Our Staff

We are proud of our family at Forest Valley Veterinary Clinic. 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.

Dr. Bruce Behrends

Dr. Bruce 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. Paul Schiffgens

Dr. Paul Schiffgens has been working at Forest Valley Veterinary Clinic and Veneta Veterinary Hospital since his graduation from Oregon State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. Having grown up in Maryland, he moved here in 1996 to attend the University of Oregon where he received his bachelor degrees in International and Environmental Studies. He fell in love with the area and has called it home ever since. After undergraduate school, Paul worked for several seasons on local organic farms before setting his sights on Veterinary Medicine.

Though it was a passion for large animals that originally sparked Dr. Paul’s interest in Veterinary medicine, it is the care for our client’s smaller pets that continues to feed the fire.

Paul, with his wife and children share their house and property with three cats, Pider, Pippi and Mimi, and one Australian shepherd, Luce (pronounced Lucy). Dr. Paul hasn’t stopped caring for large animals all together; he continues to do so by caring for his family’s small flock of Gotland sheep. He and his family also tend to an ever changing assortment of fowl and small mammals.

When not working, Paul can also be found in his garden, tending to one chore or another, or otherwise knee deep in a project or activity with his family.

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. 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.  I must say that Oregon has been more understanding since we’ve been back.”

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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”.

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Dr. Heather-Renee 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. 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.

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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.

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Dr. Gwen Graham

Dr Gwen Graham was born in the mountains of North Carolina and has lived in Western Oregon for most of her life.  She has always loved animals, especially horses.  She graduated from the Oregon State and Washington State combined veterinary programs, and has been practicing in Oregon for over a decade.  She has experience in both private practice and shelter surgery.  She has also made multiple mission trips to East Africa to work with medical teams and help with young women’s leadership camps.  She recently made a trip to the Cook Islands to provide spay and neuter to help with cat overpopulation.  She shares a small farm full of rescue animals with her awesome husband Mike.  Together they explore the outdoors, help with church sunday school classes and sponsor several children in East Africa.

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