Meet Your Veterinary Specialists Team

At Puget Sound Veterinary Specialists, we strive to find compassionate, fun, life-long learners to join our close-knit team of doctors, veterinary technicians, assistants and client care representatives. But above all else, we look for candidates who will treat all people with respect, regardless of title or position. To meet our fantastic team of vet specialists please scroll down. If you are interested in joining a professional community that cares about your wellbeing and practice state-the-art collaborative medicine, please contact us at

Heather Knapp-Hoch, DVM, MS, DACVS


Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Knapp-Hoch is excited to return to her home on the West Coast, Washington State! She is honored and thrilled to head the surgical team at PSVS. Dr. Knapp-Hoch started her education at Long Island University in 2001 where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in biology. During her undergraduate education she had the amazing opportunity to work at Plum Island Animal Disease Center where she studied Foot and Mouth Disease. She developed a passion for animal wellness and a respect for the research that goes into keeping animals safe and healthy.

Following her passion for research she entered graduate school at Washington State University (GO COUGS!!!!) where she obtained a Master’s degree in Genetics and Cell and Molecular Biology.

She fell in love with Washington State and decided to combine her love of research and clinical medicine. She spent the next 4 years at WSU and earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. During her time on the clinic floor as a fourth year student she witnessed first-hand the strength and beauty of the human animal bond and developed a passion for both surgery and oncology.

Following her desire to combine her love of surgery and oncology Dr.Knapp-Hoch moved across the country to Ithaca NY. There she completed a small animal rotating internship at Cornell University in 2008 followed by a three-year surgical residency at Cornell University from 2009-2011. She obtained board certification (DACVS) in 2012 and practiced as a small animal clinical instructor at Cornell University from 2011-2014. During this time, she met Dr. Rizzo and they worked together to develop a strong surgical oncology presence at Cornell.

After starting a family, she moved closer to home and practiced as a small animal surgeon at Northstar VETS in NJ from 2014-2020. Here she helped to develop a strong program in minimally invasive surgery and interventional radiology. During her last few years in private practice she has developed a vision of a specialty practice that provides state of the art medicine and surgery centered around collaboration and commitment to both patients and clients to provide the best care possible while fostering the human animal bond.

Dr. Knapp-Hoch’s special areas of interest include surgical oncology and minimally invasive surgery including laser ablation of ectopic ureters. She is proficient in advanced wound management and has a special interest in the use of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) to treat difficult surgical and traumatic wounds. She is proficient in arthroscopy and general orthopedic surgery as well being trained in tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) and other surgical procedures for cranial cruciate ligament disease.

In her down time Dr. Knapp-Hoch loves spending time outdoors with her family. She loves to hike, swim, snowboard and boat with her husband and their 2 little girls. She also loves to cuddle at home by the fire with her fur babies Tallulah who is a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and Sammie the best orange cat in the world.

Dr. Heather Knapp-Hoch
Fear Free Certified Professional
Dr. Boyd and Squish sitting on steps of Puget Sound Veterinary Specialists
Fear Free Certified Professional

Danielle Boyd, DVM, MPH, DACVO


Dr. Boyd grew up in sunny Arizona but has been dreaming of the breathtakingly beautiful landscape of the Pacific Northwest since she was a child. Being a member of the Kitsap Peninsula community is a dream come true for her.    

Becoming a veterinarian to help the voiceless and give back to the creatures that make her life complete was another dream of hers so she earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine and master’s in public health at St. George’s University and North Carolina State University. After witnessing a previously blind pup see his family from across the room after cataract surgery, she knew ophthalmology was her calling – restoring eyesight is indescribable.

That calling required her to complete a one year rotating small animal internship, a one-year specialty ophthalmology internship and three-year ophthalmology residency. All of that education helped her to reach her goal of restoring eyesight for as many animals as possible. Her other goal is to help her clients feel as if they are part of her family. She will outline and thoroughly discuss all options available for your pets’ ophthalmic issues. Together you will come up with a plan that fits everyone’s needs to give your pet the absolute best care possible. Finding someone you trust to care for you beloved furry, feathered, scaled family member can be a stressful task especially during an emergency. She is passionate about relieving that stress and will treat your pet with the same love and compassion she has for my own.

She believes in doing her small part in this big world by making it better than the day she arrived. She is involved in both animal and human related community outreach and service. When those two worlds collide, she feels we can make an even bigger impact with the human animal connection.

When she is not at work, volunteering, or reading about eyeballs you will find her outdoors with her pups. She plans on visiting as many state parks as possible where they can camp, kayak and hike. She has two pups – Squish, a 3.5 year-old previously abused rescued pup from a shelter in Ohio and Weasel, a 3 year-old, previously scared street pup rescued from a shelter in Houston during hurricane Harvey. They are never alone though. Sh constantly has a foster pup or cat roaming around until we find them their perfect forever home.

She is so grateful to be a part of this community and looks forward to serving the ophthalmic needs of the animals on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Lindsey Schneider, dvm


Dr. Lindsey Schneider was born and raised in the Iowa heartland, where family values and friendliness were engrained from an early age. She always knew she wanted to care for the health and well-being of animals as a veterinarian, but her enthusiasm for teeth did not develop until much later. Her light-bulb moment came during a vet school lecture on dentistry: this discipline was the perfect combination of her interests in diagnostic imaging, surgery, and lifelong patient care. If you have ever had a toothache, then you may understand what many companion animals experience daily as a result of dental diseases. Dr. Schneider is passionate about educating clients on oral health and working alongside your family veterinarian to develop comprehensive treatment plans to provide your pets with happy, healthy mouths.

Dr. Schneider’s love of learning led her to study economics and English as an undergraduate at the University of Iowa before delving into a career in veterinary medicine. She attended Cornell University in Ithaca, NY for veterinary school and received her DVM in 2013. Dr. Schneider then completed a rotating internship at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson, followed by three years in small animal general practice in Colorado. In 2017, she had the opportunity to return to her alma mater, Cornell University, to complete a three-year residency in dentistry and oral surgery. It was there that she finally could pursue her passion for teeth full-time and hone her skills in oral and maxillofacial surgery. 

Dr. Schneider loves all aspects of veterinary dentistry and oral surgery, from treating periodontal disease and broken teeth to removing oral tumors and repairing cleft palates and jaw fractures. She also has a special interest in zoo dentistry; she relishes the opportunity to improve the quality of life for wildlife ambassadors who often suffer from dental disease secondary to captive behaviors such as cage-biting. Dr. Schneider has taken four trips to The Belize Zoo in Central America to provide dental care—including root canal therapy and tooth extractions—on zoo animals ranging from jaguars to tapirs.  

Her constant companion for the past 13 years has been a Jack Russell terrier named Pancake who loves hiking, chasing tennis balls, and swimming most of all. Pancake and Lindsey are looking forward to spending time on the water and exploring the beautiful scenery and bountiful outdoor activities in Washington State.

Fear Free Certified Professional
Dr. Samantha Collins with cat

Samantha collins, dvm, DACVS


Born and raised in the Seattle area, Dr. Collins originally had a career in geology, but found great satisfaction in her volunteer work with animals and wanted to channel this passion into a career where she could have the greatest impact helping pets and their families. She made the decision to leave her career as a geologist for veterinary medicine to allow her to fulfill the joy of the art and science of veterinary medicine and her desire to contribute to the greater good by helping pets and their families. She knew immediately that she wanted to be a veterinary surgeon. She ventured East to go to Veterinary school at Cornell University, earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. After a year at the University of Georgia for her Small Animal Rotating Internship, she went back to Cornell University for her Surgery Residency from 2010 to 2013, where she was able to work with Dr. Knapp-Hoch. She obtained her board certification (DACVS) in 2014. After working in Buffalo, NY and Charleston, SC, she was able to come back to her beloved PNW.

While she loves all aspects of surgery, Dr. Collins is most passionate about cranial cruciate ligament injury and fracture management to get our furry friends “back on all four” again, the intricacies of feline surgery and how they are often not just “small dogs”, skin reconstruction after large/difficult tumor removal, wound management, and minimally invasive surgery. Her utmost priority is providing the highest quality care for patients (in and out of the operating room) and compassionately and comprehensively guiding pet parents through what can be a daunting process when their pets require surgery.

After being back on the East Coast for too long, away from her PNW roots, she is so grateful to be back in her heartland of the Puget Sound region. She spends her free time doing CrossFit and Olympic weight-lifting and being outside in our beautiful mountains or Puget Sound as much as possible, hiking, climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, cycling, relaxing on the Oregon Coast, or in the snowier months in the mountains, snowboarding and snowshoeing. As many of these activities as possible are done with her energetic, happy-go-lucky Flat Coated Retriever, Finnegan. When at home, she is held hostage by her snuggle-loving cat, Dillinger (aka “Dilly), cheering for the Seahawks and Mariners (and soon-to-be Kraken!). She is so grateful and happy to be joining the Kitsap Peninsula community!

Cassandra Brown, DVM, DAcvIM


Originally from the Midwest, Dr. Cassandra Brown grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Her family pets, as well as the many strays and wildlife that she brought home to her very patient parents, inspired a lifelong love of animals. She attended the University of Wisconsin and studied philosophy and wildlife ecology prior to veterinary school. While pursuing her veterinary degree, Dr. Brown realized internal medicine was her calling. The relationships developed with both patients and clients were exactly what she found most rewarding about veterinary medicine. The study of complex diseases and providing long-term care for her patients honored both her passion for learning and her respect for the human-animal bond.

Following veterinary school, Dr. Brown pursued a private practice internship and an emergency medicine year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There she acquired a taste for green chile and a distaste for 120-degree days. She returned to the Midwest for a three-year residency in small animal internal medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She trained in all aspects of internal medicine and found interests in endocrinology and immune-mediated diseases.

Dr. Brown moved to Portland, Oregon in 2004, and practiced at a large multi-specialty and emergency hospital until moving to the Kitsap Peninsula. While in Portland, in addition to her internal medicine practice, Dr. Brown developed and supervised the radioactive iodine therapy program for hyperthyroid cats, which is the gold-standard cure for this common feline condition. She plans to initiate the same program here at Puget Sound Veterinary Specialists (PSVS).

Dr. Brown enjoys all facets of internal medicine. She is skilled at endoscopy of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary tracts. She has experience in the management of complex internal medicine cases, including immune-mediated conditions, diabetes mellitus, adrenal gland pathology, liver, kidney, and pancreatic disease, placement and use of feeding tubes, and bone marrow and hematologic disorders. She enjoys working with both dogs and cats, and does love a feline patient with “cat-itude”. As an internal medicine specialist, she works with each pet’s family and primary veterinarian to achieve the correct diagnosis and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. She knows there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to patient care and prides herself on getting to know her clients and patients to help guide them through the decision-making process. Working with other specialists at PSVS with a team approach to a patient’s care is extremely important to her.

When she’s not at PSVS, Dr. Brown enjoys yoga, travel, and spending time with her family and friends. A lifelong vegetarian, she loves to cook and learn about other cultures and foods. She is involved in the community and has volunteered for social justice causes. She is married to Philip, an architect, designer, and fellow animal lover. They live with their rescue pets Beans! the terrier, Otter the doodle, and Waldorf the cat, who is by far the coolest member of the house.

Dr. Brown is thrilled to join the team at PSVS and excited to become part of the local veterinary community on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Dr. Brown
Squish - Senior Pawspitality Administrator - Puget Sound Veterinary Specialists



Meet Squish! He’s our newest employee. He started out answering the phones, but we found he makes a much better Pawspitality Administrator. So good in fact, he was promoted to Senior Pawspitality Administrator in under an hour.

Squish is a three-year-old cheeky mutt living a spoiled life in the beautiful State of Washington. Squish’s favorite activities include chasing bubbles and butterflies, hiking, sniffing flowers, finding the biggest stick possible, breaking the record for faster zoomies, and splashing in muddy puddles.

Squish was rescued after he was abused and sustained trauma to the right side of his head and jaw as a four-month old puppy. While his injuries left him with a unique face, they could not alter his unbelievable zest for life and only made him stronger.

Squish is a proud ambassador of #adoptdontshop, special needs animals, a fighter of animal cruelty, and is here to remind everyone that being perfectly imperfect is absolutely beautiful.

Facebook: A Pup Named Squish

Instagram: @apupnamedsuish

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