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Good Friends Animal Hospital

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Our Care Team

Meet the folks who make it all happen. We see big potential in every moment, and care deeply about what we do every day.



Practice Manager

Jess was born and raised in Springfield, Illinois, as part of a large and loving family. Even as a child, she was a natural problem solver and found great joy in the companionship of both people and animals. As she grew older, Jess gravitated toward the veterinary industry because it gave her the opportunity to put her talents to good use and serve the community through caring for humans and their furry family members. 

Jess didn’t waste any time climbing the career ladder, starting out as a part-time receptionist, and quickly moving up to office manager, then practice manager. After relocating to the Champaign Urbana area, Jess took a role as hospital administrator until COVID hit. When the dust settled, Jess decided to change gears and try human medicine, but quickly discovered it didn’t offer the same fulfillment as veterinary medicine had, so she returned to her roots and joined Good Friends Animal Hospital.

Professionally, Jess enjoys team building and development, and is still adept at solving problems. She takes great pride in supporting her team and providing them with all the tools they need to be successful. Jess also feels strongly about doing the right thing for the right reason. She understands that there isn’t always a black and white answer, which is why it’s so important to be thorough and open-minded. This approach has served her well throughout her career.

Outside of the clinic, Jess resides with her boyfriend, Kevin, and her teenage son, Owen. They currently have two fur-babies of their own, including a sassy rescue cat named Rizzo and a bi-eyed rescue dog named Blue. In her spare time, Jess enjoys bowling, crocheting, sewing, drawing, traveling with Kevin, and cheering on her beloved St. Louis Blues. Her other passion is cooking—especially her Grandma Rosie’s famous lasagna recipe, which some say is the best lasagna they’ve ever tasted.



Veterinary Assistant

The seeds of a person’s career are usually planted during their youth. This is definitely the case for Abby, who is currently a veterinary assistant at Good Friends Animal Hospital. Abby can remember the exact moment in her life when she decided that she wanted to devote her life to helping animals!

When she was younger, Abby would go hunting with her dad and she’d be accompanied by her Brittany Spaniel named Sebastion. One day she noticed her dog badly limping and discovered that he had cut the pad of his foot. She cleaned and bandaged his wound every day for the next week, and the dog began to look at her more lovingly. This made Abby feel amazing, and it was then she knew that this was her calling.

Abby grew up in a small town, and as an only child, she took a liking to sports and hunting time with her father. She landed a job at the local humane society, which would be her first experience working with animals. Her most memorable moment was helping save the life of a young pitbull who came to the hospital with a terrible mange. She took the dog (which she named Bella) back home and nursed it back to health. Once Bella was back on her feet, Abby put her up for adoption.

As much as Abby loves to help save animal lives, she also loves working closely with her Good Friends Animal Hospital family. She loves meeting and dealing with new clients and their pets, and has taken a liking to seeing cats. Whether it’s dealing with the unpredictable nature of cats or learning about skin issues in animals, Abby is constantly seeking knowledge and learning.

In her free time, Abby is kept busy by her husband,  their two sons and a whopping 7 (8 if you count her fish) pets! To decompress, she enjoys going to concerts and taking quick getaway trips to the mountains.



Veterinary Assistant

People sometimes turn their childhood passions into their future careers. Take Tori, for example. She grew up loving animals. Today, she’s a vet assistant at Good Friends Animal Hospital, so she literally turned her passion into her career!

Tori was born and raised in Champaign county. As a youngster, she enjoyed exploring the outdoors and loved learning new things. She would gradually zero her focus on animals.

Tori lists her childhood dog, Natal, as her greatest inspiration for entering the veterinary field. She considered the gentle German Shepherd/black lab mix to be her best friend, as he had a sweet soul and a great listening ear. He was always there for her, and he initiated her love for large dogs. As the years passed and she worked in different clinics, she would gradually bond with animals of all sizes.

When it comes to experience, Tori’s first time working with animals came as a kennel worker at Quarter C Pet Resort. She worked there for five years, soaking up knowledge on various pets, wildlife, farm animals. She would eventually attend Southern Illinois University and earn her bachelor’s degree in zoology. After graduating, she moved back home and found the position at Good Friends Animals. The rest is history!

Tori’s favorite part about working at the animal hospital is witnessing the growth and maturation of each of the young animals as they return for visits. She’s amazed watching these animals morph from tiny puppies and kittens into adults with their own unique personality. She also enjoys the challenge of making progress with any animal that comes into the office scared, nervous or apprehensive.

When she’s at home, Tori is kept busy by her 2 pets. She has a German Shepherd/pitbull mix named Oakley, and a spunky cat named Moschi. Just like her younger days, she still enjoys exploring the great outdoors – you can catch her hiking with her dog, fishing, kayaking and camping!



Practice Cat

Every animal hospital needs a resident animal to keep the mood light and everyone on their toes. That’s exactly what Cuddles the Cat provides for Good Friends Animal Hospital. Cuddles can be a sweetheart who everyone loves to pet and play with, but every now and then you might also find him getting into some mischief!

Cuddles arrived at the animal hospital years ago in need of assistance. Once he got there, he immediately noticed what a warm, welcoming environment it was that was filled with smart, funny people, so he decided to stick around for a while. Not only that, he also realized that the hospital needed his help and would be utterly lost without him.

Animal hospitals can be places where you find pet owners sad or anxious while waiting for their pets. To comfort them, Cuddles lovingly purrs and even rubs his face on theirs. The truth is, Cuddles has become somewhat of a celebrity at the hospital and has even developed a legion of fans who he enjoys interacting with. Pet owners routinely visit the hospital asking about him and vie for his attention. Everyone on the staff plays an important role in keeping the hospital running smoothly, but so does Cuddles.

When he’s not busy being a rock star at the hospital, you can catch Cuddles pretending to be asleep. Then once everyone’s guard is down, he’ll push their things off the counter. He’s pretty sure they find it as hilarious as he does!

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