Dr. Joe Whalendrjoephoto-3-768x1024

What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?
I graduated from Lake Forest College with a degree in Biology and from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

What made you decide to become a veterinarian?
I always knew that I wanted to work with animals. During high school, I planned to become a Wildlife Biologist. After working for the state in road construction a couple of summers and then working for myself doing painting, I realized that I needed to work in the private sector.

What is your most memorable moment as a vet?
I have lots of great memories, but I think graduating from vet school is my most memorable.

How did you come to join LePar Animal Hospital?
After working a few years at Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago, I started to get antsy to own my own practice. I looked all around the Chicagoland area, but after working a couple of days at LePar on a trial basis, I really fell in love with Southsiders. Our clients are genuine, down to earth people that really care for their pets.

What are the best things you find about being a veterinarian?
I love the variety in our profession. This keeps my job interesting every day.

What is the most common problem you encounter in the pets you see?
Because of my special area of interest, arthritis is the most common thing I see.

What was the most rewarding case you have had as a veterinarian?
I get super excited when pets that initially are unable to walk respond to treatments and regain their mobility.

What are your special interests in the field of veterinary medicine?
Orthopedic surgery, acupuncture, chiropractic and rehabilitation.

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?
Hedge Hogs. They are cute and friendly but you need to anesthetize them to do an exam.

What are your favorite activities outside of treating pets?
Exercise-running, biking, tennis, basketball, lifting weights, gardening, cooking and hanging out with my family.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Waiting or making people wait for me.

Favorite place to eat?
Any Brazilian Steakhouse

Favorite place to visit?
Any place of natural beauty with my family.

Favorite movie?
Jimmy Neutron-Boy Genius

Favorite food?
Dark chocolate!

What is your favorite sports team?
Oooh, this is a tough one. Three favorites- White Soxs, Blackhawks and Vikings.

Name 3 things most people might be surprised to learn about you?
1. I really don’t like to run, but I do it regardless.
2. I grew up in a rural area (Mt. Sterling, Illinois).
3. I just started playing guitar. I am not good at it yet, but love to play.


Dr. Matt Bauer

What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?
I graduated from Saint Xavier University with a major and Biology and Chemistry in 2005. While at Saint Xavier I worked in a reptile reproduction research lab, and spent some of my downtime in the theater. I graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009.

What made you decide to become a veterinarian?
I always had an interest in medicine and science as a child. Then when I was in the eighth grade our family dog became very ill. I then spent the following summer helping take care of her.

What is your most memorable moment as a vet?
During my first year in practice we hosted Santa Day where clients came in to take pictures with Santa. To join in the holiday spirit I was dressed as a giant elf. During this time an emergency came in, a Doberman presented with a large and very bloody laceration. I took the pet into treatment with the owner and explained the treatment plan (still in the Buddy elf suit). After discussing everything with the client, who I had just met that day, I took the pet to surgery and corrected the laceration. Once I was done, I spoke to the client who thanked me and told me he had been coming to LePar for years, but had never been taken care of by a doctor in a giant elf suit.

How did you come to join LePar Animal Hospital?
I was fortunate to start at LePar as a kennel attendant in 1999, while I was in high school. In 2009 I came back to LePar after graduating from the University of Illinois.

What are the best things you find about being a veterinarian?
The best thing about being a veterinarian is the opportunity to help both the patient and the client.

What is the most common problem you encounter in the pets you see?
The most common problem I see as a veterinarian is dental disease. It tends to be overlooked but is a crucial part of general health.

What was the most rewarding case you have had as a veterinarian?
The most rewarding cases I have treated are Cancer patients, with a combination of medicine and surgery I have been able to help pets and families get more quality time together.

What are your special interests in the field of veterinary medicine?
I have an interest in anesthesia and pain management that developed during vet school. Since entering practice I have developed interests in internal medicine and ultrasonography.

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?
The most unusual pet I have ever treated has been a Ferret with a dislocated elbow.

What are your favorite activities outside of treating pets?
My favorite thing to do outside of work is spending time with friends and family.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Indifference

Favorite place to eat?
Hands down the best place to eat is SuperDawg !

Favorite place to visit?
I love getting away to Door County in the fall! I love the brisk air, the people, and the quiet pace.

Favorite movie?
The Boondock Saints

Favorite food?
Pub Burger

What is your favorite sports team?
Da Bears !

Name 3 things most people might be surprised to learn about you?
1. I have worked at LePar for over half of my life
2. I am a big movie buff
3. I started college as an art major.


Dr. Corinne Fisher


What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?

Dr. Corinne Fisher went to undergrad at the University of Connecticut and majored in Animal Science. Her veterinary degree is from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

What made you decide to become a veterinarian?
Even as a small child, I loved science and I loved fixing things. Realizing that I could put these two things together, I worked hard and dedicated myself to my studies so I could do something I was passionate about!

What is your most memorable moment as a vet?
My most memorable moment is actually not involving animals, but a person. I was examining an older woman’s dog and the owner passed out and then collapsed on the bench. The technician and I got her on oxygen, called 911 and got her emergency heart meds out of her purse to help her out. She recovered after a few days in the hospital and her dog enjoyed staying at LePar with us!

How did you come to join LePar Animal Hospital?
During my senior year in veterinary school, I got engaged to one of my classmates and we decided to stay in the Chicagoland area. I interviewed with Dr. Whalen and our styles clicked. He was a great mentor and teacher while allowing me the flexibility to find myself and develop my own way of practicing veterinary medicine.

What are the best things you find about being a veterinarian?
I love meeting and getting to know the clients, hearing their stories and sharing in the joys of pet ownership with them. Forging those relationships is so important to me and helps me be a better veterinarian to their pets. While there is nothing better than the smell of a new puppy or the purr of a new kitten, I have grown fond of the elderly pet population and through my own experiences with my senior pets, I have gained such a greater perspective on what they need and what they are going through.

What is the most common problem you encounter in the pets you see?
I think one of the most common issues we see are skin cases…allergies are frustrating for dogs (and people too!)

What was the most rewarding case you have had as a veterinarian?
One of my best cases involved my first dog ever, named Majerle! During veterinary school, a 6 week old puppy had been kicked and his organs had gone into his chest cavity (called a diaphragmatic hernia) and he couldn’t breathe. The owners wanted to put the puppy to sleep, but instead, we got to do the surgery. After making it through the grueling surgery, I decided it was time to have my first dog!

What are your special interests in the field of veterinary medicine?
My special interests in veterinary medicine include dermatology, senior care and internal medicine cases. I also enjoy soft tissue surgery.

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?
When I was a senior in veterinary school, I had just started my large animal medicine rotation. A one day old baby camel was rejected by her mother. We spent EVERY day together for 8 weeks. I am convinced I will be at a zoo or circus someday and a camel is going to come running across the floor remembering I was his “mother”!

What are your favorite activities outside of treating pets?
First and foremost, I love being a mom to four awesome children and a wife to my incredible husband. My favorite activities are hiking, traveling and photography (which usually all go hand in hand), biking, any kind of sports and video scrapbooking.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is littering!

Favorite place to eat?
My favorite place to eat is on our back porch or dining room—my husband is an incredible cook and impresses me every time!

Favorite place to visit?
My favorite place to visit is anywhere with snow packed mountains! My family and I love to travel and hike, especially out the in Pacific Northwest. Some of our favorite spots have been Denali National Park, Glacier National Park and anywhere near Mt. Hood in Oregon.

Favorite movie?
My favorite movie dates back to the 80’s—Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

Favorite food?
I love trying new foods and enjoying a great meal, but my favorite thing to eat is King Crab Legs.

What is your favorite sports team?
I am an avid sports fan, playing soccer, basketball and softball up through high school and playing lacrosse in college. My favorite teams are the New York Yankees and the Chicago Bears.

Name 3 things most people might be surprised to learn about you?
1. I have a son with Down syndrome.
2. I have been and hiked in 29 National Parks.
3. I lived in Switzerland for a summer while I was in college, working on a Large Animal Research farm.


Dr. Angela Mitas Dr mitas web pic

What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Kinesiology and then received my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

What made you decide to become a veterinarian?
I’ve had a love for animals since I was a kid, but pursued careers in human medicine early on during my college career. One day I woke up and realized that veterinary medicine was the perfect way to combine my love for animals and science, while still being able to help people who are concerned for their pets.

What is your most memorable moment as a vet?
I will always remember one of my first patients in school, Penelope, who had blastomycosis (a fungal disease) in her lungs, eyes, and joints. She would come every other day for extensive treatment and was always so happy to see me. Her owner was the first client I had that gave me a card thanking me for caring for her pet and I still have it today. I’m happy to report that Penelope responded very well to treatment!

How did you come to join LePar Animal Hospital?
I started working at LePar as a kennel attendant in 2010 and then worked my way through the ranks of becoming a veterinary assistant and now veterinarian!

What are the best things you find about being a veterinarian?
Being able to nurture the human-animal bond that I know so well myself.

What is the most common problem you encounter in the pets you see?
Allergies and dental disease are issues I encounter every day.

What are your special interests in the field of veterinary medicine?
Preventative care, dermatology, ultrasonography

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?
While in school, I helped care for a very sick 12 week old liger! Yes, ligers are real and they are a cross between a male lion and female tiger.

What are your favorite activities outside of treating pets?
Traveling and spending time outdoors

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Procrastination

Favorite place to eat?
Giordano’s- best deep-dish pizza in Chicago!

Favorite place to visit?
Anywhere warm with a beach! I’ve had the opportunity to visit several Caribbean islands and my favorite so far is Turks & Caicos.

Favorite movie?
I don’t think I have one; I prefer seeing new movies to watching a movie I’ve already seen over again.

Favorite food?
Seafood; it goes along well with my love of traveling

What is your favorite sports team?
I’m a huge college basketball fan and have to support the university I spent 8 years at- Go Illini!

Name 3 things most people might be surprised to learn about you?
1. I didn’t officially decide to become a veterinarian until my junior year of undergrad.
2. I’m an only child.
3. While in college, I helped train mobility service dogs and still continue to work with the organization today.


Dr. Haley Smothers Dr mitas web pic

What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?
I graduated with a degree in Animal Science from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, and then received my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

Why made you decide to become a veterinarian?
I have always wanted to be a veterinarian. I grew up with a collection of animals at home, and riding horses at a local eventing barn. Horses were what originally started my dream to become a veterinarian.

What is your most memorable moment as a vet?
I had a dog come in that was completely unable to use its hind legs, most likely was having severe intervertebral disc problems. After starting treatment over a few days, the dog was walking normally. I had never been so happy to see a dog walking!

How did you come to join LePar Animal Hospital?
After graduating from vet school, I moved to Chicago with my fiancé, who is a Chicago Firefighter. I started working at a hospital in Orland Park, and from there, I heard about LePar through old friends and my mentor from vet school.

What are the best things you find about being a veterinarian?
Being able to help spread my love for all animals by helping my patients and their owners.

What is the most common problem you encounter in the pets you see?
The most common problem is most likely allergy related issues, whether it is itchy skin, ear infections, etc. Definitely one of the most frustrating things for owners, as well as for vets!

What are your special interests in the field of veterinary medicine?
My special interests include both soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, as well as ophthalmology.

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?
The most unusual pet I have helped treat was definitely when I was part of a team in vet school that treated a tiger that was being seen for a root canal.

What are your favorite activities outside of treating pets?
I enjoy being outdoors, whether it is running, hiking, or going to the park with my dog. I also have a passion for traveling, and have visited all the continental US states, as well as a collection of other countries.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Being late! I prefer to be early for everything!

Favorite place to eat?
Anywhere! I am not picky when it comes to food!

Favorite place to visit?
I love visiting and hiking through our national parks, my favorites have been Yosemite, Zion, and Olympic National Parks.

Favorite movie?
I can be a sap for romantic movies based off of books, so Pride & Prejudice is hands-down my favorite.

Favorite food?
I have a terrible sweet tooth, and ice cream in any flavor is my weakness.

What is your favorite sports team?
ILL-INI!! I always have to support my alma mater.

Name 3 things most people might be surprised to learn about you?
• I worked in France at a veterinary hospital for 3 months while I was in veterinary school.
• I have been to 48 states and 6 countries.
• I love rescue animals! I have three rescues, a Labrador mix named Lily, and two cats, Toulouse and Luna.


Dr. Frank Kenny Dr mitas web pic

What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?
I attended Oak Lawn Community High School and graduated from this establishment in 2007. I attended Saint Xavier University in Chicago of Illinois for my undergraduate education and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Science (major in Biology) in 2011. I attended the University Of Illinois (U of I) College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in Champaign-Urbana (CU) and graduated with a Doctorate degree and the title of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in May of 2018.

When I was attending high school, I volunteered at the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge of Illinois for 100 hours of total volunteer time. I helped take care of the dogs and cats that were available for adoption by providing them with water and food and by cleaning up their runs/cages when applicable (I also gave them plenty of attention). I also brought these animals into rooms with potential adopters so they could decide if the dog(s) or cat(s) was the right fit for their family. Eventually, I earned the privilege of volunteering in the animal hospital portion of that animal shelter where I cut surgical drapes to the appropriate size for surgical procedures.

I actually started my career at LePar Animal Hospital in 2007, where I started as a kennel assistant. Not long after starting as a kennel assistant, I worked up the ranks to start working as a veterinary assistant. I worked consistently at LePar from 2007 to 2014, which was when I officially was accepted to attend the U of I CVM in CU for a four year course to earn my doctor of veterinary medicine title. From 2014 to 2017, I would work at LePar seasonally when I would have winter and summer breaks. Now I am going to be joining my LePar Animal Hospital family again as a DVM and I am so excited to get started working with this amazing team as a veterinarian.

What made you decide to become a veterinarian?
Even though it may seem cliché, I have wanted to become a veterinarian since I was a young boy. Ever since my grandmother obtained a Labrador Retriever by the name of Buster, I felt a calling to take care of animals and to make sure the people that took care of them had someone to help them along the way of that care. As I progressed through my schooling, I discovered that I also had a passion for the sciences and mathematics and I also discovered that I was adept at understanding them as well. The passion I have for the animals and the people who care for them combined with the passion I have for subjects such as the sciences and mathematics encouraged me that becoming a veterinarian was my true calling in life.

What is your most memorable moment as a vet?
I have just started my career as a veterinarian, so I may not be able to answer this question yet as it was intended, but I can comment on my most memorable moment as a veterinary student. I got to perform general health checks, pregnancy checks and preventative care (i.e. vaccination and parasite preventative application) to a herd of over 100 cows. It was a memorable experience because I was used to working with smaller companion animals such as dogs and cats yet I had minimal experience with cattle, which made this experience much more memorable for me overall.

How did you come to join LePar Animal Hospital?
I have been working at LePar since 2007, so I was always excited and prepared to potentially work at LePar as a veterinarian once I earned my doctorate and DVM title. When I discovered the LePar team would be interested in me joining them as a veterinarian, it was not a difficult decision to accept a position of associate veterinarian at this clinic.

What are the best things you find about being a veterinarian?
Again, I have just started as a veterinarian, but I can speak on the things to which I look forward as I start to walk down this career path. I look forward to helping take care of animals/pets not only for their sake but also to help the clients with the care of their beloved pets.

What is the most common problem you encounter in the pets you see?
The most common problem I have encountered in my experience as a veterinary assistant before earning my title of veterinarian was allergies in dogs, which usually leads to itchiness, skin issues and ear infections.

What are your special interests in the field of veterinary medicine?
I actually wish I could take special interest in all areas of the field of veterinary medicine, but that would become overwhelming very quick. The whole field of this discipline excites me, but I do admit that there is a special place in my heart for ultrasound usage, for the field of internal medicine and for the field of cardiology (the branch of medicine that deals with diseases and abnormalities of the heart).

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?
The most unusual pet I have helped to treat is an Ayam Cemani Chicken of Indonesia (look it up on Google, it is impressive). It’s a rare breed of chicken. Everything about it is black: plumage, beak, tongue, legs, and toe nails, even its meat, bones, and organs!

What are your favorite activities outside of treating pets?
My favorite activities outside of treating pets is listening to most genres of music, playing basketball, playing video games, watching my favorite movies and reading books.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when there is a lack of communication between people that leads to an inefficient work environment.

Favorite place to eat?
My favorite place to eat is Black Dog Smoke & Ale House. This restaurant has amazing barbeque-based food.

Favorite place to visit?
My favorite place to visit is the Wisconsin Dells, where I have made plenty of amazing memories with family and friends while on vacation there.

Favorite movie?
Even though this may seem like a cheating answer, my favorite movie/set of movies is the Lord of the Rings cinematic trilogy. Technically, each of the three books is considered one volume of a complete literary work, so I feel like I can lump the trilogy of movies into one movie.

Favorite food?
My favorite food is lasagna, especially my mom’s homemade version.

What is your favorite sports team?
My favorite sports team is the National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls.

Name 3 things most people might be surprised to learn about you?
Three things most people might be surprised to learn about me is, first of all, my favorite musical genre to which I enjoy listening is hip hop/rap music. Secondly, I used to be a member of the Boy Scouts of America. Finally, I learned French as a second language while attending high school (I do not speak it fluently though).


Dr. Leslie Dr mitas web pic

What is your educational and veterinary medicine background?
I grew up in Beverly and attended Christ the King grammar school and Marist High School. I received my bachelors in science (BS) degree in Animal Sciences with a focus on pre-veterinary biotechnology from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. I received my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and my PhD in Pathobiology in 2018 from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. My doctoral studies focused on tumor cell metabolism and were funded through a fellowship from the Midwest Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center (NIH). I am currently completing a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

What made you decide to become a veterinarian?
I wanted to combine my love of animals and my passion for science. The quality of care I learned at LePar early in my veterinary career reinforced my understanding of how much a veterinarian can help their families, friends, community, and all the animals around them.

What is your most memorable moment as a vet?
A farm call near Bloomington, Illinois where we had to trim hooves and vaccinate 25 rambunctious goats in a darkly lit, extremely dusty, multi-tiered barn/goat playhouse. It was essentially three hours of hot, dusty goat wrastlin’ and I loved every minute of it.

How did you come to join LePar Animal Hospital?
I worked as a veterinary assistant at LePar during my undergraduate years in college and have always stayed in touch with my mentors Dr. Whalen and Dr. Bauer. When it came time for me to graduate veterinary school, I was very lucky that LePar had an opening for a veterinarian.

What are the best things you find about being a veterinarian?
Communicating difficult science to owners so that they understand the medical reasoning behind the decisions we make for their companion animal best friends. Also… puppies.

What is the most common problem you encounter in the pets you see?
A little too much love …. in the form of treats. Many pets could afford to live a more active lifestyle and shed some extra weight.

What are your special interests in the field of veterinary medicine?
I am most interested in veterinary preventative medicine, veterinary oncology, and preserving public health via zoonotic disease control.

What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?
A hedgehog with pneumonia. We had to use a potato chip-clip to gather his spines (quills) to one side so we could get a clear x-ray beam shot of his lungs.

What are your favorite activities outside of treating pets?
I enjoy seeing Chicago’s great sport teams, enjoying live music, and geeking out over craft beer releases. Chicago has great sporting, music, and beer culture.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people don’t use their turn signals. I love turn signals.

Favorite place to eat?
K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans

Favorite place to visit?
The Shedd Aquarium.

Favorite movie?
Good Will Hunting and The Lion King

Favorite food?
Oysters

What is your favorite sports team?
Chicago Bears

Name 3 things most people might be surprised to learn about you?
1. The first place I saw a cow was at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
2. I volunteered at a horse rescue in undergrad and am really good at driving a tractor.
3. I never, ever check the weather. I prefer to be surprised.