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. 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. Kenna has been with Veneta Veterinary Hospital since 2019.

Dr. Sarah Harmon

Dr. Harmon earned degrees from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. This means she loves the Ducks and the Beavers! Originally from Northern California, she moved to Eugene for school and met her now husband Johnny – a true Oregonian. She has been around the world, but knew the Pacific Northwest would be her forever home. During her travels, she helped to organize a veterinary clinic on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua. Veterinary students staffed the clinic to help local animals with spays, neuters and much needed dental care.

Dr. Harmon spends her free time outdoors camping and kayaking with her husband and nephews. She also enjoys the Pacific Ocean by spending time whale watching with her family in Waldport. Dr. Harmon has a small farm where she loves to spend time with her three dogs, two silly goats, a stubborn old horse, three elusive felines, two hilarious guinea pigs and a 30 year-old, grumpy fish “Boss Hog”.

Dr Harmon has been with Veneta Veterinary Hospital since 2020.

Dr. Tre Gildersleeve

Dr. Gildersleeve is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He grew up sailing the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Pontchartrain, playing club soccer across the South, and caring for his beloved pet dogs.  He graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing, but spent his free time assisting veterinarians at a local hospital and the thoroughbred racetrack.  These experiences inspired him to pursue a career in veterinary medicine at Louisiana State University.

Dr. Gildersleeve held the coveted position of veterinary student caretaker for LSU’s tiger mascot, Mike VII, for two and a half years. He is passionate about small animal medicine and surgery, and looks forward to a career dedicated to serving people and their pets. When he’s not at work, he can usually be found hiking and camping with his black lab, Molly.

Dr. Gildersleeve has been with Veneta Veterinary Hospital since 2020.

Dr. Zoe Shaw

Dr. Shaw is originally from Washington state, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Western Washington University.  Upon entering the veterinary field first as a volunteer at a local clinic, she immediately knew that veterinary medicine would be a lifelong calling.

While earning a degree in Veterinary Medicine from Oregon State University, Dr. Shaw came to admire the beauty of the Willamette valley and surrounding communities. Having lived in both Seattle and Spokane, she was very interested in relocating to an area with more trees and less traffic, and western Oregon quickly became home.

Outside of the workplace, Dr. Shaw dedicates her free time to a rambunctious dog and sheep, as well as a longstanding interest in fine arts and related hobbies.

Dr Shaw has been with Veneta Veterinary Hospital since 2021.