Meet Our Team

Our experienced and passionate team are here to help you and your pets. 


Rachel Picot

Practice Owner (BVSc (Hons))

Rachel graduated in 1999 from Melbourne University.  She has completed further study in both internal medicine and ultrasound.

In her limited spare time Rachel likes to crochet. People sometimes look at her strangely when she says that, until she shows them her amigurumi which is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures.  A very suitable hobby for a vet. 

Rachel’s other hobbies include photography and collecting cookbooks which she sometimes uses to cook!  She also enjoys watching movies and numerous tv series ranging from sci fi, to historical drama and comedy.

Most of all, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family.  Perry and Rachel have been married since 2002. Their daughter Deni shares her parents’ love of animals. They share their home with Othello a Schnoodle who Perry rescued as a puppy (performing heart surgery to save his life) and their two new additions Luna, a beautiful champagne mink Tonkinese girl and Neo, a gorgeous blue Burmese boy.

Sharnee Lehrmayer

Practice Owner (BVSc (Hons))

Sharnee has been working as a small animal veterinarian since graduation from Melbourne University in 2010. Sharnee has a special interest in internal medicine, ophthalmology and clinical pathology and enjoys keeping up to date with new and developing treatment options at conferences both in Australia and abroad.

Sharnee is owned by Xena, a brown Burmese cat who is very mischievous and likes to terrorise Sharnee on a daily basis, and new addition Salem, a black domestic shorthair kitten, who likes to terrorise Xena on a daily basis. In her free time she also enjoys horse riding, rollerskating and reading a good book.

Perry Kazantzis

Practice Owner (BVSc)

Perry graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2000. He loves doing surgery – ranging from basic procedures like speys, castrations and dental procedures to more complicated orthopaedic and soft tissue surgeries. Apart from surgery he loves to interact with clients and generally have a good chat with them about their pets but also a wide range of other things ranging from cars, favourite places to eat, holiday destinations and a wide range of other varied topics.

Perry loves to do things with his hands – he loves to find out how and why things work especially electronics – if something is broken Rachel can come home to find it in pieces and then miraculously it is fixed and working again – after a bit of electronic microsurgery!!

Along with fixing things Perry also likes to build things – you can’t just go out and buy a cat tower with a cat wheel attached……..Perry draws up a design, makes the compulsory Bunnings trip(s) to purchase supplies and then puts together up a multilevel cat tower with a ramp and cat wheel attached which the 2 cats love and make full use of by the way. If he is not building a piece of furniture, he is possibly building another Lego creation.

He also likes to relax watching varied TV series and movies – sci fi are a particular favourite of his.

Family is very important to Perry - spending time with his wife Rachel and 5 year old daughter Deni is a priority, whether it is a quite day spent at home or out and about on another family adventure.

Melissa Hayde

Veterinarian (BVSc)

Dr. Mel joined our team in 2021.  She graduated from vet school at the University of Queensland and has worked as a small animal vet in Melbourne's eastern suburbs for over 20 years. She has a particular soft spot for cats and has undertaken further studies in the field of feline medicine.

She loves to see the special bond people form with their pets, and finds it rewarding to help owners keep their fur babies happy and healthy. The other thing she loves about being a vet is that no two days are ever the same, and you never stop learning because veterinary medicine is always advancing.

Dr. Mels’ own furry family include a lovely old tabby cat called Toki, and Perri who is a scruffy little border terrier.

Sarah Peterfreund

Veterinarian (BVSc)

Sarah graduated from Murdoch University in Perth in 2018. She completed a Bachelor in human nursing and has also worked as a veterinary nurse before completing her veterinary degree. Sarah has a strong interest in imaging and medicine and absolutely loves meeting and developing relationships with her clients and their pets. During her veterinary degree Sarah spent time in India and northern WA working with pets and stray animals and hopes to continue educating and helping people and their pets.

Sarah also has a true love for Shar Pei dogs and all wrinkly-faced animals. Ollie, her gorgeous 8 year old Shar Pei is the reason for this. He is the centre of her world. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family, running and reading and loves to travel whenever possible. She also enjoys being creative and has recently taken a few pottery classes but admits that she is still learning the art of using a pottery wheel. Sarah is so excited to be joining the Thrifty Vet team and can’t wait to get to know you all.

Wendy West

Veterinary Nurse

Wendy started Veterinary Nursing at the beginning of 1996 the year after completing Year 12. Wendy's passion for working with animals started when she worked part-time on her Uncles Miniature Horse Stud and she was introduced to the local Vet. Wendy completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at Box Hill Institute in 1997.

Wendy has three dogs, Charlie and Asha both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and a Maltalier called Lexi, as well as a cat and two birds.
Wendy is married with two children and enjoys supporting her daughters love for netball and is heavily involved in coaching, being a team manager and committee member.

Sarnia Marshall

Veterinary Nurse

Sarnia is currently studying her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at Melbourne Polytechnic after having completed her Certificate III in Animal Studies at Box Hill in 2019. Outside of work Sarnia has a small menagerie of her own, consisting of her two goofball Golden Retrievers, Narla and Winn-Dixie and her two very naughty cats Mr. C and Kovu. She is a sucker for a good mystery novel, any food that involves chocolate and travelling whenever she can.

Heidi Oost-Lasa

Trainee Veterinary Nurse

Heidi has recently completed her Certificate II in Animal Studies and will shortly be commencing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing with the AIRC. In her spare time Heidi dotes over her two fur babies, Olive, an adorable Brussels Griffon and Winston, a cheeky Pug X. When Heidi isn't whipping up a masterpiece in the kitchen she also enjoys mountain biking, four wheel driving and pretty much anything that involves an outdoor adventure!

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