Dr Mark Verseput joined the Craighall Animal Hospital (the old name of the current practice) in 1987 after
years of military service post-graduation and never left.
His vision, and business and veterinary acumen have been largely responsible for what the practice is today.
During his student years, Mark bred reptiles as a hobby. This sparked a lifelong special interest in reptiles and exotic pet medicine and surgery. Mark was one of the first veterinarians in Johannesburg to specialise in treating reptiles and other exotic pets.
Mark also holds an honours degree in small animal medicine and is board member at the South African Veterinary Council. Mark is an intuitive diagnostician and an excellent surgeon. The ‘plastic surgeon’ perfectionism in his surgery is legendary.
Mark is married with three children and his hobbies include bird watching, hiking, fishing and golf.
Dr Hayley Gibbs is a very experienced general practitioner who has worked at Craighall Vet since 2003.
Hayley started her working life as a vet in Port Elizabeth where she was employed in a mixed practice
working with everything from dogs and cats to penguins and dolphins at the Oceanarium.
Hayley had a brief stint in the United Kingdom but gladly returned to South Africa and relocated to Johannesburg with her husband. After a few years working at Craighall Vet, she joined Mark and Neil to become a partner in the practice.
Hayley has a loyal following of clients to whom she is extremely dedicated. She is a very caring ‘mother-bear’ to her (almost) grown-up sons and takes the same approach to her patients and clients. Hayley is a clinically sharp and practical veterinarian, who will ‘tell it like it is’. Hayley showers her patients with love and is always willing to go the extra mile.
When not working, Hayley can be found watching sport, preferably when her sons are playing.
Dr Neil Shackleton grew up in Mpumulanga and qualified from Onderstepoort in 1987. Neil has an honours
degree in equine medicine and a financial diploma through Damelin College.
Neil began his career working in mixed practices with both small animals and horses. He has worked in the United Kingdom and spent four years as a veterinarian for the Animal Anti-Cruelty League from which he gained a great deal of his extensive surgical experience.
Thereafter, Neil joined Mark at Craighall Veterinary Hospital, and has been a partner for 15 years. Neil is a very experienced general practitioner with a special interest in ultrasonography. Neil is a very thorough diagnostician and a practical veterinarian who takes his time with his clients and his patients. He is responsible for managing the staff at Craighall Vet and his clients, patients and staff members know that he has a very poorly disguised soft heart!
Neil is married with two children. He loves fishing, running, horse riding and eating sausage rolls… a usual form of bribery at the practice!
Dr Shona Elliot was born and raised in the Free State, moving to Boksburg in high school. She qualified
from Onderstepoort in 2004 and began her career in a very busy small animal hospital in Boksburg, where
she was exposed to every possible case under the sun!
She also worked for a brief period in the United Kingdom before joining Craighall Vet in 2008. Shona completed her honours in small animal medicine in 2010. Shona’s special interests lie in small animal medicine and surgery, as well as ultrasonography and ophthalmology. She is an excellent surgeon and has a very logical diagnostic and treatment approach. Shona is very well-rounded in her practice and everyone’s go-to vet, including most of the staff, which says something about her knowledge and standard of care!
Shona is married to a specialist veterinary surgeon and they have two beautiful young girls. Shona has recently taken on a part-time position to spend more time with her girls. Her hobbies include spending time with her family and friends, running, going to the bush, travelling, photography and taking her ‘overweight’ dachshunds for a walk!
Dr Samantha Garner grew up in Johannesburg and first studied a BSc in Zoology and Botany at the University
of Witwatersrand before completing her BVSc at Onderstepoort in 2000.
After graduating she worked in the United Kingdom and then moved with her husband to Witbank where she worked with horses and small animals, owning her own equine practice for a time. She realised that small animal medicine and surgery was her passion and has been working with small animals since moving back to Johannesburg in 2008. Sam completed an honours level course in ultrasound and stays abreast of new developments in the field by regularly attending continuous professional development events.
She is the newest veterinarian in our Team, and already has a strong following of clients, some who have followed her from her previous practice. Sam is highly dedicated and caring to her patients and their owners, often coming in on her off duty days or hours to ensure her patients are receiving care to her very high standard.
She is knowledgeable, skilled and motivated with a loads of energy and commitment for her work. Sam is full of fun; always laughing and making irreverent jokes that could make a grown man blush! When not working Sam can be found walking her dogs in the Delta, escaping to the bush, renovating houses or hosting lively dinner parties with family and friends.
Dr Kirstin Dinham qualified in 2013 from Onderstepoort. She started her working life in Bloemfontein and
subsequently joined Craighall Vet in 2014 for some months before her itchy feet took her to the Eastern
Cape and the United Kingdom. Kirstin returned to Craighall Vet in 2017 and is happy to be back amongst the
great team and clients at the practice.
Kirstin particularly enjoys small animal surgery and ultrasonography and is studying towards her Certificate in Advanced Practice through the University of Liverpool. She also enjoys welfare work and was responsible for the organisation and fundraising of two sterilisation days in Etwatwa township. Kirstin has a special interest in exotic pets, especially small mammals and birds, and attended an international exotics congress in Romania in 2017.
She has also recently completed two post graduate externships with well-known exotic veterinarians; including a European diplomate in avian medicine in Paris, France. Kirstin is always learning and striving to be a better vet. Kirstin will go out of her way for her clients and is very caring and dedicated to her patients, often coming in out of hours to check on them.
Her personal approach to practice is that ‘less is more’ and is averse to medical or surgical over-intervention and over-prescription in a body’s natural mechanisms of healing. When not working Kirstin can be found running, cycling, travelling or spending time with her two bearded men; her boyfriend Gareth and their scruffy little rescue dog called Rubbish.
Cassey first joined us in 2011 and left us 2 years later to persue experience working at the Johannesburg
Zoo as well as the laboratory of the University of Witwatersrand.
She returned to our team in 2016. Cassey is an extremely dedicated veterinary nurse with a specific interest in wildlife and exotic animal medicine.
Cassey is married to Duncan and they share their home with a variety of animals and reptiles.
Catherine matriculated in 1997 and then completed a BA degree in Pyschology and Communications at RAU.
Thereafter she continued her studies doing an additional BA degree in Live Performance at AFDA. She then
spent a number of years working and gaining experience in the entertainment industry as an Actor's
Catherine then made a career change and went on to study veterinary nursing at Onderstepoort, receiving the award for 'Best Veterinary Nursing Student' and graduated in 2011.
She joined our team in 2012 and is a dedicated nurse who prides herself in quality nursing care at all times.
In her spare time Catherine loves to decorate her home and bakes delicious and decedant treats for her colleagues to enjoy. She adores her two dogs, Molly and Isabel.
Courtney was born and raised in Durban.
She studied Veterinary Nursing at Onderstepoort and graduated in 2018, joining Craighall Veterinary Hospital in January 2019,
where she has become an integral part of the team.
Courtney is interested in all animals. She has a keen interest in exotics. Her other love in life is sport. She is a competitive equestrian vaulter.
Lauren joined Craighall Veterinary Hospital in 2019. She qualified as a Vet Nurse from Onderstepoort in 2009.
She has worked in various clinics in Gauteng gaining valuable experience in both general and specialist practices.
In her spare time, Lauren has a horse, Classic, that she rides on weekends, when she is not taking her two small dogs for a walk around Emmarentia Dam. Lauren also bakes a very tasty milk tart and banana bread.