MEET OUR CARING AND COMPASSIONATE TEAM
Jill Sackash, DVM
Dr. Jill, as most people call her, has a long story due to her age, experience and history. Many years ago, she graduated from New Haven High School. She married Dan Sackash in 1976 and thanks to his understanding and support and the support and generosity of her parents; she graduated from Purdue Veterinary School in 1984. Her senior year she received the American Animal Hospital Award for excellence in small animal medicine and surgery. After receiving her DVM degree, she was very fortunate to work under the mentoring of Dr. Larry Ackerman and Dr. Doug Bruinsma. They were instrumental in molding her into the vet she is today, especially Dr. Ackerman. Mobile Veterinary Services was her next venture where for 5 years she operated a house call practice and drove a 23 foot mobile clinic around Fort Wayne and the surrounding counties. The mobile van was so well equipped; she could do surgery in your drive-way!!
In 1991, she decided to “move” to Indianapolis and work full time in the Animal Emergency Clinic in north Indy…this proved to be a very valuable learning and networking experience. Two years later, the Fort Wayne Emergency Animal Clinic needed another associate veterinarian, so she jumped at the opportunity to come back “home.” As hard as it was, she sold her mobile van and concentrated on emergency medicine for another 3 years. Then came an opportunity she couldn’t pass up, and she purchased an established practice at 905 W. Gump Rd. So on May 18, 1995, exactly 11 years to the day after receiving her diploma from Purdue, Veterinary Services opened its doors with 3 employees including Dr. Jill! Things were slow at first, so because the Indianapolis ER clinic needed help again, she jumped back into part-time ER work.
In 1999 she was asked to help with ER at Northwood Veterinary Hospital in Anderson, where she continues to work ER to this day! This also proved to be such a gift to her professionally and personally as she has meet and worked with many talented colleagues, especially Dr. Tim Lee. And she continues to be honored to be exposed to numerous veterinary specialists at this practice! Even though, by reading this, it seems she was worked all the time…in 1996 she managed to “squeeze” in the birth of her very best attribute, her son Mac! Time has truly flown by he is attending Indiana University in Bloomington getting his degree from the Kelly School of Business!!!
In her spare time, she travels with Mac, likes to read, and manages to take care of their 3.5 acres and the menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, chickens and goats. But then wouldn’t you worry about a vet who does not have animals? She loves what she does and cannot imagine having a more rewarding profession! God has truly blessed her with a wonderful family, a multitude of good friends and co-workers and numerous opportunities that have allowed her to become whom she is today! And of course, she can’t forget to acknowledge all the awesome clients and their special pets she has come to know over the years! She looks forward to meeting many more furry friends in the years to come.
Natalie Houser, DVM
Dr. Natalie is a 2013 graduate of Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. From an early age, Dr. Natalie knew she wanted to work with animals. While completing her bachelor’s degree in Biology from IPFW, she worked for Dr. Jill and gained the experience needed to start veterinary school. After obtaining her DVM, Dr. Jill offered her a job back at Veterinary Services, Dr. Natalie enjoys working with cats, dogs and rabbits. She is a volunteer leader for the local 4–H rabbit club and is a puppy raiser/counselor for Leader Dogs for the Blind. She is currently raising a puppy named Branson for Leader Dog. She has two black labs, Basil and Dexter and two cats Leo and Mowgli. She enjoys spending time hiking with her dogs and taking Dexter to nose work classes. She also raises Standard Chinchilla rabbits for show and pets. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family at the lake, painting and traveling.
Alana Scaglioni has worked at Veterinary Service for Dr. Jill since 2009 and has always had a passion for helping people and their pets. She received her Masters degree from the University of Toledo and, for a time, served as a faculty member at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Upon leaving the university setting, she was offered the Hospital Manager position at Veterinary Services, where she looks forward to working with an award-winning team. She and her husband have two furry companions, their dog named Masha and their cat named Hildy. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, singing opera, camping with her husband and Masha, and spending time with her family.
Jessi Miller, R.V.T.
Jessi is a Registered Veterinary Technician and has been working at Veterinary Services since 2006. She and her husband, Greg, have 2 daughters in college. One is studying vocal performance with plans to begin her graduate degree in the fall. The other is an undergraduate piano performance major. Jessi enjoys traveling with her family when she is not working and has two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Shannon L. Bartels, R.V.T.
Shannon joined our staff in February of 2010. She graduated from Purdue University with her bachelor degree in Veterinary Technology in 2007. She lives in North Webster with her husband, Paul, and their three children, Chloe, Peyton, and Wyatt. With both girls in school, they are very busy with homework and after school activities such as dance and softball. When not busy with work and home chores, Shannon’s family enjoys visiting the different zoos in the area, swimming, kayaking and watching movies. Shannon’s furry family includes 3 labs Zeek, Rigby and Kimber, a new Standard Poodle pup named Bellami, and five female cats (Clementine, Snickers, Rosetta, Tiger Lilly, and Trinity). Amazingly, they all get along great! There may be a tussle every once in a while, but everyone seems to back to their routine without too much hassle!
Jennifer Dunn, R.V.T.
Jen began working at Veterinary Services in late 2011. She graduated from Michigan State University Veterinary Technology Program in 2009. Although she and her husband moved to Ft. Wayne from Michigan, they remain loyal Michigan State University fans. Go Green! Jen has 2 children, Josh 11/13 and Josie 7/16. Her fur babies include a golden retriever mix named Cadence and a miniature poodle mix named Bella. She enjoys spending time with her family, staying active, camping, and watching Spartan sports.
Lilly Gordon, R.V.T.
Lilly graduated from International Business College, Vet Tech Institute in February of 2016. She began working at Veterinary Services in March of 2016. Lilly has 7 rescue pets: 2 mixed breed dogs named Steve and Luna; 3 cats (Cotton, Momo and Moose) and 2 Guinea pigs (Otis and Marvin). In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her 2 children and camping trips with her close friends and family.
Caitlin Holcomb, RVT
Caitlin first began working with animals in 2011 and first met Dr. Jill as a kennel assistant in the emergency department of VCA Norwood Animal Hospital in Anderson, Indiana. With the help, training and encouragement of her coworkers, Caitlin graduated from Harrison College with a degree in veterinary technology in May of 2014, passing her boards the following August. Caitlin continued to work as a full-time RVT in Northwood’s ER until January of 2020 when she decided to drop down to part-time so that she could begin working full time at Veterinary Services. With the gracious help of the Veterinary Services staff, Caitlin is enjoying learning about general practice medicine. In her spare time she has a large human family in Anderson with whom she loves to spend time, and a fur family in Fort Wayne including 3 dogs, Suzu, Lady, and Doodle. If Caitlin is not spending time with her family or working, you can usually find her snuggled up with her fur-children while ready a good book! She also enjoys music, cross-stitching, camping and fishing.
Cindy graduated from the Veterinary Technology program at Purdue University in 1986. Along with her Veterinary Technician degree, she also has two Bachelor’s degrees. She has four Golden Retrievers, one cat, one guinea pig and one rabbit. Cindy loves working with her dogs in different sporting venues such as agility, obedience and UKC nosework. She also raises Future Leader Dogs for the blind. Her greatest joy is learning about the clients who are paired with the Leader dog puppies she has raised and hearing about how the dogs have changed each person’s life for the better. Cindy is also a talented quilter! Pictured with her is her 6th Leader Dog puppy named Kane.
Ernest graduated from International Business College with a degree in veterinary technology the same week his daughter, Willow, was born. He then joined the Veterinary Services team the following week in the winter of 2019. He and his family also include one dog named Melrose and three cats named March, Mercy, and Eileen. He is the only male in his entire home and also the entire clinic! During his downtime, he likes to draw, hike, kayak, and take care of his houseplants and garden.
Doris has been at Veterinary Services since 2004. She works in the mornings assisting with dentals and surgeries, helping with appointments, or filling in wherever needed. She is also in charge of our Facebook page and sending out email reminders. When not at work, Doris likes to volunteer for local community theatre and spend time maintaining her 90 gallon salt water aquarium. She and her husband, Bob, have 4 children, with their youngest being a senior in high school! As is typical in the veterinary field, her family includes several rescue pets, which currently include a mixed breed dog and 2 cats. Oh, now an additional kitten named Purrcy.
Kassandra began working at Veterinary Services in October of 2017 after moving to Fort Wayne from Evanston, Illinois. She graduated from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Science. KC, as she is called at the clinic, is currently enrolled in PFW to finish her prerequisites for eventually attending veterinary school at Purdue West Lafayette. Kassandra and her husband, AJ, have been married for 5 years and have an 18-month-old son who was born December 24, 2018. She has one dog, a Border Collie mix named Tuxedo Mask and one cat named Khaleesi. When she has some free time, she enjoys spending it with family, cooking, reading, or doing outdoor activities.
Chelsea goes to PFW and is finishing her pre-vet undergraduate studies. She would eventually like to go to vet school at Purdue University. She has been with Veterinary Services since February of 2018. She grew up on a hobby farm with two donkeys, two horses, tow barn cats, and two dogs. Se currently has two dogs of her own, Stella and Eli—and an ornery donkey named Domingo! In her spare time, she enjoys taking her dogs to the dog park, sculpting, and watching Netflix.
Office Staff / Jack of All Trades
Ann got her start working with pets in 1988 at East State Veterinary Clinic and has continued her love of animals. She has been working with Dr. Jill since 1995. The one-on-one of a small practice keeps her in touch with our clients. Ann’s job is keeping things organized and also helping with the animals. She has six cats of her own on the “plantation” she shares with her husband, Larry.