Animal Hospital at the Shores



+ About the Hospital

Staff | Mission | History



Dr. Melissa Behrens


Dr. Behrens has had a special bond with animals since she was very young. She grew up with cats, dogs, birds, and bunnies as constant members of her household. She loved caring for and training all of her and her family’s pets, including the stuffed variety! As a veterinarian, she feels extremely privileged to be able to work every day doing something she truly loves and to help others who share her passion for these wonderful creatures we call our pets. Dr. Behrens is happily married and has three awesome boys who keep her very busy. Her full house includes two rescued dogs Mia and MaMa, as well as two cats, the wise Spanky McGee and a deaf kitty named Cooper. She enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, horses, gardening, cooking, and crafting.


University of Illinois: 
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Chi Institute:
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist


American Animal Hospital Association
American Veterinary Hospital Association
International Veterinary Acupuncture Society
American Association of Veterinary Acupuncture
Veterinary Botanical Medical Association
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association




Dr.Poyer has always felt a strong connection with animals. She grew up with a menagerie of pets and began volunteering at a local animal hospital at a young age. Her love of animals combined with her love of physiology drove her to pursue a life and career helping people give their pets the best life possible. 

Dr.Poyer received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Illinois. Her special interests include soft tissue surgery, anesthesia, dentistry, preventive care, but her favorite part of the being a veterinarian is building team-oriented relationships with clients to facilitate the best care and health possible for their beloved pets. 

Outside of the hospital Dr.Poyer enjoys growing her yoga practice, reading, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have 2 spunky mixed breed rescue dogs, Loki & Gus, 2 very smart cats, Saxby & Mabel, and array of frogs and fish.


Dr. Laura Clarke


Dr. Laura Clarke has worked in the field of Veterinary medicine for over 25 years. She grew up in Burr Ridge and graduated from Kansas State University in 1989. She brings to our practice her unique experience and genuine love for animals of all kinds. Dr. Clarke enjoys veterinary dental care, but one of her favorite things about the veterinary field is all of the wonderful relationships she has formed with clients over the years!

She and her husband, also a veterinarian, raised their 2 children in Barrington and now care for 3 horses, a Monitor lizard, a parrot, 2 cats, 2 dogs, and often a foster dog. Their most recent addition is a miniature cow!

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Dr. Douglas


Dr. Lisa Douglas graduated valedictorian at the University of Illinois. She has a rich background in animal care including holistic medicine and has been in the field for over 30 years. She attended the Chi Institute where she was certified in acupuncture. She loves witnessing the human-animal bond. Dr. Douglas lives with her husband (who is also a vet), two children, her lab mix, and four rescue cats. She is a die hard Cubs fan and all of her pets are named after Chicago sports figures. She also enjoys the outdoors, especially the beach.



LEAD Technician

Ali joined AHATS in April of 2019 as our new Lead Technician. She has had a love for animals her entire life and knew she wanted to be in the veterinary field since she was 5! She has worked in the industry since 2004, even working as an operations manager and dog trainer at a wildlife management company. Although she enjoyed her job in wildlife management very much, she realized working at an animal hospital was where she belonged!

Ali has a special love for the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. In case you have never heard of this breed, here is a description from the AKC: Tollers are upbeat athletes who require outlets for their boundless vigor: hunting, hiking, camping, and, of course, swimming (for which they are ideally suited, down to their webbed feet). Tollers are smart, handsome, affectionate companions, but these red tornadoes can be recommended only to those with enough time and energy to keep them usefully occupied.

Ali has a teenage son who is active in travel baseball. They both must have lots of energy as they currently have 3 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and a Border Collie as part of their family. Their names are Whiskey and Trooper, Rudy her former working partner, and she is currently fostering another Duck Toller named Snickers.

In her spare time, you can find her watching her son play travel baseball, hiking with her son and dogs, or just hanging out enjoying time with friends.



Veterinary Technician

AHATS welcomed Annie to their team in November 2013. Prior to working as a veterinary technician here she was a lead receptionist at an exotic animal hospital and a veterinary assistant at another. She currently holds an associate’s degree from the College of DuPage and a Veterinary Assistant Certificate from San Juan College, where she is also in the process of completing the AVMA accredited Certified Veterinary Technology program.  She is excited to be able to apply her education directly to her work on a daily basis.

At home, she enjoys spending her time with her husband Tom, her 2 cats Alice & Arthur, her ball python Piper, her bearded dragon Bam-Bam, and her tarantula Marley. She also recently adopted Luna, a silly, sweet and beautiful pit bull. WOW! Her other loves include reading, listening to audiobooks, watching films, drinking earl grey tea, practicing on the piano, and improving her sub-par snowboarding skills. She lives a strict vegetarian lifestyle, has a black belt in Hap-ki-do, and travels as much as possible!

The most cherished part of her job is giving animals a voice and helping them feel better when times are tough! The class of medicine we practice at AHATS resonates with her heart. She strives to learn something new every day and enjoys helping our patients live healthy lives full of love!



Certified Veterinary Technician

Kim started working in the veterinary field almost 18 years ago. She has wanted to work with animals for as far back as she can remember. She has always had a passion for wanting to help animals. She started off getting experience doing kennel help at a clinic and then moved up to being a receptionist.

After years of working with the doctors and certified veterinary technicians, she knew she wanted to further her knowledge in the field and decided to go to school to become a certified veterinary technician herself. She graduated in 2011 from San Juan College and took her boards in 2012. She is married with three children and has a household of critters including, 2 rescue dogs, a cat, guinea pigs, fish, and snails.

She joined AHATS in the summer of 2014 and is so excited to be a apart of Dr. Behrens’s team. She loves being hands on with the patients and being able to help educate clients about their pets. One of her favorite parts of the job is being able to help assist the doctors with surgery. She has developed a passion for working with anesthesia over the years and you can find her helping with surgery on our furry friends at the clinic any chance she gets!


Sarah P

Veterinary technician

Sarah joined our team in April, 2018. She has a soft spot for old pugs and loves cats. In her free time, she creates beautiful paintings and loves spending time with her family and friends. She has wonderful experience and is always ready to take on new projects.




Amanda has always known she wanted to work with animals big and small. She started working at a vet clinic in high school. She then received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, from Southern Illinois University. She specialized in Equine animal health. After working for a few years with horses, she realized that she missed working with small animals. She went back to school and become a certified veterinary technician and while in school she worked at an exotic vet clinic. Amanda has worked with a wide variety of animals such as hamsters, chickens, potbelly pigs, foxes, and even a peacock!

Her family includes her husband Jack and many fur kids; Clark (a Lhasa mix), Rogue (a Lab mix), Curly Fry, Haley and Jane Hopper (Guinea Pigs) and Reptar (a Bearded Dragon).

She and her husband recently purchased a new home and hope to bring Amanda's horses Tammy Fay and Maynard home as well.

When she is not working, she is busy agility training with Rogue, or caring for her horses.


Sarah S

Veterinary Assistant

Sarah joined our staff in September of 2015. She come from a family of nine children. Ever since high school she has been working with all kinds of animals. Not only does she have a passion for dogs and cats, she has a strong affinity for horses. For several years she has volunteered at a therapeutic horseback riding facility and continues to assist at other stables. She has one rambunctious Brittany Spaniel named Rascal. She recently received her Veterinary Assistant Certification at Harper College and plans to continue to further her education to help animals. She’s very excited to work at AHATS and happy to be a part of this wonderful team!



Veterinary ASSISTANT

Marielle is currently a student at Barrington High School with hopes of one day becoming a veterinarian. Marielle has had several pets over the years, but currently has a dog named Denali. She first realized her passion for helping animals when she brought her bunny to Animal Hospital at the Shores. Dr. Auge taught her how to take its’ heartbeat. According to Marielle, her favorite time of the week is when she comes to work and learns new things about animal care. When she is not at work or school Marielle plays hockey and lacrosse and loves to water ski. 



Veterinary Assistant

Jordan has always been an animal lover. As a child she often rescued animals of any shape or size. She is now a huge advocate for wildlife animals!

Her favorite animal is actually an opossum! That love has translated into her rescuing many pets. Right now, she has 5 including Penny, her Basenji mix, Mimi a Chihuahua, Fiona the tuxedo kitty, Hazel the Main Coon and her most recent adoptee, Mary Berry who is an adorable 18-year-old tabby cat. She is a little strange looking, but she is nothing short of adorable! Mary was very ill, but Jordan and the team at AHATS were able to heal Mary right up!

While in high school Jordan worked at AHATS as a kennel assistant. She wants to continue to learn and grow in the veterinary field. Dr. Behrens and the entire team here at AHATS have made this job more than just a job. It is an incredible experience to be able to come to work every day and care for these pets as they were one of our own. Jordan will never give less than her best for all of our clients that walk through our doors. Jordan cannot wait to care for anything you and your pet need here at the hospital!



Office Manager

Cara has always had a soft spot for all things cute and fuzzy. Growing up, she was well known for having a home filled with cats. After obtaining her Master’s Degree in Addiction Counseling in 2008, Cara worked with adults and adolescents for many years to help them improve their quality of life. She combined her passion for helping people with her desire to be around animals and joined the Animal Hospital at the Shores staff. She lives with her husband and their fur babies: Bella, a Jackabee, Winnie, a Jack Russell Terrier, and their cats, Fiona, a grey tabby rescue, and Snarf, an orange ragdoll mix.

Cara loves helping clients solve problems and is excited about the challenge of learning everything she can about the Veterinary medicine field. Of course, her favorite part is greeting all of the sweet faces that come through the door!




Jenna joined Animal Hospital at the Shores in November of 2016 as a receptionist. This is Jenna’s first job in the veterinary field and she loves every minute of it. Jenna is learning something new every day and hopes to continue to expand her knowledge. Even though Jenna does not have a dog of her own, she hopes to have one in the near future and cannot wait for that day! Jenna has always dreamed of having a Husky but she admits she loves all breeds. Jenna has loved animals since she was a little girl and joining the Veterinary field has been an exciting step for her! Since working at Animal Hospital at the Shores, Jenna has loved getting to know the clients and patients as well as seeing all the different cute animals that come through the door. She enjoys helping people and really loves her job at the Animal Hospital at the Shores!




Jessica has always had a love for animals and enjoyed all the family pets she had growing up.

Currently, she lives with four Golden Retrievers and a crazy cat. Two of the goldens are her personal dogs, their names are Nala and Simba. Clearly, she is a big fan of The Lion King.

In Jessica’s free time she enjoys cuddling with all her Goldies and watching documentaries about animals and the ocean. She likes traveling and going on hikes to see waterfalls.

Jessica loves the ocean! If she lived near one, you would find her snorkeling all day, every day. But for now, you can find her at Lake Geneva walking her dogs down to the water or on the boat either tubing or wakeboarding on those nice sunny summer days.

Jessica is excited to have joined Animal Hospital at the Shores and looks forward to continuing to learn and work with everyone’s pets!


Kathy H

Kennel Attendant

Kathy has always loved animals. As a child, while her sister was putting up posters of teen stars, she put up pictures of cats, dogs, and horses. Growing up her best friend was their dog Sugar, a white English Setter mix who lived to be 16.

After many years in the corporate world, she took a break and decided to follow her passion and work with animals. She recently completed her final Advanced Animal Communication class and plans to explore ways to utilize her new skills while continuing to work at the Animal Hospital at the Shores. She lives with her husband Will and their 2 German Shepherds, Kona and Kai, and their cats Ozzie and Bob.

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Kennel Assistant

Ava is currently a high school student who has a passion for animals of all kinds. Whenever there is a cat or dog in sight, Ava’s heart is immediately stolen. She began working at AHATS in May of 2018 and has considered it one of her favorite places to be ever since. She absolutely loves to help out, and always comes to work ready to learn something new. When it comes to pets of her own, Ava has a sassy, adorable Victorian bulldog named Olive, whom she loves with all her heart. In her spare time, Ava loves art, and draws incessantly. She’s interested in many art forms, from painting to animating, and photography and theater. Aside from her passion for art, Ava loves to read, run, go out for sushi and binge watch shows and movies (usually geeky ones!)!