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Paulina grew up in Franklin Park with her parents and little brother. Shortly after high school, she enrolled in the Vet Tech Institute at Fox College in Tinley Park, graduating in May of 2012 and passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam later that year to become a Certified Veterinary Technician.
Paulina then transitioned from her job at a nearby animal hospital to a clinic in Lombard, where she first met Dr. Knoll. When Dr. Knoll decided to open her very own hospital, Paulina jumped at the chance to join forces! She’s been a member of the Knoll Animal Hospital team since the summer of 2015. Her job description has changed over the years and Paulina no longer does any veterinary nursing. Since 2021, she’s been enjoying the role of Hospital Manager where she gets to focus on running a business, doting on her team members, and making KAH the kind of animal hospital that clients, patients, and employees enjoy coming to.
Away from work, Paulina enjoys gardening, swimming, and redecorating the house every weekend- her husband, Bill, really loves that she always has a new project for him on his weekends off. They share their home with Bill’s daughter, Haley as well as several pets. They have three dogs- Daisy, Meaty, and Macaroni– as well as a pair of cats who go by Micah and Ophelia.
Pita came to Dr Clark as a tiny kitten, only a few weeks old in late 2022. She had a congenital eye issue, and was immensely constipated. Though she had around-the-clock care, Pita’s prognosis didn’t always look good and the team at KAH tried not to get too attached, even avoiding naming her until there was no doubt that she’d survive. As the days and weeks went on, she continued to fight and get stronger- eventually coming off of every single medication. Pita now uses a litter box just like every other cat, and has since had surgery to remove her bad eye. She’s not the weak, sickly kitten she once was and she has certainly earned her name. Pita spends most of her time away from the front desk, as she’s still young and naughty. Her hobbies include popping out from behind doors, and napping inside the recycling.
Rachel grew up in the Chicago suburbs alongside plenty of family dogs, and she felt an intrinsic connection with them ever since she can remember. Her fascination with animals never wavered—she would visit the Brookfield Zoo with her family every year for her birthday, and she even dreamed of becoming a marine biologist or a wildlife researcher. For Rachel, one thing was clear: a career in veterinary care would suit her perfectly!
Rachel holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology, and worked in the retail industry for a time after her collegiate career. After having children, she decided to return to her true passion and jump headfirst into the veterinary world. Rachel had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Knoll on two separate occasions, and it wasn’t long before an employment opportunity became available. Rachel didn’t hesitate! She’s now a proud member of the clinic’s Veterinary Assistant team.
Away from work, most of Rachel’s free time is spent with her family. She and her husband have two wonderful boys—both are extremely interested in dinosaurs and fossils—and the family shares their home with one dog: Baxter, whose favorite activities include relaxing and eating.
Megan grew up in the Lombard area, where she loved being around animals of all sorts ever since she was a little girl. For her, working in the world of veterinary medicine allows her to give something back to the pets who have given her so much! Megan proudly serves as a part of the Management team with Knoll Animal Hospital.
Megan first joined the clinic family as a receptionist in November of 2016. It wasn’t long before she decided that she would like to take on a more hands-on role dealing one-on-one with patients, and began working closely with Dr. Knoll as a Veterinary Technician! Taking things one step further, Megan’s passion for Veterinary Medicine and Knoll Animal Hospital lead her into a Management position where she is able to help make Knoll Animal Hospital the warm and family-friendly practice that is today! Megan loves learning new techniques on a regular basis, and her favorite part of the job is forming relationships with her patients and their loving owners.
At home, Megan has a kitty of her own, Wonton. Wonton loves to cuddle, play with his toys, use his scratching post, and beg for food! Much of Megan’s free time away from work is spent running her own small business. She creates and sells custom dog-collar bows—her handiwork is available for purchase here at the hospital!—as well as baby headbands, hair bows, and paintings. In her spare time, Megan also enjoys fishing, spending time outdoors, playing video games, and she even golfs!
Growing up in an old farmhouse in Batavia, IL, Olivia was feeding and caring for stray cats at the early age of 7. In her view, there’s simply nothing quite as powerful or as beautiful as the bond between humans and animals. It came as no surprise, then, that Olivia eventually grew up to pursue a career in the animal health care field.
Olivia’s journey into veterinary medicine began as a kennel assistant when she was 18 years old. She eventually worked her way up to become a Veterinary Technician, a role that she has proudly fulfilled for nearly 20 years. Professionally, Olivia has a particular interest in surgery and dentistry, which she feels are both challenging and rewarding. She also has a special interest in cat behavior.
Outside of the clinic, Olivia is mom to one kitty: Sabastian Leon, a “forever 7 year old” grey tabby. She’s also been a life-long rat owner.
Olivia’s hobbies include aerial performance work, which she’s been doing for nearly a decade. In 2018, she won the Novice Lyra (aerial hoop) Division Championship in her very first performance on Lyra. When she’s not performing, you’ll usually find her crafting, cracking jokes, doing impressions or stretching. She is also a big advocate for mental health awareness, particularly as it relates to the veterinary industry.
Evelyn’s fascination with animals started at a young age when her family adopted a Chihuahua named Cosita. After spending some time with her beloved dog, Evelyn knew that she wanted to work in an animal-related field one day. That passion just never let up. Now, she’s able to help pets on a daily basis as a Veterinary Assistant!
Evelyn grew up in Melrose Park, Illinois but moved to Addison at a young age. Her veterinary journey started when she signed on to work at a few travel vaccination clinics, which introduced her to the world of vaccines and pet medicine. Evelyn knew she wanted to dive even deeper into the world of animal care—she decided to look for a job in a veterinary clinic. She joined the Knoll Animal Hospital family in May of 2021 and hasn’t looked back since!
Outside of work, Evelyn enjoys traveling, collecting knick-knacks, and doting on her own pets at home. She has two domestic shorthair cats: Bamboo, a laid-back feline adopted by Evelyn’s family when he was a kitten; and Acorn, who was rescued off the street and now enjoys a luxurious life with his human family.
Melissa has had a fascination with animals her entire life. At the age of 10, she rescued an abandoned litter of baby bunnies and, with the help of her mother, was able to raise them until they could be released back into the wild. The experience of helping these helpless creatures, and seeing them develop and grow, inspired Melissa to pursue a career in the veterinary field. As a certified veterinary assistant, she is able to fulfill her life’s ambition and continue her passion of caring for animals.
Melissa’s career journey began at the College of DuPage, where she completed the certified assistant program. While attending school, she had the opportunity to extern at a local animal hospital, through which she was able to gain valuable hands-on experience. After spending several years at a couple different clinics, Melissa decided to join the Knoll Animal Hospital team in the winter of 2022. Professionally, Melissa enjoys preventative care and client education.
Outside of work, Melissa resides with her father, brother, and sister. Their fur-family consists of a bunny named Benito, and a smart and loving Chiweenie named Chanel. While Chanel has (luckily) not yet found her indoor voice, she definitely makes her presence known when outdoors, and will do anything for an Oravet chew.
In her spare time, Melissa loves to attend concerts and music festivals – especially if there’s a chance for a meet and greet.
When Haley was a small child, she remembers being jealous of the zookeepers at the zoo because they got to work closely with so many cool animals. Throughout her youth, she was obsessed with animals – especially penguins. When her parents surprised her with the opportunity to feed them at the Brookfield Zoo, she was officially hooked and knew she wanted to pursue a career in the animal care industry. As a veterinary technician, Haley is living her lifelong dream and treasuring every moment!
By the time Haley entered her late teens, she’d already decided her chosen career path. After researching various schools in her area, she settled on the Vet Tech Institute at Fox College and, upon graduation, decided small animal medicine was where she belonged. Haley joined the Knoll Animal Hospital team in June of 2023 after becoming Fear-Free Level 2 Certified the previous month. Haley is a strong advocate for these methods, as they make patients and clients happier and more comfortable.
At work, Haley’s favorite part of the job is client education, whether it’s going over vaccine reactions to watch for, or providing instructions for how to administer subcutaneous fluids at home. She also has a special interest in supporting clients with end-of-life care for their pets, providing comfort and compassion until they cross the Rainbow Bridge and officially receive their wings.
At home, Haley resides with her incredibly supportive fiancé and her short haired tabby, Trypsin (named after her favorite enzyme, in case you were wondering how much of a vet med nerd Haley is). Trypsin is quite talkative, loves attention, and has learned how to remind Haley to take her medication every night. In her spare time, Haley enjoys making puzzles (when Trypsin isn’t stealing the pieces). She also loves sharing funny quotes and dad jokes with her family, friends, and colleagues.
For as far back as she can remember, Sarah has had a deep fascination and respect for animals. Having suffered from social anxiety from a young age, it was animals, not people, who brought her comfort and made her feel accepted. Over the years, Sarah attempted to work in other fields, but always felt that something was missing. Working with animals gave her the purpose and fulfillment she was looking for. As a vet tech, Sarah feels honored to serve as a voice to the voiceless.
Sarah’s journey began unofficially when she started taking in older animals in need of care. She briefly considered becoming a vet, but then shifted her focus toward the technical side of things. She enrolled in the Veterinary Technician Institute at Fox College, graduated and completed her externship here at Knoll Animal Hospital. Professionally, Sarah enjoys diagnostics, including taking x-rays, doing ultrasounds, and examining samples under the microscope, as well as assisting with dentals and surgical procedures.
Outside of the clinic, Sarah resides with her boyfriend, Tony. Their fur family consists of a stinky old man cat named Cyrus, who enjoys going outside and is a professional troublemaker, and a Cavalier named Molly, who follows Sarah everywhere and often trips her. Sarah’s favorite pastime is creating art – particularly painting with acrylics or sketching with pencil. One of her most memorable experiences was traveling to South Africa, where she had the opportunity to work at a wildlife refuge.
Growing up, Lola Mancera was always fascinated by animals. During her many trips to the zoo with family, Lola took notice of the people that would take care of the animals, imagining what a cool job that would be. As she got older, she started volunteering at animal shelters before moving on to volunteer at the Brookfield Zoo. Keeping animals happy and healthy is Lola’s main passion!
Lola joined the Knoll Animal Hospital team as a Veterinary Assistant in June of 2021. She plans on continuing her education with the goal of one day becoming a Veterinarian. In the meantime, she is thoroughly enjoying her work at the clinic and loves being able to interact with everyone, including clients and their pets, as well as her colleagues.
When she’s not working and going to school, Lola enjoys spending time with her family and pets. She currently shares her life with 3 dogs: Roxy, Lulu, and Lizzie. Roxy is the oldest and just loves to be held. Lulu is 3 years old and loves to sleep in the sun, and Lizzie is the youngest. She loves to run outside and play catch.
When she was young, Drew’s grandmother used to take her on tours of the veterinary department in the university where she worked. Those trips made a lasting impression on her. Drew was inspired by the staff there and their obvious passion for animals. She knew that she would like to make a difference in the lives of pets and animal owners herself! That’s why Drew decided to work in the veterinary field.
A native of Elgin, Drew joined the Knoll Animal Hospital team in February of 2021 as a Client Service Representative. She makes it her mission every day to give all visitors to the clinic a top-notch experience, whether they have four legs or just two. Drew’s favorite part of the job is meeting brand-new pet owners, and she loves being a part of a team that is so dedicated to the health and happiness of others.
Outside of work, Drew enjoys practicing yoga, finding something to organize, reading good books, and staying active with her dogs. She has two canine companions. Mali, who has a huge voice and personality, and the nearly 100-pound Blu as well as a cat, Onyx, who likes to think he’s a dog.
Meghan has had a love of animals since she was born. At the age of 9 months, her dog Chauncey inspired her to learn how to climb gates so they could be closer together. At a year and a half, she was trying to convince the dog to color with crayons. Meghan’s lifelong passion for animals turned into a genuine interest in veterinary medicine when her sister-in-law brought home a special needs rescue dog who had been previously abused. She worked closely with the dog to get her acclimated to normal life, and the experience made a lasting impression. She knew that she wanted to help all the animals she possibly could! That’s why she decided to join the veterinary profession.
Meghan’s animal-care journey began when she started volunteering with the Almost Home Foundation. It wasn’t long before she started helping animals hands-on at a local grooming salon. Next, Meghan decided to dive headfirst into the world of veterinary care. She started here at Knoll Animal Hospital in March of 2021, and the rest is history. Meghan loves meeting pet parents and their adorable companions every day, and she particularly likes to help get new pet owners started off on the right foot.
Outside of work, Meghan’s interests include gardening, completing home projects, classic cars, collecting Snoopy plushies, spending time with friends, and doting on her own pets. She shares her life with Lucy, a mischievous Black Labrador, as well as four fish: Marco, Ernie, and Dot. She has also adopted Yacko the lizard and Rupert the gecko, and shares a cat named Maple Rose with her cousin.
From a young age, Lauren Allen was infatuated with animals – particularly dogs. At the age of 11, she began displaying symptoms of mental illnesses, and the only certain way to calm her down were her Siberian Huskies, Sheeba and Samson. Today, as beloved receptionist at Knoll Animal Hospital, Lauren is able to draw from her personal experience with anxiety to help alleviate stress and make fractious animals feel more comfortable.
While majoring in English at a large university, Lauren realized writing was not her true passion – animals were! She was devastated without regular animal interaction, so she finally got the chinchilla she’d always wanted (named Venus) and snuck her into her dorm room. Though she was technically breaking rules, Lauren’s RA was extremely understanding and allowed her to keep Venus, who ultimately became the entire floor’s secret pet!
Lauren’s journey in the animal care industry began as a dog groomer. From there, she transitioned into the medical realm as a Veterinary Receptionist. After cross-training as an assistant, Lauren decided she preferred the responsibilities of being a receptionist and creating relationships with clients. Professionally, she enjoys discussing medical conditions and concerns with staff in order to gain more knowledge that she can then share with others. She also enjoys discussing preventatives and helping clients save money on their pets’ medications.
Outside the clinic, Lauren resides in Carol Stream with her girlfriend, Vanessa, and their zoo, which includes a very vocal Siberian Husky named Apollo, and two cats: Milo, a special needs gray tabby who loves to play fetch, and Sosa, a female orange tabby who enjoys causing mischief by throwing treats off the counter and trying to run out the door to hunt birds. They also have a leopard gecko named Liz Khalifa, a crested gecko named Ivy Oddly, a grumpy blue crayfish, an aquatic frog, several snails, and a plethora of fish, including bettas, plecos, yoyos, guppies and more!
When not spending time with her human and animal family, Lauren enjoys reading, writing, cleaning, traveling, spending time outdoors, and binge watching Rupaul’s Drag Race and Law and Order: SVU.
Animals have always occupied a special place in Haley’s heart. Doing her part to give something back to the earth’s creatures is a dream come true! She’s a proud member of the Client Service Team here at Knoll Animal Hospital.
Haley grew up in Northlake and Franklin Park and first came to Knoll Animal Hospital when she was looking for a summer job. She’s been here ever since! Haley loves to learn new things from the hospital’s doctors and support staff, and her favorite part of the job is getting to meet pet owners and their adorable companions every day.
Unlike many of her colleagues, Donea didn’t initially set out to work in the veterinary field. It was just something she sort of “fell” into. She’d recently left a job she wasn’t passionate about and decided she needed a break to recover and reset her mind. During this hiatus, she would frequently drive by the hospital and wonder what it would be like to work here. After coming across an ad for an opening, she applied and the rest is history!
While Donea’s primary role here at Knoll Animal Hospital is receptionist, she continues to hone her skills and often assists with patient care as well. Prior to joining the Knoll team, Donea has worked at a doggie day care, as well as another local veterinary clinic. She also had a brief stint in human medicine along the way, but quickly discovered that her heart belonged with patients of the four-legged variety. Her favorite part of the job is providing comfort and understanding to clients during difficult or stressful moments.
Outside of work, Donea is Mom to Seymour, a bossy 16-pound Terrier mix who is as sassy as he is sweet. He believes people are here to serve him, and demands lots of cuddles, pats and treats while in his presence. Donea’s personal interests include song writing, working out at the gym, and going dancing with her friends.
Before Emma was an employee here at Knoll Animal Hospital, she was a client. She had brought her foster dog here to the clinic for top-notch care, and was immediately impressed by the hospital’s dynamic atmosphere and the friendly staff. When the opportunity arose for Emma to join the family herself, she didn’t hesitate!
Emma is a Wheaton native and began her animal-care journey by volunteering at the DuPage Animal Shelter. Next, she helped with several adoption events at PetSmart before deciding to jump headfirst into the veterinary profession. That’s when Emma joined the Knoll Animal Hospital team! In the future, she hopes to advance her education and become a veterinarian herself.
Around the clinic, Emma enjoys interacting with pet owners and their adorable companions at the front desk. She’s also fond of learning all she can about pet healthcare and soaking up all the knowledge she can from the hospital’s doctors and support staff.
When she’s not at work, Emma likes practicing the guitar, playing tennis—she played in the state qualifier round three years in a row!—and spending time with her own pets at home. She has a mischievous dog, Koby, who can understand both English and Romanian thanks to her parents’ fluency, as well as a Tetra fish named Silver.
Vanessa became a groomer for two simple reasons: one, because she loves dogs; and two, because they offer the perfect canvas on which to express her creativity. For her, nothing feels better than the challenge of taking a dog in dire need of grooming and making them look and feel their absolute best! Vanessa is the proud owner and operator of The Purple Poodle grooming salon inside Knoll Animal Hospital.
Vanessa has a particular passion for grooming nervous or anxious dogs, and she loves to help teach proper coat-care techniques to the area’s pet owners for a lifetime of good skin and fur health. Visitors to the clinic will often hear classical or jazz music emanating from the salon––a lifelong fan of ballets and operas, Vanessa loves to play music while working and finds that it helps calm both her and the dog that she’s grooming! She also loves attending continuing education classes to further her skill and knowledge in the world of professional pet grooming.
Vanessa lives in Lombard with her husband, Jerral, her son, Gus, and two dogs: Ammo the Great Dane and a Greyhound who goes by Ava. In her spare time, she loves to go swimming, boating, and fishing; cheer on her son at his baseball, football, and basketball games; and spend time relaxing at the family lake house.
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