouring or
making school homework projects with her son.

Emily Church – Receptionist

Emily joined the reception team back in 2021. After finishing her degree and masters she decided to start a career in the veterinary industry. Emily is a dog person spending most of her free time with her 2 black labs Chester & Marla whether it’s training or taking them swimming. Emily is looking further into the industry and is starting a course in canine behaviour, to help our canine companions the best she can.

Abigail Horne – Receptionist

Abigail returned to the practice in 2023 after a break to raise her two children and run her own mobile dog grooming business. When she’s not at work, she loves taking her girls on hikes around Dorset, but she can’t forget her 3-year-old Saluki, Flo, who always joins in on the adventures.

01258 472293

Blackmore Vale Veterinary Centre
Sturminster Newton
DT10 1BQ

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