Our Veterinarians and Support Team

What do our veterinarians and team members all have in common? They absolutely love animals and playing a role in nurturing the bonds between pets and their humans. Get to know their stories and what inspired them to become a part of the Companion Animal Hospital family in Mount Prospect!

Veterinarians

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott Petereit

What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?

Since graduating from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991, Dr. Petereit brings over 25 years of clinical small animal medical experience to Companion Animal Hospital Mount Prospect. His interests include soft tissue surgery and internal medicine, and employing diagnostic modalities of ultrasound and endoscopy. He works hard to thoroughly educate pet owners about their pet’s care in order to help them make the best decisions regarding their well-being. Dr. Petereit is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Illinois and Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Associations.

Dr. Petereit volunteers his time to provide veterinary care to homeless pets at The Buddy Foundation, a no-kill shelter in Arlington Heights, IL. When he’s not helping pets he spends time with his wife, their 3 children, and the family dog, Tyler. In his free time, Dr. Petereit enjoys the outdoors and loves fishing, hiking, and snowboarding.

What made you decide to become a vet?

I always loved the sciences and have raised one type of animal or another throughout my life. As a kid I hatched and raised chickens and pigeons and even had a pheasant as a pet. I also had salamanders, turtles, gerbils, guinea pigs, and even raccoon kits at one time. I got my father to take me to buy a dog with money I had been saving for two years when I was nine years old. When it was time to plan a career, veterinary medicine was the obvious choice.

What has been your most rewarding moment as a veterinarian?

Generally, when you can help a pet that is truly suffering or ill and help heal their illness to return them to the arms of their happy owners...this is always a big reward.

If you weren’t a vet, what would you do?

My second career choice was to be involved in some sort of wildlife management career. Perhaps I might be in this field now.

What animal scares you more than any other?

Maggots...yuck! Unfortunately, I have seen some animals that were so debilitated that their wounds were infested with maggots. I have nightmares about maggots.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

This is still a work in progress, since I am still raising 3 children with my wife. Years from now, I hope I can look back and say that this was my greatest accomplishment.

What do you see as the greatest danger toward household pets?

Dental disease and obesity. I see both of these health issues lead to significant disease on a daily basis.

What is the most exotic animal you have treated?

A coatimundi, which is basically South America’s version of a raccoon. In veterinary school, I assisted with a black bear and a Siberian tiger.

What is your favorite comfort food?

I’ve never met a cheeseburger I didn’t like.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Cigarette butts thrown from a car window.

Name 4 things people might be surprised to know about you:
  1. I was charged by a brown bear in Alaska once
  2. I was a college cheerleader
  3. I am a pretty good snowboarder
  4. I can still walk at least 20 yards while doing a handstand
Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Dr, Smith

Dr. Jessica Smith

Brief summary about yourself?

Dr. Smith has been practicing veterinary medicine since she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004 (Go Badgers). She has a special fondness for wellness care, dentistry, and internal medicine (especially ultrasound) but loves being a “jack of all trades!” When she’s not at work, you can find her with her family which includes her husband Patrick, their children Alex, Nate, and Evelyn, and their dog Cora. In what little spare time Dr. Smith has, she is sneaking in a good book, catching up on movies, or just enjoying the silence.

What made you want to become a vet?

I was always good at science and math, and when you combine that with my love and respect for the human-animal bond, it was a no-brainer.

What has been your most rewarding moment as a veterinarian?

Helping L.T. – he was a cat who ate string, and it perforated his intestines. I really didn’t think he would make it during surgery. He definitely had a few rough days afterward, but he made it! And a few months later, I saw his owner who said he went off to college with her daughter. I just remember thinking how great it felt to have been a part of helping give him and his family those memories (and then hoping he wouldn’t gain weight at college).

If you weren’t a vet, what would you do?

In my dream world, I would be a movie critic or a National Park Ranger out west. In reality, something more practical like a math teacher.

What animal scares you more than any other?

Spiders

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

My family of course!

What do you see as the greatest danger toward household pets?

For cats, it’s being allowed outside unsupervised. It can lead to distress, wounds, and trauma that indoor cats do not have to face. And for dogs, it is being off-leash outside. Every time I hear about a dog hit by a car, I am saddened to realize that it was most likely preventable.

What is the most exotic animal you have treated?

A kangaroo, in vet school

What is your favorite comfort food?

Ice cream. Chocolate. With Oreos on top. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go to Culver’s.

Name 5 things people might be surprised to know about you:
  1. I have been SCUBA diving with countless sharks at the Blue Hole in Belize.
  2. I love to swim. Every September, I swim a 5K race in Lake Michigan along with other competitions when I have the time.
  3. I hate mustard. On anything, at any time. Can’t even stand to smell the stuff!
  4. I could watch nature shows on TV until my eyeballs fall out.
  5. I am one of those rare people who enjoys what they do for a living.
Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Dr. Walsh

Dr. Erin Walsh

Brief summary about yourself?

Dr. Walsh graduated from Purdue University in May 2010 with a degree in Animal Sciences and a minor in Biology. She enjoyed her time at Purdue so much that she stayed for her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree as well. She graduated from vet school in 2014 and worked in a small animal clinic in the south suburbs for a year before coming to Companion Animal Hospital.

What made you want to become a vet?

I was lucky enough to have parents that shared my love of animals. In high school they let me foster for a Beagle rescue. Many of our foster dogs came to us with medical issues, which involved lots of vet visits. During these visits I realized that this was something I would love to be able to do for the rest of my life.

What is your most memorable moment as a veterinarian?

One of my very first cases was a rescue dog that had recently given birth to about 10 puppies and quickly developed a very severe case of mastitis (infection of the mammary glands). She was not doing well initially, but with time and care she made a full recovery and eventually got adopted by a wonderful family. I will always remember that case and how awesome it was to see how much she was progressing with each recheck exam.

How did you come to join Companion Animal Hospital?

I was looking for a clinic that practiced high-quality medicine with modern equipment and a kind staff. After replying to a job posting and then visiting Companion Animal Hospital, it seemed like an easy choice to come work here.

What are the best things about being a veterinarian?

I love the fact that my job allows me to do a little bit of everything. There is such a variety of cases you can see in any given day—wellness exams, dermatology issues, endocrine disorders, orthopedic disease, cardiac disease, etc. Being able to help create individualized treatment plans for each of these patients is very rewarding. Every day is different!

What is the most common problem you encounter in the pets you see?

Dental disease, by far!

What was the most rewarding case you have had as a veterinarian?

I had an older diabetic patient that developed a severe case of pancreatitis and was not doing very well despite hospitalization and treatment. She wouldn’t eat or drink anything for several days and was not acting like herself at all. Fortunately, she eventually began to respond to treatment and was able to go home to her owner after about a week in the hospital. She is now living with me due to her owner’s own health issues, and to watch that pup ravenously chow down on her low-fat diet every morning and night is the greatest thing!

What are your special interests in the field of veterinary medicine?

I love working with patients with endocrine disorders, especially diabetes. I also enjoy neurology and ophthalmology cases.

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?

In vet school I neutered a spotted genet; it was the sweetest critter.

What are your favorite activities outside of treating pets?

Of course, I love spending time with my rescue dogs (Zoe, a Maltese; Jojo, a Shih Tzu mix; and our recent addition, Bridey, a Terrier mix). I also enjoy spending time with my husband, Brian. I love reading, exercising, and traveling when I get the opportunity.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who are inconsiderate to others.

Favorite place to eat?

Anywhere with good Mexican food.

Favorite place to visit?

Purdue University—it’s always fun to go back to your alma mater.

Favorite movie?

It’s a Wonderful Life

Favorite food?

Dessert, especially ice cream

What is your favorite sports team?

I am actually not a big sports fan, but I will root for any of the Chicago teams.

Name 3 things that most people would be surprised to know about you:
  1. I’m the oldest of 5 kids, and 4 out of 5 of us have degrees from Purdue!
  2. I have 3 senior rescue dogs, 2 of which are diabetic—and all 3 are deaf!
  3. I have fostered 30+ dogs for various rescues since high school.

Support Team

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Stefanie

Stefanie, Practice Manager

My name is Stefanie, and I joined the Companion Animal Hospital Mount Prospect team as a Veterinary Assistant in July of 2008. I have always had a love for animals, and finding this position at Companion Animal Hospital Mount Prospect was perfect. Not only is it wonderful to encounter so many adorable animals throughout the day, but it is also very rewarding to care for and treat sick pets. When I am not working I am spending my time with my kitties Izzy, Emma, Leonidas, and Maverick. I also enjoy spending my time outdoors camping, hiking, running, or just soaking up the sun. Hope to see you and your adorable pets soon here at Companion Animal Hospital.

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Jessica

Jessica, Professional Pet Groomer

Hi, I'm Jessica. I joined the team back in March of 2010. I became a professionally certified pet groomer in 2001. I pride myself on being able to give pets a low-stress grooming experience and am familiar with most dog and cat breeds. I share my time between grooming here at Companion Animal Hospital Mt. Prospect and at Companion Animal Hospital Vernon Hills. In my off time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter. I have 2 dogs, Teddi Bear and Chloe; and 4 cats, Rascal, Harley, Mocha, and Athena that help keep me busy too. I look forward to meeting you and your pet and giving them a relaxing day at the pet spa!

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Ilona

Ilona, Certified Veterinary Technician

My name is Ilona and I joined the team at Companion Animal Hospital Mount Prospect in April of 2009. I was originally born in Poland and I came to the United States when I was 10 years old. After receiving my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I realized that I would rather follow my passion for animals and pursue a career in veterinary medicine. So, I moved out to Denver, CO and attended Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology, where I received my Associate of Applied Science degree. I began my career as a Certified Veterinary Technician at CMAH and I really enjoy working at this hospital. When I am not working, I like to spend time with my crazy lab “Max” and his buddy “Kubus.” I also like to watch movies, play my Wii, play tennis, and go skiing during the winter. I look forward to meeting you and hearing all about your wonderful pets!

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Judy

Judy, Receptionist

Greetings! I am so happy to be a member of this excellent and caring team. I have been working in animal hospitals for 18 years. It is so refreshing to be in day practice after almost 10 years at an animal ER. I just love seeing people caring and taking responsibility for their pets’ well-being. It makes me smile!

When I am not at work, I am enjoying the love and companionship of my 3 Himalayans and 2 Siamese cats, my gorgeous and loving Collie, and my quarter horse Palomino mare. Happy trails!

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Rachelle

Rachelle, Certified Veterinary Technician

Hello! I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember, so working at Companion Animal Hospital Mount Prospect is very rewarding and a dream come true! I graduated from the Vet Tech Institute at Fox College in December 2013 and joined the CAH team as a CVT in February of 2015. I have been working in the veterinary field for a little over a year now, and have loved every minute of it! When I’m not at work I enjoy horseback riding, running, playing trivia with my friends, and chilling out at home with my 2 cats, Timone and Davy, and my Wheaton Terrier, Bailey. So stop by soon, I can’t wait to meet you and your fuzzy friends!

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Isabella

Isabella, Veterinary Assistant

Hello, my name is Isabella! I'm currently a student at Palatine High School. My dream after high school is to become a certified vet tech. I love animals and I applied for this job knowing I would be closer to the animals I loved, and also my passion. I own 2 Corgi dogs named Ceasar and Shadow, 2 birds named Cookie and Spike, and a leopard gecko named Tony. When I'm not home with my animals I also like to hang out with my friends, play volleyball, watch movies, and go shopping. I'm looking forward to meeting your pets!

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Kate

Kate, Veterinary Assistant

Hi, my name is Kate. I received my Veterinary Assistant Certification through Harper College in December of 2013. In my free time I enjoy hiking, camping, playing ice hockey, and taking my 3 dachshunds Chloe, Charlotte, and Chelsea for a run. I am currently going back to school for my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and afterward plan on getting my Master’s degree in Marketing. My dream is to someday own an animal clinic myself. I look forward to meeting you and your furry friend soon!

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Shannen

Shannen, Veterinary Assistant

Hi! My name is Shannen, I am new to Companion Animal Hospital but I have been working in the veterinary field for almost 4 years. I study biology at NIU and am also in the process of becoming a CVT. I have 2 dogs: a Beagle named Ziggy, and an American Bulldog named Maya. I'm very excited to help care for your pets!

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Kevin

Kevin, Veterinary Assistant

I joined Companion Animal Hospital in April 2018 after completing the Veterinary Assistant program at College of Lake County. I have always loved animals, and prior to this I worked at a boarding kennel/doggie day camp and also worked at a horse stable for several years. I have 3 cats at home: Tygur, Munkee, and Simon, and they keep me plenty busy. I'm looking forward to going to Tech school this fall, and learning everything I can from the rest of the terrific staff here. I can’t wait to meet you and your pets!

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Cynthia

Cynthia, Receptionist

Hi! My name is Cynthia and I'm a receptionist at the hospital. I've always had a love for animals, and that is why I decided to seek a position in the veterinary field. I've been working in this field for 7 years now! I have had cats and dogs as part of my family. Currently, that pet family includes Max, a Miniature Pinscher, and Roxie, a Boxer. My pups have given me great joy over the years. On a personal note, I enjoy reading, hiking, and going to concerts during my free time.

Veterinarians in Mount Prospect: Janice

Janice, Receptionist

Hi, my name is Janice. I joined the reception team at the hospital in September of 2016. I’ve always had an interest in working in the healthcare field and to do so with animals is a bonus! I enjoy seeing the different cats and dogs here along with their owners. My favorite activities outside of work are spending time with my family, traveling, hiking, sewing, scrapbooking, and walking my German Shepherd, Louie. In my free time, I volunteer as a dog handler for several local animal rescues at their adoption events.

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