Our History

The Animal Hospital of High Park has been a fixture of the Junction Community since being founded in 1986 by Drs Petra Burgmann and Don Dawson.

Dr. Burgmann began working in veterinary clinics at the age of 15. She received her BSc in 1980, and DVM in 1984 from the University of Guelph. She has been practicing exotic pet medicine ever since. She opened her own exotic practice, the Animal Hospital of High Park, in 1986. In 1993 she was the first Canadian to be board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Avian Practice, and she recertified in this specialty in 2002.

Dr. Burgmann is the author of “Feeding Your Pet Bird” as well as a contributing author in avian and exotic pet medicine to numerous other texts, journals and publications. She has lectured in exotic pet medicine at the University of Guelph, Seneca College, Toronto Academy of Veterinary Medicine, Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, Canadian Parrot Symposium and many other special interest groups. She has also appeared on CFRB, CBC radio, CBC television and Cable 10 Community Broadcasting. Interests include complementary medicine, with a special interest in homeopathy, Bach flower remedies, aromatherapy and herbal medicine.

She is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, the Toronto Academy of Veterinary Medicine, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association and the Thyme on our Hands Herb Guild and Bayview Watercolour Society. She is the proud owner of Mango the lovebird, and Lilli Murrrhissa, a Lynx Point Siamese.

She is currently on a leave of absence.

Dr. Dawson co-founded the Animal Hospital of High Park in 1986. He has previous experience at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic, Thornhill Veterinary Clinic, Ontario Humane Society Veterinary Emergency Clinic, Unionville Veterinary Clinic, Kawartha Animal Hospital and Birchmount Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Dawson obtained his BSc in 1978 at the University of Toronto and his DVM at the University of Guelph in 1984. He has a special interest in “pocket pet” and rabbit medicine and surgery, traveling, woodworking and continuing education at the TAVM and Western States Conference. Dr. Dawson currently has Mango the lovebird and a cat, Lilli Murrrhissa, a Lynx Point Siamese.

Association of Reptilian & Amphibian Veterinarians

Association of Avian Veterinarians