Dr. Heather Pineo is a native of Calgary, Alberta. She has aspired to be a veterinarian since early childhood and has a strong memory as a seven-year-old of splinting a frog’s broken leg after finding him injured on the road. She was fortunate to have supportive parents who allowed her to fill their house with animals of all sorts. She was a junior national team springboard and platform diver in her youth and her interest in justice for animals, humans and the environment has seen her support many organizations.
Dr. Pineo graduated with distinction from Saskatoon’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. A three year stint in rural small animal practice exposed her to many conflicting experiences and demands that left her disillusioned with the ethics of veterinary practice. As a young, newly graduated associate vet, it was not as easy to advocate for animals and their needs as she had envisioned. She was expected to perform declaw surgeries on cats, contrary to her ethical convictions. Heather moved to Calgary with her husband and worked at multiple clinics while building her family of three lovely boys. She has seen many cats who have suffered from painful consequences of declaw surgery. Dr. Pineo has been an associate vet with Marda Loop Veterinary Centre since 2007, where declawing is not offered and is actively discouraged.
Dr. Pineo is adamant about banning the inhumane practice of declawing cats. A ban will prevent associate (employee) veterinarians from being pressured to perform declaw surgeries in order to retain their livelihood.
In her spare time she volunteers as an international level diving judge, sits on two diving-related boards of directors and loves to scuba dive, read books, do hot yoga and spend time outdoors. Dr. Pineo’s family shares their home with two rescue dogs (Flip and Sunny Beaudelaire), three rescue cats (Youssarian, Saphira and Punk, all born on her kid’s bed) and a 27-year-old box turtle named Sammy Nella.