Our Veterinarians

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Dr Mark Simpson

Dr Mark Simpson

Dr Mark grew up in a family that had an insatiable appetite for natural history.  There were animals, and stories about animals, filling every day.  So it was no surprise when a very young Mark declared his desire to be an “animal doctor”.

Mark graduated from Sydney University in 1991, and began working in the Newcastle region.  He met his soulmate, Kate, and they began building the Sugarloaf Animal Hospital in the mid nineties.  Since that time he has overseen the growth of Sugarloaf Animal Hospital and leads the practice and profession in the philosophy of excellence in evidence-based veterinary practice.

Mark has pursued continuing professional development and achieved his Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in 2001.  He is a regular speaker at avian and herpetological societies, as well as presenting at avian and unusual pet veterinary conferences.

Mark, Kate, and their children share their house and their lives with a floating population of pets, including the cats Laura Bananas, Mr Pink, and Megan, not to mention the fish, frogs, lizards, snakes and turtles.  When he is not looking after the health of animals, Mark loves the beauty and complexity of the Australian bush, and spends as much time as possible enjoying its serenity!


Dr Alexandr Mastakov

Dr Alex and Wattle, the beautiful blue and gold macaw.

Dr Alex and Wattle, the beautiful blue and gold macaw.

Alex was born in Russia and moved to Australia when he was young. He graduated from James Cook University, Townsville in 2013. Since then he has worked in multiple mixed and small animal practices in Queensland with an exotic animal and wildlife component

Alex is now studying his masters in veterinary companion animal medicine through Massey University, New Zealand, and has a special interest in avian medicine, surgery and endoscopy. However he loves all reptiles and small mammals (rabbits, guinea pigs and rats). Alex has completed a falcon internship at Abud Dhabi Falcon hospital and has done numerous presentations for local bird clubs.

He is currently working and studying towards attaining his memberships in the Australian and New Zealand College of veterinary surgeons in avian health.

Outside of work, Alex and his partner Carla, care for their fur and feathered animals, which includes Moylee the Siamese Cat, Pinky the Galah and Wattle the Macaw.


Dr Jonathon Howard and Gem

Dr Jonathon Howard and Gem

Dr Jonathon Howard

Dr Jonathon graduated from Sydney University and began working at Gloucester in a mixed practice for several years. He returned to Sydney to undertake a surgery internship at North Shore Veterinary Specialist Centre before moving up to Newcastle to join the Sugarloaf Team.

Jonathon has been involved in working with exotics and wildlife for many years before becoming a vet. He has worked at Sydney Wildlife, Sydney Aquarium and The Australian Reptile Park. He also sat on the committee of the Australian Herpetological Society for many years.

Jonathon’s veterinary interests include surgery, reptile and exotic animal medicine, reproduction and behaviour.

Jonathon, his wife and son live with a small menagerie of animals. This includes Gem their crazy kelpie, frogs Shrek and Fiona, turtle Ed, cockatiel Holly and many snakes (of the venomous and non-venomous kind). In his free time Jonathon tries to stay fit by riding his bike, dabble in photography and tries to get away to his family farm to play with cattle.


Dr Richard Looi

Richard with Benghazi the Bearded Dragon

Richard with Benghazi the Bearded Dragon

Hailing from Malaysia, Dr. Richard graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours, and decided that joining the team at Sugarloaf Animal Hospital was an opportunity he couldn’t miss.

Having worked in the hospital as part of his clinical rotations, he fell in love with the variety of patients that are seen in the hospital, as well as the amazing team that forms the backbone of Sugarloaf Animal Hospital.

As part of his final year thesis, Richard has done research on Pacific oysters and Ostreid Herpesvirus-1 which led to a published peer-reviewed paper in Aquaculture, an internationally acclaimed scientific journal.

Richard’s veterinary interest include surgery, aquatic, and exotic animal medicine. He also hopes that being able to speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Malay will help communication with clients of different backgrounds.

During his holidays, he goes back to Malaysia to visit his four Dobermanns, Bingo, Kopi, Browny and Dolly, his freshwater fish tank containing mainly guppies, and Koi fishes in his family’s small pond.  Away from work, Richard likes to travel and experience different cultures.  At home, he likes to cook and bake, pampering people around him from time to time.

Sugarloaf Animal Hospital
67 Carrington Street, West Wallsend, Australia 2286
Phone : 02 4955 1833 | Fax : 02 4955 1970
email :enquiries@sugarloafanimalhospital.com.au

Opening Hours : Mon - Fri 8:00am - 7:00pm
Sat 8:00am - 12:00pm
After hours available upon request.

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