Michelle has made Orcas Island her home since 2013. She originally hails from the midwest and studied at the University of Iowa. After graduating, she lived in Spain for a year before moving to Orcas. She also works as a sea kayak guide, coaches the Orcas Ultimate Frisbee club, and loves adventuring in the mountains. Michelle doesn't own any pets of her own, but she hopes to find her dream dog soon. She's excited to get her animal fix at Orcas Veterinary Service through meeting, caring for, and giving belly rubs to your amazing pets!
Erika Murray, Receptionist
My family moved to Orcas Island when I was 11 years old from Lincoln, NE.. I enjoyed growing up here very much, and I enjoy knowing so many of the island’s people, I cherish the relationships I have built here. I love the simple country life, and close knit community that island life offers.
My background has been mainly in the dental field, both as a Dental Assistant and as a Dental Office Manager. I particularly enjoyed working with children as a dental assistant, I found that very rewarding, feeling like I make a difference is very important to me. I have also worked as a Customer Service Specialist, and in Restaurant Management, as a Labor Coach/Doula, and a Wedding Coordinater.
I have raised 2 sons here on Orcas Island, and now, have the pleasure of raising my Grandson. I am very close to my siblings, and family and enjoy spending time with them. I have 2 dogs and 1 cat, and look forward to adding a pygmy goat and a bunny to our family.
My love sports, and have helped coach high school Volleyball and Softball and Coached Junior Squad Cheerleading. I was involved with helping the 4-H club at our school and our local Girl Scouts.. I enjoyed being a teacher’s assistant and volunteer when I can in my Grandson’s classroom. I also enjoy traveling, art, crafts, music, sewing, cooking, horseback riding and water sports.
Michelle Cartier, Veterinary Assistant
Lynn Cunningham, Billing Manager
I am thrilled to be a part of the OVS team. I grew up with my twin sister in Huntington Beach, California, and I have lived on Orcas for several years and love being part of the community. I love to meet and greet our island pet community and visitors with love and compassion.
I enjoy traveling and have lived in Italy, where we adopted Rocky and he is now one of our very special dogs. Other pets include Tada, whom we adopted from the shelter, and our silly cat, Jinx. I also have two non-furry children (a boy and a girl) as well.
My favorite things to do include theatre, anything beach or sunset related and I collect all sorts of trinkets with a lighthouse theme to it.
Melissa was born and raised in San Diego, CA, and has traveled the world as a dancer on board Holland America Line cruise ships, and flying with Skywest Airlines as a flight attendant. Melissa and her husband Michel eventually settled in the Pacific Northwest, where she began to pursue her love of animals by opening a dog walking/pet care business in Seattle. She is very passionate about helping a local bully breed rescue to assist numerous shelter dogs find their forever homes by fostering, training and rehabilitating them. In her spare time you can find Melissa playing in her veggie garden, hiking around the island, or (of course!) playing with her rescue pups Whiskey and Cha Cha!
Melissa is thrilled to be a part of the OVS team and is always looking forward to taking great care of Orcas Islands animals as your vet assistant!
Swaran Dhaliwal, DVM, CVA, CVFT
Dr. Dhaliwal (Dr. D) joined Orcas Veterinary Service in May of 2013.
She earned her DVM from the University of Florida in 2002. After completing an internship in food animal science, Dr. Dhaliwal joined a mixed-animal practice in Tillamook, Oregon, where she worked until Feb of 2013. She received her national certification in veterinary acupuncture, as well as Veterinary Food Therapy from The Chi Institute in Reddick, FL in 2013.
Born and raised in Singapore, a city known more for its financial centers then dog parks, she is quick to admit that the thought of studying veterinary medicine early in her academic career never crossed her mind. Companion pets in Singapore were not all that common though she did have a dog named Sandy that she loved and cared for and even volunteered at the local SPCA. It was not until years later, after re-evaluating her career as a medical microbiologist, that she made the switch to veterinary medicine, a field she found more academically challenging and personally rewarding.
Early in her veterinary carer, Dr. D began exploring alternative approaches to animal health and enjoys talking with clients about the benefits of veterinary acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbal medicine and food therapy for their pets. She believes that healthy living is all about striking a balance and that by encouraging our body to heal naturally, we can live a fuller and more rewarding life. It is this same philosophy that guides her approach to animal health and her determination to help our pets lead healthier and happier lives.
Her family thoroughly enjoys life here on Orcas. They have two cats that they adopted from the Orcas Animal Shelter, several fish, and 1 parakeet. They have also recently added a new British shorthair to the family. They enjoy the outdoors and spend as much time as possible exploring the San Juan Islands, the greater Pacific Northwest, and when possible elsewhere.
Meet Our Staff
Melissa Vis, Veterinary Technician
Meet Our Doctors