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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 ManagerTracy 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.


Veterinary Technician Susie with LizardSusie 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.

Veterinary Technician Sara with DogSara 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.


Vet Tech Jonathon Stasiek with skink reptileJonathon’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!

Veterinary Technician, Jackie, with a feline friendJackie 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. 



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receptionist-lucia-dogGrowing 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.


Receptionist Sara Parker with a SnakeSara 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.



receptionist nicole and niko Nicole is originally from Indianapolis, IN and attended IUPUI. She discovered her passion for working with animals when she did a summer internship in middle school at a local veterinary clinic. Nicole has veterinary assistant and technician training and has owned a pet sitting business. She is very excited for her new role as receptionist and is looking forward to working with exotics. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, camping, trying new restaurants, attending ND football and Cubs games with her husband and three children. She also love walking to the park and along Lake Michigan wither her boxer, Rocky.