Meet Our Outstanding Vets and Team Members

We’re proud of our amazing veterinarians and the hard-working support staff who back them up. Our team members are fully dedicated to helping animals and their loving owners, and we think you should spend a few minutes getting to know them!

Veterinarians

veterinarians

Dr. Cheryl Schoessow, DVM

What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?

I graduated from Rockford College in 2001 with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and psychology; I graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005.

What made you decide to become a vet?

I made the decision to become a vet as soon as I went with my mom to take our family's dog in for her visit, I was about four years old.

Why did you decide to join the Companion team?

I first learned of Companion Animal Hospital's opening in Oak Park through referral by a close friend. After becoming familiar with the management philosophies shared by the group I knew I needed to join the team!

What is the best thing about being a vet?

I enjoy caring for animals, I always have. What I realized after starting to practice is how much I enjoy caring for people. Experiencing everything from puppy or kitten wellness checks to senior pet care right alongside the families I work for gives me great satisfaction! Getting a nice tail wag, purr, or "kiss" from my patients is also a perk, I can't lie...

What is one of the most common problems you’ve encountered in pets you treat?

For the dogs I see the answer is probably skin infections, most often caused by allergies that they have. For the cats, it would probably be stomach/intestinal upset. This is also commonly secondary to sensitivities such as food allergies.

Do you have any special interests in veterinary medicine?

As much as I enjoy general practice because it allows me to see a variety of cases, I would love to pursue training in imaging (abdominal ultrasound specifically).

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?

Practicing in a hospital that saw a majority of exotic pets after graduation, I helped care for a variety of interesting companions including prairie dogs, fennec foxes, serval cats, kinkajous, even skunks!

What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?

I enjoy trying to keep up with my family and friends! At two and six years of age my children are developing so quickly it seems days make a difference. On my time off I try to make sure I'm not missing anything!

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Unkind actions! In personal and professional aspects of my life I try to treat others with kindness; I cannot see any benefit in doing otherwise.

Favorite place to eat?

Pepe's Mexican restaurant

Favorite place to visit?

Our family's cottage on Lake Sinissippi (in Wisconsin), lots to do there no matter what season!

Favorite food?

Most things Mexican...burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas....okay everything Mexican!

Favorite movie?

Can't pick just one, tie between The Wedding Singer and Tommy Boy, both timeless classics

What are your favorite sports teams?

Our family bleeds Cubby blue!

Most memorable moment as a vet?

Might just be from my senior year in vet school, a night on small animal ER. That would be the night I met Cookie, a barely 10-month old Pit Bull puppy presented to us after being hit by a van. I still remember her licking my face as we placed her catheter (prior to any pain medication taking effect), her family crying as they decided to euthanize her after failing to qualify for payments for her anticipated care costs, the sinking feeling in my stomach as I called my husband to inform him we were now the proud owners of a pup that would require over 2 months of care ranging in costs potentially exceeding $2000 (of course with a plan to adopt her out eventually). I still remember the calm of the intern working with me that night as he gently patted my shoulder and told me "you did a good thing", and all of the orthopedic specialists working with me to heal her shattered ankle week after week after week as we replaced her bivalve cast (sometimes twice a week)! I still remember struggling with the decision of who I could trust to care for this special puppy. I remember these feelings like I met her yesterday, now a decade later while I watch her black hair being replaced by more and more white on her face, while I watch her stand by my sister (yes her eventual "mom") with a loyal gaze through now-cloudy eyes. She will always hold a special place in my heart - one of the souls I feel was meant to cross my path in life. The most rewarding case as a vet? I am blessed to experience many rewarding moments in my work. Most recently I saw a senior Golden Retriever for mobility issues. His family later told me they had arranged for other family members to come and "say goodbye" to their sweet boy prior to his appointment with me. After reviewing pain management options, his family took him home with a pain medication trial. At his 7 day recheck appointment I learned he was doing very well! We have now started long-term anti inflammatory medication and he is even signed up for indoor swimming! His improvement and his family's joy with the additional time they will have with him could not make me any happier!

Name 3 things people might be surprised to learn about you.

I love the water - boating, tubing, you name it - but I can't swim! 

I was raised to love a variety of music, in fact my whole family plays at least one instrument. My instrument of choice was the drums! But if I had to pick a favorite band, it would be Metallica - yes, best prior to their Black album. 

I snuck a baby squirrel in and out of my dormitory for over 2 months in undergrad (while I was bottle feeding her) until I placed her with a rehabilitation group that released her with a partner the following spring.

veterinarians

Dr. Abhishek “Shake” Chatterjee, DVM

What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with a BS in Animal Science, followed by my DVM from the University of Minnesota. After graduating I spent several years working at a small animal hospital as well as a local zoo - both in the Western suburbs.

What made you decide to become a vet?

Other than growing up with and loving animals my whole life, I didn’t consider becoming a vet until I started working at an animal hospital as a Junior in High School.

Why did you decide to join the Companion team?

Their commitment to high quality medicine, excellent reputation, and opportunities to learn and grow as a veterinarian made joining Companion a no-brainer.

What is the best thing about being a vet?

Unpopular opinion: I love this career because of the unique set of challenges you can only get from working with animals. The variety of species and communication gap alone make every day an adventure. That being said, being able to help both animals and the people who care for them is tremendously fulfilling as well.

 

What is one of the most common problems you’ve encountered in pets you treat?

Dental disease! Allergies are a close second.

Do you have any special interests in veterinary medicine?

Soft tissue and orthopedic surgery. Dentistry. Dermatology. Exotic animal medicine and surgery. Did I mention I became a vet so I could do a little bit of everything?

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?

I once spent a month treating African predators (lions, leopards, hyenas, and African wild dogs) in order to characterize the spread of a virus in the Kalahari desert.

What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?

I love live music so going to music festivals and concerts are at the top of this list. Next up would be travelling and generally spending time outdoors.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

What’s the deal with dust anyway? (cue Jerry Seinfeld voice)

Favorite place to eat?

Big Star… on the patio… with my pup by my feet

Favorite place to visit?

My bed

Favorite food?

Tacos

Favorite movie?

Forrest Gump

What are your favorite sports teams?

All the Chicago teams of course! Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, & Cubbies

Name 3 things people might be surprised to learn about you.

I have a longhair dachshund named Bandit. Oh wait, everyone knows about that because I’m obsessed with him and talk about him constantly.

I have a side gig as a DJ. Anyone else into deep house?

I have an animal named after me at the Brookfield Zoo. Come see me for an appointment to find out which one!

Support Team

veterinarians

Monica, Hospital Manager

Monica started her career with companion in 2015. She was born in California, raised in Texas and now calls Chicago home. She graduated with an A.A. degree at Olive Harvey City College in 2012 and her past experiences in the work field involve a variety of clientele interactions and leadership roles. She has a passion for helping people and loves animals. Most would say she enjoys working with anyone and everyone, and loves to learn new things. She enjoys spending time with her miniature Maltese, Sofie, and her family. During her days off, she enjoys relaxing at home while reading a book or watching a TV series with a cup of hot cocoa with Sofie next to her. She also enjoys visiting her top two favorite places, Starbucks and The Museum of Contemporary Art.

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Maggie, Lead Certified Veterinary Technician

Maggie joined Companion Animal Hospital as a certified veterinary technician in April 2015. She graduated from the Vet Tech Institute at Fox College in March 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science degree. She has always had a passion for animals and knows this is the field for her. She grew up always having a pet in her house. She currently shares her home with a Miniature Pinscher named Poochi and two cats; Kitty and Nala. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, learning more about holistic medicine, and going up to Wisconsin to enjoy the outdoors. She looks forward to meeting you and your lovely pets.

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Jeff, Technician

Jeff has worked in the veterinary field since 2000. He loves being a veterinary technician because he likes the connection between medicine, science and animals. He attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in Biology. Jeff is an avid White Sox and Bears fan. He lives with a cat named Iggy and two dogs named Jello and Snowball. In his spare time, he likes going to baseball games, playing paintball and fishing.

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Maddi, Technician

Chris joined the Companion Animal Hospital team in 2017. He has been a veterinary nurse for over 15 years. He enjoys working with animals and helping clients find the best solutions for their pet’s needs. In his free time, Chris enjoys working on cars, doing karaoke, and spending time with his son, Liam. He has a dog named Gem that he loves dearly!

Fun fact: He is obsessed with Christmas music and Brad Pitt

veterinarians

Ariel, Certified Veterinary Technician

Ariel joined the Companion Animal Hospital Oak Park team as a Certified Veterinary Technician in September of 2016. She graduated from the Vet Tech Institute at Fox College in December of 2013 but had been working with animals in a shelter setting since 2006. Ariel grew up in a household full of animals and knew from an early age that she wanted to work in the veterinary field. She currently has two parakeets, a dog and five cats! In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exploring the forest preserves near her home and taking long walks with her daughter and her dog throughout the suburbs. She looks forward to meeting you and getting to know your wonderful pets!

veterinarians

Arielle, Veterinary Assistant

Arielle joined Companion Animal Hospital in November of 2016 as a Veterinary Assistant. She received her certificate of completion for veterinary assistant from Triton College, and plans to purse her dream of becoming a veterinary technician in the future. She currently shares her home with a Pit Bull named Riko. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling as well as spending time with family and friends.

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Chad, Reception

Chad is native to Kalamazoo, Michigan. He grew up with English Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers, Scottish Terriers, cats and birds. He now has his own small Beagle mix, Carl. In his spare time he enjoys traveling, camping, and taking city walks with his dog.

Groomers

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Lori, Professional Pet Groomer

Lori was born and raised in the Chicago area. After being in the jewelry industry for many years, she decided to pursue a career with animals. She has been grooming since 2007. Lori started her grooming career in Atlanta where she stayed for several years, then she decided to move back to Chicago. She also decided to become a  certified dog trainer to better understand the behavior of the animals she works with. Lori has a dog named Rosie who she adopted in 2014. In her spare time, she enjoys flea markets, the movies, and trying new restaurants with family and friends. She can't wait to meet you and provide compassionate, professional grooming services to you and your furry family members.

veterinarians

Jenn, Professional Pet Groomer

Jenn joined Companion Animal Hospital in April of 2016 as a Pet Stylist. She enjoys getting creative with pets and their grooms, ensuring they look their best. She currently shares her home with her two dogs, a Maltese Poodle mix named Lola and a red Pomeranian named Foxy. In her spare time, Jenn loves spending time with her family and friends, as well as traveling throughout the United States to Pet Expos taking seminars and learning more about different techniques to further her education in animal grooming, thus ensuring your pets get the best.

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