Meet Our Veterinarians
Amir Shanan, DVM, CHPV
Animal Hospice Pioneer, Visionary and Leader
Dr. Shanan has been in private practice in Chicago since 1985. He is the owner and founder of Compassionate Veterinary Hospice, offering in-home medical and consultation services for geriatric and seriously ill companion animals. Dr. Shanan has helped thousands of pets and their families make the end of life a meaningful and cherished experience by providing information, nonjudgmental support, and guidance in making the most difficult decisions
Described as a “mix of philosopher, ethicist, counselor and veterinarian”, Dr. Shanan is recognized nationally and internationally as a pioneer and leader in the emerging field of animal hospice and palliative care. “After several years of practicing veterinary medicine, I realized that many loving pet parents had nowhere to go for the care and support they needed when their cherished companions approached the end of life,” says Dr. Shanan. “Fulfilling this need became my life’s calling.”
Dr. Shanan is the Founder of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. Under his leadership, end of life care practice guidelines for the veterinary profession have been written. A training program for veterinarians and veterinary technicians seeking advanced end of life care skills was also developed, called the Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Certification Program. He is the main editor of the first textbook on animal end of life care, “Hospice and Palliative Care for Companion Animals”, published in 2017.
His passions are hanging out with his wife and 3 sons and daughters-in-law, Mediterranean cuisine, a good game of rubber bridge, and doing his very small part in making the world a better place.
Brooke Bartell, DVM
Dr Brooke Bartell is a Chicago area native who graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with both a BS in Animal Sciences and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Dr Bartell has experience in many aspects of veterinary medicine, having worked in both general practice for small animals and exotics, at PAWS animal shelter with intake exams, and 10 years in emergency and critical care. Work in a large emergency and specialty hospital gave Dr Bartell the unique experience of collaborating with some of the best veterinary specialists in the area. Dr. Bartell has always had a passion for geriatric and end of life care, and for helping pet parents through difficult times. While in veterinary school, Dr Bartell took elective classes in pet loss and grief, and volunteered with the Pet Loss and Grief hotline at the University of Illinois Vet School. During her decade in emergency/critical care, Dr Bartell assisted and supported pet parents on a daily basis as they were making thoughtful and often difficult decisions for their furry family members
“I’ve always been an animal lover, and an empathetic soul. I was called to veterinary medicine early on, with a love of both all things furry and of science. I have helped many families as their pet angels earned their wings, and I have had to say goodbye to my own. I am so grateful to have been able to share in so many stories of how their pets came into their life, the funny stories of the trouble they got into sometimes, the support and love they gave their people, and the quirks that made them special. Some of my most rewarding experiences throughout my years in veterinary practice have been helping families prepare to say goodbye, offering support and a listening ear to those in need. I strongly believe in the importance of holding space for people as they find their way thru difficult times. I am humbled to be able to help families of pets who are aged, infirm, and making their way through their last days together. I try to practice mindfulness in my personal and veterinary life, and to be present in the moment. As a geriatric pet parent myself, I know how valuable each day can be, and I look forward to helping other families enjoy every day they have.”
Dr. Bartell believes in working with you to make the best choices you can for everyone in your family, and strives to provide clear options, compassion, and support. If it’s time to say goodbye to your beloved pet, Dr Bartell will do everything she can to make the experience as peaceful as possible.
Meet Our Staff
Jodi Lundeen-Wagner – Practice Manager
I started working with Dr. Shanan and Compassionate Veterinary Hospice in August of 2017, and quickly discovered that veterinary hospice care is a special niche that fits very well with my values and philosophy of veterinary medicine. Throughout my life, I have been passionate about exploring the meaningful connections we share with each other and with our pets, how we form those connections, and how they enrich our lives. With this, I have developed a dedication in my veterinary career to providing pet owners with that level of meaningful connection to their veterinary team, to help pet owners be the best advocates for their pets, and to establish myself as a caring and trusted part of their support system. Throughout my career, I have always been dedicated to providing pets and pet owners with very high standards in medicine, communication, and caring support. Working with pets during their end of life journey, and providing pet owners with the support they need during that difficult time, is a rewarding new path for me.
I have a B.A. from Knox College in Philosophy, with concentrations in Psychology and Sociology. I joined Dr. Shanan’s team after working for over 10 years as a veterinary technician here in Chicago, and 5 years as a veterinary manager. Before joining Compassionate Veterinary Hospice, I was the Clinic Manager and Lead Technician for Tree House Humane Society’s Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic. Being a part of Tree House Humane Society’s mission was a very meaningful part of my career, and sparked my passion for rescue volunteer work.
I enjoy spending time with my wife of 10 years, our 2-year-old son, and our four cats. In our spare time, we love to garden, turning our small Chicago yard into an organic urban vegetable garden. We love to cook, camp, travel, and learn new things together.
Irene Petroski, CVT – Lead Veterinary Nurse
Irene has 20 years experience with veterinary medicine of all kinds, ranging from Chinese alternative therapies and ophthalmology to wildlife rehabilitation. When she is not trying to make sickly and elderly pets more comfy-cozy, she is being a mom to her human animal and 2 rascally kitties, doing yoga, traveling (Pre-Covid!!), riding her bike to anywhere, and expanding her mind through reading and learning.
Kim Szablewski, Veterinary Nurse
Kim joined the Compassionate Veterinary Hospice team in December 2020. She came to us with over 19 years of experience working in the veterinary field including areas of general practice, ophthalmology and a laboratory technician role, as well. She is passionate about the human-animal bond and enjoys continuously learning new information and skills. Hospice and palliative care are unique areas of veterinary medicine that Kim finds extremely rewarding and proud to be a part of.
In her time outside of work, Kim lives in the Western suburbs with her boyfriend and 12-year-old rescue, a little poodle mix named Gertie. Kim has a special place in her heart for all senior pets. Gertie was rescued and adopted at an estimated age of 10 years old. In her free time, Kim enjoys gardening, road trips and reading. She is also working towards becoming involved in volunteer work for a local pet rescue and their community programs.
Corey Brashinger, Physical/Rehab Specialist
As a native Chicagoan (via the South Suburbs), I am all about community and finding ways to help people and pets. I’ve worn many hats in the veterinary and animal volunteering fields, but about 7 years ago I turned my attention to animal rehabilitation and physiotherapy and that’s been my passion ever since. I began at Pawsitive Energy run by CVESC (now MedVet) and eventually received my Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant certification in 2018. I do wish that title read ‘and Feline’, because I do cats, too!
I joined Compassionate in March of 2021 because it seemed like such a natural fit. A lot of what rehab offers goes far beyond ‘return to form’ and actually is great at addressing issues associated with aging, disease, mobility and is a form of palliative care. I also have such a soft spot for older pets and want to do everything I can to help them age gracefully and transition peacefully.
When I’m not doing rehab (or reading or researching or taking webinars) I can be found outside, being active or generally not sitting down, cooking (why else be active?), traveling, watching something, reading books or listening to music. I am ‘vacation mom’ to a lovely, spunky cat with limited mobility and the inability to walk, but loves to try out new exercises and assistive devices with me. Also, my husband and I might finally be ready to open up our hearts to a new permanent resident after the passing of our three amazing furbabies. They were quite the crew and also taught me a lot about patience and understanding for older pets.
Rebecca Mitchell, Office Manager, Lead Client Care Coordinator
I joined Compassionate Veterinary Hospice in May of 2018, and I’m so excited to have such a great opportunity to help pets and pet parents. I have been involved in animal care since volunteering at my local ASPCA as a teen, and I’ve never looked back. After moving to Chicago in 2002, I started working at Tree House Humane Society Clinic, and spent almost 15 years there. I loved learning the ins and outs of veterinary practice from the Tree House dedicated team.
I was drawn to helping the Tree House longer-term [feline] residents at the end of their lives. It was a privilege I am still grateful for.
Hospice practice also provides an opportunity for me to serve people at a vulnerable time, as they confront the loss of their beloved animals. I have a genuine affection for people, and anything I can do to make someone’s grieving experience even a little easier is well worth my time and effort. I am so glad to be in a position where I can help smooth the process and eliminate some unnecessary stress, so pet parents can focus completely on taking care of themselves and their pet during such a difficult time.
When I’m not at work I enjoy knitting, reading, and volunteering at church. I live with my husband on the South Side of Chicago, where we enjoy feeding the feral cats (and occasional possum) passing through our yard.
Lisa Curtis, Client Care Coordinator
I am new to the Compassionate Veterinary Hospice practice but not to the team of people that work here. I dedicated 14 years to Tree House Humane Society working as a veterinary assistant in the clinic. I enjoyed my job working directly with the cats under doctor’s instructions taking part in medicating and rehabilitating thousands of sick, stray, and injured cats with a team of fabulous people. I learned so much about cat’s emotional responses, their health, and behaviors. I took special care in making sure that I did the best for each cat that came through our doors. I am so thankful for the experiences and education I received from working with the many amazing people throughout the years and am proud of all that we accomplished. I am happy to be working with former coworkers Rebecca and Irene. We all really care.
Palliative care and hospice for animals is new to me and I am very interested in learning a new aspect of pet care from both a physical and a psychological perspective. I am hoping that I can help people cope with their animal’s various illnesses that may come with age and help them ease the burden of caregiving. I am very familiar with losing my many friends, both cats and dogs, and people, too, throughout the years and the pain that one goes through. I am hoping I can offer support to other people who are going through that pain.
I enjoy walking my own dogs and being outside. I also have 4 cats that share the house with us. I love gardening both inside and outside and have a strong interest in nature. I always enjoy dancing and singing and continue to study and perform as much as I can.