Our Staff

We are proud of our family at Veneta Veterinary Hospital. We take patient care very seriously and we want you to know your pet is in good hands. Our Licensed Technicians (‘Nurses’), Receptionists and Assistants have decades of experience between them and they also understand what it feels like to be in your shoes. We know you like to see a familiar face when you come through our door, and someone that is genuinely interested in helping you care for your pet.

Our Doctors

Dr. DuWayne Penfold

In 1970, Dr. Penfold graduated from Michigan State University and moved his family to Eugene to start life as a veterinarian.  Since then, DuWayne has seen the community grow and change in many ways, but has maintained a philosophy of compassion and service to pets in need.  He has given his time as President of the Lane County Veterinary Medical Association and the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, and as State Delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association. There was even a time in the ’80’s, when he travelled to Salem to help save OSU’s veterinary school who’s funding had been cut from the state budget.  There are many veterinarians in our area that have been mentored by Dr. Penfold, and many graduating classes of veterinarians that may never have been without him.

Dr. Bruce Behrends

Dr.  Behrends grew up in Oregon, went to school in Oregon, and never thought twice about living anywhere else. He started his career working at the Veneta Veterinary Hospital back when they saw ‘all creatures, great and small’. If you catch him on a slow day, he has some great stories to tell about those middle of the night farm calls. Over the years, he decided to focus his energies on small animals and creating a veterinary hospital that serves the needs of our community. He is now part owner in the Forest Valley Veterinary Clinic and Veneta Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Elizabeth Hoffmann

Dr. Hoffmann did her undergraduate work at OSU and received her veterinary degree from Washington State University in 1980 with the intention of going into equine medicine.  Upon graduation she married Andy, a fisheries biologist, and moved to Alaska (where there are a lot of fish but not many horses).  Dr. Hoffmann became a small animal veterinarian and mother of 3 children.  In 2004 the family relocated to Oregon to escape 8 months of winter and so Dr. Hoffmann and her 2 girls could better pursue their equine interests.  Her daughters and she continue to train and compete in the equine discipline of eventing.

Dr. Hoffmann’s other passion is Christian Veterinary Missions.  She has gone on a number of short-term mission trips and currently makes regular trips to Uganda, Africa and some native Eskimo communities in Alaska.

Dr. Ryan Frome

“I am a born-and-raised Oregonian, so I never realized how great the people were here until I moved away. We spent a few years in Eastern Pennsylvania after school, and enjoyed our proximity to the history, culture and diversity of this country.  But suburban PA wasn’t sure what to think of rhubarb instead roses, and laying hens in the backyard.  One day, a reporter called me to get comment on a new city law to ban poultry.  It was then I found out we were the only permitted owners of chickens (in a city of 75,000).  They were gracious enough to ‘grandfather our birds in’, but I could tell I didn’t quite fit in.”

Dr. Ryan Frome has been with Veneta Veterinary Hospital since 2008 and now keeps his chickens permit free.

Dr. Katherine Brunson

Katie is a New Yorker by birth, but spent time in Vermont and New Orleans on the way to vet school.  After getting her veterinary degree from the University of Florida, she spent the last year living in the beautiful front range of Colorado. Those adventures gave her a deep appreciation for the cultural variety across the country and she is excited to finally get to know the west coast. She relocated to Oregon with her husband, two dogs, two cats, and whatever else would fit in the moving truck.

Dr. Brunson’s earlier career included overseeing operations on an organic dairy farm.  She spent mornings up before the sun, making sure the cows were happy.  And despite many fond memories, she is enjoying the cleaner and more climate controlled world of small animal practice.

Dr. Brunson has been with Veneta Veterinary Hospital since 2017.


Dr. Lindsay Urquhart

Dr. Urquhart is originally from Massachusetts and Maine but he has fully defected to the Pacific Northwest.  He spent time over the years in a wide variety of pursuits: from landscaping and maintenance to sailing the Atlantic Ocean, then building wooden boats and researching algae biofuels and genetics.  Ultimately, he decided he wanted a more practical career where he could spend his time helping individuals and work with his hands as well as his mind.  He graduated from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has been treating small animals ever since. 

Dr. Urquhart’s interests outside of medicine have usually taken him off the paved road. During college, he helped children to develop a love and respect for the outdoors by taking them on week-long sailing and backpacking adventures.  This trend continues to this day where you can often find him on his days off hiking, surfing, or backcountry skiing with his dog and girlfriend.  His other interests include taekwondo, international travel, and trying (and mostly succeeding) to fix anything that is broken at his house.

Dr. Urquhart has been with Veneta Veterinary Hospital since 2017.

Dr. Heather Renèe Srch-Thaden

Dr. Srch-Thaden is a true Oregonian. She was raised in the Klamath Basin where she enjoyed watersports, became a nationally ranked figure skater, and participated in a multitude of 4-H projects. Life as a military wife took her around the world including Japan, Europe, and Australia. She studied Marine Biology at UNC-Wilmington and was a professional aquarist at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

She returned home to earn her DVM from Oregon State University and her research has contributed to many aquatic animal health programs including beach renourishment in the Carolinas, restoration of Oyster Reef Habitats, and creating a blood test for Sea Star Wasting Syndrome in the Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Srch-Thaden’s interests outside of medicine include showing dogs, dance, and traveling. She also enjoys many watersports of the liquid and frozen variety, including scuba diving, surfing, wakeboarding, kayaking, and snowboarding, as well as spending quality time with her family and friends.

Dr. Srch-Thaden has been with us since 2018

Dr. Michelle Kenna

Dr. Michelle Kenna was born and raised in Southern California. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, she realized that her true professional passion was for medicine and animals. She started her veterinary school at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. After completing a semester there, she transferred to Ross University in St. Kitts. Dr. Kenna then went on to complete her clinical year at Texas A&M. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in January 2007.

Dr. Kenna has practiced veterinary medicine in the Eugene and Cottage Grove areas for the past 12 years. She enjoys working with clients and their pets. In her free time, Dr. Kenna loves to hike, run, kayak and spend time with her family including her 2 labradors.

Dr. Gwen Graham

Dr Gwen Graham was born in the mountains of North Carolina and has lived in Western Oregon for most of her life.  She has always loved animals, especially horses.  She graduated from the Oregon State and Washington State combined veterinary programs, and has been practicing in Oregon for over a decade.  She has experience in both private practice and shelter surgery.  She has also made multiple mission trips to East Africa to work with medical teams and help with young women’s leadership camps.  She recently made a trip to the Cook Islands to provide spay and neuter to help with cat overpopulation.  She shares a small farm full of rescue animals with her awesome husband Mike.  Together they explore the outdoors, help with church sunday school classes and sponsor several children in East Africa.