Meet Our Staff
Dr. Scott Bernick
Dr. Scott Bernick was born and raised in the Quad Cities. He grew up on a dairy farm in Walcott, Iowa. Scott had several animal care duties on the dairy farm, and it was here that he began working with animals. He developed an interest in companion animals during high school when he began to raise German shorthair pointers.
"Growing up on a dairy farm gave me a lifelong appreciation of the close bond people have with animals. My pets have been some of my closest friends. Becoming a veterinarian gave me the opportunity to continue that bond."
Scott graduated from Davenport West High School in 1987. He attended Iowa State University and received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. Scott joined Animal Family Veterinary Care Center in July 2002. He enjoys life with his wife, Jeanne; daughters, Emma, Sarah, and Lucy; along with, their dog's Daisy the Shih Tzu, Rex the Vizsla.
Scott is a member of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association and American Veterinary Medical Association. He has a special interest in preventive veterinary medicine, senior pet care, and veterinary dentistry.
Dr. Robert Garro
Dr. Robert Garro is one of our Associate Veterinarians as well as Patient Care Coordinator and Dental Team Leader. Clients just call him Dr. Rob. He was born and raised in the Chicago, Illinois area and is a Graduate of the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Dr. Garro worked in Chicago and southern Wisconsin before joining Animal Family. He always enjoyed being around animals and spent much of his childhood hanging out at the Zoo, pet shops and the racetrack.
“I love to go to work and see pets that are physically healthy, emotionally healthy, infection free and pain free with owners that truly enjoy having these pets in their life. Many pets we see are not all of the above and getting to work with staff and owners that want to improve that pet's quality of life...that is equally awesome.”
Dr. Garro’s family includes wife Dori and sons Donavan and Griffin. They share their home with Doug, the poodle, Sophie, the Great Dane and an ever changing roster of dogs that they foster for a local rescue group.
Dr. Kathy Van Buer
Dr. Kathy Van Buer graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984. She began her veterinary career specializing in small animal medicine in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Through the years she has practiced veterinary medicine in Milwaukee, Omaha, Denver and finally returned to her home area of the Quad Cities in 1996. After graduation, in addition to more typical pets, she also began to see a large number of non-traditional animals. Word spread quickly that she had both the interest and willingness to work with unusual animals, and she has been kept quite busy ever since. Dr. Kathy will see most anything that isn't poisonous! She also provides veterinary care for a variety of animals at our own Niabi Zoo where she sees the big cats, birds, including raptors and reptiles. She also works with local wildlife rehabilitators.
Both she and her husband, Lyle, grew up in Clinton, Iowa. Lyle is an actuary at Modern Woodman in Rock Island, IL. She and her husband have two sons. Ryan is a St. Ambrose graduate with a degree in mass communications and a minor in music, lives in Davenport and is employed at Walgreens as a pharmacy assistant and UPS as an industrial engineer. Chris is an Iowa State University graduate in aerospace engineering and he is employed at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids.
Kathy and Lyle enjoy geo-caching, hiking, traveling, and reading when they have the time. They also enjoy movies and spending time with friends and family. They are joined by Charlie, their critter kid. Dr. Kathy belongs to a variety of veterinary organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Avian Veterinarians, Association of Small Mammal Veterinarians, Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians and American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Dr. Meredith Grady
Dr. Meredith Grady was born in Indiana moved with her family to several different states and finally ended up graduating from high school just south of the Quad Cities in Muscatine Iowa. She graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006, spent some time at a clinic in Indiana, and then joined the Animal Family team in early 2008 to get back to the Quad Cities.
“I was inspired to become a veterinarian after working with a vet on chronic lameness issues with my horse. I realized how much impact a veterinarian can have on people that love their pets by helping them to heal.”
Looking for new ways to help patients when traditional therapy fails, she developed interest in Chiropractic care. In 2011 Dr. Meredith completed training in Veterinary Chiropractic Care through the Options for Animals program in Kansas and became certified through the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association. She loves helping animals through chiropractic care and finds that most of the patients love it too! She has been excited to see her patients improve in mobility, especially in senior pets that are having trouble getting around.
Dr. Meredith is mom to son Carter and daughter Lily. She enjoys spending time with her children, husband Corey and dog Max. Dr. Meredith is an outdoor enthusiast who loves camping with her familyand enjoying time on their boat.
Dr. Lauren Hughes
We are thrilled to have Dr. Lauren Hughes join our staff as an Associate Veterinarian. Dr. Hughes is a Moline native and graduate of the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Lauren has been an animal lover her whole life but It was her work seasonal zoo keeper at Niabi Zoo that solidified her interest in exotic and wildlife medicine.
“I really enjoy taking care of both people and their animals. Veterinary medicine allows me to be able to do both of these things because keeping a client’s animal healthy or helping them when they are in need is a great way to help people maintain happiness in their lives as well. I enjoy the relationships I get to build with people and their families all because I get the pleasure of working with their 4 legged, winged or scaly friends. I also really enjoy being an advocate for wildlife and conservation by being able to work with our local wildlife population.”
Dr. Hughes resides in Moline with Husband Andy, daughter Regina, two ferrets, Margo and Maverick, Rammathorne the cat and 3 large dogs, Reece, Rascal and Baloo.
Our Veterinary Staff
Bobbie is the Practice Manager at Animal Family. She was born and raised in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and is a 1995 graduate of the University of Iowa. Bobbie also counts a distinguished military career among her many accomplishments. She has been working in the veterinary field for 18 years.
A confessed animal lover, Bobbie told us: “I’ve always been drawn to animals. They are completely dependent on us for everything. Still, as much as we do for them, they give us so much more. They make us better.”
Bobbie lives with her husband, Steve and their two children, Emily and Sam in Bettendorf. Their four legged kids include; Frederick, the Aussie, Ming–Ming, the poodle, Jordie, the golden, Mia, the cat and Hawkeye, the leopard Gecko and two guinea pigs. Not surprisingly, most of their pets are rescues.
Our Veterinary Technician Team
Amber is a 2012 graduate of the Muscatine Community College Veterinary Technician program. She grew up in Blue Grass, Iowa but has also lived in Hawaii. She enjoys caring for senior pets, emergency medicine and hopes to become a certified pet CPR instructor.
Amber believes that veterinary medicine gives us a chance to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves by helping owners give their pets the best possible care.
Her family includes her husband, German Shepherd, Inga and cat Vela Rae.
Delia is a born and bred Quad City native and plans to stay that way. She graduated from the Muscatine Community College Veterinary Technician program in 2015. Her experience included work at Muscatine clinic during school and at The Animal Emergency Center before joining our team. She is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Delia became a technician to work with animals. Once she stared working in the profession, “I ended up falling in love with the science and medicine of the job. I love that I am constantly able to learn new things.”
Delia’s family includes her parents, brother, sister and two lovable dogs. Tuffy, a Boston Terrier cross and Duke a Boxer cross who is a big baby.
Christa was born and raised in North East Iowa. She has lived in some pretty interesting places as an adult including Hawaii! It was there she adopted her first dog and developed her love for all things animal. After moving back to the Midwest and settling here in the QCA Christa decided to go back to school at Kirkwood Community College where she received certificate in Veterinary Technology. Christa works as both a Veterinary Technician and Patient Care Advisor at Animal Family. “I joined this profession because of my deep need for and love of animals and to make a positive difference. Having my own pets with several different health issues caused me to want to help all animals going through hard times. Giving love and support in my care is my goal for pets and their owners.”
Christa family includes husband Doug, Daughter Angela and son Kevin. Their furry family includes cats, Fancy and Liriel; dogs, Irish, Arya and Lyanna .
Maribeth is a Veterinary Technician and our Marketing Coordinator. She is a Minnesota native and has a bachelor of science in marketing from Chapman University in Orange, California. She also graduated from Bel Rea Institute in Denver, Colorado, as a Veterinary Technician. Maribeth worked in a wide range of practices including Alameda East in Denver, other emergency practices and a large animal clinic before coming to Animal Family.
“I have always loved animals of every kind. If I am not working with them at Animal Family I am home spending time riding and training my horses or playing with my dogs. Veterinary medicine allows me to help people by helping their pets. It really is the best of both worlds in that it also fulfills my love of science and medicine. I think I have the best job in the world!”
Maribeth’s family includes husband John, 3 dogs Topper, Emma and Kai and some really special horses.
Ann Winkler is one of our Veterinary Technicians. She was born and raised in the Quad Cities and has strong ties to the area. Ann's original training is as a medical assistant but through the years she has filled just about every position available in veterinary medicine. She is an invaluable member of our team. Ann became interested in the veterinary field through her interest in the well-being of animals of all kinds. She is a gifted dog trainer and is the driving force behind our puppy classes at Animal Family. She shows her Springer Spaniels in both obedience and conformation. When she is not busy with that she is an avid rock hound and makes beautiful jewelry. Ann's family includes her life time partner Sean, son Sam, daughter Erica and grandchildren Lucas and Micca. Her animal family includes her 4 Springer Spaniels: Scout, Parker, Liz and Bella.
Melanie is one of our Veterinary Technicians, our Hospital and Zoo Team Leader. She is a North Dakota native but has lived in the Quad City area since 2004. Melanie received her Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology from North Dakota State University in 2000. Melanie is also Dr. Lauren’s right hand person at Niabi Zoo where she does pretty much anything that needs doing. “I love working with such a variety of animals and seeing something different every day. I am really involved at Niabi Zoo where I work on the birds and reptiles. At the clinic, I enjoy surgery and radiology.” She has two children Annisa and Wyatt. Her furry family includes Riley the dog, two cats, Jade and Leo and a snake.
Jesse is our primary Dental Veterinary Technician. She grew up on a farm outside of Stockton Iowa where she developed her love of animals. Jesse is a graduate of the Kirkwood Veterinary Technician program and has also had additional training in Veterinary Dental Medicine.
Jesse loves her job. She said “I think oral health is very important for the animals well being and health. It makes me feel great knowing that we can help an animal with oral pain through periodontal therapies, radiographs and extractions.” We love Jesse just as much for her ready smile and happy nature. We are so fortunate to have her here at Animal Family.
Jesse and Husband Bryce are parents to two active boys, Blaine and Blake.
Carmen grew up in Clinton and has been a life long resident of the Quad Cities area. She attended Muscatine Community College where she received a degree in Veterinary Technology. Carmen joined our team in August, 2015.
Carmen lives with her husband Justin and 4 dogs in Walcott, Iowa. She is a constant bright presence whose bubbly laughter makes everyone's day a little better. She wants to use her position with Animal Family to "make a differnce and help animals in need."
Our Client Care Advisors
Amy grew up in a Northwest suburb of Chicago. She has always had a love for animals but never thought it could be a career until she took a chance to follow a dream. Now she is living in Davenport happily caring for both patients and the clients who love them as a CCA. Personally she strives to make a difference in the company she works for and believes she has found a new home at Afvcc. Amy's family includes her sons Tye and Brandon, boyfriend Greg and their beautiful siberian husky Skye. Although Amy is a full time resident of Davenport she travels back and forth often to see family, sings in church for special occasions and holidays AND still cheers for her hometown teams.....Bears, Blackhawks and Cubbies!!
Selena is one of our group of hard working, caring CCAs. She said that her position here allows her to blend her love of people and her love of animals into one perfect job. We also love that Selena came to Animal Family great animal handling skills from her work as a keeper at Niabi Zoo for 3 years.
Selena is a life-long native of the Quad City area. She is currently living in the Milan area with her boyfriend Parker and her handsome German Shepherd, Thor. She is a huge Hawkeye fan and an avid hiker.
Kat was born in Long Island, New York, spent her teen years in North Carolina and recently moved to the Quad City area with her boyfriend. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from East Carolina University. However, it was her love of working with people and animals that made working Animal Family a good fit.
Kat’s family includes her parents, an older brother and her boyfriend. Although she grew up with lots of dogs, she is currently petless. Kat told us that she hopes to start adding pets to her life as soon as possible.
Kat enjoys Photography, exercise and spending time with family and friends.
Mindy’s smiling face is the first one you will see when you arrive at Animal Family. She is our Front Office Team Leader and it is her job to make sure your visit starts off right. Mindy is another lifetime resident of the QCA. She was born, raised and continues to live in LeClaire, Iowa. Mindy has worked in veterinary medicine since she was 17 years old.
“Over the last 15 years I've realized that I love people as much as animals. Working at a Vet means I get to help clients with their pets so I get the best of both worlds.”
Mindy's family includes husband Dave, daughter Camryn, stepdaughter Timbie, stepson Garrett, Boss the Doodle, Daisy the Lab and Pixie the Yorkie.
Patient Care Advisors
Alyssa is an Illinois native and a past student of Western Illinois University. She started out in Graphic design but found herself drawn more towards animals and their care. She hopes to pursue a career as a Veterinary Technician as soon as she is able.
Alyssa loves working as a PCA. She said “Helping animals live a happy and healthy life makes me happy”
Alyssa’s family include her mom, dad, two sisters, 2 brothers and her son Brayden. Her furry family includes a Berner Aussie, a Mini Aussie, a regular Aussie and 3 cats. She loves photography, music, knitting/Crocheting and all things outdoors.
Sierra was born and raised in Iowa. She moved to the Quad City area after graduating from Dewitt Highschool. Before coming to Animal Family Sierra worked at the Humane Society of Scott County where she gained invaluable experience handling and caring for dogs, cats and small animals.
Like most of us here at Animal Family, Sierra knew from an early age that she wanted to work with and help animals have a healthy, happy life. Her other passion is dance which she has been doing her whole life. She is skilled in everything from tap to ballet.
Sierra’s family include her parents and her crazy dog Neeko who is a high energy guy! Neeko does not dance but he does keep Sierra on her toes.
Sydney is a quad City native and one of our amazing PCA crew. She graduated from Moline High School and is currently taking classes towards certification as a veterinary technician. Sydney’s previous experience included work at a canine training daycare and boarding facility.
Sydney developed her passion for animals after nursing a special needs Labrador while growing up. “I loved that dog and he made me realize that I wanted to spend my life helping animals. I am excited to pursue my career working with animals at Animal Family.”
Sydney lives in Rock Island with her three dogs Burroughs, Jack and Milo.
Natalie is one of our dedicated Patient Care Advisors. She has lived Quad Cities for almost 27 years. Natalie’s love of the reptiles has earned her the moniker of "Mother of Dragons" however, she is equally happy snuggling with our feathered and furry patients. Natalie graduated from Black Hawk College in 2010 where she earned certification as a Veterinary Assistant. Currently, she is continuing her education to become a board certified Veterinary Technician. Natalie’s family includes two children, Gabrielle and Dahlia and critters including three pit bulls named Otis, Lola, and Darwin, a Manx/Siamese cat named Marley Mae, and finally, five bearded dragons named Aurora Borealis, Wembley, Anakin, Toki Wartooth, and Murderface. Even with her full house, Natalie still has plenty of room for in her heart to give love and compassionate care to our wonderful patients!
Jacobi is one of our Patient Care Advisors. She grew up on a farm in Fenton, Illinois and continues to live there today. Jacobi has always loved animals and spent much of her childhood rescuing any animal that needed it. She had hoped to become a veterinarian but marriage and 4 children changed her trajectory a little bit.
Jacobi graduated from the Blackhawk College Veterinary Assistant program in 2011. She joined the Animal family team in 2011. We have benefited from her years of animal handling on the farm and other clinics. Jacobi says that she loves that she “contributes to pet's healthy lives by helping our clients maintain complete care from year to year.”
Jacobi stays very busy with her boys age 14, 12 and 6 and daughter age 9. Her animal family includes Captain the Akita, Lilly the German shepherd, a kitty, 3 ponies and a donkey.
Maggie was born in Des Moines, Iowa and grew up in Burlington Iowa. She is currently residing in Muscatine, Iowa. Maggie’s life–long interest in animals led her to Western Illinois University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Zoology. During that time she has also pursued her humanitarian interests completing mission trips to Mexico. Maggie works as a Patient Care Advisor.
“Since I was little, I have always loved animals and been interested in veterinary work.” Maggie lives with Husband Dan, daughter Maddie, son Olliver and their dog Lillian. She loves spending time with her spoiled with her family and doing her mission work.
Taylor is a Quad City girl. She joined Animal Family when she was just 17 years old with no idea what she wanted to do with her life but the one thing she was certain of was that she wanted to work with animals in some capacity. After trying on several different roles Taylor found her place in the grooming room under the tutelage of Claire. She now maintains a full book of her own happy clientele.
Claire’s family includes her beloved lab cross Molly who comes to work with her every day. On the weekends they spend their time being active outdoors.
Claire has been a Pet Stylist for 5 years. Another local, Claire is an Illinois native and grew up in Geneseo area. She attended college for a while after high school but found that grooming was what she really wanted to do. Claire loves that she can improve the lives of pets by helping their coat and skin.
"My whole life, I always wanted to work with animals. I got into the grooming profession because I love being around dogs and helping them feel better."
Claire's family includes her husband Nick and dogs Capone and Fonz. They currently reside in Davenport. Claire is an athletic outdoor lover who just recently completed her first half marathon. The dogs prefer sunbathing and chewing things up to exercise.
Boarding Care Specialists/Camp Counselors
Sam grew up near Champaign, Illinois and is a graduate of Western Illinois University. She recently moved back to the Quad cities after spending 6 years in Los Angeles, California.
Sam has been an animal lover her whole life and is particularly obsessed with English Bulldogs. When asked why she chose Animal Family, she told us “I finally found my lifelong passion working with animals. Her family includes English Bulldog Renly and her husband Matt. For fun outside work she likes reading, camping, traveling and completing projects on their new home.
Lindzey grew up in LeClaire, Iowa and is currently resides Davenport. She grew up with a menagerie of animals including everything from spiders to horses. She thought Animal Family would be a great fit for her since it allowed her to spend time with them at work too.
Lindzey’s family includes her mom, dad, brother, sister and boyfriend. Her furry kids are a group of cuddly bunnies who keep her endlessly entertained with their antics. For fun outside of work, Lindzey likes to bowl and babysit.
Chris is a Quad City native. She spent 12 years in the human medical field before joining us at Animal Family as Kennel Team Leader. Growing up, Chris spent many fondly remembered summer vacations at her grandparent’s farm in Clear Lake, Iowa. In later years she rescued and rehabilitated an underweight geriatric horse that most people thought was a lost cause. Chris didn’t listen and brought back both his weight and his spirit. They had 10 years together before she had to say goodbye in 2012.
She said that she hoped her change to animal medicine would allow her “to make a positive difference in the lives of animals.” Chris is another student of animal behavior and is instrumental in keeping our boarders happy and healthy. Chris lives with husband Kevin in Davenport. They have a son, Jerry who is in the Army Reserves and daughter Jessica. Jessica is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. She and Chris have worked together to bring many injured animals back to health and eventual release back to the wild. Chris is involved with a classic car club and is an avid equestrian. She is even certified to do mounted search and rescue. Chris has 5 labs , one horse and an ever changing roster of needy wildlife.