Animal House of Chicago's Dedicated Team
The staff at Animal House of Chicago operates as a team. We take pride in our staff's veterinary training, knowledge and capabilities, and we want you to have the same confidence as we have. The members of our staff frequently attends or hosts seminars about new medicine and technology; they never want to stop learning. Our veterinary team has been specifically trained in handling all exotic pets with an emphasis on birds. Each individual client and pet has special needs, and our staff will do its best to meet each and every one of those needs.
Tracy de la Navarre — Hospital Manager
Tracy de la Navarre has also always loved animals, especially birds. She received her BS degree from Northern Illinois University where she studied Biology and Behavior specializing in birds. She worked for several years for the USDA Quarantine Station for exotic animals as well as managed a Noah's Arc Pet Store specializing in birds. Tracy worked as head veterinary technician at Niles Animal Hospital & Bird Medical Center as well as at Misener-Holley Animal Hospital and Exotic Creatures Care Clinic.
Susie O'Toole-Corbett — Marketing Director, Vet Tech
Susie is all about the "Wooja" (the LOVE)! For over 22 years she has taken pride in making sure all animals are not only receiving quality care, but are made to feel as comfortable as possible while in her care. Susie graduated from University of Dayton with a BA degree in Interior Design, but soon realized her calling was to work with animals. She has worked with Dr. Byron and Tracy for over 20 years and along with them is an Animal House of Chicago original team member. Susie wears many hats including Marketing Director, Veterinary Technician, Boarding Coordinator and Receptionist.
When she isn't working, she's spending time with her family or singing. Susie's "animal family" consists of a Yorkie-Poo, a Chi-Weenie, a cat, finches, a Blue & Gold Macaw, and her Amazon Parrot of 22 years.
Linda Rosenthal — Veterinary Technician
Linda has never met an animal she didn't like! She has been working as a veterinary technician since 2006 after earning her BA degree in Theater from Middlebury College and spending several years on the National Horse Show Circuit. Linda particularly enjoys turtles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. She is the proud mother of many wonderful critters, including a Cavalier, cats, Guinea Pigs, a gerbil, turtles, snakes and birds.
Paige Davies — Veterinary Technician
Paige has loved animals all her life. Before becoming a veterinary technician, she worked at a pet store for three years. She is also currently volunteering at the Shedd Aquarium and plans to do many volunteer programs for wildlife in other countries such as the Bolivian Animal Sanctuary. She has a large family of pets including two Belgian sheepdogs, a kitten, three rats, a bearded dragon, and an eyelash crested gecko.
Sara Hohmeier — Veterinary Technician
Sara has loved animals her entire life and began her career working with them at a family-owned pet store. She earned her certification as a Veterinary Assistant in 2009, and is currently working toward her Veterinary Technician degree. Although Sara loves working with all the animals, she is especially fond of working with rabbits and reptiles. Her pets include 4 dogs, a Blue Tongue Skink, a Map Turtle a Water Dragon, Fire Bellied Toads and Polypterus Fish.
Lauren Brandt — Veterinary Technician
Lauren's love of animals began at a young age while growing up with two Devon Rex cats and pet sitting for neighbors. She found her passion for helping Chicago's pets during her four years at Loyola University Chicago, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. She has volunteered with multiple animal shelters and the Humane Society of the United States. She worked at Red Door for two years before becoming interested in veterinary medicine. She shares her home and personal space with three black rescue cats.
Luis Zuniga — Veterinary Technician
Growing up, Luis always wanted to become a veterinarian or work with animals in some capacity. He has raised birds for the past six years and he has had a pet reptile for as long as he can remember. For three years, he managed a boarding facility that specialized in behavioral issues in dogs and he has used that knowledge to manage his many pets. He aspires to someday become a zoo or aquarium technician. Luis has two dogs, two cats, two macaws, a conure, two snakes, and two fish tanks. WOW!
Jonathon Stasiek — Veterinary Technician
Jonathon’s love for animals began while running his own “zoo” in his backyard filled with turtles and frogs. Prior to becoming a Veterinary Technician, he was an Animal Care Manager at a pet store for two years. Jonathon is currently working towards a BS in Biology in a pre-veterinary track, hoping to become a Veterinarian one day!
He shares his home with a plethora of reptiles, including a Blue Tongue Skink named, Gilbert, a Russian Tortoise named, Sheldon, a grumpy baby uromastyx named, George, and more!
Jackie Bucio — Veterinary Technician
Jackie joined our team after completing a 2-year Veterinary Technician Program at Fox College and is on her way to being officially licensed as a Certified Vet Tech. She has a special interest in surgery and enjoys working with exotics. She is a loving owner to a lovebird and cat. Jackie’s aspirations are to work in a zoo setting. She is also fluent in Spanish.
Lucia Freas — Receptionist
Growing up in Texas near a wide variety of animals – whether it was dogs, cats, horses, small mammals, or the frequent roadside turtle relocations – Lucia has always had a great love for animals. As an Air Force veteran taking a turn from learning languages, she now deeply enjoys meeting new and old animal friends every day. Soon, Lucia will be adopting her first reptile, a bearded dragon, after having fallen in love with them at AHOC. She also shares an apartment with her fiancé, tabby cat, and a five-gallon fish tank.
Sara Parker — Receptionist
Sara has always been an animal lover and grew up with cats, dogs, a rat, tadpoles, and anoles. After graduating with a BA in Psychology, she worked at a doggy day care and volunteered at several animal shelters before moving to Chicago, where she shares her home with a cat and two hermit crabs.
Melanie Mateo — Kennel Attendant
Since childhood, Melanie has lived around animals and had a passion for learning about them. Throughout high school, she volunteered at Chicago Canine Rescue center, cleaning kennels and walking dogs. She's always loved animals, especially dogs and reptiles. She enjoys observing animal behavior and various forms of communication.
Melanie is currently working on her bachelor's degree in Biology and she hopes to one day work on developing new medication to treat psychological conditions. At home, she has two French Bulldogs, two fishtanks, and a budgie.