Meet Our Staff
Dr. Robert Garro
Patient Care Coordinator, DVM
Dr. Robert Garro is one of Animal Family's associate veterinarians and our Patient Care Coordinator. He was born and raised in the Chicago and is a graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Dr. Garro worked in Chicago and southern Wisconsin before joining Animal Family.
Dr. Rob has 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 and emotionally healthy with owners that truly enjoy having these pets in their life," Dr. Rob said. "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 is equally awesome.”
Dr. Rob’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. Meredith Grady
DVM Manager, DVM
Dr. Meredith Grady is our chiropractic veterinarian and DVM Manager for Animal Family. She 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 family and enjoying time on their boat.
Dr. Lauren Hughes
Dr. Lauren Hughes is our resident exotic care expert and veterinarian for Niabi Zoo. Dr. Lauren is a Moline native and graduate of the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. She has been an animal lover her whole life, but her work as a seasonal zoo keeper at Niabi Zoo 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 pets healthy and happy is a great way to help people maintain happiness in their lives as well," Dr. Lauren said. "I enjoy the relationships I get to build with people and their families through 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 lives in Moline with her husband Andy and their daughters Regina and Frances. Their animal family includes two dogs Chester and Rascal, cats Biscuit and Rammathorne, Mr. Petrie Peachy the crested gecko, and Clementine Rainbow Lollipop the bearded dragon!
Dr. Brittany Meyers
Dr. Brittany Meyers is one member of our amazing veterinary team. She is an Illinois native and completed her undergraduate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University.
Her avocation for veterinary medicine began in grade school when a family pet became ill and required care at a local clinic. “I never looked back,” she said. Dr. Meyers enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine, especially surgery but is excited by the opportunity to learn more about the care of exotic and zoo animals.
Dr. Meyers' family includes husband Matt and their 3 children: Mariah, Landon, and Kennedy. They share their home with 4 dogs: Tonka, Diesel, Scout, and Paisley; 4 cats: Kaida, Sonik, Nala, and Rusty; 2 rabbits: Harley and Quinn and last but not least, 4 chickens: Drumstick, Barbie, Hawk, and Pidgeoto. In their spare time, the Meyers family enjoys playing soccer and all kinds of other outdoor activities together.
Dr. Kathy Van Buer
Dr. Kathy Van Buer is an Iowa native who graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984. She began her career specializing in small animal medicine in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has since practiced in Omaha, Denver, and the Quad Cities. Her interest and willingness to work with unusual animals has kept her quite busy, and she will see most anything that isn't poisonous! Dr. Kathy has years of valuable experience working with exotics from providing veterinary care for Niabi Zoo and local wildlife rehabilitators.
Dr. Kathy’s family includes her husband Lyle, son Ryan and daughter-in-law Mary in Davenport, son Chris, daughter-in-law Laura, and adorable granddaughters Ellia and Riley in Marion. Their furry family includes their energetic papillon mix Sir Charles Charley. In her free time she enjoys geo-caching, hiking, traveling, reading, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.
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.
Our Administrative Team
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 and three daughters: Emma (one of our CCAs), Sarah, and Lucy, as well as their dog Rex the vizsla.
Scott is a member of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association and American Veterinary Medical Association. He has a special interest in veterinary administration, preventive veterinary medicine, senior pet care, and veterinary dentistry.
Practice Manager, CVPM
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 retriever, and Frankie and Lunabug the cats. Not surprisingly, most of their pets are rescues.
Mindy’s smiling face is one of the first ones you will see when you arrive at Animal Family. She is our CCA/PCA Manager and works to help our support staff teams serve both clients and patients with the highest standard of care.
Mindy is another lifetime resident of the Quad Cities. 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 working with people as much as animals. Working at Animal Family 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 Astro the husky mix.
Emma is an energetic addition to Animal Family's administrative team! She is the daughter of Dr. Scott Bernick so her love for veterinary medicine runs in the family! Emma began her role at Animal Family as a Client Care Advisor while in high school, and has recently transitioned to the Marketing Coordinator role. She won several national and state student journalism awards for website design in high school and has previous experience a both a media editor and social media ambassador.
Emma is a Public Health major at the University of Iowa and is minoring in Spanish and Healthcare Equity. She comes home to work at Animal Family during her summer and winter breaks, and works in healthcare administration at the University of Iowa Hospital during the school year. She plans on continuing her education by pursuing her Masters of Public Health and eventually attending medical school. Her goal is to work in health policy and managment with a focus on healthcare equity.
Outside of her busy work and school schedules, Emma enjoys traveling and has made it to eight countries so far! She currently lives in Iowa City with her roomates and their cat Frances Apple.
Our Veterinary Technicians
Veterinary Technician Manager
Christa is our Hospital Manager and Safety Officer for Animal Family, as well as one of our fantastic veterinary technicans. She was born and raised in northeast Iowa, and 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 in the Quad Cities, Christa decided to go back to school at Kirkwood Community College where she received certificate in Veterinary Technology.
“I joined this profession because of my 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 said.
Christa's family includes her husband Doug, daughter Angela, and son Kevin. Their furry family includes three cats: Fancy, Liriel, and Ned, and four dogs: Arya, Lyanna, Otter, and Ruby.
Veterinary Technician and Zoo Team Leader
Melanie is one of our wonderful veterinary technicians and leader of our technician and zoo teams. She is a North Dakota native but has lived in the Quad Cities since 2004. Melanie received her Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology from North Dakota State University in 2000.
Melanie is Dr. Lauren’s right-hand person at Niabi Zoo, where her responsibilities vary each day depending on the needs of the zoo animals.
“I love working with such a variety of animals and seeing something different every day," Melanie said. "I am really involved at Niabi Zoo with the birds and reptiles. At the clinic, I enjoy surgery and radiology.”
Melanie has two children Annisa and Wyatt. Her furry family includes Riley the dog, two cats: Jade and Leo, and a snake.
Pharmacy and Inventory Team Leader
Delia is one of our fantastic veterinary technicians and also manages the pharmaceutical inventory at Animal Family. She is a Quad Cities native and graduated from the Muscatine Community College Veterinary Technician program in 2015. Delia came to Animal Family with plenty of animal experience from her previous positions at a clinic in Muscatine and the Animal Emergency Center of the Quad Cities. She is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Like many of our staff members, Delia's passion for animals led her to the veterinary technician field. "I ended up falling in love with the science and medicine of the job," Delia said. "I love that I am constantly able to learn new things.”
Delia’s family includes her parents, brother, sister and two lovable dogs: Duke and Rye.
Lab and I.T. Team Leader
Ann is one of our great veterinary technicians and handles the labaratory and I.T. responsibilities at Animal Family. She was born and raised in the Quad Cities and has strong ties to the area. Ann joined Animal Family as a medical assistant, but through her 18 years at Animal Family she has filled just about every position available in veterinary medicine.
Ann became interested in the veterinary field through her passion for 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. In her free time Ann is an avid rock hound and makes beautiful jewelry.
Ann's family includes her partner Sean, son Sam, daughter Erica and grandchildren: Lucas, Micca, Nolan, and Olive. Her animal family includes her three springer spaniels: Parker, Liz and Bella, and a rotating roster of amphibians and reptiles.
Amber is a fantastic member of our veterinary technician team and a 2012 graduate of the Muscatine Community College Veterinary Technician program. She is a Blue Grass, IA native but has lived in some really interesting places including Hawaii!
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. She enjoys caring for senior pets, has an interest in emergency veterinary medicine, and hopes to become a certified pet CPR instructor.
Amber's family includes her husband, Inga the german sheperd, and cat Vela Rae.
Carmen grew up in Clinton and has been a life long resident of the Quad Cities. She attended Muscatine Community College where she received a degree in Veterinary Technology. Carmen joined our Animal Family team in August of 2015.
Carmen lives in Walcott, IA with her husband Justin, son Landon and four dogs. She is a constant bright presence whose bubbly laughter makes everyone's day a little better. Carmen loves that she can use her position with Animal Family to "make a differnce and help animals in need."
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.
Maribeth is an experienced member of our veterinary technician team. She is a Minnesota native and has a degree in marketing from Chapman University in Orange, California. She also graduated from the Bel Rea Institute in Denver, Colorado, as a Veterinary Technician. Maribeth worked in a wide range of practices including Alameda East in Denver, various 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," Maribeth said. "Veterinary medicine allows me to help people by helping their pets. It really is the best of both worlds because it fulfills my love of science and medicine. I think I have the best job in the world!”
Maribeth’s family includes husband John, three dogs: Topper, Emma, and Kai, and some really special horses.
Our Client Care Advisors
Front Office Team Leader
Selena is one of our hardworking CCAs and the leader of our Front Office Team. Her position at Animal Family 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 with 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 Cities. She currently lives in Milan with her boyfriend Parker and her handsome german shepherd Thor. She is a huge Hawkeye fan and an avid hiker in her free time.
Client Care Advisor
Amy grew up in a Northwest suburb of Chicago. She has always had a love for animals and is now happily caring for both patients and the clients who love them as a CCA. She strives to make a difference in the company she works for and believes she has found a new home at Animal Family. Amy's family includes her sons Tye and Brandon and her beautiful siberian husky Skye. Although Amy is now 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!
Client Care Advisor
Jessica has a strong passion for animals and strives to become an advocate for owners and their pets as they navigate veterinary visits through her role as a CCA at Animal Family.
“After rescuing my dogs, a fire was lit in me to help educate people about the proper care of their pets.”
Jessica is a small-town girl who grew up in the mid-west and moved to the Quad Cities with her husband. She joined Animal Family in 2020.
Jessica shares her home with her husband and two sweet rescue pups: Bryzzo, the boxer mix and Opie, a pit cross.
Client Care Advisor
Kat was born in Long Island, New York and spent her teen years in North Carolina, but she recently moved to the Quad Cities 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, her boyfriend, and their new addition Huck the australian shepherd.
Kat enjoys photography, exercise, and spending time with family and friends outside of work.
Our Patient Care Advisors
PCA and Nutrition Team Leader
Jacobi is leader of our great PCA team and our resident nutrition expert. 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.
Jacobi graduated from the Blackhawk College Veterinary Assistant program in 2011 and joined the Animal Family team the same year. We have benefited from her years of animal handling on the farm and other clinics. Jacobi loves her position at Animal Family because it allows her to “contribute to pet's healthy lives by helping our clients maintain complete care from year to year.”
Jacobi stays very busy with her three sons and daughter. Her furry family includes Captain the akita, a kitty, three ponies and a donkey.
Patient Care Advisor
Alyssa is an Illinois native and alumni 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 at Animal Family. “Helping animals live a happy and healthy life makes me happy,” Alyssa said.
Alyssa’s family includes her mom, dad, two sisters, two brothers, her son Brayden and her daughter Olive. Her furry family includes a Berner Aussie, a Mini Aussie, a regular Aussie and three cats. In her free time she loves photography, music, knittingand crocheting, and all things outdoors.
Patient Care Advisor
Maggie is an Iowa native who began her career at Animal Family as a Boarding Care Specialist, but soon found her passion working as an amazing member of our PCA team. 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 through completing mission trips to Mexico.
Maggie chose to start her career at Animal Family because “since I was little, I have always loved animals and been interested in veterinary work.”
Maggie lives in Walcott, IA with her husband Dan, daughter Maddie, son Oliver and their boxer mix Lillian. She loves spending time with her family and working on her missionary projects.
Patient Care Advisor
Natalie is one of our dedicated Patient Care Advisors. 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 has lived Quad Cities for almost 27 years and graduated from Black Hawk College in 2010 where she earned certification as a Veterinary Assistant. She is currently continuing her education to become a board certified Veterinary Technician.
Natalie’s family includes two children: Gabrielle and Dahlia; critters including three pit bulls: Otis, Lola, and Darwin; a Manx/Siamese cat named Marley Mae; and 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!
Patient Care Advisor
Rebecca is one of our awesome PCAs. She has always had a deep love for animals and became interested in veterinary medicine after her sister became a veterinary technician. She loved hearing the stories her sister’s brought home about her fufilling work in the veterinary field.
Rebecca built her experience working with animals while employed at a humane society before becoming part of the Animal Family team in 2020.
Rebecca was born in Wisconsin and grew up in Illinois. In 2019, she moved to the Quad Cities from Freeport, Illinois. Her pet family includes her cat Piper. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys painting and sculpting, gaming, and watching movies.
Patient Care Advisor
Sierra is an energetic member of our fantastic PCA team. Sheis an Iowa native and moved to the Quad Cities after graduating from Dewitt High School. Sierra is a great addition to Animal Family as she has plenty of previous experience handling and caring for pets from working at the Humane Society of Scott County.
Like most of us here at Animal Family, Sierra knew from an early age that she wanted to work in veterinary medicine and help animals have a healthy, happy life. Her other passion is dance which she has been participating in from an early age. 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!
Patient Care Advisor
Sydney is a Quad City native and a member of our amazing PCA crew. She graduated from Moline High School and her previous experience at a canine training daycare and boarding facility makes her a fantatstic addition to our Animal Family team.
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 said.
Sydney lives in Rock Island with her two dogs Burroughs and Milo. Outside of work Sydney enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as developing her career as a TikTok content creator.
Our Pet Stylist Team
Pet Stylist Team Leader
Claire is leader of our Pet Stylist team and has worked at Animal Family for over ten years. Another local, Claire is an Illinois native and grew up in Geneseo area. She attended college for a while after high school, but soon found that grooming was her passion. Claire loves that she can improve the lives of pets by helping their coat and skin so that they are able to be as comfortable and happy as possible.
"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 said.
Claire lives in Davenport with her husband Nick and dogs Capone and Fonz. She is an athletic outdoor lover in her free time and just recently completed her first half marathon.
Taylor is a Quad City native and joined Animal Family when she was just 17 years old. After trying on several different roles here, Taylor found her passion as part of our Pet Stylist team. She now maintains a full book of her own happy clientele.
Taylor's family includes her beloved lab mix Molly and her great pyrenees puppy Walter. On the weekends they spend their time being active outdoors.
Our Boarding and Camp Canine Team
Boarding Care Specialist
Chris is a Quad City native who spent 12 years in the human medical field before joining us at Animal Family as part of the Boarding Care Team. Her goal with this career switch is to make a positive difference in the lives of animals.
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.
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 three labs, one horse and an ever changing roster of needy wildlife.
Boarding Care Specialist and Camp Canine Counselor
Lindzy is originally from LeClaire, Iowa and 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.
Lindzy lives in Davenport with her boyfriend and furry kids which include: Bentley and Mia the Great Pyrenees puppies and a group of cuddly bunnies who keep her endlessly entertained with their antics. For fun outside of work, Lindzy enjoys bowling and babysitting.
Boarding Care Specialist and Camp Canine Counselor
Sam grew up near Champaign, Illinois and is a graduate of Western Illinois University. She recently moved back to the Quad Cities after spending six years in Los Angeles, California.
Sam has been an animal lover her whole life and is particularly obsessed with English Bulldogs. She chose Animal Family becasue "I finally found my lifelong passion working with animals."
Her family includes english bulldog Renly, pit mix Auggie, box turtle Miracle and her husband Matt. For fun outside work she likes reading, camping, traveling, and completing projects on their new home.